Friday, February 25, 2011

My so-called knitting club

Earlier this month, I decided to start a knitting club.  Even though I'm the only member so far, calling it a "club" seemed more friendly and less dorky (or is it more dorky to call yourself a "club"?)  I picked out projects to give as holiday gifts and organized them with needles, yarn and instructions - I always think of knitting patterns as "recipes"; not sure why. 

The plan was to knit one a month and I'd be 11 projects up on my holiday knitting.  I probably shoulda thought about this earlier and started in January, but in January there's too much pressure to pick a new years' goal and I just could not come up with something to do until the pressure was off.  I guess that's a reason to like the month of February.  "February: crappy weather, but less resolution stress than January."

February's project is a pair of socks (sorry - can't tell you who they are for) and I started them with plenty of time to complete them in February.  Then I had to re-knit the heel (foot too long), and I started a cowl for some easy knitting to work on when watching TV.   So the socks have been languishing in the knitting basket until today, when I realized there are 3 more days in February.  Including today.  The socks are barely past the heel.  It will not do to fail to finish my first project in this whole deal.  It will not do.  They must be finished before the end of the month.  No excuses.

So, I'm knitting my fingers to the bone while watching "White Collar" on DVR.  Trying to finish up BIG socks on size 1 needles is going very s l o w l y.  Keep your fingers crossed.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Call it what you will

I have a serious inability to estimate how long knitting something will take.  For instance, when Christmas is just two weeks away, I will insist to myself that I can add two or three knit items to my list. (Notice that in this scenario, Christmas is in two weeks, and, not only am I not yet done knitting the list items, I am ADDING TO IT.  Seriously delusional.) 

Somehow,  I just don't realize how limited my knitting time is, and even more so now that I have two little people to take care of in addition to my regular holiday duties.  It was because of those little sweeties that I completely took the year off in 2010, and knit absolutely nothing for Christmas.  NOTHING.  I just could not take the deadline stress in addition to the stress of making a Christmas for my babies. 

I thought I would really miss it, but it was more like a little gift I gave to myself.  Much more relaxing.  But, as soon as January arrived, I started thinking of what I would knit for Christmas.  I do not usually start that early - I am usually forced into thinking of what to knit when I have already started gift shopping.  After Thanksgiving.

So when I saw what Stephanie had done with her Self-imposed Sock Club, I decided to plan early and start NOW.  It is kind of like giving myself the gift of a less stressful holiday season again this year. 

So I got a bunch of zip lock bags and started assembling.  I labeled the projects by dropping into the bag an old (outdated) business card with info written on the back: recipient, size, pattern to use, needle size, etc.  Then I placed yarn, a copy of the pattern and when possible, needles and even notions together in the bag.  Now when I need a project to work on, I just select a bag and knit something ahead for Christmas.

Need  rules?  I have rules!  At least one project for Christmas is to be started and finished each month, and NO knitting for people who have not appreciated knit gifts in the past.  I should have at least 11 happy giftees at Christmas this year.  ( I didn't start until February - I'm late for everything...)

I do not have Stephanie's gift with words, so I'm not sure what to call this "club".  The Christmas Crafting Club?  The Less-Stress Christmas Knitting Club?  My Bag O Projects For Christmas Knitting?  The Hey I Don't Need To Name Everything I Do (Especially 'Cause I Can't Come Up With a Good Name) Club?  Is it even a club if it's just me?  What else do I call it?  A Mission? 

Anywhoo, here's the first project from the Whatever You Call It Club is a pair of socks for someone who shall remain nameless.  That's the problem with this whole deal - I'll be working on, and blogging about, these projects, but I can't say who they are for.  I don't wanna ruin the entire surprise. 

(This is a few days' work here - check out the craaazy pooling!)
Wendy's Generic Toe-Up Socks from Wendy D. Johnson's Wendy Knits book.  Brown Sheep's Wildfoote sock yarn in "Rock 'n Roll" colorway.  Size US 1 /2.25 mm needles, and a couple of extra stitches.  The intended recipient has BIG feet.  No more hints, otherwise these socks' intended will figure it out. 

I'm using two circs, I just worked each toe flat as the instructions indicated, then put them both on the two circular needles to work in the round.  Edited to add:  I really need to find a set of circs that have less of a bump where needle meets wire.  Half my knitting time on this project is trying to get the stitches back onto the needle from the wire in order to knit them.  And no, I'm not a tight knitter.  Anyone know some good circs with a nice smooth transition point?

I'm looking forward to having the finished projects pile up throughout the year.