Monday, January 29, 2007

This is why I knit!

Clockwise from top left: Dad (who is without handknitted goodness!), Jared (wearing my first knitted project, a blue and grey scarf), Isaac (wearing his requested items: an orange crocheted scarf and red and white knitted hat with a "foofie thing" on top), Mom (wearing the cowl that I made her for Christmas), Owen (with his knitted hat with earflaps... that he's wearing backwards!) and Bryan (wearing his green hat).

When we were without power due to the ice storm we stayed with my family in Branson. My parents were thrilled to have us and we were thrilled to be in a house that was warmer than 35 degrees inside.

We decided to venture out into the weather to get a wonderful Mexican lunch at the Branson Landing. When we all got to the table and started shedding our winter gear I noticed something that warmed my heart. Everyone at the table, with the exception of my Dad, was wearing something that I had knit them. And it wasn't even something planned! I sat there for a minute and honestly, a little tear came to my eye. I made these things for the people that I love and even though it's 5 degrees outside with wind chill, my love is helping to keep them warm!

With all the cold weather I've been wearing my knitted socks more often. They do such a wonderful job of keeping my tootsies warm that I've been finding that they are the first socks that I reach for!

I did a mass washing of the socks on Saturday and thought that they looked lovely when I stacked them back up after they had dried. Perhaps there are a few that I haven't blogged about! In fact, I don't think that I blogged the three on the far right.

The brown, burgandy & cream socks were KnitPicks in the Napa colorway. I knitted these in October when Owen had his surgery and these came to a few doctor visits with me!

The green socks are Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Cedar and they perfectly match my living room couches! They were knitted during the huge snow storm in early December that rendered us almost house bound. I did a mock cable on the cuff and I think that they are my preferred sock right now because they fit so fabulously and the yarn is fantastic.

Sarah might recognize these socks. I won this yarn in a raffle that she did and I got to pick a sock yarn from her stash. It's Tess sock yarn and it was wonderful to work with. Part of the fun was watching the colors move and change as I was knitting. These socks were completed on December 30, 2006 and were my last FO of the year.

I have a few more projects on the needles than I normally have at one time, but I'm enjoying the variety. I'm not feeling rushed to finish anything and that's a wonderful thing!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Results Are In!

The ice storm that covered most of the midwest did a lot of damage to Springfield, including knocking out power to over 80,000 customers. We were a part of that number and spent a few days in Branson with my parents while we waited for power to be restored to our home. Our big ultrasound appointment was scheduled for that time and my OB's office was without power as well so we had to wait another whole week before we could get in!

I was so excited about today's appointment! Bryan and Owen were there and my Mom joined us as well.

The baby was very sweet and gave us a warm welcome. I love this picture because it looks like the baby is smiling and waving at us!!!

And now for the big news..........

We're having a girl!!! Bryan and I are both a little shocked because Bryan is the oldest of 4 boys so we both figured that it was a foregone conclusion that we'd have boys, too! We're thrilled at the thought of it, though, and I'm drooling at the thought of little girl knits! Mom and I have plans to make a visit to the LYS on Saturday to find yarn to start the girly knitting. Owen is already talking about his "steester" and I love it!

While we were in Branson I made some great progress on my UnGranny Smith cardigan and am now a few inches in on the front left. Mom is convinced that it will look beautiful on her and hints, with no subtlety whatsoever and with a mischievous wink, that she'd love for me to give this to her once I'm done. I'm convinced that I'm in love with it myself and have very happily told her that she needs to make one for herself and that I'd love to help her with it if needed.

I also started a Clapotis and after some initial wariness on how exactly the drop stitches thing works out I decided to trust the process. After all, about 2 billion knitters before me have made this pattern and if it didn't work I'm sure I would have heard about it before now!!! And what do you know? If you follow the pattern the way that it's written, everything works out just fine.

I'm working the Clapotis in ArtYarns Regal Silk in colorway 105, which I had originally intended to make into a Cozy shawl but it wasn't working out. Fast forward 16 months and it is looking beautiful as the Clapotis! The only thing that I'm not loving is that the yarn splits like nobody's business, which I'm sure is just part of working with 100% silk. I'm fully planning on making a second Clapotis but using a different yarn altogether. If you've made a Clapotis I'd love to know what yarn you used and how you liked it!

Friday, January 12, 2007

First FO of 2007

I picked up some Araucania Nature Cotton while at my LYS a few weeks ago and couldn't put it down. I love everything about this yarn, from the softness of it that made me want to rub my face against it to the chunky thick and thin texture. After walking around the store for 30 minutes while still holding a skein I decided that I'd really need to buy it and play around with it. (Okay, so I really purchased 2 skeins of it, but I don't think anyone reading this is going to hold it against me!)

I knew that I wanted to make something for the baby out of this yarn, but what? Not nearly enough for a blanket (but oh, could you imagine a blanket out of this stuff?!) but too much for just a hat. A sweater! But not a long sleeve one since the due date is in early June.

So I played around with the yarn and came up with this little number! This only took one skein of yarn, plus about 3 yards of the second to do the single crochet around the edges.

Wee One's Sweater:

Yarn: Araucania Nature Cotton, color V11
Needles: Size 10US Circs
Pattern: My own

Here's the basic pattern that I used. I sized this for a small infant between the ages of 0-3 months. We'll see how it actually fits!

CO 31 sts
K in stockinette st for 7"
On RS BO 4 sts, k to end
On WS BO 4 sts, k to end
Row 1 decrease: (On RS) K2, k2tog, k to last 4 sts, ssk, k2
Row 2 decrease: (On WS) p
Repeat the 2 decrease rows two more times (17 sts remain)
Continue in Stockinette st until piece measures 9"
BO all sts

Left Front:
CO 15 sts
K in stockinette st for 7" end on RS row
On WS: BO 4 sts, p to end
Row 1 decrease: (On RS) k2, k2tog, k to last 4 sts, ssk, k2
Row 2 decrease: (On WS) p
Repeat these 2 decrease rows two more times
K in stockinette st until piece measures 9"
BO all sts

Right Front:
CO 15 sts
K in stockinette st for 7" end on WS row
On RS: BO 4 sts, k to end
On WS: p to end
Row 1 decrease: (On RS) k2, k2tog, k to last 4 sts, ssk, k3
Row 2 decrease: (On WS) p to end
Repeat these 2 decrease rows two more times
K in stockinette st until piece measures 9"
BO all sts

Sleeves (make 2):
CO 18 sts
K in stockinette st for 2"
Row 1 decrease: k2, k2tog, k to last 4 sts, ssk, k2
Row 2 decrease: p2, p2tog, p to last 4 sts, p2tog, p2
Reapeat decrease rows until 2 sts remain
BO all sts

Seam all pieces together. Optional: single crochet around edges.


P.S. We find out the gender of the baby on Tuesday! I'm so excited that I can hardly wait!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Obligatory Goofy Christmas Pictures

We've had a wonderful Christmas and New Years and I can't wait to finally show off what I've secretly been working on!

Owen's socks: Made from leftover Sockotta yarn that I used to make Mom a pair of Christmas socks. These were a great quick knit and I was so pleased to find a use for leftover sock yarn!
Isaac's Black Wargreymon hat (named after his favorite Pokemon character) made from Cascade Pastaza. Isaac is a very particular one about how his clothes fit and feel so I was so happy that he gave his stamp of approval on the hat. (He also prefers my lasagna to anyone else's just to throw that in there!)
Pepa's Irish Hiking Scarf in Silky Wool. This is my maternal grandmother who will be moving to our neck of the woods at the beginning of February! She spends most of the year wearing a Fall palette of clothes and so when I saw this color I knew that it was absolutely perfect for her. Pepa was thrilled with her scarf and wore it for the rest of the day!
Mom's socks... she really does have a pair in each sock, but this was just such a fun picture that I couldn't help myself! The right sock is the Sockotta that matches Owen's socks and the left sock is Trekking XXL. The most amazing thing about the Trekking socks is that somehow both socks managed to perfectly match eachother in the striping sequence and I didn't notice until I was 2/3 done with them. The Trekking socks were done with a mock cable over 3 a 3x1 rib for the cuff.
It was a knittiful Christmas for Mom as she shows off her knitted cowl done in Knitpicks laceweight though gracious help me I can't remember what it is. This was probably the most boring thing I've ever knit. Garter stitch for 70" on size 1us needles. Just thinking about it puts me in a coma. However, Mom loves it and the cowl has gotten much use already so it was worth it all! (2 notes: Mom wants me to go ahead and mention that she did not make her very cute sweater and I'd like to apologize to Mom as this was not the best picture of her that I've taken but it was the only one where you weren't completely blurry.)

In baby news, we're now 18 weeks along and get to find out the gender of the baby on the 16th! I've got a little baby sweater drying right now that I can't wait to show off, but it'll have to wait for another day.

Happy New Year!