Sunday, December 28, 2008

They know what I like

So, as is traditional here on the blog, I present a visual of most of my knitting-related "haul" from the holiday season:

  • from the daughters: two balls of pink "Zara" from Filatura di Crosa, a DK superwash merino
  • from DH: two balls of "Clown" from Marks & Kattens, a cotton/wool/nylon blend sock yarn, self-striping, in white and dark pink
  • from my mom: two balls of "Sock it to me 4 Ply" from, a superwash wool/nylon blend sock yarn, in aubergine
  • from my mom: two balls of "Pure Bamboo" from, a 100% bamboo sock yarn, in wine
  • from my mom: Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's latest book, "Free Range Knitter"
  • from my mom: Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's "Never Not Knitting" 2009 calendar
  • from my mom: the fall 2008 issue of Vogue Knitting International
  • (not pictured because I'm an idiot and forgot about it when I gathered everything up for the picture-taking) from my brother: Nicky Epstein's "Knitting on the Edge" book
  • (also not pictured) from my brother: Nicky Epstein's "Knitting over the Edge" book

Obviously, I'm quite happy. I was, however, pretty confused as to why my husband got me white-and-dark-pink sock yarn. Pink is not a colour I am particularly fond of, and he knows this. Getting pink yarn from my daughters was not a surprise, since my older daughter chose the colour she liked best, and that means I get pink. :) From my husband, though, yes, somewhat surprising. It turns out that he totally thought, looking at the yarn in the shop, that it was red and white, and therefore assumed that I would adore it. He was kind of distressed when I broke it to him that the hue was really pink, and offered to exchange it. But I told him no - the yarn had already inspired me with a design idea which I'll talk more about a little later on.

Another surprise was that the sock yarn my mom gave me was originally intended to be actual socks! Unfortunately, she just couldn't get comfortable with the small size of the crochet hook which was required for the thin weight of the sock yarn, so she gave up, unravelled everything she'd done, and gave me the yarn straight up instead. ("Bartender! Sock yarn, straight up, with a twist!") This was further proof to me that the woman needs to get herself a Ravelry account - she could simply have gone in, searched for crochet sock patterns in a yarn weight she was more comfortable with, and whammo! Patterns. She gave me a tolerant smile when I mentioned this, but I may have managed to intrigue her. We'll see.

My brother bought the Nicky Epstein books from my LYS, and he said that when he went there to shop, he was looking pretty grungy. Kathy and June (the owner) were both there at the time, and evidently looked like they were wondering what he was doing there...until he said, "I think you know my sister?" and identified me by name. :) These were the magic words which proved he was in the right place, and it sounds like they had a grand old time picking out gifts for me. (They got it right...I love the books, thanks guys!)

But the knitting-related haul was not limited to me - I also gave yarn to my husband. To explain the significance behind this specific yarn, I need to give you the back story. Does anybody remember the scarf he designed and made for me? It's really nice, nothing too fancy, nothing too challenging, cable-wise, and it's totally unisex. For some time we've been talking about how he should write up the pattern instructions and sell them. After my husband's mom was diagnosed with lung cancer, I mentioned that I wanted to design something and sell the pattern as a fundraiser for a charity such as The Lung Association. He was incredibly touched, but was adamant that the pattern which should be sold as the fundraiser should be his scarf pattern, which totally made more sense.

So for Christmas, I gave him three skeins of Cascade 220 in a really nice, masculine grey. He was really, really happy about them, and loves the feel of the yarn so much that he started waxing poetic about it and telling me that he now understands the addictive qualities of yarn and how people end up with huge stashes.

Muahahahaha. And his conversion is complete. I win. (As long as our individual stashes are clearly delineated, of course.)

So on Boxing Day I sat down and interpreted his pattern notes into chart form, and we started hashing out how the final pattern should work (the original scarf used some unorthodox methods of cable crossing - such as doing it on wrong-side rows - that I recommended he change). I did some swatching to show him how things could work, and last night he cast on and started it up. (I did offer to do it for him to make things go faster, but he's really into this yarn!) I'm really excited about this project! I'll definitely post about it here when it's available for sale. DH is kind of a slow knitter, though, so don't hold your breath. :)

Toddler socks for DD2
I don't think I mentioned that I finally found these socks! There were unfortunately more ends to weave in than I remembered, but after one commuter train trip, they were all taken care of, and I had a lovely pair of finished socks. DD2 really likes them ("Mummy? Ocks!"), which I love.

And speaking of appreciated Christmas gifts...they all were. :) DD1 loved her socks, DH adored his, BIL laughed out loud at his AFK hat and plonked it on his head right away, and I got a very appreciative thank-you card from DD1's teacher for the wristwarmers and toque. (It was of course addressed to DD1, but since it talked about how much she appreciated all the effort and thoughtfulness that went into handmaking the gift, I took that as an expression of gratitude to me. :)

Fjalar for moi
This continues apace...the ribbing is done and I'm now working on the stocking stitch stretch. I did freak out a bit when I realised that I'd have to fairly precisely figure out when to stop knitting in the round for the armscyes (I'm definitely not steeking this thing) - Lavold never seems to include schematics in her patterns, which makes adjustments way harder - but I think I've got it vaguely worked out now. I'm also going to add about three inches to the overall length so that it's as long as I want it.

Even with the increased length, though, I'm hopeful that I'll have at least three balls left over. Here's where I am now, and I haven't run out of my third ball yet:

So I think the odds are somewhat decent, especially since the neckline is a low V-neck. What I want to do with the leftover yarn is a sweater for my older daughter - the colour will be devastatingly good on her, and there's a cable pattern in one of my books that I've been wanting to try for a long time. Stay tuned.

Summer top for DD2
So what's a knitter to do with sock yarn that's in a colour she's not wild about?

Make something for her kid, of course! This is a cotton/wool/nylon blend with the cotton feeling very dominant, so I think it would be fine for a summer top. I'm swatch-experimenting right now with a smocking-ish pattern from one of my stitch libraries, which I've modified to better suit my purposes. So far, I'm cautiously pleased.

What I'm hoping is that 100g of this stuff is enough to make a 2-year size, which means a) that it'll fit my kid; and b) that I can do up a pattern for sizes ranging from 3 months to 2 years and still only require that people have enough yarn as would make an adult pair of socks. I love it when I can do that - it opens up whole new possibilities for people for their sock yarn stashes.

1 comment:

Beverly said...

I have the Never Not Knitting 2009 calendar and my hubby gave me five knitting books for christmas to go with the three he gave me for my birthday in november...he won't, however, buy me yarn.

enjoy your treasures!