Tuesday, August 31, 2010

An Adventure in Blocking

Lianne hat is finished! I finished it off yesterday to the amazement of a friend who didn't know that I knitted and wasn't very familiar with the craft. Now comes the blocking. It was sitting in a pot of hot water on the kitchen counter, but I'm sure the water has cooled by now. The next step will be to roll out the water, and stretch the thing over a dinner plate. I've never actually blocked anything, never knitted anything that needed it, so this is kind of an exciting adventure.

Now that the birthday presents are done, I can really start in on Christmas gifts. Just in time too. My first endeavor shall be Natalie's Branching Out scarf. It's already on the needles, but the last time I was working on it, my stitch count had gotten off and I still have yet to figure out why. So today I'm going to be doing a little tinking trying to get my stitch count right, and then I'll be able to continue knitting.

I'm a little overwhelmed by how much knitting I have to do, but I figure if I just take it step by step, I'll be ok. I have approximately 10 days per project if I want to make it by Christmas, not to mention I need to get out and go yarn shopping. I have Mom's yarn, and Tim's yarn, and half of Lucid's yarn, and half of the kid's yarn, so I can get knitting on those projects. Actually Lucid's present is even going to have some pattern designing to do, but it's simple, just charting some shapes.

Ok, I should go stretch that hat over a dinner plate.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

1 Down, 11 to go

Yay! I finished one of the twelve presents. It's Patty's birthday present, the one that was 75% done anyway, the Berry Lacey Scarf that I renamed Ivy Scarf since I did it in a rich green. Tonight I cast on Lianne's present and hopefully I'll have that done before September 1st when my official Christmas Countdown begins. That makes 6 days to knit her present (more like 5 days and part of this evening). I think I can do it. It's a beret hat, which I've never attempted, with some lacework on the top of it (always a bit tricky), but still, I've got optomism. And a whole weekend of working in the closet answering phones.

I've been reading The Knitting Goddess by Deborah Bergman. It's a pretty cool book. The actual instructions and patterns are aimed more at beginners, but are still interesting enough for more advanced knitters. Right now I'm enjoying the stories of all the "knitting goddesses", especially since I'm a fan of mythology in any form. Since knitting is such a good meditation act for me, it's fun to read about Grandmother Spider and other divine fiber artists. Haven't yet found a pattern in the book that calls to me to make it, but that's ok, it's giving me ideas all the same.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

116 Days

Give or take a little.

That's right, starting September first, it will be 116 days until Christmas. And if one has 12 knitted presents to complete (that's right, 12) That means a little less than 10 days per project. And that's not even counting my poor Cloud Bolero I haven't even started.

So here's the scoop.

I went away to San Diego like I mentioned in my last entry, and here's the shocking part, I didn't take ANY knitting! That turned out to be just as well because Comic Con so filled up all my time and attention that I probably would've left my needles in my suitcase anyway.

Then I came back from San Diego and life turned into an endless routine of wake up, go to work, lounge around in PJ's or spend time with JR when not working, rinse and repeat.

But then somewhere in there, things started changing. To give the short, pedestrian version of the story, two good friends from the past came back into my life and have been having a big influence on my life, I started channeling on a regular basis, I went to a certain beach and partook in certain psychadelics and learned an infinite amount about myself and life. And now my daily routine includes knitting as part of my meditation every morning and/or evening.

So now that the "crazies" of life have been tamed a little and I'm actually knitting on a regular basis, I figured it's finally time to get back to working on Christmas presents.

Except now I have 12 presents to make! In all fairness, 2 of the 12 are actually birthday presents, and one is 75% done already, which is good because both birthdays are in November, so I need to have them done before Christmas.

So the revised list of recipients stands as such:
Lianne (She and Lucid are the two friends that recently came back into my life)
Patty's two kids

I have all the gifts figured out, I just need to ask Lucid if he still wants the very specific mitts he asked me for like 2 years ago, otherwise I've got a standby pattern for him. Both Patty and Lianne are the Novemeber bithdays, but I have Patty's gift nearly done, and I'm picking up yarn for Lianne's today after work. If I can get both done before September first, then I'll buy myself more time for the Christmas knitting.

And if that wasn't enough, I still want to knit my Cloud Bolero before the weather turns too cold to wear it. As hot as it's been lately, that shouldn't be a problem, but I still want to get on it, because the yarn is starting to call my name across the room to get my attention.

AND THEN, to add even more excitment, I've finally started coming up with ideas for the small Etsy business I've always wanted selling hand knits, or "magic garments" as Judy said I should make. I was pondering what sort of "magic garments" would carry enough appeal that people would actually buy them, and I decided that I'll just make things I would like to own (like I have a design for an alter cloth knocking around my head). And since handknits can be kind of expensive when you total up the cost of materials and labor, I decided that if I can't reasonably price a finished item, then I can sell the pattern instead. I plan to work on coming up with ideas and plans and gauge swatches as a sort of breather activity from all the Christmas knitting, and then hopefully by the new year (or sooner if Christmas knittin goes well) I'll be ready to really launch into business.

You know what, it just occured to me that Lucid and Lianne have a baby. Siddhartha is only 2 (or maybe it's 3) months old, so he'll barely be big enough to use knitted objects, but he's still a person too. Hmm, maybe I'll give him books for his future library, that's a traditional baby gift in our family and it's what Patty's yougest is getting next week for her birthday. Or maybe I can find a really awesome (and easy) blaket pattern. Or something. Maybe I'll just make it easy on myself and give him books.