Monday, March 29, 2010

Iron Knitter Wrap-Up and Other Events of Note

Well, another two months have passed since I've posted and I doubt that I have any readers left. But, I'm going to post anyway because I have a LOT of finished objects from the past two months!

I'm guessing you remember me telling you about Iron Knitter. As of the last post, I had one pair of socks done for the contest. Well, now there are five more to show you, since the contest is over. The first pair (second from IK) is a pattern called Wishing for Spring (rav link). I used Knit Picks Kettle Dyed Essential in Spruce. This round began on February 2 at 1:00pm and by 5:30pm on the third they were done. And yes, I did sleep that night! I didn't pull any all-nighters until the final round of the contest, contrary to popular belief among the other competitors. Like the first round, I won this one! Woot!

The third round was originally schedule to begin on February 12, but unfortunately the woman organizing the contest had a bit of an emergency and the start was delayed until the 14th (bit of an emergency is an understatement, the poor woman was hit by a car!). The pattern was released about 8:00 in the morning, but I didn't get it until 10:30am. Hubby had "lost" his car the night before during Mardi Gras festivities (in his defense, someone else parked his car for him and gave him crappy instructions about where it was). Anyhow, when I got home, I got crackin'. The pattern is called Shop Around the Corner. This was my first time doing colorwork on a sock and I really enjoyed the new challenge. I'm not as crazy about the buildings at the top, but I really love the colorwork going down the foot. Unfortunately for me, the moderator made it an allowable modification not to do the colorwork on the foot, which in my opinion really penalized the competitors who wanted to remain true to the patterns we got. I did not win this round, the competitor who did chose not to do all of the colorwork and still only beat me by two hours. So I will consider it a moral victory even if it did show up as a big L on the scoreboard! Yes, I am aware of the fact that these socks do not "match", and no it was not a mistake. I like the negative mirror effect. I used Knit Picks Essential again, in Burgundy and Soot.

Round four began on March 6 but I don't remember what time. The pattern is called Maeve and I really loved working this one! It's a beautiful sock, worked from the toe up, which I don't have a lot of experience with. It also involved working with charts, because there was no way I was going to be able to memorize the repeats for these bad boys! They are Knit Picks Essential (again) in grasshopper and have such a great, Springtime feel to them! I finished these up late of March 7. Wes wouldn't let me stay up late the night of the 6th because I was just getting over being sick (more on that later), otherwise, I would've finished a bit sooner. I did win this round though.

Onward to Round Five and the patterns just kept getting better. The pattern is Cable and Lace Socks and it was such a relief after Maeve because the repeat was only 8 rows and was super easy to memorize. I used Knit Picks Essential (shocker, I know) in Ivy and they really feel like St. Patrick's Day socks. This round began on March 20 and I wrapped it up on the 21st. I'm actually kind of shocked that I won this round because I took about four hours off on Sunday morning to have brunch in the city with two of my dear friends. They were worth the risk though and for various reasons, I hadn't seen them in about a month.

The finals for Iron Knitter began on March 27 and that couldn't have been more inconvenient for me (I know, it's not always about me, dammit!). That evening we were committed to going over to my in-laws house to celebrate my MIL's birthday and there was no way I could've gotten out of it even if I had wanted to. Which surprisingly, I didn't. They are my family and certainly take precedence over any contest. We spent about four hours over there and that really handicapped me in the contest, but I toiled away at the beautiful Meander pattern anyway. Again, Knit Picks Essential, this time in Bordeaux. This round was the first time I gave myself permission to pull an all-nighter and I certainly did. I posted the picture at around 6:20 my time on Sunday morning and lost the round by about 50 minutes. In fact, I came in third. This was very discouraging at that hour of the morning, especially considering that I won the most rounds in the contest, but after stewing for a little while, I realized that I'm still thrilled with what I accomplished in the contest and I met some really incredible knitters along the way! Besides, there will be other Iron Knitter competitions, maybe I'll win some other time. In the end, I have six gorgeous pairs of socks to give to some of my girlfriends in two months time. Can you believe that I've made 9 pairs of socks already this year and March isn't even over yet?!

How's this for a beautiful "family" portrait of socks?

Oh wait, ten pairs if you count these little ones for Bean that I made from some remnants of some other socks. Okay, I don't know if they should really count, they're pretty small....
And I haven't only been cranking out the socks here. This sweater got wrapped up in February. It's another Spiral Sweater. I loved making the first one and this red Koigu just demanded to be made into one. I'm hoping that the darker band that appears in the spiral will fade a bit after some washing. That's the risk with handpainted yarns and I just refuse to frog it and re-do it. This is the first of my Christmas knitting. I'm going to try and get gifts done throughout the year so I don't stress myself out come this fall and winter.
And this is another Christmas gift, for my cute and quirky cousin. Technically, she's "EMO" (not that I understand what the hell that means), but I know she likes Pauley Perrette from NCIS, who plays the character Abby, who is a goth. This reminded me of something Abby would wear around the holidays and I also thought it would look really cute on Catrina.
And these two shawls I actually did back in December, but for whatever reason haven't posted, so I'm going to take the opportunity to show them off because they are WAY too pretty not too!

I have two other projects on the needles right now that will probably be ready to post within a week or so (unless I get totally distracted), so stay tuned! Yes, I have been a total knitting-maniac lately!
With all the knitting that has been going on, I bet you'd think there hasn't been a lot of time for anything else in my life, wouldn't you? Well, that's not quite the case. If you remember, last time I checked in I had just broken my foot and poor little Bean was suffering from pneumonia and a double ear infection. You will be happy to learn that both of us recovered from those fairly well. While Bean was sick, though, I got some rather surprising (and incredibly welcome) news. I'm pregnant! We have been trying for a long time, but the reason it was surprising is because they did a pregnancy test on me when I was at the hospital for my foot, prior to doing an x-ray which came back negative. Hubby and I were heartbroken and decided that the following month we were going to try some fertility treatment. Well, about a week after my trip to the ER, my monthly friend still hadn't paid her visit, so I decided to pee on a stick. That bad boy didn't even wait the full three minutes to tell me that come October, we are going to have a new little one around here to dote and love on along with the Bean. I have taken to calling it the Sprout.
Pregnancy this time around has not been as kind to me as it was with Bean. I had pretty bad morning sickness and exhaustion that was compounded when I came down with a really horrible cold that developed into an ear infection of my very own. I had just started to recover from these when I was attacked by a vicious stomach virus. All told, between illness and morning sickness, I have lost about 14 pounds during my first trimester. It's not unusual that I lost weight, I did it with Bean as well, but this was a lot of weight and not the way I would've wanted to lose it. I'm actually wearing jeans today that I haven't worn since before Bean came along. I don't expect that to last very long though, because the appetite is coming back and I expect in the next couple of weeks for the Starving Pregnant Lady to appear in full force! I am feeling so much better now! I had a bad bout with allergies when Spring finally sprung on us, but I have those under control now and I feel like "me" again. Perhaps a little more short tempered than normal, but hey, I've got crazy hormones, cut me some slack! :-)
So, hopefully there are still some folks checking in on this blog. If you're out there, check back again soon because I'm going to try and keep this blog up to date a bit better from now on!


Knit Witch said...

That is quite the update! Gorgeous knitting and congrats on the little one!!!! :)

moevans said...

Wow! That's quite a lot of stuff happening! Your socks and other knitting are beautiful. I think you got robbed on the colorwork one, tho. No fair to allow it not to be done on the foot. That really reduces the challenge. Congrats on the Sprout, too! I look forward to spending some time with you in Atlanta!

Anonymous said...

I am in awe of your skills. I hope some of that rubs off on me in April!