March 26, 2008

Another Overdue Post - FO and Thank You

Man, I'm feeling inarticulate. I've just typed, like, seven different starts to this post - each one less sensible than the last. I think the solution is to fall back on some good ol' photos. Let's go with my Hemlock Ring Blanket, shall we?

Despite having received a funny and sweet comment on Ravelry from someone begging me not to block it - I did block it. Well, I already had blocked it by the time I got the comment, but even if I hadn't, I still would have. Am I making any sense? To the point, I love blocking! I didn't especially love crawling around on the floor in circles, attempting to get all the pins even, but I do love the transformative power of a good blocking.

Pinned on the floor, as even as I could manage. (That's an oilcloth table cloth on top of the carpet, btw.)

Center detail while blocking.

Now, it's just waiting for Minnie Purl, whose crib is all set up.

I really enjoyed making this blanket. It's has a wonderful combination of "interesting" rounds and "mindless" rounds with a really tremendous final result. I would definitely recommend it. There are, however, some errors in the pattern. It is my understanding, that there are several write-ups of the pattern. Depending on which one you're working from, the errors are in different places. Luckily there are online forums and knit-alongs where the mistakes are sorted out. Ravelry or Google can help you find them. I was using the pattern linked at Brooklyntweed and there was just one round where the directions were slightly askew. I think it was round 35.

On another topic, I'd like to thank La Fuji Mama for sending me a lovely care package all the way from Japan. She has a fantastic blog. You should check it out. I defy you to read her blog and not come away inspired by color, hungry or wanting to board a plane.

Anyway, back on Valentine's day, she ever-so-casually posted a picture of a Cherry Blossom Kit Kat. I was all, "Sweet, fancy Moses, there's such a thing as Cherry Blossom Kit Kats?" (Apparently, wildly flavored Kit Kats are common in Japan.) Well, Fuji Mama was unbelievably sweet and sent me some! Plus, she included some extra goodies.

Kit Kats and cute stickers from Japan.

She also sent me a gorgeous book of baby and child knitting patterns.

I can't read the Japanese, but the book is so beautiful and inspirational it doesn't even matter. I love just looking at it.

Soooo adorable!

Thank you, Fuji Mama! You are a sweetheart of the highest order!

March 22, 2008

When The Zombies Come

Sock Madness 2 has started and it's just as much fun as last year! The first pattern, Zombie Socks, was released Thursday 3/13 and the race was on.

I had told myself that I would not knit at the same all-out frantic pace of last year and I stuck to that - a bit. I allowed myself plenty of breaks but they wound up being only for the essentials (eating, showering, sleeping, walks, watching Lost on TiVo, a childbirth class and, of course, checking everybody else's progress). It's such a fun pattern, it really lends itself to long knitting sessions. Plus, it's easy for me to rationalize that I need to keep my feet up these days, so knitting on the couch for hours and hours is really the wisest thing for me to be doing. Right?

I finished the first sock Friday night (or was it Saturday morning? Wow, totally can't remember. Clearly, the Zombies have eaten what was left of my already diminished pregnancy brain.)

It felt like the second sock went even faster than the first. (I often feel that way, actually. I think it's why I don't much succumb to second sock syndrome.) I had the pair finished on Sunday. It was a fast enough finish that I have cleared round one.

I used Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Solids in Nantucket Red and my trusty 2.25mm aluminum dpn's.

It was such a fun pattern that after finishing my adult sized pair, I made a baby pair.

Aaarrgghhh....the zombies are multiplying!

I don't know how much longer I'll be able to remain in the competition, but I sure am having fun right now. Gotta love the madness!

I also want to say I think it's really cool that this pattern (currently only available to those participating in Sock Madness) made it to the top five most active patterns on Ravelry. By the way, it appears that this will become a free pattern available to all sometime in May. So if you like the looks of it and you're not a sock madnesser, hang in there, it can be yours pretty soon.

I feel like I've been a bad blogger again. I've got lots of things to catch up on. I'll save them for other posts, but I'll try to be a little more frequent with posting, at least for the next few weeks. After the baby comes, though, I hope you'll understand things might get even more sporadic than they have been.

March 12, 2008

Overdue Post: FO - Oblique

My baby shower was this weekend. It was wonderful! I think it's safe to say that Minnie Purl now has more clothes than I do. Anyway, all the excitement and having family in town for five days has left me kind of exhausted. Sock Madness 2 starts tomorrow and I need to conserve energy. Therefore, I'm going to rely pretty exclusively on pictures for this post. I did get some buttons sewn on my Oblique and got some pictures of me wearing it, too. So without further ado, I present my finished Oblique. (My previous oblique posts and my Ravelry notes should cover all the specs and few modifications.)

dark brown mother of pearl buttons

all finished

8 months pregnant and it still fits.

I wear it open, too.

back view

I love it.

March 5, 2008

Cold Hands, Warm Heart

So here's a scenario which has played out numerous times over the last few months at Casa de Golden Purl:

Interior - Chris and I sit side by side at our respective computers.

Chris: (Pauses typing to blow on his hands and rub them briskly together. Glances over at me. Resumes typing.)
Me: (Obliviously, continues blog surfing.)
Chris: (blows on hands.) Are you cold?
Me: Huh? Cold? Nah...I'm comfortable (resumes oblivious blog surfing.)
Chris: Oh, okay. (blows on hands, rubs them briskly together and resumes typing.)

I'm embarrassed to admit how long it took me to figure out that the poor man is cold! He's too sweet and thoughtful to turn up the heat because his pregnant wife says she's comfortable.

When I finally did figure it out, I had to hang my head in shame. What kind of knitter am I to sit idly by while my darling husband's hands are cold? Clearly, this matter needed immediate attention. (Well, as immediate as possible after I finally interpreted those oh-so-subtle signals of blowing on hands and rubbing them together. Bonehead, me.)

Enter Men's Fingerless Gloves.

Knit in the dark brown Japanese merino I picked up at this sale over the summer.

He likes them! And can now resume typing in comfort.

Lookit the blur as his fingers fly over that key board!

(Please don't look too closely at the fact that our computers are still on a folding table.)