Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Ribbit... Ribbit...

I'm afraid both of the projects I was actually making progress on have been tossed to the frog pond. I messed up somewhere at the underarm joining of the EZ baby sweater and that completely messed up the gull stitch pattern... I'm still novice enough that I have no idea how to frog it back to the point I messed up, not to mention I don't really know where (or what) I messed up, so even if I could muster the courage to rip back, I wouldn't know when to stop.

The other ribbit is the hearts blanket. I decided today that there are many factors I just can't live with about the project. 1) It's bound to be WAAAAAY too small to do any good for my daughter and I don't want to spend $100 or more to get enough yarn to make it bigger. 2) It's kinda looking like a glorified dishcloth to me. 3) The seed stitch pattern has gotten completely under my skin and I can't take the slow progress anymore. 4) While I really do love this yarn (Rowan Wool/Cotton) I don't like it for a blanket. Not this blanket, anyway. I think it'd be much better used in a sweater or two.

So I started on a different blanket for dd. She kinda helped me design it... It's going to use up a fair amount of cheap acrylic yarn (Lion Pound of Love) I've had in the stash for a year or so, and I think it's gonna be cute as hell! I totally copied the idea from Alison at The Blue Blog, only using different colors, yarns, and making up a pattern myself instead of buying the Sarah Dallas Knitting book. :-)

You can't see it in this photo, but the blanket will be two pieces--solid pink on one side, striped purple and white on the other, joined in the middle with a turquoise. The same turquoise color will be used for a simple crochet stitch around the entire border of the blanket.

If this one for my daughter actually makes it to completion, I plan on making another in a blue, turquoise, and white combo with a red contrast crochet border for my youngest son. My oldest son has agreed to the Log Cabin Blanket, but I'm having a hard time locating all the different colors he wants me to use... I wanted to use Wool Ease since it's cheap for the yardage, on sale here locally, and is supposedly available in lots of colors... that I can't find. :-(

Monday, February 26, 2007

Too many projects

As always seems to happen to me, I have startitis and get too many things going at once, so all the projects suffer V-E-R-Y slow progress.

Over the weekend, I did make a little progress on E's Hearts blanket, but not much. I think it would be easier and more fun to knit this blanket if I knew how to knit continental so the seed stitch would go faster and smoother.

I made some big progress on the Practically Seamless Baby Sweater from EZ's Knitter's Almanac. I'm using this attempt as a practice run for a larger one to be done for E using something like my Knit Picks Andean Silk or another wool blend yarn. I'll have to adjust for sizing, so I wanted to be sure I could manage the lace pattern before diving in with real yarn. This one is Bernat Softee Baby in lilac. I really like this pattern and think it's a perfect introduction into lace knitting, primitive as it is. You gotta start somewhere, right?! I'm anxious to finish it and go from there on sizing for E. I am hoping that I can just knit the exact pattern using a larger gauge yarn/needle combo and get something that will fit her, but I'm just not sure yet.

I also got started on T's blanket. He had originally asked for a pirate blanket, then a striped blanket, then he saw a picture of the Log Cabin Blanket in the Mason*Dixon Knitting book and really lit up at it. That's what I'm working on for him, using Lion Brand Wool Ease in multiple colors. I can't even imagine knitting an entire blanket of garter stitch in a cotton yarn, as is called for in the pattern. My hands would break off!!

Back to work... Gotta finish at least one project sometime soon!!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Neutral Baby Gift Set

The last piece of the baby gift set is seamed and ready to go. I finished the Debbie Bliss boatneck sweater this morning and decided last minute to add a striped pocket because the winter white color was way too boring!

A close up of the pocket:

I'm not happy with how the buttons worked out, but it's not a big enough deal for me to tear them out and seam the neck further. I just wouldn't do the same thing if I made another. I do really love the pocket, though. In my opinion, the colors are bold but not too gender-specific. I hope the parents think so, too!

And here is the complete package to be given to our favorite pediatrician at our next visit:

Specs on the boatneck sweater:
Pattern: Boat neck sweater from the Baby Knits for Beginners book by Debbie Bliss
Yarn: TLC Essentials in winter white for the sweater and TLC Heathers in teal and mulberry for the striped pocket.
Used size 8 addi turbos on this one and got roughly 4.75 spi. I made a few adjustments to the pattern such as: added k2p2 ribbing at hems and cuffs, added buttons to neckline, and added a small striped pocket. I followed the 6-9 month sizing and personally think this sweater would almost fit my large 17 month old. The sleeves might be short on him, but otherwise I think it would fit!

Now I need to get back to work on the hearts blanket for E!! She's getting a bit impatient, asking several times a day whether or not I'm done with her blanket for her bed!!

Oh, and did I forget to mention that I bought more yarn?? I plan on making two Essential Tweed sweaters from the Garter Belt website... one for myself and one for a friend!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Progress shot

The Rowan Wool Cotton is becoming a blanket for E. I'm following the Hearts and Stars Blanket pattern from Adorable Knits for Tots--I just subbed the yarn. And skipped the stars part because my little princess likes "pink hearts, no stars, just hearts." :-)

I had never felt or seen the wool cotton, so it was a blind choice. I think it is working really well! The yarn is very soft. A bit hard on my hands because it's 50% cotton, but that's more me than anything. It's definitely a softer cotton than I've used before--I just don't like knitting with cotton at all.

I'm not sure how big this blanket will be since I'm working at a tighter gauge than the pattern calls for and I swapped out yarns. I have 10 balls of the wool cotton and the pattern calls for 14 of the Rowan Handknit Cotton DK. I'm hoping to get 5 squares wide and at least 5 high, maybe six--the pattern calls for 7 high so I might be a little shy.

Once this blankie is done, my oldest has requested one in a pirate theme. I can't quite get specifics out of him so I can design one, but I think we might end up skipping it altogether. Attention span, ya know? Time will tell.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Next up... Any guesses?

It's pink, it's girly, and it's big...

I'll at least have some progress shots soon. I've decided to scrap the bear toy and booties that were to be part of the gift set. I'm hoping to have the last element of the gift set done this week, so pictures will be posted then.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

BSJ #2

This one in Lion Brand Baby Soft cream color on size 7 Knit Picks Options circular needles at a gauge of 5spi. A little loose for my liking, but it's still nice. I also don't care too much for the color... or lack thereof. I might try another bsj in a solid color, but not cream or white. I like the color changes with variegated and hand painted much better!

I do like these little buttons, though. I think they're pretty gender neutral and have a little pazazz, but not too much. What the heck.

This one will be part of a gift set for our Pediatrician who is expecting #3 in May-ish. They aren't finding out until d-day what the gender is, so my hands are kinda tied.

More to come soon... like booties and maybe a bear toy!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Duck and Gift Set

Here is the completed duck toy:

The duck toy was made following a pattern from the Knitted Toys book by Fiona McTague using Red Heart Sport in yellow and pumpkin on size 3 needles. I used the entire skein of yellow and about half, maybe a bit less of the pumpkin. He's a little wonky, but I like 'im!

And here is the set together:

Bunny Buddy following the Lion Brand pattern using Bernat Cottontots in Blue Berry color, Baby Surprise Jacket and Stay On Booties using Bernat Softee Baby in His Jeans Ombre color, and the duck as described above. I hope the recipient likes this stuff as much as I do! I like the theme idea--duck buttons on the jacket, duck toy, duck bag, etc. I'm planning a similar one in a bear theme for an acquaintance who's not finding out the gender of the baby-to-be until D-Day.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Baby Surprise Jacket & Booties

It took only 3 days to finish the Elizabeth Zimmermann pattern for the Baby Surprise Jacket and I loved it!!! I can't wait to make more of them... They just look so cool and the way they transform into a little almost seamless cardigan is so neat! I finished this several days ago but didn't buy the buttons until this past weekend, then I couldn't get a good picture, then I got lazy... I've decided to just post the not-completely-finished picture I do have, so here you go:

And a close-up of the buttons: (not yet sewn on in this photo)

I used Bernat Softee Baby in His Jeans Ombre for both patterns. The booties are called Stay On Booties from the Knitting for Baby book by Melanie Falick. All told, it took one entire ball of this yarn, but I did have to dip into a second because I'm paranoid. If you were a better gauge of seaming needs and could knit booties better than I, you'd probably get away with one ball and have inches to spare. (~333 yards)

Used size 5 Knit Picks Options needles with a 24" cable. I like these needles pretty well. They're easy to work with, though for some reason I've had a lot of trouble with the needles unscrewing. I'd much prefer Addis, but they cost about a zillion dollars for all the different lengths, so the KP's will do just fine until I'm rich.

Keep your eyes peeled for the duck toy to coordinate (and complete) the little gift pack. Lots and Lots and Lots of seaming involved, so maybe another day or two. He sure is cute, though.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Central Park Hoodie

I finished seaming the Central Park Hoodie made for a friend's daughter last night, but wanted to wait until this morning when the sun was out to take a picture of it. You'll probably notice that the cables flatten out toward the neck, but that's only because the hoodie is too small for my broad shoulders... When the hoodie's laying flat, it's just as it should be!

Pattern from KnitScene, Special Issue, Fall 2006
Yarn: Wool Ease Blue Mist (multiple dye lots, hence the 'stripe') ~6 balls?
Needles: 8 addi turbos and knit pick options
Modifications: knit body in one big piece to avoid side seams, extended the hood about 2" more than pattern called for, and picked up all the front edge ribbing in one big piece instead of two sections.

Started January 18, 2007 and Finished February 4, 2007

Next project in the works is a baby surprise jacket in Bernat softee baby yarn... sneak preview:

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Bunny Buddies 1 & 2

I have a handful of friends or acquaintances who are expecting babies in May, June, and July, so I'm working on little gift packs for them all... First up are two bunny buddies. The pattern for these can be found on Lion Brand's website, but I don't like the yarn called for, so I subbed Bernat Cottontots. I've also made these using Blue Sky Alpacas Dyed Cotton, and while it was certainly nice, I didn't think it was nicer enough to pay over $9 for a skein of the stuff when I can buy a ball of Cottontots for a third or less of the cost and make at least 2, maybe squeeze a third buddy from that single ball. Cost effective and just as soft, in my book, anyway.

So here are #1 and #2 for 2007 in Sweet Cream:

and Blue Berry:

I hope to be back soon with completed photos of the CPH, wonky stripe and all!