Thursday, December 8, 2016

Santa Mouse

It's been a long time with no posting. The longer I go, the more I begin to doubt whether I should still blog, or whether anyone reads it, or whether I need to catch up on All The Things.

That's silly. Let's just talk about something fairly recent.

I made a Santa Mouse.

Santa Mouse (mine ravelled here),
knit out of random bits and bobs

Family lore has it that my oldest sister checked out Santa Mouse, Where Are You? from the library as a first grader. From that point forward, Santa Mouse has been a tradition in my family. Because I am a pusher, it is now a tradition in Andrew's family and in one of our little circles of friends. Remember?

Santa Mouse travels with Santa in his sleigh. In the book, he accidentally falls from the sleigh, and he is able to make his way to a home to wait for Santa because he sees that home's Christmas lights glinting off a yellow ribbon on a package. As an expression of his immense relief at being rescued, he now leaves tiny packages nestled in the Christmas tree, all tied with yellow ribbon. Not gold ribbon, mind you. YELLOW. This is important. Do not screw up the Santa Mouse ribbon or a hole will develop in the space-time continuum and you'll find yourself playing the accordion in a pizza parlor for the rest of your life.

I briefly had thoughts of knitting Many, Many Santa Mice to give away at Christmas. Then I realized they were fiddly and not all that fun. December is too stressful and busy to be knitting projects that are fiddly and not all that fun. This Santa Mouse is nestled in our Christmas tree, and I'm glad he's not lost in the snow as in the book.

I hope your traditions bring you happiness, too!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Some Times...

Some times call for comfort knitting... of our sweet rescued dog, Dexter, who's been with us 10 years and is probably 15 years old,...

...and pictures of Nocturne, our adopted cat who's been running our household since 2007 and clearly cannot find a comfortable place in our house to rest.

 This is one of those some times. Hold on, kids. It's going to be a rough ride.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Embarrassment of Riches

A portion of my excitement over Persian Dreams is that I can use up a smidgen of my scrap sock yarn. I have a lot.
That may or may not be all of it. Don't judge me. 

I think epic knitting projects like this one benefit by a Come to Jesus conversation with myself. It went something like this:

This is a blanket knit out of fingering-weight yarn. It's going to take a long time. Pause and make sure you can accept that.

Accepted? Lovely. This is a blanket knit out of fingering-weight yarn in stranded colorwork. Pause and make sure you can accept the additional crazy.

Ready to proceed? Good. The pattern as written uses 14 different colors. Stop and think about the number of ends that is to weave in and the amount of yarn changes that is. Do you want to do this?

...No, I do not. 

Line thus drawn, I went to the stash and pulled out self-striping possibilities. As you all know, I love me some stripes. The stash reflected this.

Then I pondered the stripes. Some had very distinct colors, and some were so subtle as to almost lose the striping altogether.

I put all the strong stripers on the bottom row, the ones that had brown (plus sad Christmas) on the second row on the right, and the ones that I worried were too subtle on the top and second row left. There are 24 pieces to the blanket, so I decided to use the strong stripers and do 3 pieces in each color.

I started to knit.

Persian Dreams (mine ravelled here)
knit in Knitpicks Palette in black and Knitpicks Felici in Gummy Bear

After I knit a piece, I realized I wouldn't have enough scrap in any color to do 3 pieces. I got another opinion about the colors, decided to try to incorporate some of the subtle stripers, and plunged ahead. I should be able to figure out pretty quickly if I like the mix of subtle and not-subtle pieces.

And if I don't? I have options.

I feel a little embarrassed about how much Felici I own, but just a little. 
Certainly not enough to actually get rid of any 
or not buy more when it comes back with new colors.
Know thyself.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Persian (Day)Dreams

You know how sometimes you're just surfing the Internet, minding your own business, when you see something so beautiful you forget about everything you're currently doing, should be doing, and have planned to do for the foreseeable future?

Yeah, I had one of those recently over this:

I love this. Look at this one. Gorgeous.

I just received my--wait for it-- $8 check from the Indiana State Fair for the second place I won for the Knitsonik mittens. I used that as my excuse to buy the Persian Dreams pattern and its expansion pack.* Today I ordered 11 balls of Knitpicks Palette in black, which, as an unanticipated bonus, was on sale as part of their Halloween shenanigans. The black will be the background, and the foreground will be in




This is going to be awesome.

*You read that correctly. Expansion. Pack.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Sad Christmas Socks

The Sad Christmas Socks are finished and dry.

Sad Christmas socks (ravelled here),
knit in dyed-by-me Universal Yarn Ready To Dye 

They photographed better than they look in person. The red is stronger in the photo. They're not terrible by any means, nor are they what I wanted. Gift knitting!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Happy Christmas Socks

Well, it's been awhile since I've posted. Rather than get bogged down by what I haven't posted about, I'm just going to post what's happening now.

And what's happening now is HAPPY CHRISTMAS SOCKS.

Happy Christmas Socks (mine ravelled here),
knit in Cascade Heritage Solids in 5656 Christmas Green
and Knitpicks Stroll Tonal in Gypsy (discontinued, 
which seems dumb since it's a lovely red)

These are Happy Christmas Socks, as contrasted with Sad Christmas Socks. Those bad boys are still drying, so you'll just have to imagine a striped sock with gray, a too dark almost wine-y red, and a light green. Very sad. Luckily, my mom likes them, so I'll give them to her.

The Sad Christmas Socks are knit out of yarn I dyed myself. I'm currently 4 classes into a 6-class yarn dyeing extravaganza. Self-striping yarn is a pain in the ass to dye. Now I know.*

Sad Christmas Socks are actually attempt #2 at making myself Happy Christmas Socks. The first attempt was equally terrible.** It, too, had colors just off enough to make me yearn for someone who understood that Christmas is bright red and bright green and has nothing at all to do with the color salmon.

Nothing happy has ever had even a passing acquaintance with the color salmon, in my opinion.

The answer, which was obvious as soon as I stopped being lazy, was to stripe it myself. And so I am.

Third time's a charm.

*As if I needed another reason to buy Felici. I have a sickness, and it is stripy.***

**Poor Mom got those socks, too. I wonder if she's just too polite to agree with me when I say I've knit really unattractive socks.

***Oh, for the love of wool, they're having a sale on remaining Felici. I cannot allow myself to order more. I'm two balls away from Crazy Yarn Hoarder.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Socks, socks, socks!

This weekend I finished the requested Hanover socks for a friend's kid who is headed to Hanover as a freshman. When I washed them, I threw another couple pair I finished this summer that are going to be gifts. 

The Hanover socks are 6-row stripes. The leg and top of foot are 3x1 rib.

Hanover socks (mine ravelled here),
knit in Opal 4-ply in 5180 and 5188

A friend requested navy socks. The solid color let me play with a lace pattern I've been wanting to use.

Rose Ribs socks (mine ravelled here),
knit in Cascade Heritage Solids in 5623

Whenever Knitpicks comes out with a new round of Felici colors, I set some aside that I think specific people will like. I think Holly will like these (and I bought some of the same colorway for myself--I'm no dummy).

Baker Street socks (mine ravelled here),
knit in Knitpicks Felici in Baker Street

These are also 3x1 rib. The difference between these and the Hanover socks is that I did a round of k1, sl1 each time there was a color change on the leg and top of foot. It just adds a little more interest, both to the knitting and to the finished socks.

So, does anyone remember back in January when I wrote about being more intentional and allowing myself to not get things done? I'm not going to lie; I don't feel like I'm doing very well at that. I did the Knitsonik mittens, which was a project that took some intention and planning, but I don't feel like I've been successful at addressing my Crazy besides that. I do not lie fallow well. I don't give myself very much space to just be, and I think I'm doing myself a disservice.

In the grand scheme of things, this isn't a huge problem. It's better than a crack habit, for example. I am a work in progress.

And friends get some nice socks as a result.