Thursday, June 27, 2013

Yarn Along - Baby Blanket Progress

Well June has been a crazy month this year.  The husband took a 17-day motorcycle trip across the country with my dad, then three days after they got home I left for a five-day church conference.  (You can read all about the motorcycle trip on my dad's blog In Search of the Weird.  They found some.)  I've been trying to catch up on a lot of things and re-establish some order and routine around here.

I finished the first baby blanket of the year on June 1, right on schedule.

This is my second time making the Mitered Crosses Blanket from Kay of Mason-Dixon Knitting.  I still really like this pattern, and would like to do another variation of it.  Also, I love it when I can knit a whole blanket from the stash.
I love the look of i-cord edging.  It takes forever, but it isn't hard and is so worth it.
This blanket is for a baby I wouldn't "normally" knit a blanket for.  Blankets are usually limited to nieces and nephews, especially since there are so many of them.  But I felt moved to make a blanket for her, I had an idea, I had the yarn, and I make the silly knitting rules anyway, so I did.  I'm not sure yet if this will wait around until her first birthday (when I usually gift blankets), or if I'll give it when the weather starts to turn cold.

During this crazy month of June I've been working away on Nephew E's blanket.  Rendition #4 of the Tell Me A Story blanket.  All 42 squares are done now, and I've started in on edging them.
 Actually at some point during the church conference I lost count and ended up with an extra square.  Whoops.  I'm trying not to look at all the ends already in that picture.  So that's more than half done, running a bit ahead of schedule.

As far as reading goes, there hasn't been much of it with all the other things going on this month.  I do have My Grandmother's Knitting by Larissa Brown out from the library.  It's a great book with stories from some well-known designers.  They tell stories of the knitter who first introduced them to knitting, or the one who really inspired them.  Then they share patterns inspired by these (usually) family members.  I have it more for the stories than the patterns right now, but both are quite good.
Check out Ginny's Yarn Along for more books and knitting.

More to come from me, hopefully soon.  Washcloths are on schedule, and I'm working to finish another Christmas stocking this week.  I need to show you the most recent finished baby sweater, and there's been one more birth this month, so one more sweater to start, too.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Thunder Moon Finally Blocked

I'm trying to make blocking more a part of my knitting routine.  Things sit unblocked for far too long around here, and I'm trying to change that.  I test knit Mindy Wilkes' Thunder Moon pattern almost a year ago -- the July full moon is known as the Thunder Moon.  I finally wove in the two tiny ends and blocked it this weekend.

Blocking can be intimidating.  Do I have enough pins? is the bathroom sink clean enough for my precious yarn or do I have to scrub it first? what if I get it lopsided? and can I keep the kid and cats out of the sun porch long enough for it to dry?

Well, I absconded with a bunch of my dad's pins (he's not in the piecing stage of a quilt right now, so he won't miss them for a while), I got a cheap plastic dishpan to be my designated knitting soak basin, finally realized that if it's lopsided all I have to do is throw it back in the water and try again, and also, the kid and the cats can't work doorknobs (yet), and can find other places to amuse themselves.

I'm really happy with it.  I knew I loved this pattern, but blocking really is magic, and it's so wonderful to see it all opened up and beautiful.  The final kick in the pants to make this happen was a visit from my grandparents.  My grandmother is always cold and her favorite color is blue.

This had to go home with her.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Yarn Along: New Baby Blanket

I'm joining in Ginny's Yarn Along again this week.  Check out her blog for lots of links to lots of great projects and books.

I haven't finished anything recently, but that hasn't stopped me from starting the next baby blanket.  This one is for Nephew E.
I've knit this same pattern, Tell Me A Story, three times before: Nephew S (in the pre-blog, pre-Ravelry days), Nephew R, and Nephew O.  This time I'm using Plymouth Encore Worsted yarn, and this is the first time I've used grey as the neutral color instead of cream.  Six squares done so far, out of 42.
This blanket has been accepted as my Defense Against the Dark Arts OWL in the HPKCHC. Stranded back-and-forth knitting, fourth time through a big project, and all the ends to weave in -- I think any one of those elements would have qualified this project for "Practice Repelling the Cruciatus Curse."  But it's not that bad, and while I'm still knitting the squares, it makes good portable knitting.  Staying on schedule with this is taking almost all of my usual knitting time.

For reading, I recently started Ireland's Pirate Queen:  The True Story of Grace O'Malley by Anne Chambers.  My dad picked this up for my husband, but he left it on the dining room table one day too long and I'm reading it before him now.  This is the kind of non-fiction my dad and I absolutely love.  It sounds like Granuaile was a truly amazing woman.  I can't wait to read the rest of this, and I hope to get to go visit the O'Malley lands sometime in the next few years.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Surprise! It's not a Baby Surprise!

The next baby sweater is blocking.

It's not a BSJ!  This pattern is the Jester Collar Cardigan from a Leisure Arts booklet called "Beautiful Baby."
This month is the two-year anniversary of my LYS owner buying the shop.  In addition to some awesome sales, she's running a contest - everyone who cast on a project at the anniversary party on May 1st and finishes the project during the month will be entered into a drawing for a gift card.  This little sweater is my entry.  I need to sew all the seams, knit on the triangle "Jester" collar and add buttons.  Finishing work always seems to take the longest for me, so hopefully the deadline will keep me focused, and it'll be done soon.

I did recently finish another BSJ (periwinkle-yellow-green) that has been sent away.  But the only pictures I remembered to take of it are on my phone.  I have a DumbPhone, so as soon as I figure out how to get those pictures into the computer, I'll post one. :-P

Friday, May 10, 2013

2013 Washcloths - May Edition

May's washcloth is complete, for a total of six so far this year.  Ten more to go.  Made once again with the spring-green color of Nashua Handknits Creative Focus Cotton (same as the January washcloth), this pattern is called Tulip Lace, from May 2nd on the perpetual calendar.  There's just a tiny ball of green left, so I think there'll be a random multi-color Nashua washcloth sometime this year.

I'm turning this in for my Transfiguration "homework" in the HPKCHC.  The assignment was to make a fish or flower or something with a fish or flower motif.  Perpetual calendar came up with Tulip Lace on May 2nd and Fish-tail Lace on May 3rd.  I thought this green yarn would be just right for the greenery around a bunch of tulips, so I picked flowers.  Ta-da.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Yarn Along - Scrappy Striped Toddler Socks

Joining Ginny's Yarn Along again this week.  Lots of great knitting and reading ideas over there.

I've been knitting a pair of socks for Lil One out of some sock yarn left over from a pair I made for me and a pair for the husband.  The red-purple-blue stripes on the legs actually made a pair of socks for me and a simple hat for Lil One before I used up the last of it here.  Since I knew I would run out of that, I'm knitting these two-at-a-time so the socks will match.  I don't have a long circular needle in the right size, and I prefer double pointed needles for socks, so I'm using this technique from an old Knitty article to make one sock inside the other on dpns.  The blue-brown-black yarn is the leftover from the husband's favorite pair of socks.  Those were actually the first socks I made two-at-a-time on double points. I think it'll just be enough to finish these socks.  I'm hoping to finish them today and turn them in for Detention points in the HPKCHC.  Gryffindors try to "WIP the First" and turn in a Detention project on the first of every month.

The husband and I have been listening to the final book in Robert Jordan's (help from Brandon Sanderson) Wheel of Time mega-series.  I love these books, and love the audio versions.  We laugh all the way through the Matrim sections.  I may just have to start the series over when we finish this book.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Baby Blanket Squares

Most of my knitting time recently has been going into squares for the first baby blanket of the year.  This is my second time making the Mitered Crosses blanket from Mason-Dixon Knitting, and I still love the pattern.  Instigated by the 2011 tsunami in Japan, proceeds from the sales of this pattern still go to Mercy Corps relief work.
For a baby-sized blanket, I adjust the pattern and do a simple 3x3 square.  That's my 5-inch gauge ruler in the picture for scale.  I'm knitting it entirely out of worsted weight stash, and am pretty thrilled that it looks like I may actually have enough of the cream color.  One more square to go, attaching, weaving of ends, and an applied I-cord border (in the multi-color yarn).  Looks to be on track for finishing by the end of May!

I have once again joined the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup group on Ravelry.  I intend that this will distract me from neither my knitting goals nor my blogging.  It did last time, but this time around I feel like I know more about it, and have a plan for incorporating it into my knitting routine.  Hopefully, it will also help me get my ravelry projects page caught up with reality.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Barely Related to Knitting

Two weeks ago, the husband was out of town for work for about five days.  So I decided to paint the living room.  We've lived in this house for nearly seven years now, and have done no painting whatsoever.  It's still entirely beige.  My mother, by contrast, hadn't owned her new house for two weeks before every room was a different, bold color.  Neither the husband nor I are against painting, we just hadn't made it happen.

Last spring, Ace Hardware had a deal where you could get a quart of paint for free.  We found the particular mossy green color I had always had in mind for the living room, and Mom got a can and I got one.  Our living room is a long open space that's really the same room as the dinning room, and is open to the kitchen.  So the plan was to paint  just two walls to set the living room space apart from the rest of it.  We thought two quarts would probably be enough.  I should have asked my dad to pick up a quart, too.

When the same get-a-quart-free deal rolled around this year, Mom and I figured it was time to use the paint from last year.  With the husband out of town for a bit, we had a great opportunity to surprise him.  He had known we were getting the paint last year, but hadn't heard about it since.  So when he left for the airport, I took Lil One to my mother-in-law's, gathered equipment, and got ready.

Here's the before picture, ready to paint, with husband's motorcycle cover doing duty as a couch protector.
(Standing next to the dinning room table to take this picture -- see the chair in the lower right)

Mom and my brother came over Sunday afternoon to help paint.  Turns out that we needed three quarts, which only became apparent after Ace was closed for the day.  Here is Sunday's progress, and the patches we couldn't quite get.

So Monday morning I went back to Ace for one more quart, and that afternoon while kiddo was napping I finished the job.  Painted over those two patches, and gave a second coat to the bits where we had been skimping to try to make the paint be enough.  Here are the after pictures with everything back in place except throw pillows and the pictures on the wall.
(On the left of this picture you can see where the room is open to the kitchen and the door to the garage.)

Here's how this is all (barely) related to knitting -- as I put the furniture back I re-arranged a little bit, bringing  in another chair from the sun porch and creating a lovely little knitting corner by the window.  Of course this was also a great opportunity to organize my living room stash.  While it was all spread out in the den during painting, it took nearly half the floor space.

Husband didn't say much about it, and it took a couple of days to get a sense of whether or not he liked it.  He does, he just doesn't care very much about what color the walls are, which is probably part of why it's all still beige.

I love it, and am now plotting about the laundry nook and the half-bath.  Yellow.  Somewhere between sunshine and cornbread.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

2013 Washcloths - April Edition

The April washcloth is now finished. Knit with the cranberry color of Nashua Handknits Creative Focus Cotton in "Stockinette Triangles," the April 4th pattern from my "365 Knitting Stitches a Year Perpetual Calendar."  I had a plan to make the triangles in two colors so the purls and knits would be different colors, but to still have a reversible washcloth that would have required intarsia with at least ten little balls of yarn, and that was not the level of involvement I was looking for with this washcloth.  It looked really neat in my head, though, so perhaps I'll try it another time.  Maybe when I'm down to using up scraps of colors.

So far so good with this year's goal!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Yarn Along - Barbie Doll clothes

Joining Ginny's Yarn Along again.  Lots of great knitting and reading ideas over there.

Last week all my other knitting was put on hold to churn out some doll clothes for Niece S.  She turned five this week, and loves her Barbie dolls.  If you ever want to knit for Barbie dolls, has everything you might want.  Well over a thousand patterns there.  I knit a dress, a jacket, a top, shorts and a skirt (not pictured).

As far as reading goes, I've started re-reading A Clash of Kings, the second book in George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Christmas Stocking #1 and goals update

One more finished item for this week:
I finished the first Christmas stocking for 2013 earlier this week.  Nephew HH2, your Christmas present is the first one done!  I love the crossed candy canes pattern.  Probably the one I've made the most of, and one of the easiest of these intarsia patterns.  I have made so very many stockings at this point.  I churned this one out in just over a week.

So far I am on track for my 2013 goals.  Four washcloths and one stocking done in the first quarter of the year.  There is only one baby who has already been born and doesn't yet have his sweater, and that one is on the needles (BSJ number eight since August).  I need to get a move on on the blankets, for those babies who will get one by their first birthdays.  I think that will be just four of the fifteen.  Maybe five.

I've changed the controls on the comments section here.  Now anyone can post comments even if you don't have an account in google or blogspot or what-have-you.  I hope that'll be easier on everyone.  Thanks for reading!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

International Shipping

The most recent BSJ is about to be shipped.  I hope this little bleu-blanc-rouge sweater will have safe travels to France, and I hope it'll still fit the little guy when it gets there.
The Fibonacci sequence of stripes used up every last bit of my white, and I ended up buying another ball of blue to finish it.  I'm sure it would've looked fine with a narrow stripe of blue and more red, but I wanted to finish out the sequence.  Besides, with all these baby boys being born, I'm sure I'll have more use for blue.
This is knit out of Plymouth Yarn's Dreambaby DK, because my dwindling stash of Reynolds Wash Day Wool did not have the right colors for the French flag.  I had hoped Dreambaby would become my new go-to baby yarn, but I don't think so anymore.  It's quite nice and soft, but it's rather fuzzier than I prefer.  I was just spoiled by the perfection of Wash Day Wool.  If anyone knows of an in-production yarn that is a good match for it, please do let me know.
This is the third BSJ I've knit this calendar year, and I believe it's the seventh since August.  One more on the needles already and then I think there may only be two more sweaters to knit this spring.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Yarn Along - March Washcloth & Starting Them Young

Ginny's Yarn Along is a great place to see lots of knitting and reading ideas.  I'm joining again this week.  Thank goodness for the Yarn Along; it seems to be the only time I blog recently.

I found the March washcloth.  Niece K had stuffed all the knitted things from the coffee table into the toy purse they were playing with when she visited.  Makes perfect sense, but it took me a while to discover.  This washcloth is knit out of a cranberry color of Nashua Creative Focus Cotton (CFCT033), and the pattern is Box Stitch (March 7th on my perpetual calendar).

I've been reading Annie and the Swiss Cheese Scarf by Alana Dakos (of Never Not Knitting fame) a lot recently.  It's a sweet little book about a little girl learning to knit.  Lil One got the deluxe version of this book for Christmas (includes paper dolls and a jigsaw puzzle), and in the past week or so has completely fallen in love with it.  We read it several times a day and Lil One has started knitting her own blue scarf -- well, she's sat through two rows of 15 stitches with her hands on the needles, which I find impressive for a 2-and-a-half year old.  She's also incorporating phrases from the book into her speech.  She'll look at me and proclaim, "Mommy, you're a knitter!" or grab and hug the nearest random knitted thing and declare, "I love your knitting SO MUCH."  While I know this won't last, I'm pretty thrilled.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Yarn Along - First 2013 Stocking

Joining Ginny's Yarn Along again.  Check out lots of knitting and reading at her blog.

I'm getting started on the first of the Christmas Stockings for 2013.  I'll have three or four to do, so I'd like to have the first one done by the end of March.  Deep in the tangle of intarsia, but moving along well.

I've finished the March washcloth, but can't find it now.  When Niece K was over for an afternoon this week, she played with some of the knitted things that had been living on the coffee table.  I have no idea where they got to in the course of that.  They are around somewhere, but I haven't been able to find them yet.

For reading, I'm still on Turn of the Screw via Craftlit.  It's a very interesting story.  I'm not at all accustomed to having a narrator quite this unreliable.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Yarn Along and Extra Winter Washcloth

Joining Ginny's Yarn Along again this week.  Check out her blog for lots of knitting and reading fun. 
Apologies for the picture quality.  It's been very grey and wintry, and opportunities for pictures in sunshine are rare.  This is the +1 washcloth for the first quarter of the year.  Still in Nashua Handknits Creative Focus Cotton, this time in a navy blue.  The pattern is Ribbed Slip Stitch, the pattern for February 19 from my pattern-a-day calendar.  February 19th is the day our newest nephew was born!  He of the navy-yellow-orange bsj.

My current reading is mostly through Craftlit.  Right now listening to Henry James' Turn of the Screw, which I have never before read.  Very interesting, and I'm so glad to have the discussion along with it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Yarn Along - Golden Lion Throne

Joining in with Ginny's Yarn Along again this week.  Check out what everyone is reading and knitting, and join in the fun.

I have recently discovered the Craftlit Podcast by Heather.  I had to go back to the beginning and start listening to everything (I'm "that sort of bear"), so I've just finished listening to Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.  I am really enjoying this podcast.  Good crafting talk, great literary talk, and books.  It is a bit weird listening to episodes from several years ago.  She made a reference to information she got from a knitters' yahoo group, and I realized these episodes are pre-Ravelry.  What a watershed moment it was for knitters when Ravelry was created!  Hard to imagine what we'd do without it, now.

The project I'm knitting for myself right now is the Golden Lion Throne, a shawl made with both lace and mosaic knitting techniques.  I'm taking a class for this at my LYS, and it's quite nice to have a small group of us working through the pattern together.  I really am loving it.  The rows are very long - four of them in an hour and a half is good progress, and the pattern requires lots of attention.  But I am still enjoying the knitting, and I think the result is going to be wonderful.

I'm at about row 70 of 101.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Gloves and BSJs

 Finally, a picture of the husband's finished fingerless gloves.  He's been wearing them everyday.  He was showing them off to my dad, and now Dad wants a pair too.  I love it when the handknits are worn and used to full capacity.

The Baby Surprise Jacket Assembly Line continues work apace.  The brown-green-blue sweater has been gifted, and the navy-yellow-orange one is getting sewn up and having buttons added today.
Since my sister-in-law is in labor today, I call that pretty good timing.  This one has stripes of five rows each, which I think helps it look more like a striped sweater.  With only three-row stripes, the colors seem to blend a bit as you look at the sweaters.  I couldn't keep the stripes continuous around the shaping, though, so I may go back to three-row stripes.
 Next on the needles is a bleu-blanc-rouge sweater for a friend who now lives in France.  For these stripes, I'm using the Fibonacci Sequence (1-1-2-3-5-8-13-21-34-55).  Gotta keep it interesting now I'm on my seventh BSJ in the last eight months.  I ran out of white about 30 to 40 stitches short, but called that plenty close enough.  I'm hoping the blue holds out for the final wide stripe.

I am knitting something very fun for myself in the midst of all this, too.  That deserves its own post.

Friday, February 8, 2013

2013 Washcloths - February Edition

February's washcloth is done already.  The pattern for February 2nd on my pattern-a-day calendar was Snowdrop Lace.  Since we got some snow that day, I decided it would be perfect for a washcloth.  This was made with Nashua Handknits Creative Focus Cotton, in the color CFCT025, which is a silvery grey.  I quite like this lace pattern.  Easy to memorize, simple, looks good.  Two down, fourteen to go.

Several people commented on my Facebook link to the post about January's washcloth, letting me know where in my area I could get Sugar 'n Cream yarn.  I found out about a JoAnn's Fabrics & Crafts I didn't know was nearby, and have already been to stock up on dishcloth cotton and buttons for Baby Surprise Jackets.  Thanks, commentors!

I finished the husband's gloves last Sunday, but since he's been wearing them to work everyday this week, my first chance to get a daylight picture of them will be this weekend.

Tomorrow I'll be starting a class at my LYS to knit the Golden Lion Throne Shawl (the blue and cranberry colored shawl in the pictures on the Ravelry pattern page is the one knit by an employee at my LYS).  I'm really looking forward to it.  Fancy knitting for myself!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Yarn Along - Flood and BSJ

Joining in for Ginny's Yarn Along again this week.  Check out lots more knitting and reading on her blog.

My brother found my size 3 needle tip!  He was riding in my car, where I had been sitting and knitting before the tip went missing, and it somehow revealed itself to him, because he just picked it up off the floor.  Hooray!  With this find added to all the wonderful knitting Christmas gifts, he is in the lead for doing the most to facilitate my knitting this year.

So now that the tip has returned, I'm knitting away on the next Baby Surprise Jacket.  For this one I'm trying five-row stripes.

This year marks 100 years since the Great Miami River flood of 1913.  My senior thesis was on this flood and the response to it.  Hamilton and Dayton, Ohio, were worse than decimated -- estimates are that one out of three Hamilton residents were homeless (at least temporarily) after the flood.  75% of buildings flooded.  (Way worse than one out ten.)  Afterward the people in this valley created the Miami Conservancy District, which is still a national model for regional flood control.  None of the areas designed to be protected by the massive works of the MCD has flooded since.  The flood was the last week of March, and there are going to be lots of commemorative events this year.  I'm preparing by reading through the books I still have from my senior thesis days.  The one in the picture is "Through Flood, Through Fire:  Personal Stories from Survivors of the Dayton Flood of 1913" by Curt Dalton.  There is a real wealth of first-hand accounts of the flood.  Personal stories are a very powerful way to study history.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Yarn Along - Gloves and trilogies

I'm joining in the Yarn Along again this week.  Head over to Ginny's blog for lots of great knitting and reading ideas.  
My main knitting project right now is gloves for the husband.  I'm making him Chilly Podsters out of Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool, the same skein I used for his hat last year.  These are fingerless gloves with a mitten-top flap.  I'm knitting a completely closed thumb because he says his thumbs are too big to be useful on his phone anyhow.  I really love this pattern.  It's well-written and everything is working out very nicely.  I've just divided for the fingers on the second glove, so he may actually get these while it's still cold!

My current reading is the first book of the Liveship Series by Robin Hobb.  Her Assassin's Apprentice was the most recent pick for our bookclub.  I read that and book two of that series (Royal Assassin) very quickly, and started the Liveship series while I wait for the husband to get through book three so I can finish the Assassin's series.  The two series are in the same fantasy world, but in different areas of the world.  At first I didn't think I'd get as drawn into the Liveship series as the Assassin one, but I have and am enjoying them both very much.

Monday, January 28, 2013

2013 Washcloths - January Edition

First washcloth of the year was knit January 23-25.  The pattern, from Jan. 23 on my Pattern-a-Day perpetual calendar is called "Organ Pipes."  I no longer have a local source for Sugar 'n Cream yarn*, so I'm trying to find a new go-to cotton for washcloths.  This is in Nashua Handknits Creative Focus Cotton, color CFCT0037.  I knit this on size 5 needles instead of the 8s I was using with Sugar 'n Cream.  I think it'll work just fine, but I don't know yet if it'll be my go-to washcloth yarn.  I bought four colors of this from the LYS clearance bins, so the next several months of washcloths will likely be this same yarn.
One down, fifteen to go.

*I don't shop at Hobby Lobby anymore.  Employers may not make medical decisions for employees.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Little Sweaters

I know so many people expecting babies (or who have just had them) between December and April, that I've had to start a list to keep track of them all.  Fifteen babies.  Fifteen.  Not all of them are close enough to receive knits, but many are.  So I've been making a lot of Baby Surprise Jackets.  These are all being knit from my stash of the much-lamented Reynolds' Wash-Day Wool (except for two of the shades of blue in the first picture below).

First there were these two, for Alisha's identical twin boys (born early January):
Shades of blue - one sweater dark-to-light, the other light-to-dark.  With adorable navy blue car buttons from my LYS.

Then there was a Neapolitan ice-cream-striped sweater for one of the few girl babies in the bunch (born late December):

And early in the new year I started the next batch of sweaters.  I'll have two new nephews, both probably arriving in February, so their sweaters were at the top of my list for the new year.  Here is the first sweater, with my lovely new yarn bowl hard at work:
I really like making three-color striped BSJs.  I got the idea from Alisha a while back.  Three colors, each stripe is three rows wide, and the next yarn you need is always ready right where you need it.  One little modification on the BSJ - 18 rows instead of 20 on the section to make the back longer - and the stripe pattern is continuous throughout.  It also keeps me entertained through all the garter stitch, and helps me keep track of how many rows I've knitted.

I finished the brown-green-blue sweater January 18.  Here are some before and after folding pictures:
 I realized that with all of the BSJs I've made, I'd never taken any "before folding" pictures.
 Ready for sewing up and buttons.  I ran out of blue in the middle of its last row, but I just started the brown stripe a bit early.  I was impressed it lasted that long.  These babies don't know how lucky they are, getting the last of my Wash Day Wool stash.

I started the next BSJ right away, but have run into a problem.
I was knitting in the car, and when I pulled the project out of my bag after getting home, one of the interchangeable needle tips was missing.  Not to be found in the bag or anywhere near it.  I still have to do a thorough search of the car, but I fear I have lost one of my size 3 tips.  I don't think I even have any other size 3 needles.  NOT GOOD.  I'm not sure what I'll do -- order replacement tips, buy one size 3 circular the right length for BSJs, or long straight 3s -- but babies are coming, and I can't get behind on their sweaters!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Yarn Along - Tall Socks

Joining in with Ginny's Yarn Along a day late, but hey the linky widget hasn't expired, so it's not really late, right?
Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? 
Check out Ginny's blog for more knitting and reading.

The first thing I cast on after recuperating from the last surge of Christmas knitting was the first of a pair of long-promised socks for my mother-in-law.  The yarn is Plymouth's Happy Feet, a 90/10 Superwash Merino/Nylon sock yarn in mottled purple and black.  If the cuff in the picture looks awfully large to be a normal sock cuff, it should.  These are going to be thigh-high socks to wear with her witchy and/or Renaissance Fair outfits.  I'm using Deborah Newton's Thigh-High Stripes pattern in Sock Knitting Master Class (edited by Ann Budd) as a guide, modifying for MIL's measurements.  I expect these to be my mobile/mindless knitting for a long while.

The computer in the picture is a stand-in for my reading.  The husband and I have just started listening to A Memory of Light the final book in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time Series (14 or 15 in all).  It'll be very strange to finish this saga.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New Year, New Knitting

One thing I try to avoid with this blog is apologizing for not blogging.  But after such a long lapse, I want to make an exception:  Yikes that was a long time without blogging.
Late fall seems to be a difficult time of year for me.  I haven't figured it out yet, but at least now I've noticed the pattern.

2012 Recap and 2013 Goals:
I met my washcloth goals for the year - one each month plus one more each quarter, total of 16.  November's was late, but other than that I did well, and I had enough for all my gifting needs.  I will renew this goal for 2013.

There were only four Christmas stockings to make this year, all done on time.  Two of them were a for-pay job.   So far I know of four needed in 2013.  My stocking goal is to do one per quarter.

In the second half of 2012 I was quite into the Harry Potter Knitting & Crochet House Cup group on Ravelry.  It was lots of fun, but somehow seemed to sap my blogging mojo and then my knitting mojo (although it may have simply been whatever-it-was in November that sapped most of that).  I completely missed the sign-ups for winter term (January through March), so I'm sitting out a semester and will see if I want to re-join starting in May.  I don't seem to have the mental energy to categorize my knitting so I can do all I want to in that game.

My main Christmas knitting projects were hats for one of the nieces-and-nephews groups:
(Swirled Ski Caps from the book Knitting for Peace.  Fun and appreciated, but a bit down to the wire, and my homemade cardboard pom-pom maker is now completely worn out)

and a hot water bottle cozy for my mom.
I'm pretty proud of this one.  I used a basic cozy pattern and a snowflake chart pattern and adapted them to fit both each other and the water bottle I bought.

Also coming up in 2013:
I know many people expecting babies in the first part of this year.  So many that I have had to write a list to keep track of them all. So there will be lots of baby-sweater knitting in my immediate future.

I will be going to Rhinebeck!  In October I'll be having a knitting weekend away!  A group of us have rented a house for the weekend of the New York Sheep & Wool Festival.  My goal is to finish the sweater I started for myself on New Year's 2010 in time to wear it to Rhinebeck.

Other big projects include at least three baby blankets for late 2013/early 2014, so I better get an early start on those.

One final note to close out 2012:  My brother knows how to shop for a knitter.  He gave me "socks; some assembly required" (yarn, pattern book, and needles), yarn for socks for him, a yarn bowl (!), another set of needles, a yarn travel book, and a "Keep Calm and Carry Yarn" tote bag.

I'm looking forward to a new year of knitting, and of sharing it with this blog!