Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Projects, Projects, and More Projects

I know I have been really bad about blogging. While I have been knitting, I just have not been in the mood to blog about it. Usually I just post on facebook and Ravelry. Then in July a close friend committed suicide, and I definitely was not in the mood to blog. However, now that the year is coming to a close, I figured I really needed to update on my projects.

Last January I bought some Berroco Sox in a black and tan colorway, and I immediately got the idea of naming a pair of socks the Ultimate Irish Rebel Socks. One of the songs we sing at the pub is "Come Out Ye Black and Tans," and for a while it was considered the ultimate Irish rebel song. As I understand it, some of the British in Ireland wore uniforms cobbled together from whatever they had and were called Black and Tans. In the song there is a line about the British walking all over the Irish, and now the Black and Tan socks are getting walked in. (For the record, I have both British and Irish heritage).

After I finished that pair of socks I started on Anne Podlesak's Rattlesnake Creek Socks. I used Jojoland Ballad in Bay Blue to makes these. This yarn felt so wonderfully soft in the skein, but it did not feel quite as soft while knitting it. However, the socks softened up nicely after washing. Unfortunately, I recently discovered that one of the socks had a hole in it (and I had not even really worn them yet), so I ripped out past that point and am knitting it again.

Next I started some socks using Regia Galaxy Color. I started these in June, but I did not finish them until November. These were often put on hold to work on other projects, which I will talk about shortly.

I made two more pairs of socks after this--one for my stepsister and one for my stepsister-in-law. I made the pair for my stepsister in law out of Wisdom Yarns Marathon Sock in the McClintock colorway, since Shirley likes greens. This was the first pair of socks I had made for someone else, and frankly I was a bit jealous. I really like this yarn. It felt fairly nice while knitting it, and it felt even better after it was washed. Shirley seemed to like them--she put them on after getting them and modeled them. I made my step-sister's socks out of the same yarn but used the Camelback colorway, since Susan likes browns. I finished her socks up on Christmas Eve then washed them. Susan seemed to like them pretty well.

However, I did not just work on socks over the last few months. In June I started Kerra Quinn's Felted Chess Set. My dad did a lot for me while I was so sick last year, and I wanted to make this for him. I got most of the pieces done over the summer, but after a while I put them aside to work on other stuff. I finished these up on November 28 and gave them to Dad when I went for Thanksgiving dinner (my parents had their's the Sunday after Thanksgiving due to scheduling issues). Dad really liked it and he even set it up in a position.

This summer I joined a knit along where we made fingerless gloves to send to Marines serving in Afghanistan. I ended up making two pairs. My friend Stepheny also made two pairs, and her husband Rob made one as well. To save on postage, we sent all of ours at once to the guy who started the knit along. He later reported we sent fourteen pairs to Afghanistan.

I also had three baby blankets to make this fall. I use A Simple Baby Blanket with Knit-On Lace Edging by Nancy T. McGlynn. I found this pattern online years ago, but lately I have not been able to find it anywhere, otherwise I would provide a link to it. My cousin Kayla was expecting her second child in October, so I made a blanket for her. A coworker and his wife were expecting their first child in December, so I made one for them. My friends Shane and Nancy were also expecting a baby right before Christmas. Kayla knew she was having a boy, so I made her a blue blanket. Brett and Annie knew they were having a girl, and I do not care for pink, so I made them one that is a pale yellow. Shane and Nancy opted to not find out their baby's gender, so I opted for green as a neutral choice.

Between the first two baby blankets, I made a lap blanket for my grandmother's 90th birthday. She resides in a very nice nursing facility that is more like a big house than a nursing home, and a bunch of us gathered for her 90th birthday. Many of us were not sure what to get her, and I decided I might as well put my talents to use and make her something. As I understand it, she spends quite a bit of time sitting in chair in one of the sitting rooms just looking out the window, and it occurred to me she could use a lap blanket. I used some yarn I had in my stash and looked for a pattern on Ravelry that would work with the amount of yarn I had. Unfortunately, even though the pattern only called for 525 yards and I had over 600, I still ran out and had to get another skein of yarn. I did not get the same dyelot, but it does not really matter for this one.

Okay, back to socks, well sort of. One of my friends collects magnets, so I ended up getting a few magnets to give him when I did the 2010 Central Kansas Yarn Shop Hop. I also decided to make him a couple of magnets. I made a couple of tiny socks using Debbie Jennings' Key Chain Sock Blocker pattern using leftover sock yarn and size 0 needles. Once I finished the socks, I used some adhesive magnet backing that I purchased at Michael's.

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