Thursday, July 31, 2008

Okay, WHAT was I thinking??

So, on my way to the grocery store, I just happened to stop in at my lovely local yarn shop. What's that you say? It's not actually on the way to the grocery store? In fact, it's a couple miles in an entirely different direction? Huh.

Anyway, so we stopped in, me and my many children. I needed some yarn to redo the ruffly hat since it's just too short. Probably by about 1/2 to 1 inch, which makes a difference in a baby hat. This shop carries the Tahki Cotton Classic that I so love for baby hats, so I got some. This ruffly version will be a pale pink with a deep purple ruffle. I eyed some other colors to make my non-traditional friend a non-traditional ruffly hat as well. Then the boys became enamored with some buttons, so I ended up getting yarn to make each one of them a hat and buttons to put their names on them. DS1 chose a pink hat with his name, plus train buttons; DS2 chose a green hat (of course), with a tractor button and his name. So yes, I just signed on to knit more hats. :) I also got some to redo the peapod hat.

*sigh* I really have a problem. I gotta reconnect with the pinwheel blanket to get that done.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

FO: Top Down Ruffly Baby Hat

Okay, forgive the diaper background, I just wanted something less distracting than the random swirly of my ironing board. I'd love to be one of those people who takes really beautiful, artsy shots of my knitting, but (a) I really don't have the time and (b) I'm not that detail-oriented, really.

So, I finished something! This is a prototype for a pattern I'm writing (yikes, that sounds so official!), and I can see what I need to do differently next time.

This is a top-down baby hat with contrasting ruffle. I'll take a picture tomorrow of DD wearing it, but I wanted to at least post that WOW, I finished something! So, details.

Pattern: My Own
Needles: KnitPick Options, size 6, 40" cable for Magic Loop
Yarn: Takhi Cotton Classic, leftovers in my stash

Notes: The main thing I'd do differently next time is make the body longer. This is barely 5" (because I ran out of yarn!), and it needs to be about 1/4 to 1/2" longer. I would also make the ruffle a tad longer, just one or two rounds maybe, but a bit more. I did the last two rounds (pre-bind off) in seed stitch, and I might do the whole ruffle in seed stitch, or I might not do it in seed stitch at all, and block it. The picture above is post-blocking, and here's a shot pre-blocking.
This may actually be the very first thing I have blocked (not including the acrylic baby sweater before I knew that you can't actually block acrylic). I did a steam block by soaking a pillow case and wringing it out, and then putting the hat the way I wanted (I didn't actually pin it) and steaming the ruffle so it'll lay flat. I am hoping I didn't do TOO much, and hopefully it'll look cute on her.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Yes, I started yet another project.

Just a little one, this time. DD needs a hat. NEEDS. Well, maybe she doesn't need it, but I suddenly wanted to try and knit a baby hat top-down (no, I can't explain myself). So I threw aside the blanket (which is not going to the original recipient because her niece told me that she's "totally not into pink"), and thought I'd do a hat. I had some really pretty yarn that I thought would be great - nice and vibrant but pretty too. Except it turns out I only had enough to knit about 3 inches of the hat, and correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm fairly sure babies' heads are longer than that. Even newborns. So I frogged that, but started on a hat (in PINK) for my little girl. I don't actually have enough to do the whole hat, so the bottom part will be lavender. Considering I dress her pretty much entirely in pink and purple, it should work. Can I still be considered a good feminist if I dress her in pink? :)

And I haven't forgotten poor BYOB to be finished as well.

This blog needs more pictures.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sometimes I am not so smart.

So, yesterday, I was all like "Dude! I feel so much better! I'm gonna take the boys to the beach! And go grocery shopping! And eat a bunch because I'm hungry!" Then last night I was all "duuuuude....error." So today I took it really easy.

We had massive thunderstorms all day, so swimming lessons were canceled. The boys were so sad, we ended up playing for a bit at the beach until it started to storm again and then we left to go buy local, raw honey. I think DS1 is getting allergies and I want to try it on him (and me). So, there are these twins boys that DS1 has connected really nicely with, and as far as I can tell, their parents think I'm the Antichrist for some reason. I tried to suggest a play date to which I got some really weird response, and now they won't even really acknowledge my existence. Oh well, their loss, right? I'm wondering if the nose ring or tattoos put them off. Which would be amusing because I am so not threatening and so vanilla. Suburban mom! Minivan!

Anywhere, where was I? Oh yes, trying not to barf. I ended up getting more done on the Pinwheel Blanket, and I'm really rethinking the recipient because it's pretty...girly, and I'm not sure how much she'd appreciate the amount of work a handmade baby blanket actually is. Maybe I'll whip out a fruit hat for Saturday and find some cute outfit. I'm also at the point where the knitting is getting a tad tedious. Each row takes 10+ minutes now, and I've got quite a bit more to do. I just ordered some longer cords for my KnitPicks Options set, which can't come soon enough because it's really all bunched up on the 40".

I can't decide what sort of edge to do. To ruffle or not? Pros: it's adorable. Cons: It'll be somewhere around 900-1000 stitches for ONE ROW. Seed stitch? Ruffly seed stitch? If I don't ruffle but do a seed stitch, I can't figure out if I do the increases or not. I assume not, as that'd screw up the seed stitch but I don't know! Does leaving out the YO increases screw up the flatness? WHO CAN TELL ME THESE THINGS???

I also have two friends due in October. Since I was ordering cables from KnitPicks anyway, I ordered this pattern and the yarn (if memory serves, I ordered the yarn in Asparagus). I think that'll be for L's baby girl. I almost ordered this pattern but then realized it was knit on size TWO needles and came to my senses. I just don't have that kind of time. Damn but it's cute though. Now I need to figure out something for P's baby boy. Maybe some longies? To match this? Or maybe this? (Must. Stop. Cafe-Pressing. Must. Go. To. Bed.) These are cute, but $12.00 for the pattern is a lot. Oh and a blogger I read made this top and now I have to make it for DD.

Anyway, I also ordered some of this in Lost Lake (though I'm now doubting that choice) to do this pattern. I have this book out of the library right now. Yes, I have become someone who reads a book of lace patterns for fun. When I'll actually do this? I don't know, I really don't have the brain cells/time right now but I want to do a big lace project, just to prove to myself that I *can*. After I swore that I wasn't a lace knitter. Hah! I like the idea of a challenge, and I really don't enjoy colorwork, so lace it is! And then maybe I'll take the plunge and knit myself a sweater, eh? I am scared of projects where gague matters.

And then I had to order a new tapestry needle simply to get the free shipping.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Stomach Flu 1: Pinwheel Blanket 0

Well, not quite zero, but it's not going to get done for the party on Saturday. I had a baby shower to attend on Sunday, which took up most of the day, but got some knitting done. I woke up Monday, shall we say, and that was *it* until about 4 this afternoon, when I started feeling better and my poor husband succumbed.

I'm at the point where each row is now taking quite a bit of time (300 stitches and increasing), so I just really don't think it's going to happen. Ah well, I'll keep going with my efforts and see how far I get!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Countdown to Baby Party - Day 7

Pattern: Pinwheel Blanket
Needles: Knitpicks Options, size 8 (I think)
Yarn: Bernat Cottontots (I'm doing/planning stripes in Very Berry, Pretty in Pink, and Lovely Lilac, and a Strawberry seed stitch ruffle).

The way I interpreted the pattern, I cast-on 5, knit 1 round, kfb in all sts on round 2, knit 3 rounds, then started the YOs on round 5. I've clearly screwed up a few times, but hey, it's handmade, right?

I don't particularly like the way the variegated yarn pooled at the center, so I'll be intersted to see what it does with much longer rows.

Geek that I am, I'm trying to remember different formulas related to circles (diameter, circumference, area).

I think there's really a snowball's chance in hell that I can finish in time, but I'm enjoying it. I really like the yarn.

It's funny, I feel like my struggles in life paralell my struggles in crafting. I get excited about a project, I love the planning and starting, but I do get bored (curse that ADD) and just want it to be done already. I'm working on just being present in the process, and enjoying where I am with it. That's why larger projects are a real struggle for me, a struggle not to just bag it. I used to think of myself as someone who never finished what I started, and knitting is one of the things I do that proves me wrong on that, and helps change how I think and feel about myself. (Finishing a Ph.D. went a long way to dispelling those thoughts and feelings too.)

Friday, July 18, 2008

You may say that I'm a dreamer...

and in this particular dream, I probably am the only one.

I am seeing an old friend next weekend, who's visiting from CA to show off her new baby. I just got it into my head to knit something. I also have a baby shower on Sunday and was toying with the idea of whipping out a little hat or something.

I am also the full-time caretaker for three small children, including one who insists on being strapped onto my body 90% of the time and when she's not on me, she's well, nursing.

Do I have time to do this? No. No, I don't. But I BY GOD am going to give it a try!!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Still here!

I'm still alive, just swamped by summer fun! The boys have been doing swim lessons at our local beach (less than a 1/2 mile from our house) and loving it! Well, DS2 took some bribing positive reinforcement to get into the water but once he was in, he did great! It definitely takes a lot of time though. It's good to get out of the house. I'm a better parent when I'm not at home. I worry a bit about having DD out in the hot morning so much, but I think she's fine. We've also been spending time with family, and yesterday we went blueberry picking! Today I need to bake something (after DH goes to the store for flour).

Knitting...ah yes, knitting. I'm still plugging away on BYOB. I'm in the openwork section, and it's going fine. I've managed not to screw it up (yet). My green stripy sock is languishing, which is terrible, because I'm only about 10 rounds away from turning the heel, and then it's just KNITTING. Oh well, I'm not wearing socks much right now, so maybe I'll be more motivated in the Fall.

I'm hoping to go to knitting at the library next Tuesday, but I'm getting my HAIR CUT (YAY!!!!) at 6:30, so I need to figure out the logistics of it. Maybe I can pump and DH can give DD a bottle, how cool would that be??

And, just because I can't resist, here's my baby!!