Archive for December, 2007

Finished Object: Irish Hiking Scarf

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Pattern: Irish Hiking Scarf, a free pattern from Hello Yarn.

Yarn: Alpaca with a Twist Highlander, my absolute favorite tweed, in a mossy green color called Lady Fern. I used 2.5 skeins to obtain a scarf with 43 repeats of the cable pattern, about five feet in length.

Needles: Good old cheap aluminum straights, size 8. But if I knit this pattern again with this  yarn, I might go up a size for drape.

Modifications: Not a single one. The pattern calls for 350 yards of worsted weight wool, and I think I used that much almost to the foot.

Final Thoughts: The perfect combination of yarn and pattern. Knitting this was a big confidence booster, and who can’t use that? The first half was slow going, for which I blamed the baby. But I actually finished the last half in less than three days, and I was taking care of the baby by myself for most of that time. I’m finding out it’s all about time management. I had to stay up way past my bedtime to get it done, but I did it! As the back of the Mason Dixon Knitting book says, "No project is too ambitious if you crave the result enough."

Oh, and I also learned how to fix a miscrossed (or in my case non-crossed) cable with a little help from the Yarn Harlot’s great tutorial. But you’d never know that from looking at the scarf!

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Back to the Blog (I hope!)

Last time I posted, Iris was one month old. Now she’s almost two months old, and almost the whole month has gone by with nary a single post from me. I have a really good excuse in the form of gall bladder surgery, and not the relatively easy laparoscopic kind of surgery they like to do these days. I got the kind that leaves you with a six inch scar! I may have to give up all hope of becoming a bikini model, darn the luck.

But who wants to hear about surgery and scars? It’s almost Christmas and I’m ready to talk about the holiday knitting that I’m doing that I swore I would not be doing this year. I’m guessing I’m not the only knitter who has sworn off this crazy holiday knitting numerous times, only to be suckered into it at the last minute. This year, I really thought I could skip it. Isn’t having a new baby the best reason ever to not knit a damn thing for anyone else? If there is ever a time people should have low expectations for handknitted gifts, it is now! I’m still adjusting to life with the baby, and sometimes I have trouble figuring out when I’m going to wash my hair! Knitting has been falling off the radar more and more, replaced with the daily care and keeping of my little girl.

Which is one big reason why I think I started feeling the urge to knit some gifts this year. I’m not the best person with deadlines (recall that I didn’t finish my Christmas knitting until January last year), but if I have a goal in mind, I always try to make it, no matter how hopeless or ridiculous it seems. If I’m just knitting for myself, I don’t really care when (or sometimes if) the project gets done. It’s easy for me to put off that kind of knitting for later because there is so much other stuff that needs to be done. But if I’m knitting for someone I care about, I’m more likely to make the time to work on it, which is good for me- I need knitting to keep me happy and (relatively) sane!

So, there will be some finished object posts coming up really, really soon. Another nice thing about this year is that the people I’m knitting for are either getting their gifts early for one reason or another, or I know they don’t read the blog, so it will be safe to post pictures before the big day. There are three things I’m making for sure:

  1. A super secret special gift for my Secret Santa at Sophie’s. (The swap is tomorrow! The excitement is building! I really need to finish this one before then! Wish I was kidding!)
  2. A Bob for my husband, who just so happens to be named Bob, making this gift obviously perfect.
  3. A Toasty Topper for Iris, who I think desperately needs one to keep her warm now and maybe even for years to come. The pattern says that one size works for an infant, toddler, or small child. Perfect! The problem is figuring out what to call it. I think "harf" might be the most appropriate option.

From there, we’ll just have to see. It will be practically a miracle if I actually finish all of those things by the 25th, but I’ll have fun either way. And if I have to wrap up Iris’s "harf" with the needles still in it, she’ll never be any the wiser.

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