Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Little Things

The Shepherd sweater grinds on, but I'm afraid I've been afflicted with Second Sleeve Syndrome even before I'm quite down to the cuff of the first one. My excuse is that it's no longer mindless banging along, easily done while watching movies or tv. It's pay-attention knitting: pay attention to the cabling pattern and how it works into the decreases; pay attention to the stitch count and the decreases; pay attention to making the decreasing and cabling come to an end at just the right place to end the sleeve at the right length and have a couple of inches of k4 p2 rib to finish. Sheesh! I guess these are the dues for going my own way with the basic design. Some days I'm incredibly pleased with myself for cooking up an adaptation that works so well for me and eager for the finished product; other days I just want to catch up on Downton Abbey and zone out a bit.

So let's see what's happened lately in the zone-out zone:

 Not two hats, but one reversible hat, as modeled by my favorite Library Head, Willa Cather. It's the Esprit Reversible Cap (free, by the way) made with Cascade Fixation Solid and Spray Dyed. I love the way the hat feels on the head. The yarn is cotton and elastic, so it's very huggy and likely to stay put. I needed a hat to go with my red coat and this fits the bill (and the noggin) nicely.

What to do with the leftover yarn? Booties, of course!

The Fixation booties are a big 6-12 month-old size. And the dark ones are from the remainder of the dark Fassett stripe sweater. (Yes, I'm still working on sewing it up. It's got an awful lot of long seams that really have to be worked on in daylight.)

And in celebration of booties, I bring you this song about the other kind of boo-tay. A ditty I was first introduced to as the sound track of a YouTube paean to the rear view of Mr Benedict Cumberbatch:

Oh, okay. Here you go, fangirls. The Cumberbooty.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Farewell , Old Friend

I have a favorite sweater, one that has been with me for a long time. I love its colors, the way the simple pattern shows off those colors to best advantage, and I enjoyed knitting it long ago. Because it's such a great match of yarn and pattern, I have always gotten compliments when I wear it.

I made it, oh, probably at least 20 years ago with a Vogue Knitting pattern and Colinette yarn, back in the day when multi-colored yarn was rare, and Colinette dyed plain-textured wool in finer gauges as well as the wild stuff they're known for today. I had a rummage for the pattern and yarn, but they are lost in the mists of time or the family move from the UK to the US.

 I've become a smaller person in the past year, and just recently caught a glimpse of myself in this sweater. Oh dear. It is huge. And not in an oversized-cosy-sweater way. More like a knitted-tent sort of way.

I even had a brief seizure of "I'll unravel it and steam the yarn and make it up into something smaller", but reality quickly reasserted itself as I thought about how many of the items in my Heap of Malfunctioning Rubble may have landed there because it was apparent they would turn out to be a size or 3 too small.  Much wiser to invest my effort in something from the Heap, so I will wash and block my old friend, and donate it with other undergrown clothing. Maybe someone else will enjoy having a sweater that gets compliments, and they can say, "Can you believe it? Hand knitted, and I think it's wool, and it only cost me $5 at Value Village!"

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Some Finishes to Start With

Happy New Year, one and all! As part of tidying up the old year before bringing in the new, behold some Finished Objects:

The Baby Surprise Jacket with the booties that inspired it, and a little hat to finish it all off (both the outfit and the yarn). And sure enough, though there wasn't a baby in mind when I started this; if  you knit it they will come--a colleague was blessed on December 26 with a new granddaughter. Welcome to the world, Lani Pearl!

And finally, at last, eventually, the Sixareen Cape is finished, blocked, and launched! As I had hoped, just the thing to keep the shoulders warm on long chilly winter nights, yet stay out of the way of the reading and knitting. And, hey, you could have knocked me over with a ball of quiviut, but that seed stitch bottom border came out pretty flat in the blocking.

It fits differently from my original intention because I am a smaller size than when the keel was laid, so thank goodness it's a style that can be a bit loose. If it bugs me enough, I may rig some kind of seam inside to make the shoulders fit better.

I'm sure you realize that the photos have suffered from the seasonal lack of light at this latitude. Normally knitting and reading is not an outdoor activity, but that's where you have to go (at mid-day) to have even half a chance of success. And it's still a flash photo. The main color of the sixareen is closer to the reading picture. The Baby Surprise was either a choice of washout pale or overdone enhancement. Sigh. Photos can only improve now that we're past the solstice and the light gets longer and stronger every day.