Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Matching Hat

Here is the hat I knit to match the Kissy-Fish longies.  It's Small Mama, Sweet Sugar's pattern, found here.  The first time I knit it, it was the wrong size.  Luckily, it's a quick knit so it wasn't hard to redo it.  I always run into size issues with patterns as I tend to be a loose knitter.  Generally, dropping needle sizes 1-2 steps corrects this, but not this time!  I think I'll miss this hat when I ship it to its owner.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Knock This One Off My To-do List!

I finished the first pair of my two Yarn For Woolies swap projects.  Yay!  I'm super pleased with how they worked out.  Everyone likes them, including the mama who will receive them.  What's best, though, is that even though I made a mistake in the cable, the mistake didn't ruin them.  In fact, it spurred a whole slew of ideas for future projects.  I love a happy accident!

I am now working on a matching hat to go with them.  Non-cabled this time as I'm not sure how much time I have to finish it before my next yarn shipment arrives! 

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Knitting Binge Continues

I've been on a knitting binge since the end of June. I've completed 4 pairs of longies, 3 sweaters, a hat, and a pair of socks. I have all of the completed garments sitting in my china hutch and every time I walk by, it amazes me. My knitting speed has increased exponentially. Once upon a time, it took me nearly a month to complete one pair of very simple longies. Now, it's less than a week, and that's with cables and alternating skeins. I am kind of shocked. I always wanted to be as fast as the little old ladies I would see in the airport, fingers flying as they knitted their layovers away. I think I might be catching up to them!

It's a very good thing that my speed has picked up. I have a very full project list and several of the garments have to be finished in a very short time frame. Tomorrow evening I will start the first "yarn for woolies" swap longies that are due September 30th. Next week I will start the second pair for the same swap, also due September 30th. The week after that, I hope to start a knitted dress that I volunteered to be a pattern-tester for. The dress is due by late September or early October as well.

Next up on the list is a re-knit of my Koolaid Upchuck sweater, which definitely needs a new name. Maybe I should call it, "Arise, Charles!" Maybe that will help me stop seeing the image of spaghettios and blue moon ice cream after it has returned from a vacation in the gastric tract of a 3 year old. It's not a picture I relish. I'm reknitting the sweater to test my written pattern. If someone else out there would also like to test it, please let me know. I"ll forward you the current draft. It's another sweater that with just a bit of lengthening in the torso and arms would fit the 18 mos to 5T range.

Also on my list is a sweater for myself. I've never knit myself a sweater. Socks and a hat, yes, but not a sweater. I'd like to. I even have the yarn and the pattern in my hot little hands. But alas, other projects take precidence.

The next item on my list is a set of wool socks for myself again. I have 4 balls of yarn, all the same weight and brand, but all different hand-dyed colors. The idea is that I will use the same basic pattern to knit four socks (probably 5 with the fifth being a scrappy sock) and mix and match them. Since I only wear my wool socks at home in the winter and hate the boredom of knitting a second identical sock, this idea seems brilliant to me. Plus, the first pair of socks I knit this summer is also the same yarn, so really, I'll have 7 socks to intermingle.

My daughter has been begging me for a knit stuffed animal as well and I have a ton of toy patterns in my queue. I'd love to get one done for her by the holidays. It would be a perfect stocking stuffer.

Oh, yes, and lets not forget the stockings I wanted to knit last year... and this year as well, apparently.

And finally, on the needles right this moment is a test of the Maggie's Flower Tunic pattern with a few design modifications just for giggles. I'm finding a few errors in my posted pattern, but I am up to date in correcting the posted pattern. If I've found the error in this test knit, I've corrected the online pattern. Rest assured, the errors were small, indeed. I mislabeled which color yarn to use in a few places, which the knitter could figure out on her own just by looking at the pictures, and there was one place where I directed a K2 when there was only one stitch left in the row. A simple fix.

I'm starting to think that I have too much going on. Perhaps I should take a knitting vacation after my September 30th deadlines. Errr.... after I finish proofing Arise, Charles! and Maggie's Flower.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Chameleon Sweater

One of the cloth diapering/parenting forums I frequent online has a very healthy community of crafters and artists on it. While on my most recent knitting binge I came across the forum where the group of knitting parents hangs out. Hooray! I have a new place to hang out that won't disappear when M potty-trains later this year! What a relief!

This particular group of parents is a great group for a number of reasons. They have a daily chat thread where people can post what they're working on and throw out any questions they may have. Some people need advice on pattern reading, some need help with a design option, some need help with yardage and other supply issues. It's a great place to get immediate replies to your knitting questions.
It's also a great place to simply chatter about your life. We don't stay on topic always and there's always someone around to lend an ear or a shoulder. It's like having a local yarn shop and a mommy's group all in one place.

This month, the group is running a sweater knit-along. The basic premise is that anyone intersted in playing picks out a sweater pattern and knits it. There are two patterns that are recommended for the knit-along, but any sweater is welcome. I think they like to pick a couple of patterns to spotlight in order to increase the chances that questions about said patterns can be answered quickly. If we all get confused at the same point in the pattern, one of us is likely to figure it out and help the others. It's a great resource.
This month's feature patterns are:

The Sleuthing Hoodie
Ridinghood Sweater

I have always been a fan of the Ridinghood Sweater, but just don't have enough DK weight yarn on-hand to knit one up. SO, I decided that I will knit a Sleuthing Hoodie.

Originally, I was going to knit for M and chose the 18mos-24mos size. After knitting 11" down the body, however, I realized that it was big enough for A! Since I was using scrap yarn and the colors are actually better suited to the blonde than the redhead, I quickly switched gears and am now knitting the 5T size. Wowsa, that's a lot of knitting.
Here is an early "work in progress" picture from the sweater. As of this morning, the body is complete and one arm is 2" from completion.

I plan to do a pink hood with brown trim and brown pockets with pink trim... or maybe a brown hood with pink trim. It's hard to decide! Instead of one kangaroo pocket in front I will do two pockets that open from the top. I'm considering putting owl cables on the pockets or perhaps a cable and bobble flower. I can't wait to see the finished sweater.