Thursday, January 31, 2008

knitting catch-up

With the holidays and birthdays over (for a little while, anyway), I've been indulging in a bit of selfish knitting. But first, I did manage to finish J's socks.

I used the Yarn Harlot's sock recipe from Knitting Rules, with the addition of a wafflestitch pattern (k2,p2 for two rounds, then knit two rounds). He says they are super warm. They ought to be, as they are made from leftover Berroco Ultra Alpaca - 50% wool, 50% alpaca. There, now he can't say I haven't made him any socks. :)

On to stuff for me! The first thing I finished was a pair of mittens, using the same Rowan Chunky Wool I used for Baby Sister's mittens. Because I am that kind of cutesy matchy-matchy mom. Anyway, I just kind of made them up as I went along, although I did rip off the peekaboo opening from this pattern.

I put a "wildflower" stitch pattern from a stitch dictionary I got for Christmas on the back, which I think is a very pretty pattern.

The pictures are misleading; I made these way too small. I swear, they looked okay while I was working on them, but they are actually ridiculously small. If I use the peekaboo opening and just pretend they're fingerless gloves, they work okay, though. I'll eventually make other mittens - I just didn't feel like doing the same project twice, you know?
I'va also started -gasp! - another sweater. I've really been much more of a small-things knitter, but I'd like to be more of a sweater knitter. I'm just pretty slow, and I lack the necessary attention span. I'm determined, though, because I bought this pretty color of Araucania Nature Wool at Webs, and I deliberately bought a sweater's worth. I'm making a seamless hybrid a la Elizabeth Zimmerman, using my own calculations (I actually did a real, good-sized swatch!). I'd like to try to add a shawl collar, but I don't think I'll have to worry about that for a while. At my pace, the collar is a couple of months away. Here's where the sweater stands so far - a few rounds past the hem.

I am rather fond of that hem, though. I used a little bit of the sock yarn I had dyed with Koolaid last spring, and I picked up the cast-on stitches at the appropriate point so I don't have to sew the hem down later. It is a joy to behold, if I do say so myself.

And finally, because I do love the small projects, I made my self a hat. It's the Tillie hat found here, and I'm a little bit in love with it. It turned out to be just the perfact marriage of yarn and pattern, although I did not use the called-for yarn. I used my Sheep Shop Sheep One, and I got gauge on the first try (holy crap! swatching again!), the yarn was soft and wonderful to work with, and the colors are just perfect. Best of all, it seems I've finally found a hat that doesn't look stupid with short hair.

Take a look at those colors again. You know you want to.

Aside from finishing the sweater, I think I'm going to fall back into a more evenly distributed gift/selfish knitting pattern now. Already I just finished some garter-stitch slippers for Little Brother. All I've got left is to felt them down to his size, so I'll post about those soon. Big Brother will be getting a pair too. Mmm, garter-stitch slippers, just like my mom makes 'em. :)