Sunday, December 23, 2007

2008 Projects

I do have a couple more unphotographed (and, in one case, unfinished) Christmas presents, but I'll take care of them tomorrow, in between the Christmas cooking.

I've spared you, my far-flung readership, my internal broodings on What This Blog Is Supposed To Accomplish, if only because I find blog posts about blog posts to be too, too weary-making. So this one is supposed to accomplish recording the projects I want to make in the first part of 2008. New Year's resolutions, if you will.

1) Afghans for Afghans blanket. Not too much to say about this, other than there is a new appeal due in February, and I have 14 more rounds in dc (increasing 16 sts per round) until it gets to be big enough. I'll take this to my knitting retreat (shhh! it's crochet!) next week, and finish it.

2) The Curious Creek babydoll top I've made for the Stitches West 2008 Fashion Show. In itself, it just needs ends sewn in and the trim added, but I have to grade and write up the pattern. I have a friend coming over for Christmas whom I'll ask to model it for the photos that XRX asks for in January. The promise of a ravelry pattern store is providing extra incentive.

3) My Oddball Challenge #1 Coat I have the crochet square almost done. I figure it has to have a diagonal equal to my back width, and so it needs to be a bit bigger, then I'll have to work out the sleeve shaping. I've become newly-emboldened to write out patterns before knitting them (by the fabulous success of a design I wrote up for a customer at Yarndogs) but this one will have to be worked out on the needles.

4) My square(s) for the afghan that the Terry Pratchett fan group on ravelry is making for him. I get the N' in "I ATEN'T DEAD"

Now we get to purely speculative crafting, where I've done nothing beyond putting balls of yarn together in a bag, if that.

5) Broomstick Lace Pullover. This will be a top-down, yoke-necked pullover in some beautiful yarn (is there any other kind?) I bought at Artfibers last December. I've already done broomstick lace in the round with my skirt, and I think that the even increases I worked out for that skirt will also make a nice yoke.

6) Haripin Lace Cardigan. I want to use the Colinette Giotto I bought for Jennifer Hansen's Lotus camisole to make a fitted hairpin lace cardigan. I have some ideas about adjusting the width of the hairpin loom in mid-strip.

7) An Anthropologie-inspired cardigan. The ravelry group is having a KAL in 2008, and I have some ideas for a mess of pumpkin Cashmerino Super Chunky I have (despite reading horror stories about its pilling.)

8) Something like This Skirt done in a mix of three coned yarns in my stash. (Should I point out that these are all from my stash? That's another resolution.)

9) Annie Modesitt's Twisted Float Shrug. From the Fall 2005 VK. I have a bunch of yarns I've collected to do it. I spent a couple hours yesterday being a Christmas Elf for a customer at the shop, sewing in the sleeves for a similar sweater, and I've developed definite Views about how the sleeves should be done.

10) More Crochet Sweaters with Set-in Sleeves. My Ruffles patters in being test-crocheted by at least one ravelrer, and so I hope to get it written up soon. I want to experiment with more lightweight yarns, like some laceweight Malabrigo (does that name really mean "bad coat?") from my yarn-buying expotition with Fae, and some other laceweight hand-dyed I bought at Full Thread Ahead. (Schaefer? I've already wound it into a ball, so the information is probably lost forever.)

Well, ten seems like a good number. The beginning of the year doesn't usually throw up too many sudden knitting obligations, so I hope to move most of these projects out of my head and on to hooks and needles.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Christmas presents

I'm on ravelry all the live long day, it seems, posting away in the forums. But taking photos of my knitting and crochet, or, god forbid, blogging? Not so much.

So first, all of the Christmas presents I have made so far.

This is a crocheted scarf, for my best friend. The pattern is from M. K. Carroll, who briefly made the pattern available to ravelrers last month. She says the pattern is an old one called Queen Anne's Lace, but I couldn't find anything by that name but a granny square-type motif when I searched the interwebs. I love the way that the motifs attach to each other to make the strip. Crocheting this pattern is a lot of fun; the motifs are quick but interesting, and it's hard to stop. The yarn is also very nice.

This is little crocheted purse for my six-year-old niece. I'm going to put some money in it, too. I started this one with a foundation single crochet row (rather than a chain) and then went around the other side of the foundation row before starting to work circularly, with no ch-2 steps at the beginning of rounds. I made the strap the same way, attaching each end as I got to it then made a semicircle of double crochet also attached at the sides. No seams! The yarn is an ancient rayon chenille from some kit that someone gave away at a long-ago knitting retreat. I've already used yarns from the kit to make my mom a shawl and a friend's daughter a backpack, but there are always leftovers.

This is a votive holder for my massage therapist. It's knit with 28-gauge wire in garter stitch with a bead on every stitch. The weight of the beads and the looseness of the gauge make it slump somewhat, but that means it will also fit the more standard votive after this one is burned up; this one is rather tall and slender.

These are fingerless mitts for my daughter's fourth-grade teacher. I used this pattern as a starting off point, but since the gauge is totally different, I'll just call it inspiration. These are my first thumb gussets. (And I've never knit entrelac, either.) The sharp-eyed reader will see that the trim is the same yarn as the scarf above.

These are earrings for my older niece. They're crocheted with gold 28-gauge wire. I made a pair for myself with (two different) big hooks; the smaller hook made a more delicate flower shape, although the beads are kind of crowded.

This is kind of a cheat, since I made this as a shop sample earlier this year. But my best friend's son is still into pirates, so I hope he'll enjoy it more than I would.

I'm also going to give my mom the diagonal kimono (pictured at right; why not download the pattern?) and I'm planning on another set of fingerless mitts for my trainer at the gym. I'm torn about my son's middle school teachers. Heaven knows they deserve the care that goes into a handmade gift, but I've yet to see any evidence that they use the ones I made last year. On the one hand, I despise gift cards (why not give money?) But there are classes of people to whom it is acceptable to give gift cards while it is offensive to give money, and teacher certainly fall into that category. It will probably be Trader Joe's gifts cards all around.

And then there's the other stuff I'm just buying. It's kind of the Buy Handmade Pledge except for the books and electronic gadgets and stuff.