Archive | February, 2010

Because I said I would

28 Feb

I have no pictures yet (must find that battery charger), but I am close to finishing Jane, by Wendy Bernard in her book Custom Knits. Two or so more rows before I bind off the body and then I have only sleeves and the collar. For the tie, I’m debating two options: knit a thin seed-stitch or double moss stitch belt using fingering weight yarn, and using either a button or hook-and-eye closure; or, search for a simple leather strap with a sleek closure. For ease, I may go with option one. For some reason, a ribbon does not appeal to me.

I have a sick child in my arms. He is teething a molar and now also fighting a cold. Thank goodness we are nursing or else I fear the poor kid would starve. He isn’t very interested in food. We went ice skating today (I met a knitter and spinner!), and so he missed his nap. And I feel the pain. (It is 12:45 am, after all).

I hope I can finish Jane by Wednesday for knit night. And tomorrow, I may cave and buy a new battery charger for my camera. I really don’t think it will make an appearance. So, pictures soon (we hope). In the meantime, here’s a random photo for you:

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Ch-ch-ch-changes…

25 Feb

I gotta make some changes. In brain dump form:

1. I need to take more care with knitting. I don’t want to rush; to think about the next thing. I want to enjoy each stitch and put love and care into my knitting. I want to feel, when knitting, the way I feel when I read the Dances With Wool blog.

2. I want to knit more for my husband and son. I want to see them wearing something I made with them in mind. It would make me feel full and happy. And my husband would love it. I am also tickled at the thought of Lil Guy growing up having something I’ve knit him in many of his memories. I want to be “one of those moms” when he goes off to college.

3. I want to take a walk every day, even if it must be a five minute trip around the block. My head is struggling through a thick, wet piece of nylon and I’m starting to feel suffocated. I blame a lot of this on number 4.

4. I MUST change how I have been eating as of late. I believe strongly in food as fuel and the better the quality, the better the performance. I got on a Swiss Roll craving, but it is – seriously – like heroine or cigarettes or roller coaster rides. I am easily addicted to sugar and it must stop!! I feel as if I am constantly on the down side of a sugar crash. NOT GOOD.

5. I will make smart yarn purchases, buying yarn I love and care for. Not what is cheap, on sale, and “will do.” this will help with number 1.

Finally, 6. I will post to the blog every two or three days, if only to say hello or make up a loony sentence. I read so many blogs and would love to reach out and make online knitting friends like many of the women whose lives I have read about the last two years.

Before I change a diaper, the garter stitch earflap hat from last minute knitted gifts for my 5 year old niece:

A Visit Gets You a Gift

10 Feb

Hermione Cable & Eyelet Hat

I have family up and down this side of our dear country. I don’t live in the “middle,” really, but when Florida or Tennessee family is traveling by car to Vermont or Maine or New York, we make a nice stop after a day of traveling. My cousin has stopped on several occasions, and her last time was to go play ice hockey up north. We stayed up late talking, ate some sugar cookies, laughed at my son, who was showing no sign of slowing down. Then I saw in her bag a cabled hat. I asked her about it (because that’s what knitters do), and learned that she had several issues with that hat, which start with the issues she has with her jacket. So it happened.

It happens all the time to you too, doesn’t it?

I offered, of course, to make her a new hat.

We discussed options. It seemed the most important factor was the color — it had to match her two-tone jacket. I was going to try making a cute bullet, brioche hat in Interweave Knits Accessories issue. But the pattern was for a child and I didn’t want to do any pattern-experimentation. My cousin would be driving back home soon so I had about three days to get this done. After much Ravelry searching, I decided to knit Hermione’s Cable & Eyelet Hat, designed by JLYarnworks. The hat seemed perfect.

All smiles!

The crown -- great decrease!

And it was! The only modifications I made were: I did the super stretchy slipknot cast-on that I’ve talked about before. I pretty much now use that cast-on for all my knit projects. We’ll call it a “given.” I also added about three or four more rows to the brim, despite other Ravelry comments feeling the brim was too long. I think a long brim is great; no tugging over the years with my hats — don’t wanna stretch em out or anything, right? I used Paton’s Classic Wool yarn; NOT the Merino that the pattern called for. This was simply a mistake that turned out great. I love that it’s 100% wool — real wool — and yet not itchy. And the gauge was still fantastic.

I love this pattern. I can’t wait to make another one for myself. Maybe two. The decreases at the crown are lovely. One commenter on the JLYarnworks site said that the brim should be twisted rib, but I really like it as is.

I love the final result, and so did my cousin. She looked fantastic in it, and after she arrived home, she sent me the most thoughtful homemade thank you card. It was great to give a visitor a gift. I’m so glad I did.

Trying on Hermione's Cable & Eyelet Hat

Ellen in Maine

8 Feb

I have finally, without realizing I had it as a goal, created my own design. Start small,  yes?

My mother — Ellen — has moved temporarily from her cozy warm abode in Florida to the splendid winter air of Maine in order to help my very busy, admirable, stellar strong sister who just had a baby while in her first year of residency. On my mother’s way up to Maine, she stopped to visit us. Visit us, and you get a gift: she got some Dashing hand mitts. As she left, she let me know that a hat would come in handy when she reaches Maine. But it was right before Christmas, and I had enough Christmas knitting on my list that I had to put off the hat.

Well my mother likes to keep me on track, it seems. I called her to tell her about a hat I made for a cousin (pictures coming soon) and a hat I made for my niece (again, pictures coming soon) and about a hat I was going to re-knit for a friend as the original wanted a swim and dry in her appliances (poor friend! poor hat!). My mother’s reply to this glorious spiel of knitterly loveliness? “Well, you won’t knit that until after you knit my hat, right?”

I know. The gall, right? I love her.

So I immediately cast on with KnitPicks City Tweed DK and decided I would make a hat using my own nogging. With my iPod Touch app KnitMinder to keep notes, I began. This is the result and she loves it. Now I just have to mail it:

The pictures are not the best. They’re not even good or in the running, and I apologize.  I will try to get some better photos before I mail it off, preferably in daylight.

I will knit this up again in a solid color or handpainted yarn so the detail and cables are easier to see, and to be sure the pattern I have written is accurate. I hope it is because it would be fun to see if other people choose to knit it. When I finish and post it on Ravelry, I’ll call it the Ellen/Alan in Maine hat. Ha!