Monday, November 27, 2006

Post-Thanksgiving this'n that...

Thanksgiving afforded much time for lollygagging around and klatsching (as my much adored MIL loves to say, she's from Joisey, after all). The highlight was seeing family from far away and of course, having lots o' knitting time. I finished my Big Print socks, and due to my father's freakishly thin ankles, I ended up giving them to my FIL, who was, "touched beyond words. Speachless." It's certainly nice to give a FO to someone who lavishes you with praise, that's for sure. Luckily I have a lot of Big Print, so yesterday I casted on another pair for my dad. Only 40 stitches! My parents brought with them another FO of sorts for me to feature on my blog.
Last Christmas I made my dad a Rowan vest that was, many might recall, Fred Flintstonesque in its' shaping. I include a before and after picture, just for laughs. Luckily in Minnesota there's an expert knitter around every corner, so my mom had her Scandihoovian friend Jean from The Yarnery in Saint Paul work her magic on it, and voilà, suddenly I appear competent and crafty! Speaking of crafty, have you seen the new magazine Craft, yet? It's put out by the same people who do Make, which is also a alt-DIY publication . I subscribed as I am a major lemming, and the first issue arrived, replete with projects like knitted robots and LED powered garments. I tried to explain to my très L.A. brother Bruce and his living doll boyfriend Jon that it's part of the whole indie crafster scene, but they were laughing too hard at my description of what it means to be a riot grrl knitter to really get it. In any case, check it out because it's super cool!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Land Speed Record!

Everywhere I go in the land of Knitting blogs that I peep in on, knitters are all hepped up about holiday knitting. This knitter is no different. The full-on family onslaught of both sides of the family begins tomorrow, and I hope to have the other sock in this pair for my dear old Dad finished shortly thereafter. I have completed a land speed record, as I cast that sucka on at 7 p.m. Saturday, and after a leisurely day of Sunday knitting, which included a three hour period of church knitting when I was working on the baby caps and helping others (it was a lot of fun but semi-exhausting), and minimal knitting this evening, it's finished. I used the same ol' sock pattern I always use (at this point, why even buy any more sock related books? I always seem to default to the tried-and-true memorized pattern anyway), but this time with a twist. I've discovered the key to speedy sock completion is to not use sock yarn! This was done out of Big Print on--get ready--size 5s! Socks on biggish needles, a minor revelation. Now don't get me wrong, I am still a major floozy for your Opals, your Koigus and your Trekkings, but it's just a nice feeling to finish a sock in a 36 hour period once in a while...speaking of Trekking, our little pal the Lone Knitter has a fabulous tale of lust to tell on her blog regarding #126 and the inexorable attraction normally sane knitters feel for it. I can relate to her mania, as I am frequently in the grips of a similar obsession. I satisfied my own little Trekking fancy by picking up this skein earlier today at my LYS. It's #181, a color that just popped and begged to be taken home. It was still in the UPS box when the owner showed it to me, I felt like those kids in Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang when the childcatcher is luring them out of their hiding place with the lolly pops and sweets. I don't mean to suggest that my LYS owner is as dastardly as that nasty fellow, she's more of a playground pusher type. Ha!

In any case, I hope to be done with sock numéro deux sometime Weds. afternoon, just in time to start panicking about cooking the T-giving meal, and then shortly thereafter, beginning drinking...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Caps to the Capital

We are starting a knitting group at our church, and like any good knitting group, we needed a service project. So, after trolling around the web (my speciality), I suggested the Caps to the Capital project. And since I'm the person organizing the group, hey, it's my decision! You see it modelled here on my daughter's newly rediscovered American Girl Baby (she's been playing with it recently in an attempt to prove that she's still interested, so will I please-buy-her-another-one-for-Christmas?). The Darling Resident Marxist Curmudgeon would insert a commentary here about how it is indeed this type of excess that has utterly contributed to the misery of many in the developing world, but we'll leave that to your imagination.

Next Sunday afternoon we'll have our first meeting and hopefully teach some newbies to knit and make some caps. Today during the announcements our priest turned to me and asked me to say a few words about " new knitting ministry". I almost died (laughing? of shock? embarrassment?) at these words, but I did my best to hold it together and not totally humiliate myself as I tried to sound coherent and not like a weird person that you wouldn't want to spend time learning to knit from.

If you're not familiar with the initiative, the charity is organized by Save the Children and is an attempt to collect as many knitted and crocheted caps by January 2nd as possible. These will be distributed to newborns in underdeveloped nations where sometimes just the warmth of a hat will make a big difference. Click here to download the info kit.

I made my hat out of Ornaghi Filati Biberon on size 6 dpns, it took about 2 hours from start to finish. This wool is a merino, not unlike Polo, but without the microfiber. It's Italian (with a cute WWF pandaesque logo), I'd never seen it before, and got it at my LYS-home away from home, Stitch your Art Out, near State College, conveniently located on my commute. This hat will be a prototype to bring to the group, hopefully they'll be inspired to make a few as well. This project has the potential to be a major stash buster, so I'm looking forward to making as many as possible when I'm in between projects.

Monday, November 06, 2006


Sometimes I just love my little knitblogging pals.Marnie from Gingersnaps and I are constantly on the same wavelength regarding projects we're jonesing to begin...The Lone Knitter posted a pic of her finished Silk Garden Beanie and suggested it as a way of using an extra skein of Silk Garden. Well of course I am a copy cat extraordinaire and had to give it a whirl. I love this little beanie and sported it with pride to work today. Of course I made sure not to wear the Klaralund at the same time, because matching is, well, totally dorky. I have my tough chick reputation to uphold... The above pic is the beanie on top of our last pumpkin that isn't a festering mess, because that would be, well, totally gross. Below you see it pictured from above.

I also found out last week that I won a drawing over at Karen's Musings blog, so anyday now I will be receiving two handspun skeins in the mail. I LOVE getting parcels in the mail, just love it. And not because I have some pathetic thing for the UPS/Fedex/Letter Carrier. I just love the thrill of getting something in the mail that isn't a bill or a scary letter from the borough telling you that you are behind on your taxes (it's a Pennsylvania thing--the tyranny of the borough).

Here you see my most recent package. I ordered this on Friday and it came today, how's that for speed? I saw this yarn over on Samantha's Aquaknits blog and had to obtain asap...her brand is sKNITches and I love, love, LOVE it. One skein is a walloping 440 yards, that's a lot o' stichin' that's going to be going on. The colourway on the left is 'carousel' and it's a self-striping affair, whereas the variegated on the right has the enticing name of 'brown sugar'. I'm frantically trying to finish a Koigu sock from August so I can get this yarn on the needles.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Yarn Karma

No sooner had I written the phrase complaining about "patterns and the extra yarn left over" than I hit a road block with my most recent pair of Fetching(s). The pattern calls for one ball of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, and comes with the caveat that you will use the entire ball and have only a yard or two of the yarn left over, so you better unroll your gauge swatch (not a problem, didn't do one!;) in order to make it. Now, I like to live dangerously. I'm living a charmed life in many regards, but apparently my yarn karma is not so hot, because somewhere during the picot bind-off, I ran aground and had no yarn left with which to complete said bind-off. So, why don't you just go buy another ball? Umm, yeah, because I got the yarn in Pittsburgh and it was in the 35% off bin because there was only one ball left in the entire store. And when I bought I thought I was so lucky and vaguely had the feeling of getting away with something. Ha! The joke's on me! Well, luckily my stash contains a horn of plenty where yarn is concerned, so finding another worsted in a squint-and-the-color-looks-the-same kind of way wasn't a problem, thereby counteracting the bad yarn karma. Which means that maybe my yarn karma isn't that bad after all. So tell me, this incident has me wondering: what is your yarn karma like?