Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I finally finished my Christmas knitting yesterday while in the car on the way to the inlaw's. The last gift finished was a cowl for Mom, and we didn't get to her house until this morning. The fact that I finished her gift yesterday was fantastic, especially since I've had to finish gifts in front of her on the actual holiday more than once.

I finished DH's Jacques Cousteau hat last Tuesday. I worked on the majority of it in front of him, and he was still surprised when I plopped it on his head shortly after weaving in the ends. He had forgotten that I said I'd knit him a hat, and so I won Christmas this year.

Pattern: Jacques Cousteau Hat
Yarn: Cascade 220 in 9465
Needles: US7
Rav Project Page

Sorry about the mess on the island behind DH. I've been an adult for 10 years, but I can't figure out if I'm supposed to keep every bill statement that comes in the mail or not. Since everything is digital now, I suppose I can just shred them. But I'm still scared that something bad will happen if I get rid of them, like somehow I won't have proof that I paid the bill or something. I'm weird like that. So I stack them on the island and pretend they don't exist. Moving on.

I finished the second of the 54 hats last week around Sunday or Monday. The second looked the same as the first and both fit the girls. They seemed to like them, so that's good. Both hats together took less than a full skein of Malabrigo Worsted.

Like I said earlier, I finished Mom's Stacked Eyelet Cowl in the car yesterday. Mom wanted a "manly" color since she's pretty much a tomboy, so I picked Malabrigo Silky Merino in Smoke. She liked it as well, and it fit.

Pattern: Stacked Eyelet Cowl
Yarn: Malabrigo Silky Merino in Smoke
Needles: US7
Rav Project Page

I came across the most adorable little pattern on Friday night for a mini snowman. I made one in the car on the way to the IL's, although I had to finish it at their house. I think it's so stinking cute that I almost can't stand it. When I make the next one, I'm going to make sure to make the arms lower so that they won't be covered by the scarf.

Pattern: Minimochi Snowman
Yarns: Lang Jawoll in White, Tempted Good Grrl in Onyx, and Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Pool
Needles: US1 (I thought I was going to snap them several times)
Rav Project Page

I started the Palouse Mitts back in October during a bout of startitis. I've completely lost interest in them. I'm not sure why though. They're cute and everything, and I haven't had any problems with the pattern. Could it be the yarn? I think this is the third time I've tried to use it-it's Madtosh in Green With Envy. I guess I'll wait to frog them and see if I can get motivated again to look at them.

Speaking of frogging, I finally killed the La Digitessa Socks today. I'd lost my place when I accidentally deleted my stitch counter app, and if I remember correctly, I don't think the row counter jived with where it looked like I was anyway. And they didn't fit.

I had a bit of stash enhancement this week. I got several minis, but I don't want to try to show you all of them and explain what they are lol. I also got my Tempted Burlesque package. This is the debut of the Feisty Grrl line (100% SW Merino). The colorway is Blue Blood. I really like it, but I'm not sure what I'll make with it.

It's finally time for the blanket. I've managed to knit 8 squares since yesterday, so I averaged 1 square per day for the week. Since it'll require 720 squares if I do the size I've planned, I need to do at least 2 per day to finish it within a year. I'd like to have it done in 6 months or so, so I need 4 squares per day. Now that Christmas knitting is done, I'll have more time to devote to it. I measured it on the floor today, and it is 55" across, so it is 7" longer than intended (1st square=2", so 24 squares should equal 48"). I'm beginning to wonder if I shouldn't make it as I've planned. I'm going to need to buy a lot of minis, that's for sure.
# of squares done: 38
% complete: 5%

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas is coming, whether I like it or not.

For Christmas this year, I only had to knit 5 items: 2 Stacked Eyelet Cowls, 2 "54" hats, and 1 Jacques Cousteau hat. Christmas is a week away, and I have finished 3 of the 5 (1 cowl & both "54" hats). That stinking blanket sucked away my desire to knit on anything else. However, I have all week to finish the Jacques Cousteau hat for DH (I'm approximately 75% done with it), I'm off on Friday (and maybe half of Thursday), and I have a 4 hour drive to the IL's on Saturday as well as all day Saturday to knit the cowl for Mom. I'm not too incredibly worried.

I just finished the second of the 2 hats for my friend's daughters. I'm a little concerned about them fitting, but they both fit on my head, so I think it'll be ok.

Pattern: "54"
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted in Gerino
Needles: US9 dpns
Rav project page

I think I'm going to start a thing called Blanket Sunday. It'll be an easy way for me to watch my progress on the blanket. I doubt I'll post every Sunday, but hopefully I can be somewhat regular with it. Since my first blog about the blanket was last Sunday, I'll count that as the first installment. Here's the blanket as of yesterday (haven't worked on it since then):
# of squares done: 30
% complete: 4%

The blanket was supposed to be 4 feet wide by 5 feet long. The first square was 2" wide (in square orientation), so 24 squares should be 48". However, the blanket is wider than I am tall (I'm 4'11"). I haven't actually measured it on the floor, so maybe the weight of the squares makes it stretch enough to make it longer? Either way, this blanket is going to be huge. H-U-G-E.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Stash Expansion Extravaganza

I may have gotten carried away with stash enhancement this month. I just wanted some self-striping yarn.

My new babies, L-R: String Theory Continuum Self-Striping in Coronal Mass Ejection (bought from a destash on Rav), Spinning Fates Toula in Sam The Snowman (Etsy purchase), Lollipop Yarn Feelings in Shazam (Etsy purchase), and Gynx Yarn Sock in Oil Slick (fantastic Christmas present from Gnome). Clearly I need to block Etsy on my computer.

I don't think this one counts as a self-striping, so I photographed it alone. I love the colors in this skein so much-I can't believe no one bought it before I did!

It's Another Crafty Girl's Strong Sock in Hideous Zippleback (another Etsy purchase... sigh). Finally, Tempted is offering a 20% off Christmas sale, so I convinced DH that I really need more blue yarn. Sidra came home to me.

Then there was the yarn that I bought for Christmas presents. I personally don't think it should count as stash enhancement since it won't be staying here for long, and therefore shouldn't count towards my total number of skeins acquired. Just sayin.

First up is another skein of Malabrigo Silky Merino. I'm going to make the same cowl that I made as a Christmas present for one of my friends (I'll show you that here in a bit), the Stacked Eyelet Cowl. My mom is a bit of a tomboy, so I got her a manly color, Smoke (per her request, nothing "pretty").

I'm also going to knit hats for my friend's 2 daughters, so I bought some Malabrigo Merino Worsted in the Gerino colorway. I think I'm only going to need one of them though-the first hat didn't take much.

I finished a Christmas present about a week ago. I am awful about keeping presents until Christmas, so the recipient already got it. She loved it. :)

Stacked Eyelet Cowl
Needles: US 7
Yarn: Malabrigo Silky Merino in Blackberry

I've finished one of the hats for my friend's daughters. One more to go.
Pattern: 54
Needles: US9 dpns
Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Gerino

I'm knitting the Jacques Cousteau hat for DH's Christmas present. I've knit on it in front of him and he hasn't even noticed. Since I have until Christmas to finish it, I've set it aside for now while I work on other Christmas knitting (I need those hats done by Thursday, 12/15). I have somewhere between 4 and 6 inches. I start the decreases when I get to 8 inches or so.

Jacques Cousteau Hat
Needles: US 7 dpns
Yarn: Cascade 220 in 9465 (aka dark brown)

Finally, I have a shameful confession. I've jumped on the sock yarn blanket bandwagon. I started Shelly Kang's Sock Yarn Blanket last Monday. I have a small OCD problem, and I agonized over the decisions I had to make with this blanket. Do I knit it in diamonds like the original? Or in squares? If I go with diamonds, do I live with the sawtoothed edges or do I knit triangles to fill them? If I go with squares, there is a nice solid border. Regardless of orientation, do I knit a border? I had to start over 4 times before I finally decided on the square orientation. I still haven't decided whether or not to knit a border around it. The thought of picking up all of those stitches is a tad bit intimidating, but I do have a 60" knitpicks interchangeable cable. I also need to decide how big to make it. Each square is 2" wide or so. I think I'll probably want a 4'x5' blanket, so that'll be 24 squares wide by 30 squares tall. That'll be 720 squares. Sheesh. It's a good thing they're fun.

Here is my blanket as of 10 minutes ago:

I've had to make myself put it down in order to knit Christmas presents. When I finish a gift, I get to knit on the blanket for a while. As long as I do 2 or more squares per day, I'll have it done within a year. I hope to be done by May.

Starting this blanket made me realize exactly how few sock yarn remnants I actually have. I could have sworn that I have a lot, but I don't. After joining the blankie mania group on Ravelry, I discovered the world of sock yarn mini skeins. People apparently divide up skeins into mini skeins of ~20yds or 5g and then sell them or swap them. There are Etsy sellers who sell them as well. Since starting this blanket, I have bought.... 28 mini skeins. I've received 9 of them in the mail so far. I have to stop myself from buying more. Here's what's come so far:
2 mini skeins of Colinette Jitterbug in the Jay colorway. I have approximately 40yds total, and have already knit a square with one of them.

Next up are 7 skeins of Sunshine Yarns Sock Yarn in Deep Within, Peacock, In Bloom, Biosphere, Be Thankful, Everlast, and Bella. They are 6g each, totalling approximately 155yds. I've already used Be Thankful and Everlast in the blanket.

There should be some kind of warning on these things about how addictive they are. Good grief.