Thursday, December 29, 2005

Knit, knit, knit

It's so nice to sit back and relax now that Christmas is over and the intensive pre-holiday crafting hustle is past. I'm knitting myself the Pashmina Cowl from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts (yes, feeling a little guilty about making myself a gift when I still have a knitting project for Todd that I want to make, plus some baby gifts to sew) and enjoying the mindless pleasure of knitting a simple tube in the round - just going around and around until it's the correct length.

I'm a binge knitter; I can go for months without touching it and then suddenly plunge into multiple projects simultaneously. I think part of my problem stems from my impulsive need to design my own patterns when I'm not really that experienced as a knitter. I am currently haunted by two unfinished sweaters; with both of them I knit to the armholes and was then paralyzed. I'm not entirely sure how to maintain the elaborate stitch patterns (yes, I couldn't just choose stockinette - maybe I should take a photo to illustrate the extent of my warpedness) while shaping the armholes and neckline, and the sleeve shaping is just a mystery to me despite researching it and reading as much as I can on the topic. I suspect that if I just spent an hour or two examining my notes and measurements I could probably muddle on, but truthfully I think that I'm too lazy. Maybe it's because one of the things I like about knitting is the relaxing watch-tv-while-you-make-something aspect of the craft. Perhaps I should have thought of that before I started the sweaters?

Yesterday we went for a walk and found ourselves at the famous Purl of Last-Minute Knitted Gifts fame. What a beautiful shop! I meant to take a photo of the outside to show you - it's painted a lovely fresh robin's egg blue - and the tiny inside is packed to the ceiling with the most amazing yarns; vibrant colors and textures fill every cubbyhold on the walls so that it's almost overwhelming. I was so fortunate that we had taken the stroller instead of the carrier and the baby had fallen asleep; I parked her in the corner and gaped at the selection until she woke. Maybe I'll force myself to finish a sweater or two before I allow myself to return. It might just be the push that I need.

My model wasn't cooperating today, but this is a hat my grandma knitted for one of us sisters. I'm crazy for the pointy top and the mitred rib design. The photo doesn't show it, but the ties are two different lengths, presumedly so you can tie the hat on one side of the baby's chin. (Grandma doesn't make mistakes; this was most certainly intentional, believe me.)

Meanwhile, my neighborhood knitting shop gave me a pattern that I can easily adapt to become this adorable scarf from the cover of American Baby magazine. And I am aching to make one of the mini sweaters and the drawstring pouch from the cover of Knitted Gifts. Hmmm. The relaxation is vanishing rather quickly....

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