Friday, September 5, 2008

yarny stuff

Well, to the surprise of exactly no one, I did not make my Ravelympics goal. (And from what I've read around the blogs, I've got lots of company.) I had wanted to make two cowls and three pairs of mittens. I finished one cowl and almost a pair of mittens - not even close, really. I simply misjudged the time I'd have to do it while on vacation, and lord knows I don't get as much done at home. But the knits are nice . . .

This lovely is the crofter's cowl (Rav link). I discovered a couple of things while knitting it. One, I really like knitting with malabrigo (surprising, isn't it?). Two, grafting is much easier off the needles. See, this cowl was knit in two halves and grafted together around the middle. I started off poorly and ended up with the two halves not quite lining up. I can live with that.

My only mods were to add repeats, both a stitch repeat to each half when casting on, and a pattern repeat to each half. This was because I didn't have any suitable size 9 circulars and had to go down to 8's. In a cowl, I wasn't terribly worried about gauge.

The mittens, which are finished now, are evangelines (also Rav link). What a fun, pretty pattern! The cable was easy to memorize (especially once I charted it), and the mittens went very fast. I love the turquoise color and the semisolid, sort of tweedy effect of the overdying.

I changed the pattern to make them full mittens by doing seven repeats of the cable pattern and working the decreases into the eighth. I also did the thumbs by making essentially big buttonholes where I wanted them to be and picking up stitches around them later.

My only problem with these is that I didn't get gauge. (This became apparent after they were finished; I didn't actually bother to check gauge. For shame!) Look how skinny they are without a hand in them!

They look like maybe they're meant to warm, um, something else. A little ambitious in that area, to be sure, but still. Ahem.

Moving on. In other yarny news, my mom finally got the internet! (How much do I love this community where nobody is confused by me calling this "yarny news"?) As soon as I had her email address, I signed her up for the Ravelry waiting list. This, by the way, is now about three days, rather than the months I had to wait. She also picked up a digital camera and I had a great time going over there and showing her Ravelry, knitty, Knitting Daily, and a few favorite blogs. We also immediately set about taking stash pictures. And check this out:

My mom has a crazy organized stash. Christmas boxes! With the little ornament dividers! And each one is labeled with its contents. Dude. The only drawback to this system is it limits the ability to casually fondle one's yarn. And I am a big fan of the casual fondling. (My husband's eyes just bugged out of his head. Hi J!) Still, I am impressed with the structure and neatness.

As for current projects, I've picked up the bubble pullover (yes, another Rav link) again, as well as getting some work done on the Yarn Harlot socks. I had to take a break, though, for some baby knits! I'm going to be an aunt again, yay! This time it's J's other sister, and everybody is totally excited. I had to cast on a little baby hat, in a gender-neutral color, with some cute cables thrown in. With any luck it'll be done by the end of the weekend and I'll get some pictures of it.

See you then!