Thursday, December 18, 2008

Silver linings

It's nice to know that even when bad things happen, wonderful things can happen at the same time, too. I'm really getting into the Christmas spirit over here at Insanity Headquarters, and nifty stuff has been popping up everywhere.

For instance, one of the few nice things about funerals is that you get to see family and friends, and my mother-in-law's service was no exception. DH's family is really, really fantastic - a wonderful clan of people that I truly enjoy spending time with, and whom I'm proud to call family. I'm very blessed. Of course, some of them have received knitted love from me over the years. One of these is DH's cousin, whose first daughter (born several years ago) received three double-faced bibs of my own design. This cousin now has a second daughter, and at the reception, he (the cousin, not his daughter) was very keen on telling me that not only are the bibs still going strong, but they are - get this - the BEST BIBS that they own. I seriously could not have been more delighted and thrilled. Not only are they big enough to catch all spills, but apparently they are IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE BABY TO PULL OFF. (Even if you're not a parent, I'm sure you can appreciate what a bonus that is.) Also, said cousin told me that the yarn is so good that you can have the bibs wadded up all glopped up with dried-on food for a week and they still come out beautiful after washing. (Unfortunately, the yarn was a one-off, no-name, on-the-cone eBay purchase some years ago, so I can't tell you all where to find it.) GLEE!

Also, my husband reported this week that our neighbour's son - who was the inspiration for the KWB/TSF Hat and the recipient of the original prototype for that pattern - was witnessed a few weeks ago actually WEARING THE HAT while shovelling his driveway one morning. I don't mind admitting that I squealed and did a little dance upon hearing this news. It's actually getting USED! By a teenage boy! A hat! Be still my heart.

And speaking of the KWB/TSF Hat, we're getting close to the end of the year now, so this week I withdrew all the profits which have been accumulating from sales of the pattern, and donated them to MSF. The total? $371.69. I'm extremely happy about this, particularly when you consider that it's money I pulled out of basically nowhere using just my brain, yarn and needles, and the power of the Internet. Stunning. Hopefully next year I will be able to give even more.

By the way, I think I forgot to mention a few weeks ago that I put up a video on YouTube demonstrating the cast-on that I use in the KWB/TSF Hat pattern. It's really hard to come up with good written instructions to get the concept for this cast-on across, and apparently my original instructions just weren't cutting it, because a few of the people who were trying to make the hat were expressing confusion. So I whipped up the video. Many thanks go to my mom, who lent me her digital camera for the purpose. (My digital camera does do video, but without sound, which is kind of pointless.)

Ilaisa's Wristies for Mrs. C
All done!

I think they look nice.

Ilaisa's Loose Toque for Mrs. C
There was so much yarn left over after I finished the fingerless gloves for DD1's teacher that I decided to try and do a matching beret. I tried to convert the basic measurements of the Fern Glade beret pattern (fitted size) over to a worsted weight on 4.5mm needles using the stocking stitch/bell ribbing combination from the wristwarmers. The bad news is that this didn't quite work the way I wanted, and I ended up with a loose kind of toque instead of a beret. The good news (aside from having enough yarn to finish) is that the hat still ended up looking pretty cute.

front view

side view

brim detail

So I've made the pattern available for free. Enjoy.

AFK Hat for BIL #2
Another Christmas knitting project done!

I think it's really funny. Hopefully, he will too.

(AFK stands for "Away From Keyboard". Perfect for the Internet-addicted when they need to go outside in the cold.)

Fjalar for moi
The very last knitting-related gift that I ever received from my mother-in-law was for my birthday. It contained - among other things - ten balls of Sirdar "Escape", which is a niftily-variegating (one ply stays the same colour, the second ply changes slowly) DK weight yarn in a 51% wool/49% acrylic blend. I like it a lot, especially since she was very insistent that whatever I made out of it had to be for me. :) Before she died, I'd decided to make Elsebeth Lavold's Fjalar sweater with the yarn, but because of all the Christmas knitting which had to be done, I hadn't had a chance to cast it on yet. (Which I had to guiltily admit to her when she asked me about it at our final visit.)

Now, however, the Christmas knitting is practically finished, so I can do whatever the heck I want, knitting-wise. And this is definitely what I want to do. I've adapted it a touch so I can knit it in the round. I also had to ignore part of the setup instructions in the pattern in order to make it look right (beginners would unfortunately probably be pretty screwed and confused). However, I really, really like how it's coming along:

(it's over an inch longer now, though)

I only wish she could see it.

P.S. Have you seen this yarn? I think it's hilarious.


Georgiana said...

So glad to hear that you're finding silver linings like this... quite an inspiration, really!

The J said...

Congratulations on the KWB total - that's awesome!!! And thank you for the video tutorial - I understood it without even picking up the needles to try!