So. With at least three things on my Christmas gift to-knit list to go, I have spent the entire week making no forward progress.
Remember this beanie? (basic stockinette hemmed hat, no pattern, just done based on gauge calculations)
Despite the fact that it was both too big (loose around the ears) and too small (not long enough to even cover the ears), Little Buddha did enjoy wearing it around the house for a few days.
Then he suddenly and thoroughly abandoned it for this:
Isn't that totally adorable? And not remotely mama-made. In fact, I'm not even sure it's handmade. This was a baby gift when the boys were born (there's another one, red with black and white stripes, with basketball, baseball, football, and soccer ball buttons sewn on it, equally cute). Last year, Tiny Dancer wore this one a little bit but mostly the boys refused to keep anything on their heads. Now Little Buddha has fallen completely in love with this one. Wears it around the house. Takes it to bed with him. Demands to know where his hat is if someone dares to put it away. It looks so cute on him. And it fits. And I have to admit I'm a smidgeon jealous.
Still, I pressed on, in the vain hope that I could create a hat that was both stylish and warm, that the boys would love, and that would fit. Enter the London beanie. It has a ribbed brim instead of hemmed, which is easier and quicker than hemmed but not quite the look I had originally had in mind. I did it any way. The good news: it only took a day to knit. Oh, and it fits. The bad news: no one will wear it. Both boys completely and utterly refuse.
A rare moment - Tiny Dancer agrees to wear the thing for one minute while I snap an out-of-focus shot. See the hand creeping up the neck? He's on the verge of ripping it off.
I'm done with making hats this season. At least for the boys. Tiny Dancer doesn't love hats the way Little Buddha does; he prefers the hood of his coat. And I don't think anything I could make could merit Little Buddha's affections as much as the cute little traffic hat. So. Done.
Next up in the parade of useless knitting: toddler socks. Not just any ol' socks, either. Lorna's Laces. This was the chocolate semi-solid left over from the two pairs of adult socks I recently made. There looked like just enough for a small pair of child's socks, and Tiny Dancer had asked for some. So, here's the first sock.
Pretty cute, eh? Will either of my boys deign to even try it on? Absolutely not. No idea why. It is soft, warm, and it fits. I LOVE it. But not them. *sniff* There's plenty of yarn left for the mate, but I won't bother, at least till after Christmas.
So, that's two beanies and a sock that will join the two pairs of felted clogs they also won't wear, and the mateless ugly orange sock (which I have a sneaking suspicion Little Buddha would wear, even without a mate, if I would rip out the toe and knit it long enough for his foot). Bah.
You'd think that would be enough wasted knitting for one week, but no. Nevermind that I have actual Christmas gifts to finish knitting. Nevermind I could buy the boys stockings at the store, or even quite quickly whip some up with the sewing machine. I decided I really must knit them.
The yarn came last week (KP Shamrock for the body, KP Twirl for the cuff), and I downloaded the free Twirl Top Stocking pattern from KnitPicks. Only when I got ready to cast on a couple of nights ago, my size 9 dpns were nowhere to be found. So did I move on to my Christmas gift WIPs? Of course not. I decided to learn Magic Loop. I like it, and it seems pretty intuitive, but I still miss the dpns. I know some people hate dpns, but I dig 'em.
At any rate, I learned Magic Loop (I bought the little Magic Loop booklet a couple of years ago, long before I had a true knitting obsession, when there was much I still didn't "get" about the craft; one look at the book and I was thoroughly daunted). Things have gone smoothly, except I've made three major mistakes that may cause me to rip the whole thing back:
1) I thought I dropped a stitch, tried to pick it up where I thought it dropped, and eight rounds later realized how completely wonky the pick-up looked; I kept going, but the wonky area still looks awful to me [and I don't know if I had actually dropped a stitch anywhere; perhaps I merely miscounted when I cast on]
2) when it came time for the heel flap, I was completely absorbed in a Sopranos DVD and I misread the directions; round 3 I did sl1, K1 again (just like round 1), instead of K1, sl1; I didn't rip back but did correct myself for the next 5 repeats of those 4 rounds; to me the mistake is glaring and awful, and enough in itself to make me want to frog
3) I failed to place any markers for the instep gusset rounds and am now completely disoriented about where to do what (since I'm not really following a pattern at this point, but rather trying to adapt Magic Loop principles to my general sock-making knowledge).
So here's the stocking. On the one hand, it seems ridiculous to frog and restart when a) I have another one to do after this one's done, and b) I have three Christmas knits still ahead of me (on top of all other Christmas preparations, including hand-sewing two sock monkeys and getting ready for a visit from my MIL). On the other hand, if I do this right the first time, it could be something the boys enjoy for many years to come. Plus, I hate to give one child the good stocking and the other the wonky one. Of course, I could just wonk up the other one. And knowing me, I probably will.