Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas in the Circle City

I feel the need to hit pause. Christmas is happening, and the days seem to be speeding up. We're careening toward the 25th and the moment when I realize I have to undecorate the house and put all that glittery stuff back in boxes. I'm working hard to slow down and enjoy this season where we work to light up the darkness.

I'm trying to squeeze in the important stuff. Last Saturday, we saw Yuletide, the holiday show put on by the Indianapolis Symphony, or, as I like to call it, "my friend, Brandy." Bran is the Line Producer for the show, and the woman knows how to PUT ON A SHOW.

After the show, we walked out to see the lights on the Circle.


I have been lucky enough to watch two other live Christmas shows in addition to Yuletide: The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical at Theatre on the Square and Elf at the Murat. The only things those shows have in common is that they're musicals, and they use the word "Christmas" in the dialogue, and I enjoyed them both. (A keg of spiked eggnog that has gone bad plays a prominent role in Trailer Park, as does a song titled, "Fuck It, It's Christmas.") 

I have a list of nostalgic shows I want to rewatch this season. Thus far I've only managed to watch White Christmas and Twas the Night Before Christmas, but I hope to remedy this soon.

Knitting time has decreased, as it always does this time of year. I do have one project I can show you--well, half of it anyway. I didn't get a photo of the whole project before I wrapped them and gave them away.

Fightin' Words (mine ravelled here),
knit in Felici in Rainbow and Stroll Glimmer in Black

I knit these for Bran as a Yuletide present, a yarny declaration that she will make it through the show successfully and soon be eating mushroom dip with me and the rest of our little group.

Mmm, mushroom dip. Now I'm distracted.

Anyway, I've made two pairs of Fightin' Words mitts now, and I'm considering knitting myself a pair of mittens with the same pattern... and probably these same yarns. I love the way these turned out.

Speaking of yarn, Knitpicks brought back a few colors of Felici for a limited time. I assume it was just to taunt me.

I regret nothing.

I hope your holiday season is full of good things, but not so full that you're unable to enjoy it. May we all find a way to hit pause and enjoy the season.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Little Christmas

But we need a little Christmas
Right this very minute,


Candles in the window,
Carols at the spinet...


Slice up the fruitcake;
It's time we hung some tinsel on that evergreen bough.


For we need a little music, 
need a little laughter,


Need a little singing
Ringing through the rafter,


And we need a little snappy,
"Happy ever after,"


Need a little Christmas now.

Jerry Herman, Mame

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

I Got Rhythm

Over in the Socks that Rawk group on Ravelry, the powers that be pick a pattern for us to do each quarter. I have Socks that Rock yarn to spare, and I figured this would be a fun way to use it. Last quarter, I made the Zigzagular Socks of Wrath, and this quarter was the House Targaryen socks


Pretty, right? The problem is, it hurts to knit this pattern. The end of each cluster is a k3tog, yo, k3tog all in the same stitch, and it's brutal on the hands. I bought a thimble, guys. A thimble.

I decided this was a pretty pattern, but not pretty enough to justify bloody fingertips.

After contemplating a bit, I decided that the thing to do was to knit a toe-up pattern. I was using a mill end with well under 400 yards, and I was making it for a friend with manly big feet. I did not want to run out of yarn (like I've done before). I weighed the skein and started.

And it was way too big.



Frog again.

The third time was the charm.


They did end up with shorter legs than I would have knit normally, so I'm glad I did toe-up and weighed the yarn.

Syncopation socks (mine ravelled here), 
knit in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Sock that Rock Lightweight, Mill End

I like these, and the stitch pattern is very easy. I think the brown color makes it look like tree bark. I can imagine doing these again top-down.

I probably should be knitting some tiny sock ornaments I'm supposed to be helping my mom make, but I've become enraged by gauge after doing 2 and ending up with wildly different sized ornaments (one of which didn't fit the little blocker Mom wants it to fit on). The whole whack of it is in time out until I figure out what sacrifice I need to make to the yarn gods in order to get it to work. Instead, I think I'd rather make another pair of Fightin' Words mitts. Everyone I know needs a pair of those!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Friendsgiving 2014

Before:

After:

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Delight

I decided not to knit my mom a pair of socks for Christmas.

Then I knit my mom a pair of socks for Christmas.

Sailor's Delight (remember them from here?), 
mine ravelled here, knit in Knitpicks' Felici, Jingle colorway (discontinued)

Turns out, when I stopped trying to rework the stitch pattern and just knit them as written, they worked just fine. Funny how that happens.


As you probably know, I love Felici yarn and was really upset when Knitpicks discontinued it. I have a somewhat embarrassingly large stash of it--wouldn't fit in a bread box, would fit in a Tardis--and I'm determined to use all most of it. This colorway, Jingle, is a perfect example why their last run of colors didn't sell well. It's supposed to be Christmas-y, but the red is... off. It's an odd, almost burnt red rather than a true red. Luckily, my mom liked the colors.

One down, fourteen more colors to go!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Ornamental

I'm busy, but not with things I can share on the blog. I have reached the point where the guest room looks like there's been an explosion--it won't get better until I start wrapping Christmas presents, so it's best to just shut the door and pretend the room doesn't exist. When I get another present made or purchased, I can close my eyes, open the door, and chuck it in.

Minutia (mine ravelled here),
knit in scrap yarn from god-knows-where

Secrecy binds me on nearly everything, but I did make this little hat. It's Packers colors. I not only do not care about Green Bay, but I think football is a tremendous waste of time. I fully recognize that tons of people feel the same way about baseball. The difference, of course, is that I am right and they are wrong.

Anyway, I made this little ornament for a teenager who clearly will not read this blog. It's part of Berroco's 2014 ornament patterns set, which includes a sweater, this hat, a mitten, and another sweater which honestly doesn't look like a sweater at all. The patterns are free, cute, and use up very little yarn. I think I had this done while in the car driving from one errand to the next and the next and the next one Saturday. (Andrew drove.) AND I got to use my new pompom maker, which is more fun than it has a right to be.

Check out the pattern on Berroco's website here and have fun!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Just Me and a Needle

Somebody looking for a blog post about drug addiction is going to be highly disappointed by this post.

Sorry.

I was talking about this:


Just me, a nascent cardigan, and a crazy desire to make the bind off as invisible as possible. I blame Eunny Jang. Ever since she talked about the cast on for ribbing, I don't look at ribbing the same way. I used her instructions when I cast on for Andrew's welldigger hat, and I think it was worth the effort. (The fact that this is a worsted-weight hat and therefore not a million kajillion stitches is now something I've considered.)

Needing a way to make a bind off pretty, I searched and found these instructions. Let me tell you: This is not for the faint of heart. I should have suspected that when I saw that the title of the instruction post included the word "masochistic." She's not lying.

I'm just going to keep telling myself that it's all going to be worth it in the end. If I come up to you and insist we discuss the fabric's edges in depth and with great passion, please go along with me... at least for the first couple of times.