Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Name My Baby!

It’s a blog contest!! In case you missed the news, I’m pregnant. I have two more months left, but we’ve already started preparing for the baby. Part of the preparation process, especially for apartment dwellers, is the purging of the belongings! Another part of the process is the choosing of the name. With this contest I’m trying to accomplish both.

The Prize…

One Ashford drop spindle and two bunches of purply blue roving (85% wool, 15% mohair). Don’t worry, my attempt at “yarn” currently on the spindle will not be included. This drop spindle is pretty heavy, so it’s well suited for spinning chunky yarn.

To Enter…

All you have to do is name my baby! No, seriously. Just leave a comment to this post (or email me at holdtheraisins[at]yahoo[dot]com) with a boy’s name that works in both Spanish and English. For example, Nicholas/Nicolas or Sebastian. The name doesn’t have to be exactly the same in both languages, Mattias/Matthew or Alejandro/Alexander would work just fine. I’ll throw the entries into a hat and pick out one. Although the name I pick wont necessarily be the name I give to the baby, that person WILL win the spindle and the roving.

The Rules…

If you DON’T want the spindle and roving, but you want to make a suggestion, feel free, just let me know in your comment that you don’t want to be entered into the contest.

I’m just trying to get IDEAS for names – I can’t promise that I’m going to use one of the names suggested in the comments! But, if I do use one of the suggested names, I’ll give that person a prize too (but not till after the baby is born, in approximately 7 or 8 weeks).

I don’t want to spend a fortune in shipping, so North American entrants only, please.

Get your entries in by Sunday, March 4 at 8pm!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Strike A Pose

Last weekend I was chatting with some folks and someone raised one of the great existential knitblogging questions of our time…

How do you photograph your own handknit socks?

I usually go for the bend and click, but this does not show off the socks to their greatest advantage. Other sock enthusiasts set up the self timer and don a pair of heels. Some use props. Here’s a little photo essay of my pinstripe jaywalkers.

Yarn: Lorna’s Laces, pinstripe colorway
Needles: Size 1 circulars
Gauge: 68 stitches around leg, about 4 fewer on bottom of foot where I used plain stockinette.

The classic bend and snap…

A puppet show with a friend …

Dancing on the ceiling…

Still learning how to use the self-timer…

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Showered with Goodies!

This Sunday the Spiders threw a fabulous baby shower for me and Gleek at Red Bamboo! We were treated to gifts and snacks and delicious cake and the mimosas (and ginger ale) were flowing freely. Just take a look at all the amazing knitting…

Blankees and soakers and burp cloths and wash cloths and bibs (go Gryffindor!) and the cutest baby booties I’ve ever seen in my entire life! Not only that, but I got plenty of washcloths and onesies and a very sporty changing pad, so I’m much more prepared and also perhaps in contention for a best-dressed baby award! It was an amazing shower - thank you all SO MUCH!!

One more shot of those booties…

Receiving all these wonderful goodies really inspired me to keep up with my baby knitting for others - hopefully I'll be able to unveil more of those secret projects soon!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Secrets and Dishcloths and Ice Cream, Oh My!

I’ve been up to my ears in secret knitting lately. I suspect that the parents of the potential recipients are too busy taking care of newborn babies to be reading my blog, but I’m not taking any chances – just a few more days and I can post the pics.

In the meantime, I also knit a dishcloth.

Modeled above by the tub because the kitchen sink was full of dirty dishes. I used the 3 and 1 Checked pattern from this site. Dishcloth knitting is the ultimate commitment-phobe project. You use crap yarn, it takes about two hours, and there are four ends to weave in when you’re finished. Perfect for when you’re not quite ready to commit to a new sweater but just rented two movies and need a little something to keep your hands busy.

Also, if you’re bitter about not getting a snow day, here’s a fun way to waste time at work. Using the Ben and Jerry’s Flavor Generator you can submit suggestions for new flavors. In the past few months I’ve been running pretty extensive testing on the existing flavors so I consider myself an expert in this field.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Fun Never Ends



Fiber Trends Felted Clogs. Just like the Harlot said, you never get sick of these clogs.

My felting method is pretty unorthodox – I just throw the item in the washer with my regular dark colored laundry, wash on warm for a regular cycle, and throw in the dryer. I use the industrial machines at the laundromat, so I don’t worry about fuzzies clogging the machines, nor do I check the progress of the felted item during the wash process. In fact, the washers are front loading and you can’t even open them mid-cycle. It seems to work just fine. They never quite dry fully. Thus blocking, whereupon I stick my feet into the warm moist clogs and wear them around the apartment, is the least fun aspect of the whole process.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Finished Swallowtail

The Pattern: Swallowtail Shawl by Evelyn Clark, Interweave Knits Fall 2006
Needles: Brittany Birch size 4 (Use the pointiest you’ve got. Mine were stubby but I didn’t want to buy a new pair.)
Yarn: Misti Alpaca Lace, color unknown (ballband MIA)
Gauge: Swatch? What’s a swatch?

I love this shawl, it’s soft and cozy without being too bulky. I’m not much of a triangular shawl wearer (too Victorian for me) so I’ve been wearing this one wrapped around my neck scarf-style. Sorry about the lack of outdoor photos of the scarf in action, it’s about negative 80,000 degrees outside and my coat no longer buttons across my middle, so I’m only venturing outdoors in the event of a dire emergency (i.e. if I run out of Ben & Jerry’s).

Friday, February 02, 2007

(Silent) Poetry Reading Day

It’s (Silent) Poetry Reading Day in the world o’ blogs, and I’m really enjoying everyone’s contributions.

Mine is inspired by a recent bathtub visitor in my apartment.

The Centipede
by Ogden Nash

I objurgate the centipede,
A bug we do not really need.
At sleepy-time he beats a path
Straight to the bedroom or the bath.
You always wallop where he’s not,
Or, if he is, he makes a spot.

P.S. – There are no funny poems about groundhogs out there, I checked.

P.S.S. – The swallowtail shawl is blocking at this very moment on navy blue towels. (Blue shawl + blue towels = really boring photo.)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Faster Than a Speeding Swallow

A certain chic knitblogger gave me just the encouragement I needed the other night – I’d been thinking about lace and had my eye on the Swallowtail Shawl . “It’s easy” she said, “you’ll be done in a week.”

Crazy, I know, a lace shawl in a week, but here it is...

Fine, it’s been more like 10 days, but that’s still pretty fast. I think I’ve discovered the secret to lace knitting – Don’t Look Back. If I don’t have enough stitches I just pick one up; too many and I k2tog. Tinking lace is just about as fun as the wax based method of personal epilation and in both cases I usually just end up making the situation worse. When knitting lace it’s best to just embrace your mistakes and soldier on, rather than obsessing about the finer details. (Some may argue that the whole point of lace is the finer details, but those people also have alphabetized spice racks.)

If I can find some pins I'll be blocking tonight and have FO photos tomorrow.