Tuesday, May 22, 2012

First Attempt at Fair Isle

In about two weeks I head on up to New England for Squam Artist Workshop (SAW).  I signed up for this early in the year, maybe January or February.  I have signed up for three classes, two of which encourage color work.  At the time I signed up I had never tried fair isle but I thought, "Oh, I have months to figure this out.  I can totally do that."

Enter real life.  Two weeks out, and I've just started my first fair isle project.  It isn't easy, but it isn't terribly difficult, either.  I would say it is more awkward or cumbersome than difficult.  But I hate doing things I'm awkward at (which is the reason I've shied away from many physical activities, like dancing, unless I am either in my own living room alone, or among people who aren't looking at me, like in a club) so I have to power through and keep going.

There are moments when I really get into a groove.  That lasts about eight stitches.  Then I have to worry about a float, or look at the chart and yet somehow keep knitting.  But I think it looks pretty nice.

Looks pretty good, huh?  Especially for First Fair Isle.  I'm not sure if I've done the braid at the beginning correctly.

It looks pretty, and I'm proud of being able to make it look neat and even.  But I've never seen one up close and personal, so I'm not sure if it is supposed to have that purl bump in the middle of the braid.  (And on a side note, I really like how this picture turned out.  I'm learning some of the settings on my camera, and I love the close-up setting that gives the nice crispness in the foreground and the haziness in the background.)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Go, Pack, Go!

Or, How I Made My Mother 3/4 of a Mother's Day Present, and She Thought It Was Funny.

In an effort to combine several of my favorite things (thriftiness, knitting, and gifting), I decided to knit my mother a pair of socks for Mother's Day this year.  (I know, I know, I've still only got half a scarf from her Christmas gift 2009.  But she doesn't know anything about that, and since she doesn't read this, she still won't know about it, giving me six more months to not work on it, and one month to feverishly look for needles and good light to knit four feet of [rather simple] lace.)

This project was thrifty because I had this yarn, named Packer's Punch, in my stash.  I purchase it from a store on Etsy-- CraftsMeowYarnDesign --last year.  (I had to check that, since I thought I had bought it two years ago.  Not bad, not bad.  Only sitting for about fourteen months before it became what it was meant to be.)

However, as I am wont to do, I got distracted.  For no obvious reason, either.  I can't tell you what I knit instead of these socks.  Well, I finished a blanket, that is true.  But, stockinette socks?  These should have been no more than two weeks, tops, even with working on other things.  And the days before Mother's Day are suddenly upon me and I have one and a half socks.  So I did what any good knitting and good daughter does:  I sent her one sock, a promise to send another, and a picture of the second sock in progress.

I had to send a picture of the sock-in-progress together with the finished sock to prove that I wasn't suffering from SSS, and that she would, indeed, see a pair of socks before too long.  Thankfully, she thought it was truly funny.  And I have already finished the other sock and sent it along.  She will probably have it on Monday.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

UFO sighting

Eight years.  That is how long this blanket took to make.  During that time I:  got married, finished my degree, moved across the country, bought a house, watched my husband leave for war twice, went overseas myself twice, started the domestic adoption process, applied to a master's program, got in a master's program, and learned to stand up paddleboard.  And made dozens of other knitted items.

So, what happened here?  Well, first, I started making this for a baby shower present.  I didn't finish it in time for the shower, and then didn't finish it in time for the baby.  At that point I was about halfway to the size it is today, and I realized that it was really too wide for a baby blanket yet not really wide enough for a regular afghan.  I wasn't really sure what to do with it.  I couldn't frog it because the yarn is (gasp!) acrylic and would be really really kinky and unusable, but it had three skeins of yarn in it, and seemed like a waste to not do something with it.  So it sat.  And sat.  I moved it to two different apartments and a house. 

Then, this past winter, my grandmother ended up in a long term care home.  A month or so ago she was moved to the "I live here now" wing.  I wanted to give her something that would brighten her day whenever she saw it.  Enter Sunshine Blanket, stage left.

Gramma is a tiny woman.  She used to sit on a cushion to drive her car, until she couldn't drive any more (which was longer than my mother or her siblings wanted to let go on, but Gramma is also Irish and feisty, so no arguing).  She is the perfect size for an afghan that is too narrow for a 'regular' person.  And, also, she is in a wheelchair now much of the time, and a narrow afghan keeps yarn from getting twisted in the wheels.  So I added two more skeins of yarn to the Not Quite an Afghan, wrapped it up, and sent it on to Gramma.

She LOVES it!  I guess procrastination really does have its perks sometimes.

Raveled here.