19 September 2006

kristen's christmas knitting

dear kate,
ok, i'm posting this all here so that i can keep track of it all. and also so i can get your input/approval/disgust at my choices. :) i have most of my gifts figured out, and some of them have even been started. woo. so here we go. as i start them, i'll italicize them and as i finish them, i'll cross them out. i'm very visual - i need coded lists of things. :)

brian (brother) - cambridge jacket from summer '06 IK of wool of the andes in sapphire heather.
alaine (sister-in-law) - tubey from knitty in various wool of the andes colors.
pat (aunt, my giftee in the family exchange) - garden path shawl of wool of the andes in arctic pool heather.
mom - bayerische socks of gloss in dusk
- knitpicks sock memories shawl (no longer available) of sock memories in rocky mountain dusk.
dad - leo from knitty of merino style in moss.
grandma - i have no clue. she likes glitzy stuff. any ideas?
grandpa - some modified broadstreet mittens from knitty (i don't like the shape of the mitten cap, but the template is good) of sock memories in cape cod
dan - not sure yet. he wants a gryffindor quidditch sweater, so maybe that + something else.
dan's mom - bayerische socks of gloss in concord grape.
dan's dad - irish hiking scarf and hat of andean treasure in granite.
dan's stepmom - bayerische socks of gloss in woodland sage.

ok, i think that's all of them. *phew* time to go chat with dan. :)


18 September 2006

oh my!

dear kate,
have you SEEN the new sock pattern that eunny wrote? it's the most stunning thing ever. i think everyone's getting a pair of these for christmas this year. :) i'm tempted to try out the new knitpicks sock yarn, gloss. it's a merino-silk blend that looks absolutely delicious! (i know you're not as big a knitpicks devotee as i am, but have you tried it yet? i'm hoping to find some reviews of it before i shell out the dough. not that it's expensive, of course, but i'll be buy most of my christmas yarn at once in order to save on shipping, so i'd hate to spend all that money and find i don't like it.) anyway, i'm slightly concerned that the silk content will make the cables not as crisp; i guess i'll just have to try it and see. i may need to go with something else.

i'm starting to think about christmas knitting and am feeling a touch overwhelmed. my projects this year won't be NEARLY as ambitious as last year's (think: aunt nancy's song of hiawatha stole) but i will still have a lot to do. this year the big project will be another stole/shawl/wrap thing on which i need your advice! ha! my aunt pat, a fellow knitter who has just started grad school, has requested "a light weight throw/shawl to put on [her] shoulders while studying." do you have any favorite patterns that would fit the bill? i have some ideas but none of them are particularly sparking my imagination. some input would be more than welcome. :)


13 September 2006

Wahoo! Kristen is back!

Boy has it been quiet around our blog over the last few weeks. Sorry that I've been away but the start of the academic year is always crazy and while I've been knitting like a fiend I haven't had a chance to take pictures or post. So, here's the whirlwind written tour of my knitting life... For a girl who is usually a project monogamist I've got a lot of projects on the go.

I completed the socks for Si, yep the yarn in the picture from late August has become some fabulous socks. Sadly it isn't quite yet cold enough for Si to wear them yet. But, he's pretty pleased with the finished product so I'm thinking they'll get a lot of wear this winter.

I couldn't bear the thought of not knitting socks so I've started an insanely bright yellow/orange/red/gold pair in Dale Stork. I was sure these socks were destined to be a Christmas present for my sister but I've taken a bit of a shine to them. The red is pretty fabulous and I can't help but giggle when I see them... I'll have to decide soon since I am about to turn the heel and I'll be needing a foot measurement (length) to go from soon.

In the midst of sock work I've picked up the cotton angora Debbie Bliss sweater again. I find that I wander away from it easily, turning to my good friend the hand knit sock which requires almost no brain power to complete. I think I'm afraid of failure on this one. What happens if it's too small or too large or just plain ugly?!?! Not to mention that I have absolutely no talent for weaving in ends or seaming, and this is one expensive sweater to screw up. So, I'll work on it slowly until one day it is done and then I'll head to my knitting group to find some finishing wisdom.

A few weeks ago I signed up for the International Scarf Exchange. I was sure I would get a pal in need of a wonderful wooly scarf which I could knit using some of the fabulous yarn in my stash which has no purpose. Alas, the knitting gods conspired against me and I am forced to knit something lacey in silk for someone who lives in a land of sunshine. I'm hoping to purchase the yarn and begin this weekend. So sad...I must purchase and knit with silk. Oh darn. :P

I'm also about to embark on a project that excites me to no end, a Sabbath sweater. The pastor of the church where I was raised moved to a farm with his wife when they retired. They raise sheep (he began by shepherding people and has comfortably moved on to shepherding the real thing...I wonder if sheep are easier to deal with?) and she spins, weaves and knits. I'm purchasing some black mid worsted weight yarn from them and I intend to spend my Sunday afternoons working on this sweater with the idea that the finished product would be something I would be able to wear on cold Sundays in January, February and March. An incredibly ambitious plan for the woman who is afraid of sweaters...

Last but not least, I've got three knitting groups going. First is the group I run for my students. At our first meeting we had 4 students which is a good turn out as groups like this tend to increase in number as the semester goes on (and students realize what the group is all about). Second, I've started a Stitch and Bitch in the city I live in. It's a once monthly group and there were 3 of us at our first meeting. We had so much fun that I think I have some regulars and a few other friends at work have expressed interest. Here's hoping for a massive turn out in October (4 would feel massive to me). Finally, I've been attending the North Montgomery County (MD) Stitch and Bitch. It's a big hike to head out there on a Thursday night, but the women are fantastic so it's all worth it!

All in all, knitting is good and life follows suit.

12 September 2006

oh, fudge.

dear kate,

i'll do the regular "i'm back" stuff in a minute. i just got off the phone with my grandmother. *sigh* my grandmother doesn't knit. a few months ago we went to the yarn shop near her house. she'd been there a few times and really wanted me to go with her and look at yarn. i went and offered to make her whatever she wanted as long as she bought the yarn. she picked out some manos del uruguay in granite and we decided to do a simple raglan pullover to better show off the yarn. we bought about 1000 yards of it and i brought it home to make the sweater. well, about 2 weeks ago i started winding the yarn into balls to start knitting. i sat down with yarn and needles and realized i hadn't gotten grandma's measurements. so when i took her measurements she told me she now wants a mid-thigh length cardigan and might not even like this yarn anymore! of course, now that the yarn is in balls i can't return it. i'm kinda nervous about this whole thing. just now, she called me from the yarn store and is trying to find her own pattern and yarn. i wish she'd told me she was going; i'd have gone with her and helped. i mean, she's not a knitter - i'm a little dubious of her picking the stuff out on her own. *sigh* this could be a disaster! then again, it could be just fine. i'll just have to wait and see. she said she'd call back.

well, anyway, i'm back from oblivion! i now have internet access again, which is much better than life sans-internet. for starters, if i have no internet, i do not have our blog! sad. anyway, things are ok here. i've been doing lots of knitting, though i have no pictures yet. i made a felted cloche hat for myself and have started a sweater for my dad. dan wants a john muir scarf of knit picks andean treasure in summer sky and eventually a gryffindor quidditch sweater. i'll try to take some pics this weekend and post them. in the meantime, i'm going to kalamazoo to hang out with dan and start looking for jobs.

so that's the scoop around here. as usual, i'm coveting lots of yarns and have lots of patterns in my head that i want to make, but i need to focus on christmas gifts. there's a question for you - what are you working on for christmas? i'm so curious!

i'm glad you're well. i missed you!