Saturday, December 16, 2006

Two down

I have finished the second surprise Christmas project! More on that below.

Meanwhile, I have another finished object to show you - the hat from Rebecca 28, out of bulky merino from on size 10 denises. I forgot how fast hats are - too bad I never wear them. Here it is blocking:
rebecca hat

Here it is on me (it was not fully dry when I tried it on, let me tell you, there are not a whole lot of things less pleasant than putting a bulky soggy wool hat on your head).
sprig of lavendar

I was trying to recapitulate the Rebecca model pose (although our house was lacking sprigs of wheat, so I had to sub a sprig of dried lavendar. Same diff.)
Did I succeed?

I hadn't appreciated how difficult it is to take a picture of the top of your head. This is the only one out of like 20 where I even got a good part of my head in the frame:
hat top

This yarn is so soft and squishy, and I love the subtle variations in color. Yay Uruguay! I didn't even use a full skein (I also forgot how little yarn hats take), I'm thinking of maybe a neat neck gaiter like this one with the rest.

Alright, now for the surprise Christmas present.
Here's what I did:
dad's socks

Socks! They're for my dad. This present I can actually model for you myself.
dad's socks, my feet

Specs -
pattern: Gentleman's sock with lozenge pattern, from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush.
yarn: Knitpicks Essential in Pumpkin, just a titch over 2 skeins. I've heard that they changed the composition of this yarn somewhat so that it's softer - it did feel kind of tough and wirey while I was knitting with it, but once I blocked the socks they felt smooth and soft and lovely. And I love the color (orange is my dad's favorite color).
Needles: Knitpicks dpns US size 1 (which is really more like a size 1.5).
Verdict: yay socks! I hope he likes them.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

My secret pal brings all the boys to the yard

(And they're like, it's better than yours... now I've got that song in my head. Thanks a lot, me.)
Hooray for Christmas and secret pals! She sent me a Christmassy package:
3rd SP9 package
It includes some gorgeous Lisa Souza sock yarn in Peacock, which I love, a cute little sock blocker keychain (hiding behind the sock yarn) with instructions to make the cutest little sock to go on it, some cheery red stitch markers, candy cane shaped bath confettis, Christmas cards and notepad, a candle, and much yummy Christmas candy (which is already gone - we got this package a few days ago). There was another kind of Hershey kiss that I had never heard of in there, the candy cane flavor, which were white chocolate with bits of candy cane in them. Yum. I am clearly very behind the times in hershey kiss advances.
Thank you secret pal!!! I've said it before, and I'll say it again, you rock.
Oh p.s., apparently that "Read more" thingy I put into my blog for the last post, in order to make a cut to conceal certain surprises, is now applied to every post I do. Bear with me while I try to figure out how to get rid of them, and don't hate me because you won't get any more blogginess from clicking those links.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

One down (and a yarn contest)

I finished one of my two mystery Christmas projects! Since the thought of all this work and no internet-bragging rights makes me sad, I'm going to tell you about it anyway, surprises be damned.

As a feeble attempt to keep it somewhat secret, I've made a cut thingymabob that you can click on below. I think of this as the virtual equivalent of putting Christmas presents under the bed. Everyone knows where it is, but they know they're not supposed to look so the onus is on them. (J., don't look under the bed!) So, anyone who thinks they might be getting a Christmas present from me, and to be broad let's say anyone I know in person, don't click on the link below. You know who you are. (If you're coming here from a direct link to this post, you won't see the cut dealy. But that's probably OK, I won't email the recipient the link or anything.)
*ETA - I've disabled the link since I couldn't figure out how to stop Blogger from putting one on every post.*

As for the afore-mentioned contest, I feel I've been the recipient of so much yarny love recently that I want to pay it forward, ala Aija. I'm going to make it simple, if you leave a comment in this post, I'll enter you into the contest. The winner will get some sock yarn from my stash (or, if you're not a sock knitter, something else). Let's say it's open until the end of 2006 (since I probably would not get around to mailing the thing before Christmas anyway).
Hooray! My first contest!

Just so there's something for everyone, here's a pic of a persimmon tart I made last weekend:
Persimmon Tart
Notice the heart in the middle? That's for love.

Here's the big surprise!
It's a Picovoli! It's for my mother. Knowing her, she's probably clicked on this link anyway. Mom, if you're reading this, you have to put on your best pretend surprise face at Christmas.
Since my mother is much smaller than I am (she's 5'4" and 34" bust, I'm 5'8" and 38"), I didn't bother trying to model the Picovoli myself. (well, I did try it on, and it barely covers my navel. Not pretty.) Instead, I've enlisted the services of my favorite household model, Paddington:
paddington models picovoli
As you can see, it covers his navel quite adequately.

Natasha wanted to know what was so interesting:
natasha wants to know what's going on

A close-up:
picovoli picots

The specs:
Pattern - Picovoli, by Grumperina of course, from Magknits, size 32" bust.
Yarn - Knitpicks Shine Sport in Orchid, just under 5 skeins.
Needles - Ooh boy, that's a long story. I bought a Bryspun circular size 4 for this project, since I didn't have a shorter size 4 circ, and it broke at the join after a few rows. So I brought it back to the store and got another one, and it broke at the join after a few more rows. Grrrr. So at that point I just switched to the longer size 4 circ I had (I forget what brand, but it's metal) and stretched the bejeezus out of the stitches to make them fit on there. Probably not the smartest way to knit, but it worked out OK.

This is an awesome pattern! My one complaint is that the picot neckline is a bit floppy. This could be due to not blocking it aggressively enough, but it just seems so much heavier than the rest of the shirt that it can't help but fall over. Spray on starch, perhaps? Otherwise it's an adorable little top. I might need to make a longer (and less pink) one for myself.

Friday, December 01, 2006

I'm dreaming of a slightly chilly Christmas

It's been cold in San Francisco this week. Probably not what people in the rest of the country would consider cold, but I stepped outside earlier this week, and I was like huh, what is this strange sensation in my fingers? Oh, my hands are cold! Maybe I should dig through my closet for some gloves.
Unfortunately, even though I don't think it's dropped below 45F outside, our apartment, in typical San Francisco style, has horrible heating. It has been nigh impossible to push the temp much above 60 inside this week unless we're cooking. So the extremities have been getting a bit chilly.
I've got several projects in my head lined up for after all the Christmas knitting, but this week I've been thinking a lot about making this hat (from Rebecca 28) in bulky merino from (of Malabrigo fame) in Dusty Rose. Or Antique Rose. Something Rose:

Future hat - chunky merino
This yarn was already in my stash, no cheating here.
I like that the hat has earflaps but no ties to hang around awkwardly or tie in a dorky bow under your chin. Maybe once I've made it I can find a sprig of wheat to chew on as happily as that model.

In other news, I won ANOTHER contest, this one over at yarnophiliac. She dyes her own yarn (etsy shop here, definitely go check it out) and sent me this gorgeous variegated green sock yarn and the cutest green and white stitch markers to match.
Gorgeous Sereknity green sock yarn

With all the awesome goodies I've been getting what with the contests and the secret pals, I've been thinking I will copy Aija and have my own pay-it-forward contest. So that's coming up, I haven't decided what the prize will be, but it will probably come out of my stash, because of the whole moratorium and stuff. Speaking of which, the shoes count is up to 3 pairs since the yarn diet started. But, in all fairness, one of them was a pair of hiking shoes to replace a worn out pair, and the other two only happened because I was looking for wedding shoes. Granted, neither of them are actually going to be worn to the wedding, but I HAD to go to these shoe stores and I am not to be held accountable for my behavior. Actual wedding shoes remain unfound.