Monday, April 30, 2007

Button inadequacy

Firstly, I want to thank all the folks who left their congratulations in the comments about Elizabeth's arrival - it was wonderful to read all of them! I have not yet placed a knitting needle in her hand, as Carrie K asked, but surely it's only a matter of time. I've actually already offered to teach her how to knit. (She didn't seem interested, but I'm not giving up just yet.)

Particular thanks to Elizabeth (the commenter, not my new daughter) for offering to hike all the way up to my boonie location to get her hands on a baby. :) Unfortunately, we are kind of quarantined over here - last weekend, DD1 came down with a head cold. She's over it, but DH and I caught it (and we have a horrible suspicion that DD2 is getting it also), and our we-have-a-newborn sleep deprivation is making it all worse for us than it should be, visitors right now. But I am hoping to get out to an SnB in the near future, so hopefully you won't have to go through so much travel to get a baby fix. I also want to start making it out to more meetings/parties/events once we're more settled. I'm really looking forward to introducing her to everybody in person.

Mendocino jacket for DD1
This caused me quite a bit of panic, because as I was finishing up the back, it really started to look like I was going to run out of the yellow-green yarn. I did manage to find two more mostly-used-up skeins of it here and there about the house, and I had to cannibalize a swatch. To my extreme surprise and relief, it turned out that this gave me just enough (and when I say just enough, I really mean JUST enough...after I finished the buttonhole band, there was about a four-inch tail left and that was IT). I'm not sure now what the heck I'm going to use to knit a collar for my tabard in order to make the neckline of that less gaping (to avoid the Flashdance-show-your-brastrap thing that's going on with it), but I'll worry about that later.

ANYWAY, my point is that the thing is now almost completely finished:

And I love it! All that's left are the buttons...and probably also some minor blocking to stop the curling at the bottom and make some of the seams lie flatter.

The buttons are what are stymieing (sp?) me right now. I need seven of them, and I don't think there is a single kind of button in my button stash that I have seven of (except for buttons which are either totally unsuitable or already earmarked for another project). So I have to go out and buy some. I want wooden ones - I think that would go really well with the jacket.

DD1 also tried this on partway through the sewing-up, and it looks AMAZING on her. Just the right size, too - not too big, but still with lots of room to grow into over the year. This should be a big success.

Snuggly romper for DD2
I hit a standstill partway through the body because I ran out of the green yarn. DH was sent out to restock my supply, but came back empty-handed (curse you, my local Zellers, you never have what I need). So, last week I packed up DD2 and some items for returning and went to a different Zellers. I got credit on the returns, bought some light switch extenders, a set of 2 kites for DD1's upcoming birthday, yarn, hurray!

(And you know, it's amazing how much attention you get when you're out with a baby who is obviously very new. Lots of smiles and nice, friendly comments; and the lady ahead of me in the line at the customer service desk even let me bud in ahead of her!)

Anyway, armed with a fresh supply of the green yarn, I was able to continue. I did have a few nasty moments where it looked like I was also going to run out of yellow, but I found a few teeny-tiny skeins left over from an intarsia project and another trip to Zellers was avoided.

Unfortunately, I once again ran into a button problem - nuthin' in the stash. So all I have is this:

All sewn up but no way to close it at the front so it'll stay on the baby. On the other hand, even though I made it in the smallest size, it would probably fall right off DD2 anyway because it's so huge on her:

So I don't exactly need to run out and get buttons right away.

I have also made a most excellent discovery. For some time I've been hankering after Knit Klips, so that I can pseudo-baste my knitting and make the sewing up slightly less painful (not to mention better-looking, since they would help avoid puckering and over-stretching along seams). Suddenly though, it occurred to me that I could use binder clips instead - which we actually have a lot of, in multiple colours, thanks to my MIL (who gifted us with a whole bunch of office supplies a while back, for reasons I cannot precisely remember - I think she might have won them or gotten them as a gift and thought we could use them).

And indeed, it turned out that this was a righteously good idea:

It works particularly well when setting in sleeves:

And if you've ever had to set in sleeves, you know what a b***h that is to do. But look at what a great result I got!

So...binder clips, people, binder clips. Easy to buy and inexpensive to boot.

Feather/fan blanket for DD1
Once DD2's romper project was off the 4mm circular, I was able to cast on for this project. This delighted me no end since it does NOT require buttons!

Isn't it absolutely hideous? It's like Muppet vomit or something.

I swear that only for a small child would I be willing to make something out of this yarn. DD1 actually squealed with delight when she saw it started on the needles, so I anticipate that it will be a great success.


Aven said...

Hey -- if you do think you're going to make it to SnB, and you get a chance, email me (or post) and I'll try to make it down. But don't worry if you say you'll make it and then don't -- I wouldn't hold a parent of a newborn to any fixed plan!

kelpkim said...

oy, muppet vomit is a perfect description for the blanket. i feel your pain! :o) and hang in there--i hope the illness leaves you all very soon!