Friday, January 18, 2008

What girth!

Wow - I never realized how BIG size 17 needles were! My mother requested that I knit my nieces (ages 4 and 15 months) some hats because it's actually cold in Memphis, so I decided that the Elf Hats from Handknit Holidays would be a speedy project. Yup - 2 hats in about 4 hours. Whoever said that size doesn't matter was full of sh!t - big needles crank out cute hats in no time flat.

(Hayden is such a gracious model, huh? Even saying "cheese" from the side!)

Pattern: Elf Caps from Handknit Holidays
Yarn: Cascade Lana Grande
Needles: Size 17 (ugh) Denise interchangeables AND dpns
Discussion: These are adorable and SUPER QUICK. I hate working on needles bigger than 9s, but it took so little time that it was over and done with before I really got a chance to bitch. (I'm talking about knitting - nothing else.) Unfortunately I can't send them until Tuesday since Monday is MLK Day and it would cost an arm and a leg (which is about the same size as the needles I used) to FedEx/UPS them over the weekend. The weather is so weird in Tennessee that by the time the hats make it to their recipients, it'll probably be in the 80s.

Here's another quick knit:

(I suck at taking self portraits. I always end up looking like such a dork.)

Pattern: Caliometry from Knitty
Yarn: Filatura di Crosa 127 Print
Needles: Size 8 circular
Discussion: Since the forecast called for cold temps this week and I was running on Tuesday morning, I decided to put my Architectural Rib Pullover down for an afternoon and whip out a cute running headband. I made the same mod that a lot of Ravelers did - cast on fewer stitches (88, to be exact). Other than that, I followed the pattern exactly as written. I. LOVE. THIS. HEADBAND! Up until tonight, I thought it was the fastest and most useful thing I have ever knit. It's adorable. (And to think that I look cute in it is unreal. Never did I think my hair would be long enough to look cute in something like this.) I've even taken it to the gym with me and shown it to people who really couldn't give a crap about it. I foresee many Caliometries in my future. Maybe next year all of the kids in my gift-receiving circle will get Elf Caps and all of the women will get Caliometries.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Rackin' them up!

I'm racking a lot of things up these days:

1. Knitting projects in progress. First up I have my Architectural Rib Pullover from The Natural Knitter.

I'm OBSESSED with this sweater. I love the pattern, I love the yarn - hopefully I'll love the outcome! I'm finished with the big fat cabled sandwich board part - now on to picking up stitches on the sides to complete the sweater, including the sleeves.

(My husband liked it better when I was modeling my progress for him before I put the cami on. Sorry - only he has naked boobie privileges.)

Next up is the Gathered Pullover from the Winter issue of IK that I'm finally getting around to:

Yarn looks familiar? That's because it's Rowan Kid Classic, which I recently used for my Tree Jacket. This is a really pretty light brown color, almost like brown sugar. I bought it from a fellow Raveler. The idea to use it for this pattern came from seeing another Raveler's finished sweater. She shortened the sleeves to just above the elbow, which I'm also going to copy. Like I said in an earlier post, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? Obviously I haven't done much on this sweater. I just cast on Friday night and have 3 measly rounds done.

Finally, I present to you another pair of Fetchings:

I'm using Cascade 220 superwash in a charcoal grey color. These are for a triathlete friend, who saw my green cashmere ones and requested a pair for himself. Yes, I said himself. "But shouldn't you be making some Dashings for him, Nakedie?" Yes, I probably should - but he didn't see those, and he knows nothing about knitting. He tried my Fetchings on and they fit pretty well, so I've just lengthened the ribbed part in the middle and done 3 cable rounds at the top instead of one. I'm also going to do more rounds for the thumbs and a regular bind off instead of the picot. Hopefully they won't look too girly. And hopefully the curling that's happening at the bottom will uncurl with a good blocking. If I could ever pry myself away from my Architectural Rib Pullover, I could get these done and out the door. We've worked out a trade - these for some Desoto (my favorite brand of triathlon wear, which also happens to be one of his sponsors) schwag.

2. Knitting works in the planning stages:

The top left skein of Filatura di Crosa 127 Print is for a Caliometry from Knitty for me. I want a cool headband to wear while running - like I have so much hair to control. But my hair has gotten long enough to look cute in a do-rag these days, so I figured what the hell. I've seen some cute ones on Ravelry, so I want one for my very own.
The bottom left skein of Rowan Felted Tweed is for a pair of Knucks, also from Knitty. (Ravelry is really bad for making me add more projects to my queue!) I've already picked out what I'm going to embroider on them: IRON CHIK. How great will that be, whenever I get around to them?
The middle 4 skeins were a) bought at Michael's (I typically don't do that) because b) they're for making a couple of Snuggles. Snuggles are little blankets to put in kennels at animal shelters. I figure the four-legged recipients will not be yarn snobs, so cheap stuff will be best. Plus, they'll need to be washable to clean the poop, pee and hair off of them frequently.
The last skein of MamaE's sock yarn is for another pair of socks for Hayden. I was fortunate enough to meet MamaE herself at the Maryland Sheep & Wool festival I went to with Eunny in 2005 (y'know, before Eunny gained celebrity status with her new IK editor position). She's a really cool woman with a really cool job (autism therapist) and a super cute son. I found her sock yarn sold at a local LYS, so I bought some for my mom for Christmas and some for myself. Hayden loves handknit socks - better for sliding across our hardwood floors.

3. Running hardwear! In earlier posts, I talked about racing against Pebbles. So far I've beaten her in 4 races. I've heard that it's really been upsetting her, so that makes it all the more fun! Yesterday we did the Chickasaw Chase 10 miler in Henderson, TN. It was hilly and tough. Because I had been told that she's been wondering about me - who I am, what my motives are for doing these races, yada yada - I decided to mess with her a bit and run right behind her for the first mile. Yup - bitchy move on my part, but it worked - she turned around and looked at me 4 or 5 times. I then proceeded to blow by her uphill. Hee hee! I did a 1:18:47 - good enough for 1st place in my age group. 2nd went to Pebbles herself for 1:19:40-something. Last weekend we were in Memphis at the Hill & Dale 8-miler. Rain, wind, and some nasty hills slowed me down some, but I ended up with a 3rd place time of 1:04:41. She ran a 1:05:51 - 5th place, which didn't get an award. I've also beaten her at 2 other races and received 1st place honors. So I have 2 trophies, a medal, a pair of gloves, and a framed picture to put on my shelf. Not bad, huh? These races are low-key and they've been a lot of fun. I'm going to do 2 more in this series - a half marathon on Feb 16th and a 15K on March 1st. She'll be at both of those - wish me luck!

One more thing: my silly little Hayden turned 8 last Sunday. I have an 8-year old - ack!!!

Happy birthday, baby! Today is your special day. A day filled with fun and surprises.
Gotta love him, even if he does stick his hand down his pants right before I take a picture.