Sunday, November 25, 2007

Berroco Sweater Done

My great nephew's first birthday was today, and the sweater was gifted as planned. It fit him nicely, and I am happy with how it turned out. I put the cord stopper and the button on this morning before heading out to the party, and forgot to take photos, so these were done at my niece's house in a hurry, but there they are. I don't know if you can see the button up close (click the pictures to make them bigger) but it is a cute little dalmation dog.
I finished the sweater about two weeks ago, the night before I went in for surgery on my left thumb. I have arthritis in the base of both thumbs, but the left had gotten so painful on a daily basis and hurt to do things as simple as washing the dishes and even washing my hands, so it was time to take care of it. The surgery involved removing some bone and putting ligaments in its place, and I will be splinted for about ten weeks. The doc tells me I will be able to knit "as tolerated" before then, and I look forward to that. I feel lost without my knitting now - not sure what to do with myself. I can't really clean house (like that's appealing anyway), too much computer time is hard on my neck, and I have never been one to spend much time in front of the TV, except of course, with my knitting. In trying to solve this dilemma last week I found myself in Barnes and Noble buying buying one of Oprah's latest book selections, "Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follett. I used to read all the time, but have gotten away from it as my handcrafts took over more and more of my time. I am enjoying this book very much, and every time I DO read a good book I vow to spend more time reading. Maybe I will have to put it on my list of resolutions for the new year. I know there is a stand alone "sequel" to this book and I am certain I'll want to pick it up.
Even though I am not actively knitting right now, I am surfing blogs and Ravelry and impatiently waiting for healing to progress so I can get back into action. I bought the book Scarf Style a few months ago and have fallen in love with Lady Eleanor's stole. I was THIS CLOSE to ordering the Noro Silk Garden last night. I had the number of skeins punched in and the credit card poised on my keyboard. Why did I stop?? I am not sure. I think it would make a fabulous Santa gift for me under the tree though, don't ya think?? Maybe later this week I'll follow-through and place the order.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Ready or Not, I'm Blogging

For some reason I wanted to wait to post until I had finished Chevron socks to show, but it seems that may be awhile yet, so ready or not, I figured it's time to blog. The socks were to be done for the SAM4KAL, and I had aimed for September, and then October, and they are still not done! They are like the never-ending socks, I tell you what. I am finished to the point of grafting the toe on the second sock, but there is a glitch in the system. The heel just isn't fitting properly. I knew it wasn't when I finished the first sock and was able to try it on, but I wasn't sure what to do about it, and tried fooling myself into thinking "they'll be fine". (Maybe it was the fact that I broke one of my first short wooden sock needles trying the sock on before it would fit over my foot that caused this foolish attitude?) This is my first sock with an afterthought heel, and really, I love the way they look, especially when a contrasting color is used for the heel, but this just wasn't working for me. So, once I got the second sock done past the heel and got that on my foot, I realized they won't be fine. Luckily, Random Knits is one of the blogs I read regularly, and Donna recently had the same issue with an afterthought heel from another pattern. (You can see the contrasting heels that I mentioned on her Slinky socks.) I e-mailed Donna yesterday, and she was kind enough to give me some pointers about how to go back and re-knit the heel and shorten it up some. If you click the photo below to enlarge it, you will see how the heel is rather long and "pointy". It seems there is just too much 'fabric' there. Armed with Donna's hints, I will undo the kitchener (yikes!) and tink back (rip?) and see if I can shorten the heels so that they are appropriately round and cup the heel like they're supposed to. I am not sure what caused this issue, as the rest of the sock seems to be on gauge and fitting good. My pattern is from Sensational Knitted Socks, but I know Donna's was not. I love this book and don't mean to say anything negative about it at all - I'm just sayin' this pattern did not work out for me this time.

I've also been working on the baby sweater for my nephew. I've got one sleeve completed, and I'm about half done with the second, then on to the hood. I was surprised to see this pattern calls for a drawstring. I thought they were no-no's for kids this age - I am making the biggest size, for a 2 year old. I asked a few people and they thought it was OK, and I have decided I will go ahead and knit the casing and put in the drawstring, and mom can take it out if she doesn't want him to have it. I may do some research on that issue. Certainly I don't want him to hurt himself.

Next socks on the list are for my older sister, Deb. All of my socks so far have been for myself, except for one pair I made for my teenage daughter. My daughter hasn't worn hers yet - she is stuck on white athletic socks, and I keep telling her she needs to expand her horizons, especially with her black "dress" boots. She only has athletic shoes and this one pair of boots, so obviously her horizons need more expanding than just my socks, but that is another issue entirely. (Don't tell her I said that.) Anyway, when my sister was over the other night I brought out my ever-expanding tub of sock yarn (I need a bigger tub already) and had her choose her yarn. She chose this Mountain Colors in the Steelhead colorway. It is certainly lovely yarn, and I think it will make beautiful socks. Deb has always appreciated good socks, and I hope she won't be disappointed with what I knit up for her.

Finally, I got another picture of the baby sweater from a few posts back being worn by my adorable nephew showing his true disposition, along with my puppy, Zeppelin. (I was so tickled the other day to find another train button for the top button hole! I haven't gotten the sweater back yet to put it on, but was pleased to have solved that dilemma. ) Anyway, I can't help but sharing this, as they bring me great joy and this picture is a keeper!