Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Parade of Christmas Knitting

So, where have I been? Feverishly knitting up Christmas gifts! (see my Ravelry project page)I do this EVERY YEAR and always spend the last week knitting my fingers into a perfect gnarled claw. The thing is, I always start early enough, but somewhere in the middle I get that gift-knitting-melancholy that only a deadline can bring me out of.

So, I'm guessing you want pictures, right? Okay...you asked for it!

Our first model (yes, those are my sexay gams there) is wearing the En Pointe Slippers - Tossut by ilun handu duunaa (free pattern). Ilu is a Finnish knitter with a blog in both Finnish and English and always has gorgeous blog photos! I'm a sucker for blogs with great photos. Don't judge my "hurry-up-and-snap-a-pic-so-I-can-put-them-in-a-gift-bag-and-run-out-the-door" style. These were made for my teenage niece with the matching Brea bag below.

The Brea Bag (another free pattern) from Berroco, was a very fun knit and well written pattern which seemed to magically come together before my eyes. I had put off seaming (who doesn't) and had originally planned to line the bag, but time got away from me. She loved it and I couldn't have been more thrilled.

Our next knitted item, I nicknamed the "Felted Bag-O-Doom"(aka Felted Cable Bag #143 by Patons...my name sounds more interesting). This is a free pattern, but you must login to the Patons site in order to access their free patterns. It goes without saying that you must knit items much larger than they will be before you felt them. This bag seemed to take forever! I had originally started the bag as part of the Ravelympics Games to knit a project at Olympic speeds and have it done before the end of games. I didn't receive my yarn for several days after the games started and kind of lost momentum from there. After knitting the bag, with much trepidation, I gingerly placed the finished cabled Bag-O-Doom in the washer and stood over the it like an expectant parent checking after every minute of agitation. I actually had a cold chill creep up my back when the wool mess hit the hot water. The felting actually helped straighten out the wonkiness. I dried it on a sweater rack with a couple of wire mesh office trays to hold it open to dry faster. I think it turned out well.

Our next model (yep, my legs again) is wearing the Monkey Sock by Cookie A (another free pattern, of course) in Zen Yarn Garden's Bamboolicious yarn in the Down By the Bay colorway which was part of a Harmony Semi-Solid sock yarn club shipment. This yarn is so soft and was a joy to knit with. I did get a second sock syndrome and had put this project on hold while I worked on other things, but I loved how it turned out. After finishing both, I tried them on and seriously thought of giving my sister something store-bought instead because they fit my feet perfectly and felt so soft...which meant they would fit hers perfectly also. (pouts) I finished these while watching one of our favorite corny holiday movies, Mixed Nuts.

Monkey Socks for Jana

Monkey Socks for Jana

Last, but not least are the Evangeline fingerless gloves I knit for my daughter (free Ravelry download) out of Malabrigo in solid black. These are the gloves that sparked my last post. I knit my fingers to the bone at a feverish pace to get the wristwarmers finished in time for Christmas. I finally wove in the last stitch on Christmas Eve, trimmed the yarns and beamed at my accomplishment. Excited about this finished project, I enthusiastically tried on the pair of wristwarmers….only…
they.were.both.left.handed.gloves. (hangs head)
I made a right handed glove and gave them to her 2 days later. I'll just make another rightie and have myself a pair!

Evangeline mitts

I am now, working on a Central Park Hoodie which is my first adult-sized sweater! I even made a gauge swatch and everything (gasp, horror).
Have a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Yarn Foolery

Now that it’s cold, my daughter is whining about me making her some wristwarmers when I have Christmas knitting to finish! (okay just half a sock) but still! I showed her the malabrigo I bought and she says “do you have anything softer?” I told her to go catch some angel farts and I would be right on that. I think she’s thinking of those fuzzy yarns that are so soft they snag on your hands. If she’s thinking of my Handmaiden Camel/Silk yarn, she’s crazy. She may be my only child but she can’t have that. I can see the headlines now:

“Another Obsessed Knitter Neglects Child”
-by Lotta Crylic

Authorities are tracking yet another insanely obsessed knitter bent on neglecting her child. Forced to wear hand stranglers of M-M-Malabrigo, the child is forced to share living space with what is referred to as “the stash”. Scientists believe the microabrasions found on the childs hands could be the result of either the alleged Malabrigo or aggressive video game play. We may never know. Unable to find the softness she so rightly deserves, this anonymous child sought the help of AFU news correspondent Lotta Crylic.

According to the child, she reports that the mother often engages in secret group meetings with other yarn-crazed women. These women often display knitting gang signs and have intimidating gang names like tehstix, TwistedTexan, MsLilly, Webecca, Kate and Tifftastic not to mention their matriarch, Mopknits. It is also confirmed that her mother has recently been on a yarn rampage in the Texas Hill Country with other random women she met on the interwebs, leaving her helpless 18 year old child home alone to fend for herself.

I went to speak with the mother who answered the door with two long metal spikes, trailing some yarn she had just disemboweled. I could see behind her some kind of primitive, wooden yarn-torturing wheel device and thought better of entering. I asked the mother if she would give up her Camelspun/silk yarn for this poor suffering waif to which she replied “frog you!” and slammed the door.

It appears that we may not have an answer to this epidemic of yarn-foolery. The subjects are left feeling fleeced and we have yet to find an antidote for this Mal-Abrigo.