Monday, December 31, 2007

Hope you all had a lovely holiday - I did! Here's some stuff I've been working on - it's Mitten Time here at MM!

Poking around Ravelry, I came across two mitten patterns by Kate GIlbert that blew my mind, baby! First, the Wintergreen Mittens:

The pattern calls for worsted weight yarn knit on #1 needles. Cry with me now. Well, I picked out two colors of Cascade 220 and pulled out the old #1 needles, and lo and behold, I was actually able to get gauge. The combination of fat yarn and skinny needles however, makes my arm start screaming after a while, so I bought some Rowan Scottish Tweed 4-Ply at the T-Web and started them over.

It is so much nicer trying to get 7 sts/1" with fingering weight yarn. I'm having a hard time figuring out what color to use on the twisted stitches that make the leaves and have emailed Ms. Gilbert for help. I'll just keep ploughing ahead. In the meantime, I started the following mittens to get a break.

These are the Bird in Hand mittens. I thought I'd try to get the insane 8 sts/1" gauge with thinner yarn this time, so I cast on with some Merino Style dk weight yarn from Knit Picks. Here was the result - GIGANTIC!! And EW.

I pulled that out and decided to forego warmth in favor of being able to use my hands and fingers in the future and acquired some Claudia's Handpaints Fingering Weight from T-Web. Here is the result, which I love love love.

I don't think I've ever knit anything purple before, but this yarn is such a saturated great grapey color I couldn't resist it with the ochre-y yellow yarn.

This enabled me to use my new KnitPicks Harmony needles, which are awesome. I'm ambivalent, to say the least, about using KnitPicks products. Their cutting-out-of-the-middleman makes their prices attractive, and every yarn I've received from them has been very nice. If you compare prices apples to apples, though, their prices are not that much better. $1.99 for Wool of the Andes sounds great, but it's a 50 gm skein, so you'd have to pay $4.50 to get the same 220 yards you'd pay for a skein of Cascade 220, which we retail for $7. And then there's shipping, which brings the price up. It's still less expensive if you buy in bulk, but you lose in not being able to see the colors in person and of course not having a nice yarn store employee to help you.

I'm wild about KnitPicks needles, though. I ordered the Options set last year and immediately sold my Denise set on ebay. The needle points are POINTY! and the cables are very flexible, which is what I like. The tips do come unscrewed occasionally, but not often enough to bother me. With my arm issues, I don't love knitting with metal needles, though, so when I saw they were making an interchangeable wood set, I became very interested. I didn't want to take the plunge and buy the whole set, so I ordered some #2s that I could use for socks. I'm knitting the Bird in Hand mittens with them, and they are really really really really nice. Once I can save up a little money I will definitely be ordering the wood interchangeables.

See you next year!!!

Monday, December 24, 2007

It's a Christmas Miracle!!

Merry Christmas, everyone!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Yeah, I got knitting to tell you about and holiday stuff and all that. I'm just too lazy right now to take the proper pictures.

Anyway, the big news around these parts is Tooth Watch. I cannot believe that that last ding-dang tooth of Gus's is still hanging on. He let me wiggle it the other day, and it took every iota of my willpower not to yank it out on the spot. It is hanging sideways. We've tried plying him with toffee and pretzels - anything to make that tooth come out - but it is still there, hanging by a thread.

It has not spoiled his "new grin", as he calls it, however. Here he is, with Grandpop, this morning after his triumphant Holiday Concert performance at school:

All I want for Christmas is Gus's one front tooth.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Okay, phew - all that wild birthday celebrating wore me out! Just kidding!! I had a great birthday - here are some choice items received - from Gus (who has to suffer through my loud and incessant car karaoke) the Itunes card and from Matthew, the mighty book:

Gus lost a tooth at school! He's never had a tooth fall out before (he had some pulled but that doesn't count.) The two front teeth have been getting looser and looser lately, resulting in a more and more goofy-looking positioning. Yesterday, Gus accidentally got kicked in the teeth by the kid who was sitting next to him (who fell over backwards in his chair) and lost one of his front teeth.

Excellently kung-fu-y way to lose a tooth!

And now, brace yourselves, people. Here comes a picture of my latest, most obsessive, love, Mr. Theodore Bear:

Yes, I have officially lost my mind. That snowflake sweater is the SECOND sweater I've made for him. He also has a pair of jeans. I'm also working on a felted backpack for him. I was in Modell's and saw Phillies baby bootees and immediately thought, "Oooh! Oooh! They would be perfect for Theodore Bear!!"

Please note that I am nowhere near the 150-item wardrobe I "joked" about, but am inching ever closer...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

If you see a crazy cake like this, it must mean....


Yippeeee! It's my birthday!! I love my birthday! Right in the middle of Present Month!! I baked the cake and Gus decorated it, and [various family members take note] it is vanilla (actually it's Funfetti, which is vanilla with multi-colored sprinkles - yeah, baby!!) cake with chocolate icing, the Proper Birthday Cake Combination.

Have a great my birthday, everyone, and stay tuned tomorrow for The Most Excruciatingly Adorable Thing That Will Make You Screech With Happiness.

Friday, December 07, 2007

I felted Theodore Bear this morning. When I pulled him out of the machine (the Peruvia felts FAST, btw), I shrieked like a little girl at his total adorableness. Here he is, trussed up so that he dries in a sitting position [sentences you never thought you'd type...]

Aaaggghhhhhh!!!! So cute!!! Look at the specs! I can't wait till he dries and I can start making a wardrobe for him. Wait, I'm hyperventilating!!!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

I came across Gus's Christmas wish list the other day. Here it was:

1. Nintendo DS [no]
2. Pokemon Diamond and Pearl trading cards [okay...with reservations]
3. Wii [no - you're delusional, kid]
4. Teddy Bear [what?! teddy bear??]

I asked him about this, and he confirmed that, yes, he would like a teddy bear. His class made teddy bears earlier this year and learned about the history of the teddy bear, etc. I guess that's where it came from.

But of course, now I'm thinking.....Hey, I could KNIT HIM A TEDDY BEAR!! I poked around the Tangled Web, found a Fiber Trends pattern and some lovely Berroco Peruvia yarn (we just started carrying this yarn this year - it's gorgeous, nice to work with and it costs like a penny for 174 yards.) Anyway, here is the bear ready to be sewn up. I'll see if I can felt him tonight.
I made a felted Fiber Trends koala bear a couple of years ago that came out smashingly koala-like, so I have a good feeling about this fellow. He was supposed to be knit with his clothes as part of his body, if you know what I mean, but I thought that would look weird and besides I thought I could make him a little sweater too. And a hat! And some mittens! And some socks! Help! Stop me!