18 December 2007

In which I have something functional, as my friend Melissa the social worker says, to report

Hello friends! Perhaps you will recall how I vowed this year to take control of my knitting? Yes, I vowed to take control back from wishful thinking and stupid patterns and blindly following what my gut told me were gauge errors or failures of proofreading or the like. Perhaps you have been wondering, Hey, how is Max doing with that? Is her knitting getting any better, after all those bosom-swelling emotional vows?

Well, the answer is Yes. It's better. To wit: Above is my Joelle's Favorite Yoke Sweater from the almost-unbelievably good KnitKnit by Sabrina Gschwandtner. This was going to be my Joelle's Favorite Gone Pear-shaped, since I am pear-shaped and the pattern has no shaping at all, pear or otherwise, instead relying on ribbing round the middle. I thought I'd just make size XL on bottom, size S or M on top, and find a good spot to accomplish the decreases (after consulting with Dr. Stacie).

But after I got through the bottom ribbing and maybe a half-inch of sweater, suspicion began to gnaw like the worm at the apple. Another time, Pre-Vow, I would've sailed past it. But now I could not. So I put the stitches on some waste yarn, and friends, you really have to understand the depth and breadth of my conditioning to ignore problems to appreciate how momentous this is, I tried on the sweater.

That's when I realized that although it's true I am pear-shaped, the pear part doesn't really begin an inch below the waist. It's further down. Like an actual pear. Yes, my hips are wide, but my waist is not 48 inches. At least not at the moment. So I ripped out, cheerfully enough, and cast on for size S.

Among the good news is, reducing the sweater from 320 stitches to 252 should speed things up.

In other news, my son has been diagnosed with wheat, dairy, and egg white allergies. While this means evicting some (okay, lots of) food from the menu, it's also meant trying new things. I was inspired by this delicious-looking post from Alicia to make some polenta niblets to go with the homemade sausages and homemade tomato sauce (never used to make those from scratch). I always thought I didn't like polenta. But I was wrong. And look at the package! Is it not a little masterpiece of packaging design? 'Tis. I'm enjoying this experimentation.

16 December 2007

2000 Yards of Lace, 2 Podiatric Garments, A Quilt.

Well, it's been awhile hasn't it?

I've been continuing in my plan to semi-ignore my holiday crafting tasks. Well, sort of.
I managed to finally get around to machine-quilting this quilt-top that I have had kicking around for some time now - next, to put on the binding.It's been easier to work on non-thinking projects. I present to you my variation of the "Azure" socks from the Winter Knitty, made with STR "Cluckers" colorway:
These are on US0, toe-up, blah blah blah. Going pretty quickly.

But I've really been wanting to get another lace project on the needles, so I spent a pre-snowy evening winding up a bunch of lace:That's A Touch of Twist Lace Alpaca in Lavendar, Malabrigo Laceweight in Verdes, and HelloYarn lace in Acid Green.

And while picking up that ball winder, Max also presented me with the Marie Antoinette Honey Bee kits we ordered! We're planning on working these up as a KAL, but Max said sure get to it. So I'm going to do one, and then wait on the second one until Miss Max is ready to go.
So far, I've got the lace cuff done and grafted, and I picked up along the edge.
My notes on this so far: the pattern is EXTENSIVE. It has everything written down and charted, which is great, but mildly confusing (there's just so much there! in so many different formats!). I ran into a very quick brief confusion on the edge lace chart - Row 3 features a BO2, K1, P3.......it turns out that the K1 is the stitch that you loop the second BO over, then go right to the P3. Easily amended. I'm loving the loop pick up thing on this. The yarn is a dream to work with and the color is amazing. It's fun so far, and has a fair amount going on to keep me interested. Well, until I get to a big lace project.

What else is in store for me? More quilting perhaps - I may try and get another quilt done in time for the holidays, but I'm not counting on it. We'll see.

Oh! And cataloging my stash for Ravelry! Max and I plan on Knit-From-The-Stash in 2008 - anyone want to join us? We'll be posting our rules (right, Max?) once we get them solidified.

05 December 2007

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Continuing on my path to ignore holiday crafting for others until the last possible minute, I have been foolishly working on.....foot garments. It HAS been cold, and this seems a reasonable way to handle the freeziness of it all. I'm on Sock #2 (of 2, just in case y'all were wondering) in the Helloyarn "Dusk" colorway. The yarn is a joy to work with - super squooshy, such vibrant colors, interesting pooling, not splitty at all.

Hello Sock Yarn!

I should be a good little crafter lady and get into the holiday hub-bub, but it hasn't really happened yet.

Miss Alayne was kind enough to send me some remnants of alpaca that she happened to have in her stash, in just the colorway I was seeking in order to complete the Anthropologie Hayride Capelet. After binding off, I had about....2 yards of yarn left - most certainly not enough for an I-Cord and pompoms! So making some cord is on the agenda, and then quick-like-a-bunny writing up the rest of this pattern (I'm halfway there!) for Miss Max to test-knit it (and then have one of her very own). I've got to tell ya, though....I am LOATHE to make any sort of significant length of I-Cord, donchaknow. In fact, I am loathe even to have others do it. Nonetheless, I think I've found a decent solution:

Lucet Fork Solution

This is my super-cheap modified Lucet. I saw these at Rhinebeck (much MUCH nicer, though!), and they work in a similar way as spool-knitting. You wrap the yarn around a prong and flip the bottom loop over the top loop. Pull yarn to tighten, and rotate lucet in order to loop the other prong.....continue in this manner forEVER. You end up with a really nice boxy rope. I figured a lucet is nothing but 2 fixed prongs that you can easily slide some yarn over. I considered rigging up some chopsticks, but the plastic fork seemed All Class for this endeavor.

I'm taking suggestions for fast, cheap, outta-control holiday gifts I can make - any ideas?