Thursday, January 31, 2008

Knitting For Two

I was going to post some details from BMOC, my latest design, but Older Son has misplaced it so I can't take photos. (I'm not sure which of us that speaks more poorly of, he for losing it, or me and my housekeeping.) While I was waiting for him to find it I started thinking of knitting for two, and in particular of knitting for a boy and a girl. Being a twin myself, I'm very keen on twin knits.
Here a couple of twin sweaters I knit for my friends daughters (who are identical twins). This is an easy one. The sweaters are just a basic seamless raglan. I started with the variegated I used for the colors, and just added odd balls that I could match to colors in the variegated. I had two skeins each of the the pink and yellow, so they became the main colors on each sweater. Then it was just figure out the number of rows until I decreased for the neckband and dividing that up by the number of colors I had (in this case 4). Another idea was a couple of Wonderful Wallabies I made for Celtic Queen and the Elder Celting when he was about 3. You know how hard it is to find mother/son matching outfits. You see those cute mother/daughter sets in the catalogs, but as a mother of sons you feel left out. I can relate. I wanted to give CQ that "matching" feeling so I knit them coordinating sweaters. CQ's sweater was in maroon with a navy stripe on the chest (very J Crew) and the Celting's in the same navy with a maroon stripe. Matching but not over the top. CQ still wears her sweater, but alas! both Celtings have grown out of the matching one. Either of these will work for brother/sister combos too. And finally, take a sweater idea (I like the Cottage creations designs here, because they have a wide variety of sizes) and make one a dress for a girl. I did this with the Wonderful Wallaby for the girls pictured above (sorry, no pics!) and the little hoodie dresses were too cute!! I did a folded hem (which is how I finished the edges on BMOC, which got me thinking of this) for the bottom. Just knit a hem, and then knit to the waist and continue on as the pattern specifies. I got my measurements from a dress in a store, and just added however many inches to all my measurements for the Wallaby. Once you're past the underarms, everything else is the same. The same could be done with the Big Sven pattern too. Or just make them each a sweater and coordinate the colors. (Actually, CQ did this for her niece and nephew in boy colors for him and girl colors for her as Christmas gifts one year.)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Thick and Thin of It

I have to say up front here that there's not much new on the knitting front. I'm just working my way back on the gusset of the Noro socks. Speaking of which, here's my blurry (apparently after all this time I haven't figured out how to use my dang camera)pictures of the thick/thin nature of the yarn.Here's a thick part, and here's a thin part. (The second is more accurate color-wise too.) I took these while waiting at the chiropractor's this evening, and no one even asked why I was taking pictures, or of what. I think they were just being polite, kind of in the same way that no one mentions that people on the bus are talking to themselves.

In other knitting news, a good friend who I work with just announced yesterday that he and his wife are expecting. We went to school together and he recommended me for both of my jobs. Break out the baby yarn! I have a ton of white yarn so I think I'll start there and move on to colors if we find out a gender further down the road. Did I mention that my cube-mate is expecting too? I'm surrounded by fertility.

And finally, I'm feeling better about being at the depth of lifelong unhappiness. I'm thinking if this is as bad as it gets, well it's not that bad. It's all uphill from here, eh? (But you can still send me gifts. ;)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

This Explains It All!

Have you seen this? This explains everything. Everybody is unhappy in their 40's and the lowest point for lifetime unhappiness guessed it, at 44. So that's what wrong with me. The news stories I've seen say I just have to hold out for eight to ten years and I'll be ok. Somehow this doesn't make me feel any better. Feel free to send me some colorful yarn to cheer me up, though. Speaking of colorful yarn, my Noro socks and I have had a slight falling out. I've had to rip back my first attempt at a gusset. An evening of struggle and I'm about back to where I was when the picture was taken yesterday. Again, feel free to send me gifts to cheer me up. Key lime pie, or orange scones would do the trick too...
Now here's a picture of some colorful yarny goodness. I have finally managed to amass at least one skein of all the colors of Alpaca With a Twist's Highlander. That's about 20 skeins of tweedy yumminess. My plans are for a randomly striped sweater mixing the colors randomly as well as the stripe widths. I keep envisioning the sweater as a cardigan, despite the fact that I can't imagine when I'm going to be anywhere that it's cold enough for an alpaca sweater worn over another top. But everytime I picture this striped sweater it's a cardigan, so I'm thinking a cardigan it will be. And I may have enough yarn left to do a little fairisle number as well.

Monday, January 28, 2008


I'm making progress on my Noro socks. These are very addictive (I can't wait to see what the next color out of the ball will be, and how it will look with all the other colors!) and just what I need for this dreary time of year. Every year from about the middle of January until the first week of April when Spring is finally here I crave bright colors. And citrus. I'm all about the orange scones and key lime pie. Somehow citrus flavors just taste like sunshine to me. These socks are going to be just what the doctor ordered. Even Older Son was admiring (but that was before I started on the pink section at the top). For what it's worth, here's my review of the Noro sock yarn. I love the colors and how they blend. The yarn knitted up has a little better hand than in the ball. However, it's a bit thick and thin. Overall, it's very fine for a sock yarn. So when it gets thin...It's very thin. Which happened a little too often for my taste. I like to knit socks at a pretty firm tension (it improves their wear). Add that to that the fact that it's a single so I wanted a firm tension even for me, and I had to crank down to a size 0 needle for me to feel comfortable with it. For me, these negatives are outweighed by the colors. You can make your own choice. That's my 2 cents, take it or leave it.

Meanwhile, on the "What in the World Is Going On Here When I'm Not Home" front, I came home early from work today and found this in the living room. A chair (from the dining room) tied up and with peanut butter sitting on it. I don't think I want to know.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Back to Back

Here I am. What kept me away so long? Well it turns out that the fall I took (see my last post back in November) did way more damage than I thought at first. My pain kept getting worse and within a few days my leg went numb, then a day or two after that apparently went on strike and stopped supporting me. Which led to a couple of (fortunately?) only embarrassing falls (I have a fair amount of padding, unfortunately) and one trip to the emergency room. Much discussion with doctors and testing ensued, and the outcome is that I am seeing a chiropractor (recommended by Heather) instead of the neurosurgeon my PCP referred me to. After two visits the numbness in my leg was gone, and my pain is definately lessening. So now that I don't think I'm going to die or be a cripple for the rest of my life, I'm slowly getting back to my routines. One of the many downsides of all these back issues was that I spent alot of time laying flat on my back. I got some knitting done, but mostly small projects. In the midst of all of that, Christmas, New Years, and my anniversary came and went.
Dave performed a solo at church on Christmas Eve,and the boys were part of the live nativity during the service. (Older Son was Joseph and Younger Son was a Wise Man. Or Joe and a Wise Guy as we put it here.) December was rough. I'm truly not a bawler (the only time I'd cried as an adult was at my mother's funeral in 2001) but the pressure and worry and maybe some hormones just got to me, and I was in tears every other day practically the whole month. So not really the best of company. (I did remark to Celtic Queen at one point when I was feeling sorry for myself and worrying over test results that the upside of having a terminal illness would be that Extreme Makeover Home Edition would come and redo my house.)
So what knitting did I accomplish during my break? Not as much as you'd expect, it's a bit hard to knit laying on your back. I did more reading than knitting. Nevertheless, I completed Irreversible on the left for YS and a new design BMOC for OS for Christmas (well, OS's was delayed a bit). I made the guys stand outside in the frigid temps to get a good picture. YS looks like a natural model, though, doesn't he?
And I've been knitting these little bears (pattern here). These are the cutest things! And so easy to make (mine needs a face yet). Size 5 needles and worsted weight yarn makes a perfect size for a toddler to drag around. This one was made with Red Heart's Amore which is my fave yarn for these so far. It looks and feels like a chenille blanket.
But it's all good now. Rock Day at Heather's was fabulous and we all brought our wheels (see pics here and here). I carded up these batts for spinning and have been trying to work out ever since how I can quit my day job and support myself making colorful batts...
And a new project. I was gifted some wonderfully colorful Noro sock yarn by Julia for Christmas and I could resist its siren song no longer. I feel happier already.