Sunday, January 11, 2009

Really it's better to knit in the summertime

I know that sounds crazy — after all, in the winter it's cold (well, mostly cold), and we want warm things, and it feels good to have wool in our hands, right?

Bear with me.

As you can see, I have my little Ravelry ticker-tapes in the margin, now, and they show that I have a lot of projects sitting between 80 and 95%. And mostly this means there is some sort of a finishing thing left to do — generally a finishing thing that I dislike. As you know, I love mattress stitch — that's not the problem. No, usually it's some sort of sewing. Like Kitchener, which accounts for two of the UFOs. And I'm starting to fear that Kiera's sweater will have a similar problem because of sewing up the picot hem — I tried it last weekend, completely mucked up the first 4" (which took about 45 minutes) and will have to try again with more alcohol, or something.

And here's why it's better to knit — or at least to finish things — in summer. A week ago Sunday we had unseasonable weather, about 80°F and sunny and gorgeous (it's still like that this Sunday, too). The cat luxuriated in the backyard all day, rolling and rolling in the warm dust. And in the nice bright light, feeling calm and not cold, fingers supple and not aching, I sat down and actually finished something — that Green Summer T, originally intended for my niece, which only wanted Kitchenering on ONE UNDERARM.

Since August.

Okay, so the other requirement for me to Kitchener is peace and quiet and solitude, and to get all those plus a sunny, gorgeous weekend day, I had to wait until January. Sadly I think this may mean the T-shirt doesn't fit Carson, and will have to find another little girl. We'll see when she tries it on....

Clearly I'm going to have to time my projects better.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Justification #1.. er.. maybe #24 or so... of 2009

I'm really great at justifying things. For anything I want to do, basically, I can come up with a reason why it actually has to be done, and done now.

This is, for example, how I somehow ended up lazily pasting stamp hinges on stamps, printing out pages for them from Stamp Albums Web (costs money to join, but cheaper than buying lots of stamp albums), and mounting them on printed-out custom pages today instead of working on Grasslimb, which is late as usual. After all, the stamps I'd been tearing off envelopes and saving had really piled up, and... never mind that the pile was only about 2" x 3".

So I wear boring brown or black socks to work, most recently procured from Eddie Bauer because they actually seem to stay up for more than 5 seconds, and though I've bought a lot of brown and black sock yarn, I haven't actually knitted myself any socks out of that, yet.

But on the weekend I wear more colorful socks. And most of my old socks look like the purple pair I wore this morning.

I believe this justifies the need to make myself some brightly colored pairs of socks in 2009.

Not that I've started any of them yet. I'm still clicking along on my small friend's pullover:

and my friend Elinoire's spring cardigan:

I'm also still trying to find spare yarn for Rob's pullover, but so far no one has the right dye lot of Chunky AL. I guess I'll just buy some random dye lot and try to mix it. But I'm far from happy or enthusiastic about the prospect.

Speaking of Rob, he had a tune-up on his Lasik yesterday and all went well; it fixed the slight undercorrection in one eye and he is happy.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Happy New Year!

I haven't been idle. We've had three sets of house guests, and entertained lots of other out-of-town and in-town guests as well. We celebrated Rob's birthday, went to my mom's for Hanukah, had a houseful over for Christmas pizza-making, and threw a New Year's party. I baked holiday cookies, pizza dough and bread. And I even did a little knitting — with mixed results.

I finished all the pieces of Rob's pullover, with a few yards of yarn to spare. But when I sewed in one sleeve and had him try it on, the dratted arms are still about 2" too short. And no, I do not in my wildest dreams have enough yarn left to make them longer. They are also too narrow. (Sorry, I was too disappointed to take a photo. Though it would have been funny. But sad.)

In retrospect I should have made the next size up, because the body is snug (but manageable). But I had more than enough yardage according to the pattern for the size I made, so I think it's one of those "we did our best at calculating yarn use for the other sizes" situations.

I couldn't find anyone who was selling the right dye lot on Ravelry, but I sent a message to one gal who has two skeins of a different lot for sale. Maybe I can alternate rows when I reknit the sleeves and kind of blend it, if it's not too different. The sleeves are so tight they will have to be reknit from the wrist, anyway. Remember how I already knit four sleeves for this sweater? Darn thing is cursed!

So I'm distracting myself. I owe a small friend of mine (who is nearly 3) a purple sweater. I'm making Briar Rose from Knitty, using some Magic Buttons yarn (lovely stuff that I've used in the past for kid's items). Here's a shot of the back:

I started it Dec. 30. I know that's crazy when I had house guests arriving AND a party to throw on Dec. 31, but I wanted something easy to knit while we had company, and it worked. I'm nearly done with the back and 1/4 way up the front!

Edited to add: Okay, I'm very amused by all the guesses about the colored dots above. I'm going to put all the folks who guess in a hat and pick one to win a copy of a new knitting magazine.