Tuesday, December 30, 2008

when the lights came up at two . . .

They don't exactly look like something Death brought with him in his suitcase, but I fear these stripes may be too 70's-tastic to be worn by anyone but me. It would have to be a special person I could give them to, and I don't think I know anyone that special.

And by 'special' I mean 'anyone as inclined to disregard color convention as I am.'

On the other hand, these are just Plain Sock, knit on US #2s, out of Patons Kroy, and I have a feeling that they will probably last forever. And hey, I like the colors. Not that I really need another pair of wool socks. What I do need is a large project of some sort, but I don't know what it should be. Nor do I have any large quantities of yarn lying around. Well, there may be some of the cheap SWS lurking about. Maybe I'll do something with that.

Dammit, what was I thinking, knitting up all my yarn into sweaters this fall? Now what do I DO?

(Oh, and have I mentioned that my mom adores her Aran birthday sweater? She wears it literally All The Time. It's awesome. It's become her winter coat, I think. Makes me feel good.)

Monday, December 29, 2008

a successful Christmas!

My mom adores her new knitwear, though I think she's much more excited by her fingerless gloves, which took two seconds to make, and are of fairly crappy yarn, than her awesome twisty socks. You never can tell, can you?

I didn't finish any other knitwear. I was 3/4 of the way into another pair of fingerless gloves when the 23rd happened, and I was at my grandma's cooking for half the day, and then out finishing up the shopping with my mom for the rest of the evening. It was a good day, but the gloves didn't get finished. So now I'll finish them up and barter them to my brother for a t-shirt. Rock on.

Of course, I have to get better before I feel like doing any knitting: there's been a 24-hour sort of flu here, and the house has looked like the Home of the Zombie Dead for the past couple of days. I had a comparatively light case, but now I have the Headache That Won't Die from not eating for two days. Oh, for some extra-strength Excedrin. My kingdom for some really good painkillers.

I discovered last night that no matter how sickly I feel, watching the tv without knitting something makes me feel really weird. So I started a random sock (Patons Kroy Stripes, in basic plain sock pattern) to get me through the Doctor Who Christmas special. And yay, my laptop didn't break directly after watching, like it did last year. And I have about three inches of plain sock. Actually, I should look at that thing in daylight and see what it looks like. Between the headache and the dim light, I don't really have a good idea of what the stripes look like.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

ha ha!

I finished the twisty sock. YESTERDAY, no less. Get it, me. And with a wee bit of yarn to spare. And not even such a wee bit that I was in any way scared once I got to the end. Yay yay yay. I can't even tell you how awesome I feel about this. Those are some awesome socks.

So now, of course, I have cast on and finished one of a pair of fingerless gloves which, if I finish them, I'll give to my dad. If I don't, I'll give them to my brother later.

The faux Noro scarf carries on apace: I'm thinking I may have to push for the handmade swap after all, just so I can get rid of the thing. Not that it's ugly or anything: it's solid red with striping black and grey, and it's tasteful and festive all at the same time, but really, do I need another scarf cluttering up my life? NO. Well, I've also got some hats lying around that I don't need, but I think the scarf has less ends to sew in. So we'll see. I imagine there will be some discussing tomorrow at Pirohi Fest 2008. Oh my GOD those things are delicious. You know I only help make them because that's one less day I have to wait to eat them. SO. GOOD.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Solstice!!

I can't wait till there's an actual appreciable difference in how early it gets dark, because this is ridiculous.

In knitting news:

I've only got one more run of the chart and then the toe to do on my second twisty sock. It's got a mistake on the back--I couldn't deal with ripping out yet again, and besides, we're RUNNING OUT OF TIME--but the mistake is pretty, so what the hell. If we're really lucky, I will not run out of yarn. Cross your fingers.

I'm making one of those pervasive two-row scarves, out of one striping and one solid color of SWS. Yep, the stuff I picked up for $1.50 last month. Because A) you never know when you'll need a random gift, and B) it's really nice to knit something I don't have to think about. That twisty sock needs a hell of a lot of thinking.

Also, my mother needs to learn not to tell everyone everything my brothers and I talk about. Brother #2 and I were saying a couple of weeks ago that it would be fun to do a handmade gift yankee swap sort of thing, but never actually mentioned it again, because really, there aren't that many people in the family who make stuff worth getting. (B2 and I totally do.) And then last night I get a Facebook message from one of my cousins in Connecticut, asking if we're doing a handmade swap, and getting really excited about it. I am not sure how this cousin caught wind of the idea: neither the brother or I have mentioned it past that one conversation, and I know for a fact that my mom has not talked to this cousin's mom yet this holiday season. Which means that my mom mentioned it to someone else (seriously, mom?) who then told this cousin. Who is fourteen and very excited about it. Sigh. Well, if she's dead set on it, I think I have a purple hat that I can sew the ends in on (finally!) and throw into the pot.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

uh oh

No, I have not had to rip the sock out for the fourth time. However, I did go on an Epic Shopping Adventure with my mom last night, so not much knitting was done.

How epic, you ask? Well, not quite as amazing as our 10-hour shopping fest two or so weeks ago, but let's just say that Macy's closed at midnight. I'm not sure when the rest of the mall closed, but I think it was later than usual. We did finish most of her list, I got something cute and meaningful for my big brother, and we got some rather good bargains (we are CHAMPION hunter-gatherers, especially when it comes to clothing and household goods) so all in all, a very successful trip. And I told some lost people where the Bath and Body Works was, so I was all helpful and stuff.

Today I have to try to knit a twisty sock. It had better work. I really like these socks.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

oh dear god.

Now I can't get the pattern right no matter how hard I try or how careful I am. I've screwed it up again, about five rows back from where I am now. Which is not very far at all.

It may be time to start all over, after some kind of purification ritual.

Christ, what a pain in the ass. I'm not usually idiotic like this!

son of a bitch.

I managed to get through the first twisty sock without making any horrible mistakes. Then yesterday, about two inches in on the second sock, I twisted left when I should have twisted right, and didn't notice for about TEN ROWS.

Say it with me now: NOOOOOOOOO.

And of course, ripping it out didn't go well, because I suck at counting rows when there are cables involved. And the twists are a pain in my tushie. I think I have it all set now, but I am not looking forward to picking it back up today. But I have to, because I'm behind about half a chart on my Knitting Quotas. Baroque has a 32-row chart(on the size I'm doing,) which repeats close to four times (on the sock I'm doing). If I do 32 rows a day, the sock will get done well before Christmas.

And it has to, because there won't be much time for knitting on Christmas Eve, which is a giant mad festival at my grandma's house (imagine a riot with really good food, and presents) nor will there be much time for knitting on the 23rd, which is when we cook the really good food. Making pirohi (from scratch, thanks) for approximately 50 people is not a speedy event.

Neither is this damn sock, though I have to say that it's worth it, because it's GORGEOUS. It'll be a shame to hide them in shoes.

Monday, December 15, 2008

of butter and knitting.

So I just baked a batch of very buttery lace cookies--the really flat thin kind that you bend around the handle of a wooden spoon to make a cute cylinder. And now, no matter how many times I wash my hands, they still feel buttery, and I can't bring myself to touch my knitting.

Maybe I'll put up the Christmas tree instead.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

no excuse

Really, I have no excuse for disappearing. I'm doing some Christmas knitting, yes, but no one I'm knitting for reads this blog. Or they'd better not. That would be embarrassing. Mostly I've been using my time to bake cookies and knit. I'm on a bit of a knitting schedule right now: I'm doing Baroque from Knitty for my mom, and when you start very twisty socks two weeks before Christmas, you can't lollygag around. They're going quite a bit quicker than I'd expected, so I'm happy. There is also the chance that I'll run out of yarn, which is not so happy.

And then when I'm done with those I can make my brother another pair of fingerless gloves, and he will trade me a shirt for them. Probably something with tentacles. The best part of this is that last Christmas he made fun of the gloves, saying that they looked like something a homeless man in a musical would wear. And now he wears them all the time and wants more. Ha! I totally win.

Friday, December 5, 2008

random knitting

That's right. It's the Christmas season, but am I knitting a Christmas present? No. I bought some random Patons Stretch Sock last week, and it was there in the tub staring at me . . . saying Knit With Me . . . and so I am. I'm doing the November Socks, found on this quality blog, and they are just scooting right along. I think the yarn I have is a little TOO variegated for the pattern to really show, but whatever. These are not expected to be work-of-art socks. I can guarantee you I'll make the pattern again, though. You get a really nice honeycomb pattern for hardly any effort at all. If I ever have to make someone fancy-looking socks fast, I'm doing this pattern in a solid color. Bam. Done.

Another element to the speediness might be my needles: while cleaning the downstairs hallway last night, I found a ziploc bag of random yarn-related items. Most of it was fugly crochet patterns from the 70's--plus one book that actually has really nice classic baby stuff--but there were two sets of old Boye aluminum double points, and I'm knitting this sock on the size 1s, and dude. It's going like a dream. They're really light, and really smooth, and I've only had bamboo needles in this small a size before. I think I'm a convert. Tiny metal needles really spin my propeller. I must have more!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

thank goodness that's over.

Let's have a dance of joy: I just finished (except for sewing in four bajillion ends) a pair of black fingerless gloves for my mama. That's one Christmas present down! Hopefully that will also be the LAST DAMN TIME I knit anything in black on wee needles. It can be a pain in the tushie. (Especially if you've had a sip or two of kirschwasser, but we don't need to go into that, do we?) That's two pair of black fingerless gloves I've done, and one pair of socks. Ooog. No. More. (Though I have to admit the black fingerless gloves are quite elegant, and I kinda want some. I'm gonna suffer without, though.)

Um. Right. I made these bad boys out of Sandnesgarn Sisu, which is kind of like Lanett's ugly stepcousin. It's still decent yarn, it's just not as soft and yummy as Lanett. However, it will keep my mama's hands warm, so it's all good.

I really don't have much Christmas knitting left to do. I think I'm going to make my mom a pair of socks, but I need to get yarn for those, as I may have said. (I have Very Bad Blog Memory sometimes) and I'm toying with the idea of making random stuff for my brothers, but eh, they'd probably rather have cds or books.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Disco Potholder Update

They've been felted! They're drying on my bed right now--which reminds me, I should check on them--and they look pretty good. The orange one didn't shrink down as small as the rest of them, which is odd, because it's all Patons--the blue one is the only one that has some Cascade 220 snuck in.

They're a lovely thickness, and they're a pretty decent size. Maybe a little bigger than I would have liked, but hey, I have no idea what other people's potholder preferences are. So yay! If we're really lucky, I'll post a picture of the finished product. Which would require me actually taking a picture.

And what am I knitting now? I am knitting a pair of black fingerless gloves on size 1 needles. My mom wants a pair for when she has to take tickets in the winter. Blargh. I may go blind, but she's got small hands, so it's going pretty fast. Started in the first quarter of the Steeler game yesterday, and I only have three fingers left to do on the first glove. Go me! The Christmas presents are dropping like flies.

Oh God, I just totally tempted fate, didn't I? Everything is going to snarl and not fit from here on in. Great.