Friday, November 26, 2010

On and Off the Needles

Recently, a friend asked if I would knit something for her. What she had in mind was not particularly large, or difficult to knit, but I declined. I have a loosely defined goal to knit something for every member of my extended family. (Now that I've posted that in my blog, I suppose it is no longer "loosely defined.") I just made a list, and I have some 28 family gifts to knit. These have to be gifts that I enjoy knitting, and that I think the recipient will enjoy, so I don't churn them out; they take time. (For that number of projects, and this particular knitter, probably years...!) And of course, I occasionally knit for myself (really!), and for charity, and for the odd non-family occasion...

Meanwhile, here are some photos of one recently finished project, and several that I'm working on.

This wrap-me-up pup was knit for one of my nieces (she chose the colors). The pattern is from the book Itty Bitty Toys, by Susan B Anderson.

The toys in this book are Simply Adorable. But, let me just say that if you use this pattern (or any in this book, I suppose), be sure to review the errata. And, be sure to read through the pattern completely. When I made the blanket, I bound off, keeping my needle in the last stitch, as per the instructions. Then, I looked at the instructions about choosing between the knitted and crocheted edging, and read "for the knitted edging, don't bind off." Grrr. I know, I know - I should know better...

This was not hard to knit, but it did require making small pieces and sewing them together. This apparently is not my forte, as the legs and tail languished unattached for an inordinate amount of time. Finally, when I hosted knitting night, I vowed to tackle and finish the pup - and I easily did, that very evening.

The next stuffed animal I'll be knitting is an elephant, designed by Ysolda Teague. There are no seams with this one - you knit and stuff the head first, then pick up stitches for the body, and for each of the legs and arms - so when I'm finished knitting, I should be Finished. Clearly, this will be a good thing for me.

I plan to start this one as soon as I post this blog. Then I'll be able to share a picture that's  more than just yarn...

This is a sweater I knit for myself. You may think that it looks finished, but you would be wrong. See how the sleeves have a nice little roll at the wrists? This is good. See how the sweater has an out-of-control roll at the waist? Not so good.

(It may not look out-of-control in this photo, but it is. Trust me.)

I made this in a class at Stitching Memories, and Lu (who taught the class) suggested that when I block it, it won't roll that much. So I'm going to block it, but even then, I think I made it a bit too short. (This was in an effort not to make it too long.) Plus, I think maybe I need it to be a bit wider at the bottom. So I will probably rip some of it back, reknit it with some increasing on the sides, make it a tad longer, and then see how it looks.

None of that, of course, is the kind of knitting that I really enjoy. But I do want to actually wear this sweater, so I'll do the reknit anyway. That's because I'm a Mature Grown-Up Person.

I love this blanket, which is designed by Anne Hanson. The color in this picture is awful - the yarn is really a very lovely green - but at least you can see the stitch design. I have to pay attention while I knit this, since each row uses different combinations of knits and purls and yarn-overs and knit-togethers. I call this my Tortoise project: it goes slowly, but I am steadily making progress.

The Kalamazoo Knitting Guild recently sponsored a class on double knitting. This is very cool knitting, but it is also Tortoise knitting. Basically, I'm knitting two hats at once - of course, it will end up being just one hat, with a double thickness. The mainly blue part is the outside of the hat; the beige is the inside of the hat. The design is formed by switching which yarn gets pulled to the front, and when. We spent a day figuring this out, so don't worry that it makes no sense. Just believe me - it is very cool knitting, and the hat should be very warm. And reversible!

This is my project for knitting in the car, and while waiting wherever it is that one waits (restaurants, offices, meetings). It is a very simple hat, but the detail makes it interesting. I'm afraid this picture doesn't do it justice; hopefully I can get a better shot when it is finished.


  1. I used the fingerless gloves just this week (the ones you sent me in Taiwan). Still keep them in my desk at work, and still appreciate having them!

  2. What Robin doesn't say is that these different projects give her the chance to do lots of varied things depending upon the circumstances and her mood. For that reason, tortoise knitting or not, I expect she will always have a half-dozen projects going at any given time. Being a Mature, Grown-Up Person, she actually finishes them!

  3. I love the dog!! It is so cute!