Thursday, January 11, 2007

Back to life, back to reality

Winter break is drawing to a close, and I am thrilled. Don't get me wrong, I love to slough off as much as the next person, but enough is enough. Back to work, people!

Perhaps one of the reasons that I'm not too upset about returning to work is that I feel that I have go
tten in a sufficient amount of knitting. I was able to finish irritating wips, do some yarn store browsing (and purcha$ing) , learn new techniques and begin new projects. I did it all, and now I'm ready for a break from my break!

One project I was able to begin was the very challenging, white knuckle knitting experience that is known as the
Endpaper Mitts.
Eunny Jang is an expert knitter, and her pattern shows it! I was fine until the 'increase in pattern' part sent me into major meltdown mode and straight to my LYS.

Luckily someone was there who has a lot of expertise in this area, and she was a huge help. I finished the first one earlier today and am getting ready to cast on for the second one. I did mine out of
Wool in the
Woods 'Cherub' (More than Mint and Red Red Wine) from my stash. One thing that greatly facilitated this project was the purchase of the Knit picks Chart Keeper, a magnetic chart holder that allows you to focus on one row at a time. Think of it as Ritalin in office supply form--just there to keep you focused and on task. It arrived while I was in the midst of the project and things sped up significantly when I began using it. For less than $10, this was totally worth it.

Pesky wip department: The little baby hat you see was originally meant to be a Swedish folk mitten....yeah, then I got real and decided that it would make a lovely baby doll hat! I mean, I'd like to think of myself as the type of person that has the patience to knit a Swedish folk mitten, but I'm just not there yet. This was one of my first small scale stranding projects, and you can see that the tension is a little wonky.

I managed to finish a hat for the elder kiddie winkie. I did this out of some Dale of Norway Falk Neon--love the insane saturated brilliance of the yarn in this line. No, your monitor is not playing tricks on you, that's the actual color of the yarn. This was a fun hat to make, but again, you see that the tension is still an issue...

I also finished the sweater for the youngest one. You might recall that she had requested a blue sweater with white snow flakes--well, here it is. I made it out of Kraemer Summit Hill, a perfectly versatile super wash wool that is economical, but, well, boring. There's nothing wring with this yarn, it's just, well, totally average. Give me the thrilling softness of Lorna's Laces any day over this humdrum stuff. But she loves her sweater, so I am happy. The body was a cinch to complete, but the sleeves, that's another story. I've decided that sleeves are the second sock of the sweater knitting world. They inspire dread and take f-o-r-e-v-e-r.

The decks are now sufficiently cleared for my next insane undertaking. Some of you guessed's the Knit Picks Palette Fair Isle Cardigan. Yes, apparently I am crazy, but I just can't resist giving this enticing project a whirl. I already know that I must be nuts because my first task is to cast on over 280 stitches of black yarn on size 2 needles. Yikes. Here's hoping that I have the stamina to finish this before Easter!


Prof. Knitwit said...

Congrats on getting in all of that knitting during break. I wish I felt the same as you about needing a break from the break though - I could do with another week or so! The completed projects are gorgeous!! I love the Mitts - they're just inspiring!!

Karen said...

You sure got a lot of impressive knitting done on your break! There is no doubt in my mind that you will do a wonderful job with the sweater too. I know the feeling of being ready to get back to the routine though. :) Enjoy the rut - it can feel so calming.

Anonymous said...

wowsa! you've been busy. So many great projects you've just finished. Your mitts and finished hats are amazing. I'm loven the neon one, and the snowflakes on your daughters sweater! Such lucky kiddo's! : )

Coley said...

wow those mitts are very nice. Eunny is amazing with her patterns!
Love the hats, they are toooo cute!!!!!

carrie said...

wow, that is quite the winter break knitting! and a whole lotta fair isle. i love the endpaper mitts, but i know myself and know that i'll never finish them. glad i found your blog!

Wendy DG said...

I still really love those fingerless mits.

Thank you for your Gator comment. We go to the "cocktail party" every year. I remember a few years back when we were supposed to beat Georgia by a mile, and we had to eat crow. It's a great rivalry. The SEC rocks! (And, UGGA is a great mascot!)

Bess said...

Lovely lovely knitting. And wet blocking (washing) stranded colorwork really does even out wonky stitches. So does wearing.

As for what TheKipFee is - well, I have always been able to talk to inanimate objects. Many times they talk back! See my March 2003 archives to see how Flidas tortured me till I finished her! Sadly she abandoned me somewhere, although she would say I carelessly left her someplace. I only hope whoever found her appreciates her. I do name all my projects and pray that that is the only anthropomorphizing that takes place. So far, TheKipFee has remained docile but I’m moving on up to the Dread Shoulder Area.

KipFee stands for KnItPickspalletteFairIsle sweater - with the I in Isle getting the continental pronunciation. She is The KipFee because she will not be a clunky drop shoulder sweater but will have fully fashioned sleeves. (said in a snooty fashion designer voice)

Gaaaa! Never ask TheChattyOne a question - she’s such a nice girl, if only she wouldn’t talk so much!

Good knitting.

Lone Knitter said...

Hey, you have so many FOs! I love the neon hat, but I've been known to love knitting with bright color. Really, it looks great. Your daughter looks so happy in her sweater.

PJ said...

You are amazing! Where do you find the time to get sooooo much done, and done beautifully. If you can get all that done on Christmas break, I can't wait to see what the summer brings. Hope you had a lovely birthday and that you took my rules and applied them as you shopped yourself silly. I put the Wallaby pattern in the post on Friday, it should be at your offce early this week.

schrodinger said...

The mitts are lovely, I'm getting very tempted to try my hand at those....

You've been so busy, I'm very impressed.

KnitPastis said...

You really did get alot done! I wished I could knit everything I wanted to so quickly:) can you believe I have yet to incorporate two colors together! Yep, too chicken right now.LOL
I am admiring your colorwork on these mits and hats. WOW!

JulieFrick said...

Ah, thanks for the reminder about those chart thingies. I think that would have been a big help with my hat project, and the endpaper mitts are close by in the queue!

sms aizdevums said...

perfect ornoment for xmas tree :))