They are a lot of fun and just the right amount of a challenge at first. Then it takes a little step out of line, but you laugh and refer to the result as an unexpected design element. Soon it leads you completely in the wrong direction but you persevere, remembering the good old early days of your relationship and change course to get back on track.
And then...and then, after you have nurtured and nourished this little idea into an actual item you realize that you have created a MONSTER!!!! A soul-sucking demon of a thing.
And one of these days, I'll tell you how I really feel about this sock.
Having finished the Swiss Cheese Scarf, I dove into the bottomless bowl of UFOs and pulled out this little gem that was started almost exactly 2 years ago. I call them my Dippy Hippy socks.
With one eye on Chicago Fire and the other on the sock, I picked up the stitches for the gusset and happily knit away. Then I looked. And I looked again. I was knitting backwards (the wrong way round).
Now the only visible issue with knitting backwards is that in this case, I ended up with purl stitches on the front of my sock where there should be knits. Ok. No sweat. Design element.
I reversed the direction in which I was knitting and all was once again well with the world. Chicago Fire ended. There was an episode of Chicago PD to watch. Knit knit knit knit. Chicago PD ended. Time for bed.
That's when in it happened. I looked at my darling little sock and I realized that it was a mutant. A sock which, without major surgery, would never see the inside of a shoe or the outside of a foot.
Not certain how long ago I started this scarf/shawl, but it's been awhile. Appropriately, it's called the Swiss Cheese Scarf and I found the pattern over on Ravelry, a knitting/crocheting site.
Normally garter stitch would make me want to drive the needles into my eyes, but I so love the colors of this yarn that it hasn't bothered me too much. It also helps that the pattern is fairly brainless!
I'm not to the finish line yet, but I can see it from where I sit. I am anxious to see how it looks once it's washed and blocked because now it's just kind of a hot mess.
I have an embarrassingly large number of knitting UFOs (unfinished objects); mostly socks, but a few other items as well lay in a state of somewhere between just begun and 15 minutes away from finished.
These are my Isolde socks from the What Would Madame DeFarge Knit? book. I love that title! I think I started these three years ago and TA DA! Finished! Out of pergatory and onto my feet!
The yarn is Frog Tree Pediboo - a 80% Merino and 20% bamboo. I think these will see a lot of wear!
Where does the time go? I seem to mentally "write" blog posts daily, but they never seem to make it from my head to my fingers! And, damn!, I've "written" some great ones too!
Knitting seems to have been my preoccupation for the past couple of months. Socks, a sweater, more socks and even a scarf - I loathe knitting scarves!
I finally blocked my beautiful Lysistrata sweater yesterday after she's hung for a month on AnnaBeth, my new dressmaker's dummy.
This has to be finished this week because I want to wear it next week when I go to Virginia. Nothing like waiting until the next-to-the-last minute!
As I cast on yet another project last night, I kept getting a whiff of burning hair. Not much, just a whiff. The Michaels smelled it too, but no one seemed too concerned. I went through the house sniffing and smelling, but the scent alluded me. I sat back down. No more smell. Then the smell came again. What was burning?
As I headed off to bed, there it was! That smell!
I sniffed until my sniffer was sore and I was about to pass out from near hyperventilation.
Have you ever smelled a wet alpaca? Yeah. Me neither, but between you and me, wet alpaca smells just like burning hair. How do I know? Because that allusive smell was my blocked sweater which I knit from 100% alpaca yarn.
So if you're in the Northern Virginia area next week and smell the scent of burning hair, it's just me wearing my new sweater.
It was my sincere intention to post my Thing-A-Day stuff both on posterous.com, the official Thing-A-Day site, and here, but I forgot how Thing-A-Day just sucks the Thought-A-Day right out of me! Thank goodness February is a short month!
Anyhow, here's a quick recap of what's been happening at the craft table:
Day 1 - "In honor of this being my birthday, I made a cupcake pincushion complete with Shrinky-Dink birthday candle pin toppers!"
Day 2 - "It was raining today so I decided to treat myself to a day of
knitting. Somewhere along the way I deluded myself into thinking that I
could actually knit this doily (on size 0 needles!) in a day. Three
rows plus the cast on short and the day is done.
This is my "almost-a-doily" doily."
Day 3 - "Fingerless mitts upcycled from a felted sweater."
Day 4 - "Knitted and felted fortune cookie."
Day 5 - "Pickled Daikon radish and carrots - Do Chua. I'm going to attempt to make Banh Mi Xiu Mai aka Vietnamese Meatball Sandwiches on Sunday. This looks like a great recipe!"
Day 6 - "This was a Cub Scout camping weekend so nothing tangible was made. I think I did make my son happy though!"
Day 7 - "Yummy, yummy, yummy! I've got Banh Mi in my tummy!Now that the weekend's over, I can get back to some actual crafting!"
Day 9 - "Looks like number 8 just kind of slipped past me...Embroidered heart that will become part of something bigger! Thanks to Karen of Maggie Makes for such a wonderful pattern! The execution leaves something to be desired...."
Day 10 - "I
worked on this a LOT over the weekend while camping. Even here in
Florida, several of the other campers were cold enough to take over
some of my camp duties so they might have a shot at a scarf to wear!
Fooled them, huh?
This Mock Cable Scarf from knittingwisdom.com is hitting the mail tomorrow for the Red Scarf Project.
This will be my third year knitting a red scarf for this wonderful
organization. Normally due in December, Crafthope.com (yet ANOTHER
wonderful group of people) has gotten a deadline extension until
I'm really pushing that envelope a bit aren't I?
Day 11 - "Ahhh, the joys of the elementary school classroom Valentine's
parties. All those little paper bags lined up in expectation of being
filled to the brim with Valentines and candy.
Sure, it would have been much easier to have just gone out and bought a
bunch of Necco Sweetheart treats and Superhero "Spidey Wishes You a
Happy Valentine's Day" cards. Too easy! Instead I cut out 70 felt
hearts, glued them together and put them on the ends of Valentine
Besides, wouldn't the world be a much nicer place if we all had felt hearts on the ends of our pencils?
Now...if only I had enough googly eyes...."
Day 12 - "I decided to make the mouse pin cushion from the My Byrd House blog. I have some fabric covered with peace signs
so I was going to make a pair of "Peace Meace". After I dug that out, I
remembered that I have some other fabric covered with the word "Moo". I
could make a "Moo-se". Alas, I couldn't find the copy of "The Cow that
Went OInk" which would have been a great background Then I found a
scrap of fabric covered with swirls of green, blue, purple, pink and
red. It was a bit left over from a top and shorts I once made for
myself...and wore. Sounds scary and it probably was, but hey! it was
In the end, this is a story not of Peace Meace or a
Moo-se. Rather it is a sad tale (tail?) of when bad things happen to
Meet Pepito. Once owned by the evil Dr. Yzarc,
Pepito was the victim of several lab experiments gone horribly wrong.
Scarred, bloody, half blind and prosthetic-ally challenged, Pepito is in
semi-retirement until the PETA case involving the evil Dr. Yzarc is
Day 13 - "Nothing creative today. Just some "obligation" sewing.
when do Cub Scouts wear little red vests for their badges? Sashes are
so much cooler and don't make anyone look like Santa's Elves!"
Day 14 - "Remnants of my heart...
When I cut out all those hearts for
the school valentines, I discovered this long run of hearts. In one, I
put in the embroidered heart I made earlier this month in one, did some
machine embroidery in others and added some ephemera in a few more.
Though a bit wonky, it' kind of a cute hanging."
Day 15 - "The Trouble with Tribbles....I mean Trivets!"
Day 16 - "I call this the "Good to the Last Drop" Needlebook.
While poking around the internet for some inspiration this morning, I ran across this post on Craft Blog. I knew I'd been saving selvages for something!
The only thing I would do differently would be to make the button loop larger so I could use a very large, cool button!
After 26 months of working on and off (mostly off), the Palette Fair Isle sweater is done!
I'm free! Free of worry about spilling a glass of wine or a cup of coffee into the basket in which the beast had taken up residence! Free of the guilt of not having completed it! Free from moving the huge bag of wool every time I vacuumed or mopped! Free! Free! Free!
It's been a battle of wills. Will it ever get done? Will it fit once it is done? Will I even want to look at this thing again?
I've taken this sweater on one cruise, many road trips, innumerable doctor's appointments, a variety of hospital visits and more trips to the ER than I care to count. During it's construction, wars have been started (unfortunately none ended), loooong presidential campaigns have been run, a tsunami hit Thailand and most recently the awful earthquake in Haiti. This sweater has kept me busy through hurricanes and tropical storms. It's been my solace when I needed something mindless. In short, this sweater has been the one thing that has been constant; never chiding, never nagging, always there: my quiet and often ignored companion.
I can identify the section I was working on when Baby Ava, Michael's granddaughter, was born. I know exactly the portion I was knitting the night Obama was elected. I can point out the too-tight knitting from the time Michael was in the hospital with MRSA.
In short, there's a lot of history in this sweater. While that may be interesting, there's one little inch and a half wide band on the left sleeve that means everything to me. It's the band I was knitting the day my mom was released from the hospital. She woke up and looked at me sitting there in the hospital room knitting. "You have hands just like my mother's." she said as she reached out and touched this bit of orange striped stitching.
A week later, I had picked up the sweater again and was working on it as I sat with my mom in her bedroom. Still in the same band, I looked at my hands and realized that I didn't know if her mother had knit or anything about her mother's hands. It was too late to ask. Later that afternoon, my mom passed away.