Must. Knit. Something.

Funny story.

She came over that evening and she actually brought her knitting. She always forgets her knitting, but on this night she remembered. Then she actually knit on her project as we visited! She hardly ever does that. Usually I’m the one knitting and she knits a few stitches and then talks and then knits a few stitches and drinks her tea and then holds the baby and then… This time she was really flying across her rows, knit. knit. knit.

So there she is knitting in my living room and I had nothing in my hands at all. I had two projects on the go, and both of them were colorwork and I don’t like to knit colorwork while I’m talking (remember the socks? Yeah. That lesson was still fresh in my mind).

So I was sitting idle.

Watching her knit.

Weird, right?

Right. Totally weird.

Desperately, I grabbed the nearest ball of yarn and cast on some longies. Then as I talked and without any planning or thought, I started switching colorways from my scrap bag.

And I was knitting, too.

All was right with the world.

And The Blessing was getting another pair of longies. One can never have too many longies.

Win, win.

I am giddy with happiness at how lovely these scrappy longies turned out. They took days to dry after lanolizing, but this morning they were ready for the photo shoot.

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The Blessing, however didn’t want to do a photo shoot.

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No, she’d much rather crawl around and put leaves in her mouth.

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Or grab for the camera.

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When I finally got her to stand, it was only for a second and then she was down again.

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But she did like climbing on her chair that Uncle T made.

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I realize that this post started out as a knitting post and has quickly turned it’s focus to a cute baby. Can you blame me?

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I didn’t think so.

Okay, so knitting details. Well, for starters, the Ravelry project page is here.

Just for kicks I decided to try Russian joins. It’s clever and I like eliminating the ends to weave in later, but it isn’t very smooth as far as the knitting goes. It leaves big bumps. It’s only longies, so it’s cool, but I doubt I’ll use it again.

The yarn is all Mosaic Moon Targhee Aran. Some of it I picked up in a scrappy swap and some I had on hand. I did use one bit of Mosaic Moon Licorice Twist Aran (the pink zebra at the knees and just before the cuffs) as the legs were looking too blue for my girlie-girl.

These ended up being just a tad too big, you can see that I rolled the cuffs. And I should have used a smaller needle as the gauge is looser than I usually like for longies. But she will grow and they are just too cute.

I am extremely happy with the results.

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Mistakes Upon Errors Wrapped in Failure, Yet Still a Nice Pair of Socks!

If there is a master list somewhere of mistakes one could make when knitting colorwork socks, I am sure I could check off every item with just this one pair of socks!

Well, actually, with the second sock in this pair, because the first one is perfect! Gorgeous! Amazing! But I made the mistake of knitting the first and then taking a long break from them until I forgot how to knit it, and then tried to make the second just like the first. Which I guess isn’t really a problem if a knitter follows her pattern. But I don’t. Which still wouldn’t be a problem if said knitter took good notes on the changes she made to the first sock so that she could make the same changes on the second. Which I didn’t. In fact, on my Ravelry page for these socks I wrote of the first sock (and I quote)

“I really hate when patterns dictate how many needles you must use by giving instructions per needle instead of per row. Grrrrrr. So I don’t know if I did the gusset as written or not. I worked it logically like any other sock. It looks right. Whatever.”

As if that was going to help me with the second sock at all. I might have been okay if I had gotten right on that second sock and knit it while the first was still fresh in my mind. But I didn’t. Christmas knitting, and contest knitting, and spinning, spinning, spinning, and before I knew it, the sock had sunk to the bottom of the project bag and started gathering dust. Poor sock.

When I did finally dig out this much deserving project, I approached it with all the excitement one usually approaches a second sock. Which is to say none at all. And then I proceeded to make every mistake I could possibly make.

No, that’s not quite right. The leg went fine, as did the heel flap. And then it began. That gusset may look fabulous, but it is an evil I shall not embrace again. I’m sure it is fine if you follow the pattern, mind you. But you remember that I didn’t follow the pattern. don’t tell me which needle to use for which stitches. Give me the whole row and I will figure out how I want to arrange my needles, thank you very much.

So I knit the gusset. Oh, and I should mention that this first attempt was made in the home of a dear friend over coffee and good conversation. This means that I was not fully paying attention to the gusset. I had already done one, right? How hard could it be?

That gusset was awful. I ripped it and started again. But this time I was watching Sherlock (the episode where he dies and I cried because Martin Freeman is such a good actor that even though I know there is another season and Sherlock can’t possibly really be dead, I cried right along with poor John Watson). This means that I wasn’t paying attention. Again. I’m a slow learner.

But at this point I didn’t care. I just fudged some decreases and made it happen. I was done with this sock long before the knitting was finished.

I proceeded to knit… From the wrong chart, continuously mixing up my dominate yarn (it changes across the row – sometimes the CC is dominate, sometimes the MC), missing various color changes and not going back to fix them, and generally just trying to get it over with until I came to the toe. And then I knit the toe.

It really is a shame that I messed up the second sock so epically. This yarn is really nice. I mean, it’s really nice. It’s roll in a pile naked nice, sleep with it under your pillow nice. It’s the kind of yarn one hoards and can never find the perfect pattern for. Both colors are Dream in Color Smooshy, but the contrasting color is Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere, and boy! does that cashmere make a huge difference. Delicious.

There is a bright side to this tragic tale. And actually, the bright side is enough to blind me to the pathetic knitting catastrophe that these socks became.

Firstly, look at them.

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I can see the errors, but only if I look. Otherwise they are just lovely.

Plus, they are a wonderful kind of squishy coziness that makes my feet very, very happy.

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And, there is so much yarn leftover, that I can make another pair (using a different pattern, of course). I could probably even make a pair out of just the Cashmere.

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So, mistakes upon errors wrapped in failure, yet still a nice pair of socks. I can live with that. So can my happy toesies!

A Slippery Slope

It all started innocent enough. I was sitting here in my cold house sipping my early morning coffee and wishing I had a cosy hand knit sweater to wear. *

Then my mind started perusing the stash and I remembered that I have a sweater quantity of Dream in Color Classy that I purchased for such a thing. It is in the colorway “Black Parade”, a very pleasing black with hints of deep purple, dark blue, and deep dark green.

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Hmmm. What sweater should I turn that pile of happiness into? I wondered. I got out my iPad and logged on to Ravelry.

Fast forward a few minutes and you will see that I had moved on to striped sweaters. I also have a sweater quantity of the same yarn in “Callous Pink”, a gorgeous greyish purply pink. I could make a nice long sweater with extra long sleeves and wrap around fronts if I used the two colors together.

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But, as I usually do, I quickly turned from my search for stripes and began perusing colorwork patterns. Naturally, none of the colorwork patterns that I liked used less than four colors.

And that is how I ended up placing an order at Eat.Sleep.Knit for three different colors of Dream In Color Classy this weekend.

And I still don’t know what sweater I’m going to make!

* I know what you’re thinking. “Hey! Don’t you have lots of handkmit sweaters? Don’t you make sweaters for yourself all the time?” Well, yes, I guess I do. But I tend to make sweaters that are pretty, not cosy. What I am talking about here is a big, cosy, sweater that you may never even wear out of the house. Maybe it is ugly. Or unflattering. But it is the favorite thing to wear because it wraps the wearer in sweet bliss. That kind of sweater. I don’t have one of those yet.