Monday, September 26, 2011

toddler socks

socks in action

What a joy to knit. Short, colorful, quick, and much-appreciated: basically the perfect knit.

They would have been even more enjoyable if the yarn had not been 100% acrylic (yes, that's 100%!), but hey, you have to clean out the stash some time. Besides, she'll outgrow these socks by the end of this winter.

Don't they look great with her new shoes?

Now the Pea is ready to go camping. And I'm ready to get back on the job and finish that vest I was whinging about last week.

toddler socks 1

Saturday, September 17, 2011



It's funny how much knitting can imitate life.

I've been having fun working on a little orange-and-gray vest for the Little Pea. It will be perfect for fall, if I can just figure out how I want to finish it.

The yarn is great - two balls of Muande from Filature de Valgaudemar in France. They were a gift from GĂ©raldine, whose family owns the mill - one of the oldest mills in France. The yarn has been sitting in the yarn cabinet for a long time, til I came up with the right project for them. A vest seems just right for the very autumn color scheme (Souri and Flamme).

I wanted the vest to be simply knit, all-in-one-piece of course, which allowed me to use single-row stripes -- a nice touch in this chunky yarn. So I started from the bottom and worked up. But how to do the armholes? I didn't want to separate the front and back, so I thought perhaps I'd steek the armholes.

But I didn't like the way the shoulders were shaping up, so I ripped it back to the armhole beginnings and started again.

I decided to cave in and work the back and front separately. Then I made a big miscalculation, which I didn't notice til the knitting was almost done. Rip again.

Now I'm back at the starts of the armholes and trying to come up with a novel solution that lets me finish my vest-in-the-round without sending me back to the starting line all over again. Any ideas?

In the mean time, we have a camping trip coming up, and the Little Pea needs some warm socks. Maybe working on those for a while will free my brain cells and let me come up with a solution for the vest.

Ah, knitting problems. So much more delightful than most of life's problems. I like any problem that can be sorted out over a beer and an episode of Masterpiece Theater.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

who put the U in UFO?

love/hate blanket 1

The Little Pea has a book about a baby deer who is lost in the woods. He makes friends with a baby raccoon, who is trying to climb over a log. As the little raccoon struggles over the log, he chants to himself, "I can do it! I can doooooo it!"

We are chanting "I can doooo it!" a lot at our house lately. For one, the Little Pea is two years old now. There are a lot of things she is learning to doooo by herself (including climbing over logs). And our long trip in the car recently led me to pick up some long-abandoned UFO's to see if I couldn't make myself doooo it and finish them on the long ride. The trend has continued, and I'm picking up one hibernating project after the next lately, then putting them down all happy and finished.

I finished a baby blanket (pictured above), which didn't hibernate too long, but had been put away when I ran out of yarn just short of the finish line. Happily enough, I found the skein I needed at a little yarn store in Vermont while we were visiting there.

This week (on another car trip) I finished the Copper Scarf that I'd started exactly one year ago, intending to wear it in the fall, and then somehow losing interest just about the time cool weather arrived. It looks great, and I can't wait til the temperature drops enough to show it off. It's made from Manos Silk Blend and feels like heaven.

And then there's the Minimalist Cardigan. My problem child. After more than 4 years, I was so close. Just a tiny bit of knitting left to go... and I have run out of yarn. AAARGH! Of course. And this is no variegated, multi-colored, kettle-dyed, funky schlunky yarn where dye lots don't matter - it's Rowan Cashsoft DK, knit in moss stitch, so neat and regular and incredibly unforgiving... and the last section I have to knit is the front panels, from the armpit to the shoulder. Just where a color shift would be most obvious.

Clearly, I need to just suck it up, order a couple of skeins and hope for the best. There's no chance in hell that the same dye lot is out there someplace, 4 years later. Is there...? I think I better go trawling on Ravelry. Maybe I'll get lucky!

I am being so good. There are a handful of seductive new projects and yarns in my cabinet, just singing my name like little sirens... and I am doing my best to ignore them while I finish up these UFO's. I think once that Minimalist Cardi is done I should get some sort of prize for ending a 4-year hiatus. What's your longest-left UFO that you actually finished?