OK, so polar bears live at the North Pole, penguins at the South Pole. Who cares?
(Thankfully, Caroline looks happier in it than the cat did.)
A while ago, I was at SCRAP and browsing through the knitting magazines, and I found an Australian publication that had this adorable baby polar bear suit. Having been a fan of polar bears for years, I couldn't resist knitting it for my eldest niece's first baby, Caroline, who is also my sister's first grandchild.
I went to the post office today and mailed a couple of things.
First, I sent off this little guy to my friend in New Zealand. Many thanks to Bittersweet for posting the directions to make it. He was fun and quick to knit, and came out just adorable — but he also ended up being roughly 6" tall, which was too big for my original intent — so off he goes to Kim in Kiwi-land.
OK, I'll be the first to admit that the last post was perhaps a bit premature. Hey, I was excited to have gotten something finished.
Thus it was that, after really looking at the difference between my clown-like collar and the original collar, I decided to go back and take a look at the instructions to see just where the hell it went off the rails.
Today I have an actual FO to share and some "experience", free gratis. You know what experience is, right?
"Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted."
As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I have been knitting some hats at the request of a friend in New Zealand whose breast cancer has, unfortunately, returned.
It was kind of cute: in her email request, she actually offered to PAY me.
Hey, I thought maybe it's about time I gave an update on the 2009 FO Finishing Project — where I somehow sort of decided I would finish all my UFO's before the end of the year. Progress has indeed been made, and I've got a couple more FO's to show for it!
Yesterday at the LYS, I took part in a discussion about SABLE.
What, you never heard of SABLE? You might even be a member of SABLE!
SABLE stands for "Stash Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy". A person becomes a member of this group when she owns more yarn than she can reasonably expect to knit in her years remaining on this mortal coil.*
Editor's Note: This is not my own FO — however, it is a pretty stunning knitting accomplishment, IMHO, and I don't think it should go unheralded.
Marlene is a very accomplished knitter. I can't exactly say she is one of my students, because I haven't taught her very much — although I guess I did get her to try socks for the first time. When a person has been knitting for 30 or more years, sometimes there just isn't all that much you can teach 'em. And boy, does Marlene knit. She gets more stuff done than I can even THINK of doing. And I don't think she has any UFO's.
It seems I have developed an unofficial knitting goal for the end of 2009: of course, it is to finish off all of the "old" UFO's.
(I am always trying to finish off all my UFO's. Well, it seems that way to me, at least. The day it happens, look out for some horsemen and maybe a rain of fire, or something.)
Wow, I'm having a hard time getting this blog post off the ground.
A few minutes ago, I had a couple of sad little paragraphs here, crabbing about life's circumstances, which have conspired the past couple of weeks to make things run less smoothly than usual in my little corner of the world. Nothing really horrible or earth-shattering has happened (so far) — just a lot of "stuff" all at the same time.
Here's some eye candy for ya: a few FO's!
Sari Silk bag: this was knit from some recycled-sari silk yarn, although at this point I'm not sure exactly which manufacturer. This major FO accomplishment started life as "Unbiased", a bag pattern from Knitty, Fall 2004.
Oh, happy day! DH has another pair of handknit socks, and I have one less UFO. (Believe it or not, I’m down to just SIX UFO’s. My advice is to keep an eye out for plagues of locusts.)
OK, I admit it’s been a couple of weeks, and I still have not fixed the collar on my top-down V-neck raglan from the Friday group class knit-along. Part of that is due to a whole lot of teaching going on, and part of that is due to another sock pattern I am designing for my friend Deb of Fearless Fibers… you’ll hear more about that later.
The top-down rust raglan that I knit for the Friday Group Class knit-along was finished last Friday (or so I thought).
I picked up around the neckline and knit simple K2, P2 for a polo style collar. (Turns out that isn’t going to work so well — but more about that in a minute.)
I’m sure at least one of you is wondering — "Well, fine, lots of sheep, some yarn stores, but did she actually get any knitting done on the trip?"
Well, yes and no. OK, well, actually, there can only be one accurate answer there, which is YES, I did knit a couple of things on the trip. However, NO, I did not finish 4 pairs of socks for DH.
OK, this one was totally under the radar.
A few people in my group classes have seen it in progress, but mostly I did this one on the sly.
It’s a bottom-up raglan sleeve tee shirt style sweater, in the most funky yarn imaginable — Gedifra "Velato", which I picked up a few years ago on a trip to Canada.
Ahem, ahem. OK, yes, you are right — the last post in this series was in July. Just barely not in June. July 1, to be exact.
Of course, I did include this bad boy in the UFOlympics, so technically, the last post on this project was more like, oh, late August.
I took a look over at Knitting Daily today and found the holidays staring me in the face. But in a kinda good way!
The Question o’ the Day over there is, "What are you knitting for holiday gifts?" and it seems that for many of us, the answer is, "Nothing." I’m firmly aligned with Sandi Wiseheart – and from the comments, several other knitters too – NO holiday knitting!
Some mention their knitted gifts being unappreciated in the past. This is always an issue. I forget what year it was that I became absolutely incensed to hear that supposedly, the "fruitcake" has been supplanted as the classic Most Dreaded Holiday Gift by a "hand-knit sweater".
Wow! Here we are at the end of the UFOlympics, and the decathlon results are in…
… and I made it!
Yes, you may well have been questioning why there is a total of 12 UFO's on my UFOlympic "decathlon" list. (Actually, there are 13, because I had to add one UFO #0 that I forgot about when making the original list.) But it's a good thing.
Hey, are you getting as sick of the UFOlympics as I am?
It was fun to begin with — it was great to get a couple of projects out of the way and all that — but I’m getting a definite feeling of stuck-in-a-rut now. Maybe this is why the real Olympics only last a couple of weeks, instead of seven… ya think?
UFO #1, the fifth bear mitten: FINISHED 07/09/08.
Final time: 2 days!
Yarn: donated acrylic stuff.
Pattern: from Twisted.
announcer’s voiceover: She’s certainly maintaining a very competitive pace thus far, but can she possibly keep it up throughout the whole event? We’ll have to wait and see.
Ummm… I have good news, and bad news.
First, the good news: UFO #0, Brioche st hat: FINISHED 07/07/08.
Final time (offical Swiss, of course): 2 days.
The crowd goes wild!
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay silk & wool.
Pattern: my own Polar Bear Pattern.
Shameless plug: this is a sample for a class I’ll teach at the Knitting Bee in Sept.
A little while ago, y’all learned not to ask me a certain question:
What should I knit?
And since I didn’t explain in that post what the second-question-I-won’t-answer was, now nobody will talk to me. So, I guess I’d better clear this up today.
In no particular order, here’s some great pix I’ve received of bear mittens, in response to the free Polar Bear Pattern offer!!
In case you still haven’t heard, here’s the short scoop:
OK, here we are, finally. It’s done! And, I’m pretty darned happy with it. Although admittedly, I picked a real lulu for the first set of Playing Lessons!
(I didn’t do it on purpose, I swear. Really, I’m usually more lazy than this.)
Hey, you can’t say I don’t have persistence.
This little gem has literally taken me something like 5 years to finish.
To be fair, there was more than the usual amount of knitting involved. I did knit the entire thing once, and then reknit the top half; but then I got to cheating and for the third attempt I knit the main parts on a machine.
Admittedly, I haven’t written much in the past week (heck, I haven’t written anything). But, I have an excellent
excuse reason. Actually, several reasons…
#1 reason is, I have a bad Continental knitting habit of using my right index finger to help out on each and every stitch. I don’t actually need to use it — I can knit and purl without moving it at all, if I think about it. As I say, it’s a bad habit, which means I do it more-or-less unconsciously. I even demonstrate it to new Continental knitters in my classes as a great example of what not to do.
Aaaaaand here they are, in all their glory:
These socks comprise many of my favorite sock-knitting techniques to date. I prefer techniques that work well and are easy to memorize, so for those of you who want to know the nuts & bolts, here’s a brief recap:
Well, I said I was working on my pile of UFO’s. Two more are completed, hooray! I swear to you I got them done by Dec 31, even if I haven’t managed to blog about them until Jan 3. Blogging does NOT COUNT as part of finishing.
OK, here’s the ONE Xmas present I knitted this year - but it is darned cute. It’s a double-knitted teddy bear from the book “Knitter’s Stash”. The book’s been around a while, but I don't actually own it (the library does, though!) so this is only the second thing I’ve knit out of it.
Last night, Don said he had a “dangerous” question for me.
“Did you knit me another pair of black socks?” he asked.
I knew right away what had happened. After all, there are only two pairs of hand-knit black socks in the house. Yes, it was quickly confirmed that the black heavyweight socks I had made for me (Mission Falls 1824 wool) had ended up in his laundry pile, from there to his sock drawer, and from there onto his feet.
Every so often, of course, the subject comes up. Why (the expletive) would anyone HAND-KNIT a pair of socks?
One year, at my family reunion, I presented one of my brothers with a pair of obviously hand-knit socks, in his all-time favorite color – dark purple.
Many of my knitting friends know that I love, love, LOVE old knitting books. Old VKs are a fave, but I’ll thumb through just about anything. (And I have the overflowing bookshelf in my studio to prove it.) Often you can find a stitch pattern, a silhouette, or a detail that will spark an idea. Looking at vintage styles is a great way to train your eye to distinguish between short-lived trends and enduring classics. Most knitters I know don’t want to knit a sweater that will be out of style next year. After all that work, they want something that will be wearable for a while. If you can open a 40-year-old book and spot something that still looks good, you have a pretty good idea that it will look good for another 40 years! Vogue Knitting used to have a feature in every issue called “Then and Now", which was by far the best thing in the magazine. They would take an old style from a vintage issue and make up a modern version, using current yarns and colors. Occasionally they modified the fit a bit, but mostly the copy was true to the original. Unfortunately, and unfathomably, they stopped doing it. It became hit-or-miss in the mid-to-late nineties, and by now has apparently been given up completely. I have no idea why on earth they discontinued this feature! Now I can only count myself lucky that I learned this concept early in my knitting career. Here’s my latest vintage knit – a skimpy black vest, made in my fave fiber (mohair) – along with the modern ad that had me looking around for skimpy vests.
Compare my version to the original vintage pattern pic. And just in case anyone else wants to find it, here is the cover of the vintage Spinnerin book it is in.
Interesting note: the vintage directions do not result in the somewhat odd sleeves shown in the vintage picture. (I guess typos in knitting patterns have been around as long as there have been patterns.) You would have to cast on some extra sts at the armholes to get the silhouette shown, and the instructions don’t call for that at all. I knitted the armholes according to the directions, although I modified the original instructions to knit it all in one piece, eliminating the side seams. Great stuff!
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