Sunday, November 11, 2007

Christmas Knitting

Nothing like finding that one thing to knit for everyone for Christmas. In the past I've knit hats, scarves, last year it was dozens of pairs of those great Fetching mitts. But this year, I've looked and searched and tried in vain to find that one pattern that fits all. You know the sort, that you can knock out by the dozens in all sorts of colors that is going to be universally loved? Yes, I know, those patterns are gold and this Fall all I've found were more like tarnished silver. Good, but not quite there. Then I happened on the proverbial pot of gold:

The Luxe Neck Warmer

Aren't these great? And they knit fast. Like really, really fast. I would never have found them if it hadn't been for the podcast, Stash & Burn. They had a one skein theme going and they mentioned the Luxe Neck Warmer from the book, knit2together. I didn't remember the pattern, but they way they discussed it (especially as a great stash buster) piqued my curiosity and I dug up the book at the library and was immediately hooked. So a huge shout out to Jenny and Nicole of Stash & Burn! You've got my needles flying.

Now the pattern calls for a bulky weight yarn, and I wanted to make mine out of several skeins of leftover Lion Brand Cashmere I had tucked away. A quick search on Ravelry led me to Veganpurls who already knit this and left great mods. So a shout out to Michelle as well!

The tan and colored ones used up the Lion Brand, so I dug into my Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, and I'm further modifying the pattern (cast on 96 stitches on size 8 needles--better yet, cast on only one repeat--84 stitches--mine with the double repeat is a little too big) and I'm almost done with the green one. I'll cast on the next one tonight. At this rate I'll have my Christmas knitting done before December 1st. Just in time to start baking cookies.

So what are you knitting this year for Christmas?

Friday, November 02, 2007

Knitting in Circles

Have you ever felt like every project you touched was destined to turn into a disaster? That's the story of my knitting lately. So, I am starting a campaign to rename October 2007 as Frogtober. And I have the evidence to prove that this is an apt and appropriate thing to do:

The Case of the Too Big Mitten

Have you ever seen anything so big? I knew when I was knitting it on my trip to NYC that it was turning out too big. The cuff was fine, but by the time I got to the flip part of the mitten, oh brother, I was in trouble. But I finished it anyway so I could get an idea of how far off these mittens were so I could downsize them to make them into fingerless gloves for the husband, and then another pair for my son's teacher for Christmas, and probably a pair for my dad. They are frogged now, but not recast--I'm going to take them with me on our Thanksgiving travels and hope I have better luck on that trip.

And I offer Case #2 in my crusade to rename last month, Frogtober:

The Sweater that Makes Me Itch

This is the sweater I decided to do with the bag of Rowan Kid Classic I'd picked up on eBay ages ago. I went to all the both of modifying the pattern to knit it in one piece, added short rows for the bust so I could get a tighter fit, and am nearly up to the underarms--and horror, upon horror, the darn thing is making me itch. Well, quite frankly, everything is making me itch this fall, but this Kid Classic gives my wrists and hands a rash that drives me nuts. But I refuse to frog it. I've never been bothered by any sort of fiber--ever. I have to believe this is a phase, and this sweater will get knit. Eventually. In the Spring.

And then there is my Wicked sweater--which I had to cast on three times before I got the stitch count right, the gauge right, and finally cast it on and start it without discovering four rows in that. it. is. flippin. twisted.

So I've set aside all these larger projects and I'm going to do some safe knitting. Neckwarmers for Christmas. Mittens for Matthew's caregivers. And hope that November is the month that brings back the mojo.