Forgive me, for I am a selfish knitter…

I try to be a good person, but…

I am actually a terrible person. I have all these plans to knit Christmas gifts for other people (e.g. a vintage Mary Maxim reindeer sweater for The Girl, cowls and fingerless mitts for various and sundry friends and/or relatives, a hat and socks for my husband, etc. etc.), but I keep getting distracted by stuff for me. Plus, I’m having trouble using my copious stash for these urgently required items so I keep buying things.  For instance, this Spud & Chloe Fine that I just bought for the husband’s Chili Pepper Hat, which I’m almost finished:

Spud & Chloe Fine in Hippo and Pavement

In fact, I was recently busted by the aforementioned spouse when he asked me “Hey, I once heard you say that you have more yarn than you’ll ever use in your lifetime, so why did you just buy more?” Naturally, I had no answer for this so pretended I hadn’t heard the question. How can I possibly make him understand that, yes, I have a veritable mountain of perfectly good fingering weight yarn stored under every bed and in every closet in the house, but none in the exact colour needed for the hat I’m making you with all the love in my heart.

Um, yeah…. I’m keeping that

An example of an object tricot initially meant for someone else that I have subsequently selfishly appropriated is Jane Richmond‘s Rae, which I made using SweetGeorgia’s Tough Love Sock in a custom colourway from Knit City. I think you’ll agree that the pattern and the yarn were born for each other. Just look how stripey it is without being pool-y:

Rae Scarf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, my idea was that this will be a gift for someone as-yet-undetermined, but the more I look at it and wrap it around my neck, the more I realize that I need to just accept that the only way someone else will have this is if it’s pried from my cold dead hands.

Also, I just finished Veronik Avery’s beautiful Lace Weekend Socks, which I cast on with every intention to gift them, but once finished, I put them on and, Bingo!, suddenly they were mine. Veronik’s (very sadly discontinued) St-Denis Boreale yarn is absolutely divine for socks. So woolly and cozy, it’s impossible to imagine giving them away. In fact, just the thought of parting with them made me a little weepy. (BTW, go to stdenisyarns.com now – all the yarn (Boreale, Nordique and Sommet) plus her lovely patterns are on clearance.)

Lace Weekend Socks

 

More distraction

And now, after digesting Jane’s exquisite new book Island and favouriting every single pattern, I’ve just placed an order from Quince & Co. for two skeins of their Sparrow linen yarn in Juniper to make her Strathcona scarf. (Update: I just received notification that it has shipped. Wheee!!)  And this time, I’m not even bothering to pretend that it’s for anyone but me. I mean seriously, this colour has me written all over it.

Sparrow in “Juniper” (photo from Quince & Co.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The good news as far as my Christmas knitting goes is that the aforementioned Sparrow won’t arrive for a few weeks (shipping from Maine) so I’ll have plenty of time to cast on the reindeer sweater and maybe even get most of it finished before the end of November.  Providing, of course, that my inner magpie can resist becoming distracted by other shiny projects in the meantime. (Yarn gods give me strength!)

Something I plan to focus on after my Christmas work is done is plowing through Pacific Knits, the other book I bought at Knit City. I love every single pattern in it. My niece is expecting again in a few months and I’ll need some wee woolies for him/her and a tiny-sized Antler Cardigan would be a perfect.. Happily, I may have stash yarn for this – which of course pretty much cancels out the cost of the Quince & Co purchase. It’s like getting free yarn! Right? Right? (Just nod in agreement.) That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  🙂

Antler Cardigan (photo by Tin Can Knits)

Happy knitting y’all!

 

Happy New Socks, er, New Year!

I [finally!] finished DH’s Don Draper Wants Me socks. They were a toe-up pattern with a classic heel and I finished the cuff edge with a Russian bind-off. I think next time I do a toe-up, I’m going to try a sewn cast-off. The Russian edge is a little wavy-ish but of course, when worn, the edge is smooth but I’m just not crazy about the slight ruffle-y look.

With another FO done, I’m forging ahead with my Lacy Cable Socks (above) from Veronik Avery’s brilliant Knitting 24/7. The yarn is Ripples Craft Hand Dyed Yarns Sock Yarn and a really beautiful semi-solid in a sweet heathery lilac wool/nylon blend. It’s nice and squishy but a teeny bit rough-ish feeling. I’m sure it will soften up with washing. In the meantime, this super-easy 8-row lacy pattern is very easy to do.

I recently learned that my niece and her new hubby are expecting in June (they didn’t waste any time – they are due pretty much exactly 9 months from the date of their wedding!) so I’m getting revved up thinking about baby knits again. I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE Veronik Avery’s Lullaby Blanket from her St-Denis Magazine Issue 2 and have set my mind to thinking about what yarn to use. I want a soft washable wool in a nice creamy ivory or pale grey.

I also adore classic baby wear like Knitting Pure & Simple’s hooded jacket and matching Baby Bottoms. I may whip up another Duck Soup Cardigan in something soft and heathery. I love the classic look of that one and it was so fast and easy to make. That’s the beauty of baby knits – they’re nice, small projects that knit up quickly so I’m hoping to make several things for her.

Speaking of babies, this brings me to something that totally perplexes me. It’s not really a pet peeve but I just don’t understand why expectant parents feel compelled to know the sex of their baby and name it before it’s born. To me, whether you’re having a boy or girl is the last great surprise in our modern world. I’ve asked people at work about this and invariably they say they are “planners” and like to know what to expect so they can be prepared. I’m just the old broad with near-grown children so it’s no surprise that the latest wave of parents don’t listen to me, but seriously, I know for a fact that no amount of pre-planning prepares you for anything when it comes to children. Knowing the sex of your baby in advance doesn’t make a whit of difference when it comes to what’s important. Kitting out the nursery in “boy” or “girl” colours doesn’t prepare you for sleepless nights, seemingly endless crying (oh, and the baby’s crying too) and the never-ending worry about whether they’re still breathing. And don’t get me started about teenagers. I seriously doubt that obsessive pre-planning and pre-naming has any bearing on how your child develops. It makes me a little sad to think that so many parents are willingly depriving themselves of the joyful surprise of whether you’ve brought a tiny girl or boy into the world. I will never forget how during my first pregnancy I felt convinced I was carrying a boy and had become accustomed to that idea and when finally, 12 days late and after endless labour, boom! it was over and I asked “What is it?” The doctor [hilariously] said “It’s a baby!” and I said “I know that – what is it?” and he said “It’s a girl”. Time stopped, I started crying and was overwhelmed with an all-consuming happiness. When I finally held my little treasure in my arms, the surprise of her identity made the moment so special. We had a shortlist of names but after spending several days peering into her eyes wondering “who are you, what is your name?” and watching her find her way in the big world, we tossed out those names and decided on one that suited her to a T. It was great fun. But that’s just me, I guess. No one has ever accused me of being Type-A.