Sunday, March 30, 2008

[Malabrigo] March Madness

For the record, I completed six (very small) projects and cast on for two more for Malabrigo March.

The Toddler says "I love Malabrigo!" Okay, really, he says "Yar!" and then throws it on the floor. He also uses yarn to practice counting ("eh, niiiiine, elelen," and NO, I did not buy eleven skeins of Malabrigo) and color identification ("BOO!").

Here, The Toddler is snuggling up to my latest Malabrigo score, the beautiful Brilliante colorway that I bought today at Natural Stitches "egg sale." Lisa "No, I Cannot Even Get to My Needles" Be and I were so excited about this, it wasn't even funny. We were supposed to leave my house at 10:45, but at 10:20, I looked out of my front door to see Lisa sitting there. Okay, I thought, we'll go a little early. Maybe there'll be a line and we can act like Mr. Smithers knocking Lisa Simpson down to be the first to get to Malibu Stacey. And if they let anyone in early, it would be Lisa.

But no, they didn't let us in early, and of course, I didn't expect them to. We went in and had the store to ourselves for just a few minutes, and then slowly but surely, the knitters flowed in. It was very pleasant with just the right amount of help. I scored a 25% discount in my egg and got the yarn for a MinnowKnits sweater for The Toddler, some sock yarn (duh), and some Malabrigo for Talia for myself.

What was it I said about not buying so much yarn this year?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Jumping up and down like a little girl


Perhaps this is a sign that I need to get a life, but the feeling I got when I read that the March '08 Rockin' Sock Club shipment had gone out sent a little thrill through me. Because I received my January shipment a few days later than everyone else, I didn't get my hopes up too high that I'd get it this week. So when my husband brought in a package yesterday from the mailbox, I started jumping up and down and clapping like a drunken Paula Abdul on American Idol finale night.

If the package alone got me that excited, you can imagine how I felt when I actually opened it. This colorway is a gorgeous study of greens, and if each shipment is going to be a study of color (January was red/orange), I am beyond thrilled with my membership.

So happy.

In other knitting news, I decided last week that I wanted to set some completion goals for myself. At the risk of making my fun leisure activity too much like homework, I decided to try to finish a sweater vest for The Toddler by Easter. I finished last night and wove in the ends this morning; all I need to do is find suitable buttons.

I have two secret knitting projects I need to finish by the beginning of April, so those are up next. I want to have Flair completed so I can wear it to Maryland Sheep and Wool at the beginning of May. And I MUST finish that *$_#_&% Christmas knitting, so the Clapotis will be finished by Mother's Day. I swear.

Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate it!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I P-Touched my child

Somehow I made it through a whole lot of graduate school with people thinking I was super-organized and efficient. Those of you who have been to my house know what a big joke that is. I am a "cluttery" person who uses the "big piles and stacks of stuff" method of organization.

Yet when I saw this P-Touch was $10 off at Costco yesterday, I felt that was a sign from God and Martha Stewart herself that I was meant to have it. I rationalized it by telling myself I would use it to organize my knitting; and I did, I used it to label my growing stack of three-ring binders that house my patterns. I also plan to use it to organize my Christmas knitting (that's Christmas '08, even though, yes, I still have outstanding projects from Christmas '07) by wrapping the finished objects in tissue paper and labeling them.

But I couldn't help myself. A toddler cries out to be labeled with a P-Touch, don't you think?

Monday, March 17, 2008

May I be excused? My brain is full

That's how I felt after leaving my "Socks Every Which Way" class that I took with Carla at Natural Stitches on Friday. In a three hour period, I learned to cast on for
  • one sock at a time on two circular needles
  • two socks at a time on two circular needles, top down AND toe up
  • one sock at a time using the Magic Loop method
  • two socks at a time using the Magic Loop method, top down AND toe up

See why my brain is full?

I think using the DPNs (or, Sticks of Satan as Melissa calls them) is seriously a major cause of my slow, slow, slow sock knitting, so I'm willing to give these other methods a go. The downsides, as I see them are 1. a huge mess if I make a mistake and have to rip back on not just one but two socks, and 2. not as many size options. I have a lovely DPN sock set from KnitPicks and appreciate the variations in size, particularly as I knit with variegated yarns that might pool with the slightest gauge change.

Any recommendations for a simple toe-up pattern?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Good parenting for Malabrigo March

Yesterday The Toddler picked up the ball of Malabrigo I was working with and gave it a hug. This morning, he picked up another ball, petted it, said "soft" as well as a toddler can, and tried to carry it around with him like a stuffed animal. I hated to take it from him.

Obviously, he has excellent taste.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Happy Malabrigo March

The Malabrigo Junkies Group on Ravelry is sponsoring "Malabrigo March," as if anyone needed new excuses to knit things from my beloved Merino Worsted. To do my part, I've completed this Amanda Hat:*

And I started this Linen Stitch Scarflet:

The Amanda Hat proved to be surprisingly easy for a lace pattern (where easy = can work on it in the same room where The Toddler is playing), and I inadvertently taught myself how to knit on two circulars when I was unexpectedly out knitting without my DPNs.

I've been on radio silence for the past few weeks, due to catching not one but two colds, working on Secret Knitting that can't be posted on public blogs, and taking a much-needed trip to Florida, as The Toddler and I tagged along on the orchestra's recent tour. It's hard to be back in the cold, but a Malabrigo Fix on a cold, stormy day is not a bad way to get through a snowy weekend.

* A shout out to Lisa, who took this picture at Natural Stitches. Sadly, that's ME in that blog entry who keeps asking stupid questions about not being able to get at her stash in disbelief. What would you do if you suddenly were cut off from your stash? Would it be liberating? Panic-attack inducing? Talk amongst yourselves.