Ooh and ouch

First, the ooh – new knitting goodies! Because we did all our Christmas shopping at Amazon (using our Amazon credit card obtained for this very reason), we earned ourselves a $25 gift certificate. My husband and I poked through the rather length list of books we both want. He picked out a few Douglas Adams books (which I am going to read just as soon as he is done with them) and I picked out (surprise, suprise) a knitting book! Kath Dalmany’s World of Knitted Toys arrived this week and I’ve been flipping through, checking out all the cute critters. I got the book mainly because someone I know is getting a stuffed knit platypus for Christmas, and I needed a pattern. But there are a lot of adorable creatures in there. I can see that over the years I shall be making quite the menagarie.

I also succombed to the lure of Elann.com (again). I found a lovely pattern for a cardigan, which is going to become a present for someone this summer. But while I was there, the Endless Summer Collection by Lara caught my eye. Despite the fact that I fell head over heels for the entire palatte, I told myself I was only allowed to pick one. Oh, the agony! After spending an embarrassing amount of time dithering on colors, I finally ordered 15 skeins of the Sunburst, which also arrived this week. It is even more gorgeous than the picture indicates! This is slated to become a sweater for me, once I pick a pattern and find the time.

Now for the ouch. I’ve been frantically working on a topsy turvy doll for my niece’s birthday, which is this Saturday. The pattern calls for size 2 needles, but I didn’t actually have any size 2’s, I knew I’d have to go up at least one size anyway because I usually require at least that to make gauge, and I own a pair of size 4’s, so figured having the doll a little bigger wasn’t going to be too much of an issue.

The pattern also uses worsted weight yarn. Worsted weight, people. On size 4 needles! This makes for a *very* stiff fabric. Plus it does not help that the only pair of size 4’s I have are a very short pair of circulars so things have to be scrunched very tight in order for all the stitches to fit.

Tuesday night I stayed up until after midnight finishing off the first skirt, and my hands were cramped into painful little claws for hours after. Yesterday I went out on a special trip on my lunch break to find a longer set of size 4’s, and *thought* I was buying them, but it turns out I actually bought size 6’s (the package says 4mm, which is what apparently confused me in the store. Sigh). So much for grand dreams of finishing off the second skirt last night. Instead I did piles of seaming and tucking in of ends, and made a small pile of teeny tiny hands. After only a few hours my hands were sore again, and there is still an entire skirt left to do, plus a few more fiddly bits.

Her birthday is Saturday and I am hoping that I can get this thing into the mail by Saturday morning at the very latest. And then I shall refrain from ever using such skinny needles with worsted weight yarn again. My poor hands may never recover. Ow.

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