This is why there has been no knitting around here:
Yes, it is all about the cross-stitch around here, at least until Santa is no longer headless.
Last week, I knit something. I can’t show you (yet), but I can tell you this: It’s a test knit for Chrissy Gardiner’s forthcoming book, it was fun and fast, and I think it’s an excellent pattern for people who’ve been wanting to try toe-up socks but have been a little intimidated.
I haven’t been doing much knitting of late, since I’ve been trying to make some progress on “Santa’s Journey”, my Christmas stocking. Here’s what it looks like so far:
Santa is slowly materializing, right before my very eyes. I have realized that by working from the bottom up, I’m going to have a headless Santa at some point. I promise to take a picture.
Not knitting has not stopped me from increasing my stash, though. I resisted all the new stuff in the latest Loopy Ewe sneak-up, but bought the first three skeins of Sanguine Gryphon’s Kypria series:
Left to right, that’s “The Deep-Bosomed Earth” (#1), “Momos” (#2), and “A Fateful Plan” (#3). The three tags with paragraphs of the story are tacked up on the corkboard in my office.
I also scored some Yarntini at long last, courtesy of Sonny & Shear:
Those are “Designated Driver” and “4-8-15-16-23-42”. There are still a few skeins of each (and some others) available for sale, if you’d like a Yarntini fix, too. I’m pondering buying some more of the “Designated Driver” and making a shawl. If I ever get to actually knit again.
The last several months have been interesting around here. We decided to try to sell our house and move a couple of miles eastward. We found a house we liked, and we had an offer on our house, and then one day into the escrow, the buyer pulled out. Our contract with our realtor expired, we waited a while, and then we went back on the market with a new realtor. We found a house we liked, and we got an offer on our house with a promise that there would be no problem finishing the escrow in 30 days.
Sixty-four days later, we closed the sale. Week after week, we thought we’d be moving in another week or two. My knitting stuff was among the first stuff packed up (in an effort to keep myself from procrastinating on packing up the rest of the stuff, you see).
Since then, just about the only knitting I’ve been doing has been a sample knit for Knit Picks, which I can’t share until it appears in their catalog.
And, since it’s high summer, what else would I be thinking about but Christmas? Last week, I started work on another cross-stitch stocking, this time one for me. It’s a little more complicated than the one I did for Little Miss, with metallic threads and beads and something called couching that I may have done once before… in junior high Home Ec class.
A while back, I signed up for Summer of Socks. Have I done any socks this summer? No. I started one, but I haven’t made much progress.
Soon to come: pictures of that cross-stitch and maybe some progress on the sock.
Last night, I put the finishing touches on Checking His List. I trimmed the selvedge, hand-stitched the hem at the top of the aida cloth, braided the yarn for the loop, and stitched that onto the side. K’s coworker had sewn up the seam for us Monday night. It’s now hanging proudly over the fireplace. Little Miss’ name is stitched at the top, though you can’t see it in the photo.
I think it’s fantastic, if I do say so myself. And nobody can say anything about the appearance of the back side of the stitching, since I used the included white felt to line it and made the back out of red felt.
Last night, as I was outlining a candy cane in Santa’s pocket, I discovered a mistake. Three little red stitches, painstakingly placed… one stitch to the left of where they should have been.
I adjusted the outline and moved on. I am so not ripping out three stitches less than two weeks before Christmas Eve. I did, however, rip out two French knots that have been bugging me ever since I did them. They looked sloppy and wrong, and they will be redone.
While my crafting energies are focused on the stocking, I’ve also been fiddling with my Queue over on Ravelry. I’ve been matching up projects in my Queue to yarns in my Stash, and I discovered that I already have the yarn on hand for 30+ projects, including two sweaters for Little Miss that may not go up to an appropriate size now.
Given this situation, it’s time for a Stashdown. In the New Year, I’m going to focus on the projects I’ve lined up and the yarns I’ve got tucked away. I’ll let y’all know how it goes.
I’ve been trucking along on Checking His List. The cross-stitching is done (except for several rows at the top, where Little Miss’ name goes), and I’ve backstitched the little bunnies, the bag full of toys, and Santa’s legs. My goal is to finish by Monday, including cutting out the frontpiece and the two felt pieces, so that it can be all sewn up before next Friday.
I always think the backstitching will take longer than it does. (I hope I didn’t jinx anything now!) As I got down into the bottom half of the cross-stitch chart, K kept saying, “You’re almost done!” And I kept saying, “No, I still have all the backstitching.”
“Skip it,” she suggested.
But now that those little yellow blobs have outlines that make them look like stars, the glory of backstitching is apparent.
While I work on this, I keep eyeing the three skeins of Smooshy that arrived earlier this week. Lovely, lovely yarn. But there will be no knitting until this stocking is done.
I meant to take a picture of Checking His List this morning, I really did. It’s coming along nicely. I’m way down at the bottom, stitching in the toys in Santa’s bag.
I am well aware that it’s less than 3 weeks ’til Christmas. Maybe I should have bought that little pink Baby’s First Christmas stocking I saw at the grocery store.
I’ve been so wrapped up in cross-stitch these days, in fact, that I missed the deadline to download the final clue for Secret of the Stole, but DK emailed me a copy.
I have to say that the SotS knitalong was really excellent. The pattern was lovely, the guessing game for the theme was fun (although, man, I was way off on those first few clues), and DK has been wonderful in offering advice and support through the Yahoo! group and commenting on individual members’ blogs. I’m already signed up for SotS-II.
But, first, the stocking.
I had Halloween off from work, so, while Little Miss napped, I finished clue #3 of Secret of the Stole. I seem to be falling farther and farther behind. And I’m okay with that.
I have no idea what the theme is. For a while, I thought the large motifs might be flowers, and then someone said they looked like spiders, and that’s all I could see for a while. And that little X at the top looks sort of like, well, one of those guys who waves in the airplanes at the gate. I’m pretty sure that’s not it.
Last week, something very bad happened to my lovely MacBook, and the widget that was counting down the days until Christmas Eve went with it. (Since my iBook is still running Panther, there are no widgets on that one.) But even without the clock, I know there’s not much time left, so all crafting efforts are currently focused on one thing:
That’s “Checking His List”, as of two weeks ago. Since then, I’ve finished the red portion of the coat and started on the trim. I might manage to finish this stocking yet.
Oh, I have been busy. But first, an important announcement.
Very, very soon (like, this weekend) Aimee is doing the Lupus Walk. This is a cause near and dear to my heart, so you know I’ve already contributed. She’s getting closer to her fundraising goal, but let’s push it over the top. Besides that warm and fuzzy feeling of doing some good, you could win a prize!
Things have been a little rocky on the health front around here, too, lately. Not, not me, or K, or Little Miss – we’re all fine. (Aside from the pain of teething, that is.) K’s mom, who cares for Little Miss on the days that both K and I are at work, was hospitalized last week. She’s home now and recovering, but I’ve gotten an unexpected week’s vacation. During naptimes, I’ve been working on this:
Nancy Bush’s Meida’s Socks, from Favorite Socks.
It’s a quick knit – ankle socks in sportweight yarn. I memorized the lace pattern pretty quickly. My only real complaint is that only one size is given, with a note to adjust sizing by changing needle size and adjusting the length. I went up to US2s. I’m using Lang Jawoll Sport, which turned out to be a little short. I got down to about 40 stitches around in the toe decreases when I ran out of yarn. I ripped back and redid the toe, decreasing every round (instead of doing the alternating even rounds). This makes for a short toe, but the sock is almost perfect on my foot. I did not continue the slip stitch pattern on the underside of the heel – I just ribbed it.
With 81 and a fraction days until Christmas Eve, I’ve also been working on the stocking:
There was an incident involving a knot, a tangle, and a bunch of ripped stitches, but I’m back to making progress.
Progress is also being made on the Pinwheel Blanket, but no picture of that today. It looks just like the last time I took a picture of it, only bigger, with more stripes.
This WiP Wednesday thing is working out really well, eh? While I haven’t been posting, I have been busily stitching away on Checking His List.
I’m nearly done with the top half of the chart, if you don’t count the backstitch detailing. Or the lines where Little Miss’ real name goes, which I’m saving for last.
Sunday night, I got together with some lovely ladies from church to do some knitting. I cast on for a Snicket sock, modeled here by the metal piece that sits on the top of our Lava Lamp.
I’m using Catania cotton yarn, which might not have been the best idea ever. For the little cables that make up the lattice pattern, something with a bit more spring to it would probably work better. Especially since I cable without a cable needle. I quite like the way the colors swirl in the ribbing, but they seem to be breaking up differently as I start the lattice part.
I also pulled out Amish Shadows and took a look at it, but I haven’t done any work on it in a while.
I don’t know what to take to see the Yarn Harlot on Saturday. I have a copy of Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles slowly but surely working its way over to my library, so maybe I’ll be able to cast on a simple sock before Saturday. Although I’d need to pick up a couple of small size cable needles first.