New socks for a new home (AKA, Happy Hedera)

Pattern: Hedera

Needle: US 1/2.25 mm

Size: Small enough to fit my feet

Modifications: 10 repeats of the lace on the leg. 13 repeats on the heel flap.

Well, it is much more satisfying to knit these socks when I can actually wear the finished product. I love them. I will also always know that they are the socks that I was wearing the day that I became a homeowner. Don’t they look nice on the pretty wood floor of the kitchen?

All right, enough about my gorgeous socks . . . on to the gorgeous house. The basics: it is brick, built in the late 1800’s, 3 bedrooms, walk-in closet in master br, 2 baths with basin sinks, a sun porch,  wood-burning stove, deck with fountain and jacuzzi, and a finished attic. There is also beautiful carved wood and decorative doorknobs.

We’ve already experienced some of the negatives of home ownership. The previous owner kinked the gas line to the dryer when she was moving, so my husband spent most of today installing a new gas line. The sink and toilet in the downstairs bathroom have to be tightened in the near future, but there are positives too. I had been talking to my husband about plants. I wanted to plant irises, a lilac bush, and peonies. Yesterday, as we walked around the house, I saw those beautiful pink balls, the buds which burst into peonies. I squealed with delight. I also noticed irises in the front of the house. That only leaves the lilac bush, but I can survive without it for a little while. This year’s blooming season is over anyhow.

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Move ’em on, head ’em up, head ’em up, Move ’em on

This will be really short because I’m a procrastinator. We are moving, closing on a house next Friday. I have to pack. No doubt about it. No more knitting socks for the moment (which by the way is a success. Hedera, the sequel is in production and half done). Must pack many boxes. Gotta go home and do it NOW!

Miss Dashwood, the Adorable

Pattern: Miss Dashwood

Needle: US 5/3.75 mm

Yarn: Marr Haven Wool Yarn (worsted)–Lilac heather

Size: 1-2 years

Modifications: Due to some guage issues, I decreased the hat after the bobble edge. I brought it down from 93 sts to 85 sts. Therefore my version of the hat has a wider brim than originally written in the pattern.

All right, I love this yarn. I knit an Aran sweater for my husband with it and this hat. It feels so nice in my hands and makes beautiful, full fabric. It receives my highest endorsement.

About knitting this hat . . . I don’t know what is going on, but I have been having major guage discrepancies lately. Fortunately, Miss Dashwood still looks adorable, but that could be a result of being on such a cute model. The hat is a little too big right now, but my girl is only 8 months old. I’m thrilled that it will fit her for a long time. Right now its so big that she looks like Dark Helmet from the back.

The only problem, she’s not in love with the hat. She likes to rip hats off from her head, so earlier today she was crawling around with her face completely covered for a little while before she got the hat off. Little goofball!

In other knitting news (or rather “unknitting news,” I have frogged one of my too large Hedera socks. There is something strangely satisfying about pulling yarn with reckless abandon. I hope to have Hedera reknit in a wearable size later this month. Crossing my fingers.

Bobbles are fun

Miss Dashwood was one of the first patterns that I ever dreamed of knitting when I first discovered Knitty. It is one of the reasons that I hoped to someday have a baby girl. Now, I am completely in love with my girl, but she has dramatically cut down my knitting productivity. I have tons of cute little girlie patterns and not nearly enough time.

Anyways, back to the bobbles. This hat has adorable little bobbles framing the brim. I was a little intimidated by my first encounter with bobbles, but while time-consuming, they were easy to complete . . . So, I learned how to knit bobbles. The trick: Knit VERY loosely. The first bobble was so rewarding; knit, knit, knit, knit, turn work and purl 4 together, turn work and POOF! Like magic, there’s a nubby bobble. I highly recommend it. The brim is completed and I’m now working on the rest of the hat, but I expect it to knit up in a flash.

Horrible Hedera

Pattern: Hedera

Needle: US 2/2.75 mm

Yarn: Knit Picks Gloss–Concord Grape

Modifications: 10 repeats of the lace pattern on the leg. 19 repeats on the heel flap. Decreased the foot to 56 stitches.

I did everything I could think of. I shortened the heel flap and made the foot a few stitches smaller, but still, Hedera was a disaster. I deluded myself into believing that the socks would shrink up a bit after I washed and blocked them . . . they didn’t. It wouldn’t bother me so much if I hadn’t been so excited for the socks and done a very accurate guage swatch. As you can see, the socks fit my husbands one size does NOT fit allginormous, rather wide feet quite well, but mine, not so much. And no, I will not give them to my husband. First of all, they are too feminine and secondly (insert whiny voice here), I want them for myself! I am debating whether I can salvage the socks by only frogging them to the heel flap and shortening that some more, finishing them up with the size 2 needle that I had used originally. Maybe I should frog the entire heel flap and do a short row heel. I’m not sure, but I think that I’ll have to frog them entirely and reknit on a size 1 needle. Words can not express how sad I am that I am not wearing these socks and looking fabulous in them right now.

Don’t get me wrong, these socks were a joy to knit, but now I’m ready to wear them, not knit them again. I’m crossing my fingers that when I finally fix Hedera, I can post a “Happy Hedera” message.

Wedding season

My sister, Lauri is getting married in August. I have tried to help her out, giving her some wedding planning advice (those things that we wish that we had splurged on and the other things that we could have done without), suggesting an awesome free wedding planning website, and just trying to be there to relieve some of the stress. My husband and I have only been married for two years, so I remember the stresses of wedding planning all too well.

Lauri only just purchased her wedding gown and I was literally scolded by the bridal shop owner for ordering my bridesmaid’s dress so close to the wedding. It is not my fault that Lauri only just figured out what she wants us to wear, this lovely chiffon dress in a dark raspberry. Now the problem I face is that my baby is the flower girl. Most flower girls are at least two years old and my girl will be about 12 months. This makes it near impossible to find a dress.

Lauri suggested that I knit a dress for my girl. Of course, I jumped at this, showing her all sorts of adorable patterns, lacy or flowery. She must have been joking about the knit dress because she shot down every cute thing I suggested, but honestly, what could be more cute than that little sundress adapted to have cap sleeves, knitted in white with raspberry colored flowers at the waist that complement the bridesmaids’ dresses? Oh, well. Its Lauri’s wedding and she should be thrilled with the outcome, so we continue to search for a flower girl dress.