Sunday, January 29, 2006

As If I Didn't Have Enough To Do

Well, the Christmas knitting is complete, almost. I have one more hat to knit, but it's cotton and there isn't a deadline. Here are the finished objects.

This is the Fickle Fingers Scarf from the Winter 2005 issue of Interweave Knits, knit with Serendipity (an alpaca/wool blend) from Dancing Fibers Yarn. The yarn was an absolute dream to knit with. Unfortunately, the recipient (a 14-year old girl) seemed singularly underwhelmed with it. Oh, well...

The Rasta Colors hat proved to be quite popular with all ages and I'll be making more of these. This is actually the Heads Up Hat from the Spring 2005 Interweave Knits, but knit with Provence cotton.

The School Colors hat, scarf, and mittens ensemble is finally complete. I completed the scarf late winter last year (it was supposed to be a Christmas gift) and finished the hat and mittens before Christmas this year. Unfortunately, it's been too warm for my nephew to wear them, even though he's going to school in the mountains of southwestern Virginia.

The Bubble Up Hats, knit from kits from KnitKits, are for my youngest nieces. Fun hats, but the bubble yarn was a pain to knit with. Jenna said "I love my hat!" as soon as she saw it. Christine, on the other hand, was very blunt and said "I don't like the hat." Her mother was appalled and took her in the back room for a talking-to.

The last three gifts have not yet been received by the giftees, mainly because I finished them this week. They will go in the mail tomorrow. The earflap hat is also from the Winter 2005 issue of Interweave Knits and is actually the Berry Hat, knit in blue Manos. The other hat is of my own design, borrowing the Fair Isle pattern from the Berry hat. It is knit in Cascade 220. And the socks are the Toe Up Socks from Y2Knit, knit Cascade Fixation. I love knitting with this yarn and the pattern is a nice, easy slip-stitch. If you haven't tried short rows for the heel and toe, this would be a good pattern to start with, as it is easy to see and pick up the wraps.

I have another scarf and a poncho to show, but for some reason, Blogger doesn't seem to want to upload them. I'll try putting them in another post.

Next up to complete is a baby blanket for a special sister-in-law. The baby is due in early March, so if I continue the 5:30 a.m. knitting sessions, I should be able to complete it before, or just after, the baby is born.

Knitting For Me

With all the gifts I've knitted for others, I'm feeling a bit neglected and really want to knit something for me. I'm thinking that I'll knit the Blue Danube socks from Ellen's Half Pint Farm that I picked up at Stitches in September. The yarn is a silk/merino blend that feels absolutely yummy.

Knitting Olympics

And if that isn't enough, I've declared for Team Fair Isle for the Knitting Olympics that the Yarn Harlot is hosting. I'll be knitting the Baltic Mittens from Folk Mittens. It will be a major challenge to knit these mittens in 16 days, given that they are knit on tiny needles and have four colors. In addition, there is a left and right mitten, which increases the risk of the project not being completed. There's a very good chance that I'll knit either two left or two right mittens.

Clearly, I have not recovered from the Christmas knitting delusion euphoria.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Extreme Knitting...Finally!

Warning! This post is very photo-heavy.

At long last, and with profound apologies to all of the intrepid extreme knitters who have sent entries in over the past several months, I present to you the latest in Extreme Knitting!

Stacey is our first entrant today (entry received in November). She is knitting at Acoma Pueblo in New Mexico. Acoma Pueblo is also known as Sky City and is a 70-acre pueblo village set atop at 357-foot sandstone mesa. Stacey appears to be knitting a scarf.

Our second entrant is Shirra, who sent entries way back in October, just as I was in the middle of preparing to return to work. She took the opportunity to knit while unicycling...

...and while a climbing tree with her 9-year old, who is also knitting.

I'm duly impressed. I couldn't ride a unicycle even if I wasn't knitting!

I mentioned that Honorable Mentions would go to those who displayed prowess and creativity with Photoshop.

All hail this entry (received in January):

This is a photograph of Ed White, knitting during the first spacewalk way back in 1965. Ed said in his email that his wife had requested him to knit during the spacewalk so he did so, mentioning that it took about one minute to knit a single stitch. Because there was no live feed, NASA never found out.

I was suspicious when I received this entry because the sweater looked very familiar. One day a couple of weeks ago, my friend Keith called up and wanted to know if I could meet him for lunch and give my assessment as to whether a sweater from his early childhood was worth repairing. I agreed. The
sweater, knit from fine Virgin Orlon, was in fairly good shape, with the exception of a couple of holes that could easily be repaired with needle and thread. Then I received the above photo and a rather lengthy IM conversation with Keith ensued. Keith eventually 'fessed up, after spinning a yarn about how he and Ed were close childhood friends and had the same sweaters. Keith never ceases to amaze me with his creativity. And no, he does not knit. But his sister-in-law does.

This next entry (submitted in October) is from Elizabeth M., who had the temerity and grit during a root canal.

Elizabeth said that the dentist and his assistant probably thought that she was a little nuts, but it turned out that the visit was surprisingly painless and knitting-productive.

This next entry (submitted in the fall) is from Folkcat, of I Knit Around fame. This is the Yankee Siege Trebuchet:

And this is Folkcat knitting in front of the Yankee Siege Trebuchet:

Looks pretty calm, right? But check out her entry Socks, Pumpkins, and Folkcat's Flying Leap to learn more about what a siege engine can do. It's a long post, but keep reading and you will be amply rewarded.

Cerridwen took a trip to the Tucson
Botanical Garden Magic Butterfly Exhibit

She said that while it was a bit overwhelming to take her wool knitting into a house full of butterflies and moths, no moths, butterflies, or knitting were harmed. However, when the moth moved, you can be sure that Cerridwen ran!

And the final entry is from Cathy S., who was knitting (a sock?) during a surgical procedure on her toe.


Many, many thanks to all those who entered. The Extreme Knitting button will be on its way to you soon. The Extreme Knitting Challenge is ongoing, so if you are knitting in the extreme, feel free to enter.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Ain't Gonna Happen

So, I've been getting up every day at 5:30 (in the A.M., that is) to continue with the Christmas knitting. Up until yesterday, I entertained the rather deluded opinion that I could knit a scarf, two hats, and a sock by this coming Saturday. I realized that after knitting for an hour or so yesterday morning, I had added about four inches to the scarf and still had twenty inches to go. Do the math. I may be able to finish the scarf tonight, but the hats and the sock aren't going to be close to being completed.

But I'm still delusional optimistic. We plan to drive down to my parents' Friday evening. It will be dark. I'm not a good enough knitter to knit in the dark. So, enter the ultra lightweight Petzl headlamp. Yup, I'm going to don said headlamp and knit on the trip down, unless it interferes with Tom's driving. An alternative is to knit by the light of the navigation system screen. I should be able to do that with a simple rib.

Tonight will be spent finishing and blocking the scarf (and other items), and winding skeins into balls.

I think I'm finally feeling the pressure.