Sunday, October 29, 2006

It's All About the Pictures

As a reward for making a few inches of progress on the Most Boring Sock, I allowed myself to start a new pair of socks. I'd thought about making some mittens next but then I saw the pair of socks that Kathy (a.k.a. Grumperina) just finished. Go ahead. Check them out. I'll wait for you.

Back? OK. The pattern is a free one from Hello Yarn called Cable Twist Socks. No offense to Hello Yarn but the picture that accompanies the pattern does nothing to show it off. I may be too picky but I just don't think textured patterns show up well at all with variegated yarns. Doesn't Grumperina's version look better? Don't you want to knit a pair for yourself??? Well, needless to say, I did. Here, using Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Bare on US2 needles, are some progress pictures.

First, a picture of the rib un-stretched - not so great, huh?

Now, a look at the sock stretched out:

Isn't that a pretty pattern? I am impressed. It is sooo simple but I still like it. The only modification I made was to use a right twist (RT) instead of the left twist. I find RTs way easier and faster than LTs.

This is the first project that I've started for myself in a while. I don't usually enjoy knitting for myself. First of all, there is absolutely no pressure to get the job done. Secondly, I feel a little selfish when someone asks me who I'm knitting for - it makes me want to make Me Projects at home in a dark corner. I confess - I officially have Gift Knitter's Guilt.

Several people have asked me how it's possible to knit and nurse. Briefly, you hold the baby in the cradle position with one arm, propping up her head in the crook of your arm. The arm holding the baby can really only hold onto the project and keep it steady. Any throwing or picking has to be done with the other hand. It's slower but still possible. Of course, cables, twists and colorwork are hard. So is working on DPNs - you just have to hold the knitting far enough from the baby that there's no danger of poking the little one with a needle.

Speaking of baby, I will leave you with more pics.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Eyelet Vest

Well, I can't believe this but I've actually started and finished a baby sweater in the post-partum period. It's a good thing I learned how to knit while nursing - otherwise my knitting days would be over with! I still need to find a button for the back and a ribbon to run through the eyelet holes but the everything else is done. Take a look:

Pattern: Eyelet Vest from Debbie Bliss' "Special Knits" book
Yarn: Knit Picks Shine Sport in Orchid
Needles: US4
Modifications: I knit in the round until the armholes because I wanted to minimize the amount of seaming. I can knit while nursing. I can't seam while nursing.

So what's next, you ask? I still need to finish the most boring socks on the planet - remember those?

Ugh. This is not a sock I look forward to working on but I'm almost done with the second sock so I'd be a fool to let them sit on the shelf, right? I also need to knit the thumb on my second Lapland Mitten. Can you believe that I've done everything but the thumb? How pathetic.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Progress Pics and Pre-Frost Garden Harvest

First of all, I've retooled my blog a little and added lots of stuff to the sidebar. I added a link so you can subscribe to my blog feed with Bloglines so go check it out! I also moved all my links from BlogRolling to Bloglines, which is just so much nicer.

Here are some action shots of Beatrix in that Debbie Bliss jacket from Special Knits. It's knit with Cotton-Ease - have you heard it's coming BACK????? YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so excited about that. Cotton-Ease was the only decent yarn Lion Brand ever made. In any case, the jacket is cute but I just can't figure out if the collar is supposed to stand up or fold over. It's a little awkward, as you can see.

Here is a progress pic on the pink tank dress I'm working on. My knitting group met yesterday so I got lots more knitting done than I normally would have!

Finally, I thought I'd post some non-knitting pictures. I try to keep non-knitting content (NKC) to a minimum but I'm throwing in some garden pics. We had our first hard frost last week so Aaron harvested all the green tomatoes he could. I wonder how long it will take them to ripen? We have four window sills full of them - enough for one last batch of spaghetti sauce.

The second picture is from the garden before everything died. Can anyone identify this??? It looks like a really, really, really well-fed green caterpillar munching away my tomato plants but WHAT are those nasty white things? Larvae of some sort, I assume... From the caterpillar or some other bug? Any gardeners out there?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Gratuitous Baby Shots

This is Beatrix working through a series of farts. Heh.

Midwest Moonlight Scarves

I don't know why I like this pattern so much but I keep coming back to it. If you haven't noticed, when I like a pattern, I knit it over and over until the amity wears out. Remember baby hoodies??

This one is Knit Picks Shine Worsted in Terracotta.This one is Knit Picks Andean Treasure in Summer Sky. I made this for the lactation nurse that's been helping me and Beatrix survive breastfeeding - who knew it could be so hard? That's definitely on my Things-Nobody-Tells-You-When-You're-Pregnant list.

This is the baby tank dress that I started a few weeks ago. I've only made it up a few inches because I really wanted to finish those scarves. I'm not so keen on returning to it right now. It's weird - now that the baby is here, I no longer feel compelled to knit for her. Maybe because I went overboard and now worry that she'll never wear all the stuff I made. We'll see.

I also bought some Knit Picks Shine Worsted in Bachelor Button. It's a bit more purple than it appears n the photo. I have 7 skeins. I was going to make ANOTHER Midwest Moonlight scarf but that's kind of boring. The advantage is that it's also mindless, which is good since you can't do much with an infant. Any pattern suggestions? Scarf or otherwise.

In other news, I got my SP9 match yesterday and I'm really excited. My spoilee and I have similar interests and lots to talk about! I can't wait to get started. I hope to have more regular posts because I'm really missing daily knitting. I hope things calm down n the coming weeks. Everyone has told me that things get much easier at 12 weeks. Only 5 to go!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Secret Pal 9 Questions

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I’m not really too picky about yarn. I like just about everything but old school Red Heart. Lately, I’ve been making lots of socks and baby stuff so washable yarn is GREAT. I’ve been knitting a bunch with Knit Picks yarn – that’s some of my favorite stuff too. I'm also pretty excited that Lion Brand is bringing back Cotton-Ease. That was a great yarn.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? Several colored vases. I’m not very good about putting needles back into a case so the vases are easier for me.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
Six years. Intermediate to advanced.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Yes. An Amazon and Knit Picks wish lists. If you want the KP one, I'll have to email it to you. They aren't as sophisticated as Amazon.

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.)
I’m actually allergic to some body care products. As for scents, I like subtle ones.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? Of course! I love chocolate but I'm trying to lose the baby weight so I'm staying away from it for now.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? I sew when necessary.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) Yes. Anything but country.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand? I love blue but I buy too much of it, I think. There aren't really any colors I can't stand. I like both bright and muted colors.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? Married, a baby girl and two mutts.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? I don't wear ponchos and I rarely wear hats but yes to the others!

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? Socks, mittens and baby items.

13. What are you knitting right now? A scarf and a baby tank dress.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Yes!!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? I like straights and DPNs but certainly use circs when necessary. My favorites are Brittany birch needles but I'm interested to try the Knit Picks circulars.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? No.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?Who's counting??

18. What is your favorite holiday?Summer ones.

19. Is there anything that you collect? Other than yarn? Nope. I’m actively trying to clear out my house of junk. My husband is a pack rat. He’s the collector.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? I'm not too big on magazines - I buy books instead. There aren't any books I'm dying for. There are a few on my Amazon list that I'm interested in. I'm sort of interested in those sock blockers but I've never seen a real one in person. You know, to block the four socks (not pairs, mind you) that I make a year.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? I'd like to improve my intarsia skills.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? You bet. Ankle: 7.75". Heel - toe: 9.5"

23. When is your birthday? 12/03