Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A Very Knitty Christmas

Obsess, and they will listen!

My DH, mother and sister all came up trumps. DH got me the Jane F. Neighbors Reversible Two Color Knitting (I've been taking it out of the library time and again since the spring). As it's out of print and highly desirable, it took some work on his part. And I am VERY grateful!

My mother got me the Knitting Pattern A Day Calendar (I already have it at the office) and also Nicky Epstein's newest, which is just gorgeous. Her books are the ne plus ultra for inspiration. My sister and her crew got me Barbara Walker's Second Treasury, which is my favorite.

DH also got me Cat Bordhi's Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles. Might not keep that, I don't care much for her writing style, and do prefer my DPNs. The patterns are charming, but I usually make up my own, anyway. And I got my selections from Crafter's Choice. They screwed up the order and are being anything but helpful about an exchange, so I will probably order the book they didn't send, which will fulfill my obligation, and close the account. With luck I can swap the one they did send for yarn!

DH was completely surprised by the hat. He could not believe I'd managed it almost under his nose. And then he got right up and tried it on immediately. That's the way to take a present! I finished his striped sweater vest, too. On Christmas Eve! So (after he insisted on trying it on) I wrapped it and put it under the tree.

The socks I started on Thanksgiving are a bust—for me, anyway. The heel is too narrow. (For me. That's just crazy!) Haven't decided whether to frog or do the second one and trade or gift it.

But I brought some new sock yarn and Sensational Knitted Socks in with me today. As well as DPNs in sizes 1, 2 and 3.

Oh, I did finish the Checkerboard Socks for Theresa. They'll be here on Friday, I can't wait 'til she opens them!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Christmas is well in hand.

The only thing to finish is a pair of Checkerboard Socks (my own pattern) for Theresa. She and Joe were visiting when I finished my own pair and she coveted them madly. As they're coming to stay for New Year's on the 29th, I'm in good shape—mid heel flap on sock #2.

After that I will probably pick up the sweater vest for Jimmy (ran into finishing problems, due to a pattern error). But now I've got the right needles, and it's just a matter of neck and armscye ribbing:

I would really like to have it for him by New Year's, but "we'll see". Still, considering that most of it was done by August, it's overdue!

After that, I need to start the Vegan Fox for Jen's b'day (February). I've already got Alaric's Fetching done. His birthday is January.

Stash-diving next. I've found some incredible things in my new favorite thrift shop. Just yesterday: 4 skeins of black worsted. It's mill spun, but local. And beautiful. A whole $4.99 for all 4 skeins!

The big pull right now is some Lamb's Pride I found at the same place. That, plus a cone of mohair (all together now, "same place!") are looking like a mittens/hat and something set, in Fair Isle.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Stash, and birthdays

First: DH's surprise hat is done. It turned out very well, and he never caught a glimpse. Now it's wrapped and under the tree.

So ALL the real Christmas knitting is done. There's one more thing I'd like to make before New Years, though. We have friends coming to stay on the 29th, and they're as nutty over vintage as we are. Theresa saw my checkerboard socks as I was Kitchenering the toe of the second one, and she even asked to try them on. So I think I'll try to make her a pair, probably in the gray yarn. I'll cast on tonight or tomorrow, as soon as I dig out the pattern and wind the yarn (it's my own pattern). I'd also like to make a tie for Joe. Real Art Deco stuff. I've got some great vintage patterns, and not long ago we found some beautiful laceweight Shetland that would be perfect. But Jimmy (DH) wants to choose something for Joe himself, so we'll see...

Last night I finished a modified version of Fetching for my oldest nephew. No cables at the top, and a plain bind off. His birthday is next month, so that and a gift card will take care of him.

On the way home yesterday I stopped at my favorite thrift shop and found some great yarn, including 4 skeins of Lambs Pride in a dark red, all in the same dye lot! Also a cone of mohair (I think...haven't done a burn test yet), and what looks like a wool/silk/cotton blend, plus some beautiful gray tapestry yarn, 100% wool. The LP and the mohair would be enough for mittens, and hat, and a scarf; some kind of simple Fair Isle pattern. And very Christmassy! Maybe I'll come up with something for me. I adore LP but usually it ends up gifted to someone else.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A surprise. I hope!

This past weekend I made a hat for a friend (his birthday is December 26th). I used some Cascade purchased last year for felting, but never used. I don't remember the name of the yarn, but it's a sheepswool/llama blend, and it looks quite a bit like Lamb's Pride, but softer.'s a nice royal blue, and the hat is a K2, P1 rib, with a turned up brim. I added a gray stripe on the cuff. DH loved it; kept trying it on until I wrapped it so he couldn't do it anymore!

I had another skein of the same yarn in a different color—a very sunny orange—so here and there on the sly I'm making him one, with a contrasting stripe of brown.

It's not easy finding the time, he gets fidgety when I'm not around, and crabbed when I got home from the SnB (the more so because, as I told him, no one else made it). Ungrateful git just might see it on my head instead, if he's not careful!

I'm including a certificate for a pair of mittens as well. The fun never ends!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Not a lot of news

But the cotton blend Baba's Bed Socks are finished. I did that while the in-laws were visiting (Wednesday). There were just a few decreases to go; washed them, then put them in the blockers to dry.

They aren't dry yet, and it's Friday! Incredible. But I should be able to box and wrap them tomorrow. The family gifts for my side need to head off to TX ASAP. We have dramas almost every year with that; I'm using UPS this time. The post office...well, don't even get me started....

Also, I'm trying to swap out the afghan-sized lot of acylic that I got from my sister's MiL. It's quite nice, as acylic goes, but I really don't like the stuff, I never have. But there's enough for a small afghan, it's winter white, and still in the ball bands.

I posted about it on Knitty in Swap-o-rama. Tonight, I hope, I will dig it out and get all the details; even better, pictures, if possible. If not, perhaps I can find shots of the same yarn somewhere on the web.

Who knows? Maybe I'll get sock yarns! (I did say that I want natural fibers and no self-striping.)