Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Chinese Leprechaun

words fail sometimes...

I love my girl...

And further excitment...Emily is in the finals for her schools Spelling Bee this Friday!  Stay tuned.  (update:  She was the runner up!  Talk about was incredibly stressful (for me!  not her...she was so cool and calm throughout the event.)  Out of 100 3rd graders, my girl was second.  I'm incredibly proud of her.)

Friday, February 11, 2011

and you thought I was kidding

This is my handspun yarn.  It covers my queen size bed.  COVERS it.  grin...even I was surprised!  But it did tell me I need to move away from the green/blue family...I need to add reds and pinks to round out the selection.  I admit I thought about rolling around in them....but then figured I'd just mess them safely back into the basket they went.  Did I mention it is a big basket?  Laundry Basket size.  Did I mention it is overflowing? loves to spin.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fingerless frenzy

I know it has been a while.  But I've been knitting and spinning like crazy.  I'm working on a pair of fingerless mitts and my mittens.  The mitts are a surprise for my friend at work who sits by the windows and freezes.  I know she freezes.  I make knitted things to help you not freeze.  Did I make her fingerless mitts to keep from freezing and still do her job?  Nope, not me....sigh...I started a pair for her over a week ago, used some beautiful sock yarn, in peacock purple, iridescent shiny and lovely.  But the yarn was too fine for the pattern and while it was simple and I could have worked out the gauge differences, they would have taken me so long to do at that fine a gauge.  So back to the drawing board.  I found a pattern I liked on Ravelry and searched through my stash.  Pulled out some left over Malibrigo from the lap blanket I made and some left over Rowan white singles from a hat.  Together they would make a lovely fingerless mitt.  It has just a bit of stranding where you move from one yarn to the other.  It is bulky yarn and I was able to knit the first mitt start to finish on Sunday except for the thumb.  I came to work on Monday, figuring I could have the second one done maybe by Friday.  And find she bought herself a pair from....take a deep breathe...from TARGET.  sigh...bad friend I am.  These will still be for my friend and I hope she can enjoy having TWO fingerless mitts to choose from.

I did deviate from the pattern, I used the pattern for the bottom half of the glove and the stranding.  The white section is all mine.  Not that it is innovative or anything, but I wanted a thumb, not just a hole for the thumb.  So I put in a gusset for the thumb.  That always fits my hand so much better.  And instead of ribbing at the top, I let it roll, hoping that won't be too annoying for her to type with.  We will see.  But I like it and boy is it soft!  It needs a good wet blocking to smooth out the stitches but I should finish them this weekend and have them ready for her on Monday.

My own mittens are pushed back waiting for me to return to them, but I'm happy with how they are turning out.

Remember how I didn't like where the thumb placement was?  It was so low for me, so I added a pattern repeat in the blue and with before putting in the them, I think it will be fine now.  It is just a smidge tight, but once I block them and wear them, I think they will fit just right. 
I do love how they look and I'm happy that I'm using up left over stash in both the rust and the white.  The blue is new, Irish Girl Knit sock yarn.  Very very nice....and from Duluth too so a local yarn.  Well as local as Duluth is to Minneapolis!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Yggdrasil is DONE!

Not that I'm excited or anything, but I finished my blanket on Sunday night.  It is just beautiful. 

Last night I worked on blocking it.  Now that was terrifying, I filled my top loader washing machine, and gently put my blanket in the cold water, pushing it all the way down to ensure it got completely soaked.  I warned every person in my house to NOT shut the lid on the washer.  Wouldn't you know this would be the time someone in an effort to "help" me, would shut the lid which would engage the agitation and I would end up with a heavily cabled pillow top!  I threatened anyone who would even think about walking INTO the laundry room.  After 30 minutes I anxiously peered in and then carefully moved the dial to spin.  And trembling slightly I shut the lid and listened carefully as the water drained out and in no time it started spinning.  I was thrilled when I pulled the damp blanket out of the machine and it was still HUGE!  Talk about scary.

Upstairs I laid it out in the loft, pulling gently, tugging and patting it into place.  I didn't use pins, just nudged it into place.  There are some mistakes in the cable borders, but so be it.  It is finished, it is beautiful, and it is mine.  I did end up with an extra skein of yarn, but that is ok.  I was too chicken to order the 7 skeins when mathematically it worked out nearly to the end of the 7th skein to complete it.  I'm happy, I would have been worried for year if I hadn't done that.  I'm hoping sometime this weekend there will be daylight and I can take better pictures, but I didn't want to wait.  If I wait for the sun, it may be months before I can take a picture!

I love this blanket.  I think it is the nicest thing I've made.  It is clearly the biggest.  It took me about 4 1/2 months of solid knitting, mostly knit from March through early June of 2010 and finished after a long month of knitting in January 2011.  I don't think I will make a second one.  But I'm pleased enough with it that I hauled it into work today to show it off.  Seeing people's reactions are such fun, some have no clue it is handmade until they are told and then their eyes pop!  smile..

So to others who are thinking of stretching their knitting comfort zone...go for it.  The end results are magical.