Monday, November 24, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Ok, on to today's subject. I didn't want to be the first to bring up the subject of Christmas Knitting, but I've seen it mentioned a few times around the blogs and then I was in Trader Joes yesterday and I saw these, so I know for sure that Christmas will be here before we know it.
Every year I have high aspirations that this will be the year I make all those wonderful things to decorate my house and make it so cozy and Christmasy. One thing I have always wanted is a homemade advent calendar. I have purchased the little calendars with chocolates in the past but I want something really special. You know, like a family heirloom. No pressure.
But this year the stars aligned. NOT ONLY did I see the hat and mitten garland in the Garnet Hill catalog (photo above) and the free pattern from Classic Elite for the mini stockings within the same week and put 2 and 2 together. BUT ALSO, this light bulb moment happened during the last week in October, not December 20th. Making it all possible!
I figure, if I knit one stocking per day (each one takes about an hour, so no sweat) during the month of November, then I will be all ready for the unveiling on December 1st.
Current status: the date is November 12th, and I have 6.5 done. So I'm a little behind. But no worries, I can catch up. As you might have guessed, I am using Sophie's Toes Sock Yarn scraps. Each one takes only 6gms of yarn (I would estimate that is about 20 yards). If you are a sock knitter-you could probably find a couple of stocking's worth buried in your sofa cushions!
They are really fun to knit, and just so stinkin cute that I think I spend as much time spreading them out and admiring them......putting them all in a row and playing with the color combinations...switching them around and petting them again.....as I do knitting them!
And I have to keep my eye on them because the kids keep running off with them. I think they might fit an American Girl doll, but it's just a strange feeling.
Speaking of deadline knitting, I have a gift to give early (at Thanksgiving) and I need to knit a repeat a day in order to get it blocked and done. Recognize the pattern? It's an oldie but goodie.
A sock a day. A repeat a day. Oh, I'm going to be so disciplined.
February in November
The history of my February Lady:
I started in June, right after I saw the pattern via Ravelry and dug through my stash like a crazy woman to see what I could use. I had 10 balls of Debbie Bliss Merino Aran that had aged quite nicely and the color was a great choice for the sweater.
The knitting took me less than 2 weeks, mainly because I was racing to see if I would run out of yarn, and, of course, I did. I thought finding more yarn would be hopeless, since the yarn had been in my stash for a few years, so I weighed options like shortening the body or the sleeves. Then on the off chance that I could find more yarn I browsed stash yarn in Ravelry and found that it was a pretty common color.
Then I found a yarn store several states away that still had it. Whoo hoo! When I got it (2 more balls) I discovered that it was even the same dyelot! Double whoo hoo!
So I finished the sweater with the sleeves and body just the right length and found great buttons but when I tried it on it just wasn't the total love fest that I imagined it would be. It sat the rest of the summer in the corner and had a little time-out.
I kept trying it on and trying to pinpoint what I didn't like about the sweater and I decided that it was the neckline. It was too wide on me and looked stretched out and (floppy? wimpy? I can’t really think of how to describe it) unflattering. Not to mention that the cast on edge--the neck edge--already looked worn from just the trying-on sessions.
I had the idea to crochet a scallop around the neckline, hoping it might draw the neck in and make the cast on edge a little more substantial. I wasn't completely sure if the scallop would go with the style of the sweater, but since it is pretty girlie, I thought it would.
But I had very little yarn left:
And I am very new to crochet and I didn't want to mess it up. I didn't want to crochet part of it and run out of yarn or worse, have it look terrible and then have the edge even more worn after I had to rip it out.
A few months later, I was determined to "make it work". Armed with an hour of complete peace and quiet and strong coffee, I grabbed a beginner crochet book, my hook, my meager yarn leftovers, and I practiced on the back of the neck, figuring out the spacing I would need. Above is a photo of the neck halfway through.
I stopped and ripped about 3 times, trying it on after almost every few scallops to see if it was lying flat. As you can see below, it doesn't look fabulous when it isn't being worn:
But when I am wearing it the scallops spread out a little and lie flat. Just right. Adding the crochet really tightened up the neckline so it isn't so wide and made it much more flattering on me. And I like the feminine touch it added to all that garter stitch on the yoke.
In the end, just a little tweaking took a sweater that I felt meh about to a sweater that I now LOVE.
A few more photos over on Ravelry.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
PRAYING FOR: all the areas where the above isn't the case.
PROUD: to be part of a great moment in history.
HIGHLY CAFFEINATED: Did you know you can get a free cup of Starbucks coffee today after you vote? Not only that, how about some ice cream?
(You might just need that coffee and sugar to make it through this potentially long night of tv coverage. Hope you have some good knitting too! I'll be back tomorrow with some knitting--maybe a lot--if we have to go into the wee hours. xoxo)