Monday, March 31, 2008

I've nearly finished my mitten quota for the spring (last pair is on the needles), so I've been experimenting with some new things before baby sweater season starts. First, I decided to try the log cabin method of blanket construction as outlined in Mason-Dixon Knitting. I have fallen in love with this way of making baby blankets. There's very little finishing to do other than weave in all the ends. And it's a great stashbuster; I moved 6 skeins out of my monstrous acrylic stash with this one.
I've already started the second one in pastel colors and have a pile of yarn set aside for #3. I'm not making them very big, about 36 inches square, but that seems to be a good size for a mobile life style; it's just about the right size for a car seat cover or a nap blanket.

Then I needed something challenging and extravagant to offset all that charity knitting, and the new Mystic Lights KAL seemed to be just the thing. I've finished the first clue and the second one won't be posted until Wednesday. The yarn is Glitter Alpaca from Cherry Tree Hill and the color is called Champlain Sunset, like the Vermont lake. I've been there, so this evokes a pleasant image for me. I love the feel of the alpaca, even though my eyes seem to attract all the fine threads it throws off.
And then, there's the Eyelets and Bobbles hat. It's Mary Jane's fault that Gracie had to model it; she sent me a picture of her Eddie wearing one of the chemo caps I made for her mom, and it seemed only fair to subject another dog to the same kind of indignity. But then of course, having done it once, there was no reason not to do it again, so I found a cap in colors that I thought were more suited to Gracie.
At some point it needs to be asked - why would any color be suitable for a dog? Some questions are best left unanswered.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

This is my finishing basket. This is where projects go to sleep until I get around to sewing up seams, weaving in ends, and otherwise doing the part of the project that I don't really want to do. See the empty basket. There is nothing - NOTHING - waiting to be finished. It's all done!

Okay, that doesn't mean there aren't works in progress. WIPs don't go into the finishing basket; they have other bags to live in until they are at the finishing stage. There aren't too many of those right now - just the right number really. A hat for the next hat/mitten set. A sock. A baby surprise jacket. An afghan. A shawl. Some big things, some small things, nothing really tricky, although the sock is fiddly and the BSJ is a new pattern that I have to pay attention to.

This baby blanket was the last project in the finishing basket. It's the Square Baby Blanket from Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Workshop. It needed its start and finish grafted together. I got it done today and it's already in Andrea's hands. Today is her due date, so it was definitely time to get it out of the basket. I'm not happy with the grafting, and the cats made some pulls in it when they nap tested it. But Andrea's happy, so it's a success. Next time I'll look at EZ's diagram of the weaving and maybe I'll get it right.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Sometimes when you try hard to stay out of trouble you end up falling into it with both feet.

Last weekend I was in a production of "Hello, Dolly" with Delta Center Stage. I was in the chorus and had a few lines as the second cook; mostly my job was to fill up the stage, sing whatever part needed augmenting, and not do anything stupid. So on opening night I got into my costume for the first act - the one I call my Dowager Lady Ursula costume - and went to sit in a corner out of the way with my knitting while everyone else was getting ready and coping with opening night jitters.

So there I was, practicing my newly learned skill of Continental-style knitting by making a dishcloth, when suddenly a photographer appears and wants to take a picture. The other girls posed around me, I kept on knitting, and the next thing I know I'm on the back page of the newspaper. Of course, i
f I'd known I was going to be in the newspaper, I would have had something more photogenic with me than a measly dishcloth with just a few rows complete. At the very least I would have whipped out a sock in some nicely contrasting color.

The good news is I've landed a part in the next production, which will open on April 17th. Next time I will come prepared.