Archive for the “Baby M Blanket” Category

“What have you knit this year?” Pirate-Husband asked me last night.

A Cunning HatFirst there was the Jayne hat that I knit from Knitting Ninja’s pattern for friend Otel. This was a quick project. I had to borrow needles for it, which have since been returned. Although I probably have enough yarn for a second hat, I need to get the right size needles before I can knit it up. Not that I know anyone who wants a Jayne hat… I already have one, and Otel is the brownest browncoat of all my friends.

With the Buttons Then a Baby Surprise Jacket for friend Gwen’s second baby, a little girl. I loved the 100purewool yarn I used for this project; it is so soft and easy to work with! The pattern got tricky a few times, but with help from Ravelers I worked through it. I finished knitting only minutes before my deadline, but Gwen loved the sweater. It should fit on her daughter right about now; I’d love to get an ‘action shot’ from her to post.

Garter Rib Socks Something for myself, a pair of Garter Rib socks! The pattern is from Charlene Schurch’s “Sensational Knitted Socks”. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to get the basics of sock knitting. These socks were knit up in Blue Moon Fiber Arts’ Socks that Rock lightweight, and I was short by about ten yards. Fortunately a kind Raveler had some extra in the same colorway that she was able to send me.

swiffer_bottom Something for the house, a quick and easy Swiffer mop cover from Noelle’s pattern. This project took about six hours, which is about my tolerance for knitting with cotton. I plan to make several more of these, with an additional pattern repeat so that when the cover curls, it goes over the edges of the mop instead of under. Pirate-Husband mopped the floors this past weekend and was disappointed to find that the cover I’d made had been used but not yet washed; he used one of the disposables instead and afterwards said that mine worked a lot better!

pirate-husband_socks3 I’d promised Pirate-Husband a pair of socks last November, and in July of this year I finally delivered. He has very wide feet and I was concerned that I’d run out of yarn, after my experience with the Socks that Rock, so I didn’t make the socks very tall. I had a few yards left over at the end, so I guess it worked out just right! He wears them often, especially now that it’s cold out, and I know he’d love to have another pair.

Baby M Blanket After I finished Pirate-Husband’s socks, I cast on for the second baby knit of the year. This one was for friend Asa’s second child, but as she hadn’t chosen to find out the sex of the baby, I had to knit a gender-neutral blanket. Feather and Fan seemed fitting, as did these muted colors. Once again, I finished knitting the night before I needed to give the gift. Once of these days I’ll break that habit.

bloosocks_complete I sure didn’t break the habit with the Bloo Socks, knit in Trekking XXL for friend Michael. I finished these in the afternoon and gave them to him that very evening. I also didn’t learn the lesson of splitting the yarn in half before beginning; I used more than half of the 100g ball on the first sock and had to frantically call yarn stores all over the country to find another ball in the same dye lot. I’ll be writing this pattern up in the near future, as soon as I work out the heel and toe numbers in other sizes. There is a shortage of fine-gauge sock patterns out there. These were knit up at 45 stitches to 4″ on US size 0 DPNs.

Silkie Glove 1 Mom’s gloves will probably be the last completed project of the year. Her birthday present is knit up of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Silkie Socks that Rock in Ravenscroft. She’d requested a colorway that would go well with both her black wool dress coat, and her green winter jacket, so what better than a black yarn with subtle greens that glow in the sunlight? I am using Marnie MacLean’s Hooray for Me pattern, just making full fingers instead of partial. I’m sure she’ll love them; I just hope they fit!

Eight projects in 2008, not a bad tally! In other accomplishments, I read 23 books in the past year, and I learned to spin on a wheel. Pirate-Husband commented that I should knit more for myself, and I want to commit more time to spinning as well. Those will be my goals in 2009!

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I determined today that while I can knit the sock in the carpool, it’s probably not a good idea. The stitches are small enough that I have to watch what I’m doing very closely, and I got a bit of a headache from not looking up often enough. Also, I purled where I should have knit and had to fix my error when I got home.

Anyway, less typing means more knitting, so I’m off to it! Perhaps I’ll wind the yarn for Mom’s gloves into a ball and knit a gauge swatch in the car tomorrow. Since it will just be stockinette and just a swatch, it won’t matter as much if I mess up a little.

My friends’ new baby girl is so tiny and adorable! They absolutely loved the baby blanket. Their expressions and appreciation made it all worthwhile. One joked, “you knit this in a weekend, right?” but when I said that it had taken about four months, they got much more serious about thanking me. Those are the kinds of friends for whom I want to knit more stuff! …if they have another baby, that is.

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The baby girl was born Wednesday evening at home, and both she and her mother are doing well. We were invited to go visit and meet her tomorrow, so this afternoon I went into Super Must Finish Mode on the blanket!

I dropped a stitch and lost time picking it back up, because it got lost into a yarnover. But I had the knitting and bind-off done before dinner was ready; everyone agreed that it was long enough although I still had yarn left over. After dessert I took care of weaving in the ends.

I’m pleased with the way this blanket came out, but I swear I will never knit another baby blanket of acrylic yarn again. It’s conveniently washable, yes. The colorway is pretty. But I can’t stand how it feels in my hands, or how it stresses my wrists (rather like cotton, actually). If I ever have the crazy desire to knit another baby blanket, I’ll use superwash wool. I’ve even told Pirate-Husband to make sure that I never stand in the arts & crafts store again saying anything like “but it’s washable! and the colorway is so pretty!”

I am looking forward to giving this gift (and meeting the baby, too!) My friend knows the value of a hand-crafted anything, so I have no doubt that she’ll really appreciate the blanket.

Now, can I finish half a sock in less than a week?

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The second Bloo Sock is almost through the gusset decreases. I’d like to have it done before Michael comes to visit, so I have less than two weeks. If I don’t finish by then it’ll be okay, I’m sure; after all it’s still a hand-knit pair of socks for him at some point! As a result of cranking away on the socks, I haven’t made much progress on the baby blanket… and the baby is due this week! If only I had four hands, I could work on both projects at the same time.

One of the local yarn stores, With Yarn In Front, is hosting a “Knit and Flick” night every other Friday. This coming week they’ll be showing Dr. Zhivago, and I’m deciding whether or not to go. I’ve never seen the movie before and I question my ability to knit through it and remember what happened. Maybe in a month or so when I’m no longer knitting to deadlines, I’ll check it out. I think it’s a great idea!

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This is Silkie Socks that Rock from Blue Moon Fiber Arts in Ravenscroft, a gorgeous black with hints of greens and purples. I’ll be using it to make Mom’s birthday present, a pair of gloves. Hopefully they go smoothly and quickly; I’ve never knit gloves before but I want to get them to her as soon as possible. Pirate-Husband actually bought this yarn, because I’m doing the knitting and the gift is from both of us.


On the left we have Cervinia “Forever” in awesome stripes. Forever was the yarn I used for my very first socks, which have held up quite well, and when I saw this colorway in With Yarn In Front last weekend, I had to have it. It passes the “blue jeans test” easily, that test being a single yes or no question: Will this yarn go well with blue jeans? On the right is some Universal Yarn “Ditto” that was on a serious closeout sale. It also passed the blue jeans test, and the price was too good to pass up! The cost of both was covered by the last of my pre-paid Visa, money that I’d set aside for yarn purchases, so I don’t feel at all guilty. Even though I’m supposed to be on some kind of yarn diet.

I’m quite tempted to cast on for a simple, 64-stitch, stockinette sock… but I have deadlines to meet. The baby blanket is somewhere between 75% and 80% complete, depending on when I decide to stop. I finished the third skein of yarn yesterday. The Bloo Socks are halfway through the gusset decreases. Progress is being made!

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The Baby Blanket is about 65% done now; I’m well into the third skein of yarn. I haven’t worked on it in more than a week due to travel and a lack of carpooling, but I’m going to get back into it this weekend. The baby’s still due on November 1, but there’s been no word of a shower so I think I have a little extra time to work. My thought is to get it done as soon as possible, and then go visit my friend after the baby is born rather than before. I’m sure that won’t be a problem; what difference is it if she gets the blanket a few weeks before or a few weeks after the birth? She doesn’t know if it’s a boy or girl, thus the neutral colors. There’s some blue in the blanket, but it’s not enough to cry out, “this is a boy’s blanket!”

A sad but funny story that involves these socks: Last week at the airport, I pulled out the sock to knit while I was waiting to board the plane. When I looked up, I noticed that the man sitting next to me was a double amputee, with both legs off above the knee and some really nifty-looking artificial legs (I tried not to stare). I had a sudden moment of horror – what if he asked me what I was knitting? I’m making socks! and he has no feet! I’d feel terrible! Then I decided that I’d say “armwarmers,” since I’m not yet up to the heel and they *could* be armwarmers. Fortunately, he didn’t ask. Anyway, I spent most of the plane ride *un*-knitting, and didn’t recover my place until two days later. Now we’re back in business. I would like these to be done before Michael comes to visit in November, so I’d better get to work…

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The baby blanket is now 60% complete.

My boss had to make a stop on the way home from work, and I said that I would sit and wait in the car. “No knitting?” he asked. “Did you finish the blanket?”

“Oh no,” I said, and fished my bag out from behind my skirt. “It’s not done yet.” But it’s getting closer! I did a full pattern repeat on the way home, and I plan to knit more tonight while watching the Vice-Presidential debates.

During the mandatory fun company lunch today, I put a few rounds onto the Bloo Sock between dessert and the owners’ speeches. Some of my co-workers thought it was funny that I was knitting, but one said that it was very clever of me to carry something productive to do with me, and another asked if I ever sold my work. I said that I didn’t, but that I’d be happy to teach her to knit. Something tells me that she’s not going to take me up on the offer.

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Thirty-two pattern repeats done on the blanket, twenty-eight to go. I am getting it out right now– There. And I am going to work on it for a couple of hours.

I am not going to procrastinate by writing a blog post, or by playing on the XBox, or by working out. Nope. I’m gonna work on the blanket. Watch me go.

This is my least favorite part of a project, when the novelty’s worn off and there’s still almost half of the thing left to knit. I really like casting on. I really like binding off. Everything in the middle, especially the second half…

Anyway, here I go. Knitting a blanket.

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Marie, from the weekly knitting group (the one I never get to go to anymore) invited me and a half-dozen women to spend the weekend at her beach house in Maryland. What a fun time we had – and what an amazing view! We knit, spun, talked late into the night, and ate *so* much food. Marie’s house is absolutely beautiful. It’s a three-story Victorian right on the water, with so many little details that I kept noticing.

I arrived on Saturday afternoon. After a wonderful lunch of lemon chicken, we knit for a while and then ventured out to a local yarn store, Crazy For Ewe. It took some serious self-control, but I didn’t buy anything. The only yarns that really tempted me were out of my budget – like some Schaefer Heather, and some sock yarn that I would have had to get two skeins of for just one pair of socks, and some hand-dyed laceweight from Ellyn Cooper’s Yarn Sonnets that glowed with color and had metal spun in with the yarn. It would make a beautiful shawl, if I could afford it! I did have fun touching all the yarns, and everyone else bought something, so I didn’t feel bad about keeping the store open after its scheduled closing time.

Yarn Barn of KS MerinoWe had grilled salmon for dinner with potatoes au gratin and green beans, and then got back to knitting and spinning! Jinann and I both brought our wheels, and I got started spinning some of this merino. I’m planning to make a three-ply sock yarn with it. There’s eight ounces of the stuff, so no concerns about having enough. I don’t know if I’m spinning tightly enough for sock yarn, so I plan to run the singles through again and put some extra twist in before plying.

This morning, Marie made us French toast with raspberry butter, and there was more knitting and spinning before a lunch of shrimp over pasta with a saffron cream sauce. I finished the second skein of yarn on the baby blanket, which was my goal for the weekend, and got started on the third skein. The Bloo Sock did see a few new stitches, but as it’s meant to be my airplane knitting in a couple of weeks, and it doesn’t have the deadline that the blanket does, I tried not to work on it too much.

What a fantastic time! I hope that we can all get together again soon and do it again!

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The ribbing on this new sock is not really working with the pattern. I think I’ll give up on it – I’m not really liking the size 0 bamboo needles, but my aluminum size 0 DPNs are otherwise occupied for the next 90% of the second Bloo Sock.

I don’t mean I’m going to give up entirely, just on the ribbing. My new plan is to knit the rest of the pattern repeat on the bamboo needles as a test swatch, try it on to be sure it fits, then rip it out and begin again with different ribbing on the aluminum needles. Frustrating, perhaps, but I’d rather have this thing look *good* than have a design element that doesn’t really flow. I might just go with a 1×1 rib.

Meanwhile, I’m way behind on the baby blanket. I’ve knit ten pattern repeats in the last three weeks, rather than twenty-one as I should have been doing one per day. I’m not getting as much done in the carpool as I’d hoped, but the due date is only a month away so I’d better get cranking on that!

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