Saturday, December 31

Knitting 2012

I think the smart knitter uses the holiday knitting magazines to plan, not to catch up. I spent the evening looking through Interweave Knits Holiday 2010 last night and am enraptured with a couple projects. I am making plans - for me or for others depends on who appears to be knit-worthy.

The Blooming Stole

Ingenious! I have discovered I am not kept interested in rectangular shawls for the duration. It's just the same thing over and over again; getting to 60" takes the stamina of a marathon runner. This shawl, however, has an interesting middle - call it a medallion - that is knit in the round, increasing alternate rows. You start with one stitch and finish with 72 stitches in each of the four sections. Then you work the side panels. The side panels could be tedious but I reflect back to making sleeves. Just when you can't take it any longer, you are done and then you only have one more piece to complete the project. We will see.

Fleur de lis and caernog pin cushions

I don't need a pin cushion and I can think of only one other person who might be interested in a pin cushion but when does a gift have to fill a need? Pretty! Little! Colorwork! These would be lady-like gifts that get finished while we are still having fun. I even have some roving to use as stuffing.

Fruit basket hats

When we went through the great baby boom of 2011, we talked about these hats a lot in our Wed knitting group but I didn't have a pattern in any of my baby knitting books. It was a secret pattern available on a need-to-know basis. But turns out I have the pattern! And I think the fruit depends on the color of the yarn so I don't feel restricted to watermelon or strawberry (I think the pineapple hat is just taking advantage of the baby not having any muscle control, i.e., can't take the hat off).

Short-row flowers

Another wonder of our Wed knitting group but I'm too lazy to get that book from the library (the Wed knitters know which book). I can make posies -

I can't call this a queue or a resolution because that implies chores and commitment but I hope to take a stab at these projects this year. Maybe my resolution should be to figure out how to borrow pictures from other websites.

Thursday, December 29

The forgotten ornament

Like when you have finished stowing away the Christmas decorations for another year, all the boxes neatly fitting inside each other and like a 3-D puzzle, snug against each other in the closet, you turn around and discover Santa and the reindeer on the bookshelf, I realize I forgot to show you one of my knitted creations.

The Snowman from Mini Christmas Knits by Sue Stratford:

Baby Ull, assorted sock yarn with some Jamieson Jumper weight for eyes and buttons. Size 4 dpn.

What an annoying tedious knit but the product is so gosh-darned cute! I might be able to manage one each year. The tip I got from Elizabeth, when I did a show-n-tell at Knot Just Knits where I bought the book, was to use a hacky sack or bean bag for stuffing the bottom which adds the necessary ballast to keep the snowman from tilting. If it didn't mean more sewing-up, I would open up this guy and fix that problem pronto! One modification I made to the pattern was to knit the two balls as linked balls (a la the ornament: co, increase, knit, decrease; increase, knit, decrease; co) instead of knitting the body flat which would require even more assembly. I used a running stitch in the same yarn to secure the hat and scarf.

Santa and the reindeer now live on the bookshelf.

Edited to add: I have also discovered the welcome mat decorated with presents outside the front door and the solar Christmas lights on the deck to be put away. !!

Tuesday, December 27

Still with the knitting

I have a backlog of knitting to finish. News about the reduced economy, hungry children, abandoned pets in foreclosed houses have made me feel very guilty about the abundance of yarn and numerous UFOs that need attention.

But first I started and finished new projects:

From Knit Your Own Dog, a mini Rogie for my boss:

Mini Rogie needs a blue harness collar and a red leash to match Real Rogie.

Knitting fans all over ask for their own knitted objects, though they are unwilling to learn to knit and make their own knitted objects. I spent 1/2 hour of my free time on each of my staff and made everyone an ornament (from Handknit Holidays):

The ornament in these pictures is made from Palette on size 2 dpns and is only about 3-4" in circumference - the 2009 Franklin Habit ornament provides scale; the staff gifts were of Baby Ull, a bit more than 5" in circumference, made on size 4 dpns. If I were to calculate each half-hour at my salary rate, my staff got a very nice present indeed but value-added for me was using up stash yarn and whittling away at that bag of a lifetime's supply of polyester fiberfill.

Here is the prototype for a gift I made for DD#2.

Sailor's Rib Fingerless Mitts, free pattern from Mountain Colors. I made these mitts from the yarn remains of other projects. The green is from Solitude in their early days at the DuPont Farmers Market (Washington, DC - I miss going to SfN~!) and the brown is handspun by Vera Videnovich, which I bought at YarnCon #1 (Chicago).

Imagine my surprise when DD#2 pulled out a pair of fingerless mitts I made some time in the past. Those were made out of Brown Sheep Wildfoote - I knew I made something out of that yarn but just couldn't remember what. I need to get a picture for my Ravelry page (largesse from donation made to a friend's knitting club).

I also don't have pictures of DD#2 gifts - I managed to use up the colorful parts of two skeins of Noro Kureyon for her mitts (greens and midnight blues) and some orange Lobster Pot cashmere (Brooklyn General Store) with some purple, unmarked (probably bulky Malabrigo from Nana's Knits). Amazingly, she was pleased with both presents and has texted to let me know she is wearing them. Gotta get a picture of that as well!

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