Friday, November 27, 2009

Braided ball


Pattern: Braided ball from Ravelry

Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton-ease in maize, lime, and cherry; probably about 1/4 to 1/3 of each skein, maybe less.

Needles: US size 3 bamboo

I made this braided ball for my nephew, B, for Christmas. He is 2 years old. I have feeling he will have the ball for about 2 minutes before he pulls it all out of shape, but I hope he will have fun with it, regardless. Also, if you pull the braids apart a little, you can put something inside it which I think might be a fun thing for a toddler. I think I might make several little regular balls to go with it and those, plus the Mickey Mouse stuffed animal I got him from Disneyland will make up his Christmas present.

I'm making a lot of Christmas presents this year and it makes me a little bit nervous that I might not get them all done. I've got the socks for Mom, these balls for B, and several little stuffed animals that I am sewing for my three other nephews, L, G, and H. And, if I get all of those done, I might knit little purses for my step-nieces. I started one purse and then never finished it and now I'm not sure I'm going to get those done. I have other stuff for them for Christmas so they might not get something handmade this year. Also, I'm crocheting a bath puff for my MIL and a washcloth for SIL both of which will be paired with some fancy bath soap/shower gel.

The deadline for Christmas is looming. I know it's not even Dec. yet, but my family celebrates Christmas the weekend before and since I'm not going there, I need to ship it all in time to get there by Dec. 19. We're not going to the in-law's either, so those gifts also need to be shipped, although they can be shipped a little later.

With all of the handmade stuff I'm doing for my family, I don't have much time for other handknits. I wanted to make something for charity, specifically, the red scarf project since they are in such need of scarves, but the deadline for it is Dec. 15, and when I started a scarf for that, I completely freaked out about not meeting any of my deadlines and I had an actual panic attack and spent half the night in bed feeling like I was going to puke which was terribly unproductive. I even bought some wool-ease for the project and now I'm going to have to return it. Even if I somehow get everything done superquick and still have time to knit a scarf, I have decided I hate wool-ease. I have knit with it in the past and not had a problem with it but this time it seemed really cheap and, I don't know, acrylicky (new word). I don't know if they have changed it recently or if I have become more of a yarn snob. Anyway, I feel bad about not making anything for charity, but I don't want to risk another panic attack, so I'm going to let it go.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

On-hold socks, now off-hold

Sometime in Oct., I started my Mom's Christmas present, a pair of socks using the On-Hold pattern from Socks from the Toe Up by Wendy Johnson. I got a little over one pattern repeat done and then stalled. The socks were coming out too big. *sigh*

So, I kinda stopped working on them. The On-Hold socks were on hold. It didn't help that the pattern wasn't something I could work on at knitting group because I had to do too much counting and would keep getting distracted.

Last weekend, it occurred to me that Christmas was approaching (this is, of course, exactly what the stores want you to think with all of the Christmas decorations hanging from their ceilings). I really didn't want to get down to the wire with the knitting (or worse, miss Christmas entirely) and given that I was going to have ship these babies since I'm not going home for Christmas this year AND the fact that my family celebrates Christmas the weekend before Christmas, I knew I had to get working on these socks again.

So, I got out the size zero needles and started over. Unfortunately, there wasn't much difference in size (read almost none at all) between the first sock I started and the second sock. I almost gave up and started a new pattern, but I realized I could remove a few knit stitches on each side of the central pattern (and off the sole, then, too, of course) so that's what I did. Now, I've done four pattern repeats and am about to start the heel of the first sock. Still a ways to go, but I'm getting there!

While knitting, I've been listening to the first Dresden Files book, Storm Front, by Jim Butcher. I've only read (listened to) three or four chapters but I'm finding it entertaining so far. I download audio books from and I'm pretty pleased with audible. When I first started downloading books from them, you couldn't listen to a clip of the book (you just had to go on the reviews and there would be some where people both loved and hated the narrator) and I ended up getting one or two books that I never listened to past the first few minutes because I hated the narrator. These days, you can listen to a clip and that makes me very happy.

You're probably wondering what I've been knitting on at knitting group if I haven't been knitting on Mom's socks. Another pair of socks, of course. This pair is for me. I have no idea when I started the first sock, but I had gotten it all the way to the point of kitchnering the toe and then stopped, letting it languish for months. I finally picked it back up when I needed something mindless for knitting group and now I've completed the leg and the heel of the second sock (in addition to stitching up the toe of the first sock, of course)! The yarn is a bamboo blend from Regia and the needles are size 2 so it's zooming along. Pretty soon, I'll need to find some other mindless knitting for knitting group.

I'll get pictures of Mom's socks and my socks up one of these days.

Random anecdote: Today, I was at Starbucks and I ordered a chai latte. The person at the register asked me if I wanted a shot of expresso in it. Um, no.