Dove Knits

Sunday, December 31, 2006

A knitting year in review

Well, it's the last day of 2006. Unlike Americans, Russians make a big deal out of the New Year. That's the big gift-giving holiday, and everyone has decorated trees and throws parties. We're no exception -- a bunch of folks are coming over tonight and exchanging presents, and we did our family gift exchange last night. I gave my mom the Santa Claus, and he was a huge hit!

Anyway, this has been a good knitting year. It was my second year knitting (I started briefly before Christmas of 2004), and one in which I learned alot.

I managed to complete 46 projects this year -- that's almost one a week! Of them, I had made:

-One adult sweater
-Three adult shrugs
-One lace shawl
-Two scarves -- one lace and one not
-Twelve pairs of socks, of them two for babies, as well as two unmatched socks and a pair of baby shoes
-Three hats -- one baby, two adult
-Seven baby sweaters
-Fifteen (!) toys
-One pair of baby mittens
-One little satchel

I also have two pairs of socks and two sweaters as UFOs right now.

I think the project I'm most proud of is the lace shawl -- I salvaged it all by myself! The sweater was a disappointment -- I hate how it fits, but I think it's my figure more than the sweater. And my most favorite and fun project has got to be the Cinderella!

This was a year of Firsts -- my first adult garment. My first adult sweater. My first lace shawl, and my first completed project in lace-weight yarn. My first pair of socks that fit! My first written-up original pattern.

This was also, of course, the year I first started my blog!

I definitely feel like my knitting has come a long way since last year, and that my knowledge and skills have improved. Of course, there's still a long way to go! And I'm looking forward to 2007's knitting!

Now, tell me: how was YOUR knitting year? What did you learn? What was your favorite project? Least favorite? Greatest accomplishment? Worst disaster?

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas!

(Not quite finished YET, but will get there.)

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Christmas countdown

First off, happy birthday to my beautiful, amazing, wonderful husband! I love you so much.

I feel alot more relaxed about my decision not to make my dad's vest. Otherwise, I'd have to stress about finishing my grant, getting things done at work, cleaning, packing, sending off Christmas gifts, AND knitting. With all of my current obligations, it just could not happen (this week was another crazy one -- home after 8-9 every night).

So I'm calmly working on socks for the in-laws. I have 3 socks completed, out of 4 pairs.

First, ones for my father-in-law:

These are both completed, but I still need to weave in the ends. I'm digging the color and the pattern.

And one completed one for my mother-in-law:

They're both in Swish, following basic patterns from, well, you-know-where.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Oh, and

I'm not going to finish my dad's vest. I mean, I could do it, I guess, but why stress myself? I have other gifts for him, and his birthday is in March, so I'll give it to him then.

See, last week, I wasn't home before 8 on any single night. Two nights in a row, I came home after 10. I was out all of Saturday. So, very little knitting got done, of course. This week is not looking much better -- out every night until Friday. So while I COULD force myself to stay up knitting every night to finish, I'm just not going to. Besides, if I hate the design now, I won't be able to do anything about it.

Very slow progress on everything else. Santa is still in pieces; hopefully I'll start piecing him together tonight and have him finished by next week. I'm almost done with ONE of the FOUR pairs of socks for my in-laws. I'll have the drive up there and a few days OFF to work on those, of course.

In other news, I baked some really great cookies last night. They were cranberry-orange, and the recipe called for whole oranges pureed, rind and all, in a food processor. It was fun. It did not call for cranberries, but I have about two pounds of dried cranberries that I won't eat (don't like 'em), so I threw those in, too. The result? Moist, cake-like, and very orangey cookies. Occasionally you hit a piece of rind, but it's kinda candied from baking and tastes good.

(Oh, and the recipe is from The Cookie Bible.)

Monday, December 11, 2006

What's in Santa's bag?

I am almost done with the big Santa doll for my mom. All the parts have been knitted. Lots of assembly remains.

Of course, what's Santa without a sack of presents? Here's what this one has in his bag:

A tiny clown doll, from the same Jean Greenhowe booklet. He took an hour to knit and an hour to make up. He'll have a loop so he can be used as an ornament.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, December 08, 2006

The muses

First off, my lab did our Secret Santa gift exchange today, and the person who was giving to me got me Stitch'n'Bitch Nation! Yay! I'm really not huge into SnB books, because they're TOO hip for me (I prefer more classical patterns with modernly-fitted silhouettes rather than the super-trendy stuff. Shrugs being the exception.), but there are quite a few things I like in this one, and I'd wanted it for a while. Lucky is a definite future project, and I have friends who'll appreciate the Little Devil pants, to name just two. I think I'll make the Fairly Easy Fair Isle as a keep-at-work sweater (it's always freezing in here).

So, yes. Happy!

(I'm actually THE person you want to draw in Secret Santa things, because I'm very easy to shop for. I have clearly defined hobbies that I'm obviously into, and I like just about everything anyway.)

Secondly, I've been agonizing about how to design my dad's vest. If you remember, I wanted to make him a vest with the DNA cable on it. But I could not figure out if I wanted JUST the DNA cable, or other things also, and how to arrange everything, and oh so many possibilities! But today, one of my coworkers is wearing a plain-stockinette sweater with just one cable pattern arrangement down the center. There is a wide center cable and a small cable on each side, and that's it. The rest is just stockinette. And it looks really good! More importantly, it looks like something my dad would actually wear.

(Last time I was home, he remarked on wanting a DNA scarf, but since he lives in Atlanta, and since I already wove him a nice scarf which sits in the closer, I doubt he'd really use it.)

Do y'all think I'll be able to finish (and start) his vest, and my mom's big Santa Claus doll by January 1st, and four pairs of socks by Christmas? Oddly, I think I can.

(The knitting for Santa is almost finished, with only two more parts to knit. There's not alot of seaming, because I did it all in the round. The socks are ankle-high, worsted-weight slipper socks, and I have ONE sock done. The vest...hasn't even been swatched for.)

Labels: ,

Friday, December 01, 2006

Hot men knitting

Last night, as it was icing and snowing outside, I asked my husband if he wanted to learn how to knit. While he has been saying he'd like to for a while now, last night he actually said yes to sitting down and learning right away!

Wasting no time, because who knew how long the whim would last, I sat down and cast on some Simply Soft for him and showed him how to do a knit stitch. He got the motions right away, but the yarn was uncooperative and splitty. Still, he made it through two rows, and says he wants to do more tonight.

Back off, ladies, he's taken! Now you see why I married this man. That and the supportiveness of my own yarn habit.

I also have some stuff to show y'all. I finished both baby sweaters and a pair of socks!

I was afraid to take knitting needles along with me on the plane, because it was the day before Thanksgiving and security is tight. So I went to Walgreens the night before, and bought a learn-to-crochet kit for kids, which had a plastic crochet hook (sparkly! purple!) and a plastic darning needle, and took that along with completed parts to both sweaters.

Well, figuring that since Thanksgiving is the busiest travel time, especially the day before, and that we'd be traveling from the second-busiest airport in the country to the busiest airport (or is it vice versa?), we'd better get there 3 hours early, just in case.

We did. There was no line at check-in, and one family ahead of us in security. That's it. We sat at O'Hare for 3 hours. Husband read, while I sewed together the sweaters. By the time we were back in Chicago, the collars were all I had left to do.

Speaking of traveling, check out my BRAND-NEW NIECE! (Blogger is suddenly uncooperative with putting on new pictures.) She's 3 days old in that photo, and 10 days old total. Awww. Her big sister is no slouch in the cuteness department, either, although we've gotta cure her of that TV habit!

Anyway, back to knitting.

First up is the Robin Hood hoodie from Adorable Knits for Tots. It's for a friend's baby, born Monday!

The yarn is Swish from Knitpicks, and while it was lovely to work with (soft, non-splitty), it was leaving all kinds of fuzz on me after I hand-washed it. It also bled rather badly. So now I'm not so sure about its machine-washability. It dried beautifully, though. It also bloomed somewhat, and will probably fit the baby NEXT year.

It obviously needs buttons, and I've sewed them on since then; they're the same wooden buttons as on my first Trellis.

I used size 8s circs from my Boye Needlemaster kit (LOVE), and had no major issues with the pattern. Or any issues, if I remember right.

Unlike with this sweater, for a friend's 16-day old boy:

Also from the same book, it's the Chunky Cabled Sweater, and it was a bear with mistakes. All that was wrong with the cabling pattern was that it was supposed to say "^th row: as 2nd row" rather than as 4th row. But it took me forever and 5 froggings to figure it out. The sleeves were also way too narrow, so I reworked them 3 times before getting them right. I think I cast on 32 stitches...or was it 36? And increased to 50.

The yarn is Wool-Ease, and the needles were a size small, at 7.5 instead of 8 (I forgot to switch after the ribbing during one of the many froggings).

Finally, socks for this little guy's mommy:

From Sensational Knitted Socks, of course, in Swish, again. I'll wash them and see how they hold up, I guess.

These have the nifty Eye-of-Quail pattern heel:

The momma is also getting my own lip balm and shea butter, and a necklace handmade by me (probably this one), as a belated birthday gift. Her older daughter is getting the elephant. Her husband is getting...cookies, probably.

And lest you think the momma of the green hoodie recepient will be left out, she'll also get socks, lip balm and shea butter, and a gift certificate to someplace (her birthday is coming up. The big sister gets Cinderella. The dad gets dinner, because we're cooking a dinner for them sometime next week, because, wouldn't you believe it, they're busy.

Currently on the needles is a big Santa for my mom, the biggest fan of my toys, and more socks.

Labels: , , , , , , ,