Time Out

Well. Last you saw me I had Wallace and Grommit on and I was going to finish it. And I did. And it is in time out. I have knit the top of that dumb thing 3 times. Then I finished it into a short sleeve sweater. And the top is still wrong. STILL WRONG. Still wrong. As in not at all right. Not even close. And this is so sad for so many reasons. I loved that yarn and it’s the kind of yarn that is sticky and you can really only pull it out and reknit it so many times before it is no longer the type of yarn you can knit so much as a fuzzy felted fuzz. And even if I did, I cannot bear to do that again right now. I had this panicked thought that I should just cut it up and sew it into potholders or something. Before I got the scissors out and got chopping I had the sense to back away slowly… So sadly it sits in time out until I can get up my sense and do something. I’m thinking I can keep the bottom, rip out the top – AGAIN – and try one last time. I think the problem is it was top down. I can knit bottom up without incident, apparently, but have had little to no success starting at the top and going down. Which makes no sense because it is just the same thing backwards, but such is life.

So since I refuse to show photos of exactly how bad it fits because after all it turns out I have a ** little ** self respect, I will instead show you last weekend. Last weekend, in Boston, we got snowed in. Like honest to goodness can’t leave the house snowed in.

Blizzard 2013_11

I cannot remember the last time I’ve been actually snowed in. There have been time I’ve used it as an excuse to stay in, or to eat crackers and peanut butter and ice cream for dinner because I was too lazy to go out in the snow to get proper food. But last weekend for real, there was an honest to goodness driving ban, 2 feet of snow, and based on how the driving was the next day, I think it was good and warranted. I did, of course, make sure we had cookies, because in emergencies, cookies are just about required. And made for a fantastic breakfast of shoveling champions the next day. YUM!

Blizzard 2013_8

Blizzard 2013_5

So I spent the majority of the storm sitting with some tea and some cookies and finishing my scrap blanket, which I’m pleased to say is finished and has eaten an ENTIRE bag of scraps! Woot!

Scrap Blanket_3

And then the shoveling began, which was actually kind of fun. Good times. So with the scrap blanket and the delinquent Wallace and Grommit finished for now, I’m on to bigger and better things. From the bottom up this time.

Blizzard 20136

Success!!

When I last left, I was holding a rather daunting pile of wound yarn. Well, I knit and I knit and I hoped and I hoped, and now the Mr. has a new sweater. I was lucky that the gauge was exactly the same as what I was trying to copy, so I just got out my crayons and graph paper, copied the patten from the photo onto the graph paper, and followed directions.

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It’s a simple raglan, and I took measurements from a sweater that he has that fits to get the chest measurement, arm length, etc.

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The original didn’t worry about making a coherent pattern around the raglan decreases, so neither did I, and it worked out just fine.

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Overall, I’m very happy with it. It fits, it is the right color, it is the right pattern, and most importantly, the Mr. loves it. So yeah me!!

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And so now I’m back to my Wallace and Grommet. Which is to say, still in my jammies with a sweater that has no sleeves and comes down to my belly button and strings hanging off the side. But no matter. But with any luck in a week or so, it will be more presentable. It won’t be getting sleeves, so really it’s just sleeve cuffs and another few inches of pattern. So I have that going for me.

jammies

My Only Christmas Knitting – again

Once again, I had only one knit Christmas gift to give this year. But it was an awesome one.

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A few weeks ago, I was with my sister, and I thought I heard her say she liked that new trend of giant oversized knit stuff. Now, I’d had a beer, and I couldn’t remember if she said she liked it, she wanted it, she thought it was ridiculous, or what. All I got out of it was “oh good, I can make that!” As I plugged along, I wondered if I’d mis-heard, or if I made it up altogether in my desire to make one of these things. But I figured what the heck. Either she’ll be happy or very very confused, but it would be fun either way.

Marthas blanket03

It was knit with unspun wool top, split in half. (You could knit it with it just as it comes, but really that’s more art installation than blanket. I tried it.) At 4 st per FOOT it worked up really quickly. I think there were 20 stitches/row. It took about 6 hours on 1.5″ PVC pipes with some really classy duct tape covering the openings.

Scooter on martha's blanket01

Scooter thought it was pretty dope too. My Sister loved it. She draped it over her and walked about. We decided she looked very rich wearing her blanket. I have photos. As she will soon be a wildly expensive lawyer, I will not put those photos up here so she doesn’t then sue me for defamation. But it was a hit.

We also had a bat in the house Christmas morning. Luckily the boys took it outside… then ran…

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Merry Christmas!

Obsessed

I don’t think I’ve ever knit the same pattern twice. There are too many things out there that I want to make to do that. Or at least that was the case until last weekend. You guys. I’m obsessed. My best friend of 20 (OMG we’re old!) years had her second baby. When she had her first, she had her in September, and I distinctly remember knitting the gift while watching Pride and Prejudice (the good version) on New Years Eve… so that’s pretty bad. That’s like 4 months late.

in progress overalls6

So I was determined to be just a smidge better this time. I ordered washable wool from Fat Cat Knits, who has great colors and selection and best of all meant I didn’t have to dye anything or buy a hunk of superwash. I spun it up. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the colors. I mean, I liked them a lot, but wasn’t sure about a baby traipsing around in them. But whatever, I just kept going.

in progress overalls9

I had been wanting to knit up these overalls since I saw Adrien knit some up in handspun. OMG. Too cute. Must have. The only mods I made from the pattern (aside from a gauge change, DK from worsted) was to make the legs open along that bottom seam and not bell at the bottom. The bell might work fine in older sizes, but 0-6 month was 12″ around for a leg that is like 4″ around. The pattern, and as far as I can tell everyone who has made them on ravelry, calls for two tubes for legs. Now, if someone gave me some item of clothing for a 0-6 month old who is getting changed constantly that required taking them all the way off every time, I would just never put them on them. And since my main goal is for these to get ON the child, I knit the legs back and forth, and added snap tape along that inseam. It worked pretty well. I would recommend it. It means sewing in snap tape, which might make you want to kill yourself, but I promise if you make it through alive it will make them so much more useful as clothes. And I did snaps for the shoulder straps instead of buttons. No matter how well you sew buttons, the idea of them near a kids mouth makes me nervous. Babies are fascinated with the most boring of things, like circles with holes and string, and resourceful, and like to swallow things.

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And once all the snaps and sewing was over, OMG. I love them. I am obsessed with them. I could knit only these until I die and be quite happy. I was so deliriously pleased with myself that I brought them into work and showed them to normal non-knitters probably making squealy sounds the whole time in my delusion. I just love them. There is discussion of adult sized ones for every day of he week. (I’m kidding there… only sort of.) I think I’m done with baby sweaters. Who needs sweaters when you can have THESE!!!!

finished overalls 4

finished overalls 5

finished overalls 2

This baby was born in October, and I’m done a whole 2 WEEKS before New Years. That’s like 2 months! I’m practically early!!

The pattern is free on Ravelry. Get going.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Not sure where December has gone, but coming up for air to write a post. I have new sheets with hats and mittens. I love them.

New Sheets_1

Our tree is up, and decorated. The angel is a little precariously placed this year, it didn’t occur to me to cut off the too high top until it was too late. Now I kinda like it.

TREEEEE

And I have finally gotten off my arse and made the cushion cover and curtains for the kitchen. Excuse the somewhat fuzzy iphone photo…

photo

Greg’s sweater is started, a pair of baby overalls was started, ripped out and will be restarted tonight, and I have the Wallace and Gromit sweater going, as well as the scrap blanket. I never do this, I’m a one project girl. But I figured what the heck. They all need to get done, so there they are.

Gift buying is for the most part finished, I’m just waiting for everything to come in, while I sit in panic and hope it all makes it here in one piece and on time. Which means we can move onto the fun part of the holidays, the part where you bake a million cookies, watch a bunch of movies, drink a bunch of wine, and sit by the fire. The millions of cookies happen this weekend, the movies started last night, and well, I hope there’s no fire, since we don’t have a fireplace, but I’ll light a candle or something. Onward :)

New Warm Things

For the past 2 -3 years, I’ve been asking Greg if he’d like a new sweater, the discussion of which I will summarize here.
Me: Greg, would you like a new sweater?
Greg: Why yes, I would.
Me: What kind?
Greg: I think fair isle.
Me: Oh, like this? (Shows photos)
Greg: No, not with different colors.
Me: Oh…
Greg: Maybe a cable sweater?
Me: Oh, good, like this (shows photos)
Greg: No, not really, too much going on.
Me: Oh…
Me: Can you show me one like you’d like?
Greg: *actually searches Ravelry on his own and picks out some simple pullovers like the one I made for him a few years ago*
Me: Ok…
Greg: WAIT WAIT – I really like THIS ONE.

And this is what he’s pointing to.
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It’s a J. Crew sweater from this year. SCORE!! I happen to really like it, it will entertain me and he will like it. Except that we decided that orange really was a little out there, so we played with photoshop and got the orange to turn light blue and thought that looked really good. So we shall rip off the pattern, slightly change the color, and make sure it fits perfectly. Onward.

Then yarn choices. I showed him a bunch that would be in the right gauge/type, and again there was deliberation. I pulled out my color card for Schoolhouse Press, and we found exactly what he wanted. To the point that he kept asking to see the color card of yarn, again, all by himself (a rare thing for a non-knitter. Either he’s really interested or he’s just really really nice.). We chose yarn, which showed up quickly and was great. Except the dyelot of light blue was really more bright blue. I spoke with I forget who at Schoolhouse Press, who actually put down the phone, went to look and see if they had a paler dyelot, found it, and sent it to me. I think I love her.

12-5-12-gregs new sweater

So we’re all wound up (ha!) and will get knitting soon. I had hoped to finish it before Christmas, which might be a little hairy after spending a week knitting a warm shawl, but I will try. Good luck to me!

Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming…

Ah, so I can unveil the secret project.
A few weeks ago, someone indispensable and terribly important to our family got news that she had cancer. I know this is very common and everyone knows someone, but I cannot even explain the feeling of being hit by a bus. Quickly, as much as was possible was taken out, and the recovery from that process began with lots of quality knitting time in the hospital keeping company, and plans for chemo began.

Now to say I am medically useless is actually an understatement. I actually will pass out at the slightest tube, blood, incision, or just the smell of hospitals. This makes me negatively helpful when I have to be peeled off the floor. I did my best and actually got over the tubes and hospital smell, as long as I didn’t have to see where anything goes in or out. But, really, besides the doctors, who do as much as they can, none of us can do anything really to make it better. We can’t make tumors go away, stay away, or make things less scary. Luckily the statistics are in our favor, and since I believe in science and statistics and good hard numbers, that has to make me feel better.

So, I did the only thing a knitter can do. I can at least keep you warm and pretty. The blood, tubes, and actual physical real healing stuff, nope, sorry, useless. But, warm, that I can do. So I stole some yarn that was supposed to go into the shop, wound it into balls, downloaded a pattern (daybreak, but without the stripes, since it was striping already. I love the shape of it) and just started knitting.

Handspun Wrap

I used a sneaky trick I saw somewhere about putting plastic under the blocking item to make it dry faster. Worked AWESOME. I usually am waiting for things to dry forever because whatever is underneath, usually a towel, is also wet from the wet wool. This one dried very quickly.

Handspun Wrap

The yarn is my own handspun, polworth/silk. Size 7 needles with DK yarn for a warm but light fabric, the drape is fantastic, thanks silk!

Handspun Wrap

And most importantly, warm. Since that is what I do.