Sunday, November 19, 2006

Christmas Countdown Update

I know... I've been absent for a while. Sorry. There is some explanation here if you are interested. But, I have been busy. Job stuff. Personal stuff. Birthday stuff. (My birthday. I'm old now. Like over 35 old. Whee.)

But, I have finally found my Christmas project rhythm.


1 pair of flip top mitten/gloves for one of my brothers.
Pattern: A combination of Knitty's Cigar with the fingers adapted and I adapted the flip-top instructions from Magknits' Urban Necessities
Yarn: Patons Decor

These were a relatively quick knit. Especially considering that I had one almost completed when I realized that I was using the wrong needle size and it had seriously affected the fabric and gauge. I started and completed one on Monday while on a day off, and the other was knit over a couple of evenings of TV watching. Yay! Quick Christmas knits!

I was thinking about making socks for my sister and sisters-in-law for Christmas and then I realized I'm insane. Then I realized that I could make them BIG socks

(haha)(obviously these are due to be felted)(and I have 2 of them now, just not at picture time)

Pattern: Knitty's Fuzzy Feet but with short-row heels and toes in contrasting color
Yarn: "Vintage" Rowan DK Wool from stash (from my aunt Pat's friend AKAThe Yarn Lady)

Another quick knit. I knit one Friday evening and the other took a few hours on Saturday. Yay!

Now to finish the other small items so I can tackle the bigger items. Oy. I have been spinning a little bit at a time, but I keep thinking "I should be knitting" so I haven't been doing as much spinning as I might like. I need to go knit now. Time's a wastin'.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Finished Objects!

I seem to have finally broken my not-finishing-anything cycle I was stuck in. Yay. But, um, before we get all excited about the Christmas present progress, let's take a look at the stats, shall we?

Finished Objects in the past 7 days: 7 (ee!)
Finished Objects started and completed today: 3 (EEE!)
Finished Objects that make the slightest dent whatsoever in my Christmas Present Project list: 0 (er. um. well.)
Christmas presents started that were not on the UFO list I posted last time: 1
Christmas present projects yet to be completed: Um... HEY LOOK! What's that? Something shiny!

In my defense, the projects this week were all baby/toddler projects for my (upcoming) niece and my twin nephews.

Here are Finished Objects numbers 2-7 (I counted the pairs of mittens as 1 item):

Pattern: The toques were a mix of a couple of different patterns. I took the short row earflaps from the Brioche Helmets in a past IWK. The shaping for the tops came from Last Minute Knitted Gifts.
The scarves were made up as I went, knit lengthwise with a buttonhole type opening for the end to pass through.
The mittens were adapted from a free pattern on the Lion Brand site. (I would post a link but I can't be bothered to go through their stupid infuriating sign in process)
Yarn: stash acrylic. (acrylic stash reduction!!!!)

I'm going to see my brother, his wife and their twins tomorrow. On Wednesday I remembered this and that I had wanted to make the boys toques. So, I did one (with a couple of false starts while I figured out the short row earflaps) Wednesday evening and one Thursday (through ER and My Name Is Earl if we are looking for precise time measurements)(haha). Then, I started a Christmas Present Project that was not on my UFO list (flip top mittens for one of my brothers). Then Friday evening, I remembered that my sister-in-law was talking about scarves for the boys at one point and I had planned to make them some. So I made scarf #1 last night (during the Flames game if we are looking for exact times). Scarf #2 was made this morning. I had planned to go to visit them today but plans changed so I decided that a person can not possibly give toques and scarves without mittens to go with them, so 2 sets of teeny tiny mittens were knit today.

Ahhhhh... Finished Objects.

Also, how cute are toddler mittens? Seriously!!

(my mitten for perspective)

So, now that all these nephew/niece projects are out of my system, I can buckle down and get going on my list... Unless I get distracted by somethi.... NO! Focus Lori! Must focus on list!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

the UFO post

To distract you from the masses of UFOs to follow, look! Something shiny finished!

My sister is due with her little girl soon (end of November/beginning of December) so I wanted to have something ready to welcome her. I was prepared to show you this as a UFO but it somehow got finished Tuesday evening. Not sure how that happened. I guess it is possible to finish something...

Pattern: Topdown Easy Baby Cardigan from Knitting Pure and Simple (FREE!!)
Yarn: Stash Bernat Satin (acrylic stash reduction!!)
Modifications: yarn substitution and I added a row of stranded hearts to the hood and body to make it more "girly".

Look, something else finished!

I always see spinners putting pennies in with their yarn. I don't want to assume that a Canadian penny will be obvious to anyone so I have coinage from 4 countries. If you want to guess which countries, there could be a prize in it for the first person to guess correctly (in order) which countries/currency/denominations I have there. (prize to be determined...)(probably yarn)(surprised?)

This is 4oz of Merino I dyed using Wiltons dyes. I actually ended up overdyeing the roving with some royal blue Rit dye because the initial outcome was very cotton-candy looking. It's a bit lighter and less mauve-y in reality. I have still have 12oz of this roving to spin! I dyed it with the plan to try to spin enough to make a sweater (for ME!!). I don't know the WPI but the yardage is (you might want to sit down. I know i did) 533 yards. So, if I am able to get even close to that gauge/yardage for the rest of it... um... definately enough for a sweater!

This is the most even that I have spun so far and the least overspun (does that make sense?). Something seems to have "clicked" between my hands and feet and brain and spinning this merino seemed to just flow.

I had to use EVERY ounce of my self control to not cast on for something with this last night. Must. Knit. Christmas. UFOs.

Okay, enough stalling. UFO time. In point form. With little pictures. In order of the length of time they have been on the needles.

1. Not Christmas knitting, but a UFO I want to knit:

The back of a shawl collared cardigan I'm pulling together from several patterns and my stitch book. I have no idea when I started this one but it's been a while.

2. My sister-in-law's "siwash-style" sweater/jacket:

I'm rationalizing the slow pace of this knit with the fact that she is pregnant and won't be able to close it until after the baby comes in February. This way, she'll have a nice new jacket to wear when she is post-baby. Right?

I don't know why this thing is taking me so long. Other than it is HARD to knit. Not difficult. Just hard. Like I need to be lifting weights to build arm strength hard.

3. A toque to be gifted from some Corriedale I dyed and spun (eee!!!)

I like how it's knitting up, but I'm toying with the idea of making something more substantial with it. I have about 450yards. Suggestions? (It's not super-even but somewhere between a sport and a dk/light worsted)

4. 3 inches of the bottom of a sweater for me. Again, not Christmas knitting but it is winter so I should be working on it.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz... I just lost you didn't I? Boring, huh? If it helps, it's the Shawl Collared pullover from Vogue knitting from a couple of years ago (or last year?). I'm working it in the round because stocking stitch for 5 miles is bad enough if I have to purl back every other row, right?

5. The collar and 2 inches of body of a sweater for my friend Julie.

Just minutes before I took this picture (on the weekend) I realized I had irreversably messed up the lace bit on the body of this top-down raglan. So it will be frogged and possibly I will use different yarn because I wasn't fully sold on it. Or, maybe I'll tink back and fix it. Or...

(this, my friends, is why nothing is getting finished.)

6. Back piece of a cardigan for my friend's daughter. I'm using Knitty's Reid as a starting point but I changed the lace.

This is a pretty quick knit but I got distracted (as I tend to do) and haven't worked on it since Saturday.

7. I was distracted by this:

Knitty's Danica knit with Patons SWS yarn. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....
Not sure yet who this is for. I have a couple of giftees in mind and will shuffle things around as I go. Once I caught on to what I was doing this is going pretty quickly. (This knit was inspired by Eunny Jang's post here)

If only I could knit at work (instead of, you know, working) I could get some of this done! I have yarn and an idea ready for a gift for my friend Cobi (shh) and, (you might want to sit down again) I actually swatched for it last night! (I know!) I am hoping to see my brother, sister-in-law and their boys this weekend so I bumped the Christmas knitting in order to sneak in a couple of baby-sized-toques. (no pics at the moment).

I'm sure I could knit at my desk. No one would notice.

The post before the UFO post

I had this AWESOME idea for a post while driving to work this morning but now I can't remember it
literally as I was typing that I remembered what I was going to say... lucky you! haha. ehem.

Yesterday morning it was 10C/50F. Then it started to snow. Which, in Calgary, somehow translates into people being shocked at the thought of winter.

I hadn't brought a jacket yesterday, just had sweater/long t-shirt layers. This induced some mocking on the part of my co-workers. "How long have you lived in Calgary?" haha.

Well, when they all went out to clean off their cars NOT ONE of them had mittens or a scarf or a toque.

Me? 2 pairs of mittens, and a scarf and several toques to choose from.

Never mock the knitter in her winter preparedness.

This morning as I was S.L.O.W.L.Y. driving to work I was thinking about how I have all manner of warm woolen things to keep me warm. I'm wearing a sweater I knit, a scarf I knit, socks I knit, and, in the car, mittens I knit. I have fingerless mittens at work because the temperature varies constantly. I'm set.

I could even, in the unlikely event that I don't have any clean handknit items to wear, just stuff my jacket with skeins of wool.

Never mock the knitter, people. Never mock the knitter.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

trying to get some control

gah. I'm missing a whole week! Last weekend, I took a few pictures and planned to post and somehow I didn't and now it's a week later. Gah.

I enjoyed all of your comments about obsessing thinking about knitting/spinning/etc. So glad to know I'm not alone in this... (ahhh, warm happy community feeling).

Since that post I've been thinking about why I don't seem to actually be getting anything done lately. I have so so so many WIPs on the go right now and I don't know why I don't just finish one of them. That is part of the reason I haven't posted. A knit blog without any actually knitting/fiber content (har) is really boring, right?

Also, one of the more frustrating aspects of winter for me is the lack of daylight in my "free time" hours. My camera doesn't do so well with artificial light, so pictures will be taken on weekends for now. Which is my excuse for not posting. Just thought I should be up front about it right off the start.

Anyway, I was thinking about it and I realized that I sometimes get myself into a space where I take on too much and then spend all my time trying to keep up with it rather than actually accomplishing anything. Right now, my knitting/fiber/crafty world is like that, as is my job. I've been trying to figure out how to get a better handle on my job (I'll write more about all that sometime), but as for the knitting stuff, I realized that part of it was this:

this is just a sample of the yarn/book disaster zone

So, last Saturday I went to Ikea with my friend Cobi and her kids (Hi Cobi) and I ended up with this:

Cheap Inexpensive book shelves to house my collection of novels and books from College that I will probably never read again.

Also, looking at this (somewhat blurry, sorry) picture makes me realize i HAVE accomplished something this week. The fiber draped over the wheel has been spun and plied since last Saturday. Yay me! I finished something that makes no impact on my Christmas project list whatsoever!

and this:


I still haven't completed any knitting projects, but at least I don't feel all twitchy from the overwhelming pile of yarn and books.

So, I plan to make myself stick to a schedule (still to be determined) and stop thinking about new projects while working on something (which I pledged to do last night and stuck to for exactly 4 minutes). Wish me luck!

(I'll try to take pics of my WIPs today. I may space them out over the week and post more regularly... or I might forget for a week. we'll see.)