Fresh off the needles....FINALLY. I tried them on and they are perfect. (Do you block socks? Once on your feet, they certainly look blocked, so I rarely do.)
2015 is creeping to an end, and a 2015 resolution was to get UFOs and WIPs in order. (oops.) But---why did this project linger? I zipped through the first sock; it was a test knit for Brandy and I knew she wanted more eyes to look over the instructions. The pattern was written perfectly, I loved the resulting sock (although I didn't much like doing a toe-up start, and the short-row heel is not my usual one--simply an 'old dog' issue on my part), and there is no texture I love doing more than a leaf motif.
Madelintosh sock yarn. Heavenly. I absolutely have no excuse for the 6-month completion time. And now that I did the toe-up for a second time...you know, it's not that bad. And that heel? Fits nicer than my usual flap heel. The detailing on this pattern really was quite lovely. If you are looking for a nice January sock knit---I can highly recommend this pattern.
In keeping with the UFO clean-up, I moved on to this...
I have a knitting rule.... TWO mistakes (one can be a nagging 'problem'...like, I'm not sure of color combinations, gauge might be a teeny bit off, something just doesn't feel right) and I rip it out. No questions. No debate. No delay. RipIT RipIT RipIT
Then why, if there is only ONE mistake or 'problem', do I continue knitting while I fret about it?
Sometimes I will knit on something for days, knowing deep down that the project is doomed.
Sometimes the knit goes into hibernation for months while I secretly hope that the knitting gnomes will come and fix the goof up. (Don't laugh. They apparently actually came once-----one time I resurrected a sweater that had spent years in time-out. I couldn't figure out what had sent it there, so I finished it, and it's become one of my favorites. Banishment to indefinite time-out is a tactic I now use rather frequently.)
Sometimes I'll continue on until I make (or discover!) that second mistake....and POOF!!! those stitches will come flying off the needles.
My shwook wasn't making me happy. I find color placement with fair isle difficult. I was fine with my color choices (I've seen many more beautiful combinations, but I'm working with what I have), but their placement in the design seemed to lose the design entirely. This is most likely going to be a 'walk-the-dog' hat, and believe me, Freddy will never notice a misplaced color or two. Even though I decided the color placement was a bit wonky while working chart #1, I merrily knit on through the whole of chart #2.....finally checking back with the pattern only to discover that I had failed to knit the plain rows between charts.
I frogged that thing faster than a frog leaps.....
So fast, I didn't even THINK to grab my camera. I was so relieved to have a real reason to rip it out.
Better? I don't know. Maybe it's too yellow now. I guess I'll knit a little more.
Last winter I made this. I really liked the pattern....I still do, although I now know it's not a flattering one for me. But moreover, it was most definitely not a flattering one for this yarn.
The winter photograph is awful, but you can see how the yarn lightly, although irregularly, striped. Really not attractive with all that stockinette. What still amazes me, though, is....not only did I finish this sweater, but I let it sit in the closet for awhile (I guess hoping that the yarn fairies would come and magically make it prettier??). They never came.
The yarn really was a dream to knit with....madelinetosh tosh merino light. And it actually was still pretty wonderful frogging it....miles of that soft beautiful yarn running through my fingers (actually just 1260 yards, but who's counting?).
The trade-off? (There is usually a silver-lining if you look hard enough....) I got to handle it yet a third time! I'm much happier with these results.
My knitting this week has been rather uninspiring...(unlike my book!!!!!!!), so let me get the knitting out of the way fast. This is a socks-that-rock club pattern and yarn from some years ago---I've lost track. It was too big for me--it fit #1 Daughter, but she has declared a moratorium on socks. I really dislike afterthought heels; it's sportweight yarn which to me is just too heavy. It went from sock to this......
in no time flat! Yeah. That project is done. Check.
I then proceeded to frog a vest I started sometime in the 90s--well, maybe not that long ago, but I don't even wear vests. I don't know why I started it (cul-de-sac vest) except that it has an incredibly wonderful cable incorporated into it. Surely, I can find some other way to use that cable. Check off another WIP that is no more--and I retrieved two favorite stitch markers in the process. That was definitely a win-win.
So--what is currently being worked on? I could almost see the yarn trembling for fear that it was going to meet the demise of its neighbors in the closet as I pulled it out....
(those are just plain ole "vanilla socks"--co 64 st. and go--in unknown yarn that I love)....but THE BOOK!!!! Oh, my--the book!! Where to start. (Just about) everything about this book is perfectly done. The styling and photography is outstanding.
There are pictures of the food, pictures of the craft projects being made and being used, pictures of the parties, and just plain beautiful pictures. It's divided into "seasonal" parties (and something like the egg-dyeing spring party and the strawberry picking/jam making party have a specific "window of opportunity") but many of them could be used anytime of the year. For each party you are given a list of materials you need and a timeline to get everything done. Natural ingredients/natural materials are obviously used throughout--as the title indicates.
But, while the title calls this a party book---please be assured it is so much more! Sure, I would have given my eye-teeth for this kind of book 35 years ago when my kids were party age. But now, as a grandma to 7 (under the age of 9) this book is a resource guide for all kinds of fun things to do at Grandma's. (I guess, though, every day at Grandma's is supposed to be party-day, right??? )
And as a recipe book....YUM. Natural ingredients presented very inventively; there are several I'm planning on making for my dinner club in May. Lemon-vanilla pizzelles? Sweet and savory strawberry and apricot tarts? Grilled peach, blackberry, and granola pafaits with lemon-vanilla whipped cream? These are seriously delicious sounding recipes! As I was thumbing through the book, PapaGeek happened by at this page....
and was just about beside himself.....BREAKFAST for DINNER!!!! (his favorite meal).
Join Ginny for yarnalong---and, she's a contributor to the book!!!
(way up at the top I said the book was almost perfect.....I think they misspelled Ginny's name in the acknowledgements. bummer. otherwise--perfect.)
This has been sitting in time-out for almost a year. In fact, it came off the needles, I took one look at it, and sent it directly (do not pass GO) to time-out.
Sometimes that works. Something that just doesn't do much for me initially, somehow mellows or transforms or has an attitude adjustment, and when I discover it months (sometime years) later, I'm in love again. Not this time.
I remember being really excited when I knit this, and for the life of me, I can't understand why.
First, the yarn. It's chirimen by Noro. Typical of a lot of Noro yarns, it's not exactly what you would call soft and drapey. While it's a dk wt, the cotton/silk/wool blend just knits up heavier and stiffer. STRIKE ONE.
The pattern is by Jenny Watson, Design 10 top and the model looked just adorable in the picture. She was probably about 25 years old and a size 2. I'm not. STRIKE TWO.
I really loved the color. The fact that I don't WEAR stripes apparently never crossed my mind STRIKE THREE.