Thursday, May 31, 2007

Finished: Mom's Socks

Mom, no peeking!

Pattern: Crosshatch Lace from More Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch, worked over 60 stitches
Yarn: Louet Gems fine/sport weight (100% superwash merino), colorway Pink Panther, one skein (with leftovers!)
Needles: two US 1 (2.5 mm) 12" Addi Turbo circs
Started/Completed: May 27/May 31
Recipient: my mom, for her birthday

Since my mother celebrates her birthday in the summer, I thought I'd make her some summery-ish socks -- shorter leg and a lace pattern. Notice I didn't bother to substitute another fiber for my beloved wool, oh no.

In any case, these were a fun and quick knit. I have yet to block them (that will be done when we get back from vacation), and I have a feeling the lace will open up more once I do. This yarn is a dream. It's heavier than most fingering weight yarns; I'd compare it to Socks That Rock mediumweight. The result is a very squishy sock that is super comfortable on the foot.

Here's a close-up of the stitch pattern (I really need to get myself some real sock blockers instead of these ghetto requisitioned wire hangers!):

I taught myself the PGR short-row heel for these. They're a little thicker than the usual short-row heel, but these are much easier to do and I like the result. Trust me when I tell you that these look a lot better when they're on the foot!

My yarn is packed up and ready to go on vacation. There's just a few more hours left in the contest, so go make your guess if you haven't already!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

There's Something About Knitters ...

(Psst! Are you looking for the contest?)

So, to get back to the subject, there's really something amazing about knitters, isn't there? You were all so sympathetic when I came up short on my future MIL's socks and had some great suggestions. Several of you suggested calling the store to see if they had a spare skein they could send me, and that's just what I did. Today during lunch I rang up Bloomin Yarns, and I believe I talked to the owner. She did indeed have a spare skein of Louet Gems in Fern Green and will be putting it in the mail to me by tomorrow at the latest. Somehow in giving her all my information she deduced that I was the person who had blogged about my trip to the store (a friend of hers had Googled the store and come across my post). She was so nice and accommodating, and I'm so happy I decided to patronize Bloomin Yarns rather than ordering from Louet directly. Once that skein of yarn arrives, it'll be short work to finish up the second Embossed Leaves sock.

Meanwhile, I've thrown myself fully into socks for my mother for her birthday. I think they may be knitting themselves. I started them Sunday and here they are as of a few minutes ago:

Pretty much the entire foot and toe of the first sock was done yesterday, and that cuff you see there? That's all today's knitting. I'm two rows away from the heel. If I knit really furiously tonight and tomorrow, I may just have them done before we leave for vacation -- which would be a good thing, because obviously I can't work on them in front of my mom. And no, these won't count for the contest!

Monday, May 28, 2007

The Big Announcement

My goodness, that was certainly a fast response! I should try some intrigue in my posts more often. But I won't keep you in suspense any longer. Without any further ado, here is the big announcement:

The first-ever Knit/Wit blog contest!

For the past week or so, I've been alluding to the fact that J and I have a vacation coming up. Here are the details that "nebby minds" want to know: This Friday, we are leaving for a week in Hilton Head with the whole family (and by whole family I mean my parents, J's parents, and my kid brother -- you'll be happy to hear that we'll be in a big house with a bathroom for each bedroom). After considering my options, I decided that I would take only sock yarn with me, since socks are bound to be the most practical and most portable project I could take on the trip.

And therein lies the key question you must answer as your entry to the contest: How many socks do you think I will complete by the end of the trip?

Here are the rules:
1) One entry per person, and your entry must be in a comment to this post.
2) For the sake of being as accurate as possible, we'll call a sock with a completed leg 1/3 complete and a sock with a completed heel or heel and gusset as 2/3 complete.
3) Your guess is the number of completed individual socks, not completed pairs.
4) The contest closes at 12 pm (noon) EST this Friday, June 1, which is when I'll be leaving the office and getting ready to head out.
5) In the case of a tie, all entries with the correct number of completed socks will be entered into a random drawing. In the case that no one correctly guesses the number of socks completed, all entries will be placed in a random drawing.

I'm sure the big question on everyone mind is, What do I win? Will this do as a prize?

This is a skein of Colinette Jitterbug in colorway 87, Bright Charcoal. I decided to use the last of my Knit One birthday gift card to buy this and I'm hoping it'll have a good home to go to when I get back from vacation.

If you need some help in making your guess, here are some things you might want to know:
  • The fastest I've ever knit a pair of socks was four days (these socks, specifically), and that was while working full time, so I certainly wasn't knitting all day long.
  • We are driving down to Hilton Head, in two cars and over two days. I am not planning on doing any of the driving.
  • The trip is approximately 700 miles, so we anticipate the whole trip will take roughly 10-12 hours, depending on traffic and whether or not we get lost along the way. We are also leaving in the early afternoon on Friday, so we'll have daylight for pretty much all of the trip.
  • I am planning on taking a couple books with me, but I don't know if I'll actually spend that much time reading (after all, this is a vacation and I do read for a living!)
  • I am NOT telling you how much yarn I am taking with me.

I am going to be taking my laptop with me and hope to be updating on the road, for all of you who like to keep score. Also, does anyone know of any good knitter-friendly attractions or even yarn stores in Hilton Head? If I find a yarn store, I just might decide to pick up some other prizes for a random drawing to be held later ...

Okay knitters, make your guess! (This should be a good opportunity for some of you to delurk!)

12 p.m. EST ETA: The contest is now closed. Thanks for your guesses! Please check back to see my progress!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Shortage

Had circumstances been different, this would have been a post about a completed pair of Embossed Leaves socks. Unfortunately, I've run into a little yarn problem -- specifically, not having enough of it. Here's where the yarn ran out:


This would be approximately 5.5 repeats of the lace pattern (of 7.5 total). Clearly I didn't take into account that the 100 g rule for a pair of socks might not apply to a heavy fingering weight or even sport weight yarn, as this yarn is labeled.

So, these clearly are not going to be finished today or likely any time soon. This yarn was purchased at Bloomin' Yarns, which is rather far away from my house, and so it would require a special trip there to get more (as far as I know, neither of the yarn stores near me carries Louet Gems). The way I see it, I have two options: (1) make time for a trip out to the store to buy more or (2) order some more online (which would have to wait until after we get back from vacation in order to prevent it arriving while we're away). Actually, I suppose there's also a third option: knit an entirely new pair in another yarn.

In the meantime, I've cast on for my mother's birthday socks -- in the same yarn, but obviously they will be much shorter in the leg to try and save yarn. Does anyone happen to know if a short-row heel uses less yarn than a heel flap and gusset?

Tomorrow: a big announcement. Watch this space.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Foot or Hoof?

This sock is probably the fastest lace pattern ever. Look! A completed sock!

I cast on this sock Sunday night, didn't work on it at all except for a couple rounds on Tuesday (because I was working on finishing up the Grasshopper Socks), and finished last night while watching the Lost season finale. As I was knitting the toe, I wasn't liking it. I found the p2togs at the end of each needle to be fiddly, and I thought that the toe looked better suited to a hoof than a human foot. Plus, I've never been wild about toes that end up with only a small number of stitches and the thread pulled through all of them; call me nuts, but I love to kitchener.

However, as soon as I was done and the ends were woven in and I tried on the sock to see how it looked with the lace pattern stretched out I found that I loved it. The purl stitches complete the last leaves on the sock and it makes for a very unique look. It also fits well, surprisingly so. And, conveniently, following the pattern as written makes a sock exactly the right left for the recipient's foot (and mine, as you can see).

I've already cast on for the second sock and have completed the cuff. With the long weekend coming up, I should have no problem finishing these up in the next few days. Then perhaps I'll cast on a pair of these for myself -- since I've already pretty much memorized the pattern. I already have the yarn picked out: this gorgeous Koigu that I picked up at Knit One last weekend.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Finished: Grasshopper Socks

Pattern: Knee High to a Grasshopper by Chrissy Gardiner (April Rockin' Sock Club shipment)
Yarn: Silkie Socks That Rock (81% superwash merino, 19% silk), colorway Walking on the Wild Tide, one skein
Needles: two US 1 (2.5 mm) 12" Addi Turbo circs
Started/Completed: April 4/April 21
Mods: used a twisted rib for cuff (k1 tbl, p1) and bound off normally in pattern

I am in love with this yarn -- that's the short and long of it. The pattern is okay, and toward the end of the second sock I was on autopilot, but I'm finding like so many others that these socks are a bit on the slouchy side. I followed the increases in the pattern because (and I know you've heard this before) I have rather shapely calves. The result is that the leg of the sock fits my leg, but I still did a twisted rib cuff and bound off regularly for a tighter fit at the top. If I knit these again, I'll omit the leg increases and do the normal 1x1 rib for the cuff with the sewn bind off the pattern specifies.

Actually, if I knit this pattern again, I think I'll try it with k2togs instead of p2togs, because I really like the "wrong side" of the fabric on these socks.

I wound this skein into two roughly equal center-pull balls to prepare to knit these socks so that I didn't have to worry about running out of yarn on the second sock. I did this by putting the skein on my swift and counting the number of individual strands of yarn there were at the one point of the swift. Then I tied a bright piece of yarn to that part of the swift and counted each time it went by me as I was winding. I stopped and cut the yarn after it went around half as many times as the total number of strands I'd counted at the beginning. Although the balls were slightly different in size, I had plenty of yarn for each sock (there's a bit left over of both) and, more importantly, I wasn't stressing out about my yarn running out.

Now that those socks are done, I only have one pair of socks on the needles -- the ones for my future MIL. I did indeed rip the socks I'd started and I rewound the yarn. Sunday night I cast on for a pair of Embossed Leaves socks (from Favorite Socks), and they are going ridiculously fast, especially considering I spent nearly all of my knitting time yesterday finishing up the Grasshopper socks.

(That's a lava lamp modeling the sock, for all of you who may be wondering.) I am ready to start the heel, and I am loving this pattern -- much more so than the sock I'd started before. I am planning to knit this sock they way I'd normally knit one, i.e., I am not going to cut the yarn after turning the heel as the pattern says, but rather knit across the heel and pick up stitches along the heel flap as usual. I also started knitting in the round from the very beginning, instead of knitting two rows flat and then joining in the round (has anyone figured out what that notch at the top of the cuff is for?) By now I wouldn't say I have the pattern memorized, but I certainly understand the logic of it and only need to reference the pattern every now and then. Judging from how quickly the leg of the first sock has knit up, I'd say I'll have a pair completed before we leave for vacation next Friday.

Thank you for all your kind comments on J's sweater (and for not making fun of his silly face!). I'm pleased that it came out so well and that I successfully avoided the sweater curse! Technically, I already had the ring on my finger when I started knitting it, so some might say I was immune to it, but you never know. I'm fully confident going into knitting a second sweater for him, although there was an interesting development regarding the yarn last night. I pulled out a skein and examined it in natural light, and what appeared to be a dark charcoal gray in the store now looks like a gray-tinted brown. I actually rather like it; it's very muted and neutral, and it's likely to appear to change color depending on what else it's paired with. It remains to be seen if J will like it or if he'll want me to return it for a real shade of gray.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

(Finally!) Finished: Cambridge Jacket

Pattern: Cambridge Jacket by Ann Budd (summer 2006 Interweave Knits)
Yarn: Cascade 220 (100% wool), color 8401, approximately 6.5 skeins
Needles: US 8 (5.0 mm) 32" Addi Turbo circs
Started/Completed: approximately January 20/March 18 (save sewing in of zipper, which was done last night)
Mods: only on the collar, which I fudged a bit to make the ribbing match up

This sweater was completed roughly two months ago, but I didn't get a chance to buy a zipper until last weekend, when I made the trip to Jo-Ann's to buy buttons for my Forecast. I bought two options -- one in white that was the full length of the sweater and one in light gray that was just a tad shorter. J selected the gray zipper, not only because it matched, but also because he did not want the neck to zip all the way up (he has sensitive skin and didn't want the wool rubbing against his skin right under his chin). This worked well with the front of the collar, which is angled just a bit at the top. Here you can see what it looks like zipped all the way up (and please excuse J's funny face):

From this view you can see the one part of the sweater with which I'm not 100% pleased -- the sleeves. They're a little big for my taste, but J tells me he likes them, so I'm not about to rip and reknit. The zipper is also still a little wavy, but I have faith it'll smooth out just fine with a little wear.
Here's the back view:

This still needs a good wet blocking to get all the stitches to relax and even out (I only did a spritz-and-pin blocking of the pieces prior to seaming), but then it will be going into storage with the rest of the sweaters until next fall.

The one element of this sweater of which I was unsure as I was knitting was the one edge stitch in garter stitch. It looked odd as it was knit, but look at how nice it looks next to the zipper:


I'm so proud of myself for sewing in the zipper successfully -- my fear of messing the sweater up at this stage was probably the top reason why I put off zipper shopping for so long (and why I waited a whole week after buying the zipper before sewing it in). All in all, it wasn't that hard, just time consuming. I think I still prefer buttons, but at least now I won't immediately discount a pattern that involves a zipper.

Meanwhile, I'm already planning for J's next sweater, which will be an Elizabeth Zimmermann Seamless Hybrid (you can see a great example of one here). Would you believe I already have the yarn for it? We stopped at Knit One today because I had a gift card burning a hole in my pocket and J picked out a gorgeous charcoal shade of Cascade 220 -- still in keeping with his usual palette of shades of gray and black. I'll use the leftover yarn from the Cambridge Jacket to do the facings of the hems.

The socks in progress continue. I'm past the heel of my second Grasshopper sock, so I expect to have those finished in a day or two. I've been getting more and more unhappy with the socks I've been knitting for my future MIL as I've gone along, however, so I'm going to rip them and do some Embossed Leaves Socks (from Favorite Socks/Interweave Knits) instead. Jenn tells me they're a fast knit, and I've long been wanting to knit them. An added bonus is that I'll learn the pattern to be able to knit myself a pair -- perhaps with the Koigu I picked up today as well?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Shocking!

Last night was the monthly meeting of the Hurricane Knitters at the Waterworks Barnes & Noble. We were a smaller group than usual, although Yvonne came to join us and Julia came back for a second time and we had a newcomer, Alice. Jenn and Betsy were there as usual, but we missed the company of Donna and Jen (although we suspect Jen was probably having a better time in England).

The real shocker of the evening? 40 GUY DID NOT SHOW UP! Although I left about 9 pm, Jenn told me that some of the group was there until closing and he never made an appearance. We may have to go on a non-Wednesday night and see if he's acutally gone or if he's on to us and is avoiding knit night.

Now, back to blog business. Donna has tagged me for a meme. Here are the rules:

1. Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves.
2. People who are tagged write a blog post about their own 8 random things and post these rules.
3. At the end of your blog you need to tag 8 people and post their names.
4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment and tell them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Alright, on to the eight weird facts ...

1. I hate to drive, but I love being a passenger on car trips (more knitting time!)
2. I have a scar just above my nose and next to one of my eyebrows from when I had chicken pox when I was four years old.
3. I sleep with a stuffed elephant just about every night (or at least when J isn't home). I use it as a pillow that I stuff under my chin.
4. I am perpetually early. It seems to run in my family, as my father is the same way. However, this works out, as J tends to run late -- so between the two of us, we're usually on time.
5. As far as music is concerned, I have a weakness for Italian pop. My favorite is Eros Ramazzotti, and I've bought his CDs in such far-off locations as Disney World, Canada, and Israel.
6. I eat cheese just about every day, including in the sandwich I take just about every day to work for lunch (hummus and swiss on a bagel).
7. I am allergic to lilies.
8. I once bit down on a crayon. I was in kindergarten and was coloring on a piece of paper taped to the blackboard. I guess I was really into it and must've had my mouth open and rather close to the crayon, because when the girl next to me bumped into me -- CHOMP. To this day, I can't stand the smell of crayons.

So, who to tag? I'm not sure I have eight people to tag, since so many of the bloggers I know have already done this meme. I guess I'll tag Becky, Rebecca, Jen, Amy, Amanda, and you (if you haven't done this one already).

On tap tonight: watching the season finales (The Office, Grey's, and ER), finishing the first Grasshopper sock and casting on for the second, and downloading some podcasts.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Come Join Us!

Thank you for all of your extremely nice comments about my Forecast. I'm so, so pleased with how it turned out and I'm a huge fan of the pattern. I highly recommend it, especially to those of you who (like me) may not be such a fan of knitting sweaters in pieces and sewing them together. This pattern is easy to follow and is easily adaptable to your own modifications, and the top-down construction eliminates finishing and allows you to try it on as you go. An added bonus is that the yarn the pattern calls for -- Cascade 220 -- is very affordable (as yarns go), comes in numerous shades, and has fantastic yardage. Holly had asked me how much I used in my Forecast, and I'm still amazed that I used only about four and a half skeins, or roughly 990 yards. I think that's probably a pretty conservative estimate, too. This yarn is a great basic wool yarn and is one of my favorites; I have two sweaters' worth in my stash now, iintended for two other Stefanie Japel designs.

If anyone out there is currently knitting or planning to knit Forecast, I'm happy to help you if you encounter any tricky bits or just need another knitter's perspective.

I'm dying to start one of those other sweaters right now (still high from the success of the last one), but for now I'm focusing on socks. I started a pair Sunday night for my future MIL for her birthday (June 17) and I'll soon be starting a pair for my mother's birthday (June 18 -- Mom, if you're reading this, this is your notice that once your socks are started, you will be banned from the blog until after your birthday!), plus I'm still working on my first Knee High to a Grasshopper sock (just into the leg).

I'll be bringing at least one of these socks to the monthy meeting of the Hurricane Knitters tomorrow night, 7-ish at the Waterworks Barnes & Noble. All of you in the greater Pittsburgh area are welcome to join us for knitting and 40 guy watching -- and any of you not from the greater Pittsburgh area who'd like to join us are certainly welcome as well!

I am off to work on one of the aforementioned socks and probably cry my eyes out during the final episode of Gilmore Girls. (Feeling sad already? This will make you nostalgic.)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Finished: Forecast

Pattern: Forecast by Stefanie Japel (winter '05 Knitty)
Yarn: Cascade 220 (100% wool), color 8339, approximately 4.5 skeins
Needles: US 8 (5.0 mm) and US 6 (4.0 mm) Addi Turbo circs
Started/Completed: April 13/May 10
Mods: a few; I'll get to them below

This sweater was a long time in the making. The yarn was purchased a year ago, but for some reason it lay dormant in the stash for months. The pattern that had so excited me when I first found it kept getting pushed down further and further in the project queue and the yarn got pushed deeper into the stash. Then I bought Fitted Knits and saw two sweaters I was dying to knit -- but I decided that I could not knit either one until I knit Forecast; it had been on hold much too long. I was also inspired by the other versions I saw appearing over on the knitalong blog, so I signed up and cast on.

I made a few modifications to the pattern, the most obvious of which was changing the cable panels. I did not care for the bobbles much, and I thought that the cable as charted in the pattern might look empty without them. I was uncertain about what to do until I saw Carrioke's finished Forecast, and I'll readily admit that I completely ripped off her idea of a braid cable. It perfectly fit the nine stitches used in the cable as written and it's always been among my favorite cables.

I also lengthened the body a bit and started the arm ribbing at the elbow, and I expanded the button bands to have three "stripes" of reverse stockinette to match the areas of reverse stockinette on the rest of the sweater.

The final touch that completed the sweater was the buttons. I spent quite a while in the button aisle at Jo-Ann's, but I think in the end I found the right ones:
So, after sitting on the yarn for a year, having a slight miscabling mishap requiring surgery, and having to sew some buttons on twice (due to my not marking the locations very well the first time around), the result is what J has proclaimed my Best Sweater Yet. I'm extremely pleased with how it turned out. It fits like a glove and matches so many things in my wardrobe. Most importantly, it's restored my faith in my ability to knit a garment (other than socks, of course) that actually fits!

I'm really quite sorry it's too warm to wear this and that I'll have to put it away until the fall!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Finished: Another Pair of Jaywalkers

As it turns out, I may have been just a tad bit off in my estimate of how much yarn I had left for my second sock. Just a bit.


Pattern: Jaywalker by Grumperina (September 2005 MagKnits)
Yarn: Socks That Rock lightweight (100% superwash merino), colorway Lucy, one skein
Needles: two US 1 (2.5 mm*) 12" Addi Turbo circs
Started/Completed: April 28/May 11

I know you're wondering just how much yarn was really left in the end. The answer? This much:

This is about the size of the "emergency sock yarn" you get in each Rockin' Sock Club shipment -- in other words, not very much. But it was enough, and now at least I know that one skein of STR is enough to make a pair of Jaywalkers to feet my enormous feet.

There's not much to say about the pattern. Obviously it's genious and it fits me perfectly and it's one of my favorites (or else I wouldn't have knitted it so many times already). This won't be my last pair, I can promise you that.

The yarn? There's plenty to say about this yarn. It is FANTASTIC. Soft, luxurious, and fabulous color. I'm glad I have four skeins still in the stash and several more to come in club shipments. STR now ranks up there with Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock as one of my favorite sock yarns.


*It was recently pointed out to me that I've been posting the wrong size (in mm) of my Addis. I had assumed that my US 1s were the standard 2.25 mm, but on closer inspection of my needles I discovered that they're actually 2.5 mm. Leave it to the Addi folks to be different!

Friday, May 11, 2007

A Quick Update

I just got home and we have friends coming over for dinner soon, but I wanted to post a quick update a couple WIPs that you might see finished over the weekend.

First of all, Forecast is finished. It's still a tad bit damp, and it's still sans buttons, but it's done and it fits and it's wonderful. J had proclaimed it my Best Sweater Yet. Three cheers for seamless construction!

I'm also almost done with my latest pair of Jaywalkers, although I'm convinced that I'm going to run out of yarn. There's very little left and I still have an inch and a half of foot before starting the toe. Damn my big feet! I guess this pair will be one of a kind, as one sock will have a contrasting toe -- or maybe I ought to rip out the toe of the first one and make them both contrasting? Opinions, please!

Watch this space for some FO reports this weekend. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

80 degrees? Bring on the wool!

Spring appears to be in full force and it is HOT, especially on the third floor of my house, from which I'm blogging. It's not really the ideal condition in which to be working with wool -- but I just can't help myself. Last night I finished the second sleeve of my Forecast. All that's left is to weave in the ends (a couple of which you can see in this picture) and knit the button bands.

I'm aware that the ribbing at the bottom of the body and sleeves makes this sweater look quite mishapen; I'm planning on giving this garment a severe blocking when it's all done. I've planned for this to be a very fitted sweater, but I also want it to be able to button in front and not flare in strange places. If J is amenable, we may make a trip to Jo-Ann's this weekend to buy buttons and perhaps a zipper to finally finish off his sweater!

The two pairs of socks I have on the needles are progressing, though at drastically different rates. I don't think I've mentioned my latest pair of Jaywalkers, done in Socks That Rock. The first sock was finished shortly after returning from Chicago and the second is only a few rows away from the heel. Meanwhile, my Grasshopper socks, which I'd only just started before we went away, were frogged and restarted while waiting to board the plane because I thought they were working out too large. I did several repeats of the stitch pattern before putting it down; I'm a nervous flyer, and the p2togs are hard enough without my hands being shaky and sweaty and the plane moving around. I'll pick the sock up again once the second Jaywalker is done.

Today I had a nice surprise waiting for me when I got home, besides the gorgeous weather for the ride.

I'd ordered these on Amazon last week and received an e-mail that the box had shipped on Monday. Despite Amazon's tracking function predicting I'd receive the package next Monday, it was sitting on my doorstep today. Do you think they purposely overestimate their shipping time so that you'll be extra pleased with their service when it arrives earlier? I wonder ...

I'm taking my knitting down at least one floor, where it's cool enough to work on it.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Finished: Baby Baby Ribs


Pattern: Baby Ribs, modified for infant size
Yarn: Knit Picks Essential (75% superwash wool, 25% nylon), colorway Dusk, less than one skein
Needles: US 0 (2 mm) dpns
Started/Completed: May 2/May 3
Recipient: baby Aidan
Mods: went down a needle size to make them smaller; pick up an extra stitch on each side of heel flap and knitted an extra couple gusset decrease rows to make them longer (Aidan is taking after his father and will likely have big feet!)

I don't yet have any pictures of Aidan wearing his sweater or his socks, as he is tiny! He weighs less than a sack of flour (less than 6 pounds!). His mother loved them all, though, so I'm sure one day in the not-too-distant future I'll get pictures of him in handknits.

For now, will you settle for a too-cute baby picture?

Hmmm, she seems to like me. I wonder what else I can get her to knit ... Perhaps something to help me achieve world domination? Yes, yes.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

What now?

Now that the Baby Surprise Jacket is done and ready to go, and it's too hot to sit with Forecast in my lap to finish it, there was nothing left to do but go back to my old standby: socks.

Last night I started the first of my Knee High to a Grasshopper socks (the pattern for the most recent Rockin' Sock Club shipment):

The ball 'o yarn might look a little small, but that's only because I split the skein into two center-pull balls. This pattern is another toe-up, so I thought this would be the way to maximize the length of each sock. Even though I did some calculations to try to get two balls of roughly the same size, one is noticeably larger than the other; I'm starting with the smaller of the two, so we'll see how far this gets me.

For tonight, however, my main goal is to finish up the mate to this little cutie:

You may recognize the pattern -- it's my own Baby Ribs, but sized down for a newborn. I'm into the heel flap of the second sock and will be knitting furiously through Grey's tonight.

We're headed to Chicago for the weekend tomorrow -- keep your fingers crossed for cute pictures of a baby in handknits when I get back!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Finished: Baby Surprise Jacket

Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann
Yarn: Jo-Ann Sensations Bellezza Collection Tesoro (100% wool), color 8001/Lime, three skeins (87 yards each) with stripes in Cascade 220, color 8401, leftover from J's sweater
Needles: US 5 (3.75 mm) 32" Addi Turbo circs
Started/Completed: sometime in late March?/May 1
Recipient: baby Aidan
Mods: I added a few rows on to the end to accommodate the second stripe and what I felt was a sufficient border of the main color before binding off.

There's not much to say about this sweater, is there? If you've ever knit any EZ patterns, then you surely know the genius of her work. It's true that an oddly shaped blob becomes this adorable sweater with the sewing of just two seams (which, incidentally, I just did in whipstitch because I couldn't figure out how to do mattress stitch with garter stitch going in two different directions).

The buttons don't show up very well in the picture; they're a very neutral pearlized white. If I'd had more time, I would have gone button shopping for something cuter, but baby Aidan didn't give me much notice!

This is off for a good soak and then a lay out to block. On to tee-tiny baby socks!