Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Tragic Tale

...okay, not so tragic.

Basil is finally finished and ready for blocking. I'll post pictures when it no longer looks like there is a boob in the center. It was time for me to get back to knitting something for me, about damn time! Even though beautiful Debbie Bliss silk alpaca arrived to knit Gretel, I resisted casting on something new.

I have lovely items already on needles. First I picked up my Endpaper Mitts. They had stalled right at the Kitchner/Tubular cast-off on the first mitt. I turned on the high power magnifying lamp, pulled up the tutorial on-line, gritted my teeth and plunged in. It was a bit painful but I got through it. Then I knit and cast off the thumb. And spured on by my success I cast on for the second mitt. Yes, the Italian Tubular Cast-on, which was not so difficult this time, only four or five false starts. Now I am happily cranking my way through mitt #2.

Saddly, when I picked Juliet back up, the results were not so happy. Andrea told me to make the large, but I think I had already cast on for the XL. At knitting circle, only about 20 garter ridges in, I decided to try it on and make a decision about whether to make the longer or cropped version. Everyone agreed that it was too big...sigh. I stood with it draped around my shoulders while Andrea cranked the ball winder. Back to the start...rats....rats...rats!

Thank you, Andrea for being so gentle. What a good bud.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Kitchy Kitchy Koo

Baby super-model, Clyde, prenatally known as Flippy the Bean, graciously modeled my latest baby knits for me. I have hit yet another baby boom -- something in the water 9 mos. ago --thank heavens I was only drinking cider then!

These little hat and mitt sets are seriously the cutest and fastest baby gift around. The little hats are Lisa Myers' James Dean hat knit on 2s using Koigu mill ends. The pattern calls for Noro Kureyon. Clyde's father, Max, was the first to monkey with the gauge and come up with this adorable hat.

The only downer on the hats is the provisional cast-on and 52 stitches worth of Kitchner stitch. Yes, I just said 52 stitches. Before these baby hats my only use of the dreaded Kitchner stitch was 10-12 stitches worth on the toe of a sock. Every single time I have had to call up the tutorial and scroll through picture by picture. Now, 3 baby James Deans completed, I have mastered the Kitchner stitch...even walked away from the laptop and grafted away while watching TV.

I can tell that you are incredibly impressed. Ppphhht...I was.

The adorable little mitts are designed by my very sweet friend Emily. The pattern is posted here. These whip up in no time at all. The only thing that was not super fun about these were the laces...14 inches of i-cord on 0's. I did manage to survive and it was not too tedious.

These sets are gifts for twins Reno Jr. and Sarah Jo, and Tucker. Welcome to the world precious little ones!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Basic Sock?

Who said that stripes aren't flattering on short fat feet? This was my first ever test knit for Madelinetosh's Simple Socks. I am a very bad test knitter and just reported my results oh so very late. Sorry, Amy!!

These uber comfy socks were knit in Trekking XXL on size 1 DPNs. The socks could use a bit more negative ease. I am not sure if the fault lies with my measurements, gauge, the yarn etc. They are however really comfortable.

And they are loud, definitely the loudest pair of socks made to date. And I only possess one other skein in my stash that comes close to competing.

Any one have a suggestion for this skein of STR? I think it may be too wild for a pattern to show well. What was I thinking? Regina, you may be replaced this year as my Maryland Sheep and Wool shopping chaperone.

I'm just sayin'...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

So Kool

...Koolhaas that is. My Christmas knitting is finally done and gifted. And it is only mid-January. I may be a little a head of my norm here.
Years ago I knitted a fleet of scarves for my friends as Christmas presents. Harold got a quilted flag wall hanging instead. He loved the flag, but I know he has always been wondering when I was going to knit something for him.
This year I knit the boys (Harold and Pedro) the hat du jour, Jared Flood's Koolhaas from IK's holiday edition.
This was a super quick knit, even with the pesky cable needle. I tried doing without the cable needle and have arrived at the conclusion that I am either missing something important in the tutorials, or it is just as easy to do it with the cable needle.
I knit the hats with Berrocco's Peruvia. This was my first time knitting with this yarn and I absolutely loved it. The yarn is nice and soft for a hat, not itchy and the boys said they were really toasty and comfortable. The colors were lovely too, with lots of dimension and interest. Stitch definition was also really good.
The only thing I was not completely thrilled with is that they were a bit long. I should have done 4 repeat rows instead of 5 that the men's size calls for. The boys loved their hats though and that is what matters most.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A Confession

Last Saturday, at Allison's Knit 'n Knosh, I confessed to one of my more egregious knitting offenses. In my own defense it was committed during college and that would have been in the early 80's. (I know, I know, I don't look like I could possibly be that old. You are so sweet to say so.)

This was one of the last sweaters I ever knit. And beside my gauge issues, there were techniques I now know that would have improved the sweater's technical merit. In retrospect nothing could have helped the design. It was a Vogue pattern and back then I considered any criticism of Vogue to be a heresy. I also know now not to spend a fortune and lots of time knitting an uber-trendy sweater.

The sweater was knit in an aran weight cotton. It was a very long (mid-thigh) vest with a very deep v-neck and long armholes. The main color was a hideous mustard/gold with... wait for it... wait for it... large scale intarsia tropical fruit on it. Yup, I knit a vest with a half a ruby-red grapefruit on my left boob and a banana cradling the right boob. A lemon, a lime and an orange segment rounded out the fruit salad. And I thought I was the shit in this thing!

Of course to finish the outfit, there was a white Petite Bateau t-shirt, white leggings and thrifted hot pink alligator low heeled pumps. Alison asked me if there was a belt involved...there wasn' grandmother always taught me a proper lady gets totally dressed and takes one thing off. It should have been the sweater vest. Atleast my hair was not huge, thank heavens for some shreds of good taste.

Oh, I wish I had a picture for you...I should have had Marissa sketch it for me...but I know that you all have vivid enough imaginations to make up for this short coming.