I've been waiting for days to show you St Brigid...she is all finished and is everything I dreamed she would be, but the photo shoot just isn't working out. I don't want to present you with a line of photos of The Sweater lying on the bed; The Sweater folded on a chair; The Sweater reclining on a rain-soaked bush, or worse; The Sweater in a mirror, with the camera covering the Wearer's face. St Brigid is worth more than that. I have a friend who has agreed to model it for me, while I take pictures (it would be the other way around, with me modelling, except that she says she is not a good photographer) but our schedules haven't allowed it so far, and the light around here hasn't been great in the past 10 days since I finished (it being January, and all). Yesterday and today, sadly, the light has been fantastic...unfortunately we didn't have a chance to get together.
So, I'll keep you waiting for the FO post, but I promise you that it will be a good one - the best I can manage.
As to the rest of my knitting, I have started another pair of wristers, these ones for my poor Mum. She has arthritis in one thumb and asked me for a nice thick alpaca fingerless mitt to hopefully keep the cold and damp at bay. I rummaged through the stash and dredged up two balls of beautiful Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk, then spent a couple of days browsing through Cables Untangled, which by the way is proving to be a good basic resource - an intro to cabling, really.
I finally settled on one of the basic designs from the "Cabled Ribs" chapter, hoping to keep it fairly simple while providing lots of stretch and warmth. Because the yarn is so thick, I had to choose something with a small-ish stitch repeat, so the chart reads like this (sorry, I couldn't figure out how to put an actual chart in, and you have no idea what an enormous task it was for me to write this out. Furrowed brow and all - it's almost comical. I'm still not sure I got it right.):
Round 1, 2, and 4: *p2, k2* rpt.
Round 3: *p2, k2tog without dropping from needle; k first st again; drop both from needle.* rpt.
I also added a twisted-rib thumb gusset for warmth and comfort. The mitts are worked in two colours, and are SO toasty.
Pretty, huh? At first I thought they were too chunky, but now they have quite grown on me.
Here's a slightly better shot of the thumb gusset, with palm.
This was nice and quick - a one-evening deal. I've got one more of these to knit, and I can pass them on to Mum. I'll see if I can get her to do a bit of a model for me, and post a proper FO later this week.
As to my other project, well...I'm not sure how I feel about it. I'll tell you: I don't usually knit socks for children, because it's a sure way to heartbreak and resentment. If the child even likes the socks, chances are s/he won't wear them, because if s/he does, they will be "too short/too long/too tight/too loose/too scratchy/too thick/not pink enough", or "they just feel weird". Then, other children will throw fits of rage to have socks too, causing you to run to the LYS in a panic, spend $15 on yarn which will almost certainly be the "wrong colour", then scramble for ten days to knit while neglecting your other projects, only to present them to the ungrateful recipient, who has by now forgotten all about wanting the socks in the first place. Then, even if the child likes the socks, chances are s/he won't wear them, because they are "too short/too long/too tight/too....." well. You get the idea. Repeat ad hysterium. Ask me how I know.
Anyhow, despite my hard-won experience with children's handknit socks, I'm working on a pair of toe-up almost-knee-socks for my niece. There's kind of a long, boring story behind the exception I'm making to my no-socks-for-kids rule, so I'll spare you that. As to the knitting itself, I had to settle for two different dye lots in this pair of socks, so it's dollars to donuts the child will reject them, but by God I'm going to keep knitting.
I've finished one sock already, but will save the full picture for when the pair is finished and I can harass my five-year-old into modelling them for me. They are knit in Paton's Kroy "Winter Eclipse" variegate, in a simple spiral rib (2X1, rib moves over one stitch every fourth row). I hope desperately that Girlie likes them, even if they are slightly different in colour. Here's the second sock, about 2/3 of the way through the foot.
You can't see the ribbing at all there, but I had to show you a picture to prove to you that these socks do indeed exist, and I haven't been a total knitting slacker, even though the Dreaded Lurgy has been raging in my household for 7 full days now.
And now, I'm off to bed. My campaign against insomnia continues, as I work desperately toward my long-term goal of an 11:00 lights out. It's slow going, especially since it's starting to cut drastically into my blogging/knitting/Buffy-watching time. But I guess these are sacrifices I should be willing to make, in favour of a normal amount of sleep.