Sunday, September 27, 2009

Washcloth Extravaganza

I've been sick some this week, which means that washcloth knitting has been about the right level of mental activity for me. They're short, entertaining, and don't take much exertion. So I've been working my way through my stash of Sugar 'n Cream.
First, here are two Ball Band washcloths I did a while ago.

The "mortar" for both of them is the Sunkissed colorway, and the colors for the "bricks" are Cornflower and Yellow.
The washcloths I've been making this week are ones I've created from stitch patterns in a little book I have from Leisure Arts, "Beginner's Guide: Knit Stitches & Easy Projects." I've just been adding garter or seed stitch borders and selecting a number of pattern repeats that will result in a stitch count between 40 and 50. Here's the first one:

Horseshoe Print in Key Lime Pie. I really like the scalloping that happened on the cast on edge, and I might try blocking this one.

Next is a Trinity Stitch pattern in Cornflower. This is a great bumpy stitch to use for washcloths, but I can't do it for very long at once. The pinching-and-pulling motion I do with my left hand when I "purl 3 together" gets pretty stressful for my thumb. I need to practice knitting this with looser tension.
I've started one more in a Saxon Braid stitch pattern using Yellow. After that I estimate that I'll still have enough Sugar 'n Cream for 4 to 6 more washcloths. I've already done 10, and I think 15 is the minimum I'll need to give them as gifts for Christmas. Here's the current supply:

There's definitely a color scheme here.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fall, Football, and Knitting

I love this time of year. The leaves are starting to change, the new school year has all its promise, we're getting some beautiful weather and I get to start thinking about getting my sweaters out of the closet. We're getting close to baseball playoffs and the football season has started.
I've always been a big baseball fan, but before I became a knitter I was not a football fan and didn't even really understand the game very well. In 2004, I had just started knitting in earnest that summer and was really enjoying knitting while watching baseball games on TV. I knit Christmas stockings throughout the playoffs, but then the Red Sox swept the World Series and I was suddenly all out of baseball for five months. I needed more knitting-friendly TV, and thought perhaps football would be just the thing. 2004 was Ben Roethlisberger's rookie year in the NFL. Ben and I went to college together - by which I mean we were in the same school at the same time. So I decided to become a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers right about when Big Ben got the job of starting quarterback.
Football has really grown on me, and now I enjoy the game itself, and not just as background entertainment for my knitting time. This confuses both my dad and my husband to no end. Neither of them like football at all, and would feel their lives no less rich if no such game existed. Neither of them particularly like baseball either. I thought for a while this summer that I wouldn't get to watch football this season. The switch to digital TV has not gone smoothly in my town and I'm really not pleased with the situation. But recently we borrowed a better antenna from a friend, and we're getting quite a few channels again, and I've had football on TV each week so far.
This is the first year I've had this blog and a Ravelry account, and so far football season is being really good to both. These past several Saturdays and Sundays I've really caught up on my Ravelry updates, have sorted out my pictures and have started catching up here on the blog. As the season continues I plan to finish my two current projects (guitar strap and Secret Project), knit a couple of Christmas stockings for the new nieces, knit lots and lots of washcloths, start more socks, and hopefully work on the nieces' blankets and get started on a layette set for my cousin's baby-on-the-way.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Clessidra socks

Finished object!

This pair of Clessidra socks is the first completed project from the yarn I acquired in anticipation of fall. This is also the first project I've made for myself in a while. From the Spring 2007 edition of Knitty, these socks are named for the hourglass cable pattern that goes up the back of the legs.

I started these knee-high socks during my church's leadership school, did a lot of knitting during my family's vacation at the lake, and finished them on a weekend trip to help my brother settle in to his dorm at college.
I really enjoyed this pattern and the yarn. These pictures don't capture the colors of the Malabrigo "Velvet Grapes" sock yarn very well -- on my monitor they look much too red. Most of the yarn is a deep purple with stretches of dark red wine, and spots of brighter grape-purple. There was a bit of a difference between the two skeins, but not enough to be very noticeable. The colors didn't pool on most of the socks, but started to on the heel flaps and ended up in a bit of a barber-pole stripe on the feet.

I like the way the stripes kind of continue from one foot to the other. This last picture comes the closest to capturing the colors.

I'm looking forward to wearing these socks with some of my knee-length skirts as the weather starts to get cooler.

My brother's guitar strap is coming along well, and I've got a good start on the Mystery Christmas 2009 Project. I updated my Ravelry account yesterday, so a lot of the details are over there. The Mystery Project isn't there yet, but it will be. The intended recipient does not have a Ravelry account, so the scoop on this project will be up there before it's here.

I had a great time making these socks, and I need to find another pair to make. My mom has such small feet that store-bought socks never come close to fitting her. George's guitar strap is currently filling my daily travel-knitting needs, but after that, I think I'll try to start a string of Mom Socks.

I'm off to knit and try to distract myself from the lack of a group Knit Night tonight!