Archive for the “BSJ1” Category

Green and pink Baby Surprise Jacket for Edy. 100purewool worsted merino in Trieste. US 7.

Angie’s baby shower was last weekend, so I finally got to give her the pointy hat and booties. She and her husband absolutely loved them, and I am looking forward to seeing pictures of the baby wearing them in just a few more months.

This Baby Surprise Jacket that I knit three years ago was passed along for the new baby, too. It’s wonderful to see handknits being treasured, kept, and worn again by the next baby to come along – it makes me feel so good to know that my work is valued by the people I knit for. Well, the babies don’t realize it, but their parents do, and that’s what matters, right? Maybe in a quarter-century or so, my friends’ babies will be dressing their own babies in that very sweater, and so on down the line. It’s a happy thought indeed.

On Tuesday I had to bring my car in for an oil change, and I made sure that I had Mom’s sock-in-progress with me. I don’t go to any of those “quick lube job” places where they have you in and out in ten minutes, but rather to the Mazda dealership… so I knew I’d be waiting there for an hour. They do have a very comfortable waiting area, with comfy chairs, a big television, free tea and coffee, not to mention a PlayStation with Gran Turismo and steering wheels for two players. But instead of playing video games, I knit (and took this blurry picture with the phone’s camera). I was able to finish the foot section while I waited, and decided to save knitting the toe for when I got home.

When I got home, though, I didn’t knit the sock toe. Instead, I wrote up the pattern for the socks and got it ready for publication. It’s simple, and it’s much like the Sibling Socks, but I think there’s enough difference to make it worth releasing as a separate pattern. It’s exciting to have three patterns out now. I’m starting to feel like a Real Designer! A couple of people have asked me if there’s a toe-up version of the Cakewalk Socks available. Unfortunately, there isn’t – I find that socks with flap heels and gussets fit my foot best, and that’s what Mom requested for her socks as well. I know that there are patterns for toe-up socks with gussets and flap heels, but since I haven’t knit one yet, I don’t feel confident designing one. It’s on my list of things to do, that’s for sure! I like toe-up socks when I want to use every last yard of yarn, or if I don’t know how far my yarn will go.

Here’s a “montage of some of today’s most-visited pattern pages” (which is actually from yesterday, now) on Ravelry. My Cakewalks are right up there near the top! How awesome is that?

On Wednesday evening I finished up the toe and grafted it together. One more project down! It’s almost time to start thinking about that Jacob hat for myself. I’ll need to swatch, of course, and then pick a pattern. I’ve a few in mind already. I haven’t yet decided if I’m going to line it with polarfleece. The wool might be too itchy to wear against my skin, and fleece would certainly make for an even warmer hat. Given that this is a hat meant for Canada in February, warmer might be better…

Due Date …… Project
10/3 ………… Angie’s gifts
11/1 ………… Second Fleep, hand section
12/1 ………… Mom’s sock #2
12/1 ………… Dad’s hat
1/1 ….………. Gift for Janis’s baby boy
2/1 ………….. Mitten tops and thumb caps on Fleeps
2/1 ………….. Jacob Hat
3/1 ………….. Twins’ sweaters

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“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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Friday afternoon I finished the sweater and ran over to Capital Yarns to get some buttons, which Pirate-Husband sewed on. This way the gift is from both of us. Here we see the Shapeless Amoeba just after being cast off. I compared it to the picture in the pattern. Yup, shapeless. Match A to A.. B to B.. Hm, that still doesn’t look like a sweater. How does this thing work? Well, if I can’t get it folded up, she can use it as a blanket, right? Right? …no, let’s try the origami again.

It took me a few tries to figure out how the Amoeba was supposed to fold up into a sweater, but once it clicked, I was amazed. This is an awesome pattern! I seamed up the shoulders without too much effort, wove in the ends, and voila! Pirate-Husband was a little concerned about the buttons being a choking hazard for the baby, so I offered him the opportunity to sew them on. (Actually, I said “Hey, honey, would you mind sewing on these buttons?” and he said “Sure! Get me a needle and thread, and I’d be happy to!” What a guy, what a guy.)

This may sound funny, but Pirate-Husband – despite his manly motorcycle – is actually quite talented with needle and thread. He’s done some incredible beadwork, he makes tassels for bellydance belts, and lately he’s been asking me to show him the trick of blackwork embroidery. A true renaissance man indeed! I even found matching pink thread for him to use.

The mother-to-be absolutely loved the sweater. She unfolded one layer of tissue paper, then the next. “No WAY!” she exclaimed, and tore through the rest of the tissue paper. “Oh my goodness, this is amazing! Oh, wow!” I also gave her a bottle of Eucalan, apologized that I’d not used superwash yarn, and was assured that “home-made trumps handwash.”

And I just found out that another friend is pregnant, due in about six months. She won’t be finding out the sex of the baby, so I’m on the hunt for quick, easy, gender-neutral patterns in a 0-3 month size. I’m thinking I might knit up a bunch of little booties and a matching hat, all in sock yarn.

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Shapeless AmoebaYou wanted a picture, you get a picture! Here is the Shapeless Amoeba Baby Surprise Jacket just after the buttonhole row. I have five more rows to knit. The color is about right, I think, but the dark pink may be showing up a little more vibrant than it is in real life. I may have to invest in a better camera if I want to keep showing off my work, or maybe build a lightbox. Despite my frustrations with garter stitch, this is actually an easy knit and a cute little sweater. I’ll have enough yarn left over to knit a matching hat – the questions are 1) how big is a baby hat supposed to be and 2) will I have the time to get it done?

Amarillo y VerdeI do plan to knit the Baby Surprise Jacket again, and this is the next colorway, “Amarillo y Verde.” It’s more of the 100purewool worsted merino. Ideally, I’ll knit this up before I know that anyone’s expecting. It’s a nice, neutral baby color and then I’ll have it ready to give at a moment’s notice! (Not that anyone’s ever had a baby at a moment’s notice, really, but you know what I mean.) Also, I might enjoy knitting it up more if I’m not working with a deadline.

Winter JoyI’ve also got two skeins of this colorway, “Winter Joy.” I wasn’t expecting the green in it; the picture on the website only showed blue and brown. But I really like it and think it would be great for a baby boy, even with the green. The gauge I’m getting makes this a sweater for a 9-month old, so I guess these will only be good presents for a baby who’s born between March and May. That means if someone has an out-of-season baby, I’m going to have to come up with a totally different project to knit. Maybe a pair of cute pants? I’m not sure I ever want to knit a baby blanket again, unless it’s a really interesting pattern and a quick knit.

moonriseBecause I’m showing off pictures already, here’s a long exposure of the moonrise from my front porch. I took a dozen of these pictures and this was the best one of the bunch. (Again, I may have to invest in a better camera.) You can’t quite see it in this picture because it’s out of frame to the left, but on a very clear night I’m able to see the Washington Monument on the horizon, about 40 miles away.

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Ten more rows, the bind-off, the seaming, and the buttons, and the Baby Surprise Jacket will be done. I have approximately four free hours tonight in which to accomplish this. Is it possible? Hell yes it is!

…and now it’s even more possible; I just got a call from Pirate-Husband that the electrician is coming to fix our hot tub tomorrow between noon and four. Seems like I’ll be home in the afternoon, whether it’s a “work from home” thing or just taking half a day off.

Even so, I’m going to try to get the sweater finished tonight. I will be so happy when it’s done! Not only because I am looking forward to giving it, but because I really want to get back to some of my other projects. Pomatomus, I’m looking at you!

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Last night I put 14 more rows on the Baby Surprise Jacket. I have 32 to go. Things were looking bright for finishing on time until I sliced my left index finger open at lunch today. I’m hoping the yarn slides easily over the bandage! Anyway, 16 rows tonight and 16 rows tomorrow leaves me Thursday to do the seaming and buttons. Obviously I won’t be going to SnB Wednesday, or to the knit night at the LYS on Thursday (unless they have buttons for sale).

Today I saw a picture of socks knit with Socks that Rock in Tiger’s Eye, and was almost tempted to break my yarn diet. Those are beautiful! But no… I am staying good. I’m not buying anything new until the MD Sheep & Wool Festival, and even then I think I’m going to try to keep it to fiber rather than yarn.

I read a little bit on the Ravelry forums about the kerfloofle surrounding Magknits, and was surprised when they decided to take their site down with no warning. I’m not passing judgement on them; I’m sure they’re doing what they feel is best. I’m just glad I had a copy of the Jaywalkers pattern saved on my computer! The basic story has been blogged at The Lumpy Sweater, so I don’t have to repeat it all.

Personally, I didn’t expect the site to disappear so quickly. The new issue only came out eight days ago, and three days ago they were talking about template changes and site redesigns for the next issue. Something about the situation doesn’t feel right to me, but I’m not going to get involved.

Anyway, I’m excited to have a project almost complete and ready to be wrapped up! I know that my friend will appreciate the work that went into it, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the look on her face when she unwraps the gift on Saturday!

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I was going to go to the Sit ‘n Knit yesterday, but the person I was supposed to meet couldn’t make it at the last minute. She called when I was on the road, just before the exit I’d take to go home, and I decided to just go there instead. I spent the evening cleaning and doing laundry, which is not nearly as much fun as knitting.

Today I blew out of work a little early and came home to finish my cleaning and get back to the knitting. I’m 68 rows into the Baby Surprise Jacket. 46 to go. Can I do it by Friday without destroying my wrists? We shall see!

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I called the yarn store and verified that they have a Sit ‘n Knit on Thursdays from 17:00 to 19:00. I’m thinking of going there straight from work anyway, which would get me there at around 16:30 – they probably won’t mind if I’m a little early! Must resist buying any new yarn. MUST.

There is a week left on my Baby Surprise Jacket deadline. This is really, really not good. I always procrastinate on these things, and then I’m up the whole night before seaming. Maybe instead of going straight to the yarn store, I should go home, get the BSJ, and bring that to Knit Night instead. As long as I remember to keep track of my rows, I think I should be okay. I hope. Maybe. There is a definite tendency to talk more than knit at these things, and to pay more attention to the conversation than to the pattern, and as a result to have to rip back when I get home and find mistakes. So maybe I shouldn’t bring it.

Either way, the two conversations on the Ravelry forums which were taking up way too much of my time are now fortunately winding to a close. I guess I’ll just have to be disciplined about knitting twelve rows a day on the BSJ, and it will be done on time!

Next time, I start the sweater as soon as I hear about the pregnancy. Next time, I buy only gender-neutral yarns. I have enough yarn left for one neutral sweater and one boy-color sweater. Next time, maybe I’ll just start the sweater before anyone’s actually pregnant, and then I’ll be able to lean back in my chair for nine months, knitting socks for myself, glorying in the pleasure that is a project completed before– oh, who am I kidding?

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It’s not really a return, exactly – I’ve been getting a few rows done here and there. After a weekend of knitting a LOT, my wrists were really bothering me, so I took it easy for a week. Then this past weekend, I was too busy to knit. Now it’s Tuesday, the Baby Surprise Jacket is still incomplete, the shower is coming up, and I’m starting to get stressed over it. If I hurry, I’ll hurt my wrists again. If I don’t, it won’t be done on time.

On Thursday I’m going to check out the knit night at my LYS – it is a store I’ve been to once because it was far from the apartment, but now that I’ve moved, it’s only about 12 miles down the road. I’m pretty excited to meet some new people! …and I’ll probably bring the sock, since it’s my traveling project and I know I can work on it without thinking or having to count rows.

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I am so glad I went to SnB last night. I’d really missed the companionship and conversation – and I made a new friend who lives near me! My favorite parts of going to a SnB are seeing what projects other people are working on, touching the yarn, looking at the patterns, and sharing tips and advice. Though it’s a wonderful community, Ravelry doesn’t quite give the same sense of togetherness as being in a room with fifteen or twenty other knitters all at once.

It took me about 45 minutes to get home, so insisting on leaving at 8:30 is the right thing to do. That gives me enough time to unwind a little bit before bed. Of course, I didn’t get very much knitting done, but I had a lovely salad and glass of wine for dinner, and a ton of fun. I’m not sure if it’s realistic to go every week, but I’m going to try to get there as often as possible. Next time, I should remember to bring pictures of the house. Everyone asked me how I like living up on the mountain, and I just grinned and said I love it!

The second Garter Rib Sock is about three inches long now, so maybe I got more accomplished than I thought. This weekend I will be attending an SCA event called Defending the Gate, run by a couple of my friends, and I’m certain that I can make a lot more sock progress there. Since the mother-to-be for whom I’m knitting the Baby Surprise Jacket will be there, and I would like it to be a surprise, I’m going to put that project away until after the weekend.

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