Archive for the “mom’s gloves” Category

Mom loved the gloves. She says they fit her perfectly. I thought the fingers might be a bit long, but she assures me that she wants a bit of extra room at the fingertips in case she grows her nails out for anything. Unfortunately, because it was a dark day, I wasn’t able to get any pictures that did any more justice to the gloves than the one I took the other day. But yeah, they came out really well. My brother commented, “When you decide to do something, you really take it all the way – that’s great work!”

She also asked me if I knew of any good baby blanket patterns. I sketched out one that I’d knit a few years ago, before I had a camera, that’s fairly basic. It has a seed stitch border, then alternating stripes of seed stitch and stockinette, and one of the stockinette rows has a run of (k1, k2tog, yo, k1) to make little eyelets. My guess is that without a real pattern written out, she won’t want to figure out how to translate my sketch to her blanket, but that’s all right.

And in more about Mom’s knitting, she is 3/10 done with the Upstairs Shawl (link in German) that she’s knitting for herself with KnitPicks’ Alpaca Cloud in Smoke Heather. I am so happy that she’s getting back into knitting more than just baby sweaters and blankets! Even though the shawl was going to be for herself, she’s considering giving it to her closest friend. One of these days, I will convince her that it’s all right to knit for yourself!

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Mom's GlovesFive weeks after beginning, I have completed Mom’s gloves. I am happy with them, for the most part – I can see a few places where I could have sewn up gaps better, and I’m never happy with woven-in ends. Those are just small nitpicks; I know Mom will absolutely love them. I’ll be giving them to her at our family Chanukah celebration this coming Sunday, and I’ll try to get a picture of her wearing them. I really hope they fit her well!

I used the Hooray for Me gloves pattern with full fingers instead of partial. Because I wasn’t using self-striping yarn, I didn’t bother breaking the yarn to begin the first finger; I just knit around to that point and started it. The one thing that confused me is why the thumb gusset is set three stitches into the third needle. The stitches needed to be rotated in order to align the fingers with the thumb so that each glove can be worn on either hand. Not a big deal, really, just one more thing to remember while working.

The Silkie Socks that Rock yarn was wonderful to knit with. Soft and squooshy, but not too slippery, I think it will combine the right amount of warmth with luxury for Mom. I just love the way the greens peek out from the black, and how the color glows in the sunlight.

I’ll be knitting this pattern again for myself, with a few stitches added to compensate for my wider hands, and with a flip-top mitten added. I’d hoped to have my own pair done by the end of January, but unless I cast on right now, that’s not going to happen. Ah well, there’s always next year!

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I finished re-knitting the heel on my not-so-quick socks this evening, then put it in my purse for tomorrow’s road trip to New York. We’ll be visiting Pirate-Husband’s family for the weekend. I’m pleased with the way it came out; it’s much more even this time.

Now it’s back to Mom’s glove. I’m cranking through the thumb gusset tonight. My schedule has me finishing the hand by Sunday evening and all the fingers by Wednesday evening. I know I can do this if I don’t let myself get distracted!

One distraction today was the fog which rolled up after the afternoon’s rain. I am continually amazed at the beauty which surrounds us up here, and so grateful to live on top of a mountain! It’s hard to believe that we’ve had the house for almost a year already. Yesterday was Pirate-Husband’s birthday. Coincidentally, yesterday we bought a Mazda Miata. If he’d like to think of it as his birthday present, I’m not going to stop him!

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“What have you knit this year?” Pirate-Husband asked me last night.

A Cunning HatFirst there was the Jayne hat that I knit from Knitting Ninja’s pattern for friend Otel. This was a quick project. I had to borrow needles for it, which have since been returned. Although I probably have enough yarn for a second hat, I need to get the right size needles before I can knit it up. Not that I know anyone who wants a Jayne hat… I already have one, and Otel is the brownest browncoat of all my friends.

With the Buttons Then a Baby Surprise Jacket for friend Gwen’s second baby, a little girl. I loved the 100purewool yarn I used for this project; it is so soft and easy to work with! The pattern got tricky a few times, but with help from Ravelers I worked through it. I finished knitting only minutes before my deadline, but Gwen loved the sweater. It should fit on her daughter right about now; I’d love to get an ‘action shot’ from her to post.

Garter Rib Socks Something for myself, a pair of Garter Rib socks! The pattern is from Charlene Schurch’s “Sensational Knitted Socks”. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to get the basics of sock knitting. These socks were knit up in Blue Moon Fiber Arts’ Socks that Rock lightweight, and I was short by about ten yards. Fortunately a kind Raveler had some extra in the same colorway that she was able to send me.

swiffer_bottom Something for the house, a quick and easy Swiffer mop cover from Noelle’s pattern. This project took about six hours, which is about my tolerance for knitting with cotton. I plan to make several more of these, with an additional pattern repeat so that when the cover curls, it goes over the edges of the mop instead of under. Pirate-Husband mopped the floors this past weekend and was disappointed to find that the cover I’d made had been used but not yet washed; he used one of the disposables instead and afterwards said that mine worked a lot better!

pirate-husband_socks3 I’d promised Pirate-Husband a pair of socks last November, and in July of this year I finally delivered. He has very wide feet and I was concerned that I’d run out of yarn, after my experience with the Socks that Rock, so I didn’t make the socks very tall. I had a few yards left over at the end, so I guess it worked out just right! He wears them often, especially now that it’s cold out, and I know he’d love to have another pair.

Baby M Blanket After I finished Pirate-Husband’s socks, I cast on for the second baby knit of the year. This one was for friend Asa’s second child, but as she hadn’t chosen to find out the sex of the baby, I had to knit a gender-neutral blanket. Feather and Fan seemed fitting, as did these muted colors. Once again, I finished knitting the night before I needed to give the gift. Once of these days I’ll break that habit.

bloosocks_complete I sure didn’t break the habit with the Bloo Socks, knit in Trekking XXL for friend Michael. I finished these in the afternoon and gave them to him that very evening. I also didn’t learn the lesson of splitting the yarn in half before beginning; I used more than half of the 100g ball on the first sock and had to frantically call yarn stores all over the country to find another ball in the same dye lot. I’ll be writing this pattern up in the near future, as soon as I work out the heel and toe numbers in other sizes. There is a shortage of fine-gauge sock patterns out there. These were knit up at 45 stitches to 4″ on US size 0 DPNs.

Silkie Glove 1 Mom’s gloves will probably be the last completed project of the year. Her birthday present is knit up of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Silkie Socks that Rock in Ravenscroft. She’d requested a colorway that would go well with both her black wool dress coat, and her green winter jacket, so what better than a black yarn with subtle greens that glow in the sunlight? I am using Marnie MacLean’s Hooray for Me pattern, just making full fingers instead of partial. I’m sure she’ll love them; I just hope they fit!

Eight projects in 2008, not a bad tally! In other accomplishments, I read 23 books in the past year, and I learned to spin on a wheel. Pirate-Husband commented that I should knit more for myself, and I want to commit more time to spinning as well. Those will be my goals in 2009!

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I spoke to Pirate-Husband, and he said that his cousin is unlikely to want a sweater that’s hand-wash-only, not to mention that I shouldn’t feel obligated to knit for her in the first place. As much as she would love and appreciate the sweater, she’d also throw it in the wash.

So I’m nixing the idea of the Baby Surprise Jacket. I’m okay with this decision; I’ve got two more gift knits at the top of my queue – one a quick six-hour project of a Swiffer mop cover, the other a much more complicated colorwork bag – but after that, it’s purely knitting for me, me, me! I hate to sound selfish, but most of my knitting lately has been for other people, and it’s been starting to drag on me. I don’t like working to deadlines and I don’t like feeling as if other people are anxiously awaiting my work.

Tonight I’m putting the thumb onto the first of Mom’s gloves and if there’s time, I’ll cast on for the second. I’ve made a lot of plans to go places and do things in the next few weeks, and so my schedule for these has been pushed up. I need to hurry.

In administrativia, I’ve made a change to the blog feed, by request – now the whole entry should be showing to anyone who reads via RSS. I hope this is a positive change for everyone!

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Yesterday was gray and drizzly, and I didn’t accomplish much in the way of knitting. I did catch up with friends for a bit, and had a lovely dinner with Pirate-Husband of chicken, sweet potato, and acorn squash over couscous… but no knitting! This morning was black and rainy, my commute took twenty minutes longer than it should, and I’m a little grumpy about it. In order to make myself feel better, I’m looking at my stash on Ravelry.

(I also ordered a three-pack of Malbec from wine.woot to make myself feel better, but that’s not as closely related to yarn and fiber… though it’s just as relaxing!)

So anyway, my stash. It’s so soothing to look at it, even in pictures, even without the tactile pleasures. I can imagine what I’ll knit or spin, I can envision the excitement of casting on and the accomplishment of binding off, the curiosity to see how dyed top will spin up and the milestones of filling a bobbin, plying, washing, and parading the finished yarn around the house.

I’m starting to plan out my 2009 fiber arts. Mom’s gloves should be done in two weeks (I’m being realistic; I can knit a glove in a week but my hands will hate me for it) and my socks should hopefully be finished in the next few weeks after that. Maybe I can get both of those projects done before the New Year!

Two fairly complex projects need to be worked on. The first is the Pomatomus socks; I have no excuse for not having those complete already. The next is Napramach, a colorwork bag for friend Angie, who has made me some beautiful SCA garb. I have the yarn and am thoroughly intimidated by the pattern.

Two sock designs are percolating in my head. One is the written-up pattern for the with numbers for a smaller size worked out, and a new name of “Brother’s Socks.” The second is the design I started in the sock class I took with Cookie A. back in September, which is much more elaborate. I’m going to name it “Verdant.”

2009 will also be a year for spinning. I can’t justify the purchase of a second wheel until I’m spending more time at the one I have. And I can’t justify the purchase of more top/roving until I’ve spun up some of what I have. The Yarn Harlot says that Tuesdays are for spinning, so perhaps I will take her advice and schedule time that’s specifically for turning fluff into usable yarn. I would really like to have a pair of socks made from my own handspun. I also have a dream of a lace shawl from my own handspun, but I’m not touching those rolags until I’m more confident in my ability to spin smooth, fine yarn.

It’s possible that 2009 will be a year for dyeing. There’s only one room in the house that hasn’t been unpacked and set up yet, and that’s the crafts room. Well, right now it’s a boxes-and-laundry room. The washer and dryer are going to stay right where they are, but there’s no reason that the rest of the room can’t be set up for arts and crafts! I’d like to arrange a fiber station with areas for both carding and dyeing.

Ahh, I’m feeling better already…

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One and a half fingers are done on the first of Mom’s gloves. This picture only hints at the depth of color in the yarn. It is absolutely beautiful and a joy to work with. And yet for some reason I find myself procrastinating on the project. I’m pretty sure that’s just my natural tendency to procrastinate on anything with a deadline. The last three gifts I knit were all finished just hours before I had to give them. This time, I resolve to get the gloves done well in advance.

Part of my procrastination on the gloves has been because of these socks. They are so mindlessly simple to work on, now that I’m past the heel, that I keep picking them up. That, and it’s been a while since I finished a pair of socks for myself. These are so cheerful that I’d like to be wearing them mid-winter, to add some bright color back to the world!

Last night at the company dinner I was talking with some guy I didn’t know, one of our company’s associates, and he asked me if I had any hobbies. “I knit,” I said, and to my surprise he answered “Really? So do I!”

We really are everywhere.

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I decided to take the easy route and just skip the stripe that had had the knot in it, and now I have a perfect short-row heel. I used this tutorial and plowed through it until it was done. It seems that no matter what kind of heel I’m doing, it’s my least favorite part of the sock. But now I’m past that and on to the leg! It will be stockinette most of the way up, with some k2 p2 ribbing for the last few inches.

Tonight there will be no knitting; I will be attending my company’s Winterholiday Party at La Bergerie in Alexandria. I have been told that the food there is magnificent, and I’m looking forward to it! The only thing I’m not looking forward to is the hour-plus drive it will take to get there.

And tomorrow, I’ll get back to my mom’s gloves. We’ve scheduled a family Chanukah get-together for December 28th, so that is my deadline to have the pair finished.

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After Thanksgiving dinner at my aunt and uncle’s house with 21 people in attendance, I went back to Grandma’s for the evening with my brother, his wife and daughter, and Pirate-Husband. We all stayed up late talking, and I cast on for a quickie sock.

It was too late and too dim to work on the toe of Michael’s Bloo Socks, so I pulled out this Cervinia Forever and did a sixteen-loop figure-eight toe. Grandma watched as the stripes appeared, amazed that it was so neat and so even. Over the next couple of days I knit probably two-thirds of the foot. Compared to the Bloo Socks, it’s going so quickly! But that’s no wonder – it’s 64 stitches compared to 96, and straight stockinette compared to ribbing.

On Friday morning I confirmed plans to see Michael that evening, and settled in to finish his socks. I should have timed it, but I knit while we were talking and I’m sure that slowed me down a little. Even so, it was a quick finish. I grafted the toe and sent him a picture, then that night handed them over. Action shots are pending!

I do have to write up the pattern for the Bloo sock and knit a pair for myself to test it out, because at 11.25 stitches/inch I’m not sure I’ll have any takers for test-knitting. I think I may call it “Brother’s Socks” or something like that.

Today I’m going to get back to work on Mom’s gloves. I’d like to have them done before the next time I see her, which is in a few weeks for Chanukah.

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Last night I swatched the Silkie Socks that Rock (in Ravenscroft) for Mom’s gloves. This morning I looked at it in the sunlight and was amazed at the depth of the colors. The greens just glow in that way that only silk can provide.

This evening I carefully counted nine stitches to the inch on US #1 DPNs and ripped out the swatch, then cast on for the Hooray for Me! gloves from Marnie MacLean. My mom’s hands are on the small side, and I’ve heard these gloves are big, so the extra half-stitch to the inch that I’m getting should be all right.

Silkie Socks that Rock is beautiful to work with. Aside from the depth of colors in the silk strand, the yarn is smooth and flows well across the needles. I’m using Susan Bates Silvalumes, my current favorites. They are so much my favorites that I recently picked up another set at AC Moore!

Anyway, I’ve got about ten rounds of the cuff knit. I’m going to make the cuffs two and a half inches long, which should be plenty to tuck under a coat sleeve. This is the first time I’m knitting gloves, and I admit to being a little apprehensive that they won’t fit properly. If they were for myself, I could try them on as I go – but they’re for Mom, and although I have her hand measurements, it’s not the same as having her hand here.

Then again, what am I worried about? She will love them, and if they’re really too big I’ll re-knit them until they’re right. Yarn is forgiving that way.

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