Saturday, March 29, 2008

Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin'

And lo, today is the day of a particular baby shower... the one THIS was meant for:

Fortunately, as of this morning it is now:

This is a pre-washing photo; I gave it a little run through the machine and dryer (on low) to soften it up and do some pre-shrinking. Rowan All Seasons Cotton is 60/40 cotton/acrylic, and it can be machine washed, but it says not to tumble dry. However, when making baby things, I always run them through the dryer. The best-intentioned of parents will throw the handknits into the dryer, because parenting is too crazy for special care, so I try to pre-shrink things first. I do suggest that the item be hung or draped to dry, but this way it won't be a disaster if it's not.

The pattern I used is just my Little Star, substituting some manly 3-2 rib for the star stitch. I found a couple minor errors in my Little Star pattern; I'll try to fix those this weekend and re-post.

By the way, now that I have read your comments on my last post, I'm pretty embarrassed about my stash. However, this won't stop me from buying more yarn! And, I seem to have led some of you into the perdition that is Moo. Ha ha. My work here is done.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Perdition leads to perdition. I have proof.

So, you know, I thought I'd put my stash on Ravelry.

It seemed like a smart thing to do, because I keep buying yarn from Webs closeouts — I have little self-control — and I was starting to buy yarn for patterns I'd already bought yarn for. So an inventory seemed like a good thing.

I opened plastic box after plastic box. I sorted some of my yarn in better ways, and found many things I'd completely forgotten about. I got much (I'd say 80%?) of the stash into Ravelry — I haven't tackled sock yarn, acrylic yarn, crochet thread or a couple of bulk cone yarn buys in there yet. And then I thought, well, if you have yarn, you might as well have photos of it.

So I started photographing yarn (this took hours). And loaded it into my barely-used Flickr account. Because, ya know, I have been using PhotoWorks for my photos and why should I load them in two places? And then I ran out of space on Flickr.

So, I paid my $25 for an annual pro account on Flickr, which I'd sworn I'd never do. And then Flickr gave me ten free Moo mini-cards. And Moo is the coolest, and I'd been trying not to go down this road...

I think I'm going to end up spending more money on subscriptions, photo-laden objects and other crap than I ever did on yarn. Grumble grumble mumble ...

Oh but by the way, I have somewhere around 600 skeins of yarn. Also over 70,000 yards.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Post-Purim baking frenzy

I was too tired last weekend to get my Purim baking done. It's the one Jewish holiday I really celebrate with glee, and possibly this is because it's all about food and alcohol. Anyway, I decided I still needed to eat some hamentaschen, even if it was a bit late, and I made the dough for them yesterday.

My recipe calls for "the juice and grated rind of two oranges". Unfortunately, oranges are varied in size, and these must have been big ones because I ended up with a very wet dough. Now, if you just add flour to a dough that has too much water in it, it'll end up tough, so I decided not to fool around and just to see how it was after it was chilled.

After 24 hours chilling it was... still wet. I baked today anyway. I used a moderate amount of flour and a lot of careful handling, and the cookies are definitely ugly, but they taste awesome. And who cares what they look like? They look like lunch to me... er, dessert. Of course I meant dessert.

Ok, so I know I still have to finish one baby pullover and sew up another baby cardi. Oh and there's my endless tan cabled cardigan, too. So what did I do today? Swatched some Classic Elite Star and cast on for another baby cardi. Oh, c'mon, you know you'd do the same thing.

I have enough to make two bi-colored, extremely cheerful newborn cardigans from this. It's weird to knit, though — April would hate it, because it's like knitting with Fixation. And knit up? It looks ... wooly. It's 98% cotton. Hunh.

But I think it'll make a cuddly little cardigan!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Back to your regularly scheduled cardigan...

I mean, really. I should have this thing done by now. All that's left to knit is the upper right front and the button bands! And I started it last August!

I love this cardi. I have no idea why I'm taking so long over it. It's lovely alpaca-tencel yarn that April gave me and the pattern is great. But, I've been a slug. I got back to it at last this week.

Then there is this:
It's going to be a baby cardi, along the lines of my Little Star, only without the stars. Except when I tried to assemble it a couple days ago, I somehow sewed an arm on sideways. I should have taken a picture. Anyway, I pulled that out and will start over when I have had more coffee/brains/sleep. :-)

Thanks for the various "get well" wishes that have been filtering in. I'm done with the month of antibiotics, but I'm still sinus-y and sore throat-y and losing my voice frequently. That's now officially been going on since September and is not news. I get to have a CT scan in a couple of weeks, though -- that'll be fun. Anyway, I'm more cheery, even if I'm still snorting a lot. SO attractive.

And how are you?

Sunday, March 09, 2008

No-longer-secret yarnination

I started this yarninating in secret in late January, thinking there was a possibility the recipient reads my blog. Well, not really the recipient, but the mother of the recipient...

Since it's now finished, I feel it's okay to reveal it. I have five friends/relatives that are expecting babies in the next month or three, so I'm knitting at a rapid pace. I was able to finish the knitted sections of this by Weds. night, so I spent Thursday on jury duty crocheting it all together (no knitting needles allowed in the courthouse). Didn't get called to a single jury panel, and got lots of crocheting done. I finished it up on Friday night and the first-time mom will have it in her hands soon. It's acrylic, but nice acrylic, and it's machine wash and dry — can't beat that.

Time to start on the next baby gift! I am working on a Rowan All-Seasons Cotton cardi along the lines of my "Little Star," but with 2-3 ribbing instead of star stitch. I'm pleased with it so far and the weathered-denim look of the yarn. This is nice soft cotton/acrylic yarn, too, perfect for a southern California spring baby. I started it last night and made progress quickly, thanks to heavy worsted gauge:

I still have to finish a wool/cotton pullover for my cousin Maya's baby (they live in New York, so pure cotton wouldn't do for this time of year), and two more gifts for San Diego area babies. It must be spring!

I am feeling much better, btw, and just finished the last antibiotic (yay!). And Wendy's comment on the last posting is cracking me up...