Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Acquisitions

KnitPicks recently had a sale and marked down a number of their Barbara Walker stith pattern collection books. I believe I've wiped out all my fun money, but in return I now possess these:

Barbara Walker books

Of course I eventually want to get the third and fourth treasuries, but at least this brings my stitch pattern library up to a respectable level, I think. And that's important.

Today was also my and my husband's fourteenth wedding anniversary (yay!), and part of the reason we've done so well together over those fourteen years is that he knows not to bother getting me dumb (IMHO) things like flowers or jewellery because yarn is something that will always make me happy.

Katia Darling anniversary yarn

That's two balls of Katia Darling in colour #209 - pink and red and purple and orange and yellow and brown. 

I've finished the knitting on my brother's friend's baby blanket (I'm so excited about this design, it came out great!) and am almost done the baby tuxedo cardigan for my co-worker (just need to buy four white buttons and sew them on), so I felt perfectly justified in casting on this afternoon for a Good Day Sunshine mini-shawl:

Good Day Sunshine, in progress

Although I'll probably put it aside pretty soon to start making some serious headway on the blanket design for my cousin's coming baby. In the meantime, though, this is a fun distraction.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Impending babies, everywhere

So let me see if I can get this all straight:

  • I have a co-worker expecting twins (one boy, one girl)
  • I have another co-worker expecting his second child
  • My cousin and his wife are expecting their second child
  • My brother's best buddy and his wife are expecting a long-hoped-for baby
I think that's it. I think.

(Just watch; I'll find out tomorrow that someone else at work is expecting.)

I think the twins are the highest priority right now. They're not due for another few months, but twins tend to come early, so I should really get the gifts finished up ASAP. Fortunately, the baby girl's gift is all done (see my previous post). The baby boy's actually saw backwards action yesterday (woe), because I had to frog most of the first sleeve and do it again with more frequent increases so it wouldn't turn out so long. But I'm now working on the cap sleeve decreases, so I'm almost back up to where I was before, completion-wise.

My brother's buddy's baby (lookit all that alliteration!) is probably the next priority, I think. I'm not sure exactly when the baby is due, but I suspect early spring. Fortunately, the blanket that I started is coming along at a very nice pace since I've been concentrating almost exclusively on it since Monday.

I think my co-worker's wife is due before my cousin's wife, so on Tuesday night I cast on for that project, too. He's into fantasy-based gaming as well as reading stuff like Game of Thrones, so I thought it would be perfect if I broke out a pattern that I've wanted to make for a while: Dragon, by Ruth Bramley. It's a "woobie" (combination blanket/stuffed toy). I dug out a whole bunch of superwash DK yarn from my stash and I am LOVING how it's coming out so far.

Dragon, in progress
(Why yes, I did create 3mm straights by putting elastic bands at the ends of two DPNs. DON'T YOU JUDGE ME.)

Admittedly, it's smaller than I had envisioned, but I can always make it bigger by making the border wider. I'm planning to seriously modify the border anyway because it looks like it's all crochet, which, uh...yeah, not my strong suit. I'm not sure I feel like bugging my mom to help me figure out what all the instructions mean. I'd rather trawl through one of my stitch dictionaries to find a knitted edging that will be just as effective.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Moving forward

I can't quite believe it, but I'm caught up on my project blogging! Actually caught up! (This may not sound like much of an accomplishment, but it actually took me an entire year so I'm pretty darn thrilled to be able to move forward with new stuff when the new stuff happens.)

In celebration, I am, appropriately, going to talk about what I have been working on recently. Firstly, there's my oldest daughter's cabled cardigan. I've started sewing it together in earnest, and so far it's looking very nice - I tried it on her, and the fit is great with room to grow.

DD1's cosy cardigan, in progress


The only problem is that I'm still bummed I didn't have enough yarn to make full-length sleeves, because honestly, as much as she might say that she's okay with three-quarters, the whole point of making this thing was so she could have complete, cozy, warm, handknit-with-love coverage of everything from her neck to her hips. She should have full-length sleeves, dammit! However, since KnitPicks isn't getting any more of this yarn in this colour in until April, that seemed impossible.

Until I realised that I could use the same trick I used for a cardigan for DD3 a few years ago, and get some of their sock yarn in the same colour, and simply double it up! So I've ordered a single 50g ball and shall cross my fingers that a) this, doubled, will give me juuuust enough yardage for the full sleeves; b) the doubled sock yarn creates the same thickness of fabric as the worsted when done up in stocking stitch; and c) the dyelot isn't ridiculously off what I've already got. My order should arrive this week, so WE SHALL SEE. (I also took advantage of their sale on some Barbara Walker stitch dictionaries. I'm very excited about this order!) Yes, it'll suck knitting the two sleeves all over again, but my kid is worth it and she will look dynamite in this garment, I just know it.

I also started designing a few baby blankets. One of my cousins and his wife are expecting their second baby, so I am once again combining motifs from their ethnic heritages to make something (hopefully) awesome. As well, my brother's best friend (who has been super-supportive of my brother through some tough times) and his wife are expecting after a really, really long and difficult time of trying. So I thought it would be nice if I could make them something special. This second blanket is actually already on the needles and I'm quite happy with how it's turning out. I'm not quite sure where to submit this design once it's done, but I'll figure something out. (I've got so many baby blanket patterns now that I'm actually thinking of bundling them all up into a collection.)

And lastly - a FO! (Yes, those do happen around here occasionally.) I finished the sweater dress for the girl baby twin for my co-worker.

Glockenblume, finished

It's not quite as long as I wanted, but when you run out of yarn there's not much you can do. I tried really, really hard to find more of this yarn. I looked in the stash, in the project storage boxes all over the house, and even asked the children if they had any of it hiding out in their rooms. I got really excited when DD2 said yes and handed me a big ball of what looked like the same stuff - but sadly, when I got the two colours side by side they were obviously very different. I did find a few grams of some yarn that was exactly the same colour, but four-ply instead of three-ply. I also found a box full of emergency handknit baby gifts that included a very sweet vest-and-tam set made out of the same yarn, but I just couldn't bring myself to cannibalize it. (Plus, DD1 made the most pathetic hurt-puppy face when I suggested the idea out loud.) Lastly, I mulled over the idea of seeing if I could buy some more, but DH squashed that right away by asking, "Wasn't this supposed to be a stashbuster project?"

So...it's the length you see above, and it's still quite long for a sweater, and it looks adorable and sweet, and I'm pleased. (I did end up using the four-ply yarn at the very end where you can't notice, just to get another two rounds into it.)

Next to do: the matching tuxedo cardigan!