Sunday, March 30, 2008

Babies, babies everywhere

...I think I need a drink.

Tomorrow is the shower for my still-cooking nephew. With the deadline so near I finally got myself over to the local, independently-owned sewing shop1 for buttons and closures. This is where I learned that there are two kinds of zippers -- separating and non-separating. Non-separating don't release at the bottom, making them a pretty poor choice for jackets. And of the separating zippers, none of them were short enough for the jackets I had set aside for zippers (they also didn't match, color-wise, but that was the least of my problems).

The women cooed over my knits, "They're so small! Are they doll clothes?"

No. No, they're not doll clothes. Have I mentioned I'm a little paranoid that none of these things will fit the kid?

I managed to find some buttons for the Baby Surprise jacket (I keep spelling surprise with a z. I think having a stuffy nose is restricting oxygen to my brain and making me dumb).


I got these GREAT hippo buttons, but they only just barely fit through the buttonholes, and that's with some real finagling, so I just put one on the top.


Since I couldn't have my zipper, I got some clasps for my heavily modified Cardigan for Merry (made without the pattern or cable graph. Even though I had both of those things, I didn't have them with me, so I just figured out the cable over many many bus rides around New Zealand.

Cardigan for Pippin

Even though the clasps were a total pain to put on and don't close the cardigan all the way I'm really pleased with the way it looks.


I got the same clasp for another Baby Surprise (ha! Spelled it right on the first go) -- this one for a friend who will also be at the shower, and who's due about the same time as Infant X -- and I love it.


In the meantime, with no zipper, I have no idea what to do with the Tomten jacket I knit. A zipper would've been great, but nooooo. In a flash of brainliness I thought of toggles, but of the two the sewing store had, one was too big, and the other was really ugly. In the knitting store they were all plastic and hideous. So I don't think it'll get gifted tomorrow.

I pulled all the nephew-knits out to show off to my parents, and I have to say, it's quite a pile of FOs.

Infant X's knitterly haul

(Click for notes)

I'm feeling a little embarrassed by it all, actually. That's a lot of stuff. Do you ever feel like you've kind of... overdone it? Forced your craft upon others?

Ah well.

IN the meantime, I've been working ferociously on a new project. It's mostly stockinette, but there's some (4 rows) ribbing at the bottom. Even so it's curling like a Canadian on ice. This is the part where I need all y'all's help. I need you look at this picture and tell me that it'll block out just fine:


Please. It's for my sanity.

Anyone want to hazard a guess as to what I'm knitting? And why?

1 The local Michael's doesn't have buttons. What the hell is that about?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I suppose there's always shoelaces...

I am what you might call a cheap bastard. Not always -- when I buy things I tend to go for quality -- but if I have something that works then I won't replace it for nothin'. Unless someone else is willing to pay for it, and then I just feel guilty for being wasteful.

ANYWAY, this is why, for many years, I did not buy a ball winder. I used toilet paper tubes, and later my trusty nostepinde for winding. Also I didn't like the way ball winder balls looked.

A few days ago I was grumblingly winding another freaking ball of Lorna's Laces, wondering why they have to have so many stupid yards, and was reminded of some pestering gentle encouragement I'd received (coughGracecough) and broke down and bought myself a ball winder from KnitPicks. Actually I tried to get one from the local Michaels, but they're too suck-tastic to have anything I need ever. (Seriously, they have like 2 pairs of DPNs).

It's possible I re-wound every ball of yarn I have (there are some exceptions, like some souvenir yarn, and yarn I may sell). But OOH it's all so NEAT! ORGANIZED! CLEAN-LOOKING!

Pre-ball winding:

Partial stash, pre-ball winder

Post-ball winding (plus some reorganization):

Partial stash, post-ball winder

(If you click on the picture you can see what all those yarns are).

I am addicted to the tidiness. Mmm.

So, um, does anyone else's ball winder create a terrifying amount of static? Because I'm pretty sure I could light up a house with the static I get from that thing. Look what it did to my Kid Silk Haze:

Ball winder static!

Also, I knit a sock, but got hit with some serious startitis and have ditched the second sock for something else. Stay tuned!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Welcome to my undersea lair, Mr. Bond.

Welcome, Mr. Bond.

Love those Hansi patterns. Made for Infant X (my nephew!) out of Cascade 220 superwash.

Only mod was that I used size 2 needles for the pupils. I think next time I'd try a provisional cast-on for the eyes to aid sewing it down. Sewing the tentacles together involved a large number of not-child-approved words, but it's still hella cool.

If you're knitting her tentacled patterns, slip the first stitch of the tentacles on the side where you'll attach them to the body. You'll appreciate it later.


And more spinning!

pain in the ass yarns

So my friend Lizza started getting into spinning with a drop spindle. She told her step-mom, and next thing she (Lizza) knows, there's an antique spinning wheel on her (Lizza's) front porch and a big ol' bin of fiber. When I went to visit her she said I could snag something, so I snagged a baggie of 100% (tussah?) silk. (Boy, that sounds like drugs, doesn't it?)

It was a real mess to Andean ply. It got stuck to itself and wound into infuriating snarls. But HA it's done! Ha. Don't know what I'll do with it, but that's okay.

P.S. It would've been Mr. Rogers' 80th birthday today. Are you wearing a sweater? I am. Speedy Delivery.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Lazy, lazy, lazy

The main reason I write is to procrastinate from doing things that I don't feel like doing (e.g. school or work). Since I haven't had much of that, I haven't had the urge to write. But I have been doing things! Cool things! So it's picture time! And announcement time. I'll save that for last, because tension is good, or whatever.

First up!


Have you seen Hansigurumi's patterns? Go ahead and look, and buy them all. I'll wait here. The whole time I knit I was mumbling "Well christ that's clever." Except when I knit the head, during which I was screeching "How the (very bad word) did she figure THAT out?"

Seriously. I think she dabbled in quantum physics to figure that head out.

I bought the set of four cephalopods. I've started work on the squid. Hella awesome.

Next, I got to meet my friends' wee bairn while I was down in NC, and naturally I decided to knit her a hat, because... because. This is Aviva:


The pattern is Larissa's Feather and fan bonnet. I decided to knit it after seeing this picture (brace yourselves, clicking on that picture might result in death by cuteness). I used DK yarn (Lana Grossa Merino 2000) on size 4 needles. It came out a little small, so next time I make it (and I will again), I'll either use heavier yarn or add more repeats.


I also omitted the eyelet row and instead (hand!) sewed the ribbon on. This took ages. Not recommended. Also, my blocking job kinda sucked. I think I need a styrofoam ball for baby-hat-blocking purposes.

On a whim I took some of the roving I'd bought from TerraBellaSpun's Etsy store, and began spindling up some thick-and-thin singles, which I plied with some green sparkly sulky thread. Since the roving has sparkles, it's a WAY sparkly bunch of yarn.


I think I like it? But I don't know what to do with it. At all.

Speaking of spinning, remember that purple handspun? It became these:


GLOVES. Neat! I didn't use a pattern. I should've used smaller needles for the ribbing, but didn't have any appropriately-sized dpns. So I didn't.

So my friend Paige (who, it should be said, rocks pretty hard) is getting all married in early October, and invited me to be one of her Maids of Honor. The other MoH is making her dress, so I offered to make a lace shawl.

Because I'm an idiot.

I've done one lace thing before -- the Branching Out scarf -- and it had a bunch of mistakes (including being made of super crap yarn). I've done 7.5 (12-row) repeats. Of 34. Then there's the inner border. And the outer border.

I am so screwed.


But I'm using Malabrigo lace, which is hella soft. That part is good.

Now! Announcement time! I want you to meet someone:

My nephew!

This is Short Stuff, my impending nephew. Which explains all the baby stuff, and the octopus. I didn't mention him earlier Just In Case, but we've got 2 months to go and LOOK at that FACE. Somebody's got the chubby cheeks!