Hoopla and Joy

Happy Halloween!  I’ll let Foamy do the talking for me.

And Joy is going to be seamed up tomorrow… prepare for a slew of pictures for the awesomeness that is Joy.  Ta.

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It’s in the Details

I was just thinking about what details I prefer and look for in knitting.  I like colorwork, the technique is awesome.  I’m of the yarn-in-each-hand persuasion, both hands get to play with the yarn, left doesn’t get jealous of the right (I’m a thrower). 

A hint of garter stitch.  All over garter can put a girl to sleep.  Just a few inches for the hem and wrist, well, it’s like a mini party in my hands – and then the real work begins.

Picot edge… Mmmm, so simple and adds a feminine touch.  I like to work the fold into the pattern instead of seaming it later (it just seems like a waste of yarn, you know). 

Oh, OH!  Working sweaters and cardigans in the round!  Really, you can do this to any pattern, they’ll go much faster and talk about perfect gauge.  In my opinion, steeking a cardigan is comparable to eating fifteen cream-filled donuts and not gaining a pound… yeeeah.  Sweet satisfaction and no jiggly-butt.

Do you want to know what I really like?  Wrap-over neck sweaters.  The sweater could be completely plain-jane, but a wrap-over neck just makes the sweater for me.  It’s like having a snug little scarf on your neck, or never having to button a top button, or having a wrap that you never have to re-wrap.  Also, it gives a very intellectual look to the wearer, too (and we could all use a little bit of that, now, eh?).

Oh, and the first sleeve is finished for Joy, one to go and then the two cuffs!  WEEE!

Looming Holidays

Halloween hasn’t even passed yet and I’m already feeling the pressure.  Holiday knitting (clucks tongue).  Knitters really get to take advantage of that “naughty or nice” jazz.  Only the most deserving recipients get knitty goodness from me.  If they’re walking a thin line, I’ll do a quick (emphasis on quick) sewing project for them.  Everybody else has to start making up for next year, if they’re lucky, and smart.

So who’s on my nice list this year, let’s review…

Dad.  He had a heart attack and two strokes last January, now he complains of cold feet even in 100+ degree weather.  Dad’s getting the kilt hose from Folk Socks.

BIL.  I didn’t meet him until more than six months after he married my sister.  I was expecting a loser, but he turned out pretty okay.  The Eastern European Footlets from Favorite Socks goes to this guy.

MIL.  She lives 3,000 miles away, I suppose Mr. Yarn Bearer’s mom doesn’t have a chance to get on my bad side.  She’s getting the Hemlock Ring Blanket from Brooklyn Tweed’sblog.

My sister.  I sewed her a Zakka Bag with matching Zakka Pouch.  Don’t ask.

My mom.  I gave her knits before and her appreciation was less than enthusiastic, but she does enjoy my cooking, a lot.  As in, when I visit, I’m the only person who cooks or it’s take-out.  I’m making her a cook book of all my recipes that I know she likes, along with a few new ones. 

I think I made things pretty easy on myself this year.  So what in the hell am I going to do next year?! 

You might be wondering about the Joy cardigan, but don’t worry, the first sleeve is almost complete.  There are two reasons why this projects isn’t finished yet.  1) I don’t have a ball winder and I hate winding those 220 yard skeins by hand, it takes about an hour without a hitch (if anyone is feeling generous…).  2) Trying to finish a log cabin quilt I started a little over a year ago.  I am doing a few short cuts, however, instead of ten blocks by eight blocks, I’m only doing a eight by eight.  I want the warm now!  It’ll come out to about a 64 x 64 quilt instead of 80 x 64.  I’ll live with it, and get on with other projects demanding my attention (like every single project in Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Giftby Joelle Hoverson, if you don’t have that book, go get it now, there’s a preview on Purl Bee’s blog).

Coloring with the next Kaffe Fasset

What have I been doing?  Hmmm, well, the left front to Joy is finished and the right front is halfway complete.  I’m close to breaking my cardinal rule though…  I had once said that I’d never have more than one project on the needles at any given moment.  But sometimes, you have to make exceptions.  Craftster.org is in the process of voting for the Fall knitting challenge, and it’s looking like the theme will be of charted persuasion. 

I figured, “Hey, I’ll be getting my dad’s Christmas present out of the way, with the possibility of winning an awesome prize.”  That is more than enough reason to bend the rules.  And I don’t want to be selfish with my knitting time, yeeeah, we’ll go with that.

As for the next Kaffe Fasset, that would be my daughter.  She was looking through an Andy Warhol book, Cats, Cats, Cats, and drew her rendition of one of the cats.  After coloring it in, this is what landed on the refrigerator in my art gallery…

Cat, a study

The artist

When she starts knitting, I can see her jumping right into colorwork.

Forget Nyquil, give me Chocolate Lollipops

Forget the flu bug, when fall is here, the craft bug strikes harder and faster.  I usually don’t realize until it’s too late, and have already begun two quilts and a pillow case.   Like I was saying yesterday, autumn means quilting and embroidering for me, I don’t know why, I just  have to at this time of the year.  Sort of like how squirrels hibernate in winter, I sew and hand stitch in the fall.  Instead of gathering nuts, I buy enough fabric for three queen size quilts… and have left overs for oodles of cute little doo-dads and toys.

And while we’re on that topic, did you notice the new links over there?  Huh?  Did ya?  If you only  click on one link, for the rest of your life, click on Wee Wonderfuls, I want to sew everything there (and knit all of the adornments, too, and embroider the cuteness on everything).  Don’t forget to check on Olive and Archie’s Make-A-Long, cheer them on in their mission for exclusive playground access (ah, I remember those days).

If you decide to click on just one more link for the rest of your life, Amy Butler has awesome free patterns.  I’m thinking that the Belle Quilt is going to look awesome on the wee-one’s bed.

Maybe in blues... ?

Go ahead and just click the rest of the links, like Anna Maria Horner’s blog, brilliant woman, and her brilliant, crafty children.  And if I decide that daughter’s bed coverings need to be alternated every few days, she’s going to also need AMH’s 22 Lollipops Quilt, just in case.

I can taste it now

Life as I know it

The left front of Joy is coming along, although, it is on hold at the moment.  One of our fellow knitters at Wild Fibre has just lost her husband.  There was some thought about sending flowers, a comment about knitting her some flowers came up, but in the end we’ve decided to take it upon ourselves to knit squares for an afghan for her.

Mr. Yarn Bearer’s birthday was on October 1, he’s getting up there in years, I guess I’ll have to put him down soon (I can’t believe he made it to 26, married to me and all).  I celebrated with this recipe, which is quite delicious.

I’ve been going through an embroidery and sewing kick the past few days (it’s okay, it comes and goes).  Daughter loves Aranzi Aranzo so I’m cooking up some pillows for her otherwise plain jane bed, I’d also like to throw on some Sublime Stitching to really spice it up.  Just what every three year old should be concerned with:  throw pillows and felt mascots.

Speaking of the wee-one, she’s been getting more involved with the crafting scene at our house lately.  Two days ago, she wanted to knit a sock for my nephew (just one sock, mind you).  So not to confound her with DPNs and heel turns, I showed her cast-on and the knit stitch on some straight needles.  Then the little craft diva asked for a sock pattern, so I complied and let her go on her way. 

Yesterday, while I was working on embroidering my new knitting bag (SQUEE!  I’ll post pics when I’m all done), daughter asked to embroider, too.  It seemed a better fit for her, and although it’s a bit free-form, she’s doing well.  I’m just happy that she’s giving it a try and wants to be involved with our family’s crafty nature.

Wee Crafts