Sunday, January 29, 2012

While No One Was Watching

While no one was watching the Mossy Ridge socks were growing.
Actually, I was watching them grow. They are almost finished now, just lacking a few rounds for the toes. Just in time to wrap up the first month of knit alongs. But I lied to everyone. I did not complete these exactly as the pattern specified. I said in my last post the only change I was making was to hold the yarn doubled. Well, I read the directions wrong and instead of repeating the pattern as reads: Row 1 twice, Row 2 twice, I just alternated between row 1 and 2. Not that you or I or anyone else could really tell the difference. And of course with one project so close to being finished I'm ready to start another one. I'm thinking a shawl. In worsted weight of course. Nothing too tedious. I was thinking it might be a nice gift to some of the nurses at the special needs orphanages if they all got a nice shawl. February's knit along shawl is Citron (why did I choose a shawl in lace weight?) but I wonder if I could do it in worsted. I bet it would be out of control big. Let's find out, shall we?

Project count-up:
Charity: 2 completed, 1 almost off the needles
Self: 0
Family and Friends: 2 on the needles (wedding blanket and sister-in-law's socks)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Post Holiday Mash Up

I hope that your holiday season went off with a bang this year. Or maybe I don't, bangs might be bad things like a blown circuit or the tree catching on fire. Whether it went off with a bang or not I hope it was spectacular nonetheless!

I was rather glad to see Christmas day. That meant I had survived the holiday stress. I got a lot of really nice Christmas presents: new pots and pan set (since my old ones were flaking their non-stick coating into all my food, yay for chemical aftertaste!), clothes, Amazon gift cards, a skein of yarn I forgot I'd picked out for myself 2 months earlier (my mom gifted it to me), and plenty more. Festivities with the family were wonderful as always and I didn't come in last place in the Christmas Day game-a-thon.

The day after Christmas I boarded a plane and spent the next 2 weeks in Romania. I had an awesome time. The best part was getting to connect more deeply with some of the kids I met during the summer (I was also in Romania in July, remember?) and making new connections with some of the kids. I think there's something in their hearts that draws them to people who they have seen before, even if their brains don't remember you. One of the things we got to do was deliver Christmas presents. There were some handmade items from EEROP in there :)
New Years was a crazy celebration where the whole city shut down and everyone sets off fireworks. Nothing says, "Let's start the year off right!" like lighting questionable explosives in the middle of a street! This is one of the biggest events of the year for Romanians so it was really cool to get to experience that.

After arriving home I have been slowly recovering from jet lag (my sleeping and eating schedule is completely erratic) and trying to get motivated to do more than just sit on my couch in my pajamas all day. I do have grad school work that needs to be done but this does not require clothes or (much) movement so that doesn't really help things. The only thing I have been really motivated to do it knit. There's something about this time of year that's really inspiring: the holiday knitting is done so there's no deadlines to meet, the air is cold (and there might be snow), the slate is wiped clean from last year, and there's the feeling of hope for a better year than last. Anyways, all that sappy stuff to say that I've cast on at at least 3 projects in the last few days.

Item 1:
Scrunchable Scarf
This was actually started in the Atlanta airport the day that I left for Romania. I knit on it some while I was there and finished it up shortly after getting home. I used a bulky wool (Cascade 128, one of my favorite bulky wools) and a size 10.5 needle. I cast on less stitches (somewhere in the range of 25 or 28, can't remember). The pattern was easy to memorize and this was a great take along project (it's also part of EEROP's year of KALs). I used two full skeins and the finished (washed and blocked) scarf ended up about 6 feet long.

Item B:
Antonia's Fighter Bomber Helmet (a.k.a. the Thorpe Hat)
I started this Tuesday evening and finished it by Wednesday afternoon. Used a little over 1 ball of Revolution from Bollicine for the actual hat and some hand-dyed for the contrasting crochet trim and braids. US size 9 needles and crochet hook as recommended. Just a word of caution, this is the small size and it almost fits my huge noggin; the sizing runs big. To me this looks a little like a helmet and I immediately thought of a little girl who I met in Romania who would look perfect in this. She's a beautiful little girl of about four but there's a strength in her eyes that says, "I can conquer the world!" So this is named after her. Also an EEROP Year of the KAL pattern.

Item the third:
SIL's Christmas Socks (Show off Stranded Socks)
Hazel Knits sock yarn in Camo Chic. US size 1 needles. Two at a time using magic loop. Cuff down. Finally started these the other day. I read a good review of the pattern and it was one I was considering so I decided to go for it.

Item Lastly:
Mossy Ridge (Not So) Toddler Socks
Yet another EEROP Year of the KAL pattern (if I'm hosting can I still win something?). I'm really into this charity knitting thing...Making these in a not so toddler size by doubling the worsted weight yarn (Paton's classic wool, another good go-to yarn) and knitting on size 10 needles (or maybe they're 10.5, I didn't really check). Everything else is just as the pattern notes. I like how these are turning out but they do require me to read my knitting pretty closely which means I can't space out and read blog posts or watch new movies and tv shows that require me to actually follow the dialogue. Should be a quick knit though.

Also still on the needles is the wedding blanket that will never end. I did finish the fourth square and started the fifth so that's positive.

Totals for the year:
Charity: 2 completed, 1 OTN (on the needles)
Self: 0 and 0
Family and Friends: 2 OTN