Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Not Much New

Well, I don't even have any cute pictures of the animals to post today. I just thought I should check in here because it has been a while. I'm trying to be disciplined about something, for heaven's sake! I have been getting sloppy about so many things.

I have been working on my Teddy Bear blanket at a rate of about 3 rows per sitting. That means that I'm not getting very far, obviously. The thing about this blanket is that it has mitred corners, so it gets bigger every other row by 8 stitches, which means it takes longer and longer to get through a row. I also think that I must be doing something wrong with it. I have 800,000,000 ends that I'm going to have to sew in.

The blanket uses a different color every row and becuase there are 5 colors, there are 5 rows before there is a repetition of the color that you're using. The dilemma here is that I don't know how else to do this but to cut the yarn at the end of each row and start it again when I get to the next use of that color. I don't know if I'm being an idiot -- I have a history of making things more complicated than they need to be -- but I can't figure out any other way to make this work other than what I'm doing. ANY help would be appreciated. I just keep coming to the conclusion that if I left the string connected and just carried it up to the next row where it is used, I would end up with a corner that is really messed up and definitely not neatly attached. Or attached at all, really -- not in a seam sort of way.

The unfortunate thing is that this darned book, as the comments on Amazon stated (I read them AFTER I started with these patterns (bought the book elsewhere) thank you very much), does not give me a clue as to what I should be doing with these ends. Maybe this is the only thing to do, but it doesn't seem very elegant a solution. Uff. I just hope it looks good in the end.

On a brighter note, I finally got to go to the Stitching Salon downtown yesterday and it was wonderful. I mean, there wasn't much to it, but it was a nice environment for knitting purposes (great, comfy looking seats) and they had some FANTASTIC artwork up on the walls there that, as far as I could tell, had nothing whatsoever to do with the Stitching Salon. I appreciated it nonetheless. I was not able to stay and knit there, however, as I had things to do. If I had, I'm sure I would have lots of good stuff to say. But, the people I did talk to there were really nice and welcoming. Good stuff!!

Also, the Socks that Rock shipment was supposed to have left Oregon yesterday, so I hope to get that soon. But, with the Chicago mail system the way it is . . . well, who knows? I can dream, can't I?

Friday, February 16, 2007

And on it goes...

Well, the Hey Diddle Diddle blanket is finally done. Here is a picture of the backing. My mom did that part and I think it saved the blanket. Please ignore how bad my intarsia is . . . .

My cat Chopper has given it his endorsement as well. Thank goodness.

My knitting of the Teddy Bear blanket goes on. The recipient baby was born a couple of weeks ago and now I definitely feel the pressure to finish this thing up! I do NOT plan on putting a backing on this one. I really don't have the patience for that stuff -- which is sad, considering the fact that I haven't been the one to actually sew on the backings. Oh well. Some day I too will learn patience. Maybe. At least I can say that I am happy to actually be finishing projects. That is something. I'm not always too good at that. It helps that the things that I'm knitting are for other people -- puts more pressure on me finishing!

On a related note, I hope to start knitting something for myself soon. I went out on Valentine's Day with my mother to find myself a knitting bag (her V-Day gift to me) and instead I cam home with a bag full of Kureyon. Again. Yes, I know I complained previously about Kureeyon's scratchiness, but really, the stuff is just beautiful, so I couldn't resist. Here is the color that I picked. I love the brightness -- wonderful for this grey, icky, COLD, time of year. I am a little worried about what it's going to look like when it is knit up. It may not turn out to be the sweater I am hoping it will. I want something I can wear with everything, etc.

Here is a picture of the design (you can almost tell what it looks like). There was another one I wanted that looked warmer -- that was the whole point in allowing myself to get yarn for myself -- but, I couldn't find an Iro that would go well with it and the gauge of the Kureyon just wouldn't do. So, I'm doing this one instead.

I have to admit another fear with this project (besides the color fear): I am afraid I will get bored with it. Besides the fact that I'm not too good at knitting stuff for myself anyway, a boring pattern could do me in. I am hoping that the delight that I feel as I watch the color pattern unravel (metaphorically) before me, I will be so excited that I will enjoy knitting this thing. I am a process knitter, rather than a project knitter, I guess you could say. I don't normally knit so that I can have something. This is a new experience for me. The good news about this project is that I think it will be some thoughtless knitting that will keep the hands busy and the mind meditating, rather than cursing. I could use some of that, I think.

Lastly, I am excited to say that I am a proud new member of the Socks that Rock club! Yes, I too succumbed. I can't wait to get the package. I am not one of those people who spends 90% of her time knitting socks, but the thought of getting a mystery package of yarn with instructions in the mail every other month was just TOO much for me to resist. So, on we go!! I'll let you know when it shows up.

Friday, February 9, 2007

The Windy City

I don't have much new to say about the knitting I've been doing. I'm STILL not done doing the embroidery on the blanket that I posted photos of the other day. I've been seeking solace-giving knitting lately and that ain't it. The teddy bear blanket I'm working on is a little better for what the Yarn Harlot calls "Idiot Knitting." But, honestly, I'm going to have SO freaking many ends to sew in when I get done it makes my blood curdle. Ahem.

So, I thought I'd write about a bright spot in my knitterly life: the city of Chicago. I have moved back here after 5 years' absence and I am so glad that I did. It's the best city in the world. For me, at least. Of course, when I say the world, I mean the very limited part of it that I've experienced.... I really like London, though.... But I digress.

Anyway, one of the coolest things about this city is how much fun stuff there is going on here and one of those things happens to be knitting!! The city has been doing a Stitching Salon this winter. I don't know if they've done it before or not, but I never knew about it. Anyway, they just extended it until the end of March. I have not yet had a chance to check it out, but I am very excited about it and am pleased that it has been extended, as that increases the chance that I will be able to see it before it closes. Obviously, it has been popular, since they've extended it. More converts!! The only bad thing about this is that it means less room for me.... But, I think I shall survive -- especially since I haven't yet made it there. But I WILL!! muahahahaha.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Will it ever end?

I am STILL finishing up my Hey Diddle, Diddle blanket.... I have finished knitting it and have FINALLY woven in all the ends. Happily, I did get the camera out and deal with it, so here is a sample of what I had to work with:

I have blocked it and am fairly pleased with it. This is a terrible picture, of course, so you can't really see anything, nor can you tell that I've blocked it, but I promise--I have. I still have to do some embroidery. I have to put the details on the faces and some stars on the blanket. I will add that while the book does show where to apply much of the embroidery, it does not show everything -- like the violin strings and bow. Also, it does show approximately where the stars go, but it does not show the exact location and size of them all. Yes, I am capable of working this out on my own, but it would be so much easier to just be told where to put these things -- this way I have to worry about balance and proportion. It is frustrating to me.

After doing this, I am going to put on a backing. I purchased some lightweight flannel the other day with a very simple baby-ish pattern for this purpose. I didn't want something that would stand out too much, so I it's hardly exciting enough to show you. My mother, who loves to sew, will probably help me with it. I don't really enjoy the finishing/sewing aspect of knitting. It is the part to which I always say: "Do I have to?"

I do hope that the mother and/or baby enjoy this blanket. It will make the embroidery stuff worth the time, if they do. But, who am I kidding? I am nuts and will continue on with my knitting addiction, which means I will continue to knit blankets or whatever for every baby or non-baby that I get an excuse for! Whether they appreciate the blankets, etc., or not. Maybe some day I'll even allow myself to feel justified in knitting things for myself....