Thursday, October 30, 2008

My first baby blanket

I hated this most of the time I was knitting it. First, I couldn't get a good rhythm down. (HEB tells me that my pattern was not conducive to a good rhythm). Second, I decided to change the pattern and make the border a different color. That would have been fine, but I had only one skein of the border yarn, and did not want to chop it in half, in case I screwed up. So I was basically pulling from both ends of the ball for the two sides of the border and trying to keep everything knot free. I would not try this method again.

I also made lots of mistakes, but couldn't be bothered to take them out. Hey, it's not like the baby is going to notice. I made the good choice of making my first blanket for a friend who knits, and as they say in Stitch 'n Bitch, knitting friends appreciate the work of a knitting gift.

In the end, I adored this blanket, because I thought it the pattern was nice, the yarn was nice, and thought it was way cool I finished such a large project. Not sure I would attempt it again, however! Or at least, I would give myself more time so that I wasn't knitting eight hours an evening leading up to the baby shower.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

live from princeton

well i've been on crochet hiatus for a while, but at the urging of the out of control knitter, i did some crocheting while watching television last week. the highlight is that i actually finished something and thanks to the conveniently free "puvisitor" network, i can show you sooner than later.

It's very simple, all single crochet around, but as you all may remember, i have a tendency to not complete crochet projects (see the various incomplete stars, scarfs, etc). so this is technically the first item i've ever crocheted. it's always good to have a tangible result.

it's the same colors as the star blanket that was in progress and abandoned, i still had the yarn leftover. it's a christmas hat.

and if it doesn't work as a hat it can always be a bowl

but for now i'll try it out (or more likely pawn it off on some kid at church). Or i can walk around the hood of brooklyn looking mean in my christmas hat.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

cutting it close

I've been cutting it close lately. Above, you can see how much yarn was left after finishing one project, about 15 inches. Up until the point when I started the border, I still thought that I would get another repeat of the lace pattern out of the yarn, but I decided to not risk it and that turned out to be a smart decision. The border took up much more yarn than I expected. Below is how much yarn was left after finishing another project (CD for scale).
Neither of these projects are ready to be shown off to the world (since their recipients haven't seen them yet), but feel free to guess what they are in the comments...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Possibly Too Big Baby Hat

Based on CH's excellent example, when I went to knit a baby gift for my housemates, I went with the umbilical cord hat.

I had some really lovely Knit Picks Shine skeins that went to perfect use here. The yarn is a cotton/modal blend that is machine washable and suuuuper soft and shiny and just lovely. Went with #2 double pointed needles for the actual work, and it looks like it might be too big for a newborn? Let's examine the scale of the hat as compared to a pot of Lush lotion.


I'll probably gift it anyways, since it's pretty and hey, who really needs uber warm, close fitting hats in California anyways?

This hat also satisfied a bit of my urge to revisit stranded knitting. The lace has been great, but somehow a fall chill in the air makes me long for layers of colorwork in sweaters and hats and mittens.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

would this bother you?

Of the knits I'm currently working on, I've recently been most disciplined about a baby cardigan. I donated a custom baby sweater to the Public Interest auction at school last spring and was amazed at how high the bids went. (It might have helped that I had a handful of friends who needed baby gifts for newborn relatives and kept pushing the bidding...) I had a whole plan about how quickly I would knit the sweater, and, in consultation with the auction winner, picked out the yarn colors and the oh-so-popular Baby Surprise Jacket pattern.

And then. It turned out ugly. Really ugly. So ugly I didn't even bother with pictures before frogging it. So ugly that it disheartened me. So ugly that when the winner said, "Well, the baby won't need a sweater for a while" I took that to heart and shoved the yarn in a bag for six months. But the baby lives in New York, and the Northeast is getting darn close to sweater weather, so I decided at the beginning of the month that I couldn't ignore it any longer. Originally, I thought that I would reknit the BSJ, since I'm pretty sure that I learned enough from the uglyness to produce a cute one. But I then got nervous that I'd go through all that garter stitch and it would still be ugly, so I picked a pattern from the reliable Natural Knits for Baby and Moms and started in. (I'm hoping the auction recipient will be so happy to see a finished sweater that she will forget that it's not the BSJ.)

There are a few things about the pattern (ravelry link) that I don't get, however. One is why you'd use three-needle bind-off at the shoulder seams when you could kitchener. I just don't see why you'd want a really obvious shoulder seam since the cardigan isn't heavy enough to need a distinct seam. And aren't you supposed to strive for seamless in baby knits? So, thinking how smart and knitterly I was, I kitchener stitched to my heart's content and gazed upon the beautiful results of my grafting.

And then. Hmmm.... As you can see from the top picture, the pattern is four-row stripes of blue with alternating two-row stripes of brown and green. But, since I didn't think too hard before starting my kitchener stitch, the shoulder seam stripe is a three-row stripe of brown. (The top and bottom row were the live stitches that I grafted together and the middle row is the kitchener stitch row of grafting.) So the question is: how much should this bother me? On the one hand, when you look at it from the top, it's clearly wrong. On the other hand, when you look at it from the front or the back, doesn't it probably look better to have a little extra brown up at the shoulder's bend? So it might even be good that there are three rows of brown up there, right? Or is that just me rationalizing a silly mistake?
It probably wouldn't take me that long to fix, but I guess I'm a little tired of frogging this yarn. Yet I also feel like there's no point in rushing through a mistake, considering that I'm already embarrassingly late in producing this. (Also, I'm knitting the two-year-old size, so it won't fit the baby for at least another year, so there's no worry that it will outgrow the cardigan anytime soon.) What do you all think? Careless mistake or serendipidous solution?

Monday, October 13, 2008


I wonder, HEB, if you feel as the your yarn is surrounding and smothering you, much like the situation in the picture, behind the cut.


I was looking around my room yesterday and trying to figure out where the newest project should sit until I can work on it and this picture sprung to mind.

Undoing, indeed.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

so much yarn, so little time

I've been buying yarn too quickly to knit it recently. Above, you can see most of these purchases. The bright blue skein is actually going to be gifted off, but I'll have to knit the others sooner or later. (What a dreadful fate...) Here's how one of them is working up:

Sunday, October 5, 2008

not to be confused

Here's my latest finished knit, soaking before blocking and not to be confused with the Moroccan butter also in process in my kitchen. I'm fairly pleased with how this knit turned out, but it has a while to wait before being gifted to its recipient, so real pictures will also have to wait....

Saturday, October 4, 2008

iPod Cozy!

I knit this over the summer right after I learned how to do magic loop, so it was knit all in one piece which was pretty exciting. Left over Noro wins!

It then took me ages to figure out how to felt it (in the sink rubbing it between gloved hands--the washing machine method didn't work at all). And then it was simply a matter of finding some velcro and securing it with a needle a thread. That was actually the most difficult part, since the needle became rather sticky with the adhesive on the back of the velcro and it was rather ridiculous.

Still, I'm pretty happy about how this turned out. Now I just need to figure out how to knit one with a hole in the middle for the old fashioned iPods.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

knowing knitters pays off

So my office is totally freezing. I've learned to bring scarf/shawls and wrap myself in them. But I still had a major problem: my legs. It's still too warm outside to wear hose, but I get serious goosebumps inside. Luckily, KZ has me covered, with my excellent leg-warmers (circa holiday gift season 06). I tried them out today. And it was the first day that I didn't think about how cold my legs were. It was amazing. Serious boost to my productivity! Even before I discovered this application, I've found these leg-warmers to be ridiculously useful. This makes me think that I should knit them for others and spread the joy.... For now, these are staying in a drawer in my office, ready to fight the too-cold airconditioner at a moment's notice. KZ, thank you for perfecting your purling skills on these beauties.