Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Kiera's sweater is done!

This thing took over four long months — and may still need adjusting if the arms are too short. I don't blame the pattern exactly; it just wasn't the right pattern for me. Still, it came out cute:

The yarn softened up really nicely in the blocking, and the shape improved. I knit this extra-long because Kiera is tall, and I added to the sleeve length too, but they might still be short. We'll see. (I also think it's too wide for her, but that isn't really a problem.)

I do love this yarn — Naturally Magic Buttons. It's great for kids' stuff — washable and fun.

Just don't try to seam too much with it! Next time: top-down raglan.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

In the mail!

I sewed the buttons on Angela's little cardi this morning and I think I'm in love with my own knitting:

And you know how I feel about buttons. These ones make me really happy:

It was fairly tough to wrap this thing up and put it in the envelope, but it won't fit me :-) I hope baby Angela enjoys it (well, or that her parents do). This is a family that has been really appreciative of my hand-knits — almost every photo they send me of their son has him wearing the cap or sweater I knit him. They are awesome. So they totally deserve more.

I had huge fun last weekend with my house guests — thanks Earin and Becky! It was pretty tiring, I admit, but it was so nice to have a sort of normal weekend for once. I felt really well throughout. (I've had a couple of bad days this week but most have been 'medium'.) I've kept a low profile this week, but I did manage to stop by the button store on my way home, as you see, and my brother came over to hang out and watch a video with us last night (we saw "Charlie Wilson's War," which was rather extraordinary). My big challenge this weekend is not eating all of the delicious almond macaroons a friend baked for me. Life sucks, eh? ;-)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Yarny visitors!

I had a treat this weekend — Earin and Becky traveled down to San Diego to visit and craft with me! We had a wonderful time. We did a lot of knitting, a lot of hanging out and a decent bit of eating: Thai food, pizza, and Dumpling Inn Chinese dumplings (mmmmmmmmm). Plus some chocolate here and there. A few local friends helped with the crafting as well. I probably did a bit too much — I'm fairly wasted at the moment — but I was feeling extraordinarily well this weekend. I crashed this afternoon, after everyone went home, and ended up lying on the couch like a blob for hours, not even knitting! But that's okay, because much knitting did get done:

This is the little cardi I was knitting in Debbie Bliss Cathay for the new daughter of a friend, all ready to be washed and blocked and to get some nice buttons! I can't wait to finish it completely. Cathay is lovely yarn (if splitty, like many cotton/silk combos) and I'd use it for an adult sweater in a minute.

I also finished, at long last, my Maizy Reversais...

I did reknit the foot of the second one — but not the leg. And it is, indeed, shorter:

But not enough for me to care enough to reknit the sock. I am so done with these! I love the Crystal Palace Maizy yarn, and I love how the Reversai's stitch pattern looks, but these socks weren't the greatest of successes for me. As you can see, the heel really doesn't fit. I'm glad I made the feet smooth (and didn't make reversible toes), because they'll work better for me in shoes. I'll plan to use the Maizy again in the future, but probably for a sock of my own design.

I didn't really mean to, but I cast on for a new pair of socks!

These are Ann Budd's "Undulating Rib Socks." I discovered after about 20 rows that the pattern has an error at the very start of the sock, and decided the heck with it, no one is going to notice but me or another knitter, so I am leaving the error in. It's only evident at the transition between the initial ribbing and the first twist (should have been k1, p1, k3, p1 rather than k3, p1, k1, p1 ribbing to start). Of course this means I'll have to make the other sock matchingly wrong, but that's okay.

The yarn I'm using is DGB Confetti Superwash. I'm not completely sure where I got it, but think it may have been a gift from April. It's really pretty, but I was startled to discover it was self-striping (even though there's a photo on the label, which I totally missed). From the name, I thought it was going to be speckled! I like the colors, though.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

I /did/ cast on anew

Got a baby to dress, just born in northern California... I'm making her a Provence Baby Cardigan [Ravelry link] using Debbie Bliss Cathay, a machine-washable cotton/rayon/silk blend that just shines. I love being able to use a decadent yarn on a baby — machine wash makes all the difference. The color is great too, not sure if you can really see the 'old rose' nature in this shot:

I've completed the back and I'm about to start the sleeves. (I usually try to go largest piece to smallest piece, to make the last part seem really fast — I play these psychological games with myself :-) .) It's a simple but classy-looking pattern. Can't wait to see how it comes out.

I've finished all the bits of the purple child's pullover and am working on the last of the hemming and seaming. With good luck, I'll finish it this weekend. It's amazing how much faster it went with the pinning trick. I would have done a provisional cast-on for the picot hem, and just k2tog to attach the hem when I got there, but this yarn is too thick for that and it would have bulged out at the seam, probably flipping the hem. So this was really the only way to fly.

I had a pretty nice, quiet birthday on Thursday. I took the day off work and in the morning bought myself a few plants at a favorite nursery. Then I had lunch with Rob. Then I was tired, so I just rested before the Seder at my parents' house. I had hoped to do more, but when you're ill you have to go with what you've got, and I did enjoy the day. The day before, Elinoire brought cupcakes to work, which was great fun and very cute.

For my birthday, Rob has ordered me a cedar chest from an Amish furniture-maker! It should arrive in a week or two. I'm very excited to have a home for my hand-knits. He overheard me bemoaning some holes in some socks and decided to get me the chest. He gets points for a good knitterly gift :-)

Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate it!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Progress! thanks to pins.

A few weeks ago I asked about some troubles I was having sewing up a picot hem. Thanks for the suggestions! I adapted trek and twistle's suggestions — I put pins in the spaces between the picots so I could line up with them (though I didn't actually pin the hem shut). Whew. It made it go MUCH faster and I was able to make a lot of progress on the dratted hems. I rewarded myself with some mattress seaming, so I'm here:

Still knitting the final arm, and then I'll get the rest of the finishing done. Yay! Maybe before the intended recipient fully outgrows it, even.

In other news, Earin won the drawing for the copy of Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts. But I discovered I actually had two spare copies! So, I put the names in the hat again and this time drew Becky's name. You'll both get a copy of the magazine.

Stay tuned for more giveaways... I have other magazines, yarn etc to slowly destash.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Boring Brown Socks are done.. and comfy

Finished these this morning. I used a Dutch heel, which I think is too deep for my heel (odd, because most heels are too shallow for me). But it was interesting to try a new heel.

I did a wedge toe just for the heck of it, but ended at 11 stitches and pulled the thread through all the stitches and tied off, because why Kitchener? I think I will probably stick with the French Toe, as it really fits me better, but again, fun to try a new method.

I used Sunbeam St. Ives 4 Ply Sock Wool, which I stumbled over in some LYS somewhere. Really liked it — very sproingy, and the color is full of depth and complexity. These really are green and brown plied together, and that gives the socks a subtle, changeable nature that I really like. And used US size 1 1/2 dpns, if anyone is keeping score.

Technically this means I can start a new project — by my own rules, as I've finished two recently. And I do intend to cast on for a cardigan for my friend Matt's new little daughter, but I am going to spend some time on another WIP first. More on that soon.