Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

Well, it is nice to finish out the year with a photo of a finished object (there are still projects in the wings, but hey, let's celebrate the small victories!). Only one sock is showing here as this photo was taken at the airport in Houston on our way home from a week on a cruise. My niece Jennifer is the recipient (and Harry Potter fanatic) and she is modelling and displaying the sock here for out viewing pleasure. The first sock is packed somewhere in her bags as she actually received it on time - Christmas day... What can I say? We were all laughing at the fact that this, the second sock, was begun the night before the flight left for our vacation and was unaccountably narrower than its fraternal twin. Could it be that the stress of vacation messed with my tension just a little??? In fact, our trip down was harrowing and exhausting - delays at every step of the journey. Not surprising that the tension shifted. A perfectionist would have frogged the whole thing and started again. However this sometime perfectionist had to get the socks finished before we came home, and they will both still go on her feet.

So pleased to report that Jennifer, along with her sister Kirsten and Stewart participated in the Harry Potter trivia quiz aboard ship. After correcting the judge on his pronunciation of J.K. Rowling's name, and asking for clarification as to whether he was referring to the British or the American version of the film of book one, HP and the Philosopher's Stone, it became rather obvious who was a front runner to win - and indeed they did win, missing only one question, and that by only a small error! Yes, these socks knew who they were destined for - the greatest HP geek on the planet. So a little Weasley error like differing tension on the two socks is no big deal. :)

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Gryff 'n' Dor

These lovely little mittens are winging their way east to the Bronx. Our Knitting Guild sends mittens to a kindergarten class in the Bronx, and for my pair, I decided to use some leftover yarn from the famous Quidditch sweater and build some Harry Potter mittens. Gryff and Dor are red and gold coloured mittens in honour of Harry's house, Gryffindor! Very easy to make, I whipped these out over a weekend and am very happy with the way they look. I tried to figure out how to do a jogless round with the colours as I changed colours; it is not perfect, but I managed to get the colours somewhat aligned. Though I like knitting in the round, this is one drawback that has always frustrated me. The magical mittens should be cosy; they are made with superwash wool, and doubled yarn for extra thickness. Hope they go over well in New York!

Kate Gilbert is a very talented Canadian designer of knitwear and this little sweater, which she called the Pea Pod sweater, is absolutely adorable. My mother will be horrified at the choice of colour for a baby, but I think it is charming. The leaf detail on the sweater is lovely and I think the off-centre closing is so creative. The buttons I chose reminded me of the shape of a pea pod, and I tried to alternate the direction they lay as I sewed them on down the front. Like all buttons, however, they have some wiggle room, and don't stay neatly aligned where I placed them.

I made the little beanie to match, and searched through Zoe Mellor's bootees book to try and find a bootee that might look good with the sweater. I found one with a leaf design on it, and was going to make it, but then realized that I could make the bootee and place the leaf design on the legging part. Topped off with a band of the distinctive ribbing, the bootees look like they were designed to match. They just need some stitching up and then a length of ribbon to tie at the ankle and the set will be ready to go. Most of Zoe's bootees are designed to be knit flat and then sewn up. I understand that you have to start flat, but I reasoned that once you got to the leg part there is no reason why you can't begin knitting in the round. So, once I knit the sole and the ribbon eyelets, I transferred the stitches onto DPNs and joined the bootee together at the back of the ankle. I like the look of it much better when there is no seam on the back of the leg. Take a look at the detail on the lace leaf band; isn't it beautiful?