Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Startitis Continues...

...but things are getting finished.

This weekend was the second baby shower in the past month. I missed the first one for cooking club, but Geek Boy represented (we were mistakenly informed that it would be a co-ed shower...and the father is a friend of his...unfortunately, he spent that afternoon hearing the word uterus more than he would have liked).

Anyway, after a crisis of yarn shortage, I think Haiku came out quite well.

The sleeves are done in Plymouth Wildflower, my favorite baby yarn. I don't remember what the green yarn was. Something I got when Technicolor Sheep was going out of business. Luckily, with the construction of the sweater, the green rows at the top of the sleeves blend in well with the body of the sweater, making it look intentional.

The hat is my basic baby hat. Plymouth Wildflower, 72 stitches. Quick and easy. If it's for a girl, a little eyelet pattern gets thrown in.

The new mom loved them. And the grandmom, who is my mom's best friend, called my mom the next day to comment on how much they all liked the sweater and hat.

So, with one item off the needles, my rampant spring startitis needed something new. Archiknist recently posted pictures of her purple shawl, from Victorian Lace Today. I was smitten. I checked the book out from the library and spent last night leisurely pouring over the patterns. I have some weddings coming up and thought a nice wrap would come in handy for over-air-conditioned receptions. There's some Sundara silk and fingering silky merino marinating in the stash. I have plans for the silk, but have been trying to figure out what to do with the silky merino. When I got home today (primary elections were today, and we're a polling place, so I was in at 5.45 AM and got to leave around 2.30PM), I mowed our seriously overgrown lawn, and then settled in with the book again and decided to do this:

It's aspiring to be the Handsome Triangle in Sundara fingering silky merino in Blossom (which I think will look lovely with my brown summer wedding dress). This is my first lace. I have the lifeline going already. The benefit to this pattern is that it's one where I can just knit until I run out of yarn. I'm hoping that I'm right in thinking that the magic of lace is in the blocking. Because right now, it just looks like a big old blob. However, I think one of my first tasks tomorrow is to photocopy and seriously enlarge the chart. Otherwise I might go cross-eyed.

I've also finished the first Rustic Arrow sock for Sockdown April. I had hoped to get my electric pear yarn in a good shot with the blossoms on the pear tree out front, but suddenly, they were all blowing off, so I had to go with what was left.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

A Tale of Three Socks

I have been experiencing severe sock knitting ADD lately.

Now, I've never been a totally monogamous knitter, but this is ridiculous. Usually, I have a pair of socks on the needles, and then one other project, either something big, or something with a deadline. The year started out well. I participated in the mitten swap, and stayed pretty faithful to the mittens, since they were on deadline, and the stranded knitting was new to me. I think they turned out pretty well and were definitely well-received by Theresa in CA.

Meanwhile, I had started a pair of Nutkins for my mom. She loves her knit socks that I gave her last year. I made a new pair for her back in the fall. Unfortunately, they didn't fit over her heel, so she gave them back to me so they didn't just sit.

Then, just when the mittens were finished and on their way to CA, Geek Boy and I took a long weekend trip to Texas to visit his step-mom. As a general rule, I always start a new project when we travel. I've never had a problem taking my knitting on a plane, but just in case my particular TSA agent doesn't want to let knitting needles through that day, I don't want to lose work that I've already done. (I realize that this doesn't make that much sense, since on the return trip I could lose it all, but hey...)

So, I pulled out my Cherry Blossom yarn from Sundara, thinking it would be great spring knitting (plus, the yarn has been languishing for almost a year in the stash). A pair of Nutkins for me. I really like this pattern, and I had memorized it, so it would make for easy plane and car knitting.

And then, I decided I wanted to do the Sockdown challenge for April, and found a pattern with no picture, Judy Summer's Rustic Arrow, which called for sportweight yarn, and I had another Sundara yarn, Electric Pear, hanging out in the stash.

As if that's not enough. My fertile friends are at it again. There are six babies due between the end of this month and August. The first one got a little hat. The next shower is in two weeks, and I rescued a Haiku from the UFO pile and thought it would be perfect. The body and most of one sleeve were done. Finished sleeve one, and started sleeve two. Then it happened. Four rows left, but no yarn. Emergency trip to Finely a Knitting Party, since Cathy stocks Plymouth Wildflower. I figured for four rows, dye lot wouldn't be that big a deal. But she didn't have the color. Ugh!

I came home and re-examined. There was enough of the body color left to finish the four rows. Now I'll just have to undo the last for rows of the first sleeve so they match. (The first sleeve is camera shy, and I couldn't find it for the photo shoot...it was located later, hiding in another knitting bag.)

And now I want to start something on slightly larger needles because I just got these great stitch markers.

I was never a big fan of the "fancy" stitch markers. I mean, the little plastic loops work just fine, and are only a couple of bucks. But when I ordered from Zen String last year, she included a little set of stitch markers. I discovered I loved having them hanging from my project. And since I've recently become addicted to etsy, I finally ordered some new ones for myself.

So, that's what I've been up to for the last month or so. There were some other things. A little heartbreak (nothing serious), some travelling, some airport taxi service, new appliances and new beers (more on those later). Thanks for coming back.