Nana's Knitting Shop

Knitting tales of a lifelong knitter
and yarn shop owner.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Is that for me?

Since the now famous St. Mawes sweater for the Prince a.k.a. Steve, a.k.a. Rob, a.k.a my darling, long suffering husband, every time I've cast on, I've heard,

"Oh, honey, that's a new color, a different yarn; it's on different needles; whatcha making? Did you check your gauge? Is it for me? Did you check your gauge?"

Now, I finished the spectacular St. Mawes (flaw and all) at the end of October and I will say that my Prince wears it with pride; and often. He wears it when he wants to impress, he wears it for luck (when he's going to see a client), and he takes very, very good care of it. And, unlike someone who shall always remain nameless, he's never done any kind of work in it!

Darling, despite your momentary lapse of judgement in the heat of technical analysis (which is what you do), you DO deserve something handknittted again! YOU MY FRIEND, HAVE PROVEN YOURSELF WORTHY!

After all, I forgave little Missy and actually knitted her several things this year. Oh, that's right, you don't know about my Cory's betrayal, do you?

Scottie dogs were all the rage and Cory LOVED them. Do you remember being 9 years old and LOVING something? You doodled them on paper, you collected pictures of them and taped them to your wall, you wanted them on your wallet, on little bags, on your socks, etc.

Miss Cory LOVED Scottie dogs and I made her the little vest on the right:

It was a Charmer alright, my first intarsia project and I made it out of an angora blend yarn so it was soft and fuzzy and so Scottie!

She tells me that she loved it, but after a few wearings I found it rolled into a ball on the floor in the corner of her room. Oh, my. It didn't have car oil on it of course, but it had accumulated a fair number of dust bunnies. Dust bunnies on angora Scotties, oh my.

And alas, the Scottie vest ended up in the Goodwill bag along with the bunny and panda Halloween costumes I had made her. I suppose that's what I get for asking an 11 year old to clean out her drawers and not checking what she was giving away.

"I didn't understand the love!" she told me this very day as she tried to convince me not to share her shame with the world.

"I didn't know the work, hell, I didn't even know the word heirloom, keepsake, whatever!"

And I did forgive her; and I'm officially forgiving Steve. Of course, I'm in the middle of making myself another sweater (a real beauty using Rowan Calmer), but I'm starting to contemplate what I'll make for the Prince next. All I know right now is that it will not, absolutely will not be a cardigan.

Friday, April 20, 2007

A Bucket on Nantucket

If you're Alex, that means you're five, and the world is a very perfect place as long as you have with you at all times, a flashlight and a bucket. Being the old woman that I am, a flashlight and a bucket are not the primary tools I take with me everywhere I go, but for Alex, they are essential.

How, for example, can you go on vacation and hunt for turtles after dark without a bucket and a flashlight? You certainly can't rely on your hosts to provide them; you must, absolutely must bring your own whether there's room in your luggage or not.

Another thing Alex would never leave home without, if such a thing existed, is a jetpack. Cory, that little troublemaker, once told Alex that she had one and flew around Oak Lawn at night after her kids were in bed. That so intrigued Alex that his mother Kristen, gave me one of those motherly looks, that said, "Help me out here; Cory's your kid and she's got Alex so worked up about a jetpack that no bucket in the world will appease him."

And unlike every other killjoy who loves raining on a bucketless person's parade, I had the unfortunate task of telling Alex, ever so delicately, that my only child was a liar. Why do mothers always get the ugly jobs? I wished at that moment that I had a bucket as I tried to bail her out without spoiling his innocence forever.

I've had the privilege of knowing Alex because his mother is a wonderful knitter. Self-taught not so very long ago, Kristen recently finished her first sweater and is now also wearing her very own Nantucket Jacket. You need a bucket when you visit Nantucket, but when you make a Nantucket, you need needles and determination.

About a month into our Nantucket Jacket Knit Along, I casually mentioned to Kristen that I hoped to wear my jacket to the next get together. Kristen took that innocent little comment as a challenge and we were off to the races. We endured a little name calling and snickers from others in the group, but it was really fun turning the Knit Along into the Knitathon.

Finish we did; not exactly by the next meeting, but one meeting later and at the same time. Here we are! The darling little one is Alex sans bucket and flashlight.

Hmmm, maybe we should pair Kristen up with Cory! As we've seen Miss Cory could use a little push and Kristen's just the one to give it to her.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Not Quite...

done. Don't you just love Cory's new knitting notebook?

Abby is gloriously, beautifully, magnificently... done.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Peanut Gallery Speaks Out Again

The Peanut Gallery has weighed in again this week and I've decided to comment right here on the page in red.

"If I'm not knitting socks, what exactly am I knitting? I have major commitment issues; I have a very hard time sticking to just one project. Currently, I'm working on the following:

The Intarsia Bag in Cascade 220, that Tammi was cheeky enough to remind me of, is on the needles. I knew, when Mom said she would have a class for this bag from Interweave Knits, that I would HAVE to take this class. I also knew I had to be different and choose my own colors. Not only do I have commitment issues, I also have a hard time following directions. Ha! You finally fessed up to it!

My bag, once completed, will be stunning. I have not picked it up since our second class in February. It's not difficult, the chart is fairly easy to follow, especially when the lovely Renee enlarges it. I had to rip a couple of times and I got frustrated. It takes a fair amount of concentration and I don't have time to concentrate lately. Renee, however, came to the shop Tuesday night with her bag ready for felting. She chose different colors as well (black background and bright pink flowers and leaves) and it looks AMAZING. One day, I, too will finish my bag. That's not what Tammi told me today, Missy. Yes, she did squeal on you.

A purple Tiny Top Down sweater for my 4 year old in Tiny Tots, yes, only one sleeve to go. I had the body done in just about a week at Christmas and although I always mean to go back and finish the sleeves....

A second Tiny Top Down for my 2 year old in the opposite colors. Started the beginning of January and haven't picked it up since. These sweaters are easy and quick; ain't it a shame I haven't finished either of them? The yarn was purchased Winter 2006 and was intended to be cute Easter dresses for the girls last year. I hope the yarn isn't discontinued by the time you decide just what it will become.

Argosy Wrap from Knitting in a Happy Camper it's a free pattern and it's beautiful. She has a whole series of argosy patterns that are just so cool. It's a quick, easy, and fun pattern to knit. There is a bit of counting and I apparently need to learn how to count all over again. Again, I ripped a bit and tried to blame the pattern, but it was all me. I chose 4 different colors of Noro Kureyon that don't match in the slightest, but have so far knit up magnificently together. I want this one done now so I can still wear it before the onslaught of the nasty Chicago summers I've grown accustomed to.

The baby Bolero from One Skein done in Rowan Calmer. This is so cute and Calmer ROCKS! I think I messed up the first shoulder, so before I go any further, I need Mom to look at it. And since it was to be a sample for the Shop that you promised to finish...

A hat for my 6 year old. Poor little boy has been asking me for a hat for months (it seems to have slipped his mind that he was the recipient of the second item I ever knit, which happened to be a hat. And that hat still fits). It's a blue hat with a Clone Trooper on it. The hat was knit in less than a day and most of the duplicate stitch added within 4 days, but it's been about a month since I've picked it up. He continues to ask about it and I keep saying "It's almost done, Sagan, almost." Poor thing talks to me about it all the time and all I can say to him is, "I know, dear, I'm so very sorry."

The nice thing about knitting for my children, is that if I start something for the oldest, reagrdless of how long it takes me knit it, it will always fit someone at some point. Ah, but they will be teenagers before you know it - all at once, I might add.

And last but definitely not least, I finally started socks! I chose the Dream in Color and I still couldn't pick a pattern so I took the basic principles from The Book of Patterns and came up with my own "design". I'm just about to turn the heel and am very excited! Thanks to all who commented last week; you inspired me to get busy! Just remember, my darling, you have TWO feet.

Up to this point my knitting obsession has been hats, they are quick to knit, functional, and with a little effort, fashionable. My knit hats have kept my husband's (2 times over since he left the first on the train, grrr), 4 kids, grandfather's, and 2 uncle's heads toasty this winter. Lets hope next season everyone's toes will be toasty too. I know you don't like the math, but that's 18 actual socks including the extra pair for your husband since he'll probably lose his first pair on the train too.

You've got the uncontrollable itch of startitis and are positively apoplectic from finishphobia. Take a deep breath, choose what of the multitude of things you have going you will finish and try to imagine the glee you'll feel from I'mawearingitphoria! Finish something, baby, finish something! Just so you know, I'll be wearing my Nantucket Jacket next week.