Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I Drool Black and Gold

Dear Elizabeth Zimmermann, forgive me, for I have cast on.

It had been fifteen days since my last cast-on.

But a baby has been born, and he's so cute. I just want to knit him ponies and such, but I figured some black and gold bibs are a good beginning for a Pittsburgh Baby.  These are based on the basic Mason-Dixon Baby Bib O' Love. The striped bib uses the slip stitch pattern from the Baby Genius Burp Cloth. The color block bib uses the same log-cabin-ing idea found on the Purl Bee blog's Log Cabin Washcloths. I restrained myself and knit only two.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Singing My Leg Song

Last fall I cast on for my first ever toe-up sock, the Discovery Sock from Cat Bordhi's Personal Footprints for Insouciant Sock Knitters. The method is intriguing: in a nutshell, to make a sock for yourself, you make a cardboard tracing of your foot. The measurements and stitch counts you record on that foot serve as your pattern after after for that particular yarn and needle size. Essentially, you knit a tube for your foot and cut into the ankle line to create an "afterthought leg."

I cast on my toe stitches and increased to the number that fit over my toenails comfortably.

Then I tried on the sock as I knit and increased sole stitches whenever the sock felt tight. When I got to the ankle bone -- or the leg line as Cat Bordhi calls it -- I threaded two lifelines in and started on the heel decreases.

Then OMG, with moral support from Yvonne, we put the lifeline stitches back on the circular needles and cut and unraveled the stitches in between, leaving an opening for the leg.

It fits!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Halfway through...and feeling twitchy

I stopped casting on sometime in the last week of March, with a quick break to cast on one final Malabrigo March project on March 31, the Little Girl's Shrug from Knitting Pure and Simple. I had a good portion of a skein of Pollen left over after Frankie's "Lellow Hat," and I used some Lettuce for the trim.

I finished my second pair of Ampersands, which is such a simple and fun pattern that it almost felt like cheating on the "cleaning" aspect of this project. These are in Socks that Rock Mediumweight in Vine Maple.

However, remember in the Little House books, when Ma and Pa took Mary to the School for the Blind and Laura and Carrie decided to do the fall cleaning? And they made it look so much worse before it got any better? Going through knitting projects is kind of like that. I dug out my "Discovery Socks" from the new-ish Cat Bordhi book. I threaded my lifelines and am about to do the heel decreases and then I have to CUT MY KNITTING. If that isn't the equivalent of Grace spilling the stove blacking, I don't know what is. 

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Just because I'm not acting like a crazed weasel...

...doesn't mean I'm not thinking like one. I may not be casting on, but I sure do have the itch to start new projects.

Yesterday my mother came in to Natural Stitches with The Preschooler in tow. (And to those who were in the store, I'm so sorry if you weren't amused by Steven and a small child playing KABOOM! in the chunky yarn section. They are apparently BFFs now.) She'd asked me last year for a small black shawl, but we both agreed that we didn't want to do it in a "flat" solid black color. We'd originally planned on Socks that Rock Rauen, but when she saw my finished Hederas, she thought the color was too brown. After much consultation, she chose Madeline Tosh Sock in Oxblood for a small Shetland Triangle. It's a Mother's Day present. Surely I can cast on for a Mother's Day present?

A few weeks ago, my mother, mother-in-law, and I went to Phipps Conservatory to see the Spring Flower Show, where I fell in love with this color.

I've been thinking about making a "Wandering the Moors" shawl in this gorgeous Road to China Light for awhile, and when we got in this new pink colorway, it seemed like the perfect match to the flowers that had been dancing in my mind. The sheen and halo of the fiber seems appropriately textured while the dusty pink acts as a homage to the early Victorian sensibilities of Jane Eyre. But I'm not going to cast on.  Nope.

Then just this week, we got this new color of Dream in Color Smooshy in. I have pink on the brain. But no, I won't cast on. 

Saturday, April 10, 2010

This is what happens when you don't cast on like a crazed weasel

Projects actually get finished. Note my use of the passive voice, like I have no control over the matter. But seriously, I have been hauling out some long-forgotten projects and getting them done and out of the way.

Thuja-eque Socks, in KnitPicks Risata.

  • Start Date: May 2008
  • Reason project was cast aside in disdain: Let's face it, the pattern is boring. I started them on KnitPicks Harmony circulars, which I just don't like anymore because they're too slow. They're Man Socks, so the foot is mind-numbingly long. 
  • Solution: Switch to Addi Circulars to speed up the project, despite risk of changing gauge. 

Hedera Socks, in Socks that Rock Mediumweight, Rauen colorway

  • Start Date: September 2008
  • Reason project was cast aside: Lace pattern in black yarn. Uncharted lace pattern in black yarn (for some reason, I can't do lace without a chart. I just can't make my mind work that way). Thicker mediumweight Socks that Rock on size 1 needles; these socks could walk away on their own. 
  • Solution: Just get on with it, already.

In other news, I am almost finished with the yoke on my Tappanzee Cardigan, which I hope to wear to Maryland Sheep and Wool this year. I have also applied the "just get on with it" approach to my Baby Moderne blanket, done in Dream in Color Smooshy. I finished two of the larger blocks and started the intarsia -- a completely new technique for me, so I am still Expanding My Comfort Zone. I will finish it. I will.

When I started this "Spring Cleaning" project, I had eleven WIPs on my Ravelry projects page. I now have eight!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Happy Easter!

Henry did some modeling of finished projects for me today.

Kirsten Kapur's Pembroke Vest, from the original issue of Petite Purls. The vest is made from Brown Sheep Superwash.

Henry also offered to model my Olatz Shawl, made for Malabrigo March in Malabrigo Worsted in Sealing Wax.

However, I think my mother did a more accurate modeling job.