Thursday, September 28, 2006

Somewhat oversized baby things

This hat is for my friends' baby who's due at the end of October. It's the Umbilical Cord Hat from Stitch 'n' Bitch. I substitituted the yarn and, since my gauge was slightly different, started with 72 stitches instead of 64 and added an extra decrease row. It was a very quick, easy knit -- just what I needed!

It seems a little big for a newborn, but it's 16" like the pattern says. According to this chart, a newborn's head circumference is 13-14" and this hat would be a better fit for a 6-month-old. (I probably should have checked the chart first!) Maybe with the roll brim it will be sort of adjustable and he'll grow into it. And maybe I'll just knit another smaller one since they're so quick.

Umbilical Cord Hat
Started: Sept. 23, 2006
Finished: Sept. 23, 2006
Pattern: Umbilical Cord Hat from Stitch 'n' Bitch
Yarn: RYC CashSoft Aran in Haze, 1 ball
Needles: US 8 circ (Addi Turbos)

I wanted to make roll-top booties with i-cord ties to match the hat. I scoured the internet but couldn't find exactly what I was looking for in worsted weight yarn. This pattern looked pretty close except it had ribbing at the cuff. That seemed like an easy thing to modify. I read the pattern several times but couldn't wrap my brain around the construction, so I decided to just jump in and give it a try. My gauge was a little off, but rather than tamper with numbers I couldn't even comprehend, I wagered that a little big wouldn't be so bad, especially with a drawstring tie.

It came out 1/2 inch too long, which is probably a significant amount of extra length for a baby bootie. But more importantly, I didn't take into consideration that seams will show in a rolled cuff. I've been thinking about it, and I want to try this bootie again but in the round, and starting with slightly fewer stitches. Fortunately a bootie isn't a huge commitment, and I still have enough time to experiment. (I guess I'm in denial that less than 3 months remain for all that holiday knitting I haven't even begun!)

And this of course isn't knitting, nor a baby thing, but here's a little tea cup I painted at a paint-your-own-pottery cafe a couple weeks ago. I gave it to John. Yellow's his favorite color. Tea, however, is one of his least favorite beverages. Fortunately there's nothing to prevent one from using a tea cup to hold something besides tea.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Knitting in style

My cousin Marie, a very talented and prolific knitter and crafter, made this beautiful quilted bag, which has become my new knitting bag! It's a much lovelier way to tote my knitting projects than plastic shopping bags. I love it!

As if that weren't enough, yesterday a package arrived from Marie and it was a matching bag for my knitting notions! It has a little pocket inside that fits all my stitch markers and point protectors, so I'll never have to go fishing around for them. I transferred all my notions out of the zip-lock bag I had been using, and there's room to spare.

Thanks so much Marie! I feel so spoiled! And inspired to learn how to use my sewing machine!


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Quick stash roundup

On Sunday John and I took a nice walk over the Brooklyn Bridge and somehow found ourselves at P & S Yarns. I purchased 6 balls of light gray Bernat Satin with which I plan to knit holiday gifts for John's mom, who is allergic to wool. (I'm allowing myself to buy yarn as long as it's for gifts and I don't already have something on hand that will work. I bound off the baby blanket last night, and with two big projects finally off the needles, some space has freed up in my yarn closet.) We also made it over to Brooklyn General for the first time. It was full of amazing things I had only read about, like Morehouse Farm Merino, Lobster Pot Cashmere, and Ozark Handspun, but I managed to restrain myself and not buy anything.

Below are some pictures from my stash that I've been meaning to post. All were purchased many months ago. This should help remind me that I've got lovely yarn on hand, just waiting to be knitted up.

Malabrigo merino wool in burgundy, ordered online from WEBS in February. Described by many as "buttery soft" and I have to agree. There are 215 yards in each skein. I plan to make it into a cozy scarf for myself. In the meantime I just pet it from time to time.

Rowan CashSoft Aran in color "haze" purchased on eBay in March. It was a really good deal that I couldn't pass up. This yarn is soft, warm, and machine washable -- perfect for gifts. I think I still have almost a full ball of the "oat" color left over from previous projects, so that could be good for accents.

Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, bought on sale last winter at Yarn Connection with Branching Out in mind. Any lacy pattern would probably work with this yarn. I only have one skein but it's 190 yards.

Cascade Fixation purchased at The Point in April, intended to become a bikini, which I started swatching for but never got around to knitting this summer. In a pinch it could be turned into stripey socks.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, September 09, 2006

FO: John's zip raglan

John's sweater is finally finished, and just in time for autumn! It isn't perfect, but I'm pretty happy with it, and John seems to be too. He'll wear it, and I suppose that's all that really matters.

I pretty much stuck to the pattern, though I substituted Cascade Eco Wool for the Manos, reducing project cost by about $50. I think I may have used different increases in the sleeves than kfb's indicated in the pattern. There may have been other minor changes, but I didn't take very good notes and most of the knitting was done six months ago.

The pattern didn't say to block the sweater before attaching the zipper, but I'm glad I did. It made me more confident that there wouldn't be too much bulging or puckering. The only negative thing that happened in blocking is that the sleeves had been the perfect length and are now a tad long. I may block it again to try and restore them to their original length.

I ended up hand-sewing the zipper because I knew I'd have more control, and I wouldn't have wanted to mangle the sweater in the sewing machine after all the work I'd put into it. The hand sewing didn't really take that long. First I pinned it (with 'Enter the Dragon' playing in the background, which has resulted in a rather strange kung fu association with the sweater), and the next evening I sewed it on while watching Project Runway.

Some of the complaints I've read from other people who knit this pattern were that there wasn't enough shoulder room, or that the collar was too floppy. For whatever reason, these don't seem to be issues for this particular sweater. The ribbing on the body doesn't match up perfectly with the ribbing from the sleeves along the raglan lines in the front, but that doesn't bother me. Before I started the sweater, I was trying to do the math to fix that (following Alison's suggestions on the blue blog), but it started getting really complicated and I decided it would have changed the fit in a way I couldn't really predict and it wasn't worth the risk.

When I started this sweater, John was my boyfriend/fiance, and now that it is finished we have been married for over 3 months. It would appear that the boyfriend sweater curse has been defied.

Thank you John for patiently waiting all those months and for trying on the unfinished sweater countless times, especially on those hot summer days! Not to mention for setting up your photo equipment and modeling for the pictures! And for taking the work-in-progress shots, and the photos of all my other knitting projects. I hope this sweater keeps you nice and warm!

John's zip raglan cardigan
Started: Feb. 15, 2006
Finished: Sept. 7, 2006
Pattern: Men's Zipped Raglan from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, 42" size
Yarn: Cascade Ecological Wool, color 9010, 3 skeins (used very little of the third skein, so probably about 1100 yards or so)
Needles: US 9 Denise circs


Saturday, September 02, 2006

John's cardigan is almost done!

All it needs now is a zipper.