Knitables

80,000

I know it’s been two months since I last wrote– I’m terribly sorry about this. Life has been kind of crappy. My contract ended in January and I’ve been dealing with unemployment since then on top of my part time job. I’ve been, futilely, applying for jobs and trying to come to terms with the fact that dreams change and my next job may not be writing full time.

This idea really sucks. I don’t like thinking about it.

So I’ve been knitting to avoid it.

I knit a hat, another hat, a few cowls and I’m working on two blankets, one of which has a deadline.

Boyfriend’s Cousin is getting married in approximately 90 days and, rather than spending money on a present, I decided on Sunday that I would knit them a blanket with what I had in my stash. I cast on 500 stitches with the hopes that it would be big enough but realized that it would only be about 3.5 feet wide, which would not cover two adults in knitted warmth. So I cast on another 300 stitches.

Yes, ladies and gents: there’s 800 stitches on my needles. Stuffed doesn’t even begin to explain it.

I started with garter stitch with one strand held and was done with the first skein after about 10 rows. I then picked up a second skein and started in the round (on two 40 inch cables. Holy crap) and I’m about half way through the two skeins with four or five rows. I’m decreasing 4 times per row, meaning I have 200 rows until it’s done, making it 80,000 stitches about.

This blanket has a grey base and I’ve got three heathered colors to include stripes. I only have 5 skeins of grey to begin with (I have four more in the box just in case) and five skeins of the colors to include as small to big stripes. I have no idea what A&A’s color theme is, but I don’t really care as it’s going to be awesome when done– it’s also going to be at least 13 feet around, 5.5 feet across and soft and enormous. I would take a picture but right now it’s a mass of grey garter stitch. I’ll have something figured out in a few days. The stitches are currently smashed onto the 40 inch cable so I’m just going to keep decreasing in the hopes that it’ll fit more comfortably in a few days.

Boyfriend, in all his nerdy glory, figured out that it’ll be approximately 94 days if I knit for 60 minutes a day. At the rate I’m going, I’m knitting exclusively on this blanket for at least three hours a day and right now, it takes me approximately 50 minutes to knit a row.

I’ll let you know how things go in a few days. This should be interesting.

Knitables

Finally Keeping a Promise

I told you I’d write a knitterly post so here it is!!

The clapotis still isn’t done. The ladies are still picking on me mercilessly.

Instead I decided I’d finish the blanket I was going to finish before starting the TARDIS blanket. 

I knit and knit and then when I took a little break that I knit through, I knit some more. Finally I got to 7.5 squares out of 9.

Then on Monday I packed up and went to Jenny’s for labor day Stitch n Bitch where I finished the 9th square and crochet seamed the pieces together.

I’ll be casting on the edging and knitting away until I run out of the neutral then going to the third skein I have of blue and knitting the rest of the edging so I end up with a 48 inch square blanket.

I also finished the mittens and hat for Erin’s soon-to-be baby.

Here’s the cutest thing about knitting baby clothes.

They fit so conveniently in the little spaces of the car.

I finished the mittens while out shopping with mom on Saturday and cast on the hat while driving home. I finished the hat on Sunday and used the last 2 yards or so on a braid to keep the mittens together.

I just started some mittens with madelinetosh Tosh DK but there isn’t a whole lot of progress on them so pictures are forthwith. I’ve done no other knitting of note so!

And now for your viewing pleasure:

My best purchase from GenCon 2011: A k9 air freshener that sits on the dash in my car.
George in all his 9-month-old glory!
George comes with a matching Louie.
Knitables

Baby Baby Baby

I frequently tell people I don’t want children and the normal response:

“You’ll change your mind”

Sorry, Mom. I won’t. Ever. In the eternal words of Luke Danes, “Kids are sticky. They always have jam on their hands. Even if there’s no jam in the house they’ll somehow have jam hands!” I fully adhere to this thought process and it frequently gets proven right by the knit-night ladies with children.

This doesn’t mean I have a total disdain of children. I like well-behaved children and I’m sure that this newest one to our knitting circle will be just that.

Erin is ready to have her baby. She’s due in 12 days exactly and she looks like she could easily go into labor today and have a gorgeous and healthy baby boy or girl in her arms in a matter of a day or so.

I, being one who knows virtually nothing about babies other than how to sway perfectly so they fall asleep on my shoulder within a matter of 10 minutes, don’t quite realize how small babies are. They freak me out in their small-ness. They’re like a football– so light and tiny and have to have the utmost care in keeping that baby in your arms.

The youngest baby I’ve ever held is little Ellie at her baptism. She was three months old. She still seemed so fragile even in all those layers of christening dress. I knit a jacket for her and I knit the 9 month size so that was still a decent size.

It was when I pulled out sock yarn and size 2 needles that I realized how tiny babies are. The pattern I found for baby mitts said to cast on 28 stitches. It looked like it wouldn’t even fit a doll. I cast on 48 and found that it was FAR too large and would thusly fit a toddler. I ripped and cast on 36, a happy medium, and ended up with this:

It’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen and I whip it out of my bag all the time to show it off because it always gets the ‘aww’ reaction from every single person I show it to. I finished this one in front of Erin at knit-night and she squealed; literally squealed at the sight of this adorable little mitten. I’ve started on the second and hope to have it done soon as well as a receiving hat for the little one.

I’d much rather give away the sock yarn I have left over to a baby who is already almost born so they’ll be all kinds of warm and cozy this winter than have a child. Something about the thought of pushing a watermelon through a hole the size of a golfball doesn’t seem appealing at all. Some women have the maternal gene. It must have skipped my generation.

—-

So, onto the reason for my icord mania last weekend.

We all surprised Erin with this on Monday:

When we found out Erin was pregnant, we clandestinely set up a thread on Facebook to talk about creating a baby blanket for her and her little one. We settled on primary colors of red and blue since she’s creating a Mario-themed baby room. We only had to use worsted weight yarns and it had it be 12 inches square. Everything else was up for grabs. When we handed our squares to Jenny for seaming, we thought it was going to be so ugly but she did an amazing job making the colors work together and it looks great. I was given the blanket on Saturday and I set to applying the i-cord edging. Once I found gauge (three was too few, five wasn’t grouping correctly, four make a nice compromise) I set to knitting and had half of it done by the time we got home from Stitches. I finished the other half on Sunday, threw it in the wash and had it clean and ready to be delivered on Sunday night. I packed it in an old Cream City Yarns bag with blue tissue paper (we all kind of decided that Erin is having a boy and I’m hoping our collective powers of knitting will give her a boy) and it was ready to be given to our very pregnant mother-to-be. She and her husband loved it and were extremely happy with the present. Now baby and mommy will be warm through all of winter when they have their alone time.

No work on Clapotis since Monday. It happens. I’m sure this weekend I’ll have more time to work on it.

Wisconsin Sheep & Wool is in a week. I can’t wait!

Uncategorized

I Had Hope

I’m creeping on the 660th yard of yarn on the Clapotis and it’s still not long enough.

At least I’ll be able to go to Knit Night with the ladies and tell them I did indeed make progress on it.

This weekend is Stitches Midwest. A bunch of us will be piling into Jenny’s Prius and driving down to Shaumburg. I’ll be doing an applied i-cord edging for the entire drive. I’ll explain later.

I finished a pair of socks, and I’ve cast on the second green sock. It’s extremely slow going, mostly because I have other projects to do and I also just don’t want to knit the sock. This is why I don’t usually knit socks. There’s 2 of them.

Leah gave me the  2007 issue of Interweave with the Cobblestone Sweater pattern. I’m hoping to get the yarn for it at stitches, otherwise it’ll just be an acrylic buy from Joann’s. There’s also about 10 other patterns I really want to copy from the magazine so I guess I’ll be all kinds of ready for winter this year.

I’m putting off buying the TARDIS yarn for another week. I was supposed to get it next week but I kind of have all kinds of bills to pay and my checking account is still doing pretty poorly thanks to my accidental falling on the credit machine buying yarn so I’m planning on buying it after my next paycheck. I’m also working on getting better at steeking. I did it the other day at Stitch n Bitch and it worked out pretty well. I’ll be knitting up a colorwork swatch and giving it a shot since I’ll have to do a striped steek to allow for less floating and less ends to weave in.  I also need to find a quality printer for the pattern so I can make it very well-colored.

I’m drinking coffee today in the vain hopes that it’ll help this evil migraine that decided to visit me upon waking up this morning. It’s going to be a long day.

Knitables · Patterns

Rationalizing away a madwoman’s needs

Oh hi there. It’s been a while since we last chatted. I’ve been meaning to rectify that…

I can’t rightly tell you about one of the things I’m knitting, because it’s not done. I can tell you that I’m fully intending on buying 7,000 yards of yarn in a few weeks, though!

Why?

Oh, ok. I guess I can fill you in.

I’ve gone insane: I’ve decided that my life simply isn’t complete without a 9X7 foot knitted TARDIS blanket to cozy up under. This is so much of a desire of mine that I’m fully rationalizing the fact that I can totally spend 150 dollars on the yarn and needles for this blanket AND I won’t be altering the pattern. It will be a full 9 feet long by 7 feet wide.

Here’s a little bit about me: I’m 5’4″. That means this blanket will be a good 3.5 feet longer than I am tall. Oh and it’ll be a foot and a half wider than I am tall. This blanket would be big enough to fit on a California King bed. I have no words.

The pattern for this blanket was free on Rav. I nearly piddled myself when I saw that it was indeed free and I promptly downloaded the pattern and set to figuring out how to print it without wanting to die of trying to figure out how to read a fully colorworked pattern that would NOT fit on just one page.

The pattern prints out to be 19 pages long. 19!!! That means every single little row will have to include me flipping the page 19 times! Painters tape will be my best friend when it comes to changing to a new row. I’m also anticipating one row to take me forever. ALSO I have to teach myself how to do colorwork while Purling. Trust me when I say that the option of knitting this piece in the round and steeking (cutting the fabric when done)  has not left my mind.

Finally, I’ll be backing it with gray fleece because I have a ton of it and it needs to go to a good home and there’s no way I’m going to want to weave in the billions of ends I’m going to have, so I’ll back it and reinforce it and it will be beauteous.

Now, onto the more important things before starting this mad project:

I have to finish Clapotis.

I’ve been working on the Clap since February and I’m only about 70 percent done. Once I finish the third skein I’ll start decreasing, but I still have about 90 yards left on the third skein and I really don’t want to be knitting the damn thing anymore.

I hate it.

I HATE IT HATE IT HATE IT!

I’m working on many other projects so Clap has gone by the wayside, but I have to finish her by the end of the month before I can start on the TARDIS blanket.

I also have to finish a lap blanket for me that I started around my birthday. I began knitting this blanket because I had three skeins of Cascade Eco + wool that I didn’t know what to do with and I wanted something instant that I could just put on my lap and knit or curl up under because I tend to run cold at night while watching TV. I finished one skein of the wool rather quickly, resulting in 5 squares, in which I realized I wouldn’t be able to finish a blanket because I would be one measly square short. My Carolina Homespun handspun will match the bare color I’m doing as a compliment rather well so I’ve decided to knit a square out of that.

However, I’ve been stalled on the bare skein since getting half-way through one square. I told myself I have to finish the blanket and seam it together and do the applied i-cord edging on it before I’m allowed to start the TARDIS blanket. I figured it would be bad to have two blankets going on at the same time, so I’m not going to. This project is completely mindless so I’m going to just knit while on lunch at work and hopefully it’ll complete itself. And then I’ll put it together and enjoy the crap out of it for as long as I can before moving onto another warm project.

Work has worn me out. I usually don’t get home until dinnertime and I’m usually too tired to either eat dinner or knit so I pretty much lay down and zonk out for most of the night. Then I finally get up and do some knitting but get bored because who wouldn’t get bored with a ton of Garterstitch and that’s it.

Knitables · Uncategorized

Do I have a problem? Guilty

I went on a buying bender the other day but only by default. I went to Half-Priced Books hoping to make a pretty penny for my brother’s books (of course, I’m sending the money to him) but I had tons of time to kill because the people who entered the store before me had what seemed like an entire Library in their arms, so I figured I’d be sitting around for a while.

So I found the knitting section. This is where the robot in my head started flailing his arms around screaming “DANGER WILL ROBINSON… DANGER… DANGER!” But I didn’t listen to him… of course not.

Let it be known: I had NO INTENTION of buying anything, but then I saw the books they had on the shelves for more than 3/4 of the sale price. I couldn’t pass up that kind of deal.

So I bought three books…

I picked up Knitting with Balls, Glamour Knits and Classic Knits. There’s at least three things in each of these books I’d like to try, including a cowl-neck sweater, a pair of knee-socks, a beer bottle cozy, an Aran laptop case, and a paneled blanket that has the appearance of hounds-tooth. Oh I’m so excited!

THEN! Last night I went to Barnes and Noble looking to find the latest copy of Milwaukee Home and Fine Living, the magazine which I’d love to intern this spring semester. I didn’t find the magazine since they haven’t had it on the stands in almost 6 months, but I found a bunch of knitting magazines (I’m worse than an alcoholic at an open bar…). So I found two and, to make up for my lack of luck in the MHFL search, I bought two magazines.