Friday, November 30, 2007

christmastime is here again

aka: Good-bye November

I decided to start decorating today for Christmas. The pride and joy of the year is the family of hand-knit Santa stockings for my three kids and husband. You all were asking where my stocking was when I posted about the stockings previously, and the answer to that was "in a box in the attic". Now that the decorations have come out of hiding, the lonely sock was so happy to meet with its new relatives.

My stocking is hard to see in a photo. Obviously, the face and name are not on one side, as the stockings I knit are. My name, "Melana", and the face cover the entire surface of the stocking great-grandma made. Her Santa face was knit in the body of the stocking, but the name is duplicate stitched. On the ones I knit, I duplicate stitched both the name and the face. Her yarn is some sort of acrylic, which has lead to the melting of stockings when I was little. I, of course, being a yarn snob, do not use acrylic, so these stockings are all of Lamb's Pride Worsted.

On the needles (active needles, that is) are Maggie's Fried Green Shock Waves:

Please read about Maggie, and see if your heartstrings don't pull a little. I decided that even if the deadline is today, Maggie can still use socks tomorrow. Anyone with a sock obsession is deserving in my book!

The yarn is White Oak Studio TVyarn in Fried Green Tomatoes, which is actually a colorway exclusive to the Chick Flick tvyarn Sock Club. I think that the next three-month run will begin in February...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

thankful for

generous, loving husband
healthy, beautiful kids
plenty to eat
warm, lived-in home
caring, giving friends

i hope you all have a wondrous, family-filled, heart-filling, tummy-filling thanksgiving.
xoxo, melana

a great mail day

check out the loot! There are two skeins of sKNITches BeBop Sock: Turtleback (green) and Preppy (brown); the purply mass is the gorgeous Yarn Pirate Booty Club installment for November: a BFL in Solstice; everything else is from Leslie! SO generous! She answered my inquiry of how to knit socks with the magic loop method by sending an instructional booklet, but also included a skein of yarn, a pattern for the yarn, a sweet note and one of her handsewn tissue holders. Thanks Leslie!!

I've just cast on the mate to Karma's Good Karma socks, but what I really need to complete is my sister's Christmas gift. Kerstin asked for Zeeby's Bag, which she saw in Stitch n Bitch, but with one modification: an anchor on the front. Her fiance is a Marine, and with an anchor, she can represent! I also found USO pin-up style girls on fabric, with which I plan to line the purse. Hopefully I can figure out how to do a pocket of some sort.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

knitting for mother-in-laws

What I've been knitting this weekend:
pattern: Charade
yarn: Yarn Pirate Merino Sock in Karma
needles: size 2 dpn
gift for: Karma, my husband's step-mother

What I finished earlier this week:
pattern: Garter Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks
yarn: Lorna's Laces in Ballerina Blue
needles: size 2 dpn
gift for: Linda, my husband's mother

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

knitting for mothers

It's November, and the days are gorgeous. So much sun, mild temperatures. I wish that we had this weather everyday: crisp mornings, warm afternoons, early evenings...

For my mom, who came back out to California to help me during the Southern California Firestorm, I made a Coronet. It's made of a lovely pistachio colored Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran. I'm hoping that this hat is warm and can cover her ears in the cold Colorado air, but that it won't be itchy.

I began my holiday knitting in earnest this week. For my mother-in-law I cast on Garter Rib socks from Sensational Knitted Socks in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock Multi. The colorway is a Yarn Market exclusive called Ballerina Blues, based on the painting "Dancers at Rest" by Edgar Degas. I'm knitting these on size 2 dpn.

The sock is coming out beautifully. This is the first Charlene Schurch pattern I've done, and I have to say that she is making her way to patron sock saint status in my book. Her heel flap, with its garter stitch border, is not only extremely easy to pick up stitches from, but is aesthetically pleasing. And though I have seen other patterns with a solution to gaps at the gusset, Charlene is the only pattern-writer to show me how to successfully avoid that little stretched out stitch I always get where my gusset begins.

Other holiday knitting: for my (step)mother-in-law I am knitting socks in Yarn Pirate Merino Sock, in a colorway that shares her name: Karma. I finally bought more Lamb's Pride Worsted to finish up my sister's Zeeby's Bag; I have only the straps to complete, but I will be lining this bag as well. I may knit a Chevron Scarf for my sister-in-law. I have the requisite Socks that Rock in Farmhouse and Watermelon Tourmaline; though they were not purchased with the intent to become a scarf, but to be socks.

In the last Yarn Pirate Booty Club installment, Georgia sent a couple of long hot pink circular needles, so I'm pondering whether I should look into learning the Magic Loop method. Do any of you do this? Did you take a class, or did you find a tutorial online? If you have a good tutorial to share -- one heavy with photos AND verbiage -- please post in the comments. After the Garter Rib socks are done, I may try it out.

eta: Laurel found out on Saturday that she IS the baby mouse that gets shot in the rear during the Nutcracker! Yay Laurel!