At the last Knit Night at my LYS, I could no longer resist this Nova Sock Print colourway, and I bought it.
I must admit that I had in mind the idea of using it for a hat for DD1, as her favourite colour is blue. However, when I brought it back home and floated my idea past her, she was not keen. I believe this is because it is the wrong shade of blue. (Her taste runs to a blue that is more cheerful, and with a bit of aqua-ness to it.) This decision stunned her father, who exclaimed, "Why not? It's gorgeous!!!"
Aaand that reaction from him was all I needed to decide that the yarn should instead become socks for his birthday.
This is my basic vanilla hat heel pattern, using a variation I came up with (after it was originally published) which makes the sides of the gussets stretchy. DH has already almost caught me making it twice. I'm going to have to be more sneaky.
The second sample piece I've been knitting for design submission #3 (of, hopefully, at least twelve) is now off the needles. I still have to block it and weave in ends, but I'm really, really pleased with it, even in its lumpy, pre-blocked state.
I also started in on a new design idea I've been thinking about for a while. I didn't bother to swatch my ideas, just charted 'em and started right in on the whole thing. In hindsight, this was a mistake (although it started out well), and the secondary motif is admittedly looking great. But the main motif didn't work at all like I thought it was going to, and I'm worried I'll have to scrap the whole idea. But dang it, it's a cool idea and I want to make it work. So we'll see how that goes. If I can work it out, that'll be a fourth submission, which brings me up to date (on the assumption that twelve submissions in a year means one per month).
In other news, I picked this up at Knit Night yesterday from Lettuce Knit:
Yes, that would be...fibre. There hasn't been any spinning talk on this blog up to this point, because I don't really spin. I have spun before, and do own spinning-related items: two drop spindles, a little bit of fibre (of questionable quality), and a pair of handcarders. But I haven't done anything with it for about twelve years. Then, a few weeks ago, I forget exactly how the conversation went, but DD1 somehow ended up about spinning, and I found myself demonstrating how it was done on one of the spindles. It felt nice. Add to that the fact that for the past several weeks, I've been catching up on the last two years or so of the Round the Twist video podcast, in which Carin talks a lot about all the fabulous spinning she does, and I started to get a little inspired to spin again. I figured I should start with nice fibre, instead of the tourist-souvenir, lanolin-soaked, no-idea-what-breed-it's-from stuff I bought in Australia twenty-four years ago (yeah, sadly, that plus a few complimentary sample staples from an eBay vendor constituted my "fibre stash"). So I bought some nice fibre in a colourway that I really like, and we'll see how it goes. Laura told me that it doesn't need any preparation beyond separating it out into pencil-thin strips, so that's nice. Don't know when I'll get around to doing all that, but hey, just getting the fibre is a start. Oh, and also, I've started saving up for a wheel. (Warning: it will be a while. So far, the grand total of the Wheel Fund is fifty bucks. Yeehaw.) I don't know exactly what I want, but I've been doing a modicum of research and consideration, and at least know at this point that I want to spin thinly and then ply it, which means something with a high drive ratio.
And then there's this:
This, which I affectionately call "the Muppet Roadkill project", is a WIP that I believe last saw action about five years ago. It's a blanket for my oldest daughter that she's yearned after for years, I've been threatening to finish it for her as a present for years, and I think my having failed to come through on it really bothers her. The annoying part is that it's almost done - the body of the blanket is complete and I'm now just making my way around the sides with a perpendicularly-worked edging. I was actually going great guns on it back in the day, but I realised that I'd miscalculated badly for the edging across the top of the blanket: there were too few edging repeats for the width of the blanket, and the entire thing was puckering far too much at the top to be acceptable. So I stuffed it in a basket and told myself I'd rip it all back and recalculate how many edging repeats I should be doing (and therefore how many extra stitches I'd need to pick up across the top)...one day. Soon. You know, when I had the time. Shouldn't take long...
Well, the UFO guilt ends here. DD1's birthday is coming up next month, and by gum, I am going to give this blanket to her as my present. So yesterday when the older girls were at school (and DD3 was sleeping), I spread it out and did some measuring and some math. I figured that the edging across the top used 9 repeats of 20 rows each (10 of which incorporate stitches from the outer edges of the blanket), and was 25 inches long. However, the top should have been spread out to a total of 34 inches. Which means I should have had more like 12 repeats of the edging across the top. Which means the 90 or so stitches I had picked up across the top should have been more like 120. So I ripped out the edging back to the beginning of the top (sigh), picked up the additional 30 or so stitches across the top that I would need, and started back in. I've done about five edging repeats across the top so far, and it's not puckering any more, hooray!
It's a start.