Monday, July 28, 2008

Wedding Gifts

Two posts in one summer! Whoa, somebody hold me back!

Really, the dog has taken up so much of my time and energy, I just let a bunch of stuff slide. But, I have to stay up late tonight, and thought it was a perfect time to write. No doggie whining, no kids asking for something to eat-drink-do. No Mr. Z sitting me down with a list of things he wants me to do. Just me and my keyboard.

Knitting has been slow compared to past summers. I was working on Mr. Z's 2nd sock when I realized my sister's wedding was 2 weeks away, and I had promised a hand knit gift. I had planned on making an afghan, but it's been so blasted hot here, that the thought of knitting a large wool rectangle (even in air conditioning) was not motivating. I talked to my other sister, and she thought that linen hand towels were just the thing. Sister B (the one getting married) likes to pamper her skin.

I placed an order from Elann for 3 colors of Linus, 1 ball of Coto Canapone in natural, and 1 skein of Camila in chamois. I made 3 hand towels of the Linus (100% linen), each measuring approximately 10 x 22". I couldn't find a pattern I liked so I picked 3 stitch patterns from Claire Crompton's The Knitter's Bible and added a garter border around.

This was the first time I ever worked with linen and I was surprised by the yarn. I don't know what more expensive linen is like, but this stuff shed terribly. I was working in a cloud of lint the whole time. It was really bugging me, getting in my eyes, nose and mouth and all over my clothes. But boy does it block up beautifully and quickly. I wet blocked all the hand towels and when I took them up, they were crisp and lovely. Makes me want to work with linen again, but maybe a better quality.

The first one is the Dainty Chevron Pattern in Pecan:

This one is King Charles Brocade in Bamboo

And here is Crest of the Wave in Cream. This one is my least favorite. It think it looks a little sloppy, even though I tried to knit it and block it well. I'm thinking I might just give her the 2 others. Don't know yet.

I made a spa cloth with the Coto Canapone (approximately 50/50 cotton/hemp). The pattern is Bark Sedge Stitch Wash Cloth from Lion Brand. It's free on their website, but ya gotta register. Loved the pattern, loved the yarn. It was nice to whip something out in crochet after all the knitting I've done over the years. I almost forgot that I knew how to crochet.

Now I'm working on one more cloth. Probably a wash/spa cloth, but I'll wait and see how big it gets. The yarn is Camila (50/50 cotton linen) and the pattern is Basket Rib Hand Towel by Traci Heiner. It's a simple little pattern that has 4 different rows. Not too challenging, but something good to work on while you're talking to friends or watching TV.

So basically, I've been knitting wedding gifts, training my dog, shopping for school stuff (oh, BTW, that is the suckiest thing ever, ever! 15 glue sticks for 1 child in 1st grade, FIFTEEN!!!!? Mr. Z says they're probably putting up wall paper. And there's more where that came from, but, you know, I'm not gonna drag my bitchy irritation into this post--OOPS--too late!) cooking and friending. Here's some lovely bruschetta we made for our overnight guests last weekend:

Happy End of Summer Y'all! 10 more days till the boys go back to school!