Slowly but surely

I'm moving -- knitlet.typepad.com. I still need to move my archives and rings, but go check it out for some exciting crafting action!


Some knitting, much sewing

I've been knitting away on the wrap cardigan that I was supposed to wear tomorrow. I guess I could drape the finished pieces on myself, but it's not really warm enough to wear short sleeves anyway. There's been a lot of sewing going on, much of which still needs to be photographed. But here's something my mom finished -- tiny felt bunnies for John. Here's one of the three.

John approves.


Knitting? I don't think so...

I haven't knit much since Thursday. My eight month old son, who was perfectly healthy on Thursday got a little cold on Friday and went to the doctor Saturday morning. After not getting any better Saturday and then getting much worse Sunday, we went to the emergency room with a 104.4 fever and dehydration. It turns out he has RSV and pneumonia. I feel so bad for the little guy. What can you do for a baby who is sick besides do horrible things like suction their noses and give them medicine they'd rather spit out? He's doing better already, but what a weekend. Oddly enough, my parents planned a visit months ago so I'll have help with John for an entire week starting on Tuesday.

John's looking like he'll make a quick recovery. I cannot thank people who work in emergency rooms at night enough! A few hours would have made an awful difference to John! To all of you who spend time away from your families in the wee hours, thank you for helping babies just like mine.


Sockapalooza Part II

My socks arrived today! They're from Kathy, who doesn't have a blog. These socks are so gorgeous that they definitely deserve some blog action.

The box arrived packed with extra yarn just to fill the box and a package tied with a hint of the colors I'd find inside.

Here are the beautiful socks! They're dyed with Kool-Aid and knit in a slip stitch pattern to show off the colors. I literally squealed when I first saw them. I love bright colors like this, but I don't trust my own color sense to do this on my own. I end up with muddled messes instead of works of art like these.

I put them on my feet roughly three seconds after the other picture was taken. They fit perfectly!

Thanks again, Kathy, and thanks to Alison for organizing this. I am SO ready for Sockapalooza Two. I even had delusions of hosting my own Sock Exchange as I walked back from the mail box today. Hmm...


I can sew!

I've been sewing rather than knitting for the last two days. I recently discovered Amy Butler and finally bit the bullet and got my sewing machine out of the closet. I made a present for someone. If you're due in August and live in Mississippi, you might not want to look if you want a surprise. Everyone else, click here to see everything!


Sockapalooza Part I

I sent my socks off last week and this morning I was so happy to see my sock pal Kristy wearing them. A perfect fit! It made my morning to see a picture of socks I'd knit on someone else's blog!



Someone today told me I look chic. Me. Chic. There was no one else they could have been talking to. I have Stefanie to thank, since it must have been Paris Loop that inspired the compliment. Mine is red.


Wrap Cardigan

Since I hit a stopping point on Elspeth while I ponder the merits of full pattern repeats vs. partial pattern repeats, I started on the wrap cardigan from the new Rebecca magazine. Here's my swatch.

John's been teething horribly the last few days, so more blogging to come soon. Hopefully those teeth come in even sooner.



My sockapalooza socks are on their way. That counts as progress, right?

Knitting Meme

I met Michelle at the Littleton Meetup just after she'd tagged me for this. Hopefully she's still want to read my answers even after she had to listen to me go off about my in-laws. I swear, I'm not always so catty.

1. Do you knit continental or English?
Continental, but I can do both.
2. How long ago did you learn to knit?
Twenty years ago. I was six.
3. First FO?
My first project was a swatch made with varigated Red Heart. The first real, useable project was a garter stitch scarf made of shimmery yellow Sayelle I found in my mom's stash.
4. Favorite yarn?
Right now it's Rowan Calmer. I'm fickle about yarn though, so it may change in a few projects.
5. Favorite pattern?
Priscilla Gibson Robert's Dream Socks from IK. I was so happy when they put it up as a pdf on their site.
6. Favorite pattern source?
Interweave Knits is still my favorite, but Rowan's giving them a run for their money.
6.5 Favorite knitting book for technique/reference (of any kind- general, fair isle etc)?
Montse Stanley's Knitter's Handbook. She may be opinionated, but she does know her stuff.
7. Favorite needles?
They may be low end, but I love my Denise Interchangeables. For socks it's metal 8" dpn, with an unlimited budget it would be Brittany birch all the way.
8. Nicest thing you've ever knit?
The best thing I've ever knit in John's Alphabet Blanket. I love that blanket and I hope he'll keep it when he grows up.
9. Most hated project?
Pooling Colors scarf. I like the way it looks, but I hate having to watch my tension to make sure the colors are pooling. Some day I'm sure I'll finish it. Just not soon.
10. Who are you going to pass this along to?
Anyone want to do this one?

Tomorrow, the book meme!


Sockapalooza, yeah!

Last night was the awesome as ever Littleton Knitting Meetup. So fun! I have never been to such a big knitting group and I met tons of new people. I became a Rowan enabler with the ever-popular Rowan 37. I finished my Sockapalooza socks there, too.

New England Socks
Knitting on the Road
Lang Jawool, Denim
Metal dpn, 2 mm (US 0)

I also finished up a cap for the Dulaan Project. I knit hats when I have nothing else brainless to knit, so I have a large collection of never worn hats that will be finding a new home. John does not like to wear hats, so here he is modeling the hats and explaining in his own way why they're much better off being sent to children who will actually wear them.

From left to right, top to bottom:
1) Acrylic cabled hat from Knit It! 2) Kool-Aid dyed wool plain hat
3) Nature Spun hat from VK 4) Another Nature Spun hat from VK
5) Lamb's Pride earflap hat 6) Nature Spun striped hat
7)Nature Spun random striped hat 8) Acrylic pooling plain hat

I've also been tagged for two memes (hooray!) which I'll have to put off until tomorrow.


Knitting Nostalgia

I've been knitting on and off since I was six. I pretty much stopped when I was sixteen, having gone completely boy crazy. Why knit when you could think about boys? My freshman year in college I soon discovered stress the likes of which I'd never known before and seeing as how boys helped precious little with that, I took up knitting again. This time I never stopped. Here's my first project from what would become an unending line of knitting.

It's WoolEase from Wal-Mart. I'm pretty sure the pattern is from Vogue Knitting that I got from the library. I was a few months away from discovering there was an incredible knitting/spinning/weaving store adjacent to campus. I know I chose the hunter green because I had a green duffel coat at the time, but I have no idea what made me think gray was a good contrast color. This is my second ever piece of colorwork, the first having been a pink and white acrylic swatch that I made up myself in junior high (really, I unvented stranding one day waiting in the dentist's office) and prompty gave up on due to the tangles. I'm actually kind of impressed with the tension, considering I didn't know how to knit English at the time and was swapping yarn back and forth in my left hand.

It's actually good I found this, since my husband asked me yesterday if I could make him a hat like this.



We're shipping the 15th, right?

I blame Rowan. If it weren't for Calmer, I'd totally be done with my Sockapalooza socks. Instead, I still have a diamond and a half and a toe to go. But look at this teeny little sleeve to Elspeth!

I've never knit straight stockinette with Calmer and I love it. Cross everything else off my knitting list -- it's all Calmer all the time here!


Long past the sweater curse

My husband and I have been married nearly five years and although he has socks, hats, gloves and scarves I've never knit him a sweater. I think it all goes back to the first sweater I tried to knit for him.

We eloped in May 2000 after knowing each other for two months. When you marry someone that quickly, you sort of forget that you both had plans for the summer that can't be broken and end up spending the summer apart. He had just graduated and was planning to spend the summer with his parents doing the typical post-grad job search. I wasn't going to graduate until December and had a summer internship lined up at MIT. We were going to both stay in Cambridge for the summer, but then we realized that we couldn't find anywhere to stay. I don't know if anyone else has tried to find reasonable temporary housing in Cambridge at the last minute, but it should have replaced at least one of the labors of Hercules. I ended up finding a room with two other girls in some filthy fraternity house while my husband stayed in Pennsylvania with his parents.

To take the sting out of being away from my husband, I was going to knit him a sweater. I hadn't brought much knitting with me so I bought twenty-six skeins of navy blue Heilo, a size three circular needle and my first ever copy of Interweave Knits at Woolcott and Co. I looked over the pattern and decided to make the smaller size. This was my critical error. My husband and I are the same height, but he's a much bigger build. He has deceptively large shoulders for a guy his height. Why I didn't have him measure his chest is beyond me, but I wanted it to be a surprise. If this wasn't bad enough, I wasn't getting gauge on the 3's and decided to just block it out. If I was planning to knit up that much yarn, you think I could have sprung for another needle, but no. Maybe love had made me stupid.

I did research on magnetic tunnel junctions during the day and knitted at night. I sat on my bed (we had no other furniture) in the little furnace of a room and watched my roommate's TV. They were fresh out of U Mass and went out almost every night. I'd talk with my husband (who was working installing sprinkler systems) on the phone and then knit until I couldn't see straight. I made pretty good progress, too. The sweater was beautiful and it was going to be my second sweater ever.

When I tried to block the first sleeve I couldn't get it to be big enough. So I got it wet and IRONED IT. I'm not sure what I was thinking, how this qualified as a blocking method, but I did it. I can't think of a worse way to block cabled knitting, but it was done. A second sleeve and then the back were done in the same way. A month later my husband drove out to visit and I realized there was no way the sweater was ever going to fit. Not only did it not really fit him, my husband likes to wear things big and baggy. It was a miserable failure.

The unfinished sweater began a long life in a plastic storage tub. I gave away the unused skeins as a birthday present a few years later and finally ripped out the sweater pieces last year. The yarn has yet to be washed or blocked. Apparently it's made me afraid to knit large objects for my husband.

But something changed all that. My husband admitted that he liked the feel of All Seasons Cotton. While I was paging through Rowan 37, he decided he liked the sweater Charley. Charley just happens to be made of All Seasons Cotton. Now with our five year anniversary coming up, we've struck an O. Henry without the irony type deal. He's going to give me the yarn to make the sweater a little before our anniversary and I'll make the sweater for him for our anniversary. Everyone is happy, no need for surprises so there can be plenty of measuring and fitting. It's good to be married.


Rowan! Rowan! Rowan!

My Rowan 37 arrived today. I was quite pleased and have started planning new projects. My project criteria are sort of odd, so I'll outline them here.

1. Can I wear it while nursing?
I'm eight months into nursing my son John and there's no end in sight. Tight, fitted pullovers are not really the best fashion choice for me. I will probably spend two of every three years over the next decade or so nursing a baby. I'd like to be able to wear my sweaters instead of looking at them longingly in my closet.

2. Can I wear it while pregnant?
My husband and I really like kids. We're planning on having a medium to large sized family, wanting four kids on a bad day and six on a good day. Watch out if you ever find us on a great day, we may just want a dozen. In any case, I show quickly when I'm pregnant and will spend many months with a giant bump. Should I have to go sweaterless? Of course not!

3. If criteria one and two don't apply, is it just so incredibly cool I can't imagine not knitting it?
Sometimes there are great designs that I want to make even if it does mean I'll only get to wear it intermittently.

Applying these criteria to the latest Rowan, I decided to knit Martha (definitely nursing, lower half stylishly unbuttoned pregnant), Elspeth (hello, maternity wear! and still cool if I'm on the relatively skinny side) and Gemma (I love Calmer, I love the interplay of another yarn in a cool pattern). The best part of this is that I have twelve skeins of Calmer (in Slosh) that were intended to make Whisper. I'm going to steal the yarn from that project and that covers over half of the yarn I'll need for these three.

I'm going to start Gemma first, as it has a limited time to be worn before I end up pregnant again. I already ordered the 4 ply cotton in the color Cooking Apple. Now if my yarn would just hurry up and arrive!



The whole being a mom thing hasn't been too nice to my knitting schedule recently. John hates sleep and has been on a crazy growth spurt and wants to eat all day. He's not too much into solids yet, so this means I'm on call 24-7 as a milk machine. I can't knit while nursing, but I sure can shop online! Hopefully John will stop needing so much milk so my budget can have a rest.

I ordered some Cotton-Ease in orangeade, because I can't seem to find it anywhere. I've been to more Michael's and Hobby Lobby stores than I care to admit in the last week and they've all been taken over by fun fur. Cotton-Ease is one of the better Lion Brand yarns, in my opinion, and very useful for baby clothing. Despite the very bright and rather limited color palette, it's a great substitute for All Seasons Cotton when you know the sweater is going to end up covered in strained peas and spend half its useable life in the laundry.

Seeing as how my parents are coming to visit soon, I figured I should get some sewing projects going. My mom still puts in zippers for me because I am really bad at them. I have four spring skirts in the works that need zippers, but that won't keep us busy for the week. So I bought some Amy Butler patterns. I love Amy Butler's stuff so much! Check out Art of the Midwest to see her fabrics and patterns! I bought four bag patterns (chelsea, nappy, rural messenger and swing), an apron pattern and a throw pattern. Seeing as how this sort of blew my crafting budget for a while, my mom is bringing the fabric.

Side note: My mom's enormous fabric stash has been steadily growing since she and my Dad got married. They got married the weekend of Woodstock. Really. Except they weren't hippies and they'd already bought a house even though my mom was straight out of high school. I may live in a wool house but my mom lives in a calico house and she has plenty to spare. I can live off her fabric stash for years to come.

I have been knitting some, with the Sockapalooza deadline looming. Two and a half diamonds and a toe. The end is in sight! Once that and the secret design project are finished, I'm going to have a huge house cleaning extravaganza and then I'll be ready for a week of grandparents spoiling John while I knit and sew.


Bad Along-er! Bad!

Although I haven't finished my Sockapalooza socks just yet (three diamonds and a toe to go, they will be done in time for mailing) I started another pair of socks. I've been meaning to make the golf socks from Socks Socks Socks for a while and I just got some cool new spring shoes at the REI sale that were begging me for some short socks.

The golf socks fit the bill perfectly. I was planning to make them just plain black, but I realized the cotton yarn I was using was the same as the Cotton Colori I just bought and followed the nifty patterned heel flap directions.

Other than that I should have started away from the grayish purple area of the color pattern, I really like my secret spot of color on my black golf socks.

Yet another Littleton SnB tonight! Hope for a calm baby who allows lots of knitting.