Sunday, October 22, 2006


Its a baby!

In my little neighborhood the moms from the bustop all help each other out. Kids run from house to house, we do grocery runs for each other, and overall we try to help each other out when things get crazy. One of The Mommy Mafia is expecting another--number four!

Since they do not know what flavor they are having, I had to make something simple and gender neutral. It had to be machine washable and go with everything.

DENIM! Every baby needs a jean jacket.

If you have ever worked with Denim you know that it has a few quirks. It can be washed and dried in the machine, and it gets better every time, fading just like jeans do. It tightens in the first wash the most, losing 10-15% of its LENGTH and some of its dye in that first wash. So in Denim, you must knit everything longer than you need it. Finally, you must use washed and dried yarn to sew it up, for unsewn will pucker in the first wash and ruin your piece.

So....I have been on an EZ kick lately, and wanted to try the Baby Surprise Jacket. It was just as magical as described, and just as much fun. BUT the length shrank! and the two cardigan fronts did not meet, and the buttonholes were far away and USELESS.

Gotta boss that knitting around! So I sewed the buttons OVER the buttonholes and then crocheted loops for the buttons. My crochet is....basic, at best. But I kinda got away with it. The baby is unlikely to hate it.

I had bought this cone of denim--two pounds!--in 2005 to make a sweater for Mr. Funny. Instead it has become a blanket, two kid sweaters, and now the surprise jacket. Not much left now.

(Salt shaker included for scale.)

Now this expected child is the fourth, and will have three older brothers. My knitting could be its only chance for new clothes! What is cuter than baby feet?

Baby feet in Koigu!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Joy of knits

I have to confess: I have never made a sweater for myself that I really liked. I know, its awful. Criminal.

Socks, no problem. Love every pair of socks that I have made, love every pair of socks other people have made for me.

Scarves, shawls, almost as good. Wear them all the time.

Stuff for the kids--sweaters, vests, ponchos, much of it is worn.

Dishcloths, no problem. Use them all the time.

But an actual sweater? Not yet.

First sweater--the ribby. Liked it, hate the yarn! I used Lamb's Pride Superwash, and I find the fibers POKEY--and I love the gentle scratchiness of wool. But not this one. Plus, its too short.

Second--wrap sweater. Tried it on and frogged immediately. Hairy gorilla.

Third--Summer Tweed green one. Its ok, but I just do not like wearing it. Worn once.

Here is the next one--The Ballet Camisole. I used a Cotton/silk blend (from a now frogged camisole). I am not sure. Its too big! Not a lot, but enough to be loose. It should be tight for this style of clothing. Maybe if I had a shirt to go under it--I only have one woven collared shirt though, and its not a good color with this.

Maybe another loser. Am I really so picky?

The floor is open for suggestions on what to do with this.

But, I continue to be an optimist....

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


We had a great time at the fair. The kids remember the rides from last year (the slides! the dragon roller coaster!) and they wanted to ride them again......over and over and over and over.....

I won 3rd for my pink Koigu shawl(mine is the solid on the right)--

And I was happy to get it; the shawls and lace that I saw were stunning. Mine was no competition for them! This one got first. I wish they would display them another way-these are all in cases and folded. You cannot see the lace at all.

The sweaters were really great! First place was won by this Sunrise Circle Jacket from IK Spring '06--its a Kate Gilbert design (CLAPOTIS!) and is free online.

This gorgeous piece was knitted by one of the Tuesday Night Knitters named Amy! Jane and Mary both belong to this group. Love it! Must make this pattern!

I would love to know what criteria the judges use so I can be more competitive next year. Are finishing techniques really important? Beauty? Entire package?

I am not a quilter, but so much quilting work is inspiring. I absolutely love this one--its funny, original and unbelievably cute! This quilter won a few blue ribbons this year.

Each of these little people in their costumes are appliqued on--most of them are 3-dimensional, with wings and other parts rising from the surface of the quilt. The border fabric is black bats!Really really fun.

I am playing hooky from class tonight and going to KnitNite. Hopefully I will finish the sleeves on this item

...the Mr. Funny sweater. I'll be rowing off Sleeve Island!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Secret Knitting Progress

I have been knitting--though for a week I did not, when we came back from vacation and I had work and school catch-up and kids school and jet lag and.........even I could not knit. Too wiped out! And this is from a knitter who knits EVERY DAY (I think I had missed maybe 2 days in the last 2 years.)

AND THEN on my way home from work two weeks ago I was rear-ended at a stoplight. I think I hit my face on the steering wheel--I was leaning forward to look at the traffic. I have a very sore neck and back, and my face and eye are really bashed up. No broken bones, but my eye was swollen shut for a few days, and I have a big lump over my eye that still hurts. I slept for two days between the medicine and the pain, so I lost a bit more study and knitting time (another 3 days! bad times). I had to take some time off work--I really could not drive. But the swelling went down and my eye was able to open again, and things are better. This is what it looked like last Sunday, about 7 days after the accident:

People keep asking me if Mr. Funny is treating me ok....I know they think I am a battered wife. I certainly look like one! The car survived--the entire back of the car is pushed in and will be in the shop for about a month. Not totaled though, thank goodness.

I have a cool rental (I try to look on the bright side) I call it the MorticiaMommyMobile. It looks a bit like what the Munsters drove, but I love Morticia (she knits! she has pets!) I am not an SUV girl, but for a month this is ok.

On to knitting content! This is the Modular Tomten Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann. It is for Girlpants, though it may not fit her for long (she is a very tall child! but then, handknits stretch.) The original has a hood, and I had knitted a LOVELY hood for it, grafted the middle of it.....and realized I would not have enough yarn to finish the sleeves and i-cord edging. So out came the good (heartbreaking! GirlPants wanted the "hook" too, she likes the hooks.) It needs a zipper; I'll purchase that next week.

Pattern: Modular Tomten Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann. I used The Opinionated Knitter for this one, but it also appears in Knitting Without Tears.
Yarn:Nashua Handknits Wooly Stripes, 6 balls 88 yards/ball. I had part of a ball left.
Size: Kid sized! Girlpants is 3, but she is tall. I'd say this is a 3-4 year old size.

I love how this turned out! As we all know Pink and Purple are the official team colors of girls under 8 and my girl is no exeption. She likes it! The pattern is so classic and really works with this self-striping yarn. In some places I tried to make the stripe pattern match--you can see that the fronts are similar, and in places I spit-spliced yarn within color blocks to make the transitions move more smoothly. A success!

More to post soon--some WIPs and a trip to the State Fair to visit my entries. Good times!