Thank you Secret Pal!

I think I have the best secret pal ever. My son has some sort of cold and this whole week has been less than fun. No knitting, no sleep and having to use that awful nasal aspirator on him. But he's doing much better and today a present arrived! It's the book I wanted so much at the store and couldn't justify buying, Last Minute Knitted Gifts! Thank you thank you thank you! And I'll email you soon with tons of thanks all over again, secret pal! I should be back to knitting and blogging next week, so come back soon for pictures.


Someone else's finished project

As I seem to be incapable of actually finishing anything these days, here's an outfit a friend of the family sent to us. Tone is from Norway and is an incredible knitter. Unlike me, she still uses needles smaller than 3.5 mm for entire garments! I'm liking the bigger needles these days... So here's the beautiful Norwegian baby outfit.

And a closeup of the cable panel.

And John modeling! This will fit for the entire winter!


You complete me

Apparently I have every knitting gadget known to man now. Here's my super blocking board!


Recipe for Relaxation

Take one sleeping little boy

add some good television

and a Noro project.

Knit until baby wakes up. Ahh...


Bear Along!

Oh my goodness there's a bear along! What more could I want?

My friend Meriah also started a blog. When I met her she wasn't yet a knitter, but she did just about everything else. She said something about dimensional Brazilian embroidery and I asked if it was like stumpwork. I could not believe that I'd just used the term "stumpwork" in a conversation with someone my age! She moved to Mississippi this spring and I miss having my best knitting friend around.

John's Halloween costume is cut out, but I have yet to overcome the non-sewing inertia and actually set up my machine on the desk. Maybe tonight...


Cotton in the cold

Last night our furnace stopped working. In my sleepy haze around 2 a.m., I wondered why John wouldn't sleep in his co-sleeper and just bundled him into bed with me. Turns out it was 58 degrees in our house. Brr. While waiting for the repair guy to come this morning, I bundled John up so warmly that he fell asleep and I knitted to keep warm. It got me wondering why on earth I was knitting a cotton baby sweater. I finished the front and back and I'm really thinking about putting this away until a little later despite potential gauge changes, since the gauge will match on the body and then also on the sleeves.

I also had to rip back on Arla, since I knit seven inches when the pattern said to knit eight inches. Who knows what I was thinking.

Now I'm eyeing a pair of wrist warmers from Knit Mittens!, which I checked out from the library. I'm also lusting after Last Minute Knitted Gifts, which is a beautiful book I can't justify buying but really really want. Both are great for this type of weather and the approaching gift season. Now if only I had fourty-eight hour days and/or no need for sleep, I'd be set!


Yarn diet? What yarn diet?

Today was my 26th birthday, when you think I'd be getting a little too old to be excited about such things. Not so! We went hiking and on the way home, my husband forced me into Showers of Flowers to buy a skein of Kureyon for the bear I mentioned yesterday.

And it turns out they were having their fall sale! I got a bag of the now discontinued Waterspun at 50% off.

(At this point I finally turned the flash on...)

I made some progress on the front of the frog sweater.

And I finally started Arla. Here's the striping on the back. I have two semi-similar balls reserved for the cardigan fronts. We'll see how well that works out, since Noro is notorious for color changing knots.

There may not be much knitting progress until next month, since I'm turning the house into Halloween costume central after seeing some of the costumes others are sewing.


Another Bear

I don't know how I missed this yesterday while I was at A Knitted Peace, but there is a Kureyon BEAR in that Debbie Bliss Noro Collection!

Oh, how I wish that while I was on my yarn binge away from my yarn diet that I'd bought the one little skein of Kureyon the bear needs. Who would have noticed it among all that Silk Garden? I'd better get knitting away at the stash so I can knit that bear before I'm thirty.

I did finish the back of John's Phildar frog sweater. I like the wider middle stripe width.


Knitting excitement!

My husband and I are horrible at keeping secrets from each other. Normally this is a great quality in a marriage, but it is sort of an achilles heel when it comes to gift giving occasions. I think that the time from gift purchase to spilling what the gift is is usually about three hours, even if the holiday is weeks away. My birthday is Saturday, but yesterday my husband told me he'd ordered me this blocking board. It shouldn't have been a huge surprise, because the other day when I was complaining about blocking and my pitiful lack of a blocking board, he said "So you'd rather have a blocking board than a swift?" I went on and on about how since I don't have a spinning wheel a swift would only be used when I buy skeined yarn but a blocking board could be used on almost every project, blah blah blah, in total oblivion that a blocking board would soon be mine.

As if that wasn't enough, my mother-in-law called this morning to tell me there was a gift certificate waiting for me at a Knitted Peace in Littleton. Being the yarn addict that I am (and getting a chance to go off my yarn diet, what was I supposed to do, not use it?!?!?) I headed down there today and some Noro Silk Garden sang its siren song to me. I'm going to be making this

out of this.

Okay, so the plastic doesn't make for the greatest photos. I'm just excited to have an entire bag of Noro.

For John's almost finished elephant jacket, I'm planning to use wood buttons as Kate suggested. Since I wont' be able to get those until tomorrow, I started another Phildar baby sweater.

It's knit in Aviso, a cotton/acrylic blend, and is turning out quite nicely. My stitch gauge is spot on, but my row gauge is way off. The pattern called for eighteen rows in the middle stripe color, but I don't think it's quite wide enough. I see ripping in my future...



Here's a tiny detail of the edging, which I'm doing in blue instead of lavender. I'm working on finding buttons that match and have had no luck so far. I'll reveal the sweater in all its cuteness when I finally finish it.


Ho Hum

I finally decided to not block the pieces of the little elephant jacket, but just to block the sweater as a whole after it's complete. So here's a rather boring looking navy hooded jacket. I'm so excited about adding the details that make this such a cool little piece!


My knitting secret

Here's the elephant patch for the back of my first Phildar baby sweater. And here's my secret. I'm really bad at intarsia. I can just never make it look completely even. I've practiced and practiced to no avail. At least you can tell it's an elephant, right?

This is also the part of the sweater where I'm really wishing that I understood the Dutch pattern directions better. I know I knit the patch right, starting and finishing with a different color. I'm pretty sure that part is taken out and the live stitches are somehow sewed onto the jacket. It's that somehow part that's confusing. I'm planning on spending some time on babelfish this week to figure out how in the heck Phildar's designers attach this!


Alternate Craftiness

It's not knitting, but it's a completed project. My mom and I made John a little star-shaped bunting, just like Maggie Simpson. She sewed the bunting and I embroidered a little crescent moon on the front and a star on the back. It's cute and warm. Here's John modeling.


Fun fun fun!

While I was visiting the community college where my mom works, I found an Art*o*mat which I'd read about on ChicKnits. My mom got me several little boxes of art for my birthday later this month. Woot! I've made some knitting progress on Pool, but pictures will have to wait until I get back home.


Thank you Secret Pal!

After a busy weekend, I was thrilled to get a package from my Secret Pal in the mail. Even the mailing box is pretty!

But look what's inside!

We have a beautiful little handspun silk pouch, stitch markers, bubble bath and four cat toys!

Here are some of my favorite details -- a little tiny bear charm on the pouch and lime bubble bath. I didn't even know lime bubble bath existed!

Emma happened to be in the room when I opened the box and is seen here trying to play with three toys at once. She then flipped onto her back and tried to maim one of the felt balls by kicking with her back paws. The ball is unhurt, thanks to its incredible feltedness.

And just to prove that I have been knitting, here are two afghan squares with a slightly long story.

I was supposed to do the one mile Walk for the Cure on Sunday with team Knitty Cat but John decided that Saturday night was not meant for sleeping. So we sort of missed the whole thing. The team was going to walk and knit at the same time, then all of the squares would be assembled into an afghan. Well, I did end up knitting two squares out of the wonderful pink Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora. Hopefully the afghan is still in the seaming stages and my squares can join in!

John and I are off to visit family this week, so knitting may or may not happen. The poor giraffe-turned-elephant sweater is still sitting right here, patiently waiting to be finished. Soon, soon...


Free Yarn Friday II

I really meant to give away more of my sock yarn. I really, really did. This is about 25% of what was in my stash and I just couldn't get rid of any more. I'm trying at least. :)

The rules are the same as last time, but email me by Monday morning with the numbers of the yarns you'd like to be in the raffle for.

1. Lion Brand Magic Stripes (100 g) -- Denim Stripe

2. Lion Brand Magic Stripes (100 g) -- Jelly Bean Stripe

3. Froehlich Wolle Special Blauband (2x 50 g with reinforcing thread)

4. Regia Mini Ringel (1x 50 g, enough for a pair of socks for a kid, I guess)

5. Jawoll -- burgundy (2x 50 g + 3rd skein was used for some stripes + 3 reinforcing thread spools)

6. Jawoll -- brown (2x 50 g + reinforcing thread spools)

7. Jawoll -- navy (2x 50 g + reinforcing thread spools)