26 June 2011

Enter Tiberius

I know I said I didn't want to be one of those women who posts a picture of her cat every single time she updates. But I said that before Tiberius the Kitten entered our lives. He's been around for a whole, like, three days now.

If it bugs you that I might be one of those secretly-not-a-knit-blogger-but-a-cat-blogger-instead types, just focus on the fact that this is also a progress shot of the labyrinth rug. Also, there's a sneak peek of another project in here, but it's not at all obvious what it is. It's mysterious. Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

(Seriously, Tiberius has stolen my heart. He has the loudest purr I've ever heard. Also, he'll immediately grab your finger with his little kitten-paws and start licking it the moment he meets you. He slept in my lap while I knitted this afternoon -- it only took two or three times to disentangle him from the needles before he got the picture. Now that's one awesome kitten!)

16 June 2011

It's About Darn Time!

I've been married for four years, this coming August. Before that, we were "together" for about three years. All told, Husband and I have been basically inseparable for nearly seven years. In that time, I've knit him hats and mittens and scarves and who knows what else... but I've never knit him a sweater.

I tried once. I bought some awesome local yarn, and we even went to the farm together and met the sheepies who grew the wool. He picked out a pattern and I cast on... and knit maybe 2 rows? This yarn did not want to be this pattern, and it was just wrong. Wrong! So I stopped. I haven't even bothered to frog those two rows. The yarn and needles are still in the box on a shelf, waiting for me to do something with them. Anything. That shelf is like a big void in that room. I can't even look at it.

But recently, Husband actually started making noises about wanting me to knit him a sweater. How many dang sweaters have I knit for myself? How many babies have I knit for? And then one day, of his own volition, he picked up my copy of Son of Stitch n' Bitch and found two different sweaters he liked. "You could maybe knit me one of these," he said "Which one do you like better?" Because he is subtle like that.

Ohhhhhh that Husband of mine, he is a smooth operator.

So I picked the one I thought would look better on him: Biker Boy (Rav link). This is a basic zippered cardigan. I've never done anything big with a zipper before, so even though it's a pretty simple pattern, there is still a challenge built in to this experience. The pattern has a dumb skull inset and some other silly color detailing, but we're just keeping it solid gray, no frippery. Skulls aren't really Husband's style, but he's excited that the double-layer neck will give him some extra insulation in the winter. We went to Northeast Fiber Arts to choose some yarn together (setting myself up for success this time), and I cast-on on Easter, after I took a looooong nap.

Here's the beginning. Most of the body -- I did some while he was away traveling, so stopped at a point where I thought I should measure it on him but he wasn't around -- and the cuffs of the sleeves, started when the body got too big to carry in my purse. Thanks to the awesome Knitpicks Options needles that Husband gave me for Christmas, I have that... uh, option.

The yarn is Cascade Rustic -- a 79% wool/21% linen single-ply blend. He wanted something tweedy, but NEFAC has trouble getting tweed to sell so they don't stock much. We went with this interesting not-quite-tweed instead. It's soft, and not as splitty as I was afraid it would be (given 220 Superwash's proclivities, I steer clear of most Cascade yarns now), and I've been pretty happy with it. Not a yarn I expect to want to knit with again in the future, but not one I'd turn down if the situation called for it.

Husband is happy with the sweater so far. Occasionally he looks over and says, "Oh, that's really niiiice" when he sees me working on it. Like I said, smooth operator.

And I guess he has to be, if he's ever going to get a handknit sweater from me. Seven years is a long wait.

11 June 2011

Lizard Ridge Update #4

Or, "I'm getting really creative with these blog post titles, aren't I?"

Been a little while, huh? Thanks for those of you who've prodded me to get back to blogging. First there was Easter, which is kind of a big deal. And then there was recovery from Easter (known as "May" to most of you). And then I had a bicycling accident in mid-May, just as I was getting back in the saddle, pun intended. (My first ride of the year! It was going to be a seven-miler! Instead, it was a four-miler, a head-over-handlebars flight, and a trip to the ER!) (I'm okay, just had lots of big bruises, but I went to the doc to get checked just in case.) And now I'm recovered for real.

And I had a spare Saturday, because I'm not preaching tomorrow, and it's a rainy day. Would have gone to the WWKIP gathering in City Hall Park today, but between some work-work I had to catch up on and the rain, I decided that I would just K-BIP (Knit-Blog in Public) instead.

So! Without further ado...

It's the Lizard Ridge blanket. The knitting is all finished. I have to block it and seam it, then do the edging. I bought a nice light gray, much to the dismay of my good old Finnish friend who has just learned about this blog. I think it will make all the colors stand out equally -- my fear with the forest green is that it will bring out the dark patches, especially the greens, but the light bits will get lost and the reds will look out of place. But the gray will offset all the colors nicely.

The blocking is on hold for the moment -- meaning that the entire project is on hold -- because we are in the process of fixing up one of our upstairs bedrooms at the moment. That means that (1) all the stuff from Bedroom A is now in Bedrooms B and C, and both spare beds are covered in the stuff from Bedroom A, and (2) there is a ton of plaster dust up there and I don't want it to get all over my lovely handiwork. So blocking will have to wait until that room is painted and cleaned, so that both the stuff and the dust are in their proper places, and I get at least one spare bed back.

But you have some idea of what Lizard Ridge is going to look like now. And that's fun. Happy Hiatus-is-over!