Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Full of Merriment

Merry Christmas!! Scott and I are having a very relaxing Christmas here in Boston. No traveling for us - we did plenty of that this year, and have much more in store for the future... We decided not to exchange gifts this year either; but low and behold, we ended up getting two big surprises in the last few days. Some of the closest people in our lives will be adding little wee ones in the coming year.... We are just beyond excited and couldn't have asked for better gifts!

Now, an excuse to let the baby knitting get out of control once again--

This is the Eyelet Baby Blanket from Blue Sky Alpacas. Doesn't it look fabulous with the natural colored ruffle?!

Pattern: Eyelet Baby Blanket from Blue Sky Alpacas; design by Leslie Scanlon
Yarn: Blue Sky Organic Cotton in #80 and #602
Needles: Addi US 9
Measurements: About 28" by 25" without the ruffle
Started: December 5, 2007
Finished: December 18, 2007
Other Details: I've seen this blanket knit on the US11 (like the pattern calls for), and I didn't like it. I think its much better knit at a regular gauge on a US8 or US9. I still managed to get a similar gauge, even on the 9's. I ended up needed to crack into the third skein of green. If I knit this again, I would adjust it so that this didn't happen. The ruffle takes a lot of cream. I used two full balls, and about a 1/4 of a leftover skein I had. The good news is you can make matching baby bolero's with the extras....

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Perfect Timing

We've been gradually getting buried in snow here in Boston over the last few weeks. Our front street looked like this last Thursday:

Being the good wife that I am, I knit Scott a new winter hat with some new yarn from a friend.... Just in time for us to go out in the cold last Thursday.

Pattern: A basic 1x1 ribbed hat with 96 stitches on a US7.
Yarn: Jasper in an unknown colorway
Needles: Addi US 7
Measurements: About a 19.5 circumference unstretched (will fit an average men's head)
Started: December 10, 2007
Finished: December 14, 2007
Other Details: You need about a 120 yards of worsted weight yarn

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

We Never Stop Learning

I've been knitting for a little over four years now, and have been able to slide by with just a few knitting disasters. Yes, my first scarves stunk and my first hat wasn't tall enough; yes, my first bag was horrifically seamed on the wrong side; yes, my first sweater is a bit too big. Being a self-taught knitter, these mistakes were my learning guide and I have no problem looking back and smiling at these early projects. However, recently, I've hit this unlucky stint and have produced a few new knitting disasters...

This was supposed to be a felted baby hat and ended up breaking open in the felting process. I think I might cut out some felted pieces and make a cat toy...

Then, most recently, I decided to knit Daphne out of Rowan Bambino.

Last night I'm sitting there watching this and seaming, and realized that the pattern is stupid, stupid. The tail is very deceiving in the pattern, and there is no good picture. There is way too much seaming for a simple little duck, and due to all the shaping, it looks bad. Even in the book, if you look closely, the seaming is bad. I could go on and on about how the gusset doesn't fit in there, and how you will run out of yarn, but why bother. This is going to the trash since there are too many ends to even attempt to recover. I still have most of a ball of yellow and orange, so you'll see these colors again, just not in the form of a duck...

And, a pretty "last night of Chanukah" picture to leave you with -

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Manos Love

I didn't think I had it in me to finish this work of love. I started it, oh, back in February hoping that it would be a gift to my parents for helping us out so much with the wedding. Yeah. Right. Words of advice for future knitter brides - don't think you are going to get much done in the few months before the wedding. Anyhow, I mustered up the strength around my mom's birthday and got cracking on the Manos squares once again. It didn't make it to my mom for her birthday, but I did slide it in their Chanukah package last week. Unfortunately, its is terribly hard to take pictures of a 45 by 70 inch afghan in my apartment, especially on a dark New England day... here is the best I could do:

I wasn't really happy with it until I added the fringe - it really tied all the colors together. My parents loved it, even my dad, and I know it will get lots of use in the coming years. Thank you - happy - wedding - birthday - Chanukah - mom and dad!

Pattern: Design Source Collections Four Seasons Throws
Yarn: Manos Wool, 15 skeins total; 119 was the variegated color and the solids were 11, 14, 30, 37 and 64
Needles: Addi US 9
Measurements: Approximately 45" by 70"
Started: February 24, 2007
Finished: November 30, 2007
Other Details: Each color has a different stitch pattern - which kept the project interesting. You knit this in strips so it is much easier to manage while knitting. Seaming the strips together wasn't easy, especially the third strip, but its totally worth it in the end.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Flower Power

Little girlie baby and kid designs in pinks and frills just don't do it for me. I love bold colors, retro and mod designs and anything cute with a flower on it. Evidence #1, Kaya's 1st birthday sweater:

From the second I saw this fabulous design in Susan's new book, Itty Bitty Nursery, I just knew I had to make it. It was a really fun knit, a balance of basic knitting and fun embelishing. A cutie knit for a cutie little girl....

Pattern: Flower Cardigan in Itty Bitty Nursery by Susan B. Anderson
Yarn: Manos Cotton Stria in (crap, I lost the yarn labels), I think it was Denim for the main color
Needles: Addi US 5
Measurements: An approximate 1-2 size
Started: October 1, 2007
Finished: December 3, 2007
Other Details: I can never get 5 sts/1" with this yarn. I followed the 6-12 size (and the 1-2 length measurments) and ended up with a 1-2 year size. I made the flower petal and center bigger and did a 3 sts i-cord instead of a 2.

Evidence #2 - I kept the flower power going with the Petal Bibs from One Skein. I just loved these colors together;

Pattern: Petal Bibs from One Skein book by Leigh Radford
Yarn: Rowan Handknit cotton in 316, 305 and 314
Needles: Addi US 6
Measurements: One size
Started: November 27, 2007
Finished: December 1, 2007
Other Details: So cute! Really quick and interesting. You can easily do one of these a night...