1. I have indeed been knitting! I made Daniel that hat a couple weeks ago (in between trips to states starting with a "K").
2. The whole yarn diet ain't going so well. The afore-mentioned hat was yarn bought on an impulse. We were at an LYS/café - and by the way, yes I am totally aware that going to yarn shops is a surefire way to weaken one's resolve not to buy yarn, but Daniel happens to love going to this particular place for cocoa - and Daniel picked up a skein of Berocco Ultra Alpaca and said "Mom, make me hat out 'dis!" I mean, how can I say no to that? At least I used it right away. Also, it's a dark espresso brown that is almost black; I wonder if this portends broody teenage years to come.
3. I need to make this child some waterproof mittens! He voluntarily went outside to shovel snow no less than three times today, and considering he's not quite three years old, he did a surprisingly good job (except that he piled everything on the middle step up to the deck, but we'll ignore minor flaws in his technique for now).
1. Three weeks after her birthday, and more than two weeks after finishing the knitting part, I finally got around to blocking my mom's shawl:
When I showed Stuart and asked him to admire it, his only comment was: "It is quite triangular." (Don't worry. He supports me in other ways.)
My parents will be here for Thanksgiving this week, so I'll get good FO shots and do a proper post with more details in a few days.
2. Here's a glimpse at my current WIPs:
Clearly, I have a thing for purple these days. Here's a closer look.
3. Baby bolero, a relatively new pattern by Knitting Pure and Simple.
This is for our new niece, born Friday night. She was a couple weeks early because they had to turn her out of breech position and induce labor, but she's healthy and beautiful and dark-haired. I wanted a lickety-split knit so I could be sure to finish in plenty of time for Christmas. I started this the day she was born and now all it needs is the sleeve cuffs and a button; talk about instant gratification! (Also, I need to make her big brother a sweater, which I haven't started yet, but I shall. I shall.) For some reason, I had the hardest time deciding what to knit for this wee girl, though it shouldn't really come as a surprise, sinc her brother the Doodlebug didn't get any handknits from me until his first birthday. Anyway, the bolero seemed right. It won't fit her for a while, probably sometime in the spring, which is appropriate since they live in North Carolina and they actually get warm weather down there starting in March. (Imagine!)
4. A sweater for meeeeeee.
Can you believe it? I'm finally making something for myself in between all of these gifts and kid things. This is the right front of the gray cables cardigan from the Debbie Bliss Rialto Classics booklet. Mine's in purple and not in DB Rialto because as much as I love Debbie Bliss designs, her yarns make me crazy. They're soft as can be but they're also expensive and stretchy and they pill like mad. I'm using Adrienne Vittadini Lisa, which is quite nice.
5. I've got a few other projects in the "queue" (I don't really have a queue because I am always changing my mind about what to do next), and a few of them are rather urgent. First, I promised a cap for my dad at his special request, and seeing as he drove hundreds of miles to get me and my kids to Kansas (I could have done it myself, but it was so much easier with him along) so I could do a concert, I think this gets priority. Second, I want to make my nephew a sweater for Christmas; I'm planning on a simple hoodie that shouldn't take too long. Third, Daniel needs those mittens! No, I haven't forgotten, but he's got the pair I made him last year. They're not as warm as I'd like but it's not desperately cold yet so I have a little time.
6. I'm trying to de-stash a bit. I haven't been doing too well with my "no buying for 2 years resolution" (don't all diets go badly like that?) but I can at least try and reduce some things I know I won't use.
My BIL and his wife are at the hospital today for an appointment to try and turn their baby out of breech position. If the procedure is successful, they will induce labor and we'll have a new niece! If not, they'll schedule a C-section for next week. We hope for everyone's sake it's the former. Exciting times!
This also means I need to make up my mind about what to knit for this new baby since she'll be arriving a little earlier than we thought. I've got ideas for several things, but haven't started any.
Egads, what a busy time it's been. First, I was in Kentucky for a week with the kids. Then, the day we got back, Stuart's grandma died and he had to take the train to Montana for the funeral. Then my dad came to help with the kids while I judged a piano festival all day, and we drove to Kansas (we left before Stuart got back from MT) so I could spend a week preparing a 4-hand recital with my former teacher. (I wrote a post about that here, and Steph wrote some nice things about it here as well.) We finally got back into town yesterday, just in time for me to turn around and teach some piano lessons.
Here's the thing about car trips, though: if someone else is willing to drive all or most of a 700-mile trip, you can get a lot of knitting done. Provided, that is, you don't have squash yourself in the back seat between the carseats to keep certain little ones occupied. My dad drove the entire way back from Kansas to Madison. He can't read in the car without getting a headache, so as long as he's not too tired, he prefers to be the driver. It was nice and sunny and the kids were more or less cooperative, so I got about half a sweater done on the way back.
I shall have pictures of knitting to share soon. I need to block that shawl and get some shots of the sweater in progress. I have a design idea for Anya for which I have the yarn, but have yet to swatch. Also, the camera battery is just about dead so it needs to charge before I can give you photographic evidence of any of these things.
I finally downloaded some more pictures of the Kentucky trip, though, and I think you'll be interested in the latest orange thing I've made for Daniel: a bathrobe.
My mom and I spent the better part of a day sewing it up. He feels like such a "gohm-up" when he wears it, and you can see he even posed wearing my mom's shoes and holding a comb.
1. frantically trying to keep the house from becoming a complete disaster because
2. my dad's coming into town tomorrow because
3. otherwise I would have to drive to Kansas with the kids by myself because
4. I am giving a concert there with my college teacher and Stuart can't miss a whole week of work and class to travel with us. (I told him I'd buy him a bucket of Advil for all that driving.) Stuart is not here now because
5. his grandma in Montana died and he took the train out there for the funeral. She was 93 and in really poor health, so it wasn't surprising, but still sad.
6. This means I get to wake up at 5:00 with the kids and NOT go back to bed until...bedtime. That sucks because
7. I don't know how to use our espresso machine so I have to settle for regular coffee (just not the same) or getting expensive lattés elsewhere. Today I did the latter.
8. Did I mention that I agreed to judge a piano festival all day Saturday and my dad will be stuck with the kids for nearly 8 hours (maybe they can come meet me for lunch) after driving a whole day to get here? (Stu doesn't get back until Sunday.) I'm really worried that Anya will scream until everyone's completely deaf (she's the clingy sort, very mama-centric.)
8. Also, all of last week I was in Kentucky with the kids visiting my parents because
9. they don't like going more than a couple months in between seeing their grandchildren and also
10. I really needed the free babysitting for an opportunity to practice (see #4 above).
11. Despite all the craziness, I've actually been knitting. I haven't made mittens for Daniel yet. It's too warm for mittens now, though tomorrow it might snow. (hate Wisconsin. hate it hate it hate it. Not really. At least we went for Obama in a big way. WOOOOO!!)
12. I digress. No mittens, but he was still a cat for Halloween, so I made him an orange hat with kitty ears:
Worsted weight yarn doubled goes pretty quick, even when you knit the ears about 6 different times trying to get them right (no pattern - I just winged it.)
13. I finished mom's shawl. Not in time for her birthday, alas, but she'll get it soon. It might be a tad smaller than she wants, but there's no way I'm picking out the bind-off and tinking 12 rows of border in that sticky, woolly shetland yarn.
14. Also, I made a hat for the neighbor's kid and gave it to him before I could get a picture. He and Daniel play all the time, so I'm sure I can sneak one in the next couple weeks, especially since hat weather is here.
Anyway, now I have to:
15. clean up the kitchen before the crust on the floor comes alive and devours us all,
16. prepare some invitation postcards to mail tomorrow so someone actually shows up to this recital next weekend,
17. do a mountain of laundry so we don't have to wear stinky clothes
19. drink some tea and try not to feel stressed.
More details later on the actual knitting, I promise.
ETA: I just noticed there are two #8s up there. Meh.