Archive for the ‘Gift knitting’ Category


Christmas Story

December 26, 2007

I decided to make sweaters for the two new babies in my family this year. The first was for the older boy, but I finished it so early that I gave it to him way before Christmas so he’d get some time in it before it no longer fit. The baby girl was originally getting a BSJ, but right before I sewed it up, I saw that there was no way it would fit her. So with very little time left, I decided to work up the two-needle baby sweater from Knitter Almanac. I’ve seen so many pretty versions of it that I just knew it would look great….then i got distracted and had only a month left…then I completely messed up the gague and had to start from scratch. Then I only had 4 days left…



This is a sweater that I am truly proud of. I followed an EZ pattern, understanding why what was written was there, understanding why I was increasing to this number of stitches and what she meant by “work back and forth.” The directions are like one paragraph long and I used them to make a pretty baby sweater! I rule!

And it was even more special because I feel like my family really understood the kind of time and effort that went in to it. They were passing it around and squishing the fabric and insisting that it must have taken more than four days (it really didn’t! I just stayed up really late, did nothing but knit, and was sewing the buttons on that morning).  And even better, I know the baby’ll look adorable in it. It’s a good shade of lavander for her eyes.

What’s more, it fits. Icing on the cake.


Like the wind

December 7, 2007

Wow. One evening in front of the TV can do marvelous things for one’s project load.

Hanukkah started this past week so I know I need to have Jason’s hat done soon. I started the Marsan Watchapfor him a almost a week ago, but the monotony of the twisted rib just wasn’t holding my attention. All I wanted to do was make the pretty socks out of my pretty Prisoner of Azkaban sock yarn. I decided to make a toe up sock with a simple knit-purl pattern on the instep (I wear jeans so no one would have ever seen the side details on Carrie’s pattern, and the super cute sole designs would have driven me up a wall). I really liked the idea behind the Foxglove sock architecture (I know I said I wasn’t gonna try any more New pathways for awhile but…well I guess I lied), and the fountain design really caught my eye. So I sized up my feet and came up with a really great looking, great fitting sock. That’s the part you see in the picture.

 And then I tried to turn the heel. Disaster and failarity ensued. The thing still goes on  a foot, but frankly I think I can fix my mistake and make it look right if I could only make myself rip back. Gotta thread in a lifeline and get back to before I totally mucked up the heel. I still like the pattern and the yarn is GORGEOUS, but this heel is unacceptable. I want these socks to look right, damnit!

So since I’m building up the courage to do all the ripping back on the sock, I needed something little to occupy my hands. Welcome back Marsan Watchcap.  I don’t know why I was so bad about working on this. The pattern makes a handsome hat, and Mission Falls wool is quickly becoming my go-to yarn for hats. It comes in a bazillion colors, it’s superwash, warm, soft, and holds up well in the face of near constant use (just ask my Glaistig hat). It was great to just have one simple stitch pattern to work on while cozied up under a blanket (the Clashtastic Log-Cabin LIVES!) and a whole bunch of DVR’d Mythbusters and that Tin Man miniseries that they had on Sci-Fi (not nearly as good or bad as I thought it would be. Entertaining story, moved along at a good pace, and appropriate acting from everyone but Zooey Deschanel. Seriously, I know she can act but she was very clearly NOT happy to be there and it showed). Now I’m about ready to do the crown decreases. With any luck I’ll have this done next week.


Aw hell

November 28, 2007

I know that I actually need to knit for gift purposes. I know this. I don’t need to be reminded. But honestly, since I have to basically start from scratch on a personal statement for this year’s round of law school applications, I haven’t had all the time in the world for it…also two of the gifts I’m working on are black ribbed objects that are way too similar for my puny human brain. Mike’s Prime Rib scarf is taking forever. I still like the stitch but seriously 2.5 skeins in how is this thing not *done* already? It’s like that Mitch Hedberg pancake joke: “exciting at first, but by the end you’re f*&^ing sick of them.”

I started the February Baby Sweater too and as cute as it’s gonna be…would it have KILLED EZ to warn us about the button holes while still on the yolk? I know her patterns are more interactive and ask you to…like…*think* about what you’re knitting but still. Now the buttons are gonna start after the yolk, but honestly I think it won’t look too too too stupid, and since this is the second time I’m trying to knit something for the kid it’s gonna have to just be good enough.

Once I cannibalize the yarn from the BSJ I’m sure I’ll have enough left over to make a little hat to go with it…and then I can also make one for Matthew. Oh! Speaking of whom, I got an email from his mom the other day who says they actually *use* the Trellis I made him! I don’t know if that’s actually true or not (I like to think it is but I’m not vain), but it makes me feel better that all that work was not, in fact, for nothing. I like making gifts, but it makes me so nervous, ya know?

Fact is I do most of my knitting for myself. Like…I don’t want to inflict a handmade object on someone who then has to pretend to like it. But knitting things for myself is always fun. Especially hats. And on that note, I plan on picking up a couple of Ysolda patterns, specifically Gretel and Estella. I’m kinda digging these really slouchy hats. They look pretty good with my hair (which I’ve decided to keep long), and don’t give me horrible hat head. I’m especially excited about Gretel, which from the ravelry pictures seems to always look awesome…

Not that I have time for that with all the gift knitting…

AND! I was tagged with a meme a little while ago but never got around to posting the reply. Sorry, Jody 😦 I’m catching up now.

The Rules:

    Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.

  1. Share seven random and or weird things about yourself.
  2. Tag seven random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
  3. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Seven Random Facts:

  1. I have a bit of an obsession with my hair. Well…maybe not so much an obsession as a preoccupation. No matter how bad it misbehaves I still love it and try to make it look the best it can every day…if I don’t…the bad things happen. 
  2. I speak Spanish nearly fluently, can speak a bit of French and Italian, and know the Arabic alphabet.
  3. I typically drink my coffee diesel (black, no cream or sugar), but prefer tea with milk and lots of sugar.
  4. I spent a semester of college in Granada, Spain to improve my Spanish. I now speak with the Spanish equivalent of a Georgia drawl. 
  5. I have a level 70 character on World of Warcraft, which I play casually.
  6. I am an only child.
  7. I had a dog named Sandy since I was about 4 years old. She died two years ago. I still miss her.

Sadly, I don’t really know too many bloggers, so I can only tag two:

   and Marie


Now that’s more like it

October 31, 2007

The little sojourn in to sewing did good things for me. Now I’m back to knitting happily and making things that I think are coming out nice.

First off, I am so super proud of the second Monkey sock I made. I wanted to try and make a full pair of socks before the end of Socktober…and I won!

Three days of solid Monkey only work. When knit in the proper gauge, Lorna’s Laces feels great. Too tight and it’s like leather on your feet, but this is just right for me. Size 2’s are pretty much my magic needle for sock gauge. So much so, in fact, that I didn’t feel any buyer’s remorse over picking up two small circulars in size 2.

Knitting socks on circular needles is really…different. I got so used to all the stop and start of DPNs that I’m getting a little lost on these circs. It’s faster, no doubt about it, and I think I’m really getting the hang of it. Not that I picked a great pattern to try this brand new technique out on.

Here are the second Potters Covers socks so far. The toe up thing has been pretty fun, and the Coriolis shaping is nifty…but confusing. I’m getting a bit nervous about how long these are going to be. The pattern looks perfect for my foot length, but I’m worried I messed something off and I’m not increasing at the right rate or something. That being said, the snakey cable going around the gusset is really entertaining to me. I’m thinking about jazzing it up a bit once I get to the leg (adding some extra twists, things like that).

I’m also still working on Christmas gifts. I have three rows left on the BSJ that I can’t seem to make myself do. It’s three freaking rows! Not that hard! But I’m being all weird about it because once I bind off, I need to learn applied i-cord…::shudder:: Maybe I should have saved the breaking of new ground for a non-gift project…probably won’t fit the kid by now, anyway…. But the other gift I started is wonderfully easy, and also comes courtesy of EZ. My cousin Mike asked for a black scarf for Christmas. I don’t think he was serious, but I said “sure” and I meant it. I gotta say that the Prime Rib stitch is like magic. It even made the rather limp Paton’s Shetland Chunky I’m using feel thick and full, plus it’s a fun stitch to do. I kinda want a scarf for myself in this stitch. Maybe I’ll use up some of my noro to make a stripe scarf in this stitch. Mindless enough to go quickly, but still looks pretty cool.

Lastly, I’m back in love with Odessa. Sure, I messed up on the beads a bit, but effect of the hat is still intact. This picture does not do the color justice. It’s more of an icey blue, and with the little pearl beads (huge pack of them cheap at Michael’s) I think it looks great. The RYC Cashsoft is so nice, too…

Knitting is fun again!



September 24, 2007

I apparently develop super-completion-powers when I get sick.

I’ve been sick with some kind of flu/cold bug since Saturday and the fog that comes with it has made me want to sit back and finish the things that are already on my needles so I can start some fresh projects. First thing  was the last bit of sewing on my Festival Print skirt. All I had to do was finish up the hem by Saturday and I’m pretty sure I actually got the hem straight.

 This last one’s a little blurry, but it shows the length.

And if we’re talking about things that need to get finished, Trellis was it. It had to go. It’s been causing me so much worry that I needed to at least be able to say “Well that’s over.” So I sewed it up, finished the collar, then proceeded to try and block it. It wasn’t a pretty sight. Used all of my T-Pins and the tiny cardigan looked like it was auditioning for the Hellraiser remake. If anyone ever makes a “lolknitting” site I’d like to suggest a caption for this pic:

“O hai. U needz moar T-pins”

It’s just the flash on that photo that make it look like the cables aren’t even there. There’s a better photo on my flickr. But now that this isn’t using up a 7 circular, I can swatch for the Back to School U-Neck vest.

Then I wanted to start my first sock club socks, but I had to make sure those size 2 dpns were going to be free…Well to do that I clearly had to finish that second Endpaper Mitt in one night. After all, it simply wouldn’t do to start the socks only to realize I needed those smaller needles to do the ribbing for the top of the Endpapers! So the Endpaper Mitts are done. I absolutely loved this project. It’s quick, easy to follow, and has some really great new techniques to learn (the tubular cast on is my new best friend). It also gives you plenty of confidence when it comes to color-work, which I’d never done before. It was a project way out of my comfort zone and I had fun with every part of it. So if anyone out there is looking for a way to get in to stranded knitting but doesn’t know where to start, I highly recommend the Endpapers.

Lastly, I think as a reward for making something cute for a family member, Mommy took me out to the yarn store in Montclair and I got some gorgeous Rowan Felted Tweed in a super pretty red for a sweater vest that I’ll probably think up off the top of my head, and some Lorna’s Laces in a colorway that I think is called “Gold Hill.” It’s a beautiful fall color variegated that I think I have just the pattern for…but first, my super cool awesome Harry Potter colorway 🙂


Good intentions

September 16, 2007

I really should have listened. My Mother said that the Trellis looked too small…Melissa from Inner Child Crochet said to listen to advice like that… Even my friend who doesn’t knit pointed out that the sweater seemed to be scrunching in on itself.

 And yet, like Homer Simpson defending the edability of his airborn roast pig, I kept assuring people “It’s still good! It’s still good!”

It’s not good. There’s no way it’s gonna fit a one year old boy, which is how old the intended receipient would be by Christmas. I’m not even sure it would fit him now. I’m only one sleeve away from finishing the different pieces, so it’s way too late to turn back now. It *will,* however, fit little Ryan, who will only be 6 months by then…but I was already making her the Baby Suprise Jacket. So she’s gonna get two sweaters? Oh man. That means I have to really pull out all the stops for the *new* sweater I knit for Matthew. Maybe I’ll make him a sweater and a Sheldon. Toys are pretty awesome.

Between this crushing knitting defeat and the fact that I haven’t actually completed anything in what feels like months, I’m in a pretty bad funk as far as knitting. All I worked on yesterday was my Log Cabin Blanket, but knitting a blanket is sort of the unfufilling in that kind of “endless project sort of way.” I’ve also got a nasty headache and had a big letdown yesterday when  a family meeting decided that we were not ready to get another dog, no matter how precious the beagle/coon hound mix puppies my mom and I saw at the adoption drive were. Bad weekend.

I’m gonna cast on for that second Endpaper Mitt and grab a beer. I’m so done.

 UPDATE: I had no beer and ended up with the wrong amount of stitches after doing the entire cuff. Had to frog. Yesterday was not a good day for knitting.


These aren’t even my kids…

September 14, 2007

Trellis is creeping toward completion. I’m a few inches away from finishing the first sleeve, and then I get the pleasure of making another one…and then I get to graft everything together…and then I get to pick up the collar stitches…and then I give it to the family and the little guy might wear it once before it stops fitting him. Maybe knitting for babies will be more rewarding when it’s my own kids but man alive I’m losing my willpower to finish off this sweater.

For the other little one I’m making a Baby Suprise Jacket. This one’s been a much more pleasent experience since I can stripe are will, am using very soft smooshy yarn, it’s just garter stitch, and it’s the kind of design that the baby can get quite a bit of use out of as she grows in to it. This’ll also be my first time following an EZ pattern. I’ve got a bunch of her books and use the techniques and tips she provides (I *love* the sewn bind off), but I’ve never quite gotten up to making a project from one of her books. Once I get past all the Christmas knitting and the pre-made sweater patterns I want to do (hoping to get the yarn for the Fitten Knits Cozy V-Neck Pullover soon), I’m gonna try an EPS sweater with that pretty fair isle yolk from Opinionated Knitter…

…this is of course assuming that I ever finish my Christmas knitting. Haven’t started on the scarf, the mittens, or all those hats…so.many.hats…

In personal knitting news, one Endpaper Mitt is done! Yay! Colorwork is so much fun! And these look so cool! I want to start on the second one right away, but I’m barganing with myself that I need to at least finish one Trellis sleeve before I get distracted again. This is how I roll, making personal bargins with myself: working hard on one thing before I can do something fun. Hey. Got me within spitting distance of graduating with honors from University (3.48 cumulative gpa…I coulda died right there in the mailroom when I got that last report card but that’s a story for a different blog)