Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas sweatshop

Remind me next year that I MUST either (1) start earlier on my holiday knitting, or (2) take on fewer things!!! The past two or three weeks I have been working in a sweatshop!!! This year I made the two chevrons, one for my MIL (hers went out almost 2 weeks ago in the mail) and one for my mom (hers was finished yesterday), socks for my mom (finished today!), a secret something that I am not at liberty to divulge yet, and a scarf for my dad. Dad's scarf is going to be a New Year's present. We exchange gifts with my parents tonight, and I still have a couple of feet to go on his scarf. It's not happening.
My mom's socks ended up being one of the biggest pains in the butt in all knitdom for me. First, I couldn't decide on a pattern. I first cast on for her socks back in late October. I wasn't feeling any pattern I tried. I finally settled on a plain old sock. Then came the pooling. I decided to just bear with it, and kinda liked it in the end. Until I got a little in to sock #2. That one decided to stripe instead!! There is no way anyone could mistake the two for a "pair" of socks. Bring on sock number THREE! I figured whatever happened with sock 3 would be the pair. It striped, which was good, because I prefer the stripe. But then the second skein of yarn that I had to buy to make a third sock was different. It didn't have as deep a brown as the first skein. I had a ping-pong ball sized bit of the first skein left, so I worked it in to the third sock. I think it came out alright. The yarn is wonderful to work with. I used Zen String Serendipity Sport weight in Parfait. The chevron was done with the same yarn in fingering weight, and I honestly don't remember what the other skein was... but they were great to use.

Here are the socks and the chevron:

And here are the mis-matched socks, number 1 & 2!!!

Merry Christmas everyone. I hope all of your deadline knitting is done and finds an appreciative recipient!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Hello SITMT pal

Hi there, SITMT pal! I saw your comment on my previous post, and wanted to let you know that I haven't gotten any email from you in the past week. I'm sorry you are having email issues-- I know how annoying those can be. Thanks for thinking about me and for saying "hi" on the blog! I hope everything is going well with you other than the email!

Monday, December 10, 2007

A Tale of Two Chevrons

I finished the first of two Chevrons that I am doing as Christmas gifts. It was beginning to feel a little like an albatross! This is my first experience with deadline knitting. Last Christmas, I was only 4 or 5 months into my career as a knit-a-holic, and I didn't dare make anything as a gift. Well, actually, I did make a super-chunky scarf for my brother. But I couldn't even think about making anything for anyone else. This year, I have some confidence and felt like I could pull off the chevrons. I just wasn't counting on the stress factor that would result from taking on two of them the first week of December! Anyway, I finished the first one. It's for my mother-in-law. I did it with a JojoLand 100% cashmere yarn and Koigu Kersti in Squashblossom. It is soft and decadent. I hope she enjoys it. Here it is:

So now I am on to my Mom's. I have made a little progress, but not a ton. Mom's is being done with two different Zen String Serendipity Sport colorways. Here it is:

Mom's is being made to match socks that I am also knitting for her. The first one is done:

My chevron, which I began back in September or October is never going to get finished! I made great progress on it during our Hawaii trip. But I have just about reached chevron overload. I will need a long break before finishing my own!

All the moaning aside, I am so lucky to have these two women in my life, and I really am thrilled to be able to make something special for them.

Woolgirl bounty

Since I finally charged the camera, I can now show you the amazing things that have come in from Woolgirl in the last few weeks. First off, I am now a member of the Woolly Woolgirl Club. Amazingly, Jen made me a member of a club just when I was about to begin a Woolgirl fan club! Ha ha. Upon your 7th purchase from Woolgirl, Jen in all of her generosity, sends one of these amazing packages to welcome you to the club:

If that wasn't enough, Jen held a contest on her blog over Thanksgiving. I won! Jen sent me gorgeous Das Schneescaf yarn, great stitch markers, and the cutest calender from Thomas Joseph. I can't show the calender because it is on display in my office. But here is the yarn:

And then, the piece de resistance... the Peanuts Christmas kit!!! Anyone who knows me knows that I am a complete freak for all things Snoopy and/or Peanuts. When Jen announced that these kits were hitting the store in very limited supply, I began to have panic attacks about not getting one! It's a terrible picture, I apologize. But there is the cutest Peanuts project bag, 2 skeins of Charlie Brown Christmas yarn from White Oak Studio, 2 packets of Peanuts hot coccoa (who knew such a thing existed!?) and a cute stitch marker. I was lucky enough to score one, and here it is:

I love Woolgirl!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

You know you're a knitter when...

You are stuck in heinous traffic and contemplate whipping out the project you are working on! This morning, my 35-40 minute commute took over an hour. As I was at a stand-still on the freeway, I spied my knitting bag which was still in the passenger seat from last night's gathering with the Wine Harlot posse (aka Purl and Lisa). I was seriously tempted to pull out my Woolgirl Sock Club sock and start working on it. Then the attorney in me decided that I would have absolutely no defense if I got in a wreck. Somehow I managed to rationalize myself into leaving my poor, lonely sock in the bag. It was a boring drive in, and I know I could've made some progress on that beautiful sock!!!! No fair!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Cables Untangled

Today, Purl and I took the most fantastic class. It was a class by Melissa Leapman, the author of "Cables Untangled". Melissa was in Houston for a series of classes and Purl and I took the first one, which was an intro to cables. If you ever have a chance to take a class by her, don't hesitate... DO IT! She is a phenomenal teacher, and shares so much information that you actually do feel empowered to do these crazy things. Not only did I get a great foundation in how to do cabling, but she also touched on fair isle and gave us a quick primer on that technique. By the end of the class, we were knitting cables with two colors. It was amazing. I wish I had signed up for more of her classes while she is here in Houston. Had I known just how much I would get out of her class, I would definitely have set aside the time to do more. We had to sign up a couple of months ago for the class, and I just had no idea how great it would be. You live and you learn, right?

The only problem with my newfound excitement over cables is that I am absolutely dying to go play around and work with them. Unfortunately, I have too much deadline knitting to do for the holidays and I can't spare even a second for play knitting right now. I have 1/2 of a chevron scarf to do by next weekend (to get it in the mail in time!) and another one to finish 3/4 of before the 25th. Plus socks and other assorted small items. What on earth was I thinking????? I think I may start on Christmas 2008 gifts on Dec. 26th this year!