Thursday, January 25, 2007

First Finished Objects of 2007

Okay, so actually I finished these things a couple weeks ago, but we all know how frequently I post here, so there ya go. First item finished was a lovely Booga Bag in Noro Kureyon colour 172, and it's for me!

I may re-block it sometime, though, because when I felted it, I didn't have anything to block it on, so it's sorta shapeless right now. My sweetie bought himself a pair of enormous shoes last week, so at least I've got a suitable box now! I love the colours, especially the band of rusty red. Currently, this bag is holding extra balls of yarn that are waiting to be cast on. Unfortunately, I won't let myself cast anything new on until I finish at least one project that's already in progress. I've got five things on the needles right now, and while that doesn't bother me in the least, I can't cast on any more because there simply isn't enough room on my little knitting table to put them down when I'm not working on them.

Second thing completed this year:

The most gorgeous pair of socks EVER!!! Mountain Colors Bearfoot, colourway Sierra, on size 1s with a baby cable rib on the leg. These were done toe-up with a short row heel. This yarn is so has small shots of olive greens & burnished golds in there, and it just makes me so happy. On the instep, the olive green wound up with a plummy colour right next to it, and that made me really want to get my mitts on a skein of Puck's Mischief STR. I'm not generally a fan of purple, but the green next to it really made it lovely. These socks were also done as my January Socktopia socks, in the Blue Monday theme. Little explanation of how I got red socks for Blue Monday here. I have my own weird rules in my world. So pretty!!

On the needles right now, we have a non-photographed pair of socks for my Sockret Pal. My lovely downstream Sockret Pal is into pink in a big way, so I'm using a pretty pink/blue Koigu with the Crusoe pattern from Knitty. (Geez, I'm just all kinds of link-happy today, aren't I?) It's certainly not my colour, but it is nice to step outside my personal box, as it were, to do something different. The pinks range from pale cotton candy to bubble gum to hot pink, with bits of blues & purples, and I'm really liking the way they're turning out. The pattern is way too fun, and I hope to make another pair someday for me. It's also my first time working with Koigu, and I really think I love this yarn! The twist is really nice, and it makes a pretty fabric. I'm down to the toe decreases on one, and halfway through the instep on the other, so I hope to finish in the next couple days. I may, however, make a second pair of socks for this lady...she recently had the most adorable baby girl, and since it's a sock-themed swap, I thought it'd be nice to have a pair for the wee one, too. We'll see how much yarn I've got left over, though.

Also OTN, my beloved's giant sweater. I'm a few rows farther along, but I don't work on it often, so it's nothing too impressive yet.

I didn't take a picture of the whole thing, since it just looks like a lump of black, but here's the cable & rib detail. It's some 220ish stitches across, so I only get to do a couple rows at a time. Not the fastest knitter, I. My sweetie loves it, though he's very realistic about how soon he might actually get to wear the thing.

Also in the realm of unphotographable lumps of black is a hat I'm making for myself. It's just a plain ol' roll brim stockinette hat, but it's in black Malabrigo, and it's the first hat I've made for myself. Lord knows I could sure use it right now! It's freaking AWFUL outside! Well, okay, it could certainly be worse. It's sunny, which is a big deal for me, and it's not terribly windy, and it's not dumping big piles of snow on me, but oooh, it's cold! I don't like cold all that much. Anyway, I'm looking forward to finishing this hat. It's painfully soft, the first Malabrigo item I've made, and verra warm. I loves it already.

The last item on the needles (aside from the Elizabeth I scarf, which hasn't made hardly any progress at all) is a weird antimacassar thingy of my own design. See, I've got this beautiful chair that my beloved gave to me last Christmas, and it's my knitting chair. I adore this thing! It's gorgeous, it's comfy, and it's the nicest piece of furniture we own. Unfortunately, due to my poor kitty's neurological problems, it's getting damaged already. Tipsy has a lesion on the right side of her brain (I think I may have mentioned this already?), and it messes with her balance something fierce. She has good days & bad days, and while they don't seem to upset her too much, it's wreaking havoc on my poor chair! She stands on the arms of it to cry at the closet door (she wants IN, make no mistake), and occasionally falls off, dragging her hind claws all across the finish as she goes.

As you can see, she's ruining my beautiful chair!! That's not the only gouge in the wood there, either. It's really breaking my heart (and making my husband mad!), and I certainly can't tell her not to sit there. So, I pulled a couple skeins of chestnut Wool of the Andes out of the stash, killing whatever project I'd intended them for, and started knitting up a superthick antimacassar pad to go over the arm of that chair. I'll probably felt the thing when I'm done, hopefully making it all the harder for her claws to get through to the wood. Cross your fingers for me that this works...I love that chair! Poor Tipsy, too. She sure can't help it, and it does make me sad that she has to go through such un-catlike indignities.

So that's what's on the needles as of right now. I'm really hoping to finish up at least the socks & hat within the next week, because I'm dying to cast on my first Fair Isle project, and also a pair of socks in some Socks That Rock. I've not decided yet which colour STR, or what pattern, because I'm waiting for our next Socktopia themes, but I'm really excited about it. I've had a couple skeins of the much-coveted STR in the stash for a while now, and haven't yet had a chance to work it up. I'm also dying to get my hands into that Fair Isle looks really fun! In a challenging sorta way, anyway.

Oh, and while I'm in the posting zone, a big ol' HI to my Knitty SP8!! I'm crap at remembering to reply to comments, though I read each & every one of them and love hearing what y'all have to say. I think that should be another goal this remember to not just read the comments, but respond as well! Oy...

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year, and all that rot

Hello, Aught-Seven! This promises to be an interesting year, here at YLF headquarters. Firstly and most importantly, the hubster is back in school. This is a Big Deal, as not only is he a bit older than most of his classmates (he'll be 34 in a couple weeks), but it's been a looong time coming. I'm so very, very proud of him, and SO FREAKING EXCITED. He'll have his BA in Music Education in about two & a half years, and then I can finally (FINALLY!!!) start looking for a house. Yup, a real house, one that I can actually own & paint & love. Have I mentioned that I'm a wee bit jazzed about this?? His first day of classes was today, and things went quite well, from what I've heard so far. He's only in a couple classes this semester (trimester actually, but it sounds weird to say that), due to financial aid stuffs, but next se(tri)mester he'll be attending full time. Unfortunately, this does mean that the next couple years will be incredibly hard around here. Not only will I never see the boy, between two jobs, school, practice, homework, and the bands, but we'll probably have about thirty cents to spend at the end of each month, if we're lucky. We've always been poor...we've lived below the poverty line for years, so I'm rather used to it, but it'll be even MORE tight than it already is, which is a very scary prospect. SO TOTALLY WORTH IT, though!! Pardon my hollering. I'm just so damned excited, and not just a wee bit relieved. This is a massive step forward in our lives, and I'm just so proud of him, and so grateful, that I could freakin burst.

Sadly, this does mean virtually no expendable income for yarn this year. Or next year. Makes me almost feel faint... Thus, I'll probably join the whole Knit From Your Stash thingy, though I've not thought out parameters yet. I'll figure that out in a future post. The good news is, my beloved does recognize & respect the joy that knitting brings me, and so he is doing everything he can to help add just a wee bit here & there to the Stitches Fund. Oh hell yes, there is a Stitches Fund. I flatly refuse to put my life on a credit card, so the only way I can go to Stitches & not just burst into tears is if I save like a crazy woman all year. I just had so darn much fun last year, and I'm sooo looking forward to having Shanelle up & doing it all over again this summer!

I've been thinking a good deal lately about goals & things I'd like to accomplish this year. I'm not much one for resolutions per se, the cheese factor always sorta put me off. I do have a considerable amount of goals, however...

2007 Goals & Aspirations, Knitting and Otherwise

Complete the ginormous man-sweater for dh, and not fuss about the fact that it's black & cabled. I'm making it because I love him, and love doesn't fuss about piddly details, especially when it's the details that make the beloved happy.

Complete the Elizabeth I scarf, gaining some level of semi-proficiency in lace along the way. This has been languishing on the needles way too long, and it's far too pretty to sit there gathering dust. Also, one must be worthy of the huge honking cone-o-Zephyr one snagged off of Ebay last summer before one goes tangling it into knots.

Teach myself Fair Isle colourwork. Nothing too huge or fancy here, I just want to learn how it works, and get a respectable level of competence with it. Elaborate beautiful Fair Isle sweaters are planned for later years...this is just a learning period.

Knit more for ME. I certainly don't mind knitting for others, I rather enjoy it, actually, it's just that I hardly have anything handknit for myself. I mean, I've knit probably eight or nine pairs of socks so far, and only two of them are mine! There's something seriously wrong with that...

Learn to spin *properly*. I tried last year, with the most beautiful drop spindle ever, but my drafting is hideous, and I wound up getting caught up in a million other things & haven't had a chance to play with it since. I'm lucky enough to live within half an hour or so of The Fold, so it's not like it's hard to find fiber or someone skilled at spinning to guide me. Unfortunately, there's no way in hell I can afford lessons, so it's trial & error for me!

Knit sweaters for each boy. I bought some yarn early last year with that intention, and never got around to it. They're growing like freaking weeds, so I really ought to get on it before they're too darn big for me to want to knit for 'em. Boy the Younger adored his purple Chrimmas sockies, btw, and that's wonderfully encouraging.

Knit at least one pair of socks per month, with the amusement & assistance of Socktopia. This is such a cool idea...basically, it's a KAL with themes each month, and cool contests & drawings & such. I'd planned on knitting a pair a month (at least!) anyway, so this is a neat way to get ideas & share patterns. Yay!

Save a wee bit of money every week for Stitches Midwest. Try not to squee too loudly when doing so. It freaks out the cat.

Blog more frequently. Granted, the holidays really louse all kinds of things up, but I've not been so hot about blogging regularly anyway. Also, take more pictures. Yes, my camera isn't so great, and I'm no Ansel Adams, but at least some photographic content is better than none (which is what you're getting this post, I'm sorry to say).

Get more on top of regular schedules, especially when it comes to homeschooling the weasels. It's been pretty scattershot thus far, and though all my contemporaries assure me time & time again that it's perfectly fine, and the boys are still learning adequately, I'm just not satisfied with the situation as is. Those boys and their education are my highest priority, even more important than yarn, if you can imagine such a thing.

Take more time to just enjoy the now. I spend a good deal of my life looking forward, waiting excitedly for what's next, whether it be an event, a season, or whatever is upcoming in our lives. I really really want to slow down and just be grateful for what is, and not miss it in the anticipation of what will be.

And yeah, knit more socks. Because honestly, what better goal is there?