Well, maybe not cheated. Took a shortcut, more like. Or, like water flowing down a gradient, simply took the shortest path to the lowest level to achieve knitting oneness with the universe.

Yeah, I didn’t cheat! I’m Zen!

Ah, who am I kidding? I cheated.

Remember when I said I was making Reid for my three year old niece for Christmas? Was, being the operative word here. Past tense. Not present. I screwed it up enough times that I was about to chuck the entire thing, yarn, pattern, and gauge swatches into the creek and let Nature deliver it from my sight. So I decided that maybe it wasn’t the right project for her right now, and didn’t I really think she would rather have something else? Yes, I think she would. Something very small and quick to make. She just loves quick to make gifts. What three year old doesn’t?

So I made her socks.

Hanna's socks

Tee hee! These are so little and cute! They were made with less than one ball of KnitPicks Dancing, in ballet. They took me about four hours total, I think. Gotta love small feet. Actually, I think she will really love these. I made her a pair of socks over the summer in Lorna’s Laces Sherbet (so cute! But alas, no picture). I had been under the impression that, like every member of my family, she has really narrow feet. In actuality, she inherited her mother’s normal feet, not my brother’s weird skinny ones. Those socks just baaaarely fit her. It’s too bad because she really liked them–she kept staring at her feet and walking around and around and around in circles. I’m positive that she’s grown out of them by now, so she needs a new pair. Needs! Socks! Not sweater! See, I’m just thinking of her here. Tis the season for giving…

Speaking of giving, let’s discuss last year’s Christmas folly, shall we? For some reason that is unclear to me now, I decided that I wanted to knit the blub a sweater for his present. But, knowing that he is somewhat conservative about garments (but not about socks or hats, which baffles me), I decided that it would be best if I let him pick both the yarn and the pattern before I would take the herculean effort of making the damn thing, just in case he might not wear/like what I picked out. Sounds like a good idea, yes? Yes. I am so smart. However, what I did not foresee was that he would pick the most godawful boring pattern on the face of the earth to knit. Drop sleeve sweater, all in plain stockinette, rolled collar and cuffs. Hmm. I’m not so smart. At least he picked nice yarn though, Jo Sharp Aran Tweed. Mmm, silk and cashmere goodness. Unfortunately, silk and cashmere goodness can only take you so far….

In a year, I’ve gotten about 3/4 of the way through the back.

So now that Christmas is getting near, the guilt factor is kicking in. I needed something to give me a kick in the ass about this sweater. Something that would make it go faster. Something…automated.

Enter the Ultimate Sweater Machine!

Okay, I don’t know what your feelings about knitting machines may be. Me, I kinda think they’re lame. But this one was free. My mom, a (then) non-knitter bought this a few years ago. She never really got around to taking it out of the box, so she gave it to me. I’ve used it once, last year, to make my brothers plain and dull scarves for Christmas. It’s great for really lame things that you want to finish quickly. Like sweaters for picky and boring husbands!

sweater on knitting machine

Can I just say that in an afternoon, I’ve almost finished the front? I think I have about 10 rows to go. It’s even knitting at the same gauge that I did, so I can use the back I already did! So I need to do the sleeves, sew the thing up, and block it. I think it’ll be done by Wednesday.

Wednesday! O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! Out of my hair and off my needles! Woot!

So I’m thinking maybe these things are okay…

In other news, KnitPicks is replacing the broken needles for me. I guess a lot of people have had the cable pop off, too, so it wasn’t just the knitting gods peeing in my Cheerios that day. The replacements are winging their way toward me as I type, and I should have them in 5-10 days (quoth the customer service representative, bless her heart).

Both hypotenuse and the blanket are coming along fine, just slowly. No more major screw-ups on the scarf. They look about like they did the last time I took pictures, so they don’t make for very exciting blogging material. The blanket is about 19.5 x 24.5″ now. So I have about 272 square inches to go. I have 478 done.

Oooh, I better go knit…