December 2006


so xmas knitting is over! well, not quite. i am still working on amy’s purse. it’s going a little slower than i thought, partially because i haven’t been able to resist starting some things for myself already. the knitting part is almost done, but i’m going to be lining it, and i still have to figure out what i want to do for the handles. so i think i am going to have to tell her that it’s not done when we do gift-exchanging in the next few days. she will love it when it’s done, though.xmas itself was AWESOME, especially in the knitting/crafting arena. i got my ball winder and swift! here is a picture of my sister working it. she is winding some of the lovely yarn i got for xmas.

on the left is some manos de uraguay that i got from my sister. the colors are so awesome. i can see it being a few different scarves, but i want to wait and see if i think of something else. next is the massive quantity of tweedy wool that my mom got me in ireland. each color was one huge skein (probably around 200g). when we were winding it i thought it would never end! i love this yarn but i’m not sure what to make from it. i have two other 100g skeins from ireland (one’s a darker blue, one’s limey green). i don’t know how well all those colors would go together, but i can’t decide what to do with any of it! and finally, on the bottom is some handpainted mohair and wool from montana. it was given to me by my cousin who had my name this year, but i know my aunt picked it out. it’s super pretty and i’m thinking of making a really simple garter stitch scarf, switching between the two yarns for a cool textured look.

i was really impressed with all the yarn i got. my family knows how to pick yarn! this was their first test. yessss!

in addition to all that, i got a sewing machine as well! the reason i was so blessed is because my mom bought the sewing machine off of her friend who was getting rid of it. it’s been cleaned and tuned up and looks almost new. i haven’t used it yet, but today i bought myself some fabric to make a DPN case. so that will be my first sewing project, when i am feeling really ambitious.

i also got victorian lace today from my mom. the patterns in there are so amazing. last night i couldn’t stand it anymore and i started the “victorian ruby” scarf on pg. 92. it was slow going because of my blunt-tipped bamboo needles, but i got some pointier ones today so hopefully that will make those k2togs a little easier. i’ll take some pictures of that when i’m a bit farther along.

inspired by the patterns from the book, and my mother’s delight in the lace shawl i made for her, i decided i should make my grandmother something from the book as well. so i went to article pract and picked up three skeins of misti alpaca lace the lightest blue. it’s like the color of fog burning off as the blue sky starts to hint through the mist. i haven’t settled on which one to make yet, because there are so many to choose from! at the yarn store i also couldn’t resist one skein of trendsetter yarns tonalita. the colors were crazy amazing, and it screamed, “make calorimetry!” at me. and so i shall.

that’s a lot of plans for the new year! and this is in addition to all the other stuff i’ve got in the back of my head to make.

***

all of my knitted gifts went over well. unfortunately in all the chaos i forgot to get pictures of finished things before i gifted them, and then on the recipient. some of the stuff is in the finished objects photo gallery, and if i get pictures of the other stuff in the future i will add it there.

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ok, so i have been doing a lot of knitting and FINISHING many many things. just last night i finished knitting mom’s cozy and it is currently pinned to my rug being blocked.

i have so much to do that there is not time for a proper post, but in the meantime, here is something i made for my friend’s xmas party on saturday. they were as good as they look.

note the jewish cupcake in the corner. it was the first day of hanukkah!

after probably a month of sitting in the bottom of my knitting basket, i have resumed work on the ‘we call them pirates’ hat. it actually goes pretty quickly despite my non-pro fair isle methods. this being my first fair isle project, i was using the most basic technique possible – dropping and picking up each strand. this being very slow, yesterday i tried looking up some other techniques. the basic two-hand wasn’t working so well, because i haven’t done english style knitting at all. so over the past 24 hours i’ve sort of evolved my own method which is finally to the point where i can put it down and pick it up and remember how i’m doing it. basically i hold both strands in the same hand, wrap one around my pinky like i usually would and wrap the other around my ring finger in the same manner. this keeps the strands separate and makes it easy to untangle them as i go. i still drop each one and pick it up with my index finger to make the stitches, but this goes much quicker because i am not reorienting the yarn every time i change colors. i will probably adopt a better method someday for fair isle, but for now this works.

lately it has been pretty cold at night, especially for someone who rides a bike home from work at 10:30 most nights. i was cursing all of the gift projects i’m in the middle of because it means i don’t have time to make myself a decent scarf for riding in. but on friday night it was just so fucking cold that when i got home i busted out a random skein of jo sharp silkroad aran tweed and started making a neckwarmer. i was using the neck gaiter pattern from one skein as a guide, but i was using 7 needles instead of 6s, so i needed to adjust the number of stitches. i also decided i wanted more cables than the pattern has. so i was tweaking the stitches and fucked up on my math somewhere and it came out a little funky, but no big deal, there’s just a few extra ribs on one part. however, i was in such a hurry that of course i didn’t check my gauge. i cast on less stitches because i knew my gauge would be bigger, but now that it’s done, i find it’s still a bit bigger than i would have preferred. it looks all right on me in the picture, but it gets kind of bunchy when i wear it with my coat. however, after devoting two days of knitting time to it, i don’t really have the time right now to redo it. so for now i have to live with it until all this other stuff is done.

also last week my knit picks order came. in the back are four skeins of sierra in “leaf” – a chunky weight yarn to make amy’s cabled purse. in the front are four skeins of essential, two in ‘navy’ and two in ‘dusk’. these will become socks after xmas – probably the red herring socks from knitty. and, to get my total high enough for free shipping, i got the knitting answer book, which was basically free. but no more yarn for awhile now. really. unless i get some for xmas…

also, you may be wondering, is that part of an xmas tree in that yarny picture? why yes it is.