Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Oy vey, Christmas is almost here

Christmas is less than a week away and I am looking forward to two glorious weeks away from work. I think those were my exact words in looking forward to a week off at Thanksgiving. We will be spending the official holiday in Minneapolis and then heading to Wisconsin for a few days - during which time we will be celebrating my husband's birthday. It is a big one, but I won't disclose it out of respect for his advanced years.

My mom-in-law just is recovering from getting her spleen removed. For an organ with such a low profile (what the hell is if for?), it sounds like it was connected to every other organ she has. So, she's laying low recuperating. Probably seeing some Andy Griffith, maybe a little Elimi-date. We'll see if we can get some candids at Christmas. I am sure she'll be back to her socks before you know it. Here's the offending organ:

For those of you who know me, I had to use this sketch drawing of a spleen because I can't look at the real deal. Sue's a trooper though - I am sure she'll be ready for the holiday cheer and ready to put this whole thing behind her by the time we get there. She's just taught her sis how to knit socks. I need to get everyone to use their digi cams so I can blogs their projects.

The Hollyberry Lace Leaf Scarf:

This is turning out beautifully. I can't wait to see it blocked because it is a little floppy at the moment. This is my first experiment with lace and I have unknit as many rows as I have knit. I keep getting one extra stitch and then I am unknitting. This requires some concentration.

The pressure is off of finishing this before Christmas because it just won't be done, so why try? To quote Homer Simpson, "kids, you tried your best and failed miserably. The lesson is 'never try'." A finished product will come together over the holidays. I have to finish this scarf, a pair of socks, and get some plans together for the Gaffer's Gansey. I can't believe I nearly forgot....that gorgeous quilt in the background was made Mr. Knits a Living's grandma (aka Granny). This is just one example of her beautiful quilting.

And then I fell in love with this yarn:

To make some fingerless mitts:

These are "Dashing: from Knitty:

I am going to use Berroco Ultra Alpaca in color 6280. I hate it when colors are numbers. There are so many people thinking up names for lipstick, nail polish, paint....why can't all yarn have names of the colors?

I am waiting for pictures to be sent to me from my folks so I can blog our Sunday b-day bash. I wonder if they feel guilty for not following through on a commitment they made to me.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A Study in Scarlet

I named this sweater A Study in Scarlet named after a Sherlock Holmes book published in 1887. It is the first book by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to feature Sherlock Holmes. I think I will read that next.

I nearly finished this sweater last year, but finally did the last bits recently. This is an Elizabeth Zimmerman EPS sweater done in Nature Spun worsted weight in the color Scarlet. This pattern was developed from the Opinionated Knitter. I love how I can make my own patterns. The cuffs and bottom hem are in a knit/purl pattern and the collar is in a k2p2 rib. I also put in bottom hem in gray. I wore it today for the first time - to work - and zowie, was I warm. My mittens are felted with Scarlet trim - just a coincidence, but I am very color coordinated this day. Featured lipstick to coordinate: Earth Red.

Here are close ups:

This was great fun to make. This was the first pattern I made with the EPS system, I liked the tidiness of drafting the underarms together, experimenting the hem and patterns for cuffs and collar was fun, and the fit turned out just how I wanted it.

And lastly, here's a snap of Minnesota winters. You can see the very beginning of snow on the ground in the background. This was Thanksgiving morning and the pic above is not even two weeks later - 5 degrees and 10 inches of snow with more to come.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Knitting hangover

Have you ever had a knitting hangover? It isn't pretty. I was up until 2 am working on my sock from Knitting Vintage Socks and watching a TV series Kidnapped. I got the DVD from the library and became immediately addicted. Well, this is the aftermath on the next day.

I had been hoping to get my yarn from Knit Picks on Saturday to get started on the Gaffer's Gansey for my dad-in-law during the first Minnesota snow storm. We got about six inches and no new yarn. It did finally arrive today - during our second snow storm, and we're scheduled to have two more by Saturday. Yikes - it is going to be a long and snowy winter. I had a 90 minutes commute home from work - to travel 4 miles. I could have walked home faster. Have I mentioned that I hate taking the bus? But when I got home, I had more problems. The yarn...not good, as we say in Minnesota.

The color for the Gaffer's Gansey is probably too bright for a man. I will have to wait to see the verdict from the recipient.

And my clumsiness with rolling up a hank of lace weight? Also, not good...

But my new project is off to a great start. I am making the Lace Leaf Scarf from the Holiday 2006 issue of Knit Simple out of Andean silk from Knit Picks in Hollyberry. I was going to knit it with the lace weight (seen in the mess above) but I am too mad at that yarn at the moment to include it with this project. After dismissing the lace weight Alpaca Cloud from Knit Picks, I thought I might include the Misti Alpaca in the scarf (seen below). But you will see I am sticking with one yarn - and regular knitting needles to boot. Very old school! This will be a gift for a good colleague at work - someone who has been very generous with her time and support.

In closing, I feel compelled to share with you that Wiley (the cat knitting on Thanksgiving) has developed a large ego after seeing himself on the web. Tobey, his brother, feels he is a much better model and better behaved. I can't say I agree with the better behaved part, but he is a charmer...

The camera adds a few pounds, right?