Dog update: Jake is fine. He continues to be rambunctious and pokes his nose on the counters looking for any foodie opportunity to drive me nuts – but he has been thwarted by our putting everything out of his reach, even the things we don’t think he’d want, as that has been proven to be a false sense of security. It seems to be going around, though: in addition to the couple of commenters who mentioned that their dogs are similarly misbehaving, I noticed on my stats page (just curious, you know, about what brings people here sometimes) that there were two specific searches recently that led to this blog: “dog ate foil wrappers on chocolate” and “dog found plastic in puke.” Uh-oh. My dog is fortunate, as he enjoys tempting Fate and has yet to be caught by her, and I hope that all your dogs are likewise so lucky. There is a story on this blog about Phoebe, who had some very bad luck through no fault of her own; if you have time, you should take a look. A few famous knit bloggers posted links to her story, and their ability to spread the word helped to raise a sizable chunk of change to fund her recovery. It really is amazing (to me, at least) the way each person pitching in just a little bit can make such a big difference – it’s a nice example of how even the smallest ways we can help, really do matter.
falls off soapbox
I have a small bit of time to myself this morning. It’s so rare and precious that I’m determined not to waste it by going back to bed, even though I could use more sleep. Instead, I’m going to sit by the fire and work on either my husband’s socks (another post) or Anne Hanson’s That Little Scarf.
Have I mentioned – probably not – I have a bit of a knitty crush on Anne Hanson. I started reading her blog when Cara of January One posted about her Wing of the Moth Shawl, and it’s been love for both her designs and her blog posts ever since. I just finished her Two-Needle Mittens for Cole (yay for purple!) on the way to the San Diego Wild Animal Park on New Year’s Day, and I’m going to follow those up with this hat, also in purple.
Knitted December 22, 2007 to January 1, 2008 (they don’t take that long; I just had so little time to work on them!)
Pattern: Two-Needle Mittens – Child
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted in Sweet Grape
Needles: US size 6 bamboo dpns
Mods: knit in the round instead of on two needles
I mentioned before that I’d had to start over because I was making them in the medium size. He barely measures small enough to fit into the smallest size, so I thought that if I went up a size, they would only be slightly bigger and he could wear them longer. When I had him try on the first partially finished mitten, I saw that they would reach halfway up to his elbow. Oh. Heh, I guess there would be no point in making a “medium” size if they were only slightly larger than the “small” size… so glad the portion of my brain responsible for logic picked up on that one half a mitten too late. Had I not needed to begin again in size small, I might have finished them in time to get them under the tree for Christmas. I considered staying up very late to get them done, but I decided not to stress myself out so close to the holiday. The drawback here (and my point) is that since I only had time to knit them here and there, the decreases at the fingertip are different. I screwed up on the decreases on the first one because my stitch count was off (I forgot to subtract a stitch at the beginning and end of the rounds to compensate for the conversion to knitting in the round), and so I winged the parts where my rounds didn’t match up with the pattern. It still came out fine and in fact still looked pretty similar to the mitten pictured in the pattern. I thought that these were such a small project that I would remember what I’d done and needn’t bother writing anything down, since I would finish the second one shortly anyway… right. This from the person that has to look in the hamper to remember what she wore yesterday. And then came the holidays and I forgot everything.
So, I purposely flubbed the second mitten’s decreases by not subtracting those two stitches, just as I’d done on the other one – but then I couldn’t remember how I’d done the rest. This is why I should give up on trying to be clever – my mommy-brain is already overloaded and can’t take the pressure! The first mitten ends with eight stitches to be bound off, and somehow I only had five left at the end of the second mitten. No matter, though – somehow, they still look (more or less) the same, and I’ll probably have to replace them with larger ones next winter, anyway. My only other quibble, aside from what is my own miscalculating-I-can’t-count fault, is sewing up the seams for the thumbs. I wasn’t quite sure how to do that neatly, since these are my first mittens, and so I used the mattress stitch; while they look okay, I’m not entirely pleased with them.
Here’s something cool I came across and used in the making of these mitts: the (very nearly) invisible increase as explained on the TECHknitting blog. The pattern says to M1, and I wanted something that wouldn’t show or worse, create holes, so I did a little internet digging. It’s easy, and yes, nearly invisible. TECHknitting, with “TECH-niques to turn HOME MADE knitting into HANDMADE knitting,” is a fabulous resource with a lot of helpful knitting explanations, tips, and tricks, and pretty diagrams for visual learners like me. If you’ve never seen it, have a browse through the subject index – it really is a wealth of information. I don’t know who writes it, but someone in Wisconsin has me all amazed at their knitting expertise, and grateful that he or she shares it so freely.
Off to enjoy my quiet by the fire with some knitting…
Who am I kidding – this one is screaming “Pick me!” much too loudly to resist!