We’ve had enough Vembers that the month is nearly half gone. Busy, busy, busy. A basket full of WIPs* by the chair in my knitting nook. Right now the project on the front burner is cotton washcloths. Nine of them. I’m working on the “gifts” for the annual Christmas auction at this Sekret Klub my mom belongs to. The members bring things that are auctioned off, the money thereby gained going to a scholarship fund. For the past several years I’ve done gifts for her to bring. One year was crocheted snowflake ornaments. One year was knitted neck warmers.
This year it’s cotton washcloths. Nine of them. My mom was thinking pinning three of them together, bunging them in a baggie and being done with it. She doesn’t understand how important presentation is. I got some really nice little baskets at Michaels ($1.99 each on sale!), and I’m going to get three bars of artisan soap from Pier 1. You roll the washcloths up, put three of them in the basket tastefully arranged with the artisan soap in front, and voilá! You put the basket on the counter in your guest bathroom for your guests. I’m doing some in “Southwest” oranges and yellows, and some in “Caribbean” blues and greens. I will put them in some clear plastic gift bags and tie them with a nice gold ribbon The only things I have yet to get are the ribbon to tie up the packages and the soap. I have 8-1/2 washcloths to go. I can only work on them for a couple hours at a time because I’m knitting them really tight. The cotton yarn has a tendency to loosen when it’s wet and I want them to retain their facially exfoliating, textural nubbiness when wet.
I think I’m satisfied with the tip on the Najidama Bay shawl. I thought I’d show you the progression down to the final version at bottom. The edging has ended up being kind of ruffly, and I like it that way. Kind of like the ruffled edge of a wave as it comes in over a shallow, wide sandy beach. As soon as I get a little father along on the shawl to get a decent picture of it, I will post the pattern on my knitting patterns blog.
I like the way the garter stitch center bit looks almost woven. This will be a good intermediate weight shawl once it’s finished, and I think it falls into the “TV knitting” category. The edge bit is easily memorized and the center bit is just garter stitch. .
I tried out using the Turkish cast-on as a provisional cast-on to do my toboggan hats and I like it. It’s a bit awkward when you’re first starting out. It takes two needles to do the Turkish cast on, and I’m using two circular needles, the 16-inch the hat is knitted on, and I’m using a 24-inch to hold the other set of stitches. I don’t know how well you can make out what’s going on in the pictures, but you cast on the required number of stitches and cap off the 24-inch needle. You bring the ends of the 16-inch needle together and knit the top side of stitches with them. Once you get going it’s less awkward. Ideally, I’d use two 16-inch circulars to do it, but my 16-inchers are typically all in use in hats at various stages. The ends of the 24-inch needle do tend to flop about a bit, but it’s workable.
I especially like it when I get to the bit where I fold the hem and knit the top and bottom stitches together. That’s when already having the stitches on the needle instead of having to recover them onto a DPN* off a bit of string 20 at a time pays off. Makes the hemming of the hat go a lot smother and a lot quicker. Even though its kind of awkward dealing with the floppy ends of the 24-inch needle, I think this is going to be my method of choice over doing a provisional cast on using a bit of string.
The weather fooled around and got cold on us. I’ve gotten to where I don’t like wearing socks around the h0use if the elastic on the cuffs is very strong. Because of my knee hurting when I walk on it, I sit a lot and I end up with puffy feet. Not good. I searched Ravelry for a good footie pattern and found this. It’s a simple pattern and knits up fast. I grabbed two balls of knitting worsted and went to it. Finished them both in an afternoon. Problem solved. The small size fits me just as fine as frog hairs. I’ll very likely be knitting another pair — but not until after I finish the washcloths as I have an early December deadline on those.
Doesn’t look like I’ll be getting a new knee for Christmas because my cardiologist won’t let me off clopidogrel (generic Plavix) for any reason until March, but I think I can wangle getting it for my birthday if I can get the VA to spring for a month’s worth of “pre-hab” in April. Fingers crossed. Word on the street is that hip replacements are a piece of cake compared to knee replacements.
WIP* - work in progress DPN* -- double pointed needle