Monday, December 29, 2008

Well, That's Over

I did not give any hand knitted gifts for the holidays this year. I didn't even get the eyes sewed on the Caterpillar Scarf. I had hoped to finish at least the first Gator Mitt while I was out of town, but I discovered that I was short a spare DPN, which made it rather impossible to finish the claws on the mitts. So I worked on my One-Row Handspun Scarf. I did manage to get it finished while I was away.

And then I felt really odd because I had no projects with me upon which I could work. It feels strange to be without a WIP after years and years and years of always having some project with me.

Anyway, here's my scarf. The yarn is Mountain Colors Mountain Goat in the color Ruby River. It's a mohair blend. Personally, I would rather it was a bit softer, but it's not uncomfortable to wear against my neck. I will use the other two skeins of this yarn (in completely different colors) to make two more of these scarves to give away as gifts or donations.

Weeding Out the Stash
I have bundled up a selection of spinning fibers to send to my stepmom. Right now that selection includes some domestic wool roving, cotton roving (short staple and long staple), undyed silk and two pounds of a teal/multi wool roving. The dyed wool roving was one I purchased at a fiber festival over five years ago. At the time, I thought it was very pretty. Now it doesn't appeal to me as much, but I think the colors would suit my stepmom very well, were she to spin the yarn for herself. In any event, I'm sure all the fiber I send will be put to good use.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Half a Gator Mitt Done

I have discovered that the pattern is full of errors though. The numbers don't work out and the thumb stitches are put on a holder in such a way that the working yarn divides the thumb hole into two smaller holes. I'm glad I noticed that one before I got more than a couple rounds past the thumb hole. Now that I've looked for it at the Morehouse Merino site, I see that there is an errata sheet for the Gator Mitts. I'm a little disappointed that the errata wasn't included with the pattern, but at least this confirms that the problem is their math, not mine.

I might get a mitt finished today. I could get another one finished by Tuesday. Definitely going to be short at least one scarf and one hat this year. Niece will have her mitts and scarf. Nephew will have mitts and a hat. The rest will get shipped later.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I Think I'm Giving Up

I knit half of a child's mitten cuff last night. I didn't even pick up the needles tonight. I just don't have the energy. Today I realized I am definitely coming down with a cold. I was in denial about it last night, but it's unavoidable today. Between my newfound cold, stress from work and a general lack of exercise, I don't have much energy at the end of the day. I really needed to get the mittens finished by this evening so I could get two hats finished this weekend and a scarf done next week. I don't know when I might have the brain and energy to knit in the evenings. Right now I'm more interested in poking myself in the eye with a pointy stick and/or sleeping.

Now the question is, if I give up knitting these things to be done by Christmas, do I still try to finish them and send them later (like in early to mid-January)? I suppose I should, since I bought the patterns and the yarn.

On that note, I'm taking my mug of hot tea and going to bed.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

8 Days Left

And I've only got a pair of mittens, one scarf, two hats and a Boy Sock to knit. I'm even behinder than the Harlot!! My goal is to finish the 2nd Puppy Paw this evening. I'll cast on the Gator Mitts as soon as the Paw is finished.

Fortunately, Boy understands that his socks will be late. I saw Boy this past weekend, but didn't have a chance to get his toe re-done for him to try on. I debated sending the first sock when it's done but that would be silly if it fit, so I'll wait and send them both together. I suspect these socks will be my airplane knitting when I go on my trip in January.

My spinning wheel is not tempting me nearly as much as it tempted me last week. This is good. I'd never finish my holiday knitting otherwise.

And now back to watching Shadow of a Doubt. Joseph Cotton is one of my favorite actors.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

No, Really. Must Start Soon.

I have 1.3 Puppy Paws finished. I suspect the new, improved Puppy Paws will now be waaaaay too big. I have started to rip out the toe of Boy's Sock. I'll see Boy on Saturday, so it would be nice if I actually got the toe re-knit by then so we can have a fitting. I also need to actually pack and get organized to head out tomorrow.

So, since I'm supposed to be knitting, I've been spinning a little bit each day instead. That makes all kinds of sense, right? This is the sort of logic that works best for me. Avoid what you have to get done and do other stuff with no deadline at all that you've not even been interested in for months. Maybe I just like the whirring of the wheel.

Regarding the spinning, I had intended to spin a 3-ply sock yarn, but I had also toyed with the idea of a 2-ply laceweight. Now I'm leaning more toward the laceweight and considering making a shawl or stole out of it. The downside to this is that the yarn will be variegated with a lot of difference between the colors. I don't like lots of variation in color in shawls. Maybe it will be socks afterall.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Must Get Cracking....

I haven't been knitting very much. Well, I added an inch or so to my new winter scarf, but that was mostly done while resting my eyes/brain on Saturday when I had a headache. I still have Boy Socks to finish (and I see Boy in one week), the Puppy Paws, the Pony Tail Hat, and all the Gator Gear for the niece and nephew. I won't mention Boy's Scarf. Given that I have other things I need to get done this week, I don't think I'll be knitting every night this week. I'll aim for getting the first Boy Sock re-knit so that it fits better and then have the fitting on Saturday when I see Boy. After that, I'll have to really get cracking on the Critters. The Gator Scarf might take me a while, especially if I'm having to adjust the pattern for the gauge I'll get with the yarn I've chosen. Boy will understand if his socks are delayed until late December or early January. The niece and nephew may not.

Cleaning House
I've been making good progress on some long-delayed de-cluttering in my house. I am probably going to weed out my stash as well. Some of it I'll just donate either to a charity that solicits yarn donations or I'll take it to GoodWill. I may try to sell some of the better stuff that I just don't think I'll ever get around to knitting. Having a large stash is great, as long as it doesn't loom over you and make you think you aren't doing enough with it. I have, at least, managed to catalog it in an Access database.

Thursday, December 04, 2008


So, the Caterpillar is finished (except for having its eyes and antennae attached). Everybody who has seen it says it's really cute. As always, I added a few modifications. The pattern, as written, has two sizes for the body segments. I actually stepped down the size on the segments from the middle to the tail. I also had to adjust for having a tighter gauge than the pattern specified.

This is my soon-to-be winter scarf. I'm using the Yarn Harlot's One Row Handspun Scarf and Mountain Colors Mountain Goat yarn in Ruby River. The other two skeins are Juniper and Wild Raspberry. I'll turn them into One Row Scarves too and then give them away. I'm thinking I may turn a lot of my miscellaneous wool yarn stash into these scarves and then donate them. Either that or I'll make them into felted berets or other hats.

Yes, now that we're coming down to the wire for getting holiday knitting done, I'm feeling the urge to do a lot of charity knitting. This happens every year. I blame the cold weather. I love cold weather and snow, but I dislike being cold. I have the luxury of lots of warm clothes and a warm house, but not everybody is that lucky. So when it gets cold, I feel the urge to make lots of warm stuff for people who may not have any warm stuff of their own. It just seems like the thing to do.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Caterpillar Done!

But now the puppy paws need to be ripped out. I'm not sure which size I knit (the book and mittens are at home, but I'm not), but they're too short. I had my niece and nephew try them on over the weekend and they didn't fit either one of them. That's easy enough to fix. I'll undo the seam and rip back just to the thumb area, then add an inch of length. I'll make sure the gator mitts are nearly as long.

Ripping Ripping Ripping....
I discovered last week that I don't actually have a winter scarf any more. I apparently gave away all the fabric ones. I did knit a lace one over a year ago, but didn't like it as much as I'd hoped so I gave it away too. So I got out a ball of Mountain Colors Mountain Goat in the Ruby River colorway and set to work knitting myself the Yarn Harlot's One Row Handspun Scarf. I initially cast on 42 stitches. I knit several inches and then couldn't decide if it was wide enough. Finally I decided to rip it out and cast on 50 stitches. That was definitely wide enough.

You might guess what happened next.

Yep, not long enough. So I ripped a completed, but too short scarf out on Saturday night and started over. With the original 42 stitches.

Fortunately this is luscious yarn and a quick-knitting pattern. I should have myself a yummy warm scarf by the end of the week, which is good.

Because Boy has indicated that he might like to try wearing a winter scarf if I could find some soft, non-scratchy warm yarn. (I have two balls of Takhi Sable, which is 70% merino, 30% angora in jet black.) I really need to get the Boy Socks finished too.