Victory is MINE

I made a sock. And darnit....it looks like a real, live sock! Notice, how I do not have to fiercely point my toes like some stressed out ballerina in order to fake a foot arch. This baby hugs my foot all the way from dry, itchy calf skin to chipped black toe nail polish. This (near) flawless creation of humble wool and nylon deserves my unfettered devotion and awe. I think I'll make her a mate to keep her happy and fulfilled. I'll even bite my tongue about how unflattering this colorway and pooling looks on me. I don't want to make her self-conscious before her first public appearance.

I also finished another Watt afghan square. I could not believe how much yarn and effort this little 10.5 inch square gobbled up. Sure, the result is all squooshy and texturelicious, but LORD! A skein and a half for one stinkin' square?!


The Barter System

Pattern: "Everlasting Bagstopper" by Amy Singer, available free here

Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy (015)

Needles: US5 and US11 circs, worked both flat and in the round

Plus: I loved the cool touch and silky drape of the yarn, even if it lacked flexibility. I'm very interested in doing a t-shirt out of this now, such as the Leaf T-shirt. Or maybe Buttercup. Easy, easy pattern and very quick work once you switch needles. The drawstring action at the bottom makes for a pretty sweet extra feature (and without it, the bag wouldn't have such a cheeky name).

Delta: I hate sewing, and the thought of securing those pretty ribbon handles on in such a way that would bear significant weight made me queasy. SO, I bartered a swap with a friend who's handy with a sewing machine. She did a lovely job with some contrasting white thread, and I won't worry about the handles for a second. My only other gripe about the project is that it takes more than one ball of hempathy, but there is NOWHERE to hide the trimmed ends. I wove them in, but they worked themselves right back out and are waving their rotten arms at the world. Ah well. Back to my smarty-swap:

Pattern: "Razor Shell Neckwarmer" by Wanett Clyde, available as a free download on Ravelry

Needles: US 5 circular, worked in the round

Yarn: Mirasol Chirapa (708 Multi)

Mods: didn't follow directions; faked a compromise half-way through; who gives a whoop?

Plus: The yarn is pretty, but I had no idea how I was going to use up half a skein of Chirapa until a few seconds before I made this. Very quick work (two weekday nights) with an elegant impact. Overall, a good time/fiber investment.

Delta: It is not as lacey as it's supposed to be because I am apparently not as bright as I'm supposed to be. Also, Jake has given me a hard time about this project, implying that a "neckwarmer" is a bizarre and useless gift, a glorified dickie, a sweater-less turtleneck, a broken scarf, etc. I have tried hard to pretend that it's totally chic and fashion forward. Hence, the model-esque kissy-pout below.

But he just might be right.


Well, blast!

I'm stuck! Sick in bed with something awful. Doc tested me for flu, and that's out, but thanks to all sorts of nasty symptoms right out of a horror flick, I left his office with two bizarre prescriptions anyway. Turns out, we're in a surprise money crunch just for today: a rare confluence of unfortunate events has left us with around $3 until tomorrow, when we'll suddenly have bazillions (or what feels like bazillions to a teacher and a grad student), so I can't take the meds and feel better until tomorrow. Boo.

I think I felt this coming; some kind of storm was brewing deep within me all Friday. I felt oddly sick and depressed and fatigued in a way I could not accurately describe. Everything I saw Saturday made me sad or angry. Sunday, I was a boiling ball of untouchable fury...with a few sniffles. Sigh. Amazing how a little physical imbalance will send your whole world toppling. I have occasionally lusted after a "sick day" home from school during which I would just rest and knit. But now, I realize that I am too miserable to focus on knitting and left too suddenly to have set up my kiddos with an activity worth their time. I just want my world to go back to the way it is supposed to be.

In knit-land, I've started the second sleeve of Jake's cobblestone, with the first sleeve already knitted in. I'm really buzzing through the bridesmaid shawls now, putting in at least an hour a day (on days when I find I second to sit down, that is). My knitting group has created a knit-a-long based on the Booga Bag, which is causing a little stress right now since I'm running out of yarn and don't know what I'll use next, nor do I have a plan for what the finished project will look like, even though I'm probably 25% through it already. What an adventure! Also, I've picked up sock knitting again and really hope it works this time. Finally, the Watt afghan continues. Note the fancy-pants cabling job.


Here comes the bridesmaid

Pattern: my own; garter rib stitch rectangle
Yarn: Knit Picks Cadena (cranberry); Knit Picks Suri Dream Solid (hollyberry and chili pepper)--all three held together
Needles: US 17 circular (worked flat)
Size: 48" x 12" for the extra-large with a CO of 102; for the large I will CO 98, medium 94; small 90

Plus: This is insanely warm, which is great because we'll be wearing them in January over strapless dresses. I'm also pleasantly surprised by the Suri Dream. Knit Picks claims that this is a less-itchy alternative to mohair when you want that haloed, fuzzy look; when I run my hand over this, the word "silky" always comes to mind, even though the whole thing is just wool and brushed alpaca.

Delta: I "designed" this shawl by pinning a towel around my shoulders to find the perfect dimensions, and neglected to incorporate the element of stretch. I could have made this way smaller, intending the wearer to pull it snugly about the shoulders, achieving the same finished dimensions. I'm afraid that a metal pin will not be sufficient for holding these babies up, long term, and a studier shawl stick made for heavy knit-wear will be better.
My split-neckline tee is in hiatus until I buy more yarn. As you can see here, although I'm supposed to be moving on to the bottom trim at this time, it is still a belly shirt. (Reader, please note that I tried this on over a maxi-dress, thereby hiding the 2.5 inches of horrifically white, flabby belly which stretches out below the current hemline. If it doesn't look so short here, then just trust me...it is.) In case the orange yarn Knit Picks sends me is a different dye lot, I will make a single "decorative" garter stitch row in the contrast beige color before making the dye lot shift. I hope that will work and look kinda intentional. I'm thinking two more balls will be sufficient, but at $2.50 a ball, I figure buying a third ball is just good business.

I celebrated the beginning of my 27th year this week. The husband showed his support of my sick, sick addiction by buying me a new camera!!! I'm still learning how to work the durned thing, but hopefully, you will start seeing much better photography here. He also bought me a new stitch dictionary and took me out for a fabulous dinner at Neighborhood Services, otherwise known as our new favorite restaurant. For my foodie friends, we had cocktails at the bar (a black Russian and a "Beauty School Dropout"), lobster and ricotta fritters as an appetizer, a bottle of St. Francis old vine Red Zinfandel, beef tenderloin with three pepper au jus and hashed potatoes (for him), pot roasted short rib with rosemary shiraz glaze and toasted gnocchi (for me), and butterscotch pot de creme for dessert. I'm still reeling.