Monday, October 30, 2006

It's Official

I am making it public record that I now have too many projects started and it will be well into 2007 before I finish them. I finished the felted mittens, and am finishing the second Nasturtium sock. Then I started the blue top-down sweater—the one that used to be Debbie Bliss’ Classic Jacket until it morphed into a top-down sweater while sleeping in my knitting basket. Then I decided that I need at least two more pair of warm, worsted wool socks for winter, because my feet are already cold. So, I cast on for the socks with Paton’s Classic Wool in olive. Before I could count all the projects and "get a grip," I was bitten by the hat bug again and started another one with a 50% soy yarn called Wick. AND I am still working on DD’s Buttercreme Shawl. Now I am jumping from one thing to another, hoping I will eventually decide that one of them is a priority.

Do you ever flit from one project to another? I know knitters who knit one thing at a time and stick with it until finished. I have fallen asleep in the middle of projects like that! I guess I am easily bored, so the jumping and flitting keeps me awake, and makes knitting interesting. I do like to finish things, but I also like variety. I have decided that I am going to knit two socks at a time from now on. I don’t use circs or magic loop, so I will have to have two sets of dpns going at once. The way I have it figured, I will knit the ribbing on both, then the leg on both, then the heel—and so on.

The worsted wool socks are my old standby pattern of cast on 48 stitches, knit four inches of K4, P2 ribbing, then start the heel. I add a second color to the toe with lace or fingering weight yarn, to both reinforce and add contrast. I think I will use yellow on the olive socks. The blue sweater is a standard top-down pattern that I am making up as I go along. I will do a sketch and write down the pattern as I knit, so I can share later.

When I think about it—what could be better than having too many knitting projects? It means that I’m going to have to spend a lot of time knitting, and less time on other, not so pleasant things. Life is good!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Felted Warmth For Christmas

This is one humongous mitten in its present state, but it is going to be felted as soon as its partner is finished. These are a Christmas present for a family member who shall go unnamed because my family reads my blog. Pretty-felted-periwinkle-mittens. Go guess, all of you, until Christmas. These are another of my knit-in-an-afternoon projects. I seem to be caught in a cycle that is productive, but leaves longer projects like my socks and sweater projects unattended. Good or bad—I don’t know. It does, however, get Christmas knitting started with a bang!

Ahhhh Christmas knitting, or Christmas shopping of any kind. Is there anything in the whole world that is more fun and more of a pain at the same time? I certainly have a love/hate relationship with the planning and buying of Christmas gifts. Does it ever seem to you that the thing you want to buy for a certain person, that thing that you know is perfect, and that special person MUST have, is never received with the same enthusiasm with which it was chosen? I confess that I am a failure—a total flop at buying gifts. They say (you know, the infamous “they”), that you should choose the thing you want to give the other person, and it will be perfect. I don’t think it works that way—at least it doesn’t for me. Therefore, I have to set about ferreting out what the person really wants of Christmas.

“Honey, what do you want for Christmas.”
“Oh, I don’t know. Just anything.”
“Surely there is something special you want.”
“Uhhh, I can’t think of anything right now.”
“Will you tell me when you think of something?”
“Oh sure! If I think of something I will.”

They never do! I’m doomed to failure for another year. But Christmas is wonderful anyway, and life is good.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Warm Heart

I don’t know about the warm heart part, but my hands are always cold. I have a drawer full of fingerless mitts, mittens, and gloves. Muffs are next—right after I finish this oh-so-cute pair of cabled mitts. These are from a pattern on that I have been eager to try. So, before I start the Debbie Bliss Classic Jacket, which mysteriously turned into an in-the-round raglan sweater in my knitting basket, I thought I would do a quick knit on the mitts. I have had an infatuation with knit-in-an-afternoon projects for the last few weeks. Now it is time to get back to serious stuff like socks and sweaters.

I’m still working on the Nasturtium socks. Sock number one is approaching the toe. The hats, followed by the cabled mitts, got in the way of sock knitting for a time. I can hear the poor neglected little things crying in the knitting basket at night. So this morning I worked on the first sock until I was ready to start the toe, and then cast on for the second sock. That should make them happy.

I, on the other hand, am not happy at this moment. I have cast on for the raglan sweater twice, and had the stitches twisted when I joined them both times. Is there some easy way to make sure that doesn’t happen? The last time I put the stitches on the circular on the table and smoothed them carefully until I was sure they were not twisted. After four rows of k3, p2 rib I could see there was something wonky—240 wonky stitches! I cried! I hate to be beaten, so I will try again, but I’ll tell you something—it does take a brave heart to tackle a troublesome project like this for a third time. Like I said, I don’t know about the warm heart part, but it is certainly brave!

Friday, October 06, 2006

That Will Do

I am far from being a perfectionist. As the mother of six children I learned early that “okay” would suffice, and “perfect” took entirely too long to accomplish before one of the kids had to be at baseball or dance practice. This position has been reinforced by my recent surgery. I’ve gone from “okay” to “that will do.” I hate to admit it, but this transfers to my knitting. I mentioned the “out of kilter” ribs on my current sock, and my feeling that frogging it was just not something I wanted to do. AND since the socks are under my jeans and the tops are not often seen, “that will do.”

I liked the lace-edged head hugger hat I just finished so much that I took an afternoon to knit another out of leftover STR Lemongrass yarn. When I say “leftover” I mean the tiny amount that is left from a whole pair of socks for my size 10 feet, which is not much I’ll tell you! I looked at the tiny skein and said, “that will do.” So I knit and I knit, and when I got to the decrease rows for the crown I had a ball of yarn the size of a walnut left, and I said, “that will do.” I did the decrease rows, tied off, and the picture shows how much yarn was left. Yes, I know, I was lucky, and I don’t think I would try that again. However, it was exciting to race against the end of a skein of yarn and win.

The hats are so much fun to wear that I decided I had to make another one. Somebody stop me! This one is in red Simply Soft--not the world's greatest yarn, but fun to knit with because it is so soft. I made up the pattern as I went along, but I didn't write it down. So, I had to make another one so I could capture the pattern and post it on the Knitting-On-The-Go website. And h-e-r-r-r-e it is....

Four hats! (counting the first blue hat). I'm in a serious hat knitting rut here! At least my head won't be cold this winter. That will do!