It has been since I last bought yarn!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Good News, Bad News

Good News! Grandpa's socks are seeing some progress! I've got one sock done in 5 days, (I finished yesterday)- good progress for a girl who was starting to think this project was cursed to sit in an unfinished project pile, simply because I could not BEAR to rip them back one more time. Hopefully sock #2 will go even faster- given that I've sussed out the major problems in #1.

**Sharp eyes will note that this sock picture iside out. I did this on PURPOSE, so that the full awesomeness of the pattern will not be revealed until BOTH socks are ready for their close ups!** (I need something to keep you coming back... )

Bad News... I had to dip into the second skein to finish the 1st sock. That means I'm going to have to buy another skein to finish the 2nd sock. What kills me is that I only needed 16 rows worth of yarn on the toes to finish-- which is barely anything, meaning I'm going to have a lot of leftovers. (Although truthfully- I may have a plan for the leftovers already so all may not be lost.) I'd hate to see good Koigu (*slobber*) go to waste.

I'm still hoping to finish these by next week and to eek out a pair for grandma- keep your fingers crossed!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

D'Nile Ain't Just a River in Egypt

Pardon the huge cliché here, but it can’t be helped- I’ve just come out of a very deep state of denial, and I’m suffering for it.

Grandpa’s sock- despite the SERIOUS progress I made on the foot, (non-knitters, that means I’m essentially done the damn thing), will need to be ripped back to square 1, or in this case, the first cast on stitch. *SIGH*

How did I get this far along on the thing to only be turned back now?


I cast on 72 stitches on a US size 2 needle, (Canadian knitters will have to forgive me as I haven’t converted yet), throughout the leg portion of the sock I had concerns that the sock might be a touch large- but I soldiered on. I kept telling myself, “you’re a skinny girl- but grandpa’s legs are bigger and it’ll fit his legs”- and I just knit and knit and knit and knit. Perhaps I was blinded by the glare of finishing these in a timely fashion, or just wanted to move on to another project, but I didn’t stop.


The husband came home from work late last night, sat down on the couch and noticed what I was knitting and asked immediately, “are those for a giant?”. *sigh* Now before we start railing on the husband’s insensitivity I’ve stated here before, I’d much rather have him take interest in what I’m doing and look at it with a critical eye than say “that’s nice” and not really care about what I’m making. However, with this preference also comes the honest truth, something I wasn’t willing to admit to myself.

He’s right. They’re too big. I could not deny and make up excuses any longer. But with this painful conclusion also comes the even more painful solution- FROG it. Rip it back to the start, drop the needle size, (I’m thinking US size 0- will I regret?), and go again. *SIGH*

I probably wouldn’t have cared so much if these weren’t for my grandpa, maybe even kept them for myself in their slouchy, oversize, or donated them to charity- but there are two reasons I can’t.

1) It’s Koigu (*slobber)- and as lovely and wonderful as Koigu (slobber) is, it ain’t cheap, I’m committed to making some nice socks from this stuff- and I need to follow through.

2) These socks are being made for the one person who was in his own state of denial when I learned how to knit. I don’t think Grandpa really believed that knitting would become what is HAS become to me. I think he thought I’d pick up the needles, do it for an afternoon and never go back. That didn’t happen, instead I became obsessed- and to this day I don’t think he really believes it. These socks, for him and me, are proof that I can see things through to the finish, and not only that, get a lot better along the way. They need to be perfect. They need to fit.

Which is why I need to go back to the very beginning.

I have eleven days to knit a pair of socks. CAN I DO IT? (Even with a full time job) You bet I’m going to try.

Stay tuned

Here's the sock before... 75% completed!

Sigh... so it begins-- I ripped the needles out. (PAIN!!!!)

And then begins the frogging...

The after... all that pretty sock, back on the swift... AGAIN

Monday, November 19, 2007

Christmas Knitting Countdown

You know, it's not like Christmas shows up randomly every year and we find ourselves going "GEE I totally didn't see that coming". Christmas has come every year, during my exsistence, on December 24th and 25th. And yet, despite these very consistent dates, I seem to have the yearly "I need to knit this by Christmas" panic attack right around the end of November, when time is limited.

Since I made my grandmother socks this summer- I decided, last minute of course, that it would be nice to make a pair for my grandfather and my other grandmother as well. (Grandmother (#2)'s planned pattern can be seen here... hoepfully.)

And so, with the husband's blessing I set out to the yarn shop to buy some "manly yarn" to set to work on grandpa's socks- but I hit a little snag.

I got this far on the orginal idea:

... only to discover that they were just too baggy and big and would never fit anyone's leg properly. I don't know why I was in denial that long, that I got THAT far on the sock, but I was forced to do this:

... frog (fr - og; the art of ripping back your work and watching all the stitches that consumed hours of your life disappear like they never happened.) Froggy is hard not in practice, but mentally admiting your defeat.

Once I wound the skein up again:

I set forth knitting a smaller pattern and what do you know... I finally made some progress! Behold, grandpa's sock... in progress!

The goal is to get this puppy done by the end of the week and cast on sock #2. If I can finish knitting grandpa's socks BEFORE December, I have 15 days to knit my ass off for grandma. (I don't know how grandma would take to the concept of me knitting my "ass" off for her-- I hope she doesn't mind.)

As if that wasn't distracting and consuming me enough- I also hit a major snag with the baby blanket that I'm all but neglecting right now.

Yup! That's a knot. We know how I feel about knots. Much cursing and wailing was involved. Thankfully 1 visit from the very patient MiL, and she sat, PATIENTLY, (so unlike me), helping me wind out of this miserable mess and back to 100% useable yarn again. I SO owe you Phyllis!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Tilted Duster DUSTED!

The Tilted Duster is done! DONE!

I LOVE it!!

Pattern: Tilted Duster from the fall issue of Interweave Knits!

Yarn: Cascade Eco Plus

Needles: US size 10 (6 mm for you Canadians)

Pattern Thoughts: This was a pretty good pattern to knit- always keeping it remotely interesting. The top portions and sleeves knit up so quickly but then you really needed to commit some time to knitting to churn out the bottom. The yarn blocked BEAUTIFULLY- I could not have been happier. You do need something to block well so that the bottom will lie flat.

I wore the "duster" to work yesterday- to show off my latest creation and I was thrilled with the response. Several people complimented me on it- without even knowing I'd knit it. This is the first sweater I've knit that I'm 100% confident wearing and really proud of the final product. It's warm and cozy and the yarn does tend to get a little scratchy when I wear it. (But nothing I can't handle.)

My only complaint about the Duster, and something to keep in mind if I ever knit it again- I'd knit a size bigger sleeves. They fit very snugly and well- but I can't wear a long sleeve shirt under it comfortably. (It can be done, but not seamlessly.) But, it's a small complaint because in general, I love the way it fits, giving the illusion of a slim waitline. Have I said I love the sweater enough yet? Because I do- so much!

In other news- here's a sneak peek at the newest baby blanket I'm making for a baby due in January. I'm not convinced on the color choice- I'll be honest, but MiL assures me it's cute. I'm hoping that it's suitabl for a boy or a girl-- but I still feel like I need some convincing. Hopefully as progress is made I will become more convinced.