Friday, March 25, 2011

A Frenzy of FO Friday Finishitis

It's true...even though I didn't post for a couple of months, I was still knitting like a madwoman.  I've always said knitting keeps me sane (actually what I USED to always say was that knitting kept me off heroin...then someone didn't realize I was joking...eek.).  When you look at this collection of FOs (and realize I have as many left to share as I'm showing you today), you'll realize I have to be the sanest woman on the planet.  Or not...  Maybe you'll just understand why I have a sore hand.

Pattern:  Boneyard Shawl by Stephen West
Yarn:  Knit Picks City Tweed DK in Tabby
Needles:  #8
Date Started:  April 15, 2010
Date Finished: October 15, 2010
Most.  Awesome. Shawl. Ever.  This was truly my go-to shawl this winter.  The pattern was fun and easy to knit.  I expected to get bored.  It never happened.  And I can never say enough about City Tweed DK's softness and lovely drape, especially in this pattern.  I have wrapped myself in this shawl in any number of ways this winter, including here, during the December Harmony Project concerts.  I hope y'all can access this FB link.  I look all enthusiastic and ready to hit the stage, don't I?  It's the shawl folks...this was the third night of performances, I was way beyond exhausted, in the beginning stages of that killer sinus infection and probably had a temp of about 102 when that picture was taken.  But the shawl looks great and did a fine job of warding off the chills.

 Pattern:  My Kind of Town Cowl by Trish Woodson
Yarn:  Knit Picks Suri Dream Hand Dyed in Nightshade
Needles:  #17
Date Started:  October 29, 2010
Date Finished:  October 31, 2010
This cowl was so easy to knit...and so awkward to knit on those gigantic needles, but worth it.  The result is a cowl that is as soft and fluffy as a cloud.  I wasn't sure about the yarn at first.  I'm not usually crazy about hairy, fluffy yarns, but I ended up loving it and buying a couple more balls to make a few more of these cloudspun cowls.  I made this as a gift...but it's still sitting on my desk.  Yikes! 

Pattern:  A Better Bucket by Amy Swenson
Yarn:  Malabrigo Worsted in Alpine Pearl
Needles:  #7
Date Started:  November 14, 2010
Date Finished:  November 15, 2010
Yarn:  Malabrigo Rios in Ravelry Red
Date Started:  November 17, 2010
Date Finished:  November 20, 2010
I knit the first of these two hats while hanging out at a great little restaurant watching Pete's band play.  The Alpine Pearl colorway looked wonderful on the skein, but I was unimpressed with the way it knit up - purple and grey camo.  Ick.  It is, however, a wonderfully warm hat that I've used for dogwalking most of the winter.

I modified the red hat slightly, making it an inch shorter.  And I stuck that old G-clef brooch of my grandmother's on the side just for kicks.  LOVE all the subtle shadings in the yarn.

Pattern:  Revontuli huivi/Northern Lights by AnneM
Yarn:  Noro Sekku in 02 (Black/Grey/Brown/Green/Blue)
Needles:  #6
Date Started:  January 15, 2011
Date Finished:  March 12, 2011
Even though it didn't block out with those razor-sharp points you see on so many project pages, I love this little shawlette.  Had to make some modifications at the end because I thought I was running out of yarn.  Turns out, I could have knit a couple more rows.  I worked rows 123-129 in garter stitch, then skipped to rows 140 and 141 and bound off on row 142. 

Pattern:  A Very Braidy Cowl by Maryse Roudier
Yarn:  Manos del Uruguay Maxima in Currant
Needles:  #8
Date Started:  February 27, 2011
Date Finished:  March 14, 2011
Every now and then, there is a project that is so awesome, so much fun, with yarn that is so beautiful and feels so luscious that you never, ever want it to end.  And when you finally bind off, you find it almost impossible to tear the resulting garment off of your body.  This is one of those projects.  I'm wearing this cowl as I type.  We've been blessed with a sudden cold snap, so I'll be wearing it for at least another week.  I really tried to prolong the knitting of this cowl, but I couldn't keep my hands off the yarn.  Manos...yarn o' the gods, truly.  There were a few anxious moments when I thought I might run out of yarn, but I didn't.  Wanna see how much I had left?

Pattern:  Sideways Hat by Kerin Dimeler-Laurence
Yarn:  Lana Grossa Cento in 009 (Green/Purple)
Needles:  #9
Date Started:  March 8, 2011
Date Finished:  March 15, 2011
This is a reknit of a hat I made about a year ago that mysteriously grew while in storage over the winter and literally covered my eyes when I tried it on this year.  The pattern called for #10.5 needles.  I went down to #9, which was a little awkward with the bulky yarn, but I love the results - especially the part about actually being able to wear the hat now.

Pattern:  Baby Boy Five Hour Sweater by Gail Bable
Yarn:  Plymouth Encore Worsted in 0517 Nautical Blue
Needles:  #9
Date Started:  February 25, 2011
Date Finished:  March 17, 2011
This is the second of these great little sweaters that I've made for Austin.  As fast as he's growing, it will probably be the last unless I try to modify the pattern and make it larger for him.  I took these pictures before I wove in the ends so you can see there are only TWO ends to weave in - where I cast on up at the left side neckline and where I bound off at the right inner corner.  Amazing pattern...find a baby and knit this!

And with that...I must rest...till next time...happy, happy knitting (happy weekend, too)!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wednesday Again???? Good Grief...

I really do have this kickass post full of FOs percolating...slowly...I got a big list, and I keep plugging away on the draft.  Yesterday, I wanted to post this for "Ten Things I Like About Spring":
Yup, pink sparkly toenails to celebrate spring!  However, there are some things less liked about spring.  Like thunderstorms...and doggies who are afraid of said thunderstorms.  Doggies who woke me up at 2:15am yesterday morning to get me to take him down to the living room, turn on the lights and the stereo so he wouldn't have to see or hear the storms.  Ya know what?  It's a little hard to come up with a snappy blog post on 2 hours sleep.  LOL! we are, back at Wednesday!  Woo hoo, bring on the WIPs!!

I knocked off a couple more repeats on Evenstar tonight.  That means I'm now at only, ONLY 18 repeats to go!  Then I have to figure out how to graft the edges...then I have to find a BIG place to block this baby...should be interesting.  I'll post a picture once I'm there.  You really don't want to see any more pictures of my wrinkly lace.

I also worked on Clapotis this week.  I'm almost to the halfway point.  Yippeeee!

Pattern:  Echo Flower Shawl
Yarn:  Wolles Yarn Creations Color Changing Cotton in Lights 2
Needles:  #9
Date Started:  March 18, 2011
Progress:  40%
Last year, I knit the Luna Moth Shawl in the Rainbow colorway of this yarn and had a blast with it, so I just didn't think it would be officially spring without casting on a new Color Changing Cotton shawl.  I chose Echo Flower because one of the women in my knitting group made a gorgeous one (in red silk with die for!), and I thought the echo-y flowers would look quite lovely in this yarn.

The pattern calls for #4 - #7 needles.  I cast on with #7s and worked about 30 rows.  I hated the results. This cotton has a wonderful soft drape with the right size needles.  I used #6 for Luna Moth, but that pattern didn't have nupps or the big, awkward 2into9 and 3into9 increases.  My fabric felt heavy and stiff.  I contemplated using a different yarn but first decided to bump up the needle size to #9s and see what happened.  You can see the results above.  The increases aren't bulky.  I haven't come to the dreaded nupps yet, but I'm optimistic about them.  The shawl feels all soft and fluffy...awesome!

Just before I stopped working on this yesterday, I came to the beginning of the first color change - always a WooHoo moment with this yarn.

Pattern:  Ruffled Edge Wrap
Yarn:  Rowan Felted Tweed DK in Watery
Needles:  #8
Date Started:  February 17, 2011
Progress:  25%
Chugging along on my knitting group project.  I love the yarn, and the pattern is a lot of fun...and it's easy to knit while eating and talking which is a MUST for knitting group. 

Pattern: Hearts Abound Socks
Yarn:  Knit Picks Essential Kettle Dyed  in Wine (Discontinued)
Needles:  #1
Date Started:  March 5, 2011
Progress:  10%
Isn't that gorgeous yarn?  It's been hard to restrain myself from working on these while my pesky knuckle mends.  Not that it's totally mended, but I figured, hey, what could 8 or 9 rows here and there hurt?  So, this morning, I finished off the toe and worked a couple rows of the instep...and lived to tell the tale.  ;-)  I can't wait to have enough of this done to show you the darling pattern!

The knuckle?'s still there.  I've started weight training again, and I'm confident the problem isn't a carpal tunnel thing.  Wrist curls would kill me if it were, and I'm easily curling five pounds right now.  My theory...and it's a crazy that my hand is complaining from too much knitting because it doesn't move enough.  So...I decided to make playing my instruments a priority again.  A half hour of knitting...a half hour of rest then a half hour of fiddling...or playing guitar or piano.  And I found a copy of my hand exercises from my heavier fiddling days and have started working on them.  Knit on, knit on!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

WIP Wednesday...Knitting In the Slow Lane Edition

Yes, I've been poking along in my knitting due to this sore hand.  The pain seems to be in what I call the "hand knuckle" of my left middle finger.  And it is getting better as I've limited my knitting time the past couple more six-hour knitting marathons for me.  I even bought a timer so I can stop and stretch every 20 minutes or so.  It really works great...when I remember to turn it on...

Evenstar has been put on temporary hold once again, as have the Hearts Abound socks and the Ruffled Edge Wrap.  This week, I've been focusing my knitting time on smaller projects and projects I could finish fairly quickly.  Since the Ruffled Edge Wrap is something I won't actually wear until next fall and it's an easily memorizable pattern, it's going to be my official knitting group project.  And I'll be picking up those two little-needle projects as my hand improves.  Right now, it seems to be happiest knitting with #7 and larger needles.

My last post mentioned some health issues going on with both Wilbur and Pete, and I spent Monday and Tuesday chauffeuring both of them to medical appointments.  Pete's back injury is not as severe as we had feared - he strained his sacroiliac joint lifting a 75-pound bass amp.  He's been working from home this week and slowly getting better.  He also had his quarterly follow-up with his oncologist yesterday, and all is well on that front (YAY!).

Wilbur is probably beginning to show signs of arthritis.  The vet couldn't find any specific areas that were "touchy", but his symptoms kind of point to lower back/hip discomfort.  He and Pete are taking the exact same pain medication.  It's upsetting Wilbur's stomach, and we'll probably have to change to a different one.  It's making Pete sleepy.  He's quite happy being sleepy right now.  LOL!

The totally awesome yarn bowl I ordered from Temptations a month or so back arrived, and I picked it up this morning.  I also picked up a couple other things, just to celebrate the bowl's arrival.
The Awesome Yarn Bowl
Other Thing #1:  Malabrigo Rios in Primavera
Other Thing #2:  Malabrigo Rios in Solis
As for the active WIPs...
Pattern:  Clapotis
Yarn:  Araucania Ranco Multy in Brown/Grey/Charcoal
Needles:  #7
Date Started:  February 16, 2011
Progress:  35%
I'm so excited!  I've done two whole pattern repeats of the straight section, and now I understand how this pattern works.  Seriously, up till now, I was just knitting along, thinking, "Yeah, right...".  But I have seen the Clapotal light!  This yarn is kind of weird and crunchy textured which is kind of fun.  I'm not sure what will happen to it once it's blocked.  Oh, and please disregard that needle stuck on the right side of the photo - this project just LOVES to roll, and I used the needle to hold my work in place so I could show off those two wonderful drop-stitch rows. 

Pattern:  Baby Boy 5-Hour Sweater
Yarn:  Plymouth Yarn Encore Worsted in 0517 Nautical Blue
Needles:  #10
Date Started:  February 25, 2011
Progress:  45% (1 hour, 46 minutes) the rate I'm going, I'll have this baby for the baby done in a little over three hours.  Warp Speed Knitting!  LOL!  This is a really interesting spot in this sweater...let me explain.  There at the top...that little curliqued circular needle...that's the left front of the sweater.  That square thing on the left, anchored by the straight needle...that's the left sleeve!  The remainder of the sweater is on the larger circular needle of which you can only see the right point in the picture.  I have about six more rows to work on the sleeve, then will bind off all the stitches, slip stitch the sleeve seam together, and knit back across to the other side to work the right sleeve.  This is a fascinating project - I'll need to take more pictures for your enjoyment!!

Oh, and here's a sneak preview of a future WIP using some amazing yarn I bought from one of my favorite yarnies, Wolles Yarn Creations, source of that amazing rainbow colored yarn I used last year for my Luna Moth Shawl.
 The color is "Lights 2", and my plan (once I've finished the baby sweater and passed the halfway point of Clapotis) is to use it to knit an Echo Flower Shawl.  It's gonna rock!

You rock, too - thanks for reading!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

What's On My Mind...

When I was in second grade, a Japanese-American family moved in across the street from us.  They had a daughter who was a year older than me, and we became close friends.  My mother made lovely kimonos for our Barbie dolls, and I learned several phrases in Japanese, much to the delight of my friend's mother who spoke little English. 

The summer after they moved in, my friend and her mother went back to Japan for a couple weeks, and she brought me this lovely little wooden figurine that I cherish to this day, even though I eventually lost contact with my friend.  Her dad was in the Air Force, and they moved away after two years.  We wrote each other faithfully through her moves to three or four different states, until we were in high school.

With all the horrific images coming in from Japan on Friday, I just couldn't see myself yammering on about my projects.  Hopefully, I'll catch up tomorrow, but I have to take Wilbur to the vet (he's just been acting a little "off" and, at his age, that needs to be checked out), and Pete to the doctor (he injured his back lifting a bass amp Saturday night).  It's been one of those weeks here at Chez THT, but nothing compared to what is happening to our friends in Japan.  Please remember them all in your prayers and healing thoughts and donate to the helping charities of your choice. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

WIP Wednesday...Did You Just Hear a Frog?

Oh yeah...I just dropped the "Knitter's F-Bomb"...FROG.  Wanna see the destruction?
Yup, it's those damn Thermal Socks in that damn black yarn.  Frogged.  Gone.  At the county refuse facility at this very moment.  I have never thrown away perfectly good yarn before.  But there's nothing good about splitty black yarn.  Sadly, for as much as I complained about the pattern, it wasn't the pattern that did these socks in.  I'd adapted it and made peace with it.  It was the yarn.  When I started working on them last weekend, I discovered I'd used the wrong yarn for the wrong socks and had joined them.  This started a futile bout of cussing and tinking, with more cussing than tinking because the yarn began splitting, stitches began dropping, and the whole thing was just so freakin' dark I couldn't see where to try to pick the stitches back up.  And that's when I said, "Enough".  These socks had served their purpose of helping me learn to knit two toe-up socks on one circular needle, and I decided to put me out of their misery.  Frogged.  Croaked.

The rest of my knitting week was much more successful.  However, not a lot of knitting (at least not a lot for ME) got done.  I'm having some discomfort in the top of my left hand, between my index and middle fingers, and some stiffness after a good power knitting session.  So this week, I went easy on the knitting.  I made a little progress on Evenstar, Clapotis, Ruffled Edge Wrap, and Revontuli-huivi, but not enough to warrant boring you with pictures of the measly ten or twelve rows I managed to knock off.  I'd hoped to have made it past the first drop stitch row on Clapotis, but as it turns out, I'll probably get there later tonight. 

Here are the remaining projects that for one reason or another I thought were photo-worthy this week.
Project:  Baby Boy 5-Hour Sweater
Yarn:  Plymouth Yarn Encore Worsted
Needles:  #10
Date Started:  February 25, 2011 using #9 needles.  Frogged and restarted using #10 needles March 5, 2011
Progress:  20% (46 minutes)
Pete stopped by to see Raechel and Austin while I was getting my hair cut this week and told me he is really growing fast.  I knit the gray sweater on #9 needles, and it fit him nicely, but I wanted him to be able to grow into this one a little (hopefully!), so I moved up to #10s.  This pattern calls for a knitted cast-on, but I didn't really see the advantage to that in the last sweater so I did a long-tail cast on, which is what I prefer.

Project:  Hearts Abound Socks
Yarn:  Knit Picks Essential Kettle Dyed in Wine (Discontinued)
Needles:  #1, 47" circular
Date Started:  March 5, 2011
Progress:  5%
This is the "February" sock, next in line after the frogged January sock debacle.  I decided to use a 47" circular on this one instead of the 40" because I thought the frogged socks were a little crowded on the needle and that it contributed to the laddering problems.  Obviously, I'm not very far into this pair, but it does feel a lot easier to move the socks around on the longer needles and even though I'm kind of fighting the extra needle length, I like the results a lot better.  I like the yarn a lot better, too!  Yummy shade of wine...and the pattern is adorable.  I'm going to really enjoy making these socks. 

Project:  A Very Braidy Cowl
Yarn:  Manos del Uruguay Maxima in M9079 Currant
Needles:  #8
Date Started:  February 27, 2011
Progress:  45%
Ok...I really have no reason to show my progress on this except that I'm almost halfway done...and isn't this just the most freakin' amazing thing you've ever seen in your life???????  I'm totally in love with this pattern and this yarn.  So in love that, for as much as I want spring to get here, I'm praying for one more good cold snap just so I can wear this baby a couple of times.  And for as amazing as it looks, it feels even soft, warm and cushy. 

Project:  Sideways Hat
Yarn:  Lana Grossa Cento in 009 Green/Purple
Needles:  #8
Progress:  20%
Date Started:  February 8, 2010  March 8, 2011
Date Finished:  February 9, 2010
Ok...I know you're scratching your head and wondering why I'm featuring a project I finished over a year ago.  Um, because it doesn't fit.  I loved this hat when I knit it.  I started it a year ago on my husband's birthday and finished it the next day when we had a snowstorm that dropped about ten inches of snow on us.  I remember finishing the hat, putting it on, and heading out to shovel the driveway.  I remember thinking how warm my head was and being happy that I didn't have hat hair when I came inside and took it off.  I remember it actually fitting on my head and not dropping down and resting on my nose which is what it did this year when I put it on.  My hair was shorter and fluffier a year ago...that's my only excuse.  I don't think my head shrunk nor did my hat decide to go on steroids while in storage over the summer. didn't fit, so I frogged it, went down a needle size, and have started it again.  It's a fun project, so I don't mind.

Hope you enjoyed this little excursion through my WIP world.  I also hope my hand starts feeling better so I can start knitting at my usual accelerated rate again.  Don't want to bore my readers!  Happy knitting!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ten on Tuesday - 10 Favorite Smells

In a lot of ways, I'm fairly scent-averse.  I can't handle perfumes or colognes or most scented candles.  The last time I wore perfume, my allergic reactions included swollen glands and fever!  Today is a particularly scent-sensitive day for me, and I've had a borderline migraine for most of the past 24 hours due to some very unpleasant scents at a venue where I rehearsed last night and sang this morning:  sewer gas, some kind of really sweet, nasty, Raid-smelling air freshener that must have been piped in, and some other kind of kerosene-smelling fumes in the area I had to walk through (for about two city blocks!) to get to my car.  I swear, I can taste that sweet smell six hours later! 

There are, however, many smells that I do love.  They are (in no particular order)...
  1. Coffee!  There is nothing better than the smell of fresh-brewed coffee.  Except maybe the taste...
  2. Lavender.  I love lavender.  Sometimes I dab a little lavender oil under my nose when I go to bed so I can fall asleep enjoying the sweet, relaxing fragrance.
  3. Lilacs.  I can bury my face in lilacs and inhale till I'm dizzy.  I try to do this at least once every spring.
  4. Hyacinths.  Like lilacs on steroids.
  5. Asphalt.  Yes, that's right...asphalt.  I grew up a couple miles from an asphalt plant.  The smell of asphalt was always in the air, especially when the wind blew in from the southwest (which it usually did).  I don't even want to think about what that does to my chances of getting cancer.  Someone once told me if the air you breathe has an odor, it's doing bad things to you.  Eek.  One of my scariest memories is when there was a huge fire at the plant that also threatened a nearby oil refinery.  I was in first grade and remember looking out the classroom window across an empty cornfield and watching huge fireballs shooting into the air only about a mile away.  We were sent home from school soon after that.  My dad came home from work early, and we climbed up on the roof of the house to watch the fire.  Later that night, special planes from a nearby air force base had to fly in and drop foam to put out the fire. 
  6. Gasoline.  Yup, asphalt and gasoline.  Grandpa Young was an auto mechanic at a garage in Newark.  He always smelled like gasoline.  Whenever I fill up the tank, I flash back to Grandpa Young in his green and black wool jacket, just home from work and washing up with Lava soap (which isn't a particularly favorite smell).
  7. Spring air.  You know it smells different...warm...alive...  
  8. Jergen's Lotion.  The classic cherry-almond scent.  Timeless...
  9. Roast beef, the way my mother made it.
  10. Caswell-Massey's Nantucket Briar products.  One of the very few scented products that don't do me in.  I constantly have a Nantucket Briar candle or two in the bedroom and love to sprinkle a little of the powder on the sheets when I change them.
What are your ten favorite scents?

Friday, March 4, 2011

FO Friday, Past and Present

How amazing is this?  I'm actually getting TWO blog posts done in a week!  Can I get a "Woo-Hoooo", somebody?

I'm actually a little surprised this is going so smoothly, especially on a Thursday which is "crazy day" for me right now.  I have an awesome yoga class for knitters in the morning, then I run errands that for whatever reason (like a library book being due) cannot wait till Friday, my usual errand day.  Added to that, I have a book study group on Thursday nights...and today, I'm baking for that group.  Did I really think I'd have time to write?, not a chance.  But here I am!!

So, the plan here is I will feature my three oldest FOs from back when I seriously fell off the blog wagon, then my three most recent FOs till I'm caught up.  Only this week, there will be four most recent.  You'll see why. 

Pattern:  Olive Entrelac Neckwarmer (my original pattern)
Yarn:  Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend in Moss
Needles : #6
Date Started:  August 14, 2010
Date Finished:  September 27, 2010
I bought this yarn for another project that didn't pan out.  When I started knitting that project (which I've now forgotten), the yarn screamed "CAMO!!!", and I frogged it.  A few days later, I wanted to do an entrelac project and grabbed the ball of "I'll Never Use It Cuz It Looks Like Camo" yarn just to practice the entrelac technique.  As I knit, I realized the yarn looked pretty darn snazzy in entrelac, so I worked up this little neckwarmer pattern.  I love wearing this.  I have several other colors of this yarn that will make equally beautiful entrelac neckwarmers.  And the buttons are amazing - wanna see a closeup???

Pattern:  Citron by Hilary Smith Callis
Yarn:  Crystal Palace Mini Mochi in 110 Jungle
Needles:  #10
Date Started:  April 9, 2010
Date Finished:  October 5, 2010
This is another project I started by just playing around with some yarn.  I'd made a Pretty Thing Cowl in Mini Mochi and had a little over one ball left.  I cast on with #8 needles and fell in love with the pattern.  It soon became obvious I'd need more yarn to finish, so I bought two more balls and knit along happily until disaster struck.  It was the end of September, and I was eleven rows from the end when I realized I would not have enough yarn to finish.  Nowhere near enough.  I tried ripping back a repeat or two, and it was then I realized the shawl felt heavy and too tightly knit on the #8 needles.  No shawly drape whatsoever.  I frogged it, went up to #10s, and cast on again.  This time, it felt perfect, and I finished it about a week later.  I worked one less pattern repeat than called for and made the ruffle half the width so I wouldn't run out of yarn.  I'm not pleased with the way the ruffle blocked out.  Maybe it would look better if it were the full length?  But I do enjoy tossing this very, very soft and warm little shawl around my neck when I get a chill.

Pattern:  Merope Shawl by Romi Hill
Yarn:  Malabrigo Sock in Rayon Vert
Needles:  #4
Date Started:  July 10, 2010
Date Finished:  October 14, 2010
I love my Merope.  What more can I say?  I loved knitting it, and I'm wearing it to death.  This is the second Romi shawl I've knit (my beloved Brandywine being the first).   Funny story:  When I got to the end of this shawl - you know, what you'd think was the fast and easy bind off row - I discovered there was this snazzy bind off that was going to whole lot more time.  At first I was frustrated, then I got into the rhythm of the pattern and now, it's my favorite feature of this pattern.  I remember finishing this shawl (and doing that endless bind off) while I was watching the 33 Chilean miners being rescued and dabbing teardrops off of my new shawl.  Check out this bind'll make you smile (sorry it's a little blurry).

 Pattern:  b18-21 Bonnet in rib in "Alpaca" by DROPS
Yarn:  Lion Brand Wool Ease Sportweight (sadly discontinued) in 107 Blue Bell
Needles:  #2 (16" circulars...hand cramps...ouch...)
Date Started:  January 25, 2011
Date Finished:  February 1, 2011
Yarn:  Plymouth Encore DK in Regal Red and Grayfrost Mix
Date Started:  February 5, 2011
Date Finished:  February 22, 2011
I'm still singing the praises of Julia from Yarn and Ivories for sending me the link to this fabulous baby bonnet pattern.  The bonnet is made in one piece and, if you can handle knitting on 16" #2 circs for longer than about 30 minutes, you can make one of these really quickly.  I can't and have to take breaks, so it took me longer.  If you look at the blue hat, you'll see the "helmet" effect I ended up with doing the crocheted edging.  When I looked at all the project pages, I saw that a lot of people had this same issue.  I think it looks kinda cute, but I didn't want the second one to look the same way, so I decided to do an inch of knitted ribbing around the face. 

Raechel and Jay went to school at Ohio State and are really into the "Scarlet and Gray" theme, so I decided to make a few items for Austin in those colors.  I didn't originally intend to do the charcoal gray trim on the second hat, but I could see I wasn't going to have enough yarn to finish with that extra inch of ribbing around the face, so I did the trim in charcoal.  Even though I'm not into the whole team spirit thing with those colors, I do think it makes a very attractive hat for a very handsome young man.  And I think my Franklin Bear looks pretty good in it, too, don't you?

Pattern:  Baby Boy 5-Hour Sweater by Gail Bable
Yarn:  Plymouth Encore Worsted in 194 Medium Gray
Needles:  #9
Date Started:  February 3, 2011
Date Finished:  February 15, 2011
I LOVE this pattern!  Believe it or not, this is knit ENTIRELY in one piece.  There is no seaming anywhere, no breaking off and rejoining of yarn.  It is a masterpiece of knitting architecture.  Does it take five hours to knit?  I'm not sure.  It probably took me longer the first time because I kept reading the pattern and saying, "Really??????  If I really do this, it will look okay???"  This cardigan doesn't have a closure, which can be nice for babies, but I'm sure you could add a button band if you wanted to.  Now that the weather is starting to warm up and Austin is venturing out in the world, a sweater like this really comes in handy.  Raechel asked me to make him a few more, and I have the yarn to make several more - in fact, you saw the beginnings of the blue one just a couple days ago.  So far, I've knit 23 minutes on a ways to go to fit the five-hour mark.

Pattern:  Ten Stitch Twist by Frankie Brown
Yarn:  James C. Brett Marble Chunky in MC03 Wild Field
Needles:  #10
Date Started:  June 11, 2010
Date Finished:  February 15, 2011
It's done.  Yay.  Am I happy with it?  No.  As you can see from the picture, it has all these ruffles.  I can't get it to lay flat.  It's also a little smaller than the 36" I wanted, but not significantly so.  I really did enjoy knitting this.  I think the yarn was a big factor in my enjoyment.  It might also be a big factor in why the rug won't lay flat  All in all, this "rug" for my room is really not so much a rug as a comfy place for Wilbur to snooze when I'm in there.  It's really his rug, and since he seems happy with it, I'm not bound to change it (though I think it would have turned out better if I'd used #11 or #13 needles).

So, there you have it - the three oldest and four newest.  One thing is for sure - I don't shy away from color, do I?  I'll be back on Monday with something probably totally unrelated to knitting.  Happy weekend!