Saturday, October 28, 2006

Yay for Super-Quick Baby FOs!

Besides all the obvious great reasons to have children, one definite plus is that you have at your disposal the perfect person to knit things for. Of course, I say this as a relatively new mom. I just have the one baby, Baby Girl. BUT, I must attest that so far, I've found that she is absolutely my favorite knittee. She looks great in everything I make her. No matter how hideous it turns out. She is still relatively small, so nothing takes terribly long to make. She's growing, so I always have a reason to knit another everything for her. I could go on and on.

Here's the latest quick Baby Girl FO. It's a beret of my own design, although the Husband says that it doesn't poof out enough to be a beret, so he calls it a berette. Either way, I'm really pleased with it. I added the eyelet row with the intention of adding a bow later, but I think I like it as is.

The specs:

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino (one ball - not sure exactly what color)

Pattern: My own, rough pattern as follows (this is sized for a 14" baby head):

Gauge: 24 sts and 32 rows = 4" (10cm) in stockinette

Materials: US4 16" circular needle, set of 4 US4 dpns

Using circular needle, CO 84 sts. Join for knitting in the round, being careful not to twist stitches and place a marker to mark the beginning of your rounds.

Knit 5 rounds in 2x2 ribbing (aka - *K2, P2* around).
(Optional Eyelet Round) Next Round: *K2, Yrn, P2tog* around.
Knit 5 more rounds in 2x2 ribbing.
Next Round: *K2, M1* around. (126 sts)
Knit 11 rounds.
Next round: *K9, M1* around. (140 sts)
Knit 6 rounds.
Next round: *K3, K2tog* around. (112 sts)
Knit 5 rounds.
Next round: *K2, K2tog* around. (84 sts)
Knit 5 rounds.
Next round: *K1, K2tog* around. (56 sts)
Knit 5 rounds.
Next round: *k2tog* around. (28 sts)
Knit 5 rounds.
Next round: *K2tog* around. (14 sts)
Break off yarn and thread through remaining sts.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Is it the man or is it the sweater?

The first-ever husband sweater is done! I actually finished knitting it up last week, but didn't get around to buying the buttons for it until today. Unfortunately, I couldn't think of anywhere better to buy buttons than Jo-Ann, and the pickings were a little on the slim side (or maybe I just was being picky).

I don't even remember the last time I last went shopping for buttons. This is because I inherited a huge button stash from my grandmother. So, I usually like to put all those buttons into (and sometimes back into) good use. I had planned on at least looking through the old button stash for Morris' finishing touches, but it turns out that the drawer on my nightstand where said buttons reside is jammed. Crazy jammed... it seems that something in there has lodged itself in such a way that it is no longer humanly possible to open the drawer. My husband, brother, and I have tried everything to get it open, but it's stuck. We even tried to take off the back portion entirely, but apparently the nails were just reinforcement for the glue. Ugh!

Anyway, eventually, I gave up and went to Jo-Ann and took what I think to be the best they had to offer.

Here are the specs:

Pattern: Morris from Rowan 34.

Yarn: KnitPicks Sierra in Coal. 11 skeins with none leftover for Mens' size medium.

Adjustments: Obviously, subbed in a different yarn. Also had to go down two needle sizes.

Comments: There were several times when I was knitting this that I thought that I hated it. I'm thinking heavy wool sweater + summer knitting was not a good combo. Toward the end though, I could see that it was going to work out, so I got a little excited and sped up. Then, of course, I slowed a bit on the finishing. Does anyone like doing button-bands and collars? Not me! Why does such a small amount of knitting take so long? I'm really bad at picking up and knitting stitches... I guess that's a big part of it.

So far, I'm happy with the yarn subbing, but when I originally bought the yarn, I thought that it would be dark grey. I'm happy that it turned out to be black, but uh, it really looks grey in that Knitpicks photo. I guess that means I'm going to have to be a little more diligent about buying color cards!

Anyway, the Husband loves it almost as much as I do. He had the day off today and wore it and plans on wearing it to work tomorrow too. That's love. Or laziness. I'll assume it's love.

Oh, and it turns out that the male-cardigan is in fashion. See this NY Times article.

Bonus closeups of the cabledy goodness:

Friday, October 13, 2006

I've got mail.

I'm absolutely obsessed with getting mail. I always have been. When I was a kid, I had several pen pals (mostly just cousins) to whom I would write on almost a daily basis. I love opening packages and letters. I love stamps. I love the walk out to the mailbox (especially on a brisk autumn day). I love all of it. SO, yesterday was a great day for two mail-related reasons. First, my package from my tea swap pal, Meg, arrived. Second, my magazine order from Phildar came as well.

As it turns out, Meg is the sweetest swap pal ever. She really knew how to build the anticipation too... first, she sent me a postcard. Then, she left me comments on my blog. Then, yesterday the package came along with the most thoughtful note. Anway, what do we have? First of all, Opal yarn (which I've never tried before). Teas: Assorted Tazo and Stash Chamomile. Treats: Animal Cookies (which my daughter tried for the first time and loved!), Pepperidge Farm Chessmen, and Anna's Ginger Thins (love those!). PLUS, a scone cutter w/ recipe, recipe cards, and a pattern for a hooded sweater. Meg, thank you so much for making my first swap such a great experience! Also I have some dietary restrictions that Meg was so nice to watch out for!

And the magazines! I actually have spent a year of my life in France (one four month period in Strasbourg and eight months a couple years later in Dijon). Unfortunately, at neither time was I an active knitter. I'm really regretting that now that I see what beautiful patterns Phildar has to offer. I probably won't get around to knitting of them for a while because I already have yarn for other projects and it'll take me a while to figure out what kind of yarn subbing to do for these (I was looking online last night and it took me forever to remember that the needle sizes were different... I kept thinking, "that gauge is really weird for that needle size"... ha!) For now, I'll just be content to look at the pretty patterns and plan.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I dream of yarn

I'm still trucking along on Morris. Thanks to a suggestion from Veronique, I decided to go ahead and seam together the back, one front, and one sleeve. I usually don't do any blocking until all seams are finished, but this time I thought that it would be best to go ahead and block what I have so I can see if I have a good fit (especially since the back and sleeves are all 3x3 ribbing... preblocking it looked like the sweater was for me and not my husband - yikes!). So, yesterday, I did just that. I also finished knitting the second front and started the second sleeve.

Then, last night as I was going to sleep, I was thinking about my knitting. Thinking about Morris. And I started to smell wool. Wow, I thought, memory is such an incredible thing. Just by thinking about knitting, my brain is able to make me think that I can actually smell the fiber I was working with. Incredible. Then, I opened my eyes and saw the socks that I had washed with Morris (gotta multi-task) and left hanging on the headboard to dry.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

New/old projects

So, I was so excited about finally finishing the brother socks, I decided to pick up another ufo. This one is Morris from Rowan 34. I started this I think in the late spring and then sometime in the early summer I decided it was insane to be knitting a huge wool man-sweater in the middle of the summer. Well, it's fall now and I'm thinking the Husband might not mind having a cozy sweater for the coming months (this will be the first sweater I've ever made for him).

It took a little effort, but I found everything I'd done so far and (literally) dusted it all off last week.

As of our last meeting, Morris had a back and half a front. A sleeve was quickly knitted up. Then, yesterday the second front was started. That was when I remembered the second reason that I put Morris away... the combination of heavy yarn, large needles (US 10), and all those cables are killer on the knuckles. I think by the time I hit the fourth cable chunk I was stopping after every row to pop them. My knuckles are itching to be popped again just thinking about it. Oh, and I think because of the black yarn, I've not been successful at cabling w/out the cable needle. I just can see those stitches well enough.

The good news is, I don't think I'm going to lose steam again. I don't have anything else on the needles that's calling my name, so I should definitely be able to get this done quickly. (Of course, now that I've said that, it won't happen.)

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Secret Pal 9 Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I love Rowan yarns , but I don't really have a favorite. I'm not a huge fan of acrylic.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

One of these.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I learned to knit when I was about five from my grandmother. I think I'm an intermediate.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?


5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.)


6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

Unfortunately, yes. Toblerone.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

Nothing else currently.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

I don't listen to much music (besides kid music and lullabies) these days.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?

Blues and greens are my favorite colors. I like pretty much any dark tone, though.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

Husband, one baby girl. No pets (too allergic!).

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

I don't really wear hats, but the rest I do.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

Sweaters, socks, baby items.

13. What are you knitting right now?

Morris from
Rowan 34.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?


15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

It all depends on the project.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

Yes to the winder and no to the swift.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?

So old I can't remember what it was supposed to be.

18. What is your favorite holiday?

19. Is there anything that you collect?

Just yarn.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

No - well, maybe Socks that Rock yarn; subscribed to Rowan and IK.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

Yes, but none come to mind.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

Yes; US size 7.

23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)

Sept. 4th

Baby Girl has good taste

In addition to her love of yarn, Baby Girl also has a love of knitting books. This morning during breakfast, she was more interested in Knitting Vintage Socks than her cheerios. I can't blame her. I usually like to flip through knitting books during breakfast too.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Brother Socks

Pattern: Gentleman’s Sock with Lozenge Pattern from Nancy Bush’s Knitting Vintage Socks.

Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill in Bark from Knit Happens.


Comments: Is it just me, or do manly socks and sweaters take WAY longer to knit? I know they're bigger, so that accounts for some of the extra time... BUT the extra time is not at all proportional to the extra size. This is really hard to admit ... I think maybe I'm just slower when I'm knitting for someone else. When I'm knitting for myself I get really excited during the process and really want to wear said item. When I'm working on my own pattern I get excited and really want see it to completion. When I'm working on something for someone else, I usually don't get that same sense of excitement. I think I'm afraid that whoever I'm giving said knitting item to will not love it as much as I do. So, somewhere around the halfway mark, I stall... and stall... and stall. Oh well, these are done and ready to go to the bro in time for his bday next week. Since he lives in my area now (he moved this summer to my neck of the woods and is now my only family member w/in a 4 hour drive) I can monitor him and make sure that he loves them too.

Completed: 10/4/2006

Oh, and about this yarn... I'm in love with it. Really. It's a lot like Koigu, but it runs in a few solid colors. I've actually worked 1 and a half of another pair of this same pair of these socks in Knitpicks Essential. I don't know if you can tell the difference in these crappy photos, but it's substantial.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

What can I say, I'm a follower...

Well, it's still a work in progress, but Veronique's post made me want to change my blog too. I didn't bother trying to learn about what I was doing before I did it. I'm more of a trial and error kinda gal. So far, I like the change...

Monday, October 02, 2006


I am so bad about deadlines. I think that I've actually gotten worse about them in my post-college life. Although, now that I think back on it, I was pretty bad about them then also. I was always starting my papers at the last minute and then having to either stay up til four or wake up at four in the morning to finish them (but either way, it seems like four in the morning was part of the equation to get things done). The worst part, though, has always been that I try to be strict with myself and impose rules that ideally would make it easier for me to accomplish my goals. For example, if I had a paper due a week away, I would not allow myself to go out with my friends for that whole week. The idea being that that way I would have to work on said paper. However, that was rarely what actually happened. Instead, I would just find something else to do in my room (read, watch tv, work on other homework, clean, anything but what I was supposed to be doing).

Sadly, I seem to be the same way about knitting. This past week I was trying to get a submission in to Knitty (October 1st deadline). So, I told myself that I couldn't use up free time blogging. Instead, I wound up just knitting on other projects anyway. Oh well, I got the submission in on time.

Now, I just have to concentrate on my other knitting deadlines. First of all, I have to finish these socks for my brother by October 10th (his birthday*). They're Gentleman’s Sock with Lozenge Pattern from Nancy Bush’s Knitting Vintage Socks. I'm using Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn in Bark. I actually had originally meant to do a pair of Argyle socks for the bro and these were meant to be holiday socks for my Dad, but since the holiday season is further away, I think I'd better switch them around. Plus, I finished that first sock like four months ago. I just can't count on myself to get a quick start on any second sock of a pair.... Eight days to finish just the foot. Seems like a reasonable goal. As long as I can keep myself away from other projects!

*cute story - When my brother was little, anytime you asked him when his birthday was, he would respond, "October the 10th of July." I think he got his birthday confused with the 4th of July.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Magknits/Halweh is up!

The October issue of Magknits is up! And, my pattern, Halweh was published! Yay! I loved working up this pattern so much, I really hope other people do too! If you haven't, check it out!