Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Go Ahead, Make My Day*

Helen, of Chronic Knitting Syndrome, made my day today by giving me a "You Make My Day Award." I'm excited way out of proportion. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love being a part of this incredible knitting community.

Having received this great honor, I am now bound to pass it along to ten other bloggers who regularly make my day. I'm to "give the award to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel happy about blogland. Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so they can pass it on. Beware you may get the award several times."So without further ado (and in alphabetical order):

A Wee Bit Obsessive - OK, so Hilary is my sister-in-law, and you might think there's a little nepotism going on here; but she'd make my day even if we weren't related by marriage. She's smart and funny, she knits beautiful things, and sometimes she posts photos of my adorable niece and nephew.

The AmpuTeehee - There's way more than knitting here. We laugh, we cry, sometimes there's knitting; always there's something to think about.

BrooklynTweed - I know, I know, I'm sure Jared's already received bunches of these awards. But I can't help myself.

Garn Boet - The Yarn Nest - Beautiful knits and fantastic photos of Maud's gorgeous Afghan hound, Ludde!

Jean's Knitting-It's like traveling abroad, to visit Jean's blog - Fantastic knitting, political and social commentary, glimpses into her daily life, and the ongoing saga of the Theo Gansey.

Knitting in the Great Basin -Posts are few and far between these days, as Frasera is a new mom. But it's worth the wait to see beautiful knits modeled on her most beautiful daughter.

One More Row -Another Alaskan knitter. I like hearing about life a little bit farther north, and I get a kick out of her "mom" stories. She also has two boys, though hers are considerably younger than mine. Oh, and the knitting!!

She Shoots Sheep Shots -Clever, funny, beautiful knits, and GORGEOUS photos. How could it NOT make my day? (For twice the fun, check out her second blog, Two Shear Spirits.)

Taoknitter2- Ann is multi-talented craft-wise, but I read her blog as much for the "diva stories" as the knitting content. With two boys in my house, it's refreshing to hear her, often humorous, take on mothering three daughters.

Why not? - KT's a kick, and now we're practically neighbors!

And because I'm loathe to post without a photo ...

Jojoland Melody sock yarn. Thanks to my enabler Hilary for making a yarn store stop with me on my way to the airport last week.

*Thanks, Clint!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Well-Traveled Sweater

After dawdling along forever on my Minimalist Cardigan, I finally got into high gear a few weeks back. I was spurred on by the wish to have it completed in time for my trip, last week, to my hometown, Rochester, NY. And I did it!! It turns out, if you really sit and knit, instead of just talking, blogging and reading about it, you can accomplish quite a bit. Who knew?

With just hours to spare, and no time for photos, I finished the finishing, packed it in my bag and headed east. A week later, before I began my westward journey home, my brother took a few photographs for me.

Minimalist Cardigan
Pattern: Minimalist Cardigan by Ruthie Nussbaum
From: Interweave Knits Fall 2007
Yarn: 2-Ply Morehouse Merino/~ 6 skeins in Olive
Needles: KnitPicks Options US size 4
Size: I was aiming for something near 39 1/2"
Modifications/Notes: I used sport weight yarn instead of worsted. Rather than rework all the numbers, I did a swatch, took a chance and simply followed the directions for the next size up, taking care to work to the lengths for my true size and not the larger size. I think my only other modification was to short row the shoulder shapings and seam them with a three-needle bind off. First I worried it would be too small, then I worried that it would be too big. In the end, I'm pretty happy with the fit and the overall look.
My Favorite Part: Wearing it for the first time to the opening of Will's photography exhibit, which was the culmination of an extraordinary year-long project. Never has a sister had a better reason to kvell over her little brother.

Credit where credit is due: This photo by Nick

Friday, January 04, 2008

Knitting at Glacial Speed

I can't seem to finish a project to save my life. After the distractions of December, I have returned to my Minimalist Cardigan with renewed enthusiasm and determination. Alas, no sooner did I finish the first sleeve this morning, than I realized I'd have to rip it back to the start of the cap shaping. With premeditation, I let my decreases form a vertical line of stockinette. I thought this was a logical and good thing, but I realize now that it's too disruptive to the moss stitch.

Then there's the second sock that has been mouldering on the needles for nearly a year. It was lost in action for a while. Since it is my "Grab when I'm heading out the door" project, I began to seriously fear it had be left behind at a soccer game, school planning meeting, dentist appointment or the like. I found it a few weeks ago when I was tearing up the house looking for something else I had misplaced. Yay! It came in handy last week as we sat through many soccer games during the annual Holiday Cup tournament. I made some knitting progress, but must admit as the games got more and more exciting, I did more clutching of my knitting in sweaty hands than actual knitting.

In between soccer games, I began craving lace and spent some time with my dormant melon stitch scarf. I would like to finish that and than get back to the lace stole I started last spring.

But as none of these knitting efforts is photo worthy, and I hate to post without a photo, I'll leave you with some images from our walk on the frozen Mendenhall Lake this afternoon. If you look closely, you might see a hand-knit or two.

Two hand knit hats, one scarf, an iceberg and a glacier.

Icebergs frozen in Mendenhall Lake.

Boy, hat, and glacier.

The Mendenhall Glacier, which, much like my knitting, is receding faster than it is advancing.

Happy New Year to all!