Another Harold on the needles

I have been itching to do some non-Christmas-related knitting so I can share what I’ve been up to on the blog. My Christmas present projects are heaps of fun, but I don’t want to give anything away. I finished my dad’s and my sister Rachel’s gifts. Mom’s is probably 35% done and Nora’s is past the halfway mark. I’m just waiting on more yarn to come in from my LYS.

I also finished a takeaway coffee cozy the other day for knits by emma. I whipped up a quick little design and finished it off while watching Gilmore Girls (my all-time favorite show).

Demonstrated on my wrist until I can get a cup

Demonstrated on my wrist

Two nights ago I cast on another Harold. It’s kind of a funny story.

So I purchased The Big Book of Knitted Monsters for my kindle probably a little over a month ago now. I haven’t had the “right needle sizes” to get anything started, but Rebecca Danger believes in working with what you’ve got, so I decided to just go for it and make it work for myself. Plus a monster is very season-appropriate.

I browsed carefully through every pattern in the book and hunted for photos of finished monsters on ravelry. Finally I decided to just start with the first monster in the book, since I eventually want to knit them all anyway. I was about halfway into the body, which I’m doing in stripes to use up some leftovers, when I realized I was making Harold the Houseplant Monster. I turned to Matt and exclaimed, Omigod! It’s another Harold! We had a giggle at the coincidence. The only other toy I’ve ever made was named by me: Harold Bartemius Hippo.

Harold 2 now has a body and is currently gaping and stuffed. I need to run to Spotlight and see if they have any eyes I can use for him before I close up the top. He will also get felt teeth.

I guess I should have realized he’d be HUGE since I’m using bulky yarn. I’ll keep tabs on my progress. I expect things to slow down a bit in the knitting department since NaNoWriMo starts TOMORROW. Happy Halloween everyone!

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Attack of the yarn monster

Lately I’ve been listening to The Knitmore Girls podcast. They are a mother-daughter team who post a new episode every week. There are around 250 episodes to date, so it’s been fun slowly catching up on years of knitting stories with them. I’m still listening to podcasts to and from work, on my lunch break, and sometimes while I knit in the evenings. Gigi and Jasmin break their episodes into familiar segments, and my favorite is When knitting attacks!

It’s great to hear about the struggles of other knitters. I find I learn a lot from segments like these in this and in other podcasts. It’s nice to know even the best knitters run into trouble just like the rest of us. Plus there’s the small mercy that this horror isn’t currently befalling you.

I was victim of a knit attack last night, but first I’ll set the scene for you. Yesterday afternoon my four lovely skeins of Malabrigo sock finally came in the mail at the office and I was THRILLED. (I say “finally,” when in reality it only took a week.) Purlwise even included a gorgeous little sample of Cascade silk in a lovely orange-peachy color. I have to say I was tickled.

When I got home I finished the hexipuff I’d been working on during the bus ride. Matt and I heated up leftovers from the night before and then I pulled out my beautiful skeins to admire and show him. We agreed on a favorite, and I resolved to wind up each ball before finishing Harold.

Harold just needs a face!

Harold just needs a face!

Little did I know I wouldn’t get past the first skein. I carefully removed the string and tag holding it together and located the end. My plan was to untwist the skein and hang it from my arm as I quickly balled it up.

Well that escalated quickly

Well that escalated quickly

I swear, within SECONDS, it was a crazy tangled mess. Plenty of it was hanging dutifully from my arm, but mostly it just went EVERYWHERE. I couldn’t believe it. Yet I somehow remained calm, mesmerized by my attraction to this gorgeous yarn.

Yards and yards to go

Yards and yards to go

This lovely skein of thin strong sock weight yarn is a whopping 440 yards long. Needless to say I was winding all night. About an hour in, Super-Size Me came on. I’d never seen it, so it was a good distraction as I weaved my growing yarn ball through the tangles.

Yarn monster! Run for your lives!

Yarn monster! Run for your lives!

The yarn monster remained sizable as I made slow and steady progress. The movie finished, and by the time I went to bed, Matt and I estimated that I’d spent about three and a half hours on it so far. I say “so far” because sadly, it’s not over. At one point I did come across the other end and got started on a ball from it.

One night's progress

One night’s progress

The night time lighting in our living room isn’t great, but when it’s finally all balled up I’ll try to get a good shot of the color. It’s just beautiful. Amazingly I only got frustrated when it was time to admit defeat and go to bed. I knew I wouldn’t want to wake up to this thing this morning.

Alas, the yarn monster is still waiting patiently for me in my office (the second bedroom). Matt just kept shaking his head at me in sympathy last night. Poor guy’s going to have to watch me suffer for a few more hours I’d imagine.

With the three remaining skeins, I OF COURSE am going to consult the gurus at my local yarn store and hope they have advice. I’m really hoping they’ll just wind it for me, so cross your fingers!

Poor Harold. Guy just wants a face and some ends woven in.