Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Yarn Along: Sneak Sock Attack

{Yarning Along with Ginny}

You might remember that last week I was having a difficult time focusing on one project. I'm happy to say that I spent a little time finishing the hat for my niece, then the rest of my week on just ONE project. I know, you probably fainted just now, but I really did it.

This past weekend we had a 4 day family reunion and I knew some of that time would be a great opportunity for knitting progress. I went back and forth about what to take and ultimately settled on the grey and coral socks I started back in May on our trip. I got through a portion of the leg of sock #1 on that trip and then set the socks aside in favor of a few other projects, but thought it would be a good "brainless" knit while chatting.

I'm knitting these socks two at a time on 2 sets of DPNs, working one section at a time, so I knit the leg on sock #1 then the leg of sock #2, the heel flap of sock #1 then the heel flap of sock #2, etc. During the reunion I finished the leg of sock #1 then made it through the leg of sock #2 and I worked on the heel flaps and turns yesterday. Once I get them each decreased back to 64 stitches I'll probably let these socks rest for a bit as I finish other projects. I'll come back to these as I need more "brainless" knitting.

I'm very close to the end of Chosen by Ted Dekker on the Kindle. I'm not sure that I'll continue the series though. It's focused to a younger reading level than I had originally thought. I'm going to re-read Ender's Game next in preparation for the movie coming out in November. It is probably obvious to you if you're a regular reader that Ender's Game is a favorite book of both mine and my husband's as our oldest son is named after the title character. The movie has been the topic of many conversations at our house lately, as we both are hopeful that they will take good care of the story and not ruin it adding to it or changing the sequence of events.

What are you reading and knitting lately?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

FO: February Baby Sweater and Hat

Project: A Little Set for Taylor (A Little Hat and February Baby Sweater)

Pattern: February Baby Sweater by Elizabeth Zimmermann

Yarn: Cascade 220

Needles: US 7 for the hat, US 8 for the cardigan

For: my niece, Taylor

Notes: I have knit the February Baby Sweater a few times before (I think this is #4) and it's still one of my favorite knits. It's a simple pattern with simple lace that is easily memorized but looks a lot more complex than it actually is. I knit it a little longer than called for, so that it will really fit her this fall/winter- that's why she looks like she's swimming in it right now!

For the hat, I cast on in a multiple of 7, knit a few rows of 1x1 rib and then used the gull lace pattern from the February Baby Sweater to knit the lacework until it seemed tall enough, then decreased to finish the hat. My detailed notes are on Ravelry

Things I Learned: I'm getting less nervous about experimenting with shapes and a lot more willing to "off-road" within a pattern and then rip back if it doesn't work. I ripped back the hat a little bit when I was unhappy with the way the original decreases were working, but it helped me decide what to do with it ultimately.

Overall: A+. I'm really happy with the way it worked out, and that stretchy lace hat will stretch with her as she grows this winter. Ellie was even able to wear it and she's 13 months older than Taylor, so it might even last Taylor into winter 2014. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Holiday Knitting

Yep. I'm thinking about the holidays already. Fall baseball season started last week, I go back to my regular work schedule in September and all the usual school year activities start up, then before I know it it will be Thanksgiving and about 1 second later Christmas will be here... so before all of that gets moving I'm picking patterns so that I can order yarn if necessary and then have the time to make the actual knitting happen.


Plans are tricky things. I tend to overplan at this point and then whittle down as December first draws nigh. I also like to plan for things I know the kids will need this winter- like I know Ellie needs a hat and mittens, and Ezra picked out yarn from Nerd Girl Yarns specifically for mittens for him (because this kid seriously wears his mittens out every year. I *just* knit some last Christmas and repaired them. I'm going to repair them again and still knit him another pair.)

My boys have both requested a sweater for this winter. They keep growing, and Ezra has this very inconvenient way of keeping up with his brother in size so I rarely get to pass hand knits down from Ender to Ez even though there are 2 years between them. I'm considering Soledad and Alec and I'm also kind of thinking up an idea of my own. Ack! That sounds like it will take way more mental space than I have available right now. Maybe I'll start it and see if it goes anywhere and if it doesn't by a certain date I'll frog and move to a pattern that allows me to download and go.

I'm thinking about maybe knitting some little food for Ellie to play with with her baby dolls and maybe a little blanket for a dolly because only one of her 2 dollies currently has a blanket.

And if I want to REALLY shock the boys I'd finish their closet monsters that I started and stopped and started and stopped about a year ago... No promises on that one though.

Obviously, my plan is still taking shape. Are you looking toward the holidays yet? What are you planning to make?

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