Sunday, October 31, 2010

No longer bogged down

I love my Bog Jacket!  It is long enough to go past my butt, is as warm as a blanket, and looks good, too.

Pattern:  Bog Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann (in Knitting Around)
Yarn:  Cascade 220 in black, red, and gray
Needles:  US7 for most, US6 for applied i-cord
Modifications:  None of my own, but I selected most of the options recommended in the pattern

I still want to do something additional with the sleeves, like add a cuff.  They come just past my elbows, are rather kimono-like, and appear to bell although technically they are not bell shaped. But for now, I am going to consider this project done and enjoy the warmth.

Friday, October 29, 2010


The football hold
This little sweetie has impacted my knitting schedule (in a good way!) so I am not making progress on Belinda or  Zandloper, but knitting has been going on.  The Pine Forest Baby Blanket is done and soaked but not dry yet.  Most of the pink washed out, so I am guessing over time, it will all be gone.  The Bog Jacket is done except for some weaving of ends and a good soak.  Also, I want to do something more with the sleeves, I just don't know what yet.  The second pair of xmas socks is almost there - one done except for final grafting, the other down to the toe.

So, of course I started something new:  the Shibui Baby Bonnet from Shibui Baby Knits, but not in Shibui yarn.  I'm using Malabrigo left over from one of the February Baby sweaters.  Whoever said baby things are quick to knit has not knit them from sock yarn.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Let's play dress up!

I could not wait to see how the smallest outfits I knit fit Baby N, even though she was a reluctant model.

I can't work under these conditions!
All that crying is exhausting!
The sleeves on both the February baby sweater and smallest BSJ were on the short side, while the leggings were plenty long.  As you may recall, these items were knit in fingering yarn on US2s.  The infant socks (not pictured) which seemed so tiny to me are large enough that they don't stay on.  Guess I will have to whip up some stay-on booties for this girl.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The best early birthday present EVER

Presenting baby N:

7 lb. 2 oz.

Mom, dad, and baby all doing well.  Grandma, on the other hand, is beside herself, hopelessly in love, can't get enough of baby N.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Finally it is cool enough to wear the alpaca Mistake Rib scarf I knit last spring.  It is also cool enough for hand knit socks, but I have been wearing them for a while because in my office, thanks to the HVAC system, there is no sweating, except from nerves or stress.  We moved to a new "green" building recently which is even colder, and now I need wool sweaters as well.  Good thing I have picked up the Bog Jacket again, and maybe I will "man up" and finish seaming the Minimalist Cardigan as well.

So, how long should a WIP be a WIP before one gives up on it?  The WIPs I have the most trouble picking up again are the crocheted ones.  Originally, I was a hooker and not a knitter, but now I am a knitter who occasionally crochets.  I tried learning filet crochet, but it's too fiddly for me.

I have also tried to become a spinner and have aspirations to be a dyer.  Toward the latter, I recently "harvested" the marigolds in my garden, storing the petals in the freezer until that magical time when there will be more than 24 hours in a day and/or I will no longer need to sleep and/or the stops setting.  

I have also started saving the dry skins of onions.  The robins beat me to the poke berries, though.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Now, where was I?

Oh, yeah.  Grafting the bog jacket.

And I did it!  Not perfectly, but good enough.  I tried on the jacket and it actually fits, although I'm not excited about the collar.  Now it is time for about a mile of attached i-cord. 

Progress on Belinda: 

That's thirteen inches.

Progress on Zandloper: 

And I am still working on the final baby blanket (which I think will become the blanket-that-stays-at-grandmas-house) and xmas socks. 

And I want to start these gloves before the snow flies, for moi.

And that's the end of this progress report.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Still no baby, and it is just as well, because, well, you remember that aqua-colored blanket?  Frogged.  Last Sunday I tried to seam it.  Even in the best of circumstances, I find seaming to be challenging.  In this case, I quickly became frustrated, and in a fit of pique, ripped the whole thing back to its origins.

It wasn't just the seaming that drove me over the edge, but the whole project.  I just did not like the results.  If I were to knit this particular blanket pattern ever again, I would knit it all of a piece instead of in strips.

But I'm not knitting it again.  Instead, I am knitting the Pine Forest Baby Blanket.  Does that stitch look familiar?

Yep, it's the gull stitch, same as what is used in the February baby sweater.  What can I say?  I love this stitch.  BTW, while soaking the kinky wads of yarn, the water turned pinkish, which gives me hope that the dye stains will wash out.

While I wasn't frogging last Sunday, I was watching football and continuing to work on Belinda.  I decided to keep my morale up by taking a weekly progress photo.

This picture was taken on Tuesday and illustrates we are at about 7.5 inches.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


No baby yet, but the baby sack is ready.

Pattern:  Hooded Carrying Bag from Essential Baby
Yarn:  Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in beige
Needles:  US7
Modifications:  Instead of a zipper, I added buttons and button loops, just like I saw here.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


There for a while, I just could not get excited about knitting anything that was not primarily garter or stockinette. I still wanted to knit, I just didn't want to have to follow a chart or count stitches or do anything but mindlessly knit.  That feeling recently gave way to a desire to try something new.  So it was serendipitous that Knitting Brioche popped up on the new books shelf at my local library branch.

Simply put, brioche knitting is a method for double knitting that produces a deeply textured fabric.  Even the simplest stitch yields dramatic results.

Side A:

Side B:

I'm starting with the Zandloper scarf which incorporates regular double knit blocks to give the item some shape.  Unfortunately, I have been making enough mistakes that I am tempted to start over, or at least rip back to where I was in the photos above.  The mistakes are not eye-popping, but they are all I see when I look at the scarf.

I thought the button loops for the hooded carrying bag would be a challenge, but these instructions were easy to follow.

Buttons will go on today, then all that remains is seaming the bottom.

Belinda is still crawling along, still at about fifteen minutes per two rows.

I am trying to knit at least two rows a day, to keep my hand in, at which rate it will take me about a year to finish this.  I would do more but two at a time is about all I can stand.  And thanks to my aging eyes, they must be knit in daylight.  Maybe I will try to knit two rows a quarter while watching football today.  Surely I can tolerate that.

Monday, October 04, 2010

What was I thinking?!?

That alpaca I brought home from Johnny Appleseed has been calling my name (the alpaca YARN, not a real alpaca ANIMAL), but I have not yet found the right pattern for it.  So I turned to something that has been on my queue for a while:  Mason-Dixon's 'Belinda'.  That is the good news.  The bad news is I am knitting it in Rowan Kidsilk Haze.

I have a love-hate relationship with Kidsilk Haze.  My knitting history is littered with started and unfinished Kidsilk Haze projects.  The yarn is next to impossible to knit, definitely impossible to unknit, and yet, when I do occasionally win the battle and complete something in Kidsilk Haze, I love the finished product.

Keeping my eyes on the prize, I struggled to get this thing started...

...and am about ten rows farther along than this photo indicates.  Each pair of rows takes about 15 minutes to complete.  And I have about 260 more rows to go.  To be HALF done.  Gah.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

In the home stretch

My daughter is less than a month away from her due date, so I am trying to finish up a few things, like this blanket I started shortly after I first learned she was pregnant.

Pattern:  My own, finished size approximately 30"x32".
Yarn:  Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted in "Baltic Sea" (four skeins)
Needle: US7 (I think)

The body of the blanket is based on the Twisted Lattice square from Learn-to-Knit Afghan Book by Barbara Walker.  After trying several different borders, I settled on a double round of applied i-cord; I used the i-cord instructions from knitty, but followed Elizabeth Zimmerman's advice in Knitting Around for handling the corners.  I would have preferred to add a third round, because the edges really want to curl, but I did not have enough yarn.

I am nearly finished with the hooded carrying bag from the Essential Baby, by Debbie Bliss.  The hood is now grafted, and I am starting the seaming.  (Note:  The seaming instructions in this book are very easy to follow.)

The pattern calls for a zipper, but I have never sewn a zipper into a hand knit item, plus I saw a version of this pattern here that uses buttons and button loops.  Hence, the buttons.

Note to self:  Never, ever try to shop at Joann's over the lunch hour.  The checkout line was long and there were only two cashiers.  Several shoppers had to give up and leave without their purchases.  Usually I shop at Joann's on my way home from work, when it is dead.  I was a little shocked at its daytime popularity.

I still have not decided what to do about the stained blanket.  The irony of WanderingCat's suggestion that I overdye the blanket was not lost on me because, gee, I paid a premium for this hand dyed yarn.  Still, I will keep that idea in mind.