I Have Been One Busy Knitter
As soon as I heard about the tragedy I started digging through my books of knitted toys to see if I could find something to take the edge off of her loss. I know I've mentioned here before that I think that British toy pattern designer Alan Dart is a certain part of the dog's anatomy, and that I mean this as the highest of compliments. Alan never fails one. I found one of his patterns of a hedgehog on his way to bed, complete with bathrobe, slippers and hot water bottle. Dug around in my stash and came up with some alpaca in a suitably animal color, and started knitting.
The project was a quick knit, and I like to do the sewing up and stuffing as I go, because those are my very least favorite parts of the process. By Monday evening his body was all knitted, sewn, stuffed and assembled. DH took one look at him and said, You know, he doesn't need to have a bathrobe. Hmmm... I thought, he's right. So I turned his slippers into track shoes, and turned to the felting machine and some red roving to make a sheet of felt that I then cut the heart shape from. Some quick whip-stitching to sew the heart to his front and he was ready to go do his job of bringing a long-distance hug to my sister.
I could swear she was almost in tears when she called me, so he must have been a hit.
How can you not love those eyes? I had some felt in the perfect color to match him.
My own mission accomplished, I turned to working on her Christmas present socks. Obviously I can't discuss those here and now but we'll get back to them after Christmas. The only thing I can say at this point is that sock one is finished, and I suddenly felt compelled (I am quite sure that hormones were doing all the talking, as I was feeling quite, quite sorry for myself) to put Sock 2 into time out while I cast on something for myself. After all, I reasoned, I've been knitting for others since June. Time for some knitterly self-gratification. Um, not sure that sounds right, but you know what I mean.
I've been admiring the February Lady sweater, a woman-sized variation of an Elizabeth Zimmerman baby sweater pattern. If Ravelry is anything to go by,then everyone and their mother is making one of these right now, and I have been seriously lusting after one for myself. About two years ago when the Evil Queen stopped selling yarn the shop had a going-out-of-yarn sale, and every knitter in Tucson was there daily scooping up anything they could get their hands on. I picked up some lovely Cascade 220 Heather with another sweater in mind, but I've decided it would be much better put to use as a FLS.
When you separate the sleeve stitches from the body stitches and begin working on the body,you are instructed to cast on 7 stitches at the underarm. These then become part of the body stitch count. Later, when it is time to pick up the stitches held on the white waste yarn and begin to knit the sleeve, the knitter is asked to pick up stitches from the top of that cast-on. As I don't relish the challenge of picking up stitches neatly at the top of a section of lace, I instead used waste yarn to do a crochet cast-on. I then slid those stitches back to the left needle and worked over them once more with the working yarn before going merrily on my way. When it comes time to work the sleeves I can zip that waste yarn out of the way and have live stitches right there where I need them.
I have also, FINALLY found and put buttons on the Color on Color scarf, so stick a fork in it, it is done!