Friday, January 30, 2009

Baby Surprise ... Garment

Well, I'm well on my way to earning that new cowl. (Still not here, and the postal workers didn't abscond with it after all, so kpixie has sweetly offered to send another my way. Kind customer service is alive! IT'S ALIIIIVE!!!)

I've been sick almost this entire week, in a bizarre twist that left me home ill from work for four days (!!), save an ill-conceived three-and-a-half hour attempt to return to work yesterday. I felt fine Monday, a little achey but I assumed that had to do with the new diet-and-exercise I've finally picked back up (down four pounds, y'all!) and then right before bed I coughed, just the once, and it had that very alarming chest rattle sound and felt ever so briefly like I'd been donkey-punched in the sternum. "Uh-oh." Sure enough, I woke up on Tuesday half-dead and have clung to that state of being ever since. The doctor said it's a virus (read: suck it up and ride it out, no drugs we can prescribe for that one) and most of what I've been capable of for those four days is napping and occasionally dragging it into the kitchen to make tea, then wheeze my way back to the couch. It was evident that I should not have gone back to work when I got there and was met with a chorus of "Whoa, what happened to you?"s and "Man, you look awful!"s. Aww, thanks, guys.

But, sickness is good for knitting - when I'm not sleeping, I'm sitting on the couch watching DVDs of TV (Bones and Big Bang Theory, primarily, since you're curious) and knitting at quarter-speed. I finally managed to pull off this baby surprise jacket I've been plugging at most of the month. Why did this seem to take so LONG when it's for such a tiny person?

Baby Surprise Jacket

Ah, that's why. Because it's a Toddler Surprise Three-Quarter Sleeve Trench Coat. I'm not sure if I did something wrong or if this is just how it turns out.... The magic of the design is cool, but it seems like the body of this jacket won't fit little Kelly until he's two, and the sleeves are already too short for him at six weeks. Then again, I know less about baby construction than I do about garment construction, so maybe it'll be fine.

Baby Surprise Jacket

Project Details:
Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann (can you believe it's my first?)
Yarn: Araucania Pomaire Multy (it's spelled that way on the label, I swear)
Needles: US 5 (3.75mm)
Buttons: some sort of polymer coated shell from JoAnn's
Start: January 2, 2009
Finish: January 29, 2009

I'm glad I made this, and I can't believe it took me so long to finally get around to one. I probably won't make it again. It's nothing against the design (again, clever as hell) but it's just so....garter. I'm one of those weirdos who just can't fall in love with back-and-forth garter stitch. I like stockinette in the round ... which is just garter stitch, really ... but flat garter doesn't thrill me. I think this is way cute and great for a baby, but I think I'm just so in love with seed stitch for babies, so Avery edges it out as my favorite baby knit so far. (In a sock yarn, that one only took me two weeks. Huh.)

I am really glad that I went with the blue buttons on this, rather than the green I almost picked up. They pop, huh?

Baby Surprise Jacket

In classic style, however, I cast on for another project before my cowl pattern gets one step forward, two steps back. That's even worse that the saying goes. And this pattern is for an item I was pretty sure I'd never ever knit, especially not for myself. Oh the times, they are a-changin'!

Monday, January 26, 2009


I think I angered a postal employee. I've not received a scrap of mail in my P.O. box in four days. That's forever in the land of coupons, catalogs, magazines, junk mail, and never-ending bills. (I owes me some money.) The last two packages I've received that were too big for my li'l mailbox went into parcel lockers, with no corresponding key or notice placed in my box, and I finally had to go beg for them after I got an e-mail from a friend wondering if I'd not received her gift or if I was just ungrateful.

And two weeks ago I ordered this pattern (click the link, click the link, it's gorgeous!) with a dire NEED TO KNIT IT RIGHT NOW and have been waiting.....and waiting.....and waiting. I have a feeling it may be sent in one of those hard-to-bend envelopes that's braced with cardboard or something (waiting for a response from the vendor on how they ship to confirm my hypothesis) in which case it, too, is likely sitting abandoned in a parcel locker, keyless. I'm getting annoyed.

I need that pattern to start that project too, because all I have on the needles currently is this baby surprise jacket for a friend's new baby:

BSJ In Progress

And this Socks That Rock sock for Travis*:

Socks in Progress

And this Wollmeise knee sock:

Socks in Progress

And this Zen String Herringbone Cowl:

Herringbone Cowl in Progress

And this handspun sock - well, not THIS sock 'cuz I already finished this sock, but the mate looks almost exactly like this one right now (from Kristi's awesome handspun that I somehow earned, but don't ask me how):

Handspun Socks in Progress

And this Silver Belle that's still waiting to be picked back up:

Silver (Ecru) Belle

So I ASK you, what in HELL am I supposed to knit until my pattern gets here??? COME ON ANGRY POSTAL WORKERS, I DON'T HAVE TIME FOR YOUR PETTY NONSENSE!

(Two things: one, I finally ripped about three projects that I had solidly determined I was not likely to ever again pick up. And second, every project that doesn't have a "for ____" after its description is for me. Yeah, I'm a selfish, selfish knitta. I'm fine with that.)

*To be fair, this I actually can't work on - I'm knitting these socks for Travis as a surprise gift for whenever, so I really only work on it when I go see movies alone, all the ones that I feel a need to see and he doesn't. There are usually a lot of those in the Countdown to Awards Season months leading up to the Oscars - I catch as many matinees as I can on weekends. Travis does his best to sit through the actual ceremonies with as little bitching as possible so that I don't have to sit there talking to myself about why so-and-so deserves this award and how such-and-such wasn't whosit's first choice for the role and why NO STARLET WILL FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PUT SOME DAMNED LIPSTICK ON, A LOUSY ECONOMY IS NO EXCUSE FOR CREEPY FLESH-COLORED LIPS, but he would probably divorce me if I dragged him to every one of my compulsive-need-to-watch depressing Award Whore movies.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Shop News

Just a quick note that there's going to be a shop update today (Monday) at 10:00 a.m. Eastern with lots of fun stuff - four different yarn bases, nineteen different colorways (some repeatable, some one-of-a-kind), and two batches of my Wait Wait Don't Tell Me yarns.

Night Watch
CashSport in "Nightwatch"

Just for my mailing list and blog peeps, too, I have a little buy-more-save-more sale code - type in the code New Year in Messages to Seller when checking out of the Etsy shop and you'll get 10% off of one skein, 15% off of two, and 20% off of three or more. (Wait for revised invoice, or I'll send a refund if you pay upon checkout.)

CashSport in "Braaaiins..."

Check out the shop!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Destashy Thing

If you're interested:

Sock yarns up for grabs - prices should be on all the Flickr descriptions, e-mail to alysonknitsATgmailDAHTcom if you're interested. (There are two Sundara yarns listed - those are swapped already, but to get rid of them I'd have to make a new mosaic and ehhhhhhhhh.)

My destash yarns

Flickr photoset of destash

Ravelry page for destash

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Just Over And Left Of The Gun

If you can complete something just under the gun, then I completed this the opposite of that. I started Silken Scabbard for my NaKniSweMo project in November. I decided shortly thereafter that I'd rather gift the sweater, so I wasn't able to work on it as much as planned, due to the giftee's presence during my long roadtrip and vacation at the end of November. I had planned to finish it by the end of 2008, and only had about 15 rounds of a sleeve left to completion on New Year's Eve, and then I kind of basically set my hand on fire making dinner and that sort of precluded getting any knitting done that night, what with all the screaming pain and aching. (Fine now, knitting well, thanks.) So NOW, FINALLY:

Silken Scabbard

Pattern: Silken Scabbard by Jennifer Hansen
Yarn: RYC Cashsoft DK
Size: 35" (M-I-L size)
Needles: US 5 Addi Naturas and Jenkins Woodworking circulars
Start: November 2, 2008
Finish: January 2, 2009

Silken Scabbard

This is obviously not knit in my size - I like a good flattering fit, but I'm not one for sweaters that make me look like Boobsy McBirthinghips, so this would SO not be my style. It was a gift for my smaller and totally lovely mother-in-law for Christmas, and it looks completely stellar on her.

Silken Scabbard, the maybe outtakes?

I am more than certain my intention was not for my ass to be quite so prominent in this photo. It was really hard to get good photos out of this shoot. Travis is one of those photographers who takes the picture about one quarter of a second after you wish he'd taken it. There are heaps of outtakes. (Warning: that last one involves a specific finger. Be aware.)

Silken Scabbard

Mods: A few, though nothing revolutionary. There were some pattern bits that didn't really make sense to me ("why do it that way when I could just do this other thing?") so I made those kinds of changes, and the sorts of changes that make sleeves shorter and narrower, stuff like that.

Silken Scabbard, the outtakes

Wheee, it's done!!

Final Thoughts: My only regret is that it's not for me :-) As far as the pattern - it's simple, but it's not for beginners. Does that make sense? It'd be easier to knit if you know what you're doing so you can maybe change some things up and save yourself some steps. Also, I REALLY wish that cramming it onto two pages hadn't been such a priority - it was like working on a pattern from Vogue Knitting. ("Hey Bill. I'm looking at this month's layout. Do you think we can get this colorwork cabled cardigan covered in one column? Including charts? Great, thanks.") But: I do LOVE this sweater and its pattern. It's clever and simple but interesting and the yarn I picked (from stash!) worked wonderfully with it. If I were starting all over, I'd knit this one again for sure.