Thursday, October 16, 2008

I'm back

Not that I actually went anywhere, but man, that was a pretty long blog post drought, eh? No particular reason for it that I can give - no major stresses, lots of knitting was getting done - I just wasn't posting. As always, my apologies for the delay. But on the plus side, I now have a lot to talk about!

First up, yarn acquisitions. I haven't actually bought any yarn lately, but my birthday is coming up soon, so my fantastic MIL gave me my present this past weekend when we were there for Thanksgiving. We have...

A skein of Alpaca Sox from Classic Elite. I have been instructed that its destiny is to become socks for my elder daughter. This yarn was very specifically picked out for that purpose by the intended sock recipient when she was at my MIL's two weekends ago for a sleepover. They went to the LYS there, and my MIL told DD1 to pick out sock yarn that she liked. The child made an immediate beeline for this. More about how it's knitting up further on in this post.

A nice booklet of Sirdar patterns revolving around their "Escape" yarn.

Ten balls of Sirdar Escape yarn. My MIL was very specific that the yarn has to be used to make something for ME. That is the rule. :) She bought the book pictured above because she liked one of the patterns in it and wanted me to use this yarn for it, but unfortunately she can't remember anymore which pattern it was. So she said to just pick anything from the book that I like, or any other pattern I've been hankering after. I've been giving the matter rather a bit of thought, and I think I'm probably going to go with Elsebeth Lavold's "Fjalar" sweater.

Needless to say, there was much squee-ing when I unwrapped all of this.

For my birthday, I am treating myself to the entire week off work, starting this Monday. This means, since I will be seeing my children on Wednesday morning, that I am planning to hit the Lettuce Knit SnB that evening! I'm very excited and I hope to see lots of my friends there.

In other awesome news, I've been doing some targeted "group" advertising on Ravelry this month for my fundraising pattern, the KWB/TSF Hat, and it's definitely working! So far I'm netting over twelve times what I'm paying in advertising, which is a very good deal I must say. I'm thrilled. I can't wait to be able to gather up all the profits at the end of the year and send them out to MSF.

Alpaca socks for DD1
The presents were given to me at lunch. Immediately after lunch, I put DD2 down for a nap and DD1 went out with her dad and other assorted relatives to a nearby park to enjoy the glorious weather. I wasted no time at all, and balled up my new skein of sock yarn, much to the amusement of one of my BILs. By the time we packed up to go, I'd pretty much finished about two-thirds of sock #1. At this point I've got one sock done and am over halfway up the leg of the second sock. It's really, really lovely stuff to work with and is giving a really neat diagonal striping effect. Unfortunately, I can't show you any pictures because I'm (as usual) using my new sock pattern, which hasn't been published yet.

There are 100g in the skein, so it's probably enough to make two pairs of socks for DD1. However, she has selflessly announced that I can make the second pair in a smaller size for her younger sister. I tell ya, I don't deserve this child. She's so awesome.

Toddler socks for DD2
The sock jag continues...I decided to use up the extra yarn from this sock project by making some socks for my younger daughter. I got them all knitted up in very short order, but I still have to weave in the ends on sock #2. Again, I must disappoint in the photos department because I'm using my own pattern. I'm sorry - I do promise a deluge of sock shots once the thing is published!

Turquoise socks for DD1
It seemed to take forever, but I finally finished the super-long leg of sock #1. I am now trying to find the intestinal fortitude to cast on for sock #2.

Log Cabin blanket
More insignificant progress here and there.

Wee baby socks
I got back into these about a week ago, and finished them off. And oh, they are so darn cute. Small things always are, aren't they? I hate to tell you once again that you're going to have to wait for photos...but you're going to have to wait for photos.

Endpaper Mitts
A few weeks ago, the people who are in charge of such things in my office building decided that the increasingly cold weather was the PERFECT time to start blasting the air conditioning. Seriously. And did I mention that one of the vents is right above my chair? Yeah. It's been fun.

This of course motivated me to finish my Endpaper Mitts so I could prevent my fingers (which are rather vital to my job, what with the constant typing on the computer and all) from freezing. Unfortunately, the Knitting Fates decided that this was the right time to hit me with a big case of Knitting Stupidity. I started making every damn mistake possible. At first, it was actually going very well - I just kept going on the 1x1 rib that I'd already started with mitt #2, easy peasy. Then I switched to the main pattern, following Chart B, immediately increasing for the thumb. I was about halfway up the thumb increases when I realised that I was supposed to start with Chart A, and not start any kind of shaping for about four or five inches. FINE. I ripped back.

So I started in on Chart A. It was going okay - I was screwing up the pattern here and there and having to tink back more frequently than I would have preferred, but definite progress was being made nonetheless. I got to the correct starting point for Chart B and started increasing for the thumb again. And once again, it wasn't until I was about halfway up the thumb when I realised something was wrong. Like, really wrong. Like, hey-this-mitt-seems-really-small wrong. Like, I-have-no-freakin'-idea-how-I'll-get-it-onto-my-hand small. I checked the instructions...yeah. I was supposed to switch to a larger needle size after the ribbing.

There are no words.

I ripped back to the end of the ribbing and started again.

A few rows in, I realised I'd forgotten to switch needle sizes AGAIN.

At this point, I think the only thing stopping me from throwing in the towel (or, more accurately, throwing the glove into my fireplace and turning it on) was that it was still freezing in my office.

I finally managed to get the main pattern going PROPERLY. I still kept making a lot of pattern errors (including a few that required surgery about six rows beneath where I was, that sucked pretty hard), but at least I was now making a glove that would actually fit me.

Finally, FINALLY, I got it all done, and...

I really like them.

(Thanks to my husband for taking that shot. I tried really hard to take it myself, using various stick-like objects around the house in my mouth to press the 'take a photo' button, but without success.)

I especially really like that I did all of the colourwork parts holding both strands in my left hand. That is a new and tricky skill that I still need to work on to get fast at, but I think it does improve my colourwork speed, and I'm really glad I learned how to do it.


Gill-who's-too-lame-to-log-in. said...

Happy almost-birthday!

I've reproduced again. Deanna Rose was born on Friday. :) It did cross my mind that she'd share a birthday with you if she waited ten more days, but she wanted out.

Carrie K said...

Happy Birthday! (and welcome to the world to Deanna Rose.)

I was LOL at your Endpaper Mitt travesty! Happens all the time to me.

And what is with the blasting of the a/c now that it's FREEZING outside? They're doing it in my office too. AND! I'm wearing my Endpaper mitts. But I need to make a little i-cord index finger wrap to go with them.