Friday, November 30, 2007

bye bye, Arwen

So. After seeing this beautiful cardigan by Tiennie I decided to abandon Arwen. I've hated nearly every minute of making it. I may try again some day, because I do love the cable and especially how it reverses, but I think I'll try to remake it in worsted, as the pattern calls for. I think playing with gauge and not understanding the construction is all too much for me. If I can get gauge I can just follow the pattern and not have to work so hard. My brain can't take the working so hard these days.

So I bought the "Olive Branch Yoga Hoodie" pattern from Webs, and while I still need to convert the pattern from worsted to DK, at least this one is a raglan and I can figure it out if i hit some glitches along the road.

So I'm going to tear out Arwen and get started on that this evening. Wish me Luck.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

I Hate Stripes.

This Treliske striped sweater is killing me. I loathe knitting stripes, especially striped sleeves in the round, spit-felted and magic looped. But the alternatives sound so much worse: weaving ends, seaming... I just hate stripes. The Mole will have outgrown this thing before I'm finished with it.

To distract myself I ripped out the red muppety shrug I made while pregnant, salvaged the sleeves, which fit nicely, provisionally cast on and knit the raglan up, following EZ' plans, and then picked up and knit down. I find myself with a too-snug raglan and a too-wide rest of the sweater. I'm going to have to rip it out again and provisionally cast on far fewer stitches and do the raglan decreases every 3rd row. But now i don't feel like it.

So I made myself some mittens. The convertible ones I made myself 3 years ago got lost last year - or at least one of them did. I've been wearing my Knucks a lot, but when I push the stroller I need a bit more. So I made plain old mittens. I've been hoarding this yarn for a while. I just love it, and that's saying a lot for someone who is not head-over-heels about blue. In fact I mostly hate it. But I love this yarn. It's an Oregon Merino from Mosaic Moon and the texture reminds me of a cross between Adam's farm merino and Blackberry Ridge. Buttery soft, but sturdy. I knitted it pretty tightly to hold up to the wind. I also made a duck-webbed thumb gusset which looks crazy but fits like a dream.

In other knitting news, Brigitta is fitting me well with the addition of a couple of buttons and some wearing. I do need to lengthen the sleeves. Then I can put the other sleeve on the Tomten for the Mole.

Also? i found another skein of that Farmhouse Yarn's "I'm Allergic To Wool" to go with the pink one for the Squid's biki. Ihad the squid choose a color to complement the pink and she chose a peachy-orange that reminds me of Baby Aspirin. Nice combo.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

So Many Things, Halfway Finished

We have houseguests (don't get me started) and it's impossible to find the time to sneeze much less take posed photos of unfinished knitting projects.

So here's where I am. An all-verbal update. Finished Brigitta. Maybe. It came out as I expected with my adjusted gauge. Problem is, I am not the size I expected. I don't actually own a full-length mirror which makes it hard for one to have any concept of one's changing shape after having a baby. and I am not one of those people who bounces right back after having a baby. So I made this sweater based on what shape I think I am. And I'm not.

So I occasionally wear it around the house trying to decide if ripping it out and making it again, larger, will help or not. I don't really think so. I think it is what it is, I am what I am, and we shall just continue to hang out together, a little uncomfortably.

I'm also plowing away on that mohair thing. Progress is being made but I think I might not have enough yarn. And I suspect that's going to be too small, too. I need to get a mirror. and possibly measure myself.

Oh, and here's a photo of my hair perfectly matching the decor in a Chinese restaurant. Too bad I hadn't finished the mohair thing. It's the same color. Classy.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

School Weekend Knitting

Last weekend was another lecture weekend for us first year students in the NY School of Homeopathy. Which means I broadened my knowledge of the medical art, more deeply explored my thoughts and ideas about illness and cure, spent alone, adult time with no small people climbing on me, sucking on me, puking on me, or wiping their maple-syrupy fingers all over me. And I got to knit a whole bunch, too.

Brigitta. I did a lot of playing around with size, but decided to follow the numbers for the size small arm scye and sleeve cap. I am glad I did. It's tough to take a photo of black yarn on a cloudy day, and it's equally tough to use words to describe how well this sleeve is constructed. I have to say it's been a long time since I've knit a set-in sleeve, because I hate designing them and have rarely found one in a commercial pattern that fits just right. This one definitely does.

The sweater itself doesn't look particularly great on me, but that's my post-partum body, not the sweater. It would look adorable on someone who is built differently - either slender or roly-poly. I'm neither at the moment, I'm lumpy, and while this sweater masks the lumps somewhat, some lumps just won't be masked.

I don't have a finished photo yet because I need to pick up the provisional cast-on for the sleeves and put on the cuffs. I couldn't do that in class because it requires more trying on and measuring than I'm comfortable doing in a casual class of 20.

So on Sunday, I cast on a sweater for the Mole.

It's various natural shades of Treliske Organic Merino from New Zealand. Part of my ongoing use-up-the-old-stash experiment (still have not purchased yarn this year, can you believe it? and I have TWO sweaters on the needles for myself. whoops.) I wish these photos could show how beautifully squishy and soft this yarn is. In my opinion, there is nothing finer. I love this yarn. It may be my favorite yarn of all time. t does pill and felt rather severely, so who knows what i'll look like by the time the Mole finishes rolling all over the wool rugs while wearing it, but I don't care. It's soft and lovely and uses up 3 partial skeins of yarn. And he needs sweaters.


Thursday, November 08, 2007

Brigitta is Speedalicious

Arwen has been bringing me down. It's lovely, but takes forever. I need a sweater yesterday. Plus, I've been reading about the modifications some people have made and I wish I had made them. I'm contemplating tearing it back to the beginning and starting over. It's been over a month since I started and I haven't finished the first front piece yet.

Then Brigitta entered my life.

She's everything I wanted Arwen to be, but knitted on size 15s. I will either be adding buttons or leaving it open because i'm not really a brooch kind of girl. I love the swinginess and I love the shoulder shaping. Can't wait to get there. This is going so quickly I'm sure I'll be there soon. This weekend is another school weekend which means 2 days of sitting in 8-hour lectures. I can be wearing Brigitta by Monday, for sure.

And, I alreadt have a bunch of Rowan Big Wool so I bought the pattern and cast it on. Then checked my stash of black Rowan Big Wool because I've been using it for little things here and there. Because I have so much of it.

you see where this is going.

I think I'm going to run short. Which is ok. Because then I'll just rip out the Mole's Tomten. Which is ok because I never intended to make him a black one anyway. I intended to make him a red, orange, and white one. But he needed it for Halloween. But I didn't finish it on time for Halloween. So he doesn't really need it. Never mind that I'm only about 28 stitches away from finishing it.

Anyway, I'm focusing on loving Brigitta instead.


Monday, November 05, 2007

"hooray" and "poncho" in the same sentence

When the Squid was wee, I made her a poncho. I was tired of the fighting to get the arms in the sleeves, the buttons all buttoned, the taking in and out of the stroller or baby carrier to dress and undress her as the temperature changed - the poncho seemed perfect. Fashion be damned. It worked well, so I wrote to my dear friend Martha and asked her if a poncho was a girl thing or a boy thing. I thought Martha's son The Professor might benefit from one, and I knew Martha to be sensible about the whole boy/girl clothing thing. Not all scared that putting a pink diaper on her son might make him gay, but not putting him in a lace pinafore to be mocked by the masses, either.

Anyway. I said "Would you consider putting a poncho on your son?" and she replied "Theoretically, yes, though it instantly brings German tourist child to mind. Personally, I don't think so. Someone a bit crunchier might."

So I replied "if you had said "hooray! finally a poncho by son can wear!" i may have put forth some effort."

Her answer? "Hmmm. I actually wouldn't use "hooray" and "poncho" in the same sentence."
Bah. I have to say that those words echoed in my mind last winter when my husband suggested that the Squid needed a poncho for the back of the bike. And I resisted. But this year I caved. And despite the Squid's pout, she likes it, too. Immediately after I took the pouty photo, I took this one:

That's my girl saying "Gotcha!" You can see the whole gamut of facial expressions on flickr.

Oh, and the white ribbons? Don't ask me. My child has never worn a ribbon. My child has never shown interest in a ribbon. But for whatever reason this morning she insisted that she wanted 2 pigtails, 2 ribbons, and 4 clips. I tried using yarn but she found this huge satin ribbon from a present and demanded I use it.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

We Survived Halloween

Of course the unicorn costume turned out pretty much like every toy I make for her. She refused to wear it. I did get these three fast photos with my cell phone, so excuse the quality. There she is playing in the coffee shop with the Mole, who also refused to wear his costume.

There were wristbands and legwarmers which she flat out refused to put on. She did wear the hat for a bit, but then took it off. When someone asked her where her costume was, she said "I'm wearing a costume, look!" and plucked at her white unitard. Last year she took her costume off and told people "I don't need a costume, I'm jut me!"

She sure did love going into all of the stores on Avenue A saying "Trick or Treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat! If you don't, I don't care - I'll pull down your underwear!"

She always took extras and came running back out to the sidewalk to dole them out to her friends when they were too scared by the various masks and decorations to go into certain stores. And if she herself was frightened, she'd mutter, "it's only a costume. There's a person in there. I'm going to go touch it!" and she would. then she'd clench her teeth, pretend to shudder, and say "sceeeeery!" while dancing around in a little circle. All in all, I'm proud of my girl. And not just because she gave me half of her candy.