Friday, December 21, 2007

My Inner Martha

Not much knitting progress around these parts in the last few weeks. I'm going to take liberties with the blog and show craftiness of another sort:

There might be more knitting progress to show if I didn't spend my time obsessively hand painting teensy gingerbread stars for teacher gifts. (And yes, that is another crocheted bookmark. Who wants to know?)

Happy Solstice to all!!

Our view, taken earlier this week. There isn't much to see today as the clouds are hanging low and even in the middle of our 6 hours and 21 minutes of daylight, there was almost no light.

2:27 P.M December 21, 2007
Taken in the interest of full-disclosure

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I Know The Rule: Don't Hang Sweaters!

But sometimes a rule just needs to be broken..

I saw Jared's sweater ornaments a few days ago, and could not resist casting on for my own. And then I made another for a gift.

So here I am making Christmas ornaments, even though I have a sort of love/hate relationship with Christmas trees. I grew up NOT celebrating Christmas, but since my husband did, it has become part of our family tradition. And a big part of that tradition is: The Tree. I enjoy other people's trees, and I like ours when everyone else has gone to bed on Christmas Eve and I am alone with it as I stuff stockings and perform other elfish duties. But by the light of day on the 26th I'm ready to shove it out the door. This has worked well for us in past years as we've hosted the holiday at our home away from home. We've arrived right before the holiday and left shortly after. Not a lot of tree-time. This year, for the first time since moving back to Alaska 2.5 years ago, we'll be staying put for the holidays .. specifically Christmas.

My meager ornament collection is thousands of miles from here, but I'm thinking simple white lights and a hand knit sweater. This just might be my kinda tree.

Sweater Ornaments

Pattern: I followed Jared's instructions, more or less.
Needles: US size 5 dpns
Red Yarn: Tahki, Chelsea Silk. I've had this yarn FOREVER (20 plus years, anyway.). Much of it is in a never to be finished vest, long out of style. The yarn is a little musty, and I've been reluctant to reuse it. But my washed ornament seems fine. This little sweater has provided the added bonus of uncovering some lovely yarn for a new project.
Brown-multi Yarn: Noro Silk Garden, of course.
My Favorite part: I love everything about these, but I'm especially smitten with the tiny hangers I fashioned.

Monday, December 10, 2007

FOs from Head to Toe

First up, the second hat from my Hats I knit for my children even though they didn't ask for them, but they better like them series. This one is for the 11 year old and is a fraternal twin of the hat in the previous post. Some DNA in common, but not identical. I'm growing quite fond of these hats, so if all else fails, I'll wear them!

Toby's Hat
Pattern: A loose interpretation of Ryan's Hat by Pam Allen
Needles: US size 7 dpns and 2 circulars
Yarn:Noro Cash Iroha
Modifications/Notes: Just like the hat in the previous post, I worked my increases more quickly so that I would get a more rounded top. I also worked stockinette earflaps instead of garter stitch. I'm feeling happier about this yarn choice. It IS deliciously soft, and while it may not be the perfect hat for our coldest days, it should be just right for many of them.

Next up, felted clogs that I gifted to my sister for Hanukkah. I've been keeping them off the blog even though I finished them weeks ago. (You never know who might be reading your blog.) I was all set to post a cheery Happy Hanukkah post on Tuesday, when I got the word that she'd be waiting to open her presents until Sunday night when she could get together for latkes and Hanukkah revelry with my brother and his family. So I've been waiting, and waiting...

Beth's Clogs
Pattern: Fiber Trends Felt Clogs by Bev Galeskas
Needles:US size 13
Yarn: Cascade 220, used double. 1 skein for the tops, ~1.5 skeins for the soles
Size: Women's Medium
Notes: This is the new, updated pattern (AC-33) which creates a narrower slipper. I've made one pair from the original pattern and they are quite wide. The revised pattern includes instructions for the wider clog.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Risky Business

Risky is knitting an unsolicited hat for the teenager living under your roof. Will he like it? Will he wear it? Will he appreciate it's handmade-ness?? Will it even fit?

I'm thinking, even though our next gift-giving holiday begins at sundown tomorrow, that I'll save this for Christmas. That should give me plenty of time to make another for the preteen in the house.

Max's Hat
Pattern: Inspiration taken from Ryan's Hat
Needles: US size 7 dpns and 2 circulars
Yarn: Noro Cash Iroha
Modifications/Notes: Different yarn and gauge for starters. Different colorwork pattern. I worked my increases more quickly so that I would get a less pointy, and more rounded top. I found guidance for this here. This yarn is lovely, but may not have been the best pick for this hat. I chose it mostly for it's softness and colors. It yields a luscious, drapey fabric, but that might not be the best fabric for this hat.