And… I’m Back.

Sort of. Yeah, well. I don’t have an excuse for having been away for so long. Except that I’ve been in a funk. A stinky, gray, ugly funk. I’m trying to force myself out of it, but it hasn’t been easy. I miss blogging. I miss being excited about my knitting.

This weekend I asked my daughter to help me organize and put away all of my yarns. And we did it! It had gotten overwhelming in my den, with all of my new yarns from the last 6 months or so all over the place, and not put away in containers. This weekend we rectified that situation. My husband went out and got me two new bins, and we reorganized and re-categorized everything. I even found some stuff to give away, but I’m going to give the ladies in my knitting club a first whack at it. There’s not much in the discard bin, but it’s a start. I figure by now that at least some of the yarn that’s been in my stash since I first started knitting deserved some serious thought. If I haven’t touched it in 5 years, am I going to? Doubt it.

Little Bubbles Baby Set, cardigan yoke started

Little Bubbles Baby Set, cardigan yoke started

So what have I been knitting? For starters, this little cutie. It’s the Little Bubbles Baby Set, by Nina Isaacson, of Knit Picks. I really like that this little sweater is so adorable and is keeping my interest by teaching me several new techniques. One of the things that was new to me was the “Little Bubbles” stitch that makes the cute design on the yoke of the sweater. I was a little confused by the instructions, but thank goodness for Ravelry, because the designer was just a quick message away. Not only did she explain to me the proper technique for doing the stitch (versus the way I had interpreted it in my mind), but she pointed me to a YouTube video that demonstrated the technique.

After watching the video and receiving Nina’s explanation, it all made perfect sense and off I went! I have actually completed more of the yoke than this picture shows, but hopefully I’ll have an updated photo soon.

I do find the cotton yarn to be a little fiddly to work with, so I’m saving this for an at home project, while my February Lady Sweater is still coming with me on my daily commute and to knit group and such. Sounds backwards, huh, having the big project along for the ride, and the teeny baby one for at home? Yeah, maybe, but I find it harder to work smaller stitches on smaller needles. Maybe that’s why I have yet to fall in love with socks.

But alas… about a year ago I started a pink scarf for my good friend Jennifer, whose favorite color is pink, and I never finished it. Jen used to live in my same town near me and our “birthday buddy” daughters went to the same school. But she lives in Michigan now, and I wanted to finish the scarf in time for her visit last year. Sadly, here it is, more than a year later, and she’s about to come for another visit. This time, I MUST finish the scarf and give it to her while she’s here. So, I’ll be taking a short break from BOTH sweaters for some marathon scarf knitting.

Speaking of which, I’d better get busy. Sorry I was away so long. I’ll try not to let it happen again. I’m still looking for my lost mojo, but hopefully I’ll find it soon. In the meantime, I hope you’ll hang in there with me. I’d love to hear from you all!

Ciao for now.

Sweater Update Again

Happy Monday, everyone!

Yeah, right. It’s rainy and nasty here today and I’m a real Grumperella. I suppose I should be happy that I’m telecommuting today so that I don’t have to be out in the rain, but I’m just not feeling it. What I really want… is to go back to bed. But since that’s not happening, I thought I’d start this day with a new blog post.

I’ve been making steady progress on my sweater! See? Have a look:

February Lady Sweater in progress

February Lady Sweater in progress

I’m really enjoying working on the lace section. It seems as if it’s going pretty fast! Other knitters have warned me that I would find the purl rows to be tedious. I guess they’re probably right, as it’s been about a day and a half since I picked it up, and of course, I’m in the middle of a purl row. These photos are actually from about Thursday of last week, but since I didn’t get a huge amount of knitting done over the weekend, they’re still pretty current.

Here’s a closeup of the lace pattern, which is really taking shape nicely:

Closeup of the lace pattern

Closeup of the lace pattern

The lace pattern is complex enough to hold my interest while knitting it, but it’s simple enough to do from memory, so I don’t have to look at the pattern anymore. I also love how the lace allows the project to grow so quickly. Is this the appeal of lace? The older I get I’m pretty sure that complex lace would make my brain hurt to do it, but these simple lace patterns can make knitting fun.

Well, I guess I’d better get myself geared up for work this morning. Long day ahead, made even more dreary by the gray skies outside. I’m planning on making a pot of chili for supper this evening, though, so perhaps that will warm my gloomy heart.

I hope there’s sunshine where you are. But if there is, don’t tell me about it. I just don’t want to know.

February Lady–Again

On Wednesday I received some new yarn in the mail. Ok, I know, this isn’t exactly earth-shattering news around here, but, look how pretty it is!

Purple Yarn!

Purple Yarn!

It’s Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted in the colorway, “Purple Club.” Of course I’m just a wee bit partial to purple. And this yarn is not disappointing me! It’s the first time I’ve ever had any Lorna’s Laces yarn. People say that the colors are really beautiful. And you know what? They’re right. This yarn is so gorgeous and so soft, that I knew I could not just let it languish in my stash. So, yesterday, I started this:

February Lady Sweater--Beginnings

February Lady Sweater--Beginnings

It’s another February Lady Sweater. Ok, I know I never finished my other one that I started last Spring. But, truth be told, as much as I thought I would love the yarn for that one, it feels good in my fingers, but I didn’t really like working with it. Plus it’s a lighter weight yarn and the progress was painfully slow. And for an ADD-knitter like me, that is a recipe for disaster. I probably will finish it someday, because I do love the color, but I think I want to do the purple one first. The purple one is thicker yarn, so it’s going faster already, and well, it’s… purple. ‘Nuff said.

Also with the blue one I honestly think I should visit the frog pond and start over. It was my first time trying buttonholes, and I didn’t like the way they turned out. Thankfully, Amy from Knitting has a fabulous YouTube video buttonhole tutorial which I watched about 5 times before work this morning, and then I did my buttonhole with no problems. I’m sharing the video here, so I can use it as a reference for myself for when I get to the next buttonhole in a couple days:

I know my sweater doesn’t look like much yet but this is only one day’s worth of work and it is already progressed much further than it would have in the same amount of time with the other yarn. I’m enjoying it.

I have hope. Maybe 2010 will be the Year of the Sweater.

Saturday Sweater Report: Week 3

Well, it doesn’t look any different, I’m sure, but here it is!

February Lady Sweater, after three weeks of knitting

February Lady Sweater, after three weeks of knitting

This is the February Lady Sweater, after three mostly slow-but-steady weeks of knitting.

I did at least get the second buttonhole done today! That was my knitting goal, and I actually made it for once. The second one doesn’t look quite as wonky as the first, but I still can’t help feeling that my buttonholes are just weird. I think I’m more excited about this sweater now because I’m thinking so much about my next one. Yet, I know this one still has miles to go…

Perhaps I’ll feel better after I divide for the sleeves. It’s just that I have miles and miles (and miles!) of garter stitch to go before then. Sigh…

44 Sweaters

As if the thought of doing one sweater isn’t daunting enough for me, my new friend Heather told me this week about the 44 Sweaters Project. “Artmama” is doing 44 sweaters and donating them to charity in honor of our 44th President, Barack Obama. Some others have heard about the project and have donated some sweaters in support of the project. How cool is that? Check it out! The sweaters are looking gorgeous.

I knit so slowly and so seldom (I try to get in a few minutes each day, but sometimes it really is only a few!) that I’ve had a hard time making things for others. I’ve done a few hats and one baby blanket for others, but to be my honest, selfish self I very rarely knit for others. I probably would do more charity knitting or gift knitting if I ever felt like I finished anything, but my FO’s are few and far between!

What about you? Do you knit for yourself, or for others most often? And if you do knit for charity, let me know and I’ll post about the project sometime soon.

Ciao for now! Off to pay bills. Argh.

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