Saturday, January 27, 2007

These are some HOT socks!

My son gave me this wonderful Classic Elite Inca Alpaca yarn for Christmas and asked me to make him socks with it. I told him the socks would be VERY warm and maybe he would like something else. No, he wanted socks, incredibly soft socks! So, I made the first sock. It was warm, very warm. He tried it on and thought about what he might like instead of socks. He thought and thought and still wanted the socks! I made the second sock. He tried on the pair and they were warm, no, they were HOT socks. He did consider the idea of leaving the toes open for ventilation but then decided that would be too weird. He now has the socks and loves them, but they will probably only be used when his feet are REALLY COLD!

One of the knitting groups that I attend has decided to make baby blankets for charity. We are each going to knit 12 squares and I think we will end up with 12 blankets that we have each contributed squares to. I am not much for finishing (sewing seams and all) so, as far as I am concerned, these are finished for me. Maybe I can knit a few extra squares so I don't feel guilty for not wanting to help with the sewing. If I really felt like seaming up some knitting, I have a basket full of sweaters that only need to be put together. I would just rather keep knitting.

Monday, January 22, 2007

I broke it already!?!

Here it is, only the middle of January, and I have (almost) already broken my New Year's Resolution! I forgot a few of the silly little knit stuff I did. My son reminded me and I was able to get them photographed so I guess I haven't really broken it, just came real close! Here they are:

The other day, I was looking through some of my stash to see what colors I had available to donate for the charity baby blankets one of my knitting groups is making and thought I should whip something up for little Michael's 1 month Birthday. I decided on this, Bunny blanket buddy, in Lion cotton. It knitted up so quickly (and my kitten just loved it) I decided to knit one up for him as well (in Homespun). The light blue with eyes, nose and mouth are for the baby and the dark one without a face is for the cat, didn't think he would care and I was right.

These were my first completed knits of the year. My son received a new camera for his Birthday this year (he's a new years baby) and he asked me to knit him a cover for it. I decided it was to small to knit a gauge swatch for (it is a gauge swatch!) and it turned out to be a little too big. I gave that one to my younger son for his Ipod and made another smaller one for the camera. The yarn is left over Lana Grossa sock yarn. They love them and they use them, which is very nice. Just so long as they don't ask me to knit ones to match all of their socks.

I also knitted some quick gifts for the upcoming February birthdays. I have a rather large family and we celebrate everyone's Birthday, which can get quite expensive, so we have put a $5 limit on gifts for the adults. It can be difficult to think of a gift for $5, but this is what I came up with, coffee cup cozies (made from left over sock yarn) with a $5 Starbucks gift card tucked inside. They are cute and fast and really didn't cost anything because they were left over. Hope they like them. My husband thinks they are kinda weird, but then again, he thinks that I should just use all the left over sock yarn to make a pair of socks. When I run out of one yarn, just start another one, "they are all stripey anyway, this just makes more stripes." I sometimes wonder if he is color blind. Maybe it is just his love for hand knit socks.

I have also finished those wonderful Alpaca socks but they are upstairs and I am not, so I will get pics. of them soon.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Maybe it's not Second Sock Syndrome

I thought I too suffered from second sock syndrome, but the other night I realized that might not be the case. I usually have 3-4 different socks on the needles at any given time (but then again I usually also have 2-3 sweaters, a shawl/wrap and a few misc. items on the needles as well). I really do enjoy knitting socks and once I have completed a sock I feel so good about myself and my work. Socks have very little finishing (finishing really bogs me down) and I like grafting the toes, it is wonderful how perfectly the graft disappears, I love it every time (that's not too weird, is it?) When I have finished a sock I feel such satisfaction, I almost can't wait to cast on the second one. So why don't I? It's not because I don't like the pattern, I have no problem ripping out a pattern I don't like to knit, and it's not because I don't like the yarn, I wouldn't have been able to finish the first sock. Must be that dreaded second sock syndrome. But then again, maybe it's not...

The other night, I finished a wonderful sock. My son gave me the most wonderful alpaca yarn for Christmas, it is so soft! It is a thicker yarn than I usually use for socks so I had to make a trip to my LYS (darn) to get size 4 dpns and I had to rip them about three times to get the right thickness and fit, but finally they were finished and they were perfect! I admired the finished sock for a few minutes and then placed it in my knitting bag. I reached in to get the yarn to start the second sock and that's when I heard something. I looked at my husband, "Did you hear that?" He was in a zombie like T.V. watching trance, "huh?" He didn't hear it. I looked around the room and there on top of the bookshelf was a small basket of the yarn I received for Christmas (O.K. it was more of a medium sized basket, jam packed and overflowing with yarn from Christmas and I few skeins I picked up when I got the size 4 needles). Anyway, the sound, it was the yarn! I swear it was calling to me! "Wait, try me, I'm new, try me!" I responded (not out loud, of course) "No, I already have a sock on #0's and two different socks on #1's. You still need to be wound into a ball and I need some #3's for you guys." I turned my head away to show my resolve and that's when I noticed the closet light had been left on. Great, a distraction, just what I needed. I opened the door and leaned in to turn off the light and there on the counter where I wrap presents was this lonely ball of baby blue yarn. "How did you get there?" I thought. I instinctively picked it up, I guess to put it with the other yarn so it didn't look so lonely, "oh, your soft" I thought. Then I remembered a friend that was going to have a baby in two days, maybe I should make a hat? I sat down, grabbed my #2's and did a quick gauge swatch. Perfect! I quickly did the math and cast on the hat, and the sock, well you knew what was going to happen.

I think this is probably very similar to what happens to most sock knitters. I also have realized that blaming it on Second Sock Syndrome just might be a better idea than trying to explain to people (especially those who don't knit), "It was the voices that made me do it."

By the way, here is the hat. Oh, and tiny little mittens, they were just too cute once I pictured them in my head, I had to knit them as well.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

New Years Resolution

This year I have resolved to photograph all of the knitted items that I have finished. Not just cast off, but acutally finished - blocked, seams sewn, ends woven in, etc. Once I made the decision to take all these photos, I wondered what I would do with them. Most of the knitters I know post photos of their knitting on their blogs, but I didn't have a blog. Then I thought, maybe it is time to finally start my own blog. So, here it is, in all it's glory.

Last year I resolved to keep a knitting journal (I didn't make the resolution until August, but that doesn't really matter). The important thing is that I did pretty good. I recorded in my journal about 50% of all the projects I started. I kept track of the yarn, needle size, gauge, pattern corrections/changes, etc. Of the 50% that I didn't record in the journal, I noted the information on the pattern and kept all the patterns in a folder. There have been a few items that were knitted up and sent off to their new homes so quickly that they were never recorded, but for the most part, I did pretty good. It was hard to force myself to stop knitting and write the info down, but I pushed on through. A few weeks passed before I realized the benefit of keeping a journal. I was about to cast on the 2nd sock of a pair, the 1st sock was finished weeks ago, and I didn't remember any of the details. Normally I would have to "read" the 1st sock and figure out what I did, but this time all the info was there in my journal. Wow! That was easy! All the time I saved not having to figure out the pattern was quickly turned into extra knitting time. Bonus!

I hope that photographing all of my finished knitting will turn out to be as beneficial as keeping a journal has been. At least it is a resolution that I think I can keep. Resolutions such as, only knitting from stash yarn, or not buying new yarn unless I need it for a specific pattern, or not having more than 4 different socks on the needles at the same time, I just don't see the point. The way I see it, if I failed (which I would) I would feel bad because I failed and if I succeed (which I would not) I would feel bad because now I have less yarn, or missed out on that great deal on the sale yarn that I would have eventually found a use for, or I just have fewer socks! Either way, I lose. I prefer my resolution because if I fail, my knitting is not going to suffer from it and if I succeed, at the very least, I will end up with lots of pictures of my knitting and have found a place to put them!

So, wish me luck. Now, I just have to figure out how to post photos.