Weekend recap, and forecast for the week ahead

It took me a while to get started on Saturday, but I finally settled down and seamed all the pieces together for Mom's Habu Vest.  Crazy how well that turned out.  I'll be sewing in ends today and crocheting the tie.  It would be nice to take the FO modelled shots with Mom on Wednesday!

Fiddlehead Pullover

High on success, I dove right in and set in the sleeves on Maddy's sweater -- and seamed it on Sunday.  On a roll, I sewed in the sleeves and seamed up the Fiddlehead Pullover!  The Fiddlehead needs only a crocheted neckline edge that incorporates four buttonholes and buttons; I am going to knit that edge because I've wasted too much precious time already with the hook.

Maddy's sweater will require a bit more thought, as the written finish (fringes and pocket flaps and more crochet) suits neither Maddy nor me; there will certainly be a collar, and I'm looking for my inspiration regarding the buttonband.

Fiddlehead neckline

The glaring mistake in placement of the neck opening was not actually glaring until it was all sewn up... I'm not turning back.

Knitting time (evenings) has been devoted to My Habu Sweater.  I am nearing the sleeve cuff, on the home stretch of the second front.  My ability to read the Japanese pattern didn't suffer much in the year or so since I knit the back, but my gauge sure has.  I think I'll be casting on immediately to reknit the back -- otherwise, I just know this thing is going to sit in an unfinished funk for another year.  Or more.  I just know it.  You do, too.

I am resigned to the fact that I'm probably not going to finish all of these sweaters by Sunday night, especially given that there will be no knitting at all on Saturday.

  • Mom's vest will be finished
  • Fiddlehead will be finished
  • Maddy's sweater (with requested wooden buttons) will be finished
  • My Habu sweater will likely be finished -- or very close
  • The fate of Coup d'Etat has pretty much been decided 
  • Seaming Oblique on Wednesday is the only way it has a prayer

I'm not letting up and still aiming for gold; I'll continue to give it my best and we'll see...


Of sweaters and quilts

On Friday night, I wore Williamsro to the art opening -- there are fiber artists in that cooperative, they hold the knitting in high esteem -- and yesterday, I wore Fibonacci to the quilt show.  I was a little warm yesterday and am both happy and sad that the days are numbered as far as the woolens are concerned.

Have I mentioned, by the way, how much happier I am with Williamsro since I ripped and re-knit the bottom (Noro Blossom) part of the body?  I had picked up too many stitches the first time -- it was okay at first, but then it began to stretch and I could even see it pulling the other part (Noro Cash Iroha) of the sweater out of shape.  What was once a rhetorical question ("Does this sweater make my butt look big?") was not so rhetorical anymore and I didn't like the answer.  I'm happy I didn't let that one sit for too long.

Fibonacci, having been knit entirely using left-overs from another sweater, seemed appropriate attire for Mary Lee Bendolph, Gee's Bend Quilts, and Beyond at The Paine Art Center in Oshkosh -- even if the colors are more fall-like than spring.  (It's been on my mind to knit another, in different colors, for the warm seasons -- maybe in cotton?)

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Alison met us (Mom and me) and then we all went to lunch afterwards.  Ali was really more interested in just lunch and could have foregone the quilts, but I made her see the show and I think she was amazed.  We all were.  I knew a little more what to expect, but Mom & Ali had no clue.

"Quilts," I'd say. "We're going to a quilt show, but they're different..."

It's so hard to describe these quilts and their design -- how free and fresh and inspiring and inspired and traditional and artistic and cutting-edge and colorful and resourceful and moving -- without sounding a little more than passionate -- without sounding a little nuts.  And I'm not even a quilter!  They make you passionate, indeed.  The show was quite busy and (not surprised) no cameras were allowed.  One word:  GO!  If you have the opportunity to see this show (or a variation), just go.

We toured the mansion, also (amazing), and there is a children's discovery area in the lower level.  It was so wonderful to see Gee's Bend-inspired quilt designs on the wall, very nicely done (fabric patches glued to paper) by some local 5th graders.  It was a big highlight of the show, for me -- fun to see the fabric of their lives -- lots of sports-minded prints, including the Packers, some Pokemon, lots of denim, but also some glitzy glittery fabrics.  There was one so definitely inspired by the Work Clothes quilts and very meticulously done so that all the frayed edges of the denim were exposed.

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The Paine is also known for their gardens.  This corkscrewy bush (for lack of knowing what it's really called) is right next to the museum entrance.  So intriguing.  There's nothing much blooming yet, except for some snowdrops, but the tulips and daffodils are promising -- soon!  Still, even at this stage, the gardens are beautiful.  I went on a stitcher's retreat to Colonial Williamsburg one December and was amazed at how beautiful the gardens were at the dormant time of year -- truly something to aspire to with my own gardens.  Right now, though, "Baby A" and I would just be happy to see sprouting peas.  Sweater details in the "Completed in 2007" sidebar photo album.


Objects in picture are larger than they appear

Dsc04931r_2If anyone has a real, actual baby at hand, could you measure the foot and send the pertinent info along to Norma before she goes stark, raving mad??

One thing I'll say about baby feet -- they will do nothing but grow.  I don't think you can go wrong knitting baby footwear just a smidge longer than you think they should be.  I knit three pairs of booties and one pair of socks for Mack.  One set of booties was never worn because they were too small right off the needles; the other two got some foot time, but it wasn't very long at all before they were outgrown, too.  The socks, also, were worn a couple of times, but should have been much longer to start with.  Such is the nature of baby knitting, I know, but I'd have liked to have seen a little more use from the items I made -- and I could have.

What you see before you are skinny, one-week-old baby feet, but one should probably keep in mind that most baby feet get bigger around as well as longer -- some baby feet got a LOT bigger around!  Perhaps some of the extra, seemingly outrageous length called for in a baby sock pattern, might actually be to compensate for a growing circumference.  I have not done any sort of scientific calculating, but I'm willing to bet that baby foot proportions, in relation to each other -- insert some sort of mathematical equation here {length:circumference [<age x weight] + gauge = astrological sign} (what was the question?) -- can be quite a bit different than an adult's or even a child's.  ; )

Happy weekend, all.


Dsc06894Dsc06921Mack came to visit this weekend (that's him -- incognito -- almost 10 months old!) and was my motivation to finish Spherey's arms and legs, making it so much easier to grab and hold onto now.  ; )  I think Spherey's adorable -- I dare you not to smile back at that face!  (Mack's adorable, too.)

Next up is an Oddfellow or two (also from Jess Hutchison's book) for birthdays coming up later this month.  Um, well, one of them in a week... I'd better get to work on that... good thing he's a wee, odd fellow.

Dsc06947I made a little progress on Fibonacci. I don't know if I'll ever get a true color photograph -- the reds burn your retinas or the light green looks day-glo or something else is not quite right.  I admit to wondering sometimes if it isn't a little wild and crazy, but I've come up with a back-up plan, which I may implement at some point even if I like The Fib as-is.  Just because I can.  I have to finish it first, though...


Reflections in Yarn 2005

Dsc06229_1Mack's Wee Weasley is finished!  I sewed one shoulder seam just to the edge of the collar and left the collar open -- I think that will be enough extra ease so that it can be quickly slipped over his head and not cause too much distress.  A button and loop could be added, but I don't really think it's necessary.

Dsc06230_1I babysat for a while last night and talk about a baby in distress!  Oh, so sad!!  I think he had a little tummy ache and was tired -- it's hard work visiting during the holidays -- plus he's at that age where he's becoming more aware of his surroundings and Mama wasn't around!

So, there wasn't any Jaywalking last night -- not at all yesterday -- it was all Weasley!  I surprised Katie by going with her to Barnes & Noble at 9:00 -- I probably wouldn't have gone that late if I hadn't a gift card burning a hole in my pocket.  As it turned out, I browsed a little, had Sensational Knitted Socks in my hands, carried it around for a while, but eventually put it back and came home empty-handed.  I love that book, I love knitting socks, but I don't know if that's the best addition to my library right now.  Anyway, by the time we got home, I was pooped.

A timely, year-end meme.  Courtesy of Knit Once, Purl Forever.

1. List your finished objects, or just list your favorite FO.  I don't think I've finished a single thing this year that I/recipient don't/doesn't like.  I've tried to practice knitus interruptus; if I'm not feeling the love, I'm movin' on, baby.  Favorites?  St. Brigid, North Star Mittens, Kool-aid Baby Booties, Miss Dashwood, SOCKS!  Can you believe I'm knitting socks?

2. List your works in progress:  Rockin' Jaywalker Socks, Shirley Shrugs, Williamsro, Cromarty.

3. What skeletons are in your knitting basket?  Cromarty.  No question.  Oh, I think there's an almost-finished Sonnet and a top in mercerized cotton that needs only attention to the neckline -- those are really stinky.  I think I started a Flower Basket Shawl once, too, that's just sitting there.

4. What's your favorite project? Yes, I'll say it.  Socks.  I love making the socks (mostly because I love wearing them even more).

5. What project(s) will you never knit again?  Can't think of anything I disliked that much; have been falling out of love with cotton knitting...

6. What was your major knitting accomplishment for the last year?  Has to be finishing St. Brigid -- my first Aran.

7. What's your favorite yarn from the last year?  I knit with some great, new-to-me yarns last year; I'm not playing favorites.  Oh, but if you're going to twist my arm, that Noro Cash Iroha is pretty nice...

8. What's your favorite yarn overall?  Ditto.

9. What new knitting techniques have you learned?  Cabling without a needle.

10. What are your knitting goals for 2006?  I'd like to finish Williamsro by the one-year quit anniversary in March, and I need to finish Shirley Shrugs.  I must knit Latvian mittens.  I've joined the Crossed In Translation knit-along, so there's that (and it's a beauty), and there's a simple shawl or two in the line-up (Better Pal gift alpaca in mind for sure), as well as more socks (I owe DH a pair for his birthday).  I need to think about and refine this list -- I'm sure there will be some baby things, and I'd like to concentrate on working some stash.


The lovely Miss

Dashwood7It's very pretty, but it isn't the same without an adorable model.  Miss Dashwood was still drying out last night after her soak.  I used one of my sister's bowls for blocking the crown (it was perfect!), but it was still damp so I unpinned it and left it to dry overnight.  I quickly sewed it together this morning -- I haven't woven in the ends and I'm prepared to move the earflaps, and I haven't bought or sewn in the buttons, and I'm not sure I have the earflap/tie placement correct.  The hat really softened up with the washing -- I was a little worried about how stiff it was before.

Miss Dashwood, pattern from Knitty, 3-6 month size

Blue Sky Alpaca Worsted Hand Dyes, 50% alpaca, 50% merino, color 2007

US 6 circular and double-pointed needles

Started February 25th.  Completed (tentative earflaps) March 2nd.

This was very fun to knit and would make a fabulous baby gift!  I had done a knitted cast-on before, but not a picot edge -- what a gorgeous detail for a baby girl's hat!  The decreases before the bobble row, looking kind of like pleats, is another beautiful detail.  And the bobbles, while I really hate making them, just make the hat!  I got around the horrible bobble chore by slipping the stitches off the needle and pulling the yarn through with a crochet hook to make the stitch.  I employed that method wherever more than two stitches needed to be worked together; I knit much tighter on circs and DPNs than I do on straights.  It's just a beautiful hat and a very nice pattern.  Five stars!

I had to break into a second hank of yarn to do the earflaps and ties -- the hat itself took approximately 100 yards.  Your mileage may vary!  I'm hoping to get a pair of matching baby mitts out of the remainder.  I am seriously contemplating making another Miss Dashwood in a summery cotton and using ribbon for ties.

Goldie1Here's the start of Goldie for Ali.  The color is really very close to that of St. Brigid, which, yes, I was wearing yesterday*, minus the flecks of color in the Cascade 220.  The Zar One is lofty and springy and while this may look kind of small, it's all pretty stretchy.  I'm totally cabling without a needle on this baby -- very easy on such big needles!  Ali's eyes lit up when she realized what I was working on.

Speaking of Ali...  She hauled me out to the dreaded mall last night to look at (ack!) prom dresses.  We met a friend and her mother, went to three stores, and they tried on lots of dresses (teehee, I tried one on, too!).  Poofy, she wants poofy, but it seems the bigger the poof, the heftier the price.  Her favorite -- and I have to say that it was beautiful and she looked like a princess -- was expensive.  Owie, owie, owie!  I have a big, big problem with spending so much on a dress that's destined to be worn once.  Even if Maddy wore it in a few years -- and she probably won't because we all know that poofy won't be "in" then -- I still have a problem.  I agonized over this last year, too.  Prom is just over a month away, and she's still going to look around while I cross my fingers.

*I'm going someplace different today, so I'll be wearing St. Brigid again!  (In the "Afterglow" comments, Susan told me I could!  Thanks!)


Conehead

Tanguy1Isn't it the cutest thing?  It still needs a tassel, and I think that's going to really make this hat.  I do believe his will fit a newborn, and I think I'll make another in the toddler size and switch up the colors.

NorthstarrippedAfter getting the hat off the needles, I pulled out the offending RH mitten and ripped away -- first the thumb, then the hand.  It wasn't as difficult as I feared.  Today I'll get it back on the needles, figure out where I am, and carry on.  I've got more than half a mitten to do, but considering everything, I feel like I'm on the home stretch!  I'd like to finish these by Sunday so Katie can take them back to school with her.  After having her home for a month, it will be weird when she leaves.

Kate helped DH put boards up on the ceiling yesterday before she had to go to work.  They did about half of what needed to be done, and I'll help DH finish it off today.  The last board might be a little futzy, but that's King Futz & Putz's department.

Question.  I've seen this come up now and then over the past few months, but 'til now I really haven't had a problem.  Now, my bandwidth usage is soaring.  I have read the recommendations to rename picture files now and then; I haven't tried that yet, but think it means that I'll have to reinsert the picture file with the new name in the post.  Am I right?  That sounds time-consuming.  What do y'all do?


In the Land of Futz & Putz

Yep, step right up for your daily dose of lunacy!  Bonne Marie calls it "mitten mania" (isn't she kind!).  She linked me in her sidebar and she *hearts* me, she really *hearts* me!  I'll tell ya, it's better than a triple-chocolate brownie for breakfast.  It was while doing an internet search back in February or March for something knitting-related that I happened upon ChicKnits and what a treasure trove of information, inspiration and energy it was.  I sat bug-eyed at my computer for days and days and days.  Her site was my portal to the world of knitbloggers, too; prior to that, I had no idea that there was such a thing and only vague knowledge of blogs in general. I added her to my Favorites and she was my jumping-off point for a long time ('til I started my own blog, I guess).  I would have to say that, unbeknownst to her I'm sure, Bonne Marie is the #1 reason why I started blogging and why I look at my knitting so differently now -- the woman is fearless in everything she does (the way she cuts things up without even a tremble!) -- and shows everyone WHO's the BOSS:  You Are!

Northstarblocked_1I finished the thumb while watching the Eagles send the Vikings packing, then took Stephanie's advice and blocked it -- wet, no steam -- and it's still pinned out so I don't know the result.  I may have found a little extra length, but is it enough?  When I look at my fingers in relation to my thumb on my hand, and then look at the same on this picture, well, they're a lot different.  Results of the jury will be forthcoming tomorrow.  I didn't lose any sleep over it.

The little Tanguy hat is progressing -- the triangles and brim are finished and standing by on the needles to be joined with the hat.  The hat was cast on with an "invisible cast on," which I'd never done before, and I hope it's right; I followed directions from my Vogue Knitting reference book (the only book of three where I found directions).  I'm at the point where I'm making decreases every 3rd row, so it shouldn't be long.  This little thing may be small (I did not swatch), but it's so cute and quick that even if it fits a teddy bear, I'll be just fine.  I love the way it just sits there in Kate's picture and think it would make lovely decor, too.  I'm using lovely beaded stitch markers that Yvette sent me long ago -- finally something on small enough needles to use them.  They're very cute (thanks, Yvette!).

Kitjan16I had a hammer in my hand and nails in my pocket for a good part of the weekend.  This is where we were at game time (noon) yesterday.  If there was a Land of Futz and Putz, my dear husband would be king; he spent nearly the entire day on Saturday working on those little strips onto which we're nailing the beadboard -- cutting them "just so" in order to make the ceiling level, screwing them into the ceiling, putting in shims here and giving a shave there, and Good God, Let's Get On With It!!  The whole damn room and everything in it is off-kilter, but the ceiling will be level!  Anyway, we were more than half-way by the time we called it quits yesterday.  It's looking very fine -- and level.

In between construction and knitting, I finally hooked up our refurbished computer, installed a mouse with a cord on another (the wireless is great but very jumpy), did lots o' laundry, roasted a chicken, and watched a little football.  I didn't leave the house even once.  Too darn cold, for one thing!


Like my new mittens?

Tanguy

Faced with a case of Mitten Indecision, I did what any number of YOU would do, and "swatched" for a baby hat.  Kate's adorable Tanguy pattern, to be precise.  (Oh, and go look at her new shoes!)

I've received a number of very good suggestions about the mittens -- from frogging to blocking to using them as decoration.  Decor:  The decoration idea is familiarBlock:  I might be able to block the left-hand mitten, but that still leaves the right all funky and the thumb is just not right.  Frog:  How I feel about frogging depends on my mood -- sometimes I'm okay with it, let's frog 'em and start over, and sometimes I wonder just how much (or little) I'd have to frog.

Here's what I'm gonna do:  I'll try blocking the left-hand mitten to see if it shapes up.  There's no hope that the right-hand mitten would ever match with its misplaced and mistaken thumb. But if LH succumbs responds, I'll frog RH to the thumb, fix it, and carry on.  If LH does not bend to my will respond, I will rip it a little (maybe half-way or so), figure out how to artfully add the needed extra rows for length, and then rip/fix/re-do RH to match.

Then, I'll figure out what to do with the extra mitten yarn that I sent Kt to get yesterday.  It's wonderful having a daughter who is more than willing to make an emergency run to the LYS.  My cost for her services?  Two hanks of yarn from the sale bin.  Yeah.  And the yarn she brought me is a little different, anyway; I already wound it up, so it's mine in any case.

Meanwhile, the little hat swatch is adorable, no?  My baby sis with the growing bump is going to be 40 on the 23rd and wouldn't this be a cute little addition to her gift?  And then I realized mid-week that Mom's birthday is on the 31st!  When I asked her if there was anything on her wish list and she blew me away by saying that she's been looking at bed jackets!  She likes to read in bed, but doesn't like to take her arms out from under the covers because they get cold.  I said, "Huh, a person could knit one of those..."


Okey dokey, how 'bout some knitting

Northstar4Northstar5It's nearly a pair of North Star Mittens!  I ran out of gas at the point where the top shaping begins.  These will certainly be finished by the weekend.  I couldn't be more pleased with how the second mitten is turning out.  I'm knitting looser and, so far, it fits and feels so much better than the first.  I may end up re-knitting the right-hand mitt.

Northstarinside1Northstarinside2See how nice the inside looks?  In both pics, the first mitt is on the left and the second is on the right.  I'm much more consistent with how I'm carrying the yarn.  I like the inside or wrong side of things to look nice, too.  That's been drilled into my head since before I even took up needles of any kind.  My maternal grandmother died when I was in third grade and I don't have any memory of her actually doing handwork, but she did a LOT.  (According to my mom, she rarely finished any of it.  I finished one of her cross-stitch pillow tops long after she died, and it's a treasure.)  Anyway, at every opportunity, my mom would tell us that her mother always said that it's important to make the back look as neat as the front.  I imagine that great grandma was a stickler, too.  With those words rolling 'round in my head, you should see the back of some of my cross-stitch pieces!

Baby20ullK27s20hairMail call!  The whole family shrugged and said, "Oh, it's probably yarn from one of mom's knitting friends."  Right-O!  It was Baby Ull in yesterday's mail; my recent effort to help Jody with stash reduction.  The first thing that came to mind is "Tanguy," one of the cute-beyond-words patterns that I recently purchased from Kate.  I haven't checked to see if this yarn would actually work, but I'm hoping.  Can't you see it?

My very own Kate is having fun with her new short hair.  I'm working on replies, but I'd just like to thank you all again for your comments about her gift to Locks of Love and her cute new 'do.  I was surprised at how many people are growing their hair in order to do the same.  It's really a wonderful thing.