Thursday, January 18, 2007

Still Catching Up

Many knitting bloggers are posting about new projects for the new year. Unfortunately, I am still catching up from 2006's Christmas presents. Somehow this happens to me every year. I give people a box of yarn--these are people who do not know how to knit and do not want to learn. (yes, I also have a hard time believing the some people actually do not want to learn to knit, but they do exist. Right in my own family!!)
This past Christmas I gave my mother THREE-FOURTHS of a sock. She was very excited about it--I think. I must tell you that she showed excitement and deep appreciation when she unwrapped the box labelled "Christmas lights." She thought I had given her a box of Christmas lights!!! Now, I ask you, who would give their mother a box of Christmas lights???? And, what mother would be excited about a box of Christmas lights?? My mother did a good job of feigning excitment about the Christmas lights. Therefore, I couldn't tell whether she was feigning excitment about the 3/4 sock or not!!
Let me assure you, however, that she actually liked the completed socks. I used Paton's Kroy sock yarn in a heather-y blue and a pattern from Interweave Knits Spring 2004. The Waving Lace Socks by Evelyn Clark. I added eye of partridge stitch for the heel, just to look pretty for my mom.
Remember the basket of knitted items, from which friends and family could select an item?? Some of those items were not finished objects. This scarf, for example, did not have its ends sewn in. Nevertheless, my step daughter's boyfriend (very, very nice boyfriend whose mother used to knit a lot and APPRECIATES handmade items!!!) selected the scarf for his present! I think this is a boyfriend made in heaven, if you ask me.
The hat for step-daughter was also not complete. It did not have its tassel, nor did it have the microfleece lining sewn in. I was able to finish both, however, while she was looking at family slides with her dad!! My 15-year old demonstrated how one can get the tassle spinning (while wearing the hat, of course) and almost achieve lift-off!! Just watching her do this makes me dizzy. But, step-daughter was very entertained and actually got the tassle spinning!
My 15-year old received one mitten for Christmas. I finally finished mitten #2 and felted it a bit. She likes the mittens--to look at--at to wear--theoretically. Although the weather has finally reached normal (that is, cold) temperatures and we have snow on the ground (hooray!!) she has yet to wear the mittens. She says she is afraid of loosing them. Hmmmmm, Anyway, the pattern is from the book Folk Mittens, a favorite of mine. I used Cascade 220 periwinkle and Ultra Alpaca cream. The mittens are nice and cozy--I hope youngest daughter wears them someday. If she doesn't, the periwinkle also matches my new winter jacket.......

The leftover sock yarn blanket is an ongoing gift for the youngest. I hope to complete it before she goes off to college. Although I promised that I would use only LEFTOVER sock yarn, my definition of "leftover" has expanded. I used yarn leftover from socks that I made and from socks that other people made but I ran out of yarn. I can't knit socks fast enough to fuel the blanket project. Therefore, I have begun to use leftover sock yarn from yarn shops--those 50 gram one-ball remnants that go into the clearance bin because the store doesn't have a second ball. I feel like standing on a street corner begging, "Leftover sock yarn, please help an old lady warm her daughter!"
So far, I've made 90 squares. I gave youngest daughter 9 more squares for Christmas--the squares in the top row. She actually uses this item. It's not big enough to serve as a blanket for her bed, but she puts it ontop of her comforter and it provides nice extra warmth.
My "rules" for making the blanket are here. I would be very (extremely) happy to purchase any leftover sock yarn that you have. (washable and self striping preferred) Just let me know and I'll also pay postage.

I've also been working on my husband's Christmas gift for 2005!!! I won't repeat the painful time we had picking out the pattern and yarn. I finished the color work on the sweater and now am doing boring, boring, boring stockinette shaping the neck. I just can't face it. I am in the black hole of knitting where you knit 10,000 stitches and measure the progress, only to find that the measurement decreased rather than increased!!!! I won't even show you a picture, it is too painful.
What does a knitter do when she is bored with a project??? Cast on for a new project!!! I need mittens. Weather here is COLD!! I opened up the gorgeous book by Charlene Schurch, Knitting Marvelous Mittens. [Digression__I love her patterns and have made three or four of them. But, I can NEVER get the proper gauge. My dad's Christmas mittens from the book ended up 15 inches long!!! And, he has short stubby hands. Fortunately, I like to felt mittens to keep out the wind. His finished mittens will keep out a winter gale!!] I am following a pattern for child mittens, size 3 needles and Mountain Colors weaver's quarters and Ultra Alpaca. I needed to begin decreasing about 10-12 rows sooner than the pattern called for. And the first mitten is fabulous!!

Can you tell the difference between the two photos??? It's not a mistake.

This, however, is a mistake. I tried doing the kitchener stitch for the top of the mitten, but it looks sloppy--especially since I couldn't work the pattern repeat for the desired length. I'm going to pick it out, turn the mitten inside out, and use a three needle bind-off.

My school break ends tomorrow. Back to school on Monday. I have loved knitting so much during the break, and hosting company. And I was tickled to see how excited people were to paw through my basket of hand knit hats, scarves and mittens. I'm going to keep a basket of items, I think, just for the fun of it!!


greno said...

Ohh Gail ! So many projects... Where do you find time ??? Congratulations for your beautiful blanket, I've even recognized my sock yarn ;-)
Béa (from France, we saw ourselves in Bcn last year)

betty said...

Gail, I'm ashamed I still haven't sent you my leftover sock yarn! I've just written it down in my agenda, I hope I will be able to do it tomorrow! I hope!!!!!

HPNY Knits said...

so many wonderful items, but the leftover sock yarn blanket is just FAB!!

Warrior Knitter said...

Yep! Love the "matching" gloves. I like doing things like that.

The blanket is amazing.

Siowchin said...

I love all your projects, especially the blanket! It's beautiful!

susan said...

Gail, are you still looking for leftover sock yarn? I might have some.

Tipper said...

I'm visiting from Shelly K.'s blog. Fantastic blanket! It's very quilt-like.

noricum said...

Wow!!! Your blanket is absolutely amazing! It's really cool. :)

If you're curious, you can see my blanket (in progress) here:

I've forwarded your comment you left at Travels With Swatchy to Shelly Kang... I think she'll have some leftovers she can share with you. :) (The Yarn Harlot did try to drown her in leftovers!)

Sven said...

Good Job! :)