Friday, December 30, 2005

It’s a Scarfapalooza!

Finally, the long promised pictures of my fantastic voyage into knitting.... rectangles. Although I am knitting now I haven’t the courage to venture beyond the basic rectangle... the scarf. All ends were woven in and all that were intended for Christmas gifts were completed.... by Christmas morning. Yes, after spending the mornning with mom, dad, brother & sister, I went home and finished knitting scarves.

First up, black and grey wool. This was intended to be a Christmas gift for my father until a coworker advised me that it was too skinny for a man, that I should make it thicker for it to be more masculine. So, this will be going to... someone else. I’m just not certain who or for what occaision yet. Perhaps I'll keep it for myself....

Second... based upon the “Classic Stripes” from “Knit Scarves!” by Candi Jensen. This is for my pseudo-brother-in-law, Jeremy (he’s married to my dear cousin Erin, who is like a sister to me). It’s Lion Brand Wool Ease, yes it is an acrylic blend, but I really liked the colors.

Here, we have a scarf for my cousin Holly. It’s Plymouth Yarn Company Baby Alpaca Grande, and I LOVE IT. It’s incredibly soft, plush and cuddly... and its super bulky which means it knits up REALLY quick. I love that in a yarn. I threw some cheap fun fur on the ends for cuteness.

Now, a scarf for Meghan, Hollys younger sister. It’s basically the same as Hollys, made with the same yarn just in pink instead of blue. I have some of the pink, blue and white yarn from these two scarves left over and I do believe that it is enough to make another scarf.... and I do have a friends birthday coming up in two weeks.... I’m just saying.

This is the scarf that scared me. It’s “Mohair and Lace”, also from “Knit Scarves!” by Candi Jensen. This one is for Erin. Thanksgiving evening, after dinner, I had Erin & Jeremy look through the “Knit Scarves!” book and pick out scarves for themselves. Jeremy chose “Classic Stripes”.... no problem - its knit and purl - easy as pie! Erin, however, chose “Mohair and Lace”. I looked at the pattern and developed an ulcer. It has decreases, yarn overs, and this lacy pattern at the ends. I did not think I was going to be able to do this considering my remedial knitting skills. But, I wasn’t going to ask her to select a different pattern. I would just bitch about it to everyone who would listen. Even those who wouldnt understand what I was talking about.. “It has YARNOVERS!” “It has this WEIRD thing where you insert the needle into the next stitch, wrap the yarn around it FOUR times, bring all the wraps through and somehow SOMEHOW that magically turns into LACINESS”. Eyes glazed over in boredom.
So, I knit Erins scarf first to get the nastiness over with. Much to my suprise, it wasn’t that hard. The first row of magical laciness went a bit slowly while I caught onto its trickery, but after that it was much much easier (and A LOT quicker) than I thought it would be. For this I used Angel Hair from Jo-Ann’s, an acrylic, wool, nylon blend. Yes, its another cheap yarn BUT it knits up soooo soft and cuddly and cozy. The best part? She loves it, immediately put it on and wore it for the rest of the day.

Now, for a work in progress. I started this, intending for it to be a Christmas gift for my father. However, I’d purchased the yarn last Saturday afternoon but by the time I realized that I didnt have enough yarn to complete it on Sunday afternoon, my LYS was closed and I would have to ship his gift off Monday in order for it to reach Boston in time for Christmas. I ended up doing some shopping Sunday night.
Luckily, his birthday is in 3 weeks so he’ll still be able to enjoy it this winter. I don’t remember what brand it is, but its a bulky merino wool. I’ve considered felting it, but don’t think I will. First of all, don’t felted items reduce in size by something like 50%? Second, I’ve never felted before and don’t think I want to experiment with my fathers birthday gift.

In addition to knitting, I’ve also been crocheting.

First up, an afghan for my friends Shauna and Jesse. Shauna and Jesse married last April and moved to Salt Lake City. I visited them there last month and helped them move into their new home. This is their belated house warming gift. I had meant to take it with me when i went to visit them, but forgot it at home and didn’t realize that until about Reno.
I met with Shauna and Jesse for lunch on Christmas Eve day, they were in town visiting her family, and was able to give them the afghan then. Shauna said it was very warm and snuggly and that she looked forward to using it on the couch in front of their fireplace. Its made with Lionbrand Homespun. Another cheap yarn, but when you're using 8 skeins....

Last, we have some bootie slippers. My little cousin Janae saw me crocheting some Ugg-style booties from another Candi Jensen publication, “Candy Babies”, and immediately started in “I want some boots. make me some boots too. PUHHHLEEEAAAAASSSEEEEE!”. Considering the pattern calls for Berrocco Suede, which is ribbon like in its thickness, I had no clue how I would make booties for a 5 year old from a pattern thats written for a 3 month old. I can adapt patterns, but not THAT well. Then I realized.... CHEAP YARN! I picked up some Lion Suede and traced Janaes feet. By using the bulkier Lion Brand yarn and 1 size larger hook than the label recommended (K instead of J) and adding 1 round to the soles, they should be a perfect fit. I know that a lot of knitters and crocheters scorn the cheaper acrylics and acrylic blends, but they can be great. Since Janae can be a bit of a diva, I went with hot pink. However, its taken on a reddish look. Are they too much like Santa boots?
She likes them, but I need to make her another pair - theyre a little too big around the ankle, so they slip off her feet rather easily. I have some purple Lion Suede so I think I'll make another pair and just add a row or two of decrease to the top of the foot before beginning the ankle. They work up very quickly. I was able to complete both of the original booties while watching Mr & Mrs Smith.

One thing I've noticed loading up these photos.... my digital camera sucks. Now, I have something to shop for with all of the overtime money I'll be making this next month. January is a crazy month at work, with new accounts starting and I'm sure I'll be working at least one Saturday, if not more.


Valerie said...

Oh Vanessa. You go girl!!!!! They are lovely. I totally want to make the pink one. Can you tell me what kind of yarn, exact color, size needles, number of cast on's, and what type of knit??? Pretty please???? :D

Shananigans said...

Wow! Now that’s what I call productivity. I LOVE the blue/white and pink/white scarves with faux fur. So fun! At first I thought those booties were supposed to be Santa boots, couldn’t tell they were pink. But they’re adorable.

Valerie said...

Vanessa, I don't see your email address on your blog.
:( mine is

Tara said...

My gosh! That's a lot of knitting! I commend you for finishing so many. I always get stuck halfway. They look awesome!