Sunday, July 29, 2007

Progress Report

Slow and steady progress...

I have completed one baby sock, and I am halfway through the ribbing on the second one. I actually enjoyed knitting the second half of the sock, but I still can't imagine knitting a pair of adult-sized socks in fingering weight yarn!

I have about three inches of stockinette left on the body of the baby cardigan. I'm expecting the sleeves to go more quickly sans purling. (I hope I am not disappointed!)

And I am moving along on the ripple blanket. I work on this primarly during our Friday night video watching time. At the rate I'm going, I should be done in a couple of months. However, it is more likely that as I near the end, I will be motivated to finish it, and I will kick the crocheting in high gear.

Despite all of this activity, I'm trying to resist the urge to cast on for a pair of socks for myself!

NH Knitting Mama Contest

NH Knitting Mama is having a contest. She has designed an adorable knitted bag called "Mandy's Candy Bag" and has posted the pattern on her blog for free. Check out the pattern and related contest details here.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Ravelry and The Truth

One of the things about Ravelry, if you embrace it and take advantage of all of its features, is that it lays the truth before you. You can no longer live in ignorance as to how much yarn, needles, and patterns are at your disposal. My own personal assessment follows:
  • I have 33 different yarns entered in my stash. This does not include my stash of Mission Falls 1824 Wool, my cotton dishcloth yarn, nor a variety of crochet project yarns and remnants that have been collected in a giant Ziploc bag.
  • I have the yarn, needles or hooks, and patterns to complete at least ten projects.
  • I have the yarn and patterns to complete at least six additional projects. I'm just in need of more needles, primarily circulars.
At the rate at which I complete projects, I have more than enough supplies to keep me occupied for at least two years. The realization has been sobering for me, and I have accepted that what I intend to be an enjoyable hobby that I can use to bless others through handmade gifts often morphs into an unhealthy obsession. I had gone so far as to commander the guest room for yarn and supplies storage with the view of making my own "studio," as I often see mentioned in fiber blogs. I have selfishly used my family's resources, both financial and otherwise, for my own ends, and I am sorry for it.

My confession here is BY NO MEANS and indictment upon anyone else. Everyone's circumstances are different. I have been convicted only about my own behavior and attitudes, and as a result, I have made and will continue to make some changes.
  1. I relocated the majority of my supplies to my bedroom (The remainder is in the guest room closet.), and rather than expanding my supplies and related materials (i.e. books, magazines, patterns, etc.), I intend to maintain what is for me a reasonable accumulation.
  2. I do not intend to buy any more yarn in the near future, with one exception: yarn for Christmas stockings for my children.
  3. I will use the resources I currently have available to make as many Christmas and birthday gifts as possible.
  4. If I do come into some "mad money" I will use it to purchase the needles I need to complete the projects for which I currently have yarn and patterns but no needles.
  5. I will use the time I spend on the Internet in knitting- and crochet-related activities more judiciously. I have already scaled back my online time considerably in the past week.
  6. I will maintain a record of my purchases.

This post is for my own benefit so that I can revisit my goals as needed. It is not self-flagellation. I have learned an important lesson, and, so far, I am happy with the results.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Surprise... Rip-it! Rip-it!

The evening before we left to go to the beach, I got ten rows into my BSJ, and I realized that my gauge was way too tight. Clearly a gauge swatch knitted with Clover Takumi Bamboo straights does not indicate the size you will need in Addi Natura circulars, even when you are NOT knitting in the round! I had to quit because I was knitting the newborn size, and I didn't want it to be too small. I do not have the next size needles, and I can't afford to order any more right now, so the only thing to do was to begin a project for which I had the yarn and the needles: Knitting Pure and Simple's Easy Baby Cardigan, a free pattern. It is going very well. Several hours on the road along with a couple of rainy afternoons, and I am ready to divide for the sleeves.

The CTH Supersock DK will be used for...socks. I have the needles for those. If only the budget would allow ordering three sizes of needles for every project: the size called for, one size larger, and one size smaller! I still hope to make a BSJ one day, but for now, I intend to make every effort possible to knit with the yarn, needles, and patterns I currently have on hand. Ahem...

Upon returning home, there were some goodies in the mail.

There's no place like home!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Another WIP: Baby Surprise Jacket

The BSJ is in progress! And, as I predicted, my aversion to circular needles ended with my using the right kind: Addi Natura. GO AND GET YOU SOME! (I ordered mine from here.)

The intended recipient of the baby socks will be getting diapers instead. I have a another friend who is having a girl in September. I should be able to get the baby socks done by then! The project is going fine, but I am not very enthusiastic about it right now.

Tomorrow morning, the family and I are off to the beach, so I won't post for a least a week. In the meantime, happy knitting and crocheting!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Donut, Anyone?

To encourage people, I often bake for them. However, what to do to encourage a friend who is dieting? Crochet her a donut! (Of course, I hope it doesn't send her running to the donut shop as my husband predicted it might!)

Pattern: Donut Pincushion
Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Wool
Hook: H

I've never made anything like this before. It was a quick (less than two hours) and fun project.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Fun with Fingering Weight Yarn

I got through the heel flap on my baby socks this evening. This is my first time to knit with fingering weight yarn, and I don't know if I will be able to make it through a pair of adult-sized socks knitted with sock yarn. I am glad to see there are excellent alternatives!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Coming Out of Hibernation

At Ravelry, you can classify projects that you have put on hold as "hibernating." My Classic Ripple Blanket from Melissa Leapman's Cozy Crochet has been in hibernation for some months now, but it emerged from the cave yesterday after I completed my rug, resuming its status as my movie-watching project.

If only I could be so inspired to finish the Irish Hiking Scarf...

Thursday, July 5, 2007

FO: Crocheted Throw Rug

Pattern: Throw Rug from Crochet Today (December 2006/January 2007 issue); Pattern by Drew Emborsky.
Yarn: Moda Dea Tweedle Dee in Cinnamon, Sahara, and Sagebrush
Hook: K Susan Bates aluminum
Modifications: Three extra rows of green to meet the specified dimensions and to make the bands of color uniform. (Was there an error in the pattern as printed?)

This was a pleasant project, and I am pleased with the final result. If I had known how much yarn would be left over, I would have made the rug bigger. The yarn is not great, but I didn't really mind it either. It is rather lightweight. I suppose this is due to the added acrylic. Some time in the future, I would like to try this basic design in wool (Lamb's Pride Bulky?) using more colors.

Note to anyone who may be interested in making this rug: Before adding the edging, it may appear that the rug will not lay flat. The edging helps to accomplish this.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Knitting Fever...

...has hit chez Kathryn Estelle.

Number One: I finished the second sock in my first pair. I'm thankful AL talked me into it. They are nice and warm on this girl whose feet tend to be cold. I highly recommend the pattern for first-time sock knitters. See previous post for pattern info.

Number Two: The bug has bit to knit the Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman. I bought the pattern on Saturday during a visit to one of my favorite yarn stores, and upon reading through the pattern, I realized that I have the perfect yarn in my stash: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock DK in "Old Rose." Unfortunately, I didn't realize I needed circular needles. They are not required, but they were strongly recommended here. (Thank the Lord for Ravelry!) I went ahead and knit a swatch on straight needles to check my gague (Of course.), to see if I liked the yarn (I did.), and to see if I can handle the garter stitch (I can.). I have not thus far been a fan of garter stitch, but one of the things I like about all of the BSJs I've been seeing is that they are often knitted in handpainted sock yarns, which makes for a very attractive FO. My gague swatch also showed me that I need to downsize my needles, so upon gathering all of this information, I placed an order for some size 4, 24-inch Addi Natura circular needles.

Number Three: While I wait for my new needles to arrive in the mail, I will cast on for Theresa Gaffey's Basic Baby Sock. I'm using some lovely Claudia Handpainted yarn from The Loopy Ewe that I purchased using the gift certificate AL gave me for my birthday. (One hank in "Baby Girl" and one hank in "Baby Boy.") I cannot find a link to a web site for Ms. Gaffey nor (in my brief search) did I find a link to this specific pattern. I bought the pattern during a recent visit to my other favorite yarn store.

Number Four: I have made progress on the crocheted rug. I hope to finish it this week.

Number Five: I started a charity baby hat, but my gague was off, so I frogged it. I'll either begin again on smaller needles, or I'm thinking of using another pattern. I'll mull on this for a bit.

Now, off to do the laundry. Believe it or not, the housework is getting done around here!