Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Anatomy of a Craving

  • Fresh, sweet pineapple. Yum. This is pineapple #2 in less than a week. It will be sliced and diced tonight.
  • B&Js Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream. This stuff is heaven. If it were plain old strawberry cheesecake flavored ice cream, I wouldn't care. This has fat swirls of graham cracker crumbs. Drooooooooool.
  • Equinox Yoke Pullover. Before you all talked me off the sweater knitting while pregnant ledge, I was thisclose to ordering up all the yarn for this baby. I'm thinking maybe I can knit a Mariah with stash yarn instead? I cannot kick the sweater knitting craving at all, and besides, aren't we preggos supposed to indulge our cravings?

Monday, September 25, 2006

Big and Little

I've been knitting lots of little things lately (Moth excluded, of course). Case in point:

Daddy Hat: the only thing Dan has ever explicitly asked me to knit for him, and I take 2 years to do it. Exact same hat and yarn as this one, just dyed the yarn navy beforehand. Unblocked, because he snatched it away and hid it once I was done (ha ha, Dan I found it!).

Baby Hat: scraps of AC Moore's version of cashmerino. Sad to say, I came across the hospital-provided hat PumpkinBoy was given at birth and was horrified at the scratchy acrylic it was made out of (but it was hand knit). I was also horrified by how freakin' small it was - are baby heads really that tiny? You'd think I'd know, but PumpkinBoy's infancy seems like such a long time ago - I have visions of picking up my newborn and hurtling her through the roof, as I am rather accustomed to the "little one" I'm lifting weighing close to 40lbs - a 7 pound baby won't even register on the scale for me mentally anymore.

That said, apart from plotting the shawl with the pretty handspun (thanks for all your good ideas - I'm still pondering and being indecisive), I really have a massive urge to knit myself a sweater. Problem is, I have no freaking clue what form my body will take post-pregnancy. Will I have the awesome nursing mom rack I did last time? How much weight will I end up keeping? I expect to permanently keep some of this added bulk, but how much? My body 3 years post-partum from PumpkinBoy (and non-pregnant) is very differently shaped than it ever used to be - I now have hips, breasts and some curves. It is so different from my pre-pregnancy incarnation that lacked all of those things. I'm guessing the changes this time around will not be so dramatic, but I still don't want to knit a whole sweater now only to find out its just never going to work for me. Perhaps I should stick to shawls and socks for now just to be safe. We'll see just how long common sense holds out against impulse.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Problem Solving - Help Me!

So, way back in May at NHSW, I picked up a measly 3.5oz of some positively stunning "Black Magic" 50% polwarth/50% mohair roving from The Spinning Bunny (sadly, she was one of the last booths I visited, and my cash was running out, hence the meager 3.5oz). I managed to spin it into the lovely fingering-weight singles you see below:

The colors in this change, ever so slowly over hundreds of yards, through one repeat of green, turquoise, deep blue, almost-black purple, brighter purple and peters out just where magenta would have started, had I been able to afford more. I got about 600 yards out of it, and my plan is to make a shawl, but I'm having a bit of trouble finding the right pattern.

I've ordered the Diamond Fantasy pattern, but I'm not convinced its the right one, although I know I have enough yardage for it. The pattern I'd really like to do is the Fan-Stitch Half-Circle Shawl from "Traditional Knitted Lace Shawls" (here is one from blog-land done in lace-weight) but I'm not sure I've got enough yardage to get anything of decent size. It is one of those handy patterns that you can just knit until you're running out of yarn, but the book is sorely lacking in specifying yardage/weight of the sample shawls, all it says for this is "...was worked with 2-ply handspun Pima cotton on size 3 needles, has finished diameter of 58 inches". I really, really do not want to start knitting and realize I'm going to end up with a shawl-ette/scarf sized thingy and have to rip it all out.

So - anyone have a good way of figuring this stuff out (this is one area where I am very weak in the knitting mojo) or have another great suggestion for a pattern?

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Happy Feet

Admittedly, not the fastest socks in the East anymore, but most certainly my personal best taking just 11 days when my usual habits leave me counting months to completion, and not days. I can no longer see my toes when standing, so had to pose seated to get this shot, lest I lean too far foward and topple over like a Weeble. But at least my ankles aren't swollen (yet).

Project Specs:
Yarn: Socks that Rock, "County Clare", medium weight
Needles: Addi Turbos #1 (magic loop)
Pattern: none - 60 stitches stockinette
Notes: Still completely smitten with this yarn, and am trying to rationalize why I must purchase more of it, despite having enough sock stash to keep me going into next fall, easily.

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Fastest Socks in the East

I am in love. I was part of the Favorite Color Swap, and I recently got my package from the lovely Susan, aka Labmom. Included in my box was a skein of Socks that Rock, in the colorway County Clare. Now, as everyone knows, there is much hype surrounding this particular yarn. I'm always a tad skeptical of such hype, but holy shit, this stuff deserves it. So sproingy and firm - I just cannot stop knitting with it. Hence, the fastest socks in the east:

I cast on for the first one just shy of a week ago. I am by no means a fast sock knitter. Socks sit on my needles for months, always playing 2nd fiddle to whatever primary project I am working on. This pair though - I CANNOT STOP KNITTING THEM. I just want to feel the yarn as it stacks up row by row and I actually sat with one sock on my foot while I knit on the other last night, just because it felt so nice. I see now why others have proclaimed they will never knit another sock in anything but this yarn - if I had a more mighty yarn budget, I would be tempted to say such words myself.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Where was I?

A few weeks back, before the Great Lace Race, I was about 2 nights worth of knitting from finishing up two different projects. Now that things are back to normal, I was able to finish these up.

Pinwheel Baby Blanket:

Project Specs:
Pattern: Pinwheel Baby Blanket, edging is "Belle Epoque" ruffle from Nicky Epstien's "Knitting on the Edge" book.
Yarn: Danette Taylor hand-dyed worsted weight; edging is Cascade 220 color 7802
Needles: Denise #7
Notes: I have always loved this pattern, and am pleased to have a chance to knit it for our latest addition to force. I was a bit shy of choosing the hot pink for the edging (thanks to Julia and Kellee for pointing me that way on our Webs excursion), but it looks perfect, and the girly ruffle came out much better than even I had hoped.

Regia Socks:

Project Specs:
Pattern: Pebble Rib, by Ann Norling
Yarn: Regia Cotton Surf, color 5411
Needles: Brittany #2 DPNs
Notes: I really like this yarn - light on the feet and really breathable. The pattern is pretty simple. My first ever attempt to be all matchy-matchy with my striping, I think I did a pretty good job.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Really Done....

First and foremost, a warning to all pregnant shawl-knitters: do not, under any circumstances, attempt to block a large lace shawl on the floor after your 6th month. A bed, you'd probably be ok, but I really wouldn't recommend all the up and down and floor skooching that is required for ground-level blocking. None of my pregnancy books warned me about that, despite hearty warnings about avoiding contact sports and boxing. (WTF!?)

Anyway, here is the Moth, blocked and wearable, I love it!
Project Specs:
Pattern: Wing of the Moth, by Anne Hanson
Yarn: Kidsilk Haze, "Hurricane" (a.k.a. "Shade 632") 3.5 balls
Needles: #6 Denise:
Notes: It measures 80" across and 37" deep, and I could have blocked it more agressively and gotten more out of it, I'm sure. I also knit it on one size smaller needles than recommended. This was my first time knitting with Kidsilk Haze and will not be my last - so soft and light, but really warm, just wonderful stuff. The pattern is very clearly written and as you can see, it is just a really spectacular combo of lace motifs that ease gracefully from one to the other, making for a stunning finished piece.

A hearty thank you to Cheryl for calling us all out for the race, I found that aspect of this project just so much fun, and to Anne for such an inspiring pattern. I am pleased to have the finished project under my belt, and my family will be pleased to be no longer neglected.

Saturday, September 02, 2006


Whew! Blocking later this weekend sometime. I need a rest.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Almost There....

I am so close, I can taste it. "Only" 11 more rows to go. I put the only in quotes because that is still roughly 5000 stitches away, but given Julia's previous calculations of this shawl being comprised of something like 47,000 stitches (why do we knitters do this to ourselves - the stitch counting? ) thats really hardly anything, right? Right.