Monday, February 28, 2011

An FO and a Bonus

The Blood Angel Bag is finally finished. It is quite a bit bigger than my previous dice bags, but I think it is exactly what my friend requested. Hopefully he'll be happy with it.
FO: Blood Angel Bag

Since I have already explained the process I went through for this, I have a bonus treat for you. You guys seemed to like the Kuroshio Sea aquarium, so now I want to show you something from the other end of the spectrum. Enjoy!

Via LikeCool

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Oscar's Oscar Picks

I've never been in the habit of watching award ceremonies.  For the past couple years though, I have been trying to get into them.  I find that when I watch them, I enjoy them, but I have a hard time paying enough attention to make sure I see them. I completely missed the Golden Globes, but tonight I am going to do better and watch the Academy Awards.  In preparation, I've checked in with the one critic that matters:

You’re watching You’ve Got Oscar The Grouch. See the Web's top videos on AOL Video

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Queued: Cabled Swing Cardi

From The Knitter's Book of Yarn
Norah Gaughan is one of my favorite designers. I find myself uniquely drawn to her patterns. She always seems to have just enough detail and never overwhelms the garment. I think her Cabled Swing Cardi in The Knitter's Book of Yarn is no exception.

I wanted to knit up this cardigan as soon as I saw it, but I've been torn about if I should knit it for me.  I think the length and the way the bottom panels will hang, will not flatter my pear shape. I think this would make a fantastic fall jacket, and I have a girlfriend who lives in a climate who will never need more than just that.  I've kept this in my queue because I think it could be a perfect gift for her. There are plenty of other Norah patterns that I'll be able to make for myself.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Follow Friday: Brooklyn Botanic Garden

From Brooklyn Botanic Garden
From the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Mission Statement:
The mission of Brooklyn Botanic Garden is to serve all the people in its community and throughout the world by:
Displaying plants and practicing the high art of horticulture to provide a beautiful and hospitable setting for the delight and inspiration of the public.
Engaging in research in plant sciences to expand human knowledge of plants, and disseminating the results to science professionals and the general public.
Teaching children and adults about plants at a popular level, as well as making available instruction in the exacting skills required to grow plants and make beautiful gardens.
Reaching out to help the people of all our diverse urban neighborhoods to enhance the quality of their surroundings and their daily lives through the cultivation and enjoyment of plants.
Seeking actively to arouse public awareness of the fragility of our natural environment, both local and global, and providing information about ways to conserve and protect it.

I love my Botanic Garden. When the weather is nice Hubby and I take our after dinner strolls in the garden. It is one of Hubby's favorite places to take pictures. I follow the blog to keep up with the events and news, but mostly, I want to see their gorgeous pictures.

Twitter Bonus: @bklynbotanic

From Hubby
Hubby has enough pictures of this waterfall to make his own calendar.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Queued: Cobblestone

From Brooklyn Tweed
Cobblestone, designed by Jared Flood,  was the very first project that I ever added to my queue. Despite that, I have not risked the sweater curse yet. I've been wanting to make Hubby a sweater for awhile, but he hasn't been 100% about wanting a sweater. It wasn't until this winter that started to enjoy wearing sweaters.

I had planned to make this as my first sweater. I thought it would be a good project for learning sweaters and getting over my apprehension.  The lack of shaping and the elegant simplicity of the look alleviated all of my worries. Since hubby wasn't interested, I kept putting it off, up until, I no longer needed it to be my first sweater.

Now that Hubby is starting to wear sweaters, I am starting to be inspired by all of the incredible women's versions in ravelry. One of us is going to have to wait our turn.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Take a Moment

Take a moment to contemplate. Take a moment to relax. Take a moment to appreciate. Take a moment to enjoy. Take a moment for yourself.

I feel like I have been running around a lot this month. I've been having a wonderful time, but just because something is fun doesn't mean it cannot add to the stress. This video is currently my favorite way to take a short break.

Via GeekDad

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bo Brite

I am so obsessed with this project that I feel like I've been hiding it from you. I needed to buy some yarn to have the right colors for the Blood Angel Bag so I decided to place a Knit Picks order. Of course, I was just using that as an excuse to order some of their new line Chroma. I have desperately wanted to make a Noro striped scarf ever since I saw Jared's beautiful photos, but I've never picked up the Noro to get it done. With Chroma so accessible, affordable and tempting, I couldn't resist.  I have been incredibly happy with my new yarn.

I had a ridiculously fun time winding this yarn.
Chroma Wound

I got to admire each of those beautiful colors one at a time as they balled up. I was concerned when I wound it up. I am not use to working with a single ply yarn like this one. I started to doubt its strength. I worried with without the extra strands making up the yarn it would just pull apart like unspun fiber. I can assure you that I haven't had any issues like that at all. This yarn does go thick and thin a little bit, but I've been knitting happily along. Now that I'm use to it, I don't doubt it at all. It has been so soft and fluffy running through my fingers. I find myself not knitting and just cuddling.

I cast on 41 stitches for my scarf and I've been addicted to it ever since. Every time I pick it up, I feel like I am just about to start a new color and I cannot wait until I see it.

I've brought it to a couple of knitting groups, and I've almost made it though the first two balls. Not even half way through my yarn, I am currently at 55". I like my scarves really long because I like to be able to wrap them around my neck with a little drape. I'm excited about this one being extra long.  Maybe I'll be abel to wrap it twice.

Monday, February 21, 2011

No Disrespect to the Blood Angels

While watching a movie with Hubby last night and catching up with TED talks this morning, I've finished the rest of the bag and bound off.  I wanted to take a pre-seaming picture to make it even more clear how I'm attaching the image panel to the rest of the bag.
At this moment, I don't think this looks as bag like as it should.  In fact, in it's current pre-seamed state, I can only see a diaper. Wouldn't it be the cutest little Warhammer diaper ever?
Warhammer Diaper

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Blood Angel Bag Taking Shape

Blood Angel BagThe charting has paid off, and now this back can officially be called a Blood Angel bag. Actually, I am not certain it can be called a bag yet. Since I am just putting one insignia on the bag, I decided to use a trick that I learned from making Cara Key's Alfonso the Monkey pattern. I've knit up a front panel with the emblem on it using intarsia to put on the emblem. Now that that section is done, it will wait until I knit up the rest of the bag. Then I'll rejoin the pieces and work on in the round.  Once the full bag is done, I will mattress stitch the open sides together. I hope this will make two indiscernible seams along the sides of the emblem.

Here is a better look at the rest of the the work I have to do.
Bag UnfinishedI don't think it will take long at all, but I am realizing how much extra purling this method includes.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Fashion Tips from Mrs. Stark?

For the past few months, I've been checking out comic books.  I decided to make use of the Marvel Point One promotion and get to know Iron Man. I enjoyed the comic.  It was a fine set-up for introducing and laying out the story. There was one panel that I just had the hardest time getting past.  Tony was telling his story and he spoke about his parents.  I got a good look at his mom.
From Drop Box

What is she wearing? I had a problem reading past this because I just cannot understand what is going on  below that red sash.  Now I've accepted that in this genre of storytelling, unless it is a costume, a lot of the clothing is pretty standard. I'm not reading comics for fashion advice, so I don't generally care who is wearing what when super powers are not on display. This, on the other hand, is driving me crazy. There was a lot of extra effort put into that midriff.  A few simple lines and I would have brushed right over a stylish empire dress.  I might have even noticed the elegant long black gloves, but as is I just can't stop wondering what is happening here. Whatever it is, I don't think it is flattering her figure.

Follow Friday: Ask a Copywriter

From Brian Thompson
From About:
I believe advertising can solve all of the world’s problems.
Well, at least yours.

I like advertising. When I watch TV by myself, I'll rewind the DVR if I've accidentally skipped a commercial I've seen before.  I have once or twice moved to the other end of the subway car so I could read all of the ads in a particular series. I'm not such an avid fan that I stay current with the field or really follow what is new very seriously, but I like this blog because it is just what I want.  Every so often, Brian Thompson will post pictures and videos (with admirably concise commentary that could only come from a copywriter.) What I enjoy the most is that he will post a full (or close to full) series of ads. I may have seen one commercial or walked by one poster and thought it was witty. His posts will have all four of five in the series and by seeing them all, I appreciate the approach (and often the humor) even more.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Queued: Nouveau Bohemia

From Photo.Knit.Dog
My new friend Lina released her Nouveau Bohemia pattern just last week. I only know a couple designers, and I admire them all.  Lina came to our last knit group right after the full pattern and the different versions were all done. I got to admire the beanie version up close.

It is a beautiful hat. I love the lace and cable combination. I think my favorite is the beanie, but I may change my mind once I see a couple versions in a solid color. I've got some left over Andean Silk that I've been thinking about making a hat with. It is a solid purple, but it has a lot of bloom. This pattern might also be the perfect excuse to pick up some madelinetosh.

There are only a few projects on Ravelry right now. This is the moment to get ahead of the knitting fad. By next winter everybody is going to have one.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Brick Thief

It is the middle of the week, the weather is fantastic, and I just got home from a wonderful meetup, so I would like to share something playful with you.

via LikeCool

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


How do you feel about dice bags? I hope you like them, because they are going to be overtaking my attention for a little bit. Hubby's was not the end of the dice bag excitement. A friend requested a custom bag for his Warhammer random number generators (I admit 'dice' is getting pretty repetitive already). I couldn't resist  a request like that, so I've started prepping. He sent me a picture of his insignia so I used Knit Pro to make a chart.

From Drop Box

It is not quite perfect. I am going to have to do some refining with colored pencils, but what I'm really concerned about is the nice curved lines in the wings. They have already gotten a little blocky by putting it in the chart. Once I knit it up I will have to see what I think. Maybe I'll be able to devise a way to smooth them out.  Right now I'm thinking that if it is a problem, I could try some duplicate stitch or embroidery to fix it up.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

I have sweet nothings to attend to, so no post today.
Via Art Yarn
Take a moment to tell someone that you love her.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

With Love from Cthulhu

Cthulhu HeartsFrom what I understand Cthulhu prefers cultists to valentines, but this year, he is helping me share a little love with my hubby. I mentioned that I was working on a dice bag for his new game, and with out any stress I was able to complete it in time for our February fawning over each other.

I am still not completely happy with my color work. This time, I used a yarn stranding guide  for the two color section.  It was helpful in that I didn't have to drop and pick up the yarn each time I changed colors. This was great on the boarder rows that switched colors every other stitch, but I still had difficulties with the runners. The gauge of that band is still noticeably tighter and their are a couple places that pucker a bit from turning the corner on DPNs.

Cthulhu TiedThe color work section also went really slowly. Part of that is because I am still not comfortable with the technique. I will definitely need to do some more smaller pieces before I take on anything major. Another issue was my yarn. Hubby's game had a glow in the dark die so he wanted a glow in the dark bag. he bought me some glow in the dark yarn, and agreed that it sounded fantastic. Let this be your warning. If you want to knit anything glow in the dark, you better be committed. This 100% nylon yarn is scratchy, splicy, and miserable to work with.  There was no joy in it running through scraping across my fingers. There is no twist in the yarn, so the tiny little threads that make up its weight were not cohesive and I was constantly knitting right through the middle of a strand.  Just take a look at that i-cord draw string. Tiny little nylon loops are poking out everywhere making the whole thing a little itchy and sad.

glowWith all of that said, I must also tell you. It does an awesome job at glowing in the dark. Despite hating working with it, I already have plans for the rest of my ball. I would not be surprised if I end up buying more.  I locked myself in our windowless bathroom to try and get you a picture of the awesome glowing.  Unfortunately, my camera does not have manual settings that allow me to leave the shutter open long enough to really capture the luminescent green. This is the best I got before I realized that trying to take and enhance photos of darkness is how I'm going to accidentally discover my toilet is haunted.

I cannot promise that we don't have any ghosts, but if you would like to come over to play, Hubby is ready to show off his new game.
Cthulhu dice

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Myrtle begins

MyrtleMyrtle has a solid start. I've worked through the garter stitch boarder and completed a full pattern repeat. I feel like this is going very slowly, but that was accomplished in just the past week. I think that part of my perception is that it has been a long time since I have worked on a project this large. Even the last blanket I finished was knit one square at a time so it was full of a lot of little gratification moments. Another reason that probably contributes to this feeling like a slow going project is that it is not portable. I am tied to the pattern, and it requires some extra focus. I'm not comfortable taking it away from home, so I haven't worked on it in the subway.  It sat here neglected when I when to knit night this week. Every time I leave it behind, I notice how much time I could have spent working on it, and think about how much hasn't been accomplished. It comes down to impatience, but for now, I think that is a good thing.  It is a sign that I'm really excited about this sweater, and I want to be working on it. What could be bad about a project that you wish you were working on?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Follow Friday: Art Yarn

From Drop Box
From ArtYarn's about blurb:

ArtYarn is a collaborative knitting and crochet project coordinated by visual artist Rachael Elwell.

ArtYarn formed in 2008 and continue to collaborate with local community groups, world wide knitting and crochet networks and arts organisations to create gallery installations, public arts projects and creative craft workshops.

ArtYarn are inspired by the versatility of knitting and crochet as an artistic media, as well as the traditional technical aspects of knitting and crochet.

This supports the creation of highly crafted art works with a contemporary outcome. All ArtYarn projects reflect the artistic, social and historical contexts of knitting and crochet, and focus on the tactility of hand manipulated processes.

With this, ArtYarn explore individual creative expression and focus projects on devising ways to make knitting and crochet accessible through participatory making.

ArtYarn are currently based; At Ebor Mill Studios, Littleborough, Lancashire (UK), and from ArtYarn's home town Todmorden, West Yorkshire.

I like following Art Yarn because I like to be reminded of the art associated with my craft. I don't think of myself as an artist. I create things, but I rarely use much creativity. I think that a lot of knitters are artists, but I sometimes forget that. I've found that since I've become a knitter, the way I view knitted things has changed. My ability to recreate something dulls my awe of a lot of knitting.  This means that when I am in the store and I see a sweater I'm not as impressed.  I now weight the benefits of getting it quickly and cheaply now against waiting and customizing it to myself later.

While I generally think this is a good thing for shopping (I've stopped buying as many mass-produced, poor fitting, acrylic sweaters) it is not as good, but almost as strong when it comes to hand knits.  I have huge respect for people who create and design knit pieces. Sadly, respect does not have the same immediate emotional impact that awe does.  Art Yarn regularly posts yarn bombings and creative pieces that are fiber creations, but are different from the sock, sweater, and blanket patterns that I regularly see on Ravelry. That difference is enough to re-inspire the awe, and remind me how much more than a craft my hobby is.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Queued: Cirque

From Drop Box
Cirque was designed by Sarah Wilson. I had originally found these socks when I was looking to design my own cowl. I wanted a textured cowl, but I wasn't really in love with any of the ones I found online. I decided to make up my own, but I didn't have any stitch patterns. I decided to hunt down some great sock patterns. I thought that they would have stitches already worked out for knitting in the round.  I would just need to scale it up to a size that would fit over my head instead of my ankle.

As always, Knitty was a great resource, and I found these great socks. I don't think I want this pattern to be a cowl. I like the cable cowls, but I was imagining something with more knit stitches and fewer purls. I never got around to making that cowl, but I'm keeping these socks in the queue because I'm still working on my collection.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Queued: Bird on a Wire

From Vogue Knitting
I keep telling myself that the next time I buy yarn, it is going to be for this hat. Bird on a Wire was designed by Elli Stubenrauch and published in the Fall 2009 Vogue Knitting. That issue is full of great hats, but this pattern is the reason I bought the magazine. I don't know what my style is, but this hat fits into it perfectly. I like the large bold image but I think it is the perfect size and doesn't overwhelm the hat. I love the cute bird that looks animated, but not goofy. The very best part of it all, is that it is reversible! If that model needs to brighten up her day, she can just flip that hat inside out and it will be sunny yellow with an adorable blue bird. When I look at this hat, I imagine myself wearing it in the park and spinning with joy.

I honestly cannot give you a good reason for why I have not made this hat yet, but I can offer three flimsy excuses. 1) It keeps getting pushed down the queue by gifts that I am knitting for other people. Now that I've instituted the rule, hopefully it won't be quite as big of a problem. 2) I don't know how to double knit. I am certainly not against learning, but I feel like I should do a practice piece before I dive into a hat that would devastate me if I messed it up. I have a hard enough time gauge swatching, so I haven't been feeling like doing a practice piece. 3) I don't have the yarn. I have decided that I am going to buy something special just for this hat. I want it to be perfect in every way so I am not sacrificing on the colors to make it work with whatever is in my stash. That means I have to commit to a color combination. I just cant decide. Wouldn't it be great with red and grey, or cream and blue, or yellow and brown. Really you could just toss any of those colors into a hat and pull out a combination I'd swoon over like yellow and grey, red and cream, or blue and brown. When I make that decision, then I'll make this hat.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cthulhu Dice

From Steve Jackson Games
I have never read any H. P. Lovecraft. For the past year a friend has been exposing me to it via Steve Jackson Games. I still don't know anything about the lore, but now I fear Cthulhu and value my sanity.

If you are interested in losing a little bit of sanity, I recommend Cthulhu Dice. It is a quick, fun game. It will likely drive a little mad, but if you stay sane the longest, you win. The game play is simple. There is one die, and 18 sanity stones. Your dice rolls will determine what happens to the sanity. You could gain some sanity or steal some. You have to be careful though, Cthulhu could take everyone's sanity.

Hubby was given the game for Christmas, and we are both excited about taking it with us to PAX. Hubby was very jealous of our friend's dice bag, so I've set aside the secret knitting to make another one. This one is going to be extra special. Hubby's Chtulhu die is glow in the dark, so he bought me some matching yarn.

Monday, February 7, 2011

New To Me

Yesterday, during the pre-game show before our big victory, I made myself a little something. I had this lost lonely earring.
From Drop Box

Now I have these brand new stitch markers.

From Drop Box

I already have them marking all of my C lace charts in my Myrtle sweater. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

December 15th

Hubby and I are getting everything ready to settle in and watch the Superbowl this morning.  I've hunted down some green and gold, and started reminiscing about my years in Green Bay.  Before my Wisconsin roots completely take over, here is a little NYC love:

December 15th from Wandering Hat on Vimeo.

via LikeCool

Saturday, February 5, 2011

LeDray at Whitney

Note: When I asked, I was told that the policy at the Whitney is no cameras at all, so none of these pictures are mine.  Please follow the source links for more information and photos.

A co-worker came in last week raving about the Charles LeDray exhibit at the Whitney. He immediately recommended it to me This was different than normal though. Often when someone makes a recommendation, it is some form of, "I saw this and loved it; you should go see it too." This time it was much more, "I saw this and thought of you. It will speak directly to you. You are going to love it; you must see it." I couldn't resist a suggestion like that, and I'm happy to say he was very right.

Charles LeDray is an incredible artist and an amazing craftsman. I think it is important to point these two things out separately in order to do justice to either of them. Hubby and I were extremely lucky and as soon as we entered the exhibit floor we stepped directly into the beginning of an impromptu guided tour. I think I would have enjoyed the work if I encountered it on my own, but of course I always enjoy added details and discussion about the pieces.

I am not an art critic, and I do not have the language for talking about art with much depth. So, I don't know how to describe what I consider good art beyond saying that it should evoke emotions in me. The emotions it creates should be intended by the artist.  With that as a measuring stick, the most successful piece from LeDray that I saw last night was Party Bed.

From Valerie Seckler
 This piece is the bed, where all the coats of the party guests are waiting out of sight while the people do whatever it is they are doing in the other room.  While a lot of his pieces had a similar sense of nostalgia or familiarity, I was drawn to this one because of my relationship with the 'coat room.'  When I was young I would visit my grandparents. I have considered their spare bedroom mine ever since my uncle moved out of it. 'My' bed, was the bed that the coats were all laid out on when company came.  During different phases of my youth, I had different feelings about this. There were times when I felt like this was a great and fantastic responsibility. I was handed all the coats to put in the other room, and I was being trusted to care for them and protect them for the evening. (I of course abused this power and would secretly stroke the fuzzy fur linings of the hoods and cuffs.) There were times that I felt like this was an intrusion of my space, the only space that I could claim in all of Illinois. (I lived with my parents in Wisconsin so I only ever visited Illinois.) Then there was one visit when Grammy took the coats and laid them all out on her bed. I can say I was upset or bothered, but I felt something strongly enough that I remember noticing.

That is just my story.  There is so much more going on with this piece that I don't have to relate to personally for it to be interesting.  For example, who are the people in the other room?  What kind of party is it that brings together a leopard print coat, denim jacket and that bright blue back pack?  What's under the bed? (Really, there is something there.  If you see it you should get down on your hands and knees for a peek.)

From Regina Hackett
This suite is what I enjoyed the most as an example of his craftsmanship.  (I apologize, I don't remember the name of the piece. Hubby thinks it is something similar to 'Little Suit Cut Out of Big Suit.) LeDray makes everything in his art himself. I can't emphasize enough the everything part of that.  In the Party bed, he made the jackets, the bed, the frame, the rug, the tag on the mattress threatening legal action if removed. His pieces are all on a smaller scale than the actual items they represent.  I've seen his stuff called 'tiny' and 'miniture' but I think the phrase our tour guide used really made the most sense to me.  His work is "the size that it needs to be." There is a lot to observe and take in with his pieces and It couldn't be done if they were all life size.  First, because they would seem too ordinary and secondly because the perspective will be all wrong.  (You'll understand better if you watch the short film in the end of the post.) What this means is that everything has to be created on this smaller scale.  He sews every article of clothing. He created every hanger.  He has even made the display cases for most (if not all, I just cannot confirm that it is all) of his pieces.  I was really able to see how amazing it was in this suite piece.  He made the larger suit, and then from that he cut the pieces necessary to make the smaller suit.  He cut them in such a way that the patterns on the tie and jacket still look appropriately scaled in the smaller piece.  One of the buttons on the larger jacket is missing the tiny little buttons that are on the smaller jacket. I liked the idea that this piece spoke about family.  The little suite created from and connected to (by holding hands) the big suite. It warmed my heart (with the thoughts of kids and family) at the same time as causing a touch of dread (at the inevitability of becoming our parents).

The meticulous attention to detail is amazing in all of his work.  The themes of family, the working class, and gender and incredibly conveyed.  I loved this exhibit.  It spoke to me, and I highly recommend you see it.  If you are in the NYC area it is only at the Whitney until February 13th. If you can't make it, I recommend this video about his installment Men's Suits (which is part of the current display.)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Follow Friday: Daily Squee

From Daily Squee
The Daily Squee is part of the Cheezburger network. This entire site appeals to my love for animals. Well, my love to look at animals (especially when they are looking cute.) I would love to have a cat, and some day I'll convince Hubby that we need a dog. Right now it is not a concern because our apartment is very clear about their no pets policy. Hubby and I even strategically asked* about a kitten right after we had some mouse issues. Despite the recent rodents, we were denied. So, all of those moments that I am missing with my very own pet are made up for with the adorable photos on this site.

*If you are planning to ask for a pet, I suggest you take a look at the strategy of KPiep and her daughter. They are masters of their art ;).

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Swatching Myrtle

MyrtleGaugeI have recently realized just how long it has been since I've needed to meet gauge. The last article of clothing I created was Aleita in the beginning of 2009. That is too long, so I am getting very excited about Myrtle and something new, but I am also getting tired of swatching. I know that my gauge has changed in that time so I decided to start from scratch. The pattern calls for size US6 needles, but I am down to a size US4 right now. I've gotten the stockinette right, but the lace isn't opening up as much as I would like. I think I'm going to stick with the US4s.  It seems to me that the stockinette is a more accurate way to measure, and I think I might be able to open the lace up with a slight bit of negative ease.  You can remind me of this decision in a few months when I am crying over my poorly fitting sweater. For now, I'm off to start casting on.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Queued: Zozo

From P. Wickens
You are probably not surprised to learn that I like toys. They simply make me smile and I appreciate that. This adorable little alien, Zozo, is no exception. Pauline did an incredible job on this pattern. If those smiles are some how resistible to you, check out the cute little fingers. If you follow the link, you'll find extra cuteness in their tails.

Toys are great because you can use left over yarn, you don't need to gauge, and they are great gifts for everyone. I have just made a few toys so far, and but most of my pattern books are for toys. I find it a little difficult to knit at the tighter gauge especially when I knit with cotton. The real challenge is also the most fun: the faces. Every time I finish a toy, I have a great time working out the different expressions that can come from embroidery or buttons. I am just starting to get the hang of sewing on a face, and I'm amazed at how much just a couple stitches can give a whole personality.

When I started knitting toys, I thought I hated them. (That is completely because I was knitting dishcloth cotton on a set of US3 DPNs. I thought that I was going to break my fingers.) Now, I am completely addicted. I am drawn in by their great shapes and cute faces. My queue is full of them.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Knitting For No One

Now that I've finished Reid, I have a sweater that was knit for no one in particular. As you can already see from Queued posts, I have some future project plans that are also missing a designated recipient. I started Reid in a flurry of baby announcements from my friends, and since I had been wanting to make this sweater I let myself go ahead and cast-on. I figured there would be a new little girl who needed a pretty sweater soon enough. Ignoring the likelihood that my lack of recipient contributed to the neglect this project faced, I want to know what you think about it. Is it ok to knit for no one? What should I do with the sweater now?

I'm tempted to set it aside and wait for an appropriate gifting occasion. Part of me thinks that should be acceptable (and is the only way knitted gifts on Christmas could be not stressful). It is just as hand knit as if I planned it from the beginning. I think it is still more heartfelt than if I went out and bought a witty onsie. The other part of me thinks of all the good thoughts that go into planning and knitting a project for someone. As I knit Owen's blanket or Dean & Katy's wedding gift, I spent a lot of time thinking about the recipient. I thought about how much I miss my friends. Knitting for them was my way of being involved in their lives from across the country. Does my knitted gift have less meaning without that? It still means that I love and trust them enough to give them a gift that I have dedicated all of this time to. It still means that they have something that I created. What do you think?

Bonus secret knitting picture: (If only this project for no one, then I could tell you all about it and show you everything.)