Sunday, May 22, 2011

but I never had to hold you by the edges

I've been very lucky over the last few months to get to knit for a dear friend who not only appreciates handknits, but is also not attached to traditional color schemes for children. (Indeed, I'm a little worried that the blanket above will have a little bit too much pink for her taste.) Lately, I've been attracted to incredibly simple knitting as a salve for too many things that are too complicated in other areas of my life. So I decided to scrap my usual (honestly, pretty simple) baby blanket recipe because I couldn't bear the thought of doing the math for the seed stitch sections. Completely pathetic, but I thought that it would work out just as well to knit more squares and seam them together. And it would also then be completely mindless. I did not change the yarn that I tend to use, sticking to the old favorite of Blue Skies Dyed Cotton (or Worsted Cotton, or whatever they're calling it this season).

However, the seams did not provide enough structure to avoid some serious curling. And one row of i-cord border (all that's needed on the regular baby blanket recipe) was not sufficient to fight that curling.

Above, you can see the edge with one row of i-cord (along the bottom) which is still entirely wonky. The edge on the left side shows the solution: a double i-cord border. I knit the first row of i-cord in one direction and the second row in another direction, which gave a nice garter stitch in between the two cords. (Since I always have to remind myself how to work attached i-cord, I found this purl bee tutorial very helpful.) It also largely dealt with the curling, although not all of the blanket's general wonkiness. Nonetheless, it will still be a cozy blanket for a little girl and I'm guessing she won't mind too much that not all of the squares are exactly, well, square.

The second project in the non-traditional-color-scheme knitting was a little cardy, attempted to be sized for a 2 year old. After blocking, I'm hoping that this kid is pretty broad shouldered, but hopefully, it will work out.
The yarn is Spud & Chloe Sweater, which may be my new favorite yarn for baby knits. (I don't feel too bad saying that in the same post where I've included Blue Skies Cotton, because they do, after all, have the same parent company.) Like the Blue Skies Cotton, it is incredibly soft and machine washable; unlike the Blue Skies, it is about half wool and half cotton. The wool gives the yarn a nice resiliency that makes wonkiness block out better, clearly something that I currently need.

I knew that I had to knit a stripy cardy, since this is the same friend who won a handknit sweater on another occasion and was then very committed to the idea of a stripy cardy, so it was a lot of fun to pick out colors that were out of the ordinary realm for a little girl. I'm hopeful that this will be one that can be passed down to other babies, regardless of their gender, since I think the color scheme works well for either. And if those babies happen to have linebacker shoulders, all the better.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

but now the snow is gone

If I'd finished this before she started walking, it would have been much easier to get a non-blurry picture. As it was, I had to sneak up on her as she woke from a nap, pull on the cardigan, and hope that she was too drowsy to move too much.
It's an improvised design using Madelinetosh Sock in Rhubarb and Jade. I planned this one to fit her next winter and it looks like it probably will. That also allowed me to use similar sizing for another baby cardigan which should make its appearance on the blog by the end of the month.

How I Miss You

 My mom sent me some pictures of the shawl I knit her for Christmas last year and I thought I'd show off how lovely it looks in action.  Thanks Mom!!

 Isn't she elegant?

Just right for a Texas lady.

And then here's an "action shot" of my new cowl.  Knit with many Plucky fingering weight yarn, it has carried me from February to March with only a light jacket.  Snuggly warm cowl, I heart you!

Check out the iconic doubledecker bus in the background! (Oh, and like, Big Bend or something, whatevs.)

This is just a picture of ponies.  Semi-wild ponies living along the Welsh coast. When can I go back?