Okay, so while I was working at Needlework Unlimited on Saturday, I decided that I was going to learn how to crochet. I've always floundered through crochet, but I had never cultivated any proficiency. I bought Sasha Kagan's Crochet Inspiration for, well, inspiration; I thought it would be smart to get a crochet how-to guide as well so I picked up The Crocheter's Companion by Nancy Brown to guide me through technical skills. In addition to knitting/crocheting, NU carries needlepoint supplies so I bought a bunch of Perle 3 cotton to crochet little flowers with. In no time I had a whole bouquet! Crochet is fun! Wooo!
So of course I had lots of travel time to knit, and I got the body of the baby sweater done! In my re-working of the pattern, I might have included a few too many buttonholes...but I'll find cute buttons and nobody will realize they're just a little too close together. It had been my plan all along to come up with a cute edging for the sweater, but THEN I realized I could CROCHET one!!! So I tested a couple hook sizes and the blue sleeve turned out better. This weekend I'll go out and find a nice edging color and buttons and get this sucker done. Just in time to make another....
Kitty loves baby sweaters, balls of yarn, and everything in general...
And finally, as a Christmas present I was given Charmed Knits by Alison Hansel. It's such a silly book- Harry Potter inspired knits! I'm going to knit the Clock Blanket...you know, the clock that tells where all the family members are...only mine will always be resting on "mortal peril". Now I have to pick a project to knit from it!
While I'm gone: what should I do with this? This yarn traveled to me all the way from Ireland, brought from a wonderful friend. I'm guessing I have about 300 yards of aran weight Irish wool here. I have found the knitting community to be a largely warm, welcoming place...knitting undoubtedly creates amazing friends and companions. So, on that note: my love to all my fabulous, inspirational friends and fellow knitters!
I seem to have amassed quite a collection of hats recently...silly photograph below. Aaand here's a short summary of each (clockwise from top):
1) Classic Elite Gatsby, a chunky wool tweed. I walk to work and needed a hat, I had a skein in my stash, I felt creative and I knit a hat in a day. It's a little big for me and I might give it away, but it's a cute shape and is nice and warm.
2) Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted, wool, not quite solid color. I have a few hats I've knitted for myself, but they're all loose-fitting (I walk to work, try to prevent hat hair, etc) and fall off when I go running. So this hat absolutely destroys my hair, but for running, who cares?
3 and 5) Zitron Yarns Unikat, chunky felted wool. I was working at Old Village Yarn Shop when we ordered this yarn. It was pretty spendy for a skein, but the colors were SO beautiful we (wait...I) couldn't resist. I created this hat as a shop model and also made one for my brother to wear that winter. Luckily, a skein makes two hats! When I left the store I got my sample hat back, so now my brother Paul has a spare.
4) Schafer Yarns Elaine, chunky wool hand dyed. Like most knitters, I'm a sucker for beautiful colors. I also love anything ridiculous, so a bright pink hat seemed totally logical. Right? I rarely wear it, but it's silly and makes me laugh.
I started working at the UM Hospital in September, and since then it seems like everyone is pregnant! So I need baby gifts. As per usual, my production is waaayyy behind what it should be, so I have to knit these up in a hurry. Here's baby gift #1, a really simple top-down sweater. What that means is: minimal sewing! You start knitting from the neck down, and increases create the sleeves and raglan shaping. You can see the sleeve shaping on the left.
I'm being super good and using yarn I've had stashed away in my closet. It's Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, a cotton/merino wool blend that's actually been great to knit with. Usually I try to stay away from cotton, but this feels so nice and knits so well I might have to use it more often. Good thing I have nearly 10 skeins hidden away...
Also sitting on the ironing board / temporary knitting studio: The Little Prince, Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Alchemist, and Knitalong. Some literary inspiration and a book about knitting with friends. I don't know which I love more, yarn or books...
I have resolved to stop knitting socks for a bit after this. I found an orphaned sock in my stash and decided to give it a mate; the pattern is Friday Harbor from Knitting on the Road. Nancy Bush is a fabulous pattern writer and designer, so the socks have been great fun to knit...but I'm feeling a bit one-dimensional so I'm putting a stop to sock knitting temporarily. I give it two weeks.
Also finished: both ankle socks made of Schaefer Yarns' Anne. They have already been given away and were enjoyed greatly through the week of zero degree weather we had. Today, though, we have sun AND warmth: perfection!
Lastly, progress on the quail purse continues, I'm designing as I go (dangerous and often discouraging) so we'll see. I have a few ideas but I'm just not sure how to implement them! My advice for a Sunday afternoon? Curl up in a spot of sun, make a cup of coffee, and knit furiously. I know that's what I'll be doing. :-)
So my solution? Knit a purse! I have serious doubts about whether or not I'll carry it, but then again it's hardly done. The yarn is a sport weight wool that I had lying around in my yarn collection for a year or so...actually not quite that long. Anyway, I had originally intended it for another purpose, but it's been lovely for this project and the colors were perfect. The pattern is a simple slip-stitch design that I hope vaguely resembles what I imagine quail feathers to be.
And just in case you were wondering...here's a real quail. And you should read the book That Quail Robert.