Archive for the “fleep-top” Category

We had our family holiday celebration on Monday at my brother and sister-in-law's place, and I finally got to give Dad his hat. It fits him perfectly, and he said that it is exactly the hat he wanted! Hooray! Now that I know his size, I told him, I can keep him in hats for as long as he wants. He mentioned a hat with notches over the ears to fit his headset when he flies. I'll have to see about making something like that, perhaps for next Chanukah. Dad was kind enough to model it for me and even to lend me his camera to take pictures, since I'd (of course) forgotten mine.

Speaking of cameras, I've been thinking about getting a new one. Not another point & shoot, like the one I currently have (a Canon SD850IS), because - well, because my next mobile phone will have a really good small camera built right into it - no, I'm envying a DSLR, with which I can take much better pictures. It's almost silly to think about it now because I don't have the money to buy a camera, but maybe someday soon I will. Pirate-Husband thinks it's silly of me to want such a thing. He is convinced that I will buy an expensive camera, take twenty pictures, and get tired of it. I'm not sure I see myself hiking all over the countryside hauling a camera with me, true, but I'd certainly take lots more pictures of stuff indoors, like kittens and dinners and knitting.

In other news, I got a package from Thailand in the mail. It makes the world seem very small, to be able to buy things from the other side of the planet with a few clicks of the mouse, and have them show up at my door less than two weeks later. What was inside the package, you might ask? (And why did I buy from an Etsy seller in Thailand? Because I couldn't find the same things for a better price more locally. I looked. But 20 sets of snaps for $12, including shipping, is about as good as it gets.)

Twenty sets of ultra-thin, surprisingly strong, magnetic snaps. They are the kind of closures that are sewn on, rather than clipped through fabric. This seemed to be a wise decision for attaching a magnetic snap to the mitten-tops and wrist cuffs of Fleep-Top gloves. The kind of magnet that's clipped through would leave a very cold metal circle on the inside of the cuff. I'm actually concerned that they are *too* strong, that unsnapping them will put more stress on the yarn than it can take, and that the gloves will have a shortened lifespan as a result. Perhaps I should reinforce the place where the snaps are sewn on with a piece of fabric on the inside.

My own Fleeps have never had anything to hold the top back when it's not in use, and I've never had a problem with them flopping about... but Michael requested that I do something for his gloves, and so I shall. And if the magnetic snaps are as awesome as I think they will be, it's fairly likely that I'll add them to my gloves, too.

Comments Comments Off on In Which the Pirate Completes.

I'd mentioned that the first two Fleeps had come out slightly different in size, but the more I looked at them the more I realized just how different they were. I tried to quell the thoughts of reknitting, but when Michael tried them on a few weeks ago, I knew instantly that I'd have to make one glove over.

He said I'm crazy, that if he wanted two identical gloves he would have bought them in a store. (Isn't he nice?) I say it's not crazy; the whole point of custom knitting is so that things fit exactly as they should. What good is it if one glove fits perfectly and one is so big that it might have been made for someone else?

How far off could it have been, you ask? Well, I'll tell you, although it's kind of embarrassing... one glove was 3/4" longer than the other, and about 1/2" wider. That is some serious difference. And it's totally unacceptable. So really, the decision to reknit wasn't a difficult one at all.

The sizing difference has to be a matter of gauge/tension, because each of the gloves has the same number of stitches (I counted to be sure) and the same number of rows. Maybe I was hurrying more when I knit the second one, and it came out tighter, and thus fits perfectly? Obviously I should hurry when I reknit the first one to get the same gauge. Or maybe I accidentally knit the first one on US 4/3.5mm needles instead of US 3/3.25mm? We'll never know.

I began to knit the next (would that be the third, or the first?) glove, making sure to pull my stitches tight. After the cuff I could see that my gauge was much more in line with the second glove that had fit properly. Hooray! I kept measuring as I worked my way up the hand, just to be sure. And it came out just fine!

I had enough yarn left in the ball to knit a third glove and one mitten-top, and unraveling the first glove gave me enough recovered yarn to knit the second mitten-top. Unraveling was an adventure as I'd woven the half-million (okay, ten) yarn ends in very carefully. I also had yarn left over from my own pair of Fleeps that could have filled in, if I didn't have enough, but it worked out just fine. And the cut-off fingers will make wonderful felted toys for the kittens.

The second mitten-top was finished in a frantic burst of knitting on Thanksgiving morning, and I held my breath when Michael tried on the gloves Friday night. But woo! They fit perfectly! Then he gave them right back to me to put on some sort of fleep-top holding device. I ordered little sew-on magnets that are shaped like snaps but don't actually snap; if those turn out to be somehow wrong then I'll sew on a button and a loop.

He still says I'm crazy - and a perfectionist, too - but I feel lots better about having made gloves that fit right. Would you have done differently?

Due Date …… Project
10/3 ………… Angie’s gifts
11/1 ………… Second Fleep, hand section
12/1 ………… Mom’s sock #2
12/1 ............ Dad's hat
1/1 ....………. Gift for Janis's baby boy
2/1 ………….. Fleep Restraints for Mitten Tops, awaiting magnets
2/1 ………….. Jacob Hat
3/1 ………….. Twins’ sweaters
4/15 …….….. Gift for Gwen's baby

Comments 2 Comments »

Yesterday I was so tired when I got home that Pirate-Husband suggested that I should take a night off from knitting. "You've told me," he said, "that when you're tired you shouldn't knit."

"No," I mumbled through a fog, "I can knit on something stockinette. I could, really. I could." But I didn't. He made dinner and we watched television with the cats draped across our laps, and then we both went to bed early. Not a productive evening, but a very comfortable one.

I've made progress on Michael's Fleeps, but it will take a minor miracle to have them finished before I see him on Friday. There's a lot to do tonight that isn't knitting, like packing for Thanksgiving in New York, but maybe I can find a few moments. And I'm sure that Grandma won't mind if I knit while we talk about everything under the sun. So, maybe! Fingers crossed.

Both of my socks-in-progress will be coming with me on the trip, too. Pirate-Husband pointed out, "We'll be taking your car, there's plenty of room for knitting," and also commented "I know you love to start new projects, but I think you should finish the current socks first." He is, of course, right on all three counts.

As for new projects, there is a LOT of baby knitting coming up. We will know the twins' sexes tomorrow, so I'll finally be able to buy the yarn for their sweaters. I am going to bring the KnitPicks catalog to New York with me, so that my sister-in-law can pick out exactly which colours she prefers. And my friend Gwen has just announced that she's expecting her third, due in the end of May! I'm not yet sure what I'll knit for her. Another sweater? A little toy? I'll come up with something good.

Due Date …… Project
10/3 ………… Angie’s gifts
11/1 ………… Second Fleep, hand section
12/1 ………… Mom’s sock #2
12/1 ............ Dad's hat
1/1 ....………. Gift for Janis's baby boy
2/1 ………….. Mitten tops and thumb caps on Fleeps (almost done!)
2/1 ………….. Jacob Hat
3/1 ………….. Twins’ sweaters
4/15 ….……. Gift for Gwen's baby

Comments 2 Comments »

Three weeks ahead of schedule, I've finished the second of the Fleep-Tops' hands. Either my tension was much tighter as I was working on the second glove, or the first one was stretched out from all the trying-on - the second seems slightly smaller than the first. I'm sure it will stretch and can be blocked out to match the other one.

This gives me six weeks to finish Mom's sock and Dad's hat. Plenty of time. No worries at all. I wound up the Cascade 220 into a neat yarncake and worked up a small gauge swatch, since I can't find any of the notes that I took five years ago when I knit Pirate-Husband's hat. Grr, frustrating! At least I wrote down that I used a US 6 (4mm) needle, or I'd probably have been swatching on a US 7 (4.5mm). I measured 5.5 stitches to the inch, did the math, and cast on 116 stitches. Since Dad requested a smooth hat with a ribbed brim, I'll be using the same Basic Hat Formula that I've knit up several times before.

The stitch marker I'm using came from a cat-themed set of markers I received in a holiday gift swap a few years ago. It's an adorable pink cat with an articulated tail. I'd nearly forgotten about the set but I'm glad to have a chance to use it now! This is the kind of thing I'd probably never buy for myself, but getting it in a gift swap was really cool.

Due Date …… Project
10/3 ………… Angie’s gifts
11/1 ………… Second Fleep, hand section
12/1 ………… Mom’s sock #2
12/1 ............ Dad's hat
1/1 ....………. Gift for Janis's baby boy
2/1 ………….. Mitten tops and thumb caps on Fleeps
2/1 ………….. Jacob Hat
3/1 ………….. Twins’ sweaters

P.S. I had to add three words to my spell-checker's dictionary for this post: Fleep, grr, and swatching. I think I say all three of these things often enough that they can be in my dictionary!

Comments 1 Comment »

Saturday morning found me hurrying to finish the heel flap and turn on Mom's second sock so that I could bring it with me to my parents' house, where we went in the afternoon to meet my second cousins once removed, who were visiting from England. It was wonderful to finally meet them! So wonderful, in fact, that I got caught up in conversing and completely forgot that I was supposed to be knitting while we talked, even though I had managed to get into the gusset before we drove down to their house. Mom tried on her first sock, and *whew* - it fit perfectly.

Dad's asked me if I can make him a hat in charcoal gray - a standard toque or watch cap, with a turned-up brim. I'm going to see if I can get that done in time to be his Chanukah present. The due date list has been shifted around to accommodate for the hat and also to account for babies who aren't going to be born until Spring. I've been told that I won't need to have the twins' sweaters in time for their birth, since I'm making them in a size for *next* winter, but I'm still going to aim to finish them in advance.

I did get to work on the sock a little more over the weekend, but most of my knitting time was aimed directly at the second of Michael's Fleep-Tops. I'm knitting both hand sections first, leaving off the mitten tops and thumb caps until I can measure their placement on his hands. By knitting as fast as I could until bedtime, I managed to finish the ribbed cuff and knit the hand section to the base of the thumb opening. The second glove needed no measuring since I'd taken careful notes on the first one, so it goes along much faster. I'm sure the fingers will be just as fiddly, of course.

Due Date …… Project
10/3 ………… Angie’s gifts
11/1 ………… Second Fleep, hand section
12/1 ………… Mom’s sock #2
12/1 ............ Dad's hat
1/1 ....………. Gift for Janis's baby boy
2/1 ………….. Mitten tops and thumb caps on Fleeps
2/1 ………….. Jacob Hat
3/1 ………….. Twins’ sweaters

Comments Comments Off on In Which the Pirate Knits Faster.

I have a confession to make: I love lists. I love writing lists. I especially love writing lists on paper, putting line-items in order, and then re-writing the list in my neatest handwriting on a fresh sheet of paper. It makes me feel better about everything I have to do, helps me to see that my queue isn't life-threatening. And it really isn't! I'm feeling a lot better now, though I know I'll have to be fairly disciplined in order to get everything done on time.

The cats are headed to the vet on Saturday to be spayed and neutered, and due to a bloodwork requirement we won't get them back until Monday. The boarding is free, at least, but I feel a little bad about leaving them all weekend. On the other hand, that totally frees up two whole days for knitting without kitten assistance. (And cleaning the house, I suppose. These things have to be done.)

This weekend I can finish up Angie's baby shower gifts and get started on the one for Janis. (Hey Janis, do you want it to be a surprise, or shall I blog about it as I go?) If I am vigilant about knitting some every day, and if I account for the usual life-craziness and procrastination, I can expect it to take about a month.

That leaves me with one sock for Mom, which I can't start until she tries on the first sock, and the glove part of the second Fleep for Michael. If I can get all of that done by Thanksgiving, I can spend December on the twins' sweaters - but I can't even buy yarn for them until I know if they're boys, girls, or one of each, so I'm just not going to think about it until I get that piece of news. And then I can spend January on the colourwork hat of the Jacob yarn I spun, and putting mitten-tops on the Fleeps.

So, for my own records and your amusement, here is my list of projects and their deadlines. I will probably certainly without a doubt look back on this list and laugh, next year...

Due Date ...... Project
10/3 ............ Angie's gifts
11/1 ………… Second Fleep, hand section
12/1 ………… Mom’s sock #2
1/1 ……....…. Gift for Janis
2/1 ………….. Twins’ sweaters
2/1 ………….. Mitten tops and thumb caps on Fleeps
2/1 ………….. Jacob Hat

Is that realistic? Am I crazy?

Comments 1 Comment »

On Saturday, Michael and I went to Maker Faire. It was pretty freaking awesome. We saw some really cool stuff - self replicating 3D printers, the Egg-Bot in action, and a fully functional lifesize game of Mousetrap. Not to mention the ArcAttack performance! We went wandering through the vendors and I was tempted (without any arm-twisting at all, really) into buying a 4+ ounce braid of locally sourced and hand-dyed merino top in deep blues and greens. I haven't taken a picture of it yet, but as soon as the sun comes out I will.

I knit while I was riding the train, and it made the trip go by super-fast. On the way to New York, I finished off the fingers on the first Fleep-Top and got started on the Gnome Baby hat (link to pattern page on Ravelry). I held my breath when Michael tried on the glove, but there was nothing to worry about. It fits perfectly, and all the fingers are the right length. Whew! On the train ride home, I came close to finishing the baby hat. I'm already into the decreases which will form the point. (That red should be much more red. It's not easy to get a good picture of such a saturated colour while on a moving train!)

Cascade Fixation is a funny yarn to knit with, but I'm not yet sure if that's good funny or bad funny. It doesn't hurt my hands like most cotton yarns do, but I find it difficult to keep an even tension due to the elastic content. I don't want to pull too tightly on it, but I have to be extra careful of my tension between needles or I'll get ladders. It's great for baby clothes since it's not rough or scratchy, and the elastic will certainly help keep the hat and booties on the baby rather than on the floor... but I think I'd rather knit with wool.

My sister-in-law has asked me to hold off on knitting for the twins until she finds out if they'll be boys, girls, or one of each. She'd like to colour-code her babies, and so that project has been put on the back burner for a few more weeks. So far, the leading pattern is the Presto Chango - I really like the idea of having swappable front panels in which I can try different stitch patterns. Even with this delay, I have renewed confidence that I'll be able to finish all my gift knits by their deadlines. Working up most of a hat in just a few hours has reminded me of how fast a baby-project goes.

Almost home, waiting at Metro Center for the train. I'm fascinated by the shapes of the concrete in the metro stations. That must be a good thing, since I had to wait twenty minutes for my train to come along...

Comments 1 Comment »

After yesterday's post I was linked to two more baby sweater patterns that have made the list of potentials!

The first is Five Fruits (Ravelry link). This is an adorable striped sweater in colours that remind me of my 1980s childhood: a Lifesavers rainbow. For anyone who doesn't have a Ravelry account, you can see a picture of the sweater here. It has buttons running along one shoulder, to make it easy to get over a baby's gigantic noggin without having a giant saggy neckline. And it's knit from the top down in one piece, which means no seaming!

And the second, which might now be at the top of the running, is the Presto Chango sweater. This clever construction for a baby sweater has interchangeable front panels. When it's all buttoned up, it looks like a pullover - but when there's the inevitable baby mess, only the front panel needs to be changed out. And, I could try out different stitch patterns on the front panels! Two sweaters and four front panels would be come out to about eight or nine skeins of Swish Worsted, the yarn I plan to use regardless of what sweater I end up knitting.

In other news of knitting for babies, friend Angie is having her baby shower in mid-October, so it's time to get started on her gifts! Perhaps I can crank them out on the eight hours of trainride that I have scheduled for this weekend. I'm going to the Maker Faire in New York, and I am so excited about it! Anna Hrachovec will be doing a demo there from her book of patterns for adorable knitted toys. Most cute little toys, called amigurumi, are crocheted, but she's one of the few designers who makes patterns for knitted amigurumi.

In the world of non-baby knits, I've gotten a few fingers done on the first of Michael's Fleep-Tops. Tonight I'll finish the rest of the fingers and then this weekend he can try the glove on, without the mitten top, to be sure it fits. I'll mark the placement of the mitten while it's on his hand. The second glove should go a lot faster once I know my measurements and row counts are correct.

Lots of knitting for other people going on lately - the Fleeps, gifts for four separate babies, and Mom's socks. Once these are all done, I can get back to knitting for myself! Fortunately, I know that everyone who's getting a knitted gift from me will thoroughly appreciate the work that goes into them. Otherwise, I'd just be ordering gifts for them all, and be done with it.

Comments Comments Off on In Which the Pirate Adds Two More.

Last week, Pirate-Husband and I went to visit my parents for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. My brother, sister-in-law, and the nieceling were also there, so we had nice festive family meals together. I was thrilled to hear the happy news that I'm going to be an aunt again in April! Yesterday, my brother called me and said that not only are they expecting Baby #2, but also Baby #3. That's right, she's pregnant with twins. I am so happy and excited for them!

Of course, I want to knit something for each baby. So I've gone back to my current projects with a frenzy! I want to get some things finished before I begin working on the baby knits. Last night I sat down and worked on Mom's sock, and finished the first one before it got to be bedtime. My sock blockers are too big for her socks, so I refolded a wire hanger into a foot-shape. Not that the socks need blocking at all, but they'll photograph much better if they're stretched a little to show off the ribbing.

My sworn-brother Michael came to visit over Labor Day weekend, and I made him try on the Fleep-Tops that I've been working on for him. I'm glad I did, because they were still a few rounds too short for his hands. I'm going to add those rounds and the fingers before the next time I see him, so that he can try on a finished glove. I'll have to determine where to put the mitten part while the gloves are on his hands, or they might end up in the wrong place. Customized knitwear for people who live far away, what fun - but they will be done in time for Winterlude, I swear it. I have to come up with some way of marking his Fleeps as separate from mine. Sure, they're slightly larger, but they're made of the same colour yarn, and they'll be easy to confuse. Maybe I will put a little stripe into the mitten tops for him.

Comments Comments Off on In Which the Pirate Has Exciting News.

I'm just past the gusset decreases and into the foot of the first Timey-Wimey Jaywalker, and very near the toe of the second Sibling Sock, so I've swapped them out: the Jaywalkers are going to become my traveling sock and I'm cranking away on the Sibling sock right now, hoping to finish it (and the pair!) tonight. Pirate-Husband and I are going to be at a party from tomorrow morning into Monday afternoon, so I should be able to put a few more inches onto the Jaywalkers then. One of the goals of the gathering is to fell three large trees, something I'm just not physically up to right now, so I plan to knit and watch stronger people swing axes and wield chainsaws.

The math to convert my Fleep-Tops to a larger size for Michael was giving me fits. I mis-read my notes, then I mis-judged, and then I mis-calculated, but eventually figured out what to do. The numbers should all be right now, but there's only so far I can go before I'll want him to try them on for perfect sizing. Once I have the first one done, the second will be much faster.

Happy news: I just found out that my friend Angie is pregnant with her first! She's only seven weeks along, but I'm already planning out what to knit for her. I ordered the yarn from WEBS this morning, and downloaded some patterns from Ravelry. Knitting babyclothes is total instant gratification!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Comments 1 Comment »