Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Silent but Not Absent

I have really been very, very productive since my last post. I have been so productive that I couldn't possibly make the time to photograph and to blog about all this productivity, let alone even empty my camera of pictures dating back to New Year's. Since time is only going to be coming at a greater premium in the next month or so, I need to catch up. I am beginning with the items that I completed while we were visiting Portland over New Year's.

This set is inspired by the neck warmer from Knit 2 Together. I made the neck muff to the pattern specs out of Lamb's Pride Worsted in their new Landscapes. Then, having quite a bit left over, I made the brim of the cap in the same pattern and finished it up with some more left over LP. Finishing in just the nic of time, I was able to gift these items to my MIL on her bday, Dec. 28. She declared great liking of them and wore them when we went to the Portland Zoo a couple of days later - which was neat since it was quite, quite chilly. Chilly enough to enjoy snow for about 30 seconds as we walked between the primate exhibits. Xander enjoyed some petting time with some very sweetly dispositioned fiber beasts as we went through a farm like exhibit. (If you like Xander's hat, you can read about it more when I get over to my sewing blog to catch up a little there, too.)

One of my most excellent Christmas presents was a gift certificate to a yarn shop that I had visited on my first trip to Portland, The Yarn Garden. My SIL provided me with this great present. We all went together on a girls outing. I actually found it quite difficult on what to purchase now that I work at a really well stocked amazing store. While I was searching, SIL found some yarn that she was wishing would turn into a beanie. I was more than happy to oblige as I love! to whip out caps. I don't remember what yarn it was but it was quite soft and nice to work with. As for my long labored purchases, I settled on the new Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Sock Book and a ball of Noro's new Kureyon Sock yarn. The book is beautifull and thorough and I will share my opinions about the sock yarn later.

The final completed objects are an EZ Baby Surprise and a baby sized Tychus. I had left town thinking that I would complete all of my samples for my classes that would begin shortly after our return from Oregon. Unfortunately, I had overbooked my knitting
digits. Fortunately, I did complete this very classic fun pattern from the Zimmerman Knitting Goddess and the very thorough knitting notes needed to complete one with some sanity remaining intact. My mantra was that this pattern has been around for 40 years and bazillions of other knitters have successfully made it through. It is quite reassuring to have that history and track record behind a challenging project. The actual knitting of this item is quite simple; it is wrapping your head around the magic of the fabric that you are shaping that is challenging. You can get this famed pattern as a single sheet or in a couple of EZ's books, my favorite compilation being Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Workshop. This edition is the key to following the infectious knitting antics of brooklyntweed. As for Tychus, a lovely customer came in frantically with the pattern and no knowledge of short rows. Her desire for vertical stripes and need for a completed Christmas gift were so strong that she quickly acquired the concept. As I worked with her through a panel, I became entranced by the need to make one too. This hat is actually the first bit of baby knitting that was completed for this incoming wee one. The pattern calls for five sections but I found four sufficient. I have since completed tons more stuff for the babe, which I will share later. I strongly recommend Tychus for short row practice, much like the Calorimetry is good for the same.

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