Saturday, October 04, 2008

A Saturday of projects

The autumn sky has turned to gray again as the beginning of the rainy season makes its presence known to the city. Now that the summer events have come to a close for me, I'm now focusing on the holiday season ahead. The company has an employee craft fair in November so to raise some spending money I've dug into the stash and started knitting up tubes for making cat toys. Now you're probably thinking I'm out of my mind to try to knit up all these tubes. Trust me; I wouldn't do this if I didn't have an easy way of doing it.

Thank you Mattel. So far I've done up enough yarn to do 36 cat socks and have two more skeins to do up. A friend has offered a quilt batt to me and I'm on the hunt for good fresh catnip that doesn't cost a fortune (I'm thinking bulk catnip from a source). The final construction will occur away from home so that I don't have crazed felines tearing at the products.

Christmas is coming so gifts are being knit up. I've been perusing patterns and coming up with ideas. I'm looking over my stash and picking out potential colors. What colors should I avoid? Will this fit the item? Would that pattern be too busy? Shall I put the techniques I learned to use in this? Am I insane to do this? If I wasn't, I wouldn't be part of the multitude of knitters who are doing the same thing.

Taming A Pattern

To prepare for the drafty days of winter, I'm knitting up Franklin's 1840's Gentleman's Night Cap. I must say this pattern gave me fits in the beginning. I don't usually knit with straight cotton because it can be hard on my hands, but I wasn't going to do it in wool. I was going to follow the pattern as it was written, something I don't normally do. I had balls of Dale Stork in the stash and size 1 and 0 needles. So I set out to knit it.

In the beginning, I found that the double point needles were somewhere in the ether, not in the double point needle case I usually carry them in. It wasn't just that one set was missing. I was missing 3 sets somewhere in the chaos of my house, stuffed with a bag of sock yarn or holding a toe in progress. The circulars I had on hand were Crystal Palace and Addi Turbos. The CP joins kept snagging the stitches as they went around and the Addi Turbos were too slick, making my hands hurt from keeping the stitches from flying off the needles. Then I cast on and wound up twisting it when I completed the round. Frustrating to say the least, but I was bound and determined to conquer this pattern. It had to be the tools, but what would work?

Last Friday, I went out and about with Melissa and Barbara on a lovely yarn crawl, and it was at Twisted that I found my needles. HiyaHiya needles come with a nice short tip in bamboo and a smooth join. Later I picked up a set of long #1's for the finishing, but I've found that the HiyaHiyas saved me from ripping out the whole thing and cursing Franklin for devising such a horrid piece of torture. It's coming out beautifully.


pdxknitterati said...

Holiday knitting? What's that? ;-)

I try not to put too much holiday knitting on my list. My knitting is mostly for me, and for friends/family who *really* appreciate it. But there's always a backup plan, because I don't want to feel forced to knit/finish something I'm not enjoying.

Think of it like singing warmups: Me me me me me me me!

Michele, just home from practicing with the Day Old Pastries (a bit crusty, but fresh enough!)

Sharon said...

oh, I love the tube knitting thingy! And admire your persistence with the nightcap pattern. Go Duffy!