Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Babies, babies, babies!

Babies are popping up all around. My oldest daughter's uncle and his wife are having their second baby next month. I haven't seen them lately, though E has, and she wanted to give them a little something. Not knowing if they're having a boy or a girl, I thought a pumpkin hat would be ideal for a fall baby.

The hat was so cute (and I had so much green yarn left over) that I thought matching booties would be nice. Above is the first, frogged attempt. It was too big, too green, and too floppy. The leaves didn't pop the way I would like. And it looked too boyish to me.

These ankle strap booties were perfect. And they turned out so cute! Plus, the two of them just barely used all the yarn from the one frogged leaf bootie.

A's Bitty Baby is a very compliant model, but not very expressive, and too small for the newborn clothes. :p

My younger brother B and his wife are expecting after a very long wait! This is going to be a very long 9 months. If anyone can spare a positive thought for a smooth pregnancy, that would be fantastic.

A friend from my knitting group is waiting on a call about a foster-to-adopt baby. I know I'm thinking lots of good thoughts for her.

I guess my baby knitting can continue unabated. But right now, the turquoise bamboo sweater is demanding attention. :)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

In a funk.

I promise, this will be the only whining you will hear from me for a good long time. I am in a funk! A knitting funk! A house funk! Just a funk!

I blame the fact that almost all my fun stuff is packed and there is no moving date in sight. I'm also feeling a little lost about my kids' schooling. We're just in waiting mode. Our curriculum should be coming any minute, and as soon as we get going with that, I'm sure there will be no time for self-pity! Plus, the big girls' choir starts back up tomorrow. That will be good.

So, about the knitting funk . . .
You may have noticed I was on a sock kick. I started some Monkey Socks and promptly stalled out on my sock kick. I went down a little too far on needle sizes (to a 0, when a 1 would have done it.) And now the ankle is uncomfortably tight. I thought about frogging. Then I thought about my three daughters. Surely one of them will fit these and like them, right? My oldest daughter has feet bigger than mine. Um, never mind her. My second daughter wears pink constantly. These socks are a deep teal color. But she tried them. She likes them. They are hers. Sock one was finished yesterday. Sock two has been started.

This means I will have to make three more pairs of socks for the other three children shortly. Did I mention the oldest has bigger feet than mine? Why do they all keep growing? Oh yeah, I keep feeding them.

Knitting funk item two: Mystery Stole 3.
I started all gung-ho. I caught up in time for Clue four to be released. Then I stalled. Clue five soon appeared. A WING?! WTH?! A wing . . .

Turns out the wing is very pretty. And now there are many pictures on Ravelry and out on blogland showing how lovely it looks while being worn. But I still don't think it's for me. The hubby helped me decide I should just frog it. But I didn't. I'm still thinking about making it symmetrical. Then I start thinking about how much I love other stoles and shawls I could be knitting instead. Then I think about how much I love the beginning of this one, and the beads. Then I think about having a Diet Coke or working out or mowing the yard, or anything to stop obsessing about this silly stole!

What do I find to distract me? Secret of the Stole. I joined. And I claim to be a fast learner. Ha.

Knitting Issue #3 (Not really a funk.): Tangled Yoke Cardigan
I have the Fall Interweave Knits. I have yarn. (Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, yuuuuuuummmmmm.) I decide to swatch. (A true sign of dedication on my part. I usually just start knitting and then frog if the gauge is too wrong. Maybe I am learning.) I discover my size 5 Knitpicks Options tips are currently in a sweater-in-progress that has been packed. I have about half a back done on said sweater. I decide to open the box it is in (amazingly easy to locate and clearly labeled) and frog the sweater I haven't touched in months. As soon as I get it out, I just want to knit it! The yarn (bamboo) is lovely and soft, with a nice sheen. The braid-like cables have just the right amount of definition. The blue will look lovely with my eyes.

So, for the past hour, I have been knitting the blue sweater and listening to Tristan and Isolde on Craftlit.

Funk averted? Sorry, Tangled Yoke. You may have to wait for this sweater to be done first. Curriculum should be here any day. Think I can knit and teach at the same time? ;)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

This is the blanket that doesn't end . . .

It just goes on and on my friend.

It's lovely, it's colorful, it's soft, it's neverending! I used to take it to things like KIP with me because I knew I could talk endlessly and still be able to knit this without messing up. It's a garter-stitch log cabin blanket, for heaven's sake. But, it is now rather large, and much too warm to be carrying around in the 100 degree heat.
I rented Apocalypto. I have 2 strips left on each side, and a border (which is going to be equivalent to half a strip on each side, all in the same color.) I figure the movie is long enough that I can get a lot done. And reading subtitles will distract me from the boredom of endless garter stitch. (Yes, I can knit garter stitch without looking.)

Here are some knot booties from 50 Baby Bootees to Knit by Zoe Mellor. You may recognize the yarn as being leftovers from the bee stripe socks. (Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock.) They are soft, and so cute! They sill be adorable on little baby feet.

Typing kind of hurts. The skin right next to my pinky fingernail on my left hand has decided to pull away from the nail, and it hurts. (Duh.) When I type, the side of the finger seems to get a fair bit of pressure. Owie.

In other news, I'm homeschooling all four of my kids this year. I'm excited and scared and thrilled. This was both a snap decision and a long time coming. I'd been considering it for over a year, but since we were moving to another school district, I wasn't going to do it. Then, we didn't move. (House is still on the market, BTW.) I decided right away that I would homeschool my oldest. As I did more research, I thought that homeschooling would really benefit all of my kids, each in their own way.

We're enrolled through a virtual school, using the K12 curriculum. Since we were a little late getting started in our planning, we're still waiting on curriculum, but it should be here in the next week or so. We'll start school within the week after it arrives. In a selfish way, I'm almost afraid that I'll love this too much and it will take a very long time to get my own time back. But, in every other way, I feel great about it. I love setting our schedule, spending more time with the kids in a productive way, having more options in how to live our life. I feel a huge sense of responsibility to my kids, to make sure that they learn what they should and grow up to be responsible, productive, happy adults. What could be a better use of my time than that?

So, we'll do it for this year and re-evaluate at the end of the year to make sure everyone is thriving and that it still works for us. This is going to be a great adventure!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Bee Stripe Socks

Knit with Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in the Bee Stripe colorway. Picot edge, 64 stitches, short-row heel, wedge toe. I am reminded that I don't really like the way short -row heels feels on my foot. Too shallow. But I didn't like the look of a flap heel with the bee stripe yarn. (Yes, one of these socks had part of another heel knitted before I changed to the short-row.)

I really like them! Some people thought they might be Wichita State University socks. Since that's where I earned my college degree, I suppose that would work, too.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Tired of socks? How about babies?

I have a bit of baby knitting fever. No more babies here, but my brother and sister-in-law are hopefully going to be pregnant any minute. We should know in the next week if their medical intervention has paid off. My friend J says I'm engaging in "wishful knitting." I think she's right. My oldest daugther's uncle and his wife are having their second child next month, so I think we'll knit them a little something, too. I think a pumpkin hat will be good for a fall baby.

Can you tell what that is in the picture above? It's a Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann. It's a genius bit of knitting geometry and origami. Doesn't look like much there does it?

How about here? You just fold it and sew a seam across the tops of the arms. I chose to do one row of single crochet around the neck, too, to make it look a bit more polished. I still need to add buttons. The yarn is Cascade Sierra, a soft washable cotton and wool blend. It has a lot of spring to it. And it's very reasonably priced, too!

Of course, I couldn't just make a jacket. I made the "Olive You" hat from "Itty Bitty Hats" and some simple slipper booties from "50 Baby Bootees to Knit". I made my 5 month old nephew try the hat and jacket on to check my sizing, and they looked SO CUTE! No pictures of that, though. We took them off quickly since the temps around here have been hovering around 100 the last week or so. Even inside in the A/C, no one needs an extra layer.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Clessidra Socks

I LOVE these socks! They fit perfectly, the cables are gorgeous, and they were a lot of fun to knit.

What I think is really funny about them is that I went to Catholic Schools growing up, and while I generally liked the uniforms OK, I hated knee length navy blue socks. So what do I knit? Knee-length navy blue socks. Of course, the ones I had growing up weren't nearly this pretty.

These are knit from KnitPicks Gloss. It's not really a true navy blue, it's lighter and lovelier. I would heartily recommend this yarn for a variety of uses. It's soft, seems sturdy, and has a nice sheen without being too shiny. I kind of want to knit a sweater with it now. So pretty!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Hugs and Kisses socks

I cannot get a good picture of these! They have the cutest x and o cable running up the front. And the other cables look like a column of little hearts. The color of the yarn is great too, a heathered purpley-pink. But the yarn is scratchy. It's Reynolds Whiskey. I wouldn't have chosen it for socks if it hadn't come in this kit. It would make a lovely lightweight sweater to be worn over other garments (not against the skin.) They will be warm in the winter, as long as they don't make my feet itch. We'll see how they feel after they've had a good soak in some Eucalan.

Only one more pair of socks to go from the ones I finished during my blog break! But I've finished another pair since then. I think I'm officially a sock-a-holic. I love to knit lace shawls and all kinds of sweaters, too, but I feel like an addict in need of a hit if I don't have any socks on the needles.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Horcrux Socks

These were from the Six Sox KAL two patterns ago. Time flies! The name comes from Harry Potter's scar. The designer was surmising that she thought Harry's scar was a horcrux. Of course, now that the last book has come out, many of us know whether that was true or not. ;)

The pattern was really fun and fast to knit. Although, I'm not crazy about knitting ribbing down the whole foot of the sock.

The yarn is Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in the Misty Moor colorway. I liked how the colors matched the covers of the last couple Harry Potter books (before Deathly Hallows). This yarn is so soft! It's very apparent when you just sit there trying on socks and taking pictures for your blog all in a row. These were the softest socks by far. I'm concerned that it may pill, though. I finished these after it was warm out, so I haven't worn them all day yet.

My oldest daughter is trying to steal some of my other CTH sock yarn for herself. The stinker.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend

I love the picot edge on these socks. In fact, I'm knitting a plain old stockinette pair of socks right now and I decided to use the picot edge on those, too, instead of ribbing. It's very easy to do. The bumps are made by doing one row of YO, K2tog and then folding on that line.

These are made from Lang Jawoll sock yarn. I love this yarn! It's nice and soft, but still feels sturdy. Great solid colors, too (which can be hard to find). My new LYS, Twist, carries it, too!

I can see these socks making their way into my regular rotation in the winter. I'll have to buy a shirt that will go with them.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Breeze Socks

These are from the Summer 2007 Knitty. I knit mine with Rowan 4-ply cotton. I love the yarn! Soft, with a bit of a sheen, but not shiny.

I love the socks, too, they're so pretty! They have little cables on the heels and an interesting ribbed toe. I don't know if I will ever wear them, though. I don't wear socks in the summer unless I'm working out. These are not appropriate workout socks. I haven't worn them once.

They were a lot of fun to knit and very fast! I had them done in less than a day. I had to watch the measurements carefully while knitting. Their gauge and repeats in the pattern don't add up to the measurements they say. But, I usually knit socks by measurement anyway. My feet seem to be smaller than average.

Please ignore my bug-bitten ankles. Too much yard work, not enough bug repellant.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Entrelac knee socks!

I love the rhythm of "Entrelac Knee Socks." Say it three times fast!

I have no fewer than six completed pairs of socks that I haven't shown you in the time I've been away. I'm going to blog them one at a time. Perhaps by the time they're all posted I'll get over myself and show you some completed tops, too. I wear them all the time!

The entrelac socks pattern is in the spring 2007 issue of Interweave Knits. I knitted mine with KnitPicks Palette yarn. I didn't need nearly the amount I bought. I have enough leftover to make some interesting gloves or something. And then some. I don't think I would recommend it as sock yarn. It's spun too loose for a sock yarn, in my opinion, and it isn't very soft. It's not marketed as sock yarn, but it's the right weight and it was a bargain. I'm still glad I used it for these. I'll wear them when it's cold out, for sure!

For you Ravelers, here's a link to my project page on these.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Mystery Stole, part 3

I joined the Mystery Stole 3 KAL the week before it closed to new members. I thought I must be insane at the time, because I knew I wouldn't have time to knit it, especially since I was already a few parts behind. But, then all my moving plans fell through and my brain thought, "A little mystery lace would be a nice distraction about now." Luckily, when I packed up everything I owned (including all but a weeks' worth of clothes) my laceweight yarn was still accessible, in the top of a basket which is too large to further pack into a box. So I pulled out some black Elann Peruvian Baby Lace Merino, bought some silver lined clear glass beads at Hobby Lobby, and off I went!

Here it is thorough part three. Like my quick and dirty blocking job? I pinned it to the blanket on my bed with size 1 DPNs. Hee. I was trying to measure about how long it is so I can decide whether to lengthen the next part. It's currently 1/3 of the finished length, as written. Part five and the theme are to be revealed tomorrow. I'm only one part behind. Not bad for just starting a little less than two weeks ago. I'm finding that the "deadline" of a new part coming out is spurring me on to knit this faster than I typically do with lace. I won't have part four done in time, but I will be close.

(Like my bee tape measure? It's made by Lantern moon. I have wanted one for a long time, but when I was ordering some yarn and the cost of the tape measure would put me over the free shipping amount . . . Well, how could I resist? It would have been wasteful to pay for shipping when I could just buy a tape measure instead, right?)