Saturday, December 31, 2005

Knittin' right along

With the holiday crush over, I've been very much enjoying some knitting for me. Of course, I'm going to give Rogue away when it's finished, but I don't consider it gift knitting, since there's no deadline, and I very much enjoy working on it. I took some pictures yesterday, before I started knitting, to take advantage of some natural light.

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Since I took this photo, I finished the front, and grafted the two shoulders together. I'm trying to decide if I want to start the hood next, or get a start on the sleeves, since I hate them so.

It's not yet gotten truly frigid in these parts, but I reminded myself early this year that I have a thrummed mitten kit that I bought years ago, sitting in my stash. Since the mittens I've worn for about four years now sprang a hole last spring, I intended to make myself mittens this year. May as well learn something new while I'm at it!

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The roving provided with this kit is so soft. I can not wait to wear these in the frigid cold of February (not that I won't be done with them by then, I hope!).

The lady I bought this kit from is so nice. I went to a big craft fair when I first started knitting, thinking they would have yarn there. Alas, everything was already made. Just when I despaired of ever finding any yarn, my boyfriend (side note: how awesome is my boyfriend that he actually attends this stuff with me and doesn't complain, even once) pointed out a small stall with yarn hanging inside. The woman sitting there was making a pair of these mittens. We talked about yarn for awhile, and she told me about how she gets her Colinette at good prices for resale, and she demonstrated thrumming. I was intrigued and bought a kit. I'd never knitted in the round before, and was intimidated by the idea of mittens, so I didn't make them that first winter. Then the last few years, I just haven't really needed new mittens, until February when I always wish I had these mittens all knitted. Well, this year my wish will come true! As an added bonus, I should have extra roving left, which will be perfect for the ratties. As you can see, Eunice loves a nice handknit:

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Happy New Year!

Monday, December 26, 2005

Christmas FOs!

Without further ado, my Christmas FOs. I made it!

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Shawl for my Gram. Sonoma Shawl pattern by Oat Couture. I used Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Antique Lace, and attached a loop and button instead of using a shawl pin as suggested in the pattern. My gandmother loved this, and so did my sister! I think I know what she'll be getting for her March birthday.

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My nephew's stocking. I made this using a kit I bought at Patternworks this fall. The kit is put together by Annie's Woolens, using Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride.

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Since I finished the shawl and stocking a week before Christmas, I decided to throw caution to the wind and try to churn out a pair of mittens for my dad. After a five hour knitting session on Friday where I started and finished the second mitten, they were ready to be blocked and given on Christmas Eve. Whew! I used Peace Fleece from the stash, and have enough left over to maybe make a little something for myself.

Must go lay down now. Too much chocolate... feel... weak....

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Piece of Cake

Watch out! FO blocking....

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This is the Sonoma Shawl that I made for my grandmother for Christmas. It was a long, hard road, but I stuck with it and finished on time. I think the fact that I knew I had to block it, helped push me onto completion. Otherwise, I probably would have waited until the absolute last minute. I'll save the specs for the true FO shot, but I would just like to remind you that the yarn I used for this is 80% cotton, and 100% a pain in the buttocks (and hands). I kept putting it down in favor of wool projects, to give my hands a break. Towards the end it got really rough, with 472 stitch rows. It wasn't really the kind of project I could just do a row or two of in the morning. I will probably make the pattern again, but in wool. I think it would be nice to wear in the office. I work with some pretty warm-blooded people who just turned off the A/C! The shawl is meant to be closed with a pin, but I think instead I'll do a large button with a loop closure. Less fiddley, and it can't get lost.

So now, work continues on the Christmas stocking. Oh, wait... have I mentioned the Christmas stocking? Probably not. I started a Christmas stocking last weekend for my older nephew. Here's where I was at this afternoon:

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I'm blowing the doors off this one! Since I took that picture a few hours ago (enough time to watch both The Nightmare Before Christmas and Rudolph's Shiny New Year), I have turned the heel and am about to start the toe! I'll have it finished tonight. Good thing, because I just realized the other day that when my dad asked for mittens for Christmas, he meant for me to knit them. D'oh! Such is the life of the only knitter in the family. I can't have my daddy going around with cold hands! What would the other knitters think? I'd be a disgrace! I found some nice navy blue Peace Fleece in the stash that I bought years ago for mittens for myself, but such are the sacrifices knitters will make for their loved ones. Fortunately, I have some lovely Lorna's Laces in the stash for mittens too (not to mention a thrummed mitten kit that's been marinating for so long, it's saturated).

After the mittens, I'll get back to past projects... the zipperless Zippy and Ribby Cardigans, the forlorn Rogue that needs a little frogging, and the bloody Astrakhan cardigan that needs to meet gauge. Or maybe something new. Hey, just saying. I can't be held accountable if some new and shiny yarn catches my eye!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

How many days now?

So my Christmas knitting has begun in earnest. I finished one gift (which I won't show here because I think the recipient checks out my blog once in awhile), and I'm working on another, then I have one more planned for sure. I have a couple of things I would like to knit for gifts, but I'm not commiting myself. One year I made this huge knitted gifts list, and it sucked by the end because I could do nothing else besides knit, and if I did go out and do something that didn't involve knitting, I felt guilty.

I casted on for the Sonoma shawl. I showed the pattern a few months ago and said I was going to get started on it. I always knew it was going to be a gift for Christmas, but of course, I couldn't get properly motivated to cast on until it was properly holiday season. So far it looks rather like a floppy bag.

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I'm actually about halfway through with it! I'm using Cotton Fleece, which is not my favorite yarn to knit, so I can only do a couple of hours before I need a break. I'm going to be casting on next for a Christmas stocking for one of my nephews, which is knit in wool, and I'll use that as a break project until the shawl is finished.

I'm off to buy fish and rat supplies! Speaking of which, want to see a picture of the girls? Of course you do!

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Squirrel is finally coming out to play!