Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Merry Christmas!

We had a wonderful holiday around here, which included the giving of many knitted items. Here is my brother wearing the hat I made him, previously modeled by Marty:

A camera error is preventing me from retreiving my dad's hat. But here's what I made for my mom:

Accompanying the above item was this note:

Dear Mom,

This unfortunate, incomplete, ill-fitting gift is really an example. It’s an example of:

1. How important it is to do a gauge swatch
2. What you might have received for Christmas, had daughter #1 followed example #1
3. A bolero jacket for a very small person
4. What a one-armed elf might wear
5. My intention to hand-knit something special for you
6. My overly-ambitious knitting schedule (ask Rob what he got this morning)
7. Proof of the saying, “It’s the thought that counts” (hopefully)
8. Your opportunity to choose an item, any item, to be hand-knit in YOUR SIZE (I promise to do a gauge swatch this time) (you can take as much time as you like to choose. I know how you like to browse extensively before you commit to anything)

I received some truly thoughtful and fantastic gifts. The most exciting part is that someone is knitting something for me!!! My mom is making me the Touch Me Scarf out of the wonderful Meunch chenille that is unlike any other. It is a true red and was given to me on the needles - so nice to know that I am not the only one to do that this year! I also got some great knitting books and a check written out to my LYS. Perfect! My sister-in-law gave me a photo printer and my husband got me all kinds of fun stuff - books, wine glasses, silpats, a remote weather station, and the Jeopardy! game. We had a great time with family and friends and look forward to a happy new year.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004


Hey some stuff is being knitted around here! I can tell because my needle case is filled to overflowing. On the way to Chicago last weekend, I finished this hat for my brother, Mike:

Then on the way home from Chicago, I finally finished the blue baby hat that matches the cardigan that goes with the pink cardi and hat set for the Kreiman twins, who were born around Thanksgiving. It makes me so happy to have this set finished and I hope they love it. Here's the whole set together:

Not done yet! Look what else got finished:

Gee, I'm not sure if that's big enough. Hold it up so I can see:

Ah yes, almost as big as the child it's for. Perfect!

Friday, December 17, 2004

How many days til...

Would you think Christmas is just around the corner, if that hat were the only thing I've cast off in a week? Well, it is, and it is.

Life has been so hectic lately and I feel I haven't had any time to knit.

Our good friend Justin visited us for the weekend. When my husband picked him up from the airport, Justin asked to be taken to a place to get his haircut and to buy a hat. Rob said, "Oh, let Tracy make you a hat!" I was thrilled to make Justin something, even if he did insist on black and nothing but black. And it made me feel so great that Rob thought of my knitting as a superior option to a store-bought hat (I am quite confidant that this was the case, rather than he was trying to save Justin a few bucks.)

The hat was knit with Rowan's kid class, a blend of 70% lambswool, 26% kid mohair, and 4% nylon. It has a nice fuzz to it. I invented my own pattern by making a gauge swatch and measuring Justin's head - a wopping 23.5"! I wanted the hat to be a bit smaller than his head, so 22.5" is what I was going for. My gauge gave me 3.5 stitches=1" on a size US10 needle holding both strands together. Here's the pattern that I made up:

Using a US10 (16") circular needle and holding both strands together, cast on 76 stitches. Work k2, p2 rib for 4.5 inches. Knit 1 row, increasing 1 stitch every 19, for a total of 80 stitches (I did this to avoid using a smaller size needle, as I did not have a size 9 handy. If you do, you could cast all 80 onto a sz 9 and skip the increasing).

Work stockinette stitch (knit every round) until piece measures 9" (less if you want a hat that fits closer to the head, like a skull cap. I prefer mine a bit taller so it can be really pulled down on cold days, or worn a bit higher up, as the wearer prefers.)

Begin decreasing:
Round 1: (k5, k2tog), repeat to end of round, k 3 remaining stitches.
Round 2: knit round
Round 3: (k4, k2tog), repeat to end of round, k 3 remaining stitches.
Round 4: knit round
Round 5: (k3, k2tog), repeat to end of round, k 3 remaining stitches.
Round 6: knit round
Round 7: (k2, k2tog), repeat to end of round, k 3 remaining stitches.
Round 8: knit round
Round 9: (k1, k2tog), repeat to end of round.
Round 10: knit round
Round 11: (k2tog), repeat to end of round.

Cut yarn, leaving and 8" tail. Weave tail through remaining live stitches and then weave tail end into wrong side of hat. Presto!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Marty Pants

Really, my blog title should be Marty Pants. This was our nickname for Marty, because he was so smart and we didn't want to refer to him as a smarty pants. Making pants, or longies, was my original motivation to learn to knit: 100% wool can be waterproofed with a bit of lanolin and water and creates the perfect cover for a cloth diaper - all natural, breathable, all seasons, environmentally friendly, perfect. Some people knit a lot of socks, some a lot of scarves. I knit a lot of pants. Here's the pair just finished for Mary:

Sporty and cute, just like Mary. Hopefully we will get a pic of her wearing them soon. Why didn't I take one today, when she tried them on and I had my camera? Same reason I haven't taken the picture for our Christmas cards, either, I suppose. A little know secret concerning havin gchildren: your brain functions at 50% capacity from the moment you get pregnant until your child is older - no idea how old, but past 2 for sure. I will keep you posted if it ever comes back to full functionality.

Now my needles are free to start some Christmas knitting!