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what am I doing here?

in which susan proceeds to get caffienated and knit all day. if only I could get paid to drink coffee and knit... that would so be the shiz-knit.

tmi 1.12.2008 |

I'm here! I'm here! dang, I cannot believe it is already 2008! and what have I got to show for it? quite a bit actually... if you hang out in my neck of the woods on flickr or ravelry, this post will be incredibly redundant for you (especially if you've already seen the exact same stuff copied and pasted in both places - I guess this makes three). but you already know I'm lazy (altho, I prefer "efficient"), so I hope you're not bothered!

a little bit of old news which isn't on flickr or ravelry, tho, is that I've been living in my very own money sucking house for almost 3 months now! I hit the 3 month mark of closing on my townhome just this past thursday. hooray! I'm crazy poor now, but at least I have my own somewhat quiet space to be in. and I love it! isa and I settled in pretty quickly - I spent about a week moving a couple of carloads each day and immediately unpacking what I brought into the house, which made the actual we're-really-actually-living-here-for-reals day a comfortable transition. the important part is that the yarn has been unpacked and sorted and resorted and reresorted several times, which was more than enough to shame me into not buying any more yarn that is not absolutely necessary.

like this christmas gift from myself to myself:

hello! have you ever knit with butter? because, now, I have. and I am totally savoring every second of being together with this yarn. closing my eyes and rubbing it on my cheek... if this is the only stuff I had to knit with for the rest of my life, I would be perfectly content. mmm, mm good. also, do you know the story behind this yarn? previously (but no longer! check it out!) blogless wendy introduced me to this small and amazing company. this is what "made in china" is all about, baby. (btw, I'm making dashing from knitty.)

here's where the redundancy (and potentially way more information than you ever wanted to have) begins, so feel free to go away if you already know how this ends and/or don't care! I've got some FOs to share. in no particular order... (but including a mitten pattern at the end)

pattern: brioche stitch hat
yarn: fun with yarn merino/tencel
needles: us13 clover bamboo dpns
finished: january 1, 2008
notes: how yummy is this yarn?? it's been sitting in my stash for what seems like forever and I finally decided to do something with it a couple of weeks ago. I knit and reknit this yarn 4 or 5 times - I actually had originally started out making a slouchy type hat (maybe I'll upload photos of that sometime), but decided to rip it out and do the brioche instead. the yarn is still as silky and shiny and tasty as it was in the skein! hopefully I'll actually get some wear out of this thing. :)

pattern: vest, debbie bliss essential baby
size: 0-3 mos
yarn: debbie bliss baby cashmerino, in a pale green
needles: us2 and us3
notes: I knit this for my pregnant knitter friend's unborn baby for christmas. I had bought the book for said friend and thought, heck, why not make something quick a cute from the book as part of the gift? what's quicker and cuter than an itty bitty vest? so cute. but not so quick. I think I spent like 4 nights just picking up the stitches for the neck and arm bands. bah! it seriously took forfreakingever. but it's done! and she liked it. and it's cute. and, btw, the entire book is super super cute. I had to talk myself out of keeping it and only giving her the vest. shh... don't tell her I said that. ;)

pattern: my own
yarn: some handspun I picked up last time I was in san diego...
needles: can't even remember anymore
finished: a couple of months ago
notes: when I first finished this hat, isa was all excited to wear it and put it on immediately. it stayed on her head for about one minute. then she said it was too tight or too itchy or something like that. I think the yarn is 100% wool, and though it was really nice, it wasn't the softest stuff out there. so I bought some hello kitty fleece and sewed in a lining. she still wasn't pleased. so it sat in her toy bin for a few months. the other night, out of the blue, she was walking around the house wearing it! I was shocked because I couldn't even get her to keep it on her head long enough for photos the first time around. anyway, I'm bummed the hat is still a bit tight. maybe I'll make another in the same style next winter, in a larger size, because I think it's super cute!

time for some pattern notes!
pattern: herringbone mitts by elliphantom
yarn: patons classic wool in green and cream
needles: knitpicks options us5 and us7
finished: december 24, 2007 (just in time! whew!)
notes: so, I started these quite some time ago, when I had visions of lots of handknit christmas gifts. this was my first foray into colorwork, and I wanted to give myself ample time to get them done. I knit the first one on a us6 (those little 8" clover circs - love 'em!), but it came out just a little bit too small. I couldn't even wiggle my fingers inside. so I tossed it aside and decided to start over on us7s. they sat half-finished (as in, I hadn't even finished the thumb on the first one) for weeks, and I finally picked them back up again less than a week before christmas, because I was determined to get them done for my sister in law's gift! I managed to finish up the first pretty quickly and knitted the second one in one night. whew! except! when I was done, the second one was oddly larger than the first. just slightly. and they both felt kind of loose. after I bathed and blocked them, they'd grown even more! I was freaking out at this point, since it was already 12/23. I tried not to panic, said a quick prayer, and set to hand felting them, convincing myself that if I just got them to felt enough, they would be denser and warmer (good for boston, where my bro and sil live) and, hopefully, the same size. and then I threw them into the dryer. eep! in the end, they came out great (even tho still slightly not the same size). it was definitely a christmas miracle. whew!

pattern: my own
yarn: patons classic merino
needles: susan bates us 4 dpns
finished: january 11, 2008
notes: isa demanded I make her some ladybug mittens the other night. she was watching me knit dashing (from knitty - for myself) and said she wanted some mittens of her own. ones shaped like ladybugs. so I whipped these up through a tiny bit of trial and error. quick and easy, for the most part.

how I made them (the dirty quickie version), in case anyone out there is interested:

gauge: 20 st x 28 r over 4” using us4 dpns in st st

co 30, join in the round, begin k1p1 ribbing (2 rounds black, 2 rounds red) twice, for a total of 8 rounds

continuing with red, k 1 round

first increase round: m1r, pm, k1, pm, m1l, k to end next round (and every other until there are 11 st between the markers): k following increase rounds: m1r, sl first marker, k to second marker, m1l (until there are 11 st between markers)

end with an increase round at the beginning of the next round, place the first 12 st onto waste yarn, removing the markers as you go

k one round and rejoin in the round continue until you’re about 1.5” from how long you want the mitten to be

switch to black k 2 rounds decrease round: (k4, k2tog) to end k 2 rounds (k3, k2tog) to end k 1 round (k2, k2tog) to end k1 round (k1, k2tog) to end, 10 st remain break yarn and draw thru remaining sts, pull tight and fasten

pick up 12 thumb sts using dpns k around until thumb measures 1.5” (or however long you want it to be) k2tog to end, 6 sts remain break yarn and draw thru remaining sts, pull tight and fasten

the line and spots were all stitched by hand afterwards. you can use the photo here as a guide or put them wherever you’d like

the original plan was also to do a couple short crochet chains and fasten them on as antennae, but that idea was quickly shot down by the dictator. and since she’s the one who demanded them (and will be wearing them), I didn’t bother making them. (I still think they’d make it really cute!) she has demanded button eyes, though… so those will probably be added soon

hope that all makes sense! :) whew!!