Thursday, December 20, 2012

research: Modern Family

In the most recent episode of Modern Family, Mitch ditches the sweater that Cam knit for him, then makes Phil swear to pretend it was stolen.

"I can't."
"I can't."
"I can't do it!  I can't take this stupid thing anymore!"
"It was stolen out of the car.  Do you understand me?"
 When Cam discovers the truth, he is furious.
"You know, I knew that sweater wasn't stolen."
"And here I picked blue yarn to match your eyes,"
"But I should've picked black to match your heart."
"Although you look amazing in black."
"Damn you."

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Yarn Along: C'est fini!

I finally got through Bringing Up Bebe, and I wanted so badly to finish Lucy's new sweater before Knitting Group.  I knit feverishly on that final inch of sleeve during The Hobbit (our first real post-Lucy date without her), but got distracted and had to frog a couple of rows of the edging.  Yep, I messed up garter stitch...
So instead of arriving with a baby in a new sweater, I got to bind off while being cheered on.  Lucy wore her big blue snuggly sweater home, and got called a boy by the children's librarian, who was oddly insistent about it.
Librarian: What's his name?
Me: (obliviously snapping pictures of Lucy) Sorry?
Librarian: What's your little boy's name?
Me: Oh...her name is Lucy.
Librarian: He's a girl?
Me:  Yes, she is a girl.
Librarian: Oh.  I really thought she was a boy...
I guess it's my fault for knitting her a blue sweater...
 Next time I'll break out the pink.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Yarn Along: IRL

Today I made an amazing discovery.  There is a knitting group half an hour away that meets in a local library every Tuesday afternoon. It's like a yarn along in real life! 
 Everyone was really friendly and tolerant of Lucy's antics. I got a few rows done on her blue pullover, but mostly I wrangled her and got to know everyone. One woman spins, so we made plans to bring our spindles next week. I have wanted to have a group like this for so long. I really can't believe it's actually happening...

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Yarn Along

Lu's new sweater is coming along nicely.  I remembered the pattern as being somewhat convoluted, but it turns out it's perfectly clear.  I was just pregnant when I knit it the first time.  Even with a crawler whose favorite game is overturning the wastebasket and investigating its contents, I'm following along with ease.
Meanwhile, I'm fuming through Bringing Up Bebe.  So far, the French and I have nothing in common.  I don't know why I keep reading it when it annoys me so much.  I've also got An Everlasting Meal stashed in my diaper bag, and I've been scarfing it down a few sentences at a time.  Highly recommend.  Much more useful than French parenting tips.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Lucy's dislike for handknits is well-documented. (Exhibits A, B, and C)
I just assumed that she disliked all hats, but my sister Juliana bought her one and she wore it without complaint.  So I grabbed an old tee shirt and made linings for two of her cast-offs.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Black & White

Yarn Along: Planning

I have two more finished objects to share with you this week--this simple cowl that I made for my sister Anna and The Help.  
Now I am in that aimless stage, wandering around like a lost soul.  None of my works in progress appeal, because they all require tiny needles or concentration or are too tedious.
Lucy, 7 months
I put Lucy in this sweater yesterday and realized it has already given us several months of solid use.  Though we intended to take her home from the hospital in it, she didn't really wear it until our trip to San Francisco in early August.  
Lucy, 3 months
It still fits beautifully.  I would lengthen the sleeves, but this was truly a one skein project.  Now I'm trying to plan her next play sweater--a pullover version of this sweater in the next size up--with extra-long sleeves that can be cuffed.  Now to do some stash diving...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Yarn Along: FO SHOW

The only thing I didn't finish this week was The Help.  Lucy and I got to come to New Jersey early, where there are lots of people who like to play with her while I knit.

I conquered Pete's sweater a few days ago.  Just picture it.  After I dutifully knitted three extra inches onto the body and added about an inch to the armholes, I was finally ready to attach the sleeves.  Oddly, they weren't matching up.  I scoured the internet.  Somewhere deep in a forum on Ravelry, the author of the book mentioned offhandedly that the errata on the publisher's website is wrong.  
Oh, do you mean the errata that I checked before I got started, like a good little knitter?  The errata that I corrected inside my copy of the book?  Yes, that errata.
All that ran through my mind was Miss Hannigan from Annie yelling, 
"Kill, KILL, KILL."  
Thankfully it was a quick fix--I just had to frog a little of the saddle shoulders back and reknit them.  
Unfortunately I don't have a husband to put it on right now.  Don't worry.  He didn't divorce me because of the reverse sweater curse.  He is driving down later today.  As I worked on his sweater, I texted him updates.
"I love you!  your sweater has half a sleeve attached so far.  ps I intend to give you regular updates on this front." 
"UNSUBSCRIBE!  UNSUBSCRIBE!  Just kidding.  I'll enjoy the updates." 
"You have unsubscribed from this conversation and all the knitting that results.  If you change your mind, please remember that it is too late and you will likely freeze to death in a store-bough acrylic sweater."
 My other FO is a hat that I whipped up for Lucy.
 I can tell she is going to get a lot of use out of it. a chew toy.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Yarn Along: Back on the Horse

Oh, yarn alongers...

To the untrained eye, it would appear that I have not made a bit of progress on Pete's Sweater.

But clever you must be able to tell that in the past week, there has been lots of knitting, binding off, pinning, and rejoicing.  After that came a disastrous fitting, cursing/crying, and reluctant frogging, followed closely by ice creaming, and begrudged reknitting.
After adding 3 inches to the body, I am precisely back to where I started last Wednesday, which is both reassuring and maddening.  At least The (aptly named) Help has been a comfort through it all.  I'm also reading Bringing up Bebe and An Everlasting Meal.

I will leave you with a quote from a desperately cold husband who was trying (in vain) to encourage his defeated wife to pick up the shunned bits of sweater and carry on knitting:

"Maybe the sweater curse works in reverse once you get married.  Maybe if you don't make me a sweater, we will wind up divorced."

Now that I type it out, it sounds vaguely threatening.  At least I know he wants this sweater badly.

Friday, November 9, 2012

To do:

1. Wipe down surfaces in bathroom.
2. Wear an outfit, not just clothes within reach.
3. Put away all clean clothes in the clean clothes mountain that lives at the bottom of my bed.
4. Apply make-up and do hair in some semblance of a style.
5. Go for a long walk.
6. Obtain groceries by any means necessary.
7.  Sort Lu's outgrown clothes and give/put them away.
8. Knit something selfish to purge the stench of failure from fingers.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Yarn along: nearly there...

So close I can taste it...
I finally sat down and figured out how to merge the two sets of instructions for this hybrid sweater.  It was as simple as decreasing only until the numbers matched up, then knitting straight.  I am so into shaping right now.  Creating the saddle shoulders was a pleasure.  I just have to finish up the last little bit of the front, then sew it all together and add the neckband.
The Help is a seriously well-done audiobook.  I was apprehensive when I saw a cast of readers, assuming it was a dramatization.  It turns out the book is divided into sections and each one is from the point of view of one of the characters.  The actors are all impeccable.  It's one of those books that I am going to miss when I finally finish it.  Just like this sweater.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Yarn Along: The Help

I've finally picked up Pete's languishing sweater again.  How could I resist?  When I asked him what he would like for Christmas, he told me that I don't need to buy him anything because I am making him a sweater.  

Present tense.  Cue the waves of guilt.  

I'm about to finish up the second sleeve, and then I just need to merge the directions from the Baseball Jersey from Knits Men Want and Elizabeth Zimmermann's raglan/saddle shoulder sweaters to finish it up.

I've come to the end of my stash of CraftLit back episodes.  I downloaded them when I last visited my parents.  (Oh, to have boundless internet!)  I'll restock when I return to civilization around Thanksgiving.  In the meantime, I must content myself with an audiobook from the library--The Help.

New toy

This hot stencil cutter is going to take my Alabama Studio sewing to the next level.

Monday, October 29, 2012