Monday, January 31, 2005

Maggie Righetti said

that you can tell a lot from a pattern based on the way the model was photographed. I read this (in Knitting in Plain English) and thought I understood it, and then I made this.

Cute, right? Not a big boxy sweater. A sweater-girl kind of sweater, my mom would say. But why are the model's hands posed like so? An action shot? No. *She is trying to pull down the sweater because it rides up!*

I made the medium size, in Blues. 9 balls of yarn, said pattern. Um no. I'm a tight knitter, granted, but 9 balls would have made a t-shirt. After I finished the body with 2+ balls to spare I ordered another ball from Patternworks (and a skein of Cotton Chenille for a washcloth, just so the shipping charge would not be for naught), and barely finished two somewhat shortened sleeves. Barely. Had to trim the cast on excess and tie it on to finish binding off. And, did I mention I had to rip and redo the sleeves three times so it wouldn't end up with a batwing effect? And that checking gauge in alpaca boucle can make you go blind?

Well, despite all that, I do like the finished sweater. I wish it were a little longer, but I'm not tackling those sleeves again, huh uh, nope. I will push them up a little and pretend like I intended on 3/4 sleeves. You won't tell, will you?

In happier news I received a really sweet (almost gushing) thank you note from my son's Kindergarten teacher for the seed stitch blouse scarf I made her for Xmas. It was the nicest thank you note I've ever seen and made my day.

Sock it to me

I joined the Sock It To Me knitalong! I knit a sock! Wanna see?

I'm making a pair of socks for my husband who starts at a new job making robots this week. (Note: if you have small children, they will be extremely excited to learn you will be making robots for a living.) The socks are made from Sandnes Smart superwash sportweight on size 3 dpns. I think I finally have dpns down - I'm actually enjoying using them. One sock is done and the other is about 2/3 of the way there. I used the Yankee Knitter Classic Socks pattern - it's very straightforward.

My next post will show you a picture of and detail my tribulations with the alpaca boucle sweater.

What's on tap for February?

Definitely: the scarf for my sister in Schaefer Anne (sis' birthday is in March, get cracking); my square for the TG thank you project.

Possibly: start Weasley sweater for daughter; finish Clapotis (did you see Betsy's? Oh my, is it gorgeous!); start either Rowan 23 Dune (in black Softwist Bulky) or cable-trim raglan in Due Chine. Finish Regia socks for son (one underway). Start reverse bloom washcloth for other sister's birthday in April.

Probably not: finish Baby Tart hat (daughter currently in "pull off all hats" mode, plus it doesn't cover ears so no incentive to complete it in timely manner); crocheted baby blanket (baby is now toddler and shows predilection for fleece).

Monday, January 24, 2005

Snowbound but chic

3XChic, to be exact:

The perspective in the photo is a little off - it *is* a normal size neck opening. I am not a pinhead (Ed. note: says you!). This is a nice, cozy knockaround sweater done in Sirdar Denim Chunky (which now might be called Denim Ultra, I'm not sure). My only critique of the sweater is that when I have been sitting while wearing it it creases across my lap and the crease remains when I stand up, so I tug and adjust a lot. But hey, it's the first sweater I've ever knit for myself, and I think it isn't half bad. It certainly gave me confidence to try the alpaca boucle, which will be finished when the rest of the yarn arrives (about 50% of a sleeve to go, plus seaming).

As I can't finish the boucle sweater yet, I decided to make my husband a pair of socks to wear on his first day at his new job in February - my first socks. We had a blizzard here this weekend so I made some good progress on one sock:

I turned the heel just fine (helped that Cynthia went over the process in the toe-up-on-two-circulars session last Thursday) and am on the foot now. Alert readers will note I am using double points. These came with the Red Cross Knit Kit I bought from the store. For a $25 donation you can buy a kit that contains sock yarn, needles, a finishing needle and a 1942 pattern reprint, all in a cute little tin. I like the red needles - makes using double points look even more dangerous!

Kindergarten was cancelled because of snow, so I worked at home while R played with Bionicles and watched cartoons. He said he didn't want to eat the veggies in his lunch because "my vegetable tank is full." We made a deal that if he at least ate the carrots he could help me make cookies. "OK," he said, "I still have room for *round* things in my tummy."

Friday, January 21, 2005

Look out for the gator, baby!

Or gators, plural, in this case. Here are R's gator mittens, although he sometimes changes his mind and says they are dragons.

I have finished 3XChic (woo!) and am on the sleeves of the V-neck alpaca boucle. I must've knit too tightly or lost gauge on the latter, as I'm about to run out of yarn on the first sleeve. D'oh! I already have ordered an extra ball from Patternworks.

The knitting class I've been going to on Thursdays has been holding a tutorial in making toe-up socks on two circular needles - pretty cool. I have one sock for husband in progress on double points, so I can do a comparison test of the methods.

I checked out the Wild and Woolly sale last weekend and came away with two sweaters' worth of yarn - Lana Grossa Due Chine in a brick red (am thinking a cable-trim pullover) and Berroco Softwist Bulky in black (perhaps the Rowan Dune pattern from the Knitting Pattern A Day calendar. It's a November 2005 pattern. Yes, I looked ahead, whatcha gonna do about it?).

This post's title comes from, or is perhaps paraphrased from, the movie The Big Easy. I liked the movie, but then am not from New Orleans so cannot tell if the actors' accents were legit or not. It does irritate me to hear people get New England accents wrong. Wow, did the IMDB reviewer ever hate the movie. Go figure.

New Orleans-related note: my daughter Z is currently obsessed with mardi gras beads. She wears them daily. Usually green ones.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Knitting with R

My 5 year old son has been a frequent party to my knitting lately. During his school vacation week after Christmas, he decided he wanted to go on a long train ride. Here was my excuse to go to a yarn store! We took the red and orange T lines out to Jamaica Plain one snowy day to visit Circles. It is a very nice store. I didn't get to meet the owner, but the staffer had her cute baby boy with her. R enjoyed playing with him in the playroom. In fact, he enjoyed the playroom so much, he didn't want to leave when I was ready to go. He picked out some yarn so I could make him the alligator mittens from Stitch and Bitch Nation. They are adorable! (Photo when I can upload photos again..laptop died before the holidays and I'm using a loaner)

The following Sunday my husband and daugher were sick and wanted to rest, so R came with me to True Grounds for the SnB group. He sat on the couch and played Mario Bros on his Gameboy. TG was out of cookies, so we had biscotti (I called it a "long cookie" and he was fine with it). R was somewhat astonished when Betsy and Omar arrived and Omar started knitting. "How come he's knitting - he's a boy!" R exclaimed. I found this interesting in that he really hasn't seen any evidence that knitting is "only" for girls other than the fact that I knit and Daddy doesn't (Daddy plays World of Warcraft while Mommy knits - an amicable arrangement). We told him anybody could knit if they wanted to, and he accepted this new information. I asked whether he wanted me to teach him, and he said "Sure." Hey, maybe I will. Don't think he's headed to a Waldorf School though - there would be no way to get him away from TV and video games. I mean, he likes to play sports and read and play board and card games too, but he cherishes cartoon time.

Yesterday was a snow day so no school. R came with me to work and we went to a lunchtime knitting class. He didn't feel like playing Gameboy, so he made up a game with an empty milk bottle. I managed to get him to do some drawing too. The class didn't have any men, so there goes my stereotype busting. He was able to sit still until he noticed a candy dish in the adjacent room. Then it became a constant "Can we go now?" "I'm bored." "Can we get some candy now?" I didn't get much knitting done.