Tuesday, January 23

Unhappy Cat

This is Ginny McSqueakins yesterday when I took her to the vet.  She was generally silent and unhappy, stuffing her head into the corner of the carrier, perhaps in an attempt to reach another dimension where there are only sunbeams and couches to sleep on.


Friday, November 17

A Tale of Two Sleevies

A friend of mine had a baby last year and the baby has been my balm to the political woes and distress on Facebook this past year.  I decided I wanted to knit him a sweater (because a baby sweater is a lot smaller than an adult sweater!) and found a super cute pattern and some fun yarn as well.

I like to knit sleeves first so that I can test the gauge without knitting a swatch, and because they're easy.  However, after knitting most of the first sleeve, I carefully read the pattern and discovered that I had made several errors in increasing along the way.  I decided it really wasn't such a big deal and went ahead anyhow.

Then I did the second sleeve properly and after blocking, there is a clear difference.  Bummer.  On the left below is the second sleeve.  On the right is the first.

I don't want the little one's arm to be constrained in any way, so I've decided that since I have an abundance of yarn, I'll just make a third sleeve, and do it properly like the second one.  It won't take too long once I'm able to sit for a little while (Middle School Dance Workshop volunteering, I'm looking at you!) and then I can sew everything up, put a button band on and send it off to an adorable little guy.  I am thinking about a little hat too, to match the sweater.  I wonder if I can make a smaller version of the hat I made for Jeff back in 2014.  Hmmm....

At any rate, after the sleeve, I am back to Christmas knitting in earnest.  I have three things planned.  Two are underway for Jeff's girls - an Alexandra's Airplane Scarf and the Purl Soho Lovely Ribbed Cowl in worsted twist.  The third thing will be Gully Gloves for Smallest.  I am hoping that with the school break next week, I can make a fair bit of progress on these.


Monday, October 23

Knitting, Unknitting, and Reknitting.

I think I've already used that theme in a post before.  Oh well.  It comes from the speech the University President made our first week at school.  He was talking about building, unbuilding, and rebuilding something.  We found it very amusing.

At any rate, Jeff and I went away for the weekend as the girls had gone other places and it was our anniversary weekend.  I took his sweater to work on, since I had finished Middle's hat and felt guilty about neglecting the sweater.  One the way home, I was working along and I stopped to look more closely at the sleeves.  I held one closed, the way it would look all sewn up, then I looked at Jeff's arm, and I looked back at the sleeve.  I had Jeff put his arm out, and there's no way that sleeve is going to fit comfortably on his arm.  Sigh.  So I unraveled the sleeves.  I will do some careful measurement and then start again.

In the meantime, I'm still working on the Bright Stripes blanket for Middle when we watch TV (up to season 5 of Game of Thrones), I still have the Swirl sock in the car for when I'm waiting for things, but I need something else to work on during dance classes and the like.  A friend of mine has an Extremely Cute Baby, who is huge and lives in Seattle.  Clearly he needs a sweater!  So through the magic of Facebook, I got his nanny to send me measurements and I bought some yarn.  With the Jeff sweater out of the way temporarily, I think it's a good time for a baby sweater!  Especially since the yarn for Xmas presents hasn't arrived yet.

Here's the pattern: the Kris Sweater, and the yarn is Schoppel Wolle Edition 3 in the Strandcaf√© colorway.  It was less expensive than the yarn recommended for the pattern, and I thought it looked cute.

I started on Sunday while Smallest was at her YAGP dance lesson.  I worked about an hour.  Today (Monday) I've worked about 18 rows during lunch.  It's fun to work on something cute and tiny, and on straight needles!  I'm curious to see what happens to the stripes when I get to the body of the sweater.

2 hours on this one.

Friday, October 20

Hat = Love

Don't tell Middle, but the hat I have just finished is secretly filled with hugs and love for her.  She is in the midst of teenagerdom and doesn't let me hug her much.  She's heading up to Canada this afternoon to spend the weekend with her dad, which gave me the perfect opportunity to make this hat (which she had picked out a while ago, and I bought yarn for also a while ago).

I started Tuesday during a class on writing grant proposals for non-profit organizations (I thought it would be more interesting.  I finished the folded brim during the class.  Then, it was parent observation week at Smallest's dance studio this week, so that's many hours of dance to watch and knit through.  Three hours on Wednesday night alone!

I have only been knitting a little at work, most has been done during proper hours.  However, last night I got to the end of the regular pattern and just had the decreases left to do.  It only took about 15 minutes to finish up and now it is complete!  I pick her up at 3:00 to head for the airport, so two hours to spare.

The pattern is Wurm, a free pattern on Ravelry!  It was super easy and the hat is really cute!  I am still amazed at the magic that is hats that fit, so that was fun to do.  I made the middle size and it fits both me and Middle just right.  The first picture is from Wednesday, from Lunchtime knitting.  The last two are the finished product.  The yarn is a Blue Sky baby alpaca-silk blend and it is soooo soft and squishy!  Now Middle just can't lose it.  That would be sad.

I know the modeling picture is rather stark, but I wanted to get the top of the hat, it's a little longer than it needs to be, so it smooshes down at the end.  Very hip.

Now I'm feeling guilty about all the things I've made for Middle without making anything for Smallest (except leg warmers).  I asked what she would like and fingerless gloves were the request.  I bought a pattern last year from Churchmouse Yarn & Tea for just such a thing!  How handy.

I wish I had kept track of the hours!  It went really quickly.


Tuesday, October 3

Stripes Away!

While Catherine is wheeling her way from Boulder to San Francisco, I have an update on the stripey blanket.  Oh, also, Catherine made this for the baby of some Boston friends:

Lucky baby!

I don't have a photo update, but we were driving up to Dallas this past weekend for Smallest to participate in a ballroom competition up there.  On the way up, I got some knitting in and finished the last of the four colored stripes.  I've also picked up the stitches for the last tan band along the edge, so once that's several inches long, I'll pick up stitches along the long edges and knit the final two tan bands.  I am very concerned about running out of yarn, so I might look into getting some more with enough time to blend old dye lot with a new dye lot.  

Smallest was the only one in her division at the competition, so she won, but she was uncharacteristically nervous about the competition.  In retrospect, she was wearing new shoes, a new dress and dancing choreography that they hadn't practiced as many times as they probably should have.  We'll make sure she feels more comfortable the next time around.  She also wasn't wild about her make-up, so perhaps we'll see if we can tone that down a bit next time.  
Here she is with her make-up on:

I'm off to Savanah this weekend with Middle to look at a college.  I am hoping for lots of knitting time.  I've switched from using the cable needle on Jeff's sweater to the trick stitch, and it seems to be going much more quickly now.  I'm almost half way through the increases on the sleeves.  I'm doing both sleeves at the same time.  Shortens the suffering and makes sure I do them the same way.


Wednesday, September 13

Slow Progress

Smallest started dance last week, which means she has class Mondays 4-5, and 6:30-9:15, Tuesdays 7:45-8:45, Wednesdays there's piano at 5:30 and then dance from 6:30-9:15, Thursdays 7:15-8:30, and Friday 4-5.  That doesn't include her ballroom lessons.  We're hoping the Thursday class will be temporary, which will free up the evening for her.  I'm hoping she'll find time to get her homework done.  We'll have to see how things go.

While she is happy to be back at dance, and was more happy when school started this week (late due to Harvey), it means our evenings are pretty busy with driving around now, and so there's been less time to sit and watch Game of Thrones and knit.  Alas.  My life is so hard.  I did get some time last night.  I'm hoping that I'm between 1/3 and 1/2 done with the last stripe.  I did notice that our young kitten chewed the on the yarn last night and broke it in two.  Humph.  That's annoying!  Bad kitty.  Here are the cats, the naughty one is on the right.

I took Jeff's sweater with me with traveling with Smallest recently, but we spend most of our time playing a mystery game, and the plane was too crowded to allow for a complicated project, so it has just been sitting.  Maybe this weekend there will be some progress.

At any rate, this morning I decided that I need a new travel project.  The blanket is too big, although not mentally challenging, but I am going to start riding the bus to work more and that's too much to haul around.  The sweater is too fiddly with all the cables and counting of rows and such.  I have tons of sock yarn to make socks for Middle, so I've cast on another pair.  This pair is the Swirl Sock and I'm using some lime green yarn that I bought somewhere.  It's from Morningside Road Fiber, a local dyer who sells out of Lucky Ewe Yarn Shop in New Braunfels.  That means I bought this yarn sometime this summer when Jeff and I were up that way.
The pattern recommends using Judy's Magic Cast On, but as I was watching the tutorial on the bus, I realized I couldn't do it because I didn't have a circular needle.  This is as far as I got before getting to my stop:

(I took the picture at work.  Shhh.....)  I think I would like to try the other cast on, but it will have to wait for the other sock.  I'm taking Middle to the orthodontist this morning (fingers crossed that she gets the all clear to get her braces off!) so I need something to work on while I wait.

That's all for now.  I will share if there is sweater progress!

Thursday, September 7

Math for Knitting

I started on the back for the pillow after casting off the cabled front.  The front is 62 stitches, so I cast on 64 for the back and was making wide ribs.  I finished two rows and held it up to the pillow it is for, and it's about four inches too wide.  I guess the absence of cables is what makes the difference.  I was traveling last weekend, so I didn't take it along with me.  I was going to work on Jeff's sweater, but I didn't do that either.

I did finish the pajamas for Smallest, and she likes them a bunch.  They were pretty fast too.  Maybe she would like a flannel set for winter.

Other than that, there's been some helping of friends dealing with Harvey flooding and bored kids waiting for school to start.