Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pumpin' Out Da Knits!!!

Really. I don't know WHEN I've gotten this much knitting done, at least, not in recent memory. Lookie:

This is the Neck Down V-Neck Cardigan from Knitting Pure & Simple. Now that I've put the sleeve stitches on yarn holders, it's really going fast! I was a bit worried that the way the yarn pooled would change once I did that, but it hasn't really. Is very pretty, no? I've been working on it every single day, during lunch monitoring, church coffee hour, waiting for kids to come out of school or the bus, and while at home.

AND that's not all!!! (Can you tell I'm excited?)

Here is my Celtic Braid Socks! I turned the heel on the second sock during our church's annual meeting. Soon this pair will end up joining the smug married socks in my drawer. Cannot wait. Because this will be the first sock-weight wool socks I have ever made and KEPT. All the other ones were either cotton, given away, or worsted weight. Yay me. Booyah!

Once these socks are complete, I will return to the Jaywalker socks I started a long while back:

Silly me! I didn't even remember turning the heel on this sock! This may go faster than I thought!

Well, off to get ready to go lunch monitor yet again. Oh joy.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Progress is a many splendored thing...

I really feel like I'm getting somewhere!

It's been so long since I have knitted and the urge to start something new is pretty intense, but I am also feeling the urge to get many of the UFO's cluttering up my stash done and out of the way. So I am happy to announce the near completion of one, the better-than-I-thought progress of another, and the resurrection of a third.

First, here is Laurel's poncho:

It's finished except for the I-cord drawstring for the hood and the fringe. Now I hate fringing things...hate it with a passion, so it might be a couple of days before I wind myself up to doing it. And then I will have to block it and since it is almost all acrylic, that's going to be a bit of work. Holding a steam iron close enough to help the edge relax and uncurl, yet not so close as to melt the thing. Ugh. Not looking forward to it.

For a while, I wondered if Laurel would even get this thing, since she told me, "I will probably just wear it to bed, because now I have different ideas about fashion." Oh. Well, maybe someone else would like this thing. But Laurel is pretty possessive, so she says she definitely wants it. She's tried it on and it is very warm and soft, so I can see she will probably wear it around the house, at least. Because it's been so stinkin' cold, anyone would be a fool NOT to wear a nice poncho like this one.

I did something interesting at the neck. The stitches at the neck opening were getting pulled this way and that by the hood, so I did a bit of buttonhole stitch to stabilize them with the tail end of the yarn I used when I started the hood. I think it was a marvelous fix and did exactly what I wanted it to:

I also have been working on one of my lonely singleton socks. I find this pattern (the Celtic Braid sock by Cabin Fever) to be difficult to work...all those cables with these tiny needles! So I've slogged away at the second sock since I finished my last pair of Ann Norling socks, thinking it was going to take forever to finish this, the second sock. I had to run out and buy a new cable needle, since the one I was using for this project disappeared somewhere. I was thinking it might just go back into the UFO bin, but when I pulled it out today with its mate to take a picture, I found that I was much farther along that I even thought to be:

Hooray! It looks like I may only have one, maybe two more full repeats of both cable twists to get to the bottom of the cuff, then it's just a matter of doing the heel and running down to the toe. Easy peasy lemon squeezy! So it looks like this sock will be spared from the UFO vault after all!

Finally, once my idiot knitting project (the one that I can do without thinking about it much, i.e. the poncho) was off the needles, I needed another. The Celtic Cable sock is not, by any stretch of the imagination, idiot knitting. I needed something to take with me to lunch monitor, an activity which requires eternal vigilance, lest the students start throwing food, standing on their desks and generally acting like monkeys in the zoo. And I like to read at the same time, if only to entertain the students, who are fascinated by my knitting, but also because I have a horror of being bored. I also found myself very popular on Friday with the lovers of cat's cradle, since Emily has been teaching all her friends how to do it. My spare ball of waste yarn furnished many girls with the necessary "string" for this activity. I'm so dang popular, LOL!

So with the thought of idiot knitting yesterday, I dug this out of the closet:

This is the V Neck Neckdown Cardigan for Women from Knitting Pure & Simple #994. I am only about 6 inches down from the neck and have about 14 more rows until I can divide for the sleeves. This will be the perfect idiot knitting project as it is just stockinette, with a few increases on the knit rows. Once I divide for the sleeves, I won't even have those! I love this colorway of Plymouth Encore too. This sweater is for ME. The last sweater I made myself (from a kit) makes me look like a puff ball waiting to explode. I needed something a little sleeker and this seems to fit the bill. But since I started it in 2005, the question is, "Will it fit ME?" Because ever since I had my thyroid removed, I have been steadily putting on weight. Sigh. It sucks to get older.

Well, I better close this out. I have successfully resisted yet another week from going to the yarn store. I am full of intestinal fortitude! Booyah!

Monday, January 05, 2009


I'm over the moon that I have completed these so quickly!

The Happy Socks have been flaunting themselves everywhere: they went to church a couple of Sundays in a row while I was working on them and I packed them along yesterday after they were done to show off. I worked on them on our trip to Kalamazoo; unfortunately, my days of car knitting while going to the 'Zoo are over, since Dan cannot stay awake when he drives long distances any more, so I end up driving both ways. But I was able to do a bit while there and finished the second sock shortly after coming home. Now my feet will be Happy Feet in their Happy Socks!

My mom is always interested in what I'm knitting, being a knitter herself. My kids all got hand-knit slippers and mittens for Christmas and she also gave the girls scarves she knit for them. William was bummed, because he didn't get one. The last time my mom gave him a scarf, he was less than thrilled, so she decided to save herself the effort. Honestly, the scarves are garter stitch made with Lion Brand Homespun, so they are a bit girly (she gave me one too.) But I could still see that he wanted one anyway. So I told him I'd make him a scarf and he could come down and pick out the yarn from the stash. I'll just have to be careful what I show him!

So after I was done with the scarf, I pulled out Laurel's poncho and have been going to town with that. But it isn't the most thrilling knitting, so the question becomes, "What should I do next? Start something new or finish a UFO?" I voted for the latter and decided the Celtic Cable sock should be the one, since it is the project closest to completion in my array of singleton sock projects.

BUt then, oh then...I found that my favorite skinny cable needle that I like to use for socks (not the ridged Brittany ones, but a skinny metal cable needle with the crook in the middle of it) is missing!!! I combed the house to see if it would turn up in any of those places I stash things I find and don't have time to put away properly. I went through my living room knitting bag and it wasn't there either. Poot. Guess I'll be heading out to Michael's to get one with my 40% off coupon!

The ridged Brittany one is just too thick and grabby for use with socks and makes cabling a PITA. So I really NEED this new needle!

In the meantime, I started cataloguing the stash and putting it up on Ravelry. I love being able to do that...and it's fun to take a trip down memory lane in the stash.