Saturday, May 26, 2012

So cute, I could puke.

I never wanted to become one of those bloggers who start every post with an apology about how they meant to post, but got too busy, or had something come up, or whatever. I don't really have anything to say for myself except that I didn't really have anything to say for the last (more than) three weeks. All my knitting was going along as usual, some of it stalled at the same place as I last wrote about it. There was just nothing new.

But now I have stuff to write about: I have two finished projects! Well, the second will be finished as soon as I attach the buttons and wash & block it. We'll just consider that one finished for our purposes today.

The first finished project is the Big Snuggly Bunny that I started on a whim nearly a month ago and nearly finished before I ran out of yarn. It really should have been a quick, easy project, but for my inability to estimate the amount of yarn I had. This seems to happen to me a lot, and yet I never learn. I just keep taking my chances and coming out on the short end of the ball. Anyway, just last Thursday, my friend Tonya bailed me out by bringing a full skein of the Lana Grande to Stitch 'N Bitch. As soon as I got home, I finished up that poor, neglected second ear and started the duplicate stitch to make it match its mate. Last night I finished up the duplicate stitch and then added the button eyes and embroidered nose while I was watching television. It is the cutest freaking thing I've ever made, I think. Seriously, I can't stand it. I'm dead from the cute, as they say in LSG. It's cuddly and squishy and makes me want to OMG SQUEEEEEEEE!!!!! I think I'll have to give it to my two year-old niece to keep myself from going into a diabetic coma from the sweetness of it. All in all, it's a high-reward project for not much knitting.

The second finished project is my Raindance Sweater, designed by Heidi Kirrmaier and knit with SMC Select merino/cotton blend yarn. For the most part, the knitting was simple: miles of stockinette, with simple increases and decreases and minimal seaming, if you can call 8" of Kitchener Stitch and one three-needle bind off seaming. Where the complications came in was with the many times I had to deal with the "at the same time" directions. I got into plenty of trouble with those, having to rip back after three balls of yarn the first time, and after one ball another time.

I kind of learned my lesson after the first time I had to frog. I actually sat down and typed up the directions for my size, row by row, and (wonder of wonders) it worked. I did the same for the next section, but somehow managed to make the shoulders something like 6" long, rather than the few rows it required. I don't remember now how I did this, I seemed to have blocked it from my memory just from sheer disgust. I guess it's enough to say that I can stand to take a little more care in reading the directions - just highlighting the number of stitches didn't help me in the end.

Despite all my self-inflicted frustration, I managed to complete this sweater in less than a month, and best of all, it fits! I actually made a sweater that fits the way it's supposed to, that is flattering on me. Most of the garments I've made tend to be a bit oversized, mostly because I wanted to hide my gut. But now that I've lost 30 pounds, I've decided that I should stop wearing sack-like clothes. It's been a real treat being able to wear clothes I haven't been able to put on in at least 8 years or so. I'm not sure if they're still in style, but I like to think that my taste is timeless, so I hope that I look respectable, even if I don't look fashionable. I don't actually have any photos of myself wearing it, because I only bought the buttons today and I still need to attach them, wash & block the sweater, then find a time during daylight hours for someone to take a picture of me wearing it. I'll do my best to make that happen sometime before July.

I'm hoping that, having finished these two projects, I can get around to finishing the other
two projects that have been languishing in my craft room. All I have left of the Chawton Mittens is thumbs on both, as well as washing and blocking. The Hydrangea Bag just needs assembly, and as soon as I find (or purchase) the zipper foot to my sewing machine, I'll be well on my way to calling that project finished too. Just this week I got the email from the Kentucky State Fair folks that my entry has to be submitted by July 2, so I'll have to start thinking seriously about what I'm going to enter this year. I definitely want to defend my blue ribbon in socks and maybe earn a blue ribbon in another category as well. As soon as I know what I'm going to enter, I guess I'll let you all know too.

I guess that's all I've got for now. Hope all is well where you are. Until next time, Friends!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I'm having a little trouble finishing things.

On Saturday I got the mittens mostly finished - all I have left to do is the thumbs. (There's no photo, because I didn't think of it until it was dark. Next time. I promise.) It really isn't that much to do, but I'm not really feeling it just now. I'm hoping I'll feel like it this weekend - I have a day off because there are a few horse races coming up. One of them is described as "the most exciting two minutes in sports." Anyway, there will be plenty of leisure drinking time, so I'll definitely be getting some knitting in. But it might have to be something mindless, with endless stockinette.

Thank goodness I cast on for Raindance yesterday. My husband and I had to go to Indianapolis, so I had a good 90 minutes of knitting time each way. This sweater is short sleeved, with really interesting construction. I'm knitting it with the SMC Select that I picked up while I was there for my triathlon two weeks ago. What I'm most excited about, though, is that I'm making a size large for myself, rather than the XXL that my last two sweaters have been! I've already knit my way through a ball and a half of yarn, so it's moving right along.

The other thing I'm having trouble finishing is the giant stuffed bunny I started on a whim on Saturday after I got off work. I put in one movie, then another, and the next thing I knew, I'd knit up all of it except for the second ear. The next morning, I started the second ear, got halfway through and ran out of yarn. Luckily, a friend has some of the yarn, so I'll be purchasing half a ball from her. I did manage to get the pink bits duplicate stitched onto the first ear, which looks pretty good, so as soon as I have more yarn we'll be able to call this bunny finished. It'll probably only be a total of 7 hours of actual knitting on this project. Quick and easy with big yarn and big needles!

Well, that's about all I've got for tonight. Until next time, y'all.