I made my Halloween costume (well, a lot of it, anyway). I was one of those Candy Button packs. Anywho, in addition to being voted best some thing or another at my drinking knitting group’s Halloween party, I was also featured on the Ravelry main page. Feels good
Joy, my friend and one of the greatest beings on this planet, is raising money for Team in Training by selling off her fabulous collection of yarn (you will need a Ravelry account to read the last link). Please join me in buying her stuff and raising money for a truly worthy cause. If you don’t knit or crochet, you can learn. I will give two free knit or crochet lessons to anybody who buys at least $20 worth of yarn from Joy. If you don’t want to learn (and why not?!), you can also just give the yarn to me. True story.
Some lovely patron donated old knitting books to the library. We’re adding the best of the lot to the collection. I’m keeping the so-so books for my knitting group; these patterns require reworking since they’re almost uniformly huge, but aren’t dealbreakers. The final group is books of patterns so ugly and busy that I couldn’t in good conscience even sell the lot. First I’ll make sure they’re not somehow classics that go for a lot online (the library could use the moolah). Once I’ve done that, if they’re as unwanted by everybody else as they are by me, I will put them in the book sale, on the off chance that somebody wants to pay $.50 for these collections of almost uniformly unflattering knits.
So, I finished test knitting the sweetest little sweater for my Porkchop. I like the way it came out, although I still have to block it. My MC yarn was doing some weird things (like giving me randomly misshapen knit stitches), and my CC yarn had really inconsistent stretches of color, which means that none of my i-cord embellishments look the way that I want them to, but this isn’t the hugest deal. I hope that blocking will take care of the first, and that nobody will think too much one way or the other about the second. The thing I liked about this project is that I learned something new, namely how to do applied i-cord. I used this youtube video and this Purlbee blog post to help me understand how to do it on lives stitches and bound off stitches, respectively, and am already plotting how great this kind of edging would look on something else (maybe a hat?).
Wherever you are, you can help donate to Hurricane Sandy Relief efforts. If you’re near an effected area and can do something in person, consider giving of your time. If you aren’t, please make a donation. Many charities are accepting donations and helping those in need (although you should definitely be on the lookout for scams). The American Red Cross is accepting donations online, in person at their offices, and via text (text the word REDCROSS to 90999).
You may also donate items directly to those in need via Amazon wishlists that have been set up for specific neighborhoods.
However you choose to do it, go out there and make somebody’s life exponentially more awesome.
That’s not a typo. Just imagine Gollum saying the post title. I’ve become obsessed with kiddo sweaters, and have made three in as many months. They’re the perfect gift because 1) little kids need to stay warm; 2) they’re more likely to stay on than booties; 3) they’re faster to make than blankets; and 4) they’re more interesting to knit than just about anything else.
Pattern 1: Raglan Baby Cardigan (Top-Down)
The first sweater I made was for my friends who recently welcomed their first child. Can you guess their last name? I’d actually been playing around with this idea for years. Initially I thought I’d make them a blanket in these colors, but then I remembered that I’m still traumatized by the thought of knitting another baby sweater, and went back to the drawing board. I bought the yarn in March, before I knew that they were expecting. The color was exactly what I’d had in mind, and it seemed too fortuitous to pass up. Then I ended up needing more yarn for the sweater I wanted to make, so I had to turn to my fellow knitters on Ravelry. I was able to find more of this yarn, but the yarn I had was discontinued and the new yellow wasn’t as good a match for the colors of the Brazilian soccer team, which is what I’d been going for. Curses, universe! The color in those pics is pretty weird, since I took them with my cell phone (why couldn’t I have reached for my real camera?); the picture of the front of the sweater is most accurate, color-wise.
Pattern 2: Crossed Cardigan (not yet available)
The second sweater is one that I test knit. I made the 1 – 2 year old size. I didn’t get gauge on the completed project, and my model also experienced a terribly inconvenient (for me) growth spurt, so this one will be passed along to somebody else soon. This sweater was also done in one piece, but involved a lot of picking up stitches that struck me as too fiddly. The end result was lovely, though. I’ve decided that my current block-fu may not be working anymore, and finally caved and bought some blocking wires. Once they arrive, I’ll reblock this sweater and see if it ends up at the right dimensions. Even if this one doesn’t end up conforming to the suggested gauge, I think I’ll make this sweater again (the pattern includes directions for many sizes). I didn’t love all the picking up I had to do, but now that I know what to expect from this, I’m sure I could do it again.
Pattern 3: Sunnyside
I haven’t 100% of the way finished my third sweater, because I have yet to figure out how it’s going to close. I have a matching zipper I could put in it (learning that you can purchase $.27 zippers fixed something in my soul, btw), but since the buttons were the least of my concern with the Crossed Cardigan, maybe I should stop avoiding them.
So I finished my Gentle Teresa vest that I talked about in my last post. I did it in a bit over three weeks, with little breaks in between to do other things. I know that, due to the short sleeves, this isn’t a sweater in the sense that most people think of, but I’m still pretty proud of myself. I did it as part of a knitalong. I didn’t remember to check the designer’s blog as I was doing it, so don’t know if other people participated. This ended up being a pretty solitary project for me, but that didn’t really affect me. Before I started this project, I hadn’t finished an actual adult-sized garment before (accessories don’t count), so I’m pretty proud of myself. Plus, it’s really cute! I wore it to a Pints and Purls meetup, and my buddies didn’t realize that I’d made this. They thought that I’d purchased it, which made me feel good. Getting props from the general public is nice, but it’s always awesome when fellow knitters, who understand how time consuming it can be to make things by hand, think that something handmade was actually professionally done. Or something. That sentence made more sense in my brain jelly.
I rethought my decision to make my Heather Hoodie my Halloween costume, mostly because that thing has tured into a drag to work on. My second idea was to be Baberham Lincoln, complete with a top hat and beard, but now Frankenstorm is happening, so I’m not really sure what’s going to happen.
My poorly-done attempt at a sewn dress last year never saw the light of day because of the freak October snow storm the weekend before Halloween, and now dire weather is threatening my participation in Halloween 2012.