Friday, December 28, 2007

The bird on my thumb

Managing to knit something around the holidays is easier said than done at our house.

Kate Gilbert's pattern - A Bird in the Hand - caught my eye while browsing on Ravelry and I thought the gauge would work based on my Ivy League Vest gauge. Knit Pick's Palette has been sitting around in stash for awhile and seems to have worked fine. The pattern calls for worsted weight yarn, but it is difficult to find the extra Cascade 220 when I need it...

Purple and Cream colors were used for this mitten.

Mom and Dad are visiting for a few days and Mom modeled the mitten for me this morning. I haven't stitched the little bird features yet.

Speaking of which, Hubs gifted me with 10 storage containers for Christmas (yes, I asked for them). They've helped reign in the excess yarn flowing from my yarn closet. In the beginning of organization, it is apparent that I have enough yarn. I won't make promises not to purchase, but I vow to take advantage of the de-stash group on Ravelry very, very soon.

The Short Row Hat designed by Veronik Avery is a free pattern that I used along with left-over Wistful yarn from Briar Rose. The hat is a fun, quick knit and I will make it again in the future with yarn that will show more definitive color changes.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Dirty Christmas Carols

I find myself singing Christmas songs at this time of year. I find myself ad-libbing dirty words. Hubs and I discussed this not long ago after musing that there may be a market out there for an x-rated Christmas CD - Hubs replied "everyone I know sings dirty words" after hearing me ask if it was only us that butcher these traditional songs with smut.

While Rockin' around the frickin' tree this morning, it occurred to me that there has not been a sharing of the tree hunt from a few weekends ago. So...a few photos:

...Later we'll share some !#1*&# pie before we do some !$@##!

And on to the tree:

We walked the fields looking for the perfect tree. The youngest son found one, Bugg found one and it didn't take a genius to figure out that we could not choose EITHER of those trees because we'd never hear the end of the bickering. My strategy was to drag them all around the other fields and return to suggest a couple of others that we had not previously eyed. It worked! Everyone was freezing and relented with sighs of relief - Just cut it already...and he did, just before the camera battery died.

Youngest son put the stand on and lugged the brute tree into the house. He stood it up and I winced as it it was pushed up to it's full height.....2" shy of the super tall ceiling (gulp). The only thing working for the topper was a Santa hat.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

What I finished today

The photos could never do this scarf justice. I set up the camera on self timer and tried to take modeled shots, but kept getting the door and door knob or just a small portion of the scarf and a lot of chin (where did all of that chin come from anyway?).

Settling for these few shots will suffice for now. 2 skeins of Handmaiden Silken in the Glacier colorway and a bunch of beads ordered from for the price of a song.

For my next project:
Hubs also asked for a 'plain old hat'. I've been making these 'plain old hats' for the past two years and he said, "no, you know - a plain old hat".

Hmm...that got me to thinking and I dug out my copy of Never Knit Your Man a Sweater, flipped to the Watch Cap and proudly produced the page for him to see.

YES! That is the kind of hat he wanted. I was not thrilled - how fun can inches upon inches of 1x1 ribbing be? Turns out it wasn't much fun, but I whipped it up in a day or so and he was SO thrilled that the pain of the 1x1 rib was soon forgotten. As soon as my favorite youngest son spied the hat, he begged for one "just like this". OMGoodness, inches upon inches of 1x1 rib again. Seems that we'll do anything for these guys we love so much.
I've named this hat Watchful Cap because my husband is ever watchful over me. He takes care of all the little things necessary to keep me safe and loved.
1 skein of Cascade 220 in charcoal #8400 (picked-up at Knit a Round's sale bin in Ann Arbor last weekend for around $4.00) on size 7 needles.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Knitting goals and accomplishment

Friend Mitzi and I went to Ann Arbor yesterday. It was the first time we've spent together in awhile and our conversation wandered onto our knitting goals for 2008. UFO's were topping our lists; Mitzi with a fabulous Jane Splicer-Smith wrap, a mostly-finished-item for a work raffle, an Eyelet shell that just needs stitched, and the Babies and Bears Sweater for adults. Topping my list is the Ivy League Vest and...hmm, I thought I had a few other UFO's...

Truth is that finishing is a 'thing' for me. Knitting begins and then it is finished, rewards come in the casting on of something new. Problem is, there are tons of skeins of yarn in my stash which are tagged for projects and they WANT to be knitted. Impulse purchases are few and far between (mostly sock yarn). I am a purposeful shopper.

Mitzi pointed out that for 2007 I had wanted to knit lace and that there were a number of finished lace projects in my portfolio now.

True, true. I did knit lace and am ultimately satisfied with my accomplishments there.

We focused on my 2008 desired technique(s). What do I really want to knit in the upcoming year? Fair Isle (definitely!). Beads (on the needles now). I would also like to knit Baby Jesus - seriously, one of the blogs routinely read had a knit manger and that will be hunt down again. More lace is in order --- beaded lace, maybe? There are sketches for a couple of designs laying right here now (on the back of envelopes). The need to knit a sweater is bearing down on me now. It has been awhile since a sweater was created by my needles and I can feel one calling to me - it will be woolly...

Looking back on 2007, knitting was a huge accomplishment. The photo folder for this subject is bursting at the seams - it was a good year! Looking forward to 2008 makes me giddy. The possibilities, plans, yarn, nearly too much excitement to be contained as my heart beats faster.

Back to the UFO's...there is one black/grey sweater which didn't have enough yarn to finish (the grey yarn is discontinued and unavailable now), a multi-yarn 'surprise' sweater that (so foo-foo I would probably never wear), a navy cotton vest that just needs stitched and zippered (just lazy).

How about you-
What would you like to knit in 2008?

Are you happy with your knitting accomplishments in 2007?

What technique would you like to focus on?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Dance

We had quite the drive to reach our vacation destination last summer. We drove in two vehicles and witnessed this dance after stopping for something to eat.

Funny thing - he couldn't hear the music we were listening to, but his dance was right on beat.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I'm so proud

I've been smitten with the River Rock Scarf since No Sheep For You came out earlier this year. Handmaiden Silken was on my yarn Lust List for quite awhile and when Little Knits stocked it (at 20% off, wink, wink), my order was placed.

It was certain that the Glacier colorway would be my choice and it does not disappoint. The 'waves' undulate through the scarf and make me imagine sitting by a stream, listening to the water slurp and gurgle around the 'rocks'.

This scarf is so pleasing to knit that it has nearly caused me to forget about the Ivy League Vest which was well on it's way. My passion has wained a tad (a wee tad). I contemplate the appreciation of skills and knowledge gained since the onset of this fair isle project and muse through possibly frogging the whole thing to begin anew. These feelings led me to put aside the vest for a few days and gain new insight - the answer will be clear once I return to it.

Bugg finally finished a project! We hunted all over the Southern United States for the Berroco Vibe yarn. She was set on this color and it had to be ordered. They were cast on around July ('06 or '07?). Regardless, they were finished a couple of weeks ago and they are fantastic.

I am so proud!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Teen Scarf aka Easy as Pie Scarf

Bugg's friends find my knitting fascinating. They are often anxious to learn, but finding time for them to sit down and actually put yarn to needle is another story. On occasion one of them will ask me to knit them a pair of socks - heh, heh...we ALL know the answer to this one!

In compromise, these scarves will be quick little gifts for the teen friends this year and they can knit up in one evening!

Yarn: Berroco Foliage; 100 yds (or about 100 yards of any bulky yarn)
Needles: US 11
Button: 1 1/2" to 2"

Cast on 18 or 20 stitches work in K1, P1 rib for 5"

On next row work to 2 stitches before middle and ssk, knit next two stitches together, finish row by working in established pattern. (For example; if you cast on 18 stitches you will ssk stitches 8 and 9 and knit stitches 10 and 11 together)

On next row work to gap created by the ssk and k2tog in the previous row and cast on two stitches then proceed to work in established rib pattern

Work maintaining rib until you nearly run out of yarn (or until the scarf is your desired length) and cast off in rib.

Sew button to opposite side of scarf approx. 8" from the bottom.

Note: Buttons this large can be difficult to find (or costly). Try hunting around at your LYS if the craft store buttons are not on sale.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

My new scarf (ISE5 Complete)

Big, Huge Thanks to my scarf knitter for ISE5!

Sarah knit this beautiful lace pattern with Rowan Kidsilk Haze in Fern.

It is absolutely wonderful and I love it.

Sarah also sent yarn that I must make into a dishcloth, an adorable knitting notebook and...candy, yum!

Thank you Sarah!
P.S. Apologies for the wonky photos

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Brown Tilly (finally finished)

The shawl has been finished for a few days and the result is so drastically different from it's beginnings that the post waited for good photos. Chris sent this yarn back in the summer for a sample that would be larger than the original and include a knit-on border.

The border was adapted from a Barbara Walker book and a picot edging was added to the top.

Directions for the borders have been written out. Finished measurements: 78" across the top and 42" from top to bottom point.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Insomnia manifested

What is there to worry about? Maybe I'm worrying too much about not having anything to worry about?

4AM and I was wide awake; I've learned to get up, not toss and turn.

5AM blogs read, e-mail read

6AM brew the coffee and, heck, have some oatmeal

6:05AM Make THE list

The list may be the source of my consists of

1. schedule 4 Doctor appointments for myself

2. schedule my first mammogram

(all of which are overdue)

3. schedule Orthodontic appointment for my Favorite Youngest Son

4. take the dogs to be groomed

5. knit designs
6. scrapbook

The Dr. appointments should have been made and attended by now...I am tired of going to the Doctor - the appointments lead to more work and, ultimately, pain.

Let's just skip to #5. The directions for Lace Cable Scarf knitted for my ISE5 pal has been finished since November and Brown Tilly (shown blocking) instructions are all ready, the PDF files just need to be created
#6 is a whole different issue. Way back in July the pleading began. Fortunately, a friend answered and our first expedition last week was a success. Our second session is today and dread is knocking at my door. I am not a Scrapbooker!
(yawn...sigh) Another cup of coffee, please!