Saturday, November 28, 2015

No Mean Feets

The past few weeks have left me little time for the needles, but I have managed to get a few things completed.

First of all, are these stranded slippers, called baffies in Scottish parlance. They're the first pattern in the Seven Skeins club I subscribed to recently. I was going to postpone making these until later in the new year, but I wanted to make something handknit for a friend of mine with a November birthday and I thought these would be just the thing. I hope you like them, Mary Peace!

They're pretty easy to make. Although you can see I had some tension issues, they're really not as different in size as they appear in this photo. They're made toe-up until the garter stitch striped heel. That's worked flat and then joined with a three-needle bind-off. Then it's finished off with an applied I-cord edging. A smart design, really. The white color is called Ptarmigan and the other is called Highland Coo after the shaggy cows of The Highlands. But everyone in Austin thinks it's UT Burnt Orange. I have to admit it's pretty close!

I've also finally gotten around to completing the first of my Domino socks using the ombré-spun Crazy Zauberball yarn I got in Maryland. The rainy, gloomy weather in north Texas this long holiday weekend has given me plenty of time to catch up with this project. It's been on the needles for months. I usually pick it up when something else gets too big or complicated to be easily portable, so I hadn't been working on it with any regularity. The black toes and afterthought heel are a bamboo/wool/silk combination called Panda Silk. This yarn would look better on 2mm needles instead of the 2.25mm that the rest of the sock is knit with, but it'll do. I turned once again to Janelle's excellent instructions for an afterthought heel. So helpful! One more sock to go...

I'm getting pulled in a lot of directions inspiration-wise. I've got my eye on a pullover pattern, I need to make a hat for a friend, I'm kicking around blanket ideas, and I've been wanting to try my hand at a houndstooth double-knit scarf. There's never not something to knit!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Happy Birthday, Sis!

I finished the Miss Grace Shawl this week and gave it to my sister for her birthday. I think she likes it!

My sister is five years younger than me, so we never really overlapped at the same schools. But we now live in the same city, and while we talk and visit and follow each other on social media, we don't get together as often as we should. That can happen as siblings get older. But it doesn't have to.

My sister is a pretty amazing and inspiring person to me. She picked a kind and smart husband, has raised two responsible, bright kids, and has taught elementary music to hundreds of kids over the years. Our parents died at fairly young ages, which can be hard when you're just starting a family of your own. Susan has coped and carried on through it all. I'm amazed when I think of us all as little kids and how she and I and our brother have all created such different and interesting lives. I guess things have always been that way. Maybe you have to reach a certain age to appreciate this change? I wonder how I'll look back on all this from a vantage point even further along someday.

I was kind of stunned looking at the pictures I took of my beautiful sister modeling the shawl -- thinking about all me and my siblings have been through, and how very much she looks like our mother. Very fitting that this pattern is called Miss Grace -- that was our mother's name. And Susan wears both mantles well. She reminds me, so, so much of Mom.

And she had some news -- this just warms the cockles of my crafting heart -- she's been learning to knit! Her neighbor has been helping her learn, and we will soon be setting up a time to get together for some handwork and some reminiscing, like our mom and my aunts, like my grandmother and her friends. I can't wait to see what cool things she'll create. Happy birthday, Susan!

On the pattern itself, I can highly recommend it. As Staci said, it's just about the most fun you can have with garter stitch. I love how the instructions are as much an infographic as a pattern, and it's cool watching how the forms distort and cause the fabric to flow in different ways. Oh, and I sent in my picture from my last blog post and got in the top 10 of SKEINO's photo contest! I would follow Staci's instructions on the increases on the corners for the edging -- I didn't care for the method written in the pattern so much, although I did it. And be careful -- I had only a yard or two of the light color leftover at the end.