Saturday, October 25, 2014

Bits and pieces

Ryan introduced Silas to Pokemon today.  It was unnerving.  Silas rarely 'watches' TV so much as he occasionally glances at the screen and shouts whatever noun appears for the few seconds that he's looking at it; "Elmo!" "Monkey!"  "Dog!"  "Train!"  However, from the second the episode started playing Silas was glued to the screen, eventually whispering "Pikachu" with each appearance of the character.  At the end of the episode, this being Netflix, the next episode automatically started playing, but I grabbed the remote and shut it off.

"That's enough for one day," I said.

"Why?" Ryan whinged.

"Look at your son!" I said with a gesture towards our progeny.  "It's only been half an hour but he already has the zonked out expression of a child who is watching too much TV!"

Ryan's response to that was a smirk of all-knowing condescension, as he doubtless remembered how much TV he watched as a child, which in no way affected his activity levels or variety of interests.

"Silas," I prodded, "Do you want to go color?"


"Do you want to go outside?" I upped the ante.

"No."  He paused, clearly considering what it was he did want.  "Pikachu!"

I glared daggers at Ryan, who laughed but with an embarrassed expression that suggested he realized the implications of what had just happened.

I am happy to report that a minute or two later it dawned on Silas that he had been given implicit permission to go outside and we had to chase him down to put shoes and a clean diaper on him before he escaped (he's becoming terrifyingly good at opening the front door without assistance), but the incident remains peculiar.

On the knitting side of life, I'm working on a pair of socks for a travelling sock swap, and therefore there can be no pictures without spoiling the surprise for the recipient, but I will say this - a smooth join from cable to needle is really critical to success with Magic Loop, otherwise it's a hair-rending experience that makes me dread working on the project.  Addi Turbos = excellent in this regard.  Knitter's Pride Dreamz = surprisingly and disappointingly less so.  I love my Knitter's Pride needles, but the size 1 I bought for this project is snagging just enough to set my teeth on edge and drive me to other pursuits that I can't talk about because they're for a swap too . . .

There was a bit of crochet, though!

I apologize for the terrible, low-light picture; it was taken at the last minute with my phone around midnight, because it was a very last minute project finished around midnight, because for some reason it didn't occur to me until two days before she retired that my lovely coworker Julie would really, really appreciate having something handmade by me.  I sacrificed a skein and a quarter of my precious Lion Brand Amazing yarn (colorway "Pink Sands"), mainly because except for the odd pale olive drab portions, the colors were entirely her, and slightly because I knew the long color repeats would be an easy way to get the most bang for the time I had to spend on it.  The pattern was a fairly easy pick, too - crochet = fast, crochet flowers = pretty and entirely to the taste of the woman I was crocheting for, pattern that looks complicated while in fact being mindlessly simple (without being mindlessly boring) = best bang for time available, and this pattern in particular = extremely well suited to yarns with long color repeats.  She absolutely adored it, and we both enjoyed showing it off to everyone we thought would have the inclination to ooh and awww over the pretty handmade.  I do wish the thought had occurred to me, say, months ago when she announced she would be retiring in October, so that I could have invested more time and money and perhaps knitted her a shawl, but this scarf was made with all my love and good wishes, and that's what I really wanted to give her.  She may not ever know how loathe I was to part with the yarn, but she knows I was thinking of her when I chose it for this project, because I know she loves pink and yellow and blue and color in general, and I hope when she wears it she remembers the many conversations we had about clothes and color (and Silas and babies and recipes and so many other things), and that she feels fabulous because the woman loves to put together a great outfit!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Trying to get back into the groove, UFO Thursday

Hey, remember when I made that resolution to blog more regularly, and then I disappeared for 9 months?  Yes, I did get pregnant, but that's not why I suddenly vanished.  Our internet source vanished, and while there once was a time when I could go to the library and blog while Silas sat behind me on the floor and played with my keys (those halcyon days before he could walk), those days are long gone.

I'm back now, though!  With internet, with a computer, with a camera!

It's Thursday, so that means focusing on the looming pile of unfinished objects that haunts our house.  This week, I actually finished one of them!  The mittens that I started for Silas way back in February.

In my defense, I started them with the intention of his wearing them this fall/winter, so there was no rush, and they were basically done except for the weaving in of ends, sewing on of buttons, and crocheting of the cord.  I finished the knitting in a bit of a rush back in Feb, because in the rush to get out of town for a funeral, Ryan managed to leave the house with the baby without including a jacket, hat, shoes, or mittens (I was at work all day, blithely thinking that surely my husband could think of those things without prompting, since it was February and all . . .).  I had one and a half mittens at that point, and I managed to finish the second the morning of the funeral, so between a blanket, my hat, and a pair of shoes bought at Target on the way to the service (we made another mistake in sending Ryan in to buy the shoes - they were two sizes too small, but by then we were late enough), Silas was at least reasonably covered, even if ornamented with dangling yarn ends and unable to walk.

The pattern is Heart Strings Mittens by Crystal Guistinello.  The blue yarn is Cascade 220 Sport, color Blue Velvet, leftover from the Eleanor Romper that I test-knit for Kate Boswick, which in browsing through back-entries, I find I never blogged about in any depth.  I will have to remedy that soon!  The red yarn is the same Red Ranch Wool-Ease that I used for the cowl of the previous entry.  The pattern called for a simple chain stitch cord, but I wanted a sturdier line, so I slip-stitched back along the length.  The result is a bit like a two-stitch-wide icord, but less fussy to accomplish in my opinion.

I really like the shape of these mittens, nice and round and roomy.  The pattern actually calls for fingering weight yarn, but even having gone up three needle sizes and using a heavier yarn, I don't think the size ended up too far off.  The cord is buttoned on to facilitate tangle-free washing.

The vest was a thrift store find that I just could not pass up for my train-obsessed little boy, though we are not in general supporters of the puffy vest look.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Silas Monday, on Sunday

Two significant things happened this weekend:  I finished a cowl for Silas, and found him his Halloween costume.  They aren't actually related, but my husband thought they should be.

The cowl is Purl Soho's Bandana Cowl, which originally calls for super-bulky weight yarn on 10 1/2 needles, but Silas' is worked up from Lion Brand Wool-Ease (worsted) on size 6 needles.  It follows the pattern to the letter, except that for the decreases after the short rows, I worked only 3 over the 24 rows instead of 6.  The result fits perfectly, and looks pretty dashing to my eye.  Of course, mine is the eye of the person who made not only the cowl but also the adorable child (with help), so it may not be the most neutral information source.

There is a hat that goes with that jacket, incidently.