Friday, November 27, 2009

Braving Black Friday for Malabrigo! (Or yarn drugs.)

Well, last week was my birthday and my family all took pity on me and gave me yarn money. I think they all realized that I needed a fix. I have it bad - a skein here and there, some for a sweater for my daughter, some just knit into fingerless mitts (a modified version of Fetching - made longer for my long hands.) I will eagerly admit it - I am thoroughly addicted to Malabrigo Yarn. I used that lovely bit of birthday money and used it for NINE skeins of Malabrigo Worsted in the Velvet Grapes colorway (see top photo.) The bottom photo shows the Fetching Mitt in Pagoda.

Now, as long as I have been knitting, I have never knit a sweater just for myself. My daughter has 4, my son 1, I have a shrug or two, everyone has lots of accessories, and I have 2 shawls - but a sweater seemed downright decadent. I debated for a week whether to go ahead and get something special for my birthday, or split what I had and buy some less expensive yarn for myself and some for each of the two kiddos. I really agonized over it, thinking that the act of knitting things for my kids would be gift enough. I stayed awake nights wondering if I'd be a selfish person for wanting a really nice sweater for myself. I know - there are more important things to worry about in my life as well as the world around me. I have a thing - I feel really selfish for not sharing with others, even my own birthday presents.

But this is Malabrigo! It calls to me, and I am weak! For the first time ever in my whole life I went shopping on Black Friday. To buy Malabrigo. First thing in the morning. For a spanking new shipment. Granted, central Texas doesn't provide many occasions for toasty knitwear, but I often wear sweaters instead of a coat. I'm justifying my behavior by saying that the best gift for my kids will be a warm, happy and contented Mama. And I am not knitting the sweater(Mr. Greenjeans, but made longer) until January.

The rest of November and December is knitting, sewing, and crocheting fest. We are making everything for family this year. It is a decision which was based both on the desire to put ourselves to really work for the ones we love as well as a financial decision - my husband having been laid off for the last 10 months. We haven't got the budget or the desire to go out and buy cartloads of mass-market toys. But we have time and I've got yarn and fabric stashes to plunder.

(Oh, and you meet the nicest people from Minnesota when you drop in the yarn store early. Hello! it was so nice to meet you. Yay!) (I also heard about a possible volunteer opportunity teaching knitting at a local middle school - double yay!)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

November Surprise Project: Rimrock Cape

Well, here's the project I was working on for November. The Rimrock Cape from Cat Bordhi's Book A Treasury of Magical Knitting . The original calls for wool and mohair yarns, but I used all synthetics from my stash because my mother-in-law has a hard time wearing wool. Also, it needed to be easily washable. The collar is a moebius strip, and the back is worked in short-rows until the depth of the collar is reached. The rest is knit in the round. This is the only project that I worked on really for 6 weeks, except for some small sewing projects. It was a very interesting pattern to work with - there were times that I swore that what I was doing was not what was pictured in the book. There were times that I just swore. I swore mostly at the yarn - synthetics really eat my hands. Happy Birthday Michelle! I'm glad you like it.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Make and make do: chugging along.

Well, here are some of the most recent things for the make and make-do project. Except the third picture; that's the only hint for the November surprise project. The top photo is the pixie hat I made for Rose's pond fairy Halloween costume. It's a Knitty pattern - "Pixie Hat" modified to be slightly big on a toddler. The second photo shows Rose in her skirt made from sewing scraps and an upcycled shirt of her brother's appliqued with another sewing scrap. This week I've also made Badger a pair of Fall Pixie shorts (for Halloween), a squid shirt - part of the great cephalopod project (more pictures next post) and an upcycled hoodie of Badger's for Rose. Whee! All this and I've been knitting a birthday project for my brother. Whoo-hoo, I'm a mad woman.