Saturday, March 31, 2007

Quick Knits

With an adult sized cardigan on the needles for myself, sometimes I feel drawn towards working on something where I'll see results just a little quicker. After all, I'm on the sleeves of the cardigan right now and since I'm working on both sleeves at once they're seeming to take even longer to get through! A girl can't be faulted for wanting a little instant gratification now and then.

Meet instant gratification...Pattern: Made With Love Layette Sweater by Emma Crew
Yarn: Cascade 220 Tweed, 1 skein
Needles: Size 8 Denise circulars
Date Started: March 23, 2007
Date Finished: March 24, 2007
Modifications: None. Instructions are given for the seed stitch hearts and I chose to only put one on the sweater. Looking back, it would be so precious to have one on the top back, too.

I absolutely LOVED making this sweater! It was so quick to knit and I loved the construction of it. The pattern was well written and very easy to follow, even for someone who had never done a sweater from the top down. I will absolutely be making more of these in the small and large size.

I thought I'd take a quick picture of what I was wearing today! That's the cardigan I knit last year from Creative Knitting. I was excited to put on something handmade that looked cute and not in a maternity way. I got a lot of compliments on it while I was out and no one could believe that I had made it!

We're at 32 weeks pregnant this week. Yikes! Not long till this baby girl comes, especially if she's 3 weeks early like Owen was.

That's why I bought these...
Did anyone see the latest post at The Blue Blog? Allison knit the cutest pants for Baby L and put the pattern up on her website. I'm thinking that baby girl needs some baby bell bottoms, too!

Simply Fibers is in the middle of their big annual sale and the knitterly girls and I met there last night to get in on the fiber action. The Cascade 220 is destined for the next sweater I have planned for myself, the Neck Down Shaped Cardigan (#241) from Knitting Pure And Simple. I won't be doing the tie for the front but think that a clasp will do beautifully.

I really enjoyed working with Manos Cotton Stria when I made the kimono type sweater for the baby and when I saw this color I fell in love. I'll be making a simple wrap for the summer based on a pattern that I got at Simply Fibers a while back.

I have quite a lot of knitting on my plate!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

What goes around comes around

Within the past 2 months I've found myself lodged firmly in a small knitting group that I love dearly. Sarah, Tammy, Meredith and new recruit, Kate, are wonderful women and I've enjoyed getting to know them better and being able to spend time with people who are as obsessed with knitting as I am. What I didn't expect is just how much we would influence each other.

At the Knit In at Simply Fibers that last Friday of February I was handed a skein of linen yarn by Tammy and Sarah who told me that we were going to make the linen handtowels from Mason Dixon Knitting and I bought the yarn without even owning that book or knowing what the towels were going to look like. Tammy saw the lace rib socks that I was working on and loved the yarn, so I sent her the link to the Etsy store for Fearless Fibers and pointed out that she still carried that same colorway and 45 minutes later I got an email back saying that she had bought the yarn and some stitchmarkers, too! On Saturday morning I showed off the log cabin blanket to Tammy and Sarah and later that afternoon I got a call from Sarah asking more about it because she hadn't stopped thinking about it all day.

When I first learned to knit almost 2 years ago I was settled that no one was going to influence my knitting. After all, how many people did I know that actually knitted? No one, really, so I was going to be the lone reed and my knitting was going to be my own.

Slowly, other knitters have found me and I've found them (or created them, in the case of my Mom) and the inspiration that those knitters have given me has been wonderful. It doesn't lessen the creative process or finished product just because someone else I know has done this before me or even if we work on it side by side. It is still my knitting as much as it is their knitting. In fact, I'd say that I've become a better knitter because of my fellow knitterly girls.

(By the way, I bought the Mason Dixon Knitting book on Saturday on our yarn store road trip and I'm loving it! It's nice to finally know what my linen handtowel is going to look like!!!)

Before I end, I have another finished project! Bryan's fabulous boss is expecting a baby girl just two weeks before I am and Bryan asked me to knit something for her, specifically a sweater. Bryan's boss is incredible but I was a little hesitant considering how many things I have planned for our own baby. Then I gave in and agreed and this was born!

Pattern: Baby Caftan, Creative Knitting March 2006
Yarn: Caron's Simply Soft in Plum Wine, 1 skein
Needles: Size 7 and 8 US circulars and dpns
Date began: March 17, 2007
Date finished: March 22, 2007
Modifications: I changed the neckline just a tad since I was afraid that it was going to be too small and I'm glad that I did. Also, rather than doing the seams from the wrist up and then seaming them onto the sweater I picked up the armhole stitches and worked them from the shoulder down. No seaming! I love this method of doing sleeves, I'm telling you!

Now that this project is done I've cast on for a sweater for our baby. I decided on this sweater which I'm using a skein of Cascade 220 Tweed in 601, a beautiful green. The 6 - 12 month size only needs one skein of yarn and I happened to have just one skein of this yarn that I bought on clearance at Simply Fibers for $4.00! It's a neck down construction which is brand new to me so I'm making myself trust the pattern and just do it without overthinking it.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


I've had a very satisfying week in a lot of ways. One main thing for me has been that it seems that everything has been balanced. Work has been very busy due to pending software upgrades that we're currently testing for glitches, but I've had several chances to spend time with friends and unwind. Even my knitting has been focused and intense but balanced by the joy of finishing a project and being able to share it with people who can really appreciate it.

On Tuesday I mentioned that I was unabashedly obsessed with the log cabin blanket. Wednesday night found me racing towards the finish line and on Thursday morning at 12:30am I went to bed exhausted, but with a blanket that was set out to block. At my Thursday night knitting date with Tammy and Kate at Panera I was so very tired but so very pleased with myself.

The log cabin blanket made it's debut on Saturday when I was able to show it off to Sarah and Tammy. And it was good.

Project: Log Cabin Blanket
Yarn: Peace Fleece, 6 skeins
Needles: Size 10.5 US, Denise circs
Date started: February 14, 2007
Date finished: March 15, 2007

I enjoy working with Peace Fleece. The colors are wonderful and though the yarn may be a bit rough to work with, once the wool hits the water it blooms beautifully and softens every time it's washed. Plus, a cloth diapering friend of mine claims that it can be washed in cold water on a gentle cycle and dried on low heat without felting. I haven't tried this out myself but she swears by Peace Fleece and uses it to make all of her daughter's soakers.

Sarah, Tammy and I went on a yarn store road trip on Saturday to the far far away town of Rogersville to go to a new yarn shop that opened up this winter. (Rogersville may only be 30 minutes from Springfield but I haven't traveled in what feels like forever and so a 30 minute drive north is an exotic destination to me!) We piled in Tammy's car with our knitting bags and hopes and dreams to go see this new place.

Sarah instantly found her pot of gold, er, basket of gold?
That, my friends, is a basket overflowing with Tess sock yarn. Both Sarah and Tammy were elbow deep in it right away.
We all found a lot of really wonderful things and walked away with a bag of goodies. The store is so cute and we spent a lot of time wandering around and fingering everything! I will most certainly be going again and taking Mom with me. Sarah has volunteered to make the journey with us, in part to see Mom's reaction to the store. (My Mom is so stinking cute and has a tendency to gush her excitement about everything. I must admit that it is a bit contagious!)

Next time... "What goes around comes around: This time you may be the enabler, but it's bound to come back and bite you on the tush."

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The winds of change

Maybe it's just that I got a fresh batch of pregnancy hormones or something, but I've been really fickle lately. One minute nothing sounds good to eat and even the thought of putting something in my mouth makes the bile rise in my throat. The next minute I spot a Subway and oh my gosh I can't get a veggie laden sub into my mouth fast enough. It's like that with almost everything. Knitting included.

Last week I couldn't put down UnGranny Smith. We were joined at the hip, BFF, running on the beach with our hair blowing gently in the wind. I was going to marry this project and we were going to run away together to the south of France to live happily ever after.

Tonight I must admit that I've cheated on my love. In fact, I've cheated more than once and it's been darn pleasurable. The vow that I took to work on UnGranny Smith for one hour every night has been broken and I don't regret it even a little bit. Chastise with me if you must, but I've found my pleasure elsewhere, in the ply of another yarn.

I saw the Log Cabin blanket sitting dejected and forlorn in the basket and thought, "I'll just work on you for a little bit today". It starts out innocently enough. Just one stripe, that's all. Sure, just one stripe but then the next thing you know it's 2 hours later and you're still swearing that you'll only finish the stripe that you're on and then you'll put down the blanket. *sigh*

Right now I'm indulging myself and have put the cardigan back in it's bag and the Log Cabin blanket is in a place of honor... spread out on the love seat. I've only got one more stripe left and then it's time to work a border around the blanket. Our love affair will be short, but I shall enjoy every moment that we have together.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

What's the theme?

At the last knit in at Simply Fibers, Lana asked me if I had a theme for baby's room? I think that my answer was a little surprising to her and the others. My theme? Avoidance.

There's really not a whole lot that we have for this baby! When we moved from San Diego, CA to Springfield, MO we figured out that it would be more expensive to haul Owen's baby stuff halfway across the country than buy new stuff when we needed it again, so his crib and highchair and all manner of baby paraphernalia was donated to some less fortunate families. Now that we're at the point of needing it again we're not exactly filling the house to the rafters with baby purchases. In fact, other than a few outfits and blankets... and the small stash of yarn that I mean to make stuff for her with... we really don't have anything!

This has carried over a bit to the baby knitting. The log cabin blanket currently stands at 23" square and I haven't picked it up in over a week. I have no other baby projects on the needles and though I know what I could be making since the patterns with their yarn are right there waiting for me... I really don't have much of an urge to start any little tiny things.

Why? Because I've fallen madly in love with UnGranny Smith again. The right front measures 13" and I'm almost excited about casting on for sleeves! (Hurry! Take my temperature!!!) The yarn is fantastic to work with and the color makes me smile whenever I look at it. I look forward to working on it every night and reward myself with knitting time for doing certain tasks. (Spent 2 hours organizing the home office with a 3 year old running around vying for attention? That's worth an hour of uninterrupted knitting time while the child watches Little Einsteins.)

As of tomorrow we're only 12 weeks from the due date, and if baby is anything like her older brother she'll be almost 3 weeks early. Oh, the baby knits will come. I'll feel the undeniable urge soon enough just like tonight I felt the undeniable urge to clean the kitchen junk drawer. In the meantime, I'm enjoying myself!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

How Hand Knitted Socks Saved My Life

Maybe that's a little sensationalist, but it's my blog and I get to make the titles.

The ongoing saga of the car accident continues! I won't bore you with all the details, but the gist of it is that it turns out that I can expect to have somewhat on-going health issues stemming from the injury to my right leg. The doctor thinks that I may get feeling back in the numb areas in about 6 months, but it's all just a big guess since nerves regenerate themselves on their own schedule. I can expect the swelling to be a problem for the next several months as well.

All of this convinces me that hand knitted socks are the only way to go for a while. (Well, that and one day spent in store bought socks left me in agony and with a very angry looking foot.) If I'm going to be wearing hand knitted socks every day I'm either going to be washing the ones I have a lot or I'm going to have to get busy knitting myself some new socks! Thankfully, I have enough sock yarn that I won't have to worry about needing to buy the yarn for them. (See? The stash is so useful!)

UnGranny Smith is moving along nicely. I did finish the left front late on Monday night and I've decided to work on this for an hour every night. The right front is almost 6" in length and I'm finally starting to feel excited about this project again! Seeing progress is always motivating!