While I haven’t really been quilting in the last few months, I have been doing some creative projects. Several of them have involved finishing up things that have been in process for a while.
First off was this pair of socks, languishing on needles for what seems like forever. This is the project I always took on airplane flights: small, compact, mindless knitting. The first sock seems like fun somehow, but then the second one seems to take forever. I vowed to finish them up in time for Christmas gifting since they were for my daughter, but I didn’t quite make it. The time got away. But they are done now and being worn proudly in their new home. This pair is made of Tofutsies yarn on size 0 needles.
Next up was alterations to a sweater I had knit for Nathaniel. The arm length and body width were still fine but the hood didn’t pull up anymore and it was getting short. After chatting with several good knitters and searching the web for help, I took a deep breath and cut the yarn, picked up stitches and knit down the extra length for the body. The hood was easier since I just had to undo the bind off row, remove the shaping at the top, pick up stitches and continue knitting to add extra length. It all came out fine, it’s hard to tell that I altered it at all, and the best part is that he’ll get more wear out of it through the spring. Yes, I’ve purchased more yarn to make a bigger sweater for next year and beyond. Why is it the queue never seems to get shorter?! Don’t answer that. I already know!
Then there is this beaded scarf, made of Schaefer cotton yarn named Susan that I strung with over 15oo size 6 beads. I got a little less than half way and had the wrong number of stitches for the pattern. I had no idea where I had made my mistake and un-knitting didn’t rectify the problem. I set it aside until I found Jocelyn, an expert lace knitter who helped me get back to the right count. Then the project sat for months while I was busy with other things. I finally decided that I had too much time and money invested to not finish, and being newly empowered by success with the socks and the sweater revisions, I set about completion. Knitting with beads isn’t all that hard but it does take time to figure out how to get the beads to display in the right place, in this case on those periodic yarn overs. And then there was the beautiful undulating waves pattern (found at the same link as the yarn). It seems like every time I set it down for more than a day, I had to figure it out all over again. I ended up un-knitting a lot but set myself a goal of either one full motif per day or at least getting back to where I started if I had to take out mistakes. Tail ends are woven in, blocking is on the agenda. It will be perfect for my spring wardrobe.
In the midst of all this, I started the hat kit that I bought at the Oomingmak store in Anchorage, Alaska this past summer. The yarn is made from qiviut, the very fine under hairs of the musk ox. It is amazingly light weight and amazingly warm; it is also amazingly expensive since it is labor intensive to process to perfection. The pattern didn’t call for the little leaf at the top, but since I had some yarn left over and I wanted to use it all up, I fashioned the two-sided leaf motif atop a short icord stem for the finish. I am enjoying wearing it on our chilly Vermont winter days.
And finally, what are the holidays without a little project in the offing? Ellen wanted to make her little nephew a backpack that she had seen on a That crafty Mrs V’s website. Of course, she didn’t want pink prints like the sample and wanted to add a few design elements, so asked for my help while they were up for their visit. Mrs V’s’s blog post said she had made hers in two nap times so it sounded doable and I suggested Ellen gather all the supplies needed, bring them along and we would set aside the time to execute her vision. All I can say is that the Mrs V’s’s child must have taken 5 hour naps; either that or our addition of special batman motifs, water bottle pockets, special loops and labels doubled our construction time. We managed to finish but spent several late-ish evenings in the process. The pay off is that the BATpack (batman, get it?) was a huge hit – it was worth all the effort!
Here is Nathaniel inspecting the batpack prior to sending off, and cousin Caleb proudly wearing his pack to the nursery at church.