covered in icing

My day  ended covered in icing.  Always, when I make the birthday cakes, since the parties are usually on Sundays, I bake on Thurs, dirty-ice on Fri and decorate on Sat.  So today was decoration day.  I knew better than to risk starting to make my buttercream while the boys were up, but I wasn’t worried about getting a late start because of how much I got done being home yesterday.

In the afternoon my neighbor brought her 7-month-old daughter over for us to babysit, and my boys had a BLAST playing with her.  She was seated in her Bumbo like a princess on a throne, and the boys didn’t stop parading in front of her trying to make her laugh.  First Jakob would do somersaults across the room, then Henri broke in with a guitar solo, and Jakob wouldn’t be outdone, so he grabbed some maracas and got in on the performance.  It was a riot.

Luckily she practically put herself to sleep just before the boys went down, and I was able to get to work on the cake.  But I forgot to take pics with my cell, and my camera isn’t with me at the moment, so instead of cake pics, here’s an update on the holiday gifts for the boys’ daycare teachers.

This is what each teacher (5 in total) got.  A red platter, topped with a back scrubber, a crocheted chain-8 dishcloth, a crocheted soap-saver bag with a scented bar of soap inside, and a crocheted bath puff, all wrapped up in cellophane and tied with a ribbon of red yarn.

The chain-8 and bath puff are the standard patterns I’ve been using for years, and are linked from the projects on my Rav pages.  The soap saver I just made up on the spot, and is basically just a sc1-ch1 pattern around, with a drawstring near the top.  All was done with 2 shades of holiday Bernat Handicrafter cotton, plain white Handicrafter, and a 4mm crochet hook.

I’ve made these as teacher gifts before, but both my boys are with new teachers now so none of these 5 have received this gift before, so I didn’t mind recycling the idea.  The daycare owner, however, has already received this gift, so I needed to come up with something new.  She also happens to be pregnant, and due with a little boy any day now.  So she got this:

It’s 2 shades of Bernat Baby Coordinates from my stash, worked in a simple granny square, using a 4mm crochet hook.  I would have liked to have gone bigger, but it was late, she was leaving on mat leave the next day, and my hand was starting to cramp into a claw.


2010 Knitting Olympics

I just went back through my archives to copy my “finished object” summary text and it took forever- my last finished knitting object was posted in April 2009!  I never even posted the final wrap-up of the Log Cabin Blanket the Robyn, Amy and I knit for our cousin Caryn’s bridal shower.

Hopefully I can remedy this.  I’m trying to finalize my “finished objects 2009” page so as I get that set up in Flickr and Ravelry, I’ll try to get those posts in here too.

To begin:

Pattern:  Prairie Spring Tunic by Franklin Habit (Ravelry link)

Size:  2 years

Yarn:  St-Denis Nordique, 3 balls Oatmeal, 1 each of Soft Yellow, Bottle Green & Bison (I used the Oatmeal in place of the Chalk Blue in the original pattern)

Needles: 3.75 mm and 4 mm

Notions: n/a

Dates:  February 12 – 26 2010

Modifications:  The biggest would be that I redid the charts to have chinchillas in them.  This gave me a 12 st repeat instead of 6 like the pattern, so I had to increase the st count of the body by 6 sts right before the Fair Isle section to accomodate my repeat.  The numbers worked fine for the sleeves.  I also used Oatmeal in place of the Chalk Blue ‘cus I’d used the blue for a swatch for another project.

This pattern was entered in Event Junior, Event Nordic Colorwork and Event Sweaterboard.

As usual you can find my finished (and unfinished!) projects in my “projects” page by clicking the tab up at the top of every page on my blog, and I also have this project in my Ravelry notebook here.

The second half of my 2010 Knitting Olympics project was the stuffed chinchilla:

Pattern:  Knitted Chinchilla by Helen Gibbons (Ravelry link)

Size:  one size

Yarn:  less than 1 ball each of Bernat Boa Fur in Silver Fox, Patons Decor in Woodbine Ombre , and Patons Decor in Pale Country Pink

Needles: 5 mm

Notions: 2 safety eyes, stuffing

Dates:  February 27 2010

Modifications:   I’d thought I’d add paws but it was cute as it is.  The only mod I did was to omit the pipe cleaner from the tail because I didn’t want to take a chance on it poking out and hurting the baby.

This pattern was entered in Event Skelegurumi, and Event Stash Dance.  The Woodbine Ombre was bought years ago at Michael’s in Ottawa, the Silver Fox Boa was from LAST December, leftovers from a chemo cap, and the pink Decor was leftovers from the 6 or so balls I’d bought YEARS ago when we did a Suzanne Atkinson workshop at guild and I’d planned on knitting the whole scarf she gave us the pattern for.

As usual you can find my finished (and unfinished!) projects in my “projects” page by clicking the tab up at the top of every page on my blog, and I also have this project in my Ravelry notebook here.

All in all the 2010 Knitting Olympics were a (mildly stressful) success.  I finished my baby shower gift well ahead of the party date, got more Fair Isle under my belt, and managed to use up some stash that was lying around.



…Mondays in my house are for knitting baby hats.


Last Sunday night I decided that I wanted to knit something girly.  We still don’t know the sex of the baby, and everything I’ve knit so far has been unisex, on purpose.  But what if we have a little girl?  I was really struck with the idea of having something frilly and feminine that I made for her.  I knew just the project- a lacy little bonnet from a book I already owned.


As soon as I’d grafted the toe on my father-in-law’s first sock I ran upstairs to my office to find the book, because I knew there was no way I was doing anything else the next day but knitting a girly hat.  Only- I couldn’t find the book.  I’ll spare you the recap of my repeated mad dashes through the house, but suffice it to say that after searching my office 10 times, the basement 6 times, and various other rooms in the house 5 times each, I finally found the book, 2 minutes before I collapsed into bed, in the office of all places.


My original yarn choice was a vintage ball from my grandmother’s stash.  I liked the idea of my grandmother’s yarn adorning my (possible) daughter.  I wound and measured a few options but single, unmatched ball only had 120-140 yards, and the pattern called for about 240 yards.  I had to give up on a wool blend and dove into my cotton bin.  That’s where I found this Tahki Cotton Classic yarn that I’d won in a blog contest a few years ago.  I had 2 full skeins, each had about 108 yards.  I also had a few other colors, so I knew that if I ran short at the very end, I could bind off with another color of the same yarn.  Perfect!


I didn’t want to use ribbon ties like the original pattern, so I went through Ravelry looking for cute knitted flowers.  I chose these flowers from a free online pattern and deliberately left enough yarn lengths for the tails so that I could work a twisted cord from them without having to reattach yarn (and have a possible weak point).  I made the twisted cords about 7″ long so they would be long enough to tie under baby’s chin but still be shorter than the 12″ safety standards for cords and babies.

Strangely enough, even with working the flowers and ties with the main yarn, I only used 3/4 of 1 skein.  I have no idea how that happened.


I didn’t block it because it’s 100% cotton and is going to adapt to the baby’s head anyways, so why bother.  I’ll wash it with the other handknits shortly before the baby’s birth, and if we have a boy then this will go in the gift pile.  Someone will have a girl, someday.


I love the flower on the back of the bonnet- too cute!

Pattern:  Lacy Bonnet by Erika Knight (Ravelry link), from Knitting for Two.  I used Flowers in Bloom by Alison Reilly (Ravelry link) for the flowers.

Size:  one size.  My guess is about 6 months, which will put this at a perfect cotton summer bonnet (if we have a girl)

Yarn:  Tahki Cotton Classic, 100% mercerized cotton, about 3/4 of a ball.

Needles: 3.75mm and 3.5mm

Dates:  November 10 2008 – this took under 4 hours including finishing

Modifications:  I added the twisted cord ties with the flowers on the ends, instead of using a ribbon.

As usual you can find my finished (and unfinished!) projects in my “projects” page by clicking the tab up at the top of every page on my blog, and I also have this project in my Ravelry notebook here for the hat, and here for the flowers.


a finished- no, unfinished- no, FINISHED hat

Look- I made a hat!


Jakob is officially in daycare.  Last Monday was his first day, and while there are still some kinks to be worked out as he gets used to them and they get used to him, all-in-all it has gone very well.  Some mornings he runs into the class before realizing he’s not with me and starting to cry, and other times he cries and clings and reaches out so pitifully when the teacher manages to pull him away, that my heart hurts for a few seconds.  When I pick him up he’s quick to adapt, crying at first as he runs to me, but the second he’s in my arms he turns on the charm, grinning and waving good-bye and blowing kisses to everyone around.  He’s also been more cuddly than usual but I would never complain about that!

At his “school” there are cubbies for each kid where the parents leave changes of clothes, outdoor shoes, sippy cups, etc.  I need to leave a hat for him.  It occurred to me that I didn’t have a hat for him!  Sure, he’s still got some baseball-style caps that fit him, plus that fisherman’s looking thing, but all his “Winter” hats he grew out of last year.  So last Monday I went to spend some knitting time at Maaike’s and swatched for a simple ribbed hat.

Note to self: listen to Ann Budd.  Ann Budd knows from what she speaks.

See, I’m a cocky knitter.  Wait-that came out wrong.  What I mean is, I’m adventurous.  I’m bold.  I’m daring.  I’m not afraid of trying new things.  I’m also not afraid of whipping up a pattern if it will be faster than trying to find what I want online or in print.  So when I decided to knit Jakob a hat I didn’t go looking in Ravelry or in my vast collection of patterns to see what I could find.  Instead I just swatched, made a plan, and cast on.

Let’s forget the fact that my first attempt had too many stitches cast on because I’d forgotten how rediculously stretchy a simple 2×2 rib is.  I remeasured, restarted, and fixed the problem.  I even tried the new version on him when it was about 2″ high, to make sure of the fit.  He kept pulling it off and making angry faces at me, but the width was good, so I settled down to concentrate on the length.

This is where I should have listened to Ann Budd.  A quick glance at the hat page in A Knitter’s Handy Pattern Guide (or whatever it is called) showed that for my gauge, and for a hat of approximately the same size, for a toddler of 18-24 months, I needed to knit until the hat was 7″ long, and then I could begin the crown shaping.  However, my kinda-careful measuring of Jakob’s head told me that from the ears I only needed 4″ to get to the top of his head.  So why would I knit an extra 3″?  Especially in worsted-weight, mindless 2×2 rib?


Turns out, I should have.  My hat is waaaaay too short on Jakob.  I’d knit a 2″-ish ribbed cuff, then a double turning row, then knit until the hat was 4″ long.  I did some funky decreases for the crown then gathered the last 8 sts and secured.


You can see here that the hat just doesn’t fit.  This photo was taken with the brim folded down, and it is still too short.  He also still hates it, and it took a lot of squirming, crying and trying to keep his hand away from pulling it off to even get this one crappy photo.

My original title for this post when I started typing up the draft last week was “an (un)finished hat”, because I had planned on cutting off the turning rows and brim, knitting downwards to get the extra 3″, then redoing the brim.  I’ve since decided not to.  Jakob really hates the hat.  He won’t tolerate it on his head, and I’m not going to subject myself to knitting any more navy rib if he won’t end up wearing it.  Instead it will go to the new baby, and if the baby is a girl then I’ll embroider some flowers on it or something.


I’m pretty sure it will fit the baby.


Pattern:  Baby’s Blue Ribbed Hat, my own design

Size:  Whatever you get with 108 sts.  Around 18 months, but the ribs pull it in to fit a smaller baby, and stretch out for a custom fit.

Yarn:  Patons Decor in Rich Country Blue, about 3/4 of a ball.

Needles: 3.5mm

Dates:  November 3 – 4 2008

Modifications:  Um…everything, since there was no pattern to begin with.  I did a double turning row to give the fold room to fit up around the thick ribbing.  I also did a custom arrangement of crown decreases to get a star-type shape on top.

As usual you can find my finished (and unfinished!) projects in my “projects” page by clicking the tab up at the top of every page on my blog, and I also have this project in my Ravelry notebook here.


and yet more baby knits


Pattern:  Pinwheel Baby Blanket by Genia Planck (Ravelry project page), available for free from the Knitlist’s website here.

Size:  With this blanket you start at *k1, yo, rep around and keep adding (k2, yo, rep, then k3, yo, rep, etc).  I kept going until I had (I believe) 47 sts between YOs, which would be 480 sts on the needles.  I didn’t want a huge blanket for the crib, I wanted something I could wrap the baby in or tuck over the stroller without having too much excess.  I keep forgetting to measure it, though, to know how wide it actually is.  (I also haven’t blocked it, and don’t plan on it).


Yarn:  Bernat Softee Baby in White, 1 ball.  I ran out of yarn at the last eyelet row before the border, so while you can’t actually tell, the last 2 rows and the border itself are all knit with the same yarn in the White Sparkle colorway (white with a silver thread wrapped around it).

Needles: 5 mm

Dates:  July 24 – September 17 2008  (until I got close to the end, this was my take anywhere/mindless knitting project, so I didn’t often work on it at home).


Modifications:  2 major ones.

First I added the eyelet roundss.  After seeing Tara’s Pinwheel Blanket I remembered how badly I’d wanted to knit one, and I decided to knit one for the new baby.  I couldn’t knit it plain, however, as I’d knit Jakob a Debbie Bliss Alphabet Blanket (Rav link) and I wanted to have something that looked at least somewhat as impressive as all those eyelet letters.  I decided on the eyelet rounds and at first I had planned on putting them in on every doubled row.  So, for example, when it was time for an eyelet row, instead of working the pattern row, then one row plain, I worked the pattern row, then one row of *k2tog, yo, rep across.  Then I jumped back into the pattern on the next row.  The doubled row theory had me placing them in the plain rounds after the “k2, yo” row, then the “k4, yo” row, then the “k8, yo” row, and so on.  However, I quickly realized that once I got to “k16, yo” my next doubled row would be “k32, yo” and that would leave a large expanse of stockinette stitch without any eyelets.  Also, I didn’t plan on knitting enough more rounds to be able to go on to “k64, yo” or further.  I decided to work backwards instead, and after completing the “k16, yo” row, I worked until 8 more rounds had been done, threw in the eyelets, then did 4 more rounds, then the eyelets, then 2 more, then the last row of eyelets before the border.  I’d already calculated how wide I wanted the blanket, and thus how many sts I would have, so I was able to plan it out that accurately.

My other modification was for the border.  I knew from the beginning that I’d wanted something that went with the circles and spiral and eyelets, without being too severe (like a garter or moss band, much as I like those) or too fussy (like a sudden lace triangular border, or something).  I knew I had to have seen something like what I was looking for, and sure enough I even had it in my stash- Lucy Neatby’s Faroese Flower Shawl pattern (Rav link).  The border was fun and easy to adapt to this blanket, and gave me the exact look I was going for, plus is something fun for baby to stick its fingers through later.

Oh, and even though this was knit, instead of CO 10 sts and going from there, and tightening the center later, I used the Magic Adjustable Ring technique from Crochet Me and got a perfect, round center start.

Notes:  I’m really, really pleased with how this project turned out.  It was a fun chance to “spruce up” an existing pattern with my own ideas and I’m really happy with the end result.

As usual you can find my finished (and unfinished!) projects in my “projects” page by clicking the tab up at the top of every page on my blog, and I also have this project in my Ravelry notebook here.


another baby knit


Pattern:  Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann (Ravelry project page), from The Opinionated Knitter book.

Size:  Whatever size you get when you use fingering weight yarn. 6 months?

Yarn:  Regia Sierra Color sock yarn in color 5548 (blues and greens).  I really liked the way this yarn striped and Yannick and I agreed it would be equally cute for a girl or a boy.

Needles: 4 US / 3.5mm

Dates:  September 1 – 5 2008


Modifications:  I had originally added a collar, as the photo above shows.  Unfortunately Yannick found that the collar made the sweater a little too masculine (in case the baby is a girl) and he wasn’t crazy about it.  I had deliberately not sewn in the ends yet, so it was a simple thing for me to undo the last bound-off stitch and unravel the whole collar to remove it.


Notes:  As with the Pea Pod Baby Set, I am calling this project “done” even though there are no buttons on it.  We’re waiting to know the sex of the baby before choosing buttons, so this is a done as it is going to be for at least 10 more weeks.

As usual you can find this and all my other projects under the “projects” tab above, and my Baby Surprise Jacket page here on Ravelry.

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yarn ho in striped socks and hickory dickory dot progress

Remember the Fibonacci socks? The ones that I started years ago and finally finished on the cruise?

I gave them away.

I know! Hand knits- knit for me…given away. They really didn’t fit, they were too loose on me. Then one day Maaike came over and casually mentioned that her feet were probably a little bigger than mine…and maybe she could try the socks on?
A perfect fit. They seem to fit her like they were knit for her. Lucky wench. 🙂

I’m not completely generous…as you can see from this photo she still has the ends to weave in. And on the older sock I’d cut the yarns at every color change…that’s a lot of ends! Bwa ha ha.

She also offered to dye some sock yarn for me, lest you think I’m completely altruistic and will just give away socks, willy-nilly.Maaike in all her yarn-ho glory (and new socks).

She’s also wearing a mighty soft cashmere hat, whose adventures you can find out about here on her blog.

Other non-knitting news will be gotten around to another time. In the meantime, here’s more knitting!

I’ve been working on test-knitting the Hickory Dickory Dot pattern by Anny for her new store, Jujube and Lolo.

I’m using Bernat Soy yarn from Walmart. It is crazy soft and machine washable. So far I’ve completed the front and back pieces. I’d like to cast on for the sleeves but am waiting to hear from Anny about a pattern question I have.

Clearly this isn’t being knit for Jakob. This is the 2000s and I’m extremely liberal but I’m still not going to put a pink sweater on my son. This is being knit for a friend’s daughter. (Julie, if you’re reading this…it’s not for Kayla, sorry! You still have to pick what you want me to knit for her…)

Also, the pieces were pinned out just for the sake of taking a photo- these aren’t currently being blocked. I didn’t want you thinking I block things so crooked and uneven!


a boy in knits

Does anyone remember me talking about the Cabaret for the Cure? My friend’s leukemia fundraiser? Well, it is next week, so last weekend I got my tushie in gear and fixed the Montego Bay Scarf I’d knit for her.

Yeah. Um, no.

We won’t speak of that scarf again. I wove in the edge that got caught, and I spent 1.5 %&$^ hours carefully unpicking the part that had torn and ripped (of course it wasn’t the side that would unravel easily), and used new yarn to bind off, and wove in all the ends. Then I looked at it.

I had to admit that it was now a) a good 2 feet shorter, and b) still looked really fuzzy from getting attacked in the washing machine by some stray velcro. I did the only thing I could think of to tame the fuzz…I let it soak in Eucalan for 10 minutes, rinsed then gave it fresh water and a squirt of hair conditioner. I worked the conditioner through then put it in the dryer. Much of the fuzz was flattened, but even at this new, softer feel I had to admit that it still wasn’t good enough to be a charity-auctioned scarf. Hell, it wasn’t good enough to be a raffle prize!

I kept looking at another project I’m doing with the proper yarn, and realizing that I should never have skimped on the yarn for that project. Well, I didn’t really skimp to save money. I just honestly thought the sock yarn would be cute, since there was one in my LYS that was made with sock yarn and it was great. I should have realized that particular sock yarn was Regia Bamboo, which had a much silkier hand and feel than plain old sock yarn.

I didn’t want to leave my friend empty-handed or renege on my offer of knitted goods, so I looked around to see what I could offer. In the end I am giving them 3 sets of knitted goodies: all stuff I’d knit for Jakob. I don’t feel bad because a) I missed the boat on some articles that are already too small for Jakob, b) they have never been worn, c) they were knit with love, and d) they will go to make someone else’s child warm and happy, and that is much better than staying here and sitting in a bag.

Since they WERE originally knit for Jakob I took some photos of him wearing them, just to have for my records, and I will show them to you here.

This is the “Ice Cream Cardigan and Hat” knit from 2 balls of Regia Canadian Colors- Ottawa. I used my leftovers to knit “Christine’s Baby Booties” to match.
Jakob was all giggles that day and I can’t help but crack up when I see these photos!

I think this one (below) was my favorite of his silly grins. He looks like a roly-poly little toy and I just want to pinch his cheeks!
I will be giving away the Just Ducky Hat and Socks set. It is still too big for him, and I think by the time it would fit he would be too old to wear it.

I’m sorry…I think I’m going to gush here…but I LOVE this boy’s face!

The last set I will be giving away is the Froggy Hat and Socks set. I don’t know why but the hat is way too small but the socks are too big…it would have been cute when he was smaller but that would have been May and too warm…all in all I feel quite comfortable with giving it away.
More of his favorite face…sucking in his lip. (He didn’t stay that way for long, I think I tickle-bombed him right after this photo was taken).
Finally, some other knit photos to share. This is the Baby Cabled Cardigan I finally got around to finishing last week. I don’t know if this photo properly shows it, but the cardi is baggy and the sleeves are too long, which means it should fit for another 3-6 months- or until the Winter is over. But you can clearly see that the length is too short. Every time he moves his arms it rises, and since it has a hood the weight of it pulls the back down and the front rises up to about his mid-chest.
I’m going to fix it once I finish my secret project.

The hood however…let’s not go there.

Cute elfin look- yes. Practical and useful hood- no. In theory the hood would fit a normal head, but the cables pull it in too much. I really don’t feel like knitting a border, and I can’t pick up more sts at the neckline and work up since the hood already grows up from the front edges of the cardi. So the hood will be purely decorative. I’m ok with that.


lotsa fun stuff

There was a lot going on this weekend, here in our little neck of the woods. Saturday was a huge milestone for our family- we started Jakob on solid foods!

Here he is having NO idea what he’s about to get into.

…here comes the airplane…open the hangar…

…and the verdict is…

…he likes it! Ok, he really didn’t express any form of like or dislike over the strange mushy stuff we were repeatedly spooning into his mouth. He did, however, avoid crying or fussing, and kept breaking out in his usual grins, so we’re counting this as a success!

We’ve been giving him a sippy cup with some purified water after each meal to help wash down the cereal, and he has yet to refuse the cup. If he continues to take it we’ll see if we can get him to take breastmilk or formula in it, and since he’s still refusing bottles, this might be a way to be able to leave him for longer than 2-3 hours. (Of course, I’m not going to try to get him to take bottles any more, because there is no sense in getting him started on them just to have to wean him. I’d rather him go straight to the sippy cup).

Here’s another photo of him, just because. 🙂 I can’t stop taking photos of him and I can’t stop staring at them, so now you all get to see what I get to see every day. My gosh I love this boy!

Does anyone remember the Froggy Hat and Socks set? I finally found the bag of handknits I made while pregnant. Just in time too…the socks are too big still but the hat barely fits! I think he will have worn it just for this photo, and it is now going to go into the “grown out” bin.
Sunday was another exciting day- I attended an all-day Fiona Ellis workshop! She is so nice and warm, so genuine, and I am really, really happy I took the course and got to meet her. In the morning I took a class on short rows, and in the afternoon it was about slipped stitches. I felt bad because Yannick had to bring Jakob to me twice so I could feed him, but it was remarkably non-disruptive. The first time he brought him in was during the morning class, but they came in silently, I fed Jakob on my lap and then they left, all within about 10 minutes and all without causing any interruptions to the class. The second time we called a bit more attention to ourselves, but that was because it was during lunch hour and we played with him for a bit. It might also have had something to do with the fact that he wore his Superman costume. (I had been asked to bring it in).

This is my short row swatch. The pink section uses the “wrap and turn” method, which I usually tend to use in garments (like the bum area of the Superman costume). It works well, but if you look closely you can see the 3 turning points. The blue area uses a “yarn over, slip first stitch” method, which I enjoy. I find it shows less than the wrapped one, and I tend to use it a lot on short-rowed sock heels (and toes). The yellow sections use what I think she called the “Japanese or catch method” where you grab the back of the stitch in the row below to close the gap. I didn’t mind it, but it was fiddly. I was knitting fast on Sunday so I had enough time to make a second “catch” swatch and do the short row/3-ndl bind off shoulder method. I didn’t really need practice on that, however, as I almost always adapt patterns to enable that bind off on the shoulders. I really, really like the professional look it gives.

Before the short row class was over we were given the time to work on a creative swatch. The assignment was to work the short rows while interrupting a pattern, and the examples given were lace and cables. I decided to see what would happen if I worked short rows while working a striped pattern. This was the first time I used 2 different colors to cast on (I did the long tail method) and I was able to practice my Fair Isle. I tend to pull too tight when switching colors (probably because I do a lot of intarsia) so I was trying hard to keep things loose. I was also holding the green with my left hand and practicing the two-handed technique. I was able to knit pretty fast using both hands, but I had to remember to knit that color through the back loop on the following rows because the stitches I knit from my left hand wound up mounted the wrong way on the needle.

This is my swatch from the slipped stitch class. There are 6 different techniques shown, I did the first 4 twice each for practice. I never before realized how much fun slipped stitches are, and how much I enjoyed working them and how much I like the look of them. I think this is something I will definately have to play around with some more!

Two last things. First of all, I tried a new recipe tonight. I found this on Caroline’s blog not too long ago, and remembered that I had some apples in the fridge about to go bad, so I made it for dessert tonight. The only modification I made was to bake it in individual dishes instead of one larger pie plate.

It was delicious! Thanks Caroline! Next time I would probably try adding just a dash of lemon juice (I like how it brings out the flavor of the apples) and I would put less sugar, because I found it sweet. I would also probably make up for the less sugar by serving it warm, with vanilla ice cream. 🙂 What I also found cool was that I’d sprayed the dishes with Pam first and the resulting dessert was able to pop out and still hold its shape…so I would try making it in smaller ramekins next time I entertain and each person could get their own little one for dessert, maybe with some melted chocolate drizzled across the top…

The other last thing is my current knitting. I have been working on something but I can’t show photos of it here. I can tell you it’s a hat, but I can’t say much more because it is one of my Knitty.com submissions. My mom’s manicurist saw a photo of it and wants me to make her some to give as gifts, but before I can figure out how much to charge I need to make a second one and record how long it took, the exact yardage it took, etc. So I’ve been working on that for about a week now, but today I decided to put it aside temporarily.

We have a family event to attend this coming weekend and I wanted to dress Jakob up a little. I decided to knit him a little vest to wear with a white button-down shirt and dress pants. After rooting through what little of my stash is unpacked, I found some gray Patons yarn left over from the Glam Coat. I have two balls left, which I’m sure is more than enough for a baby’s vest. I didn’t feel like hunting down a pattern at the right gauge, so I spent today writing one up. I was able to knit the ribbing too, and hopefully I will have a vest in time for this weekend.

Here’s my swatch, before I unravelled it. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to use a garter or ribbed edging for the cuffs, so I swatched it with both. That’s regular garter on the bottom, sideways knit-on-as-you-go garter on the top left, and ribbing on the top right. I like the look of the regular garter the best but the swatch kept flipping up really badly along the first stocking stitch row, so traditional ribbing it is.

Tomorrow I get to go knitting with Robyn, Tara and the blogless Kate, so I hope to have some vest progress photos by night time.

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big whack ‘o baby knits & crochets and an extra-special fo

This is the temporary nursery. See, we will be in this house for a month before we leave for the new house, but during that month we will have ownership of the new house and will start moving stuff in. I will be staying here with the baby, who will be rooming with me in the spare bedroom since after a C-section there is NO way I will be getting in and out of a waterbed. Over the last week or so we have been getting the room ready, and after the showers were over I spent a lot of time doing laundry and setting up so everything is ready for baby to come home. Can you tell me what you spot in the photo above? No? Ok, I’ll share with you:

(Note: with one exception, each item below only gets one photo, since this is a long, photo-heavy post. Any of my knits have, as usual, more photos in the FO gallery in the left sidebar).

In the dresser drawer you’ll find this crocheted blanket and knit bib, both shower gifts from my lovely and talented cousin Robyn. In case nasty commenter Anonymous finds his/her way over to my blog…I DO love them. So shut up.

Folded on the chair you can make out this blanket, lovingly crocheted for our little one by my uncle’s (Robyn’s dad) mom Esther.

In the drawer, folded nicely under Robyn’s blankie, is this carseat-sized blankie crocheted by my mom. Yes, she actually brought her yarn to the store to make sure it matched the green carrier/stroller that we chose.

On the back of the rocking chair you can see this huge blanket (its folded on the chair). My mom crocheted this especially for our little one. There was a blue ribbon woven through the smallest white edging but it came out in the wash and Yannick felt it was safest to keep it aside until the baby is older. This blanket got some major acclaim at the showers, and I believe people have already started putting in orders. I know this one is crocheted with Bernat Baby Coordinates and you wouldn’t believe how soft and fluid it came out after being thrown in the washer and dryer!

By the way, all of the baby knits you see here (with one exception that hasn’t been washed yet, the Baby Einstein below) have been tossed into the washer with some baby detergent and then into the dryer. Not a single one pilled or warped, and they all came out really soft and nice.

Ok, now some of this should be looking familiar. Yep, I finished the Entrelac Blankie. You can spot it folded on the chair with Esther’s blanket and the breastfeeding pillow.

Project Specs:
Pattern: none. Just regular entrelac 10 sts wide per square and kept going until I felt it was square.
Yarn: Patons Decor in Rich Country Blue and Winter White
Needles: 5.5mm
Cast On to Bind Off: December 29 2006 – May 7 2007
Notes: I was going to knit a garter border but realized last minute that I didn’t have enough 5.5mm needles to make it all the way around so I used the same size crochet hook and just did 2 or 3 rows of single crochet around, putting 3 sts in each corner st to ease better around the corners.
Would I knit this again: yes, its fast, easy and mindless knitting

This is the Baby Einstein I knit up. I love how rustic it came out! I still need to wash it, as I only sewed the buttons on today, just so I could include it in this post. (Technically it is in the room, it’s in the hamper).

Project Specs:
Pattern: Sally Melville’s Einstein Coat, Baby Einstein version, 6-9 month size from The Knit Stitch
Yarn: SandesGarn Smart (as per the pattern)
Needles: 4mm
Cast On to Bind Off: April 16-23 2007
Notes: I was a little disappointed with one part of the pattern. I don’t know if there was a mistake in my book, but for the body of the sweater, the pattern has you work X width around, then work the top halfs, from one edge right to the other. That’s fine…except that the pattern doesn’t add any room for overlap. What I mean is, once the sweater is folded in half to become a coat, there is no overlap for the button band. One side has button holes, the other side gets the buttons, but the edges meet perfectly. So when I tug one side over by about an inch to pull the button holes over the other edge to close the buttons, the neck and shoulders and sleeves get pulled out of place. I don’t know if I’m explaining this right, but it isn’t right. So since I could never have the coat close up to the top button anyways due to this error and how crappy it looks if buttoned all the way, I chose to sew down the top two sides as lapels instead. The yarn is scratchy enough that I don’t need to worry about the baby wearing it alone and having a cold neck, there will always be at least a tshirt underneath. Since there is no finishing on the neck itself (in the pattern) I like the “finished” look my variation gives.

Would I knit this again: probably since the knitting was fun and easy, but I would check for a pattern correction or create an amendment myself first.

This cardi/hat set is in one of the drawers too (that counts as being in the photo!). I originally referred to it as the “Clown” cardigan and hat set since that is the name of the yarn called for in the pattern, but I have sinced changed that to the “Ice Cream” cardi and hat set (‘cus of the colors) so if you look for it in my sidebar, look under Ice Cream.

Project Specs:
: Clown Cardigan and Hat from a Marks & Kattens pamphlet, 9mo size
Yarn: Regia Canadian Color sock yarn color 4733 (I think its “Ottawa”)
Needles: 2.5 and 3mm
Cast On to Bind Off: November 20 2006 – April 11 2007
Notes: I turned it inside out while knitting so I had to adapt the shaping to be on purl side instead of the knit side. I like it better that way, but 90% of those who see it think it’s inside out and prefer the knit side as the outside. Since the button band is picked up and knit on afterwards, thus leaving a seam, plus mattress stitch also leaves a seam, it is not reversable. Still, I don’t care. I like the way it looks. And I LOVE the hat.
Would I knit this again: Yes. For my child I’d knit the hat again. I’d knit the cardigan for a gift but in a different colorway.

Last, but not least, I bring you a knitted item that IS visible in the photo above. It is the piece of honor in the room, and I believe that until the little one is born it is my favorite FO of all time. Can you tell what it is?

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, let me present to you…

Yannick’s blankie.

Didn’t catch that? Ahem:

Yannick’s blankie.

Yes, this is the blanket that my husband Yannick knit for our baby. Sit down if you need to. I’ll wait.

For those of you that don’t know the story, about 3 or 4 years ago Yannick’s anniversary gift to me was that he would learn how to knit and make me something. After a bit of swatching he realized how much he hated knitting and had possibly bit off more than he could chew. Still, he took me to the yarn store to find something for the project. I let him pick the yarn since it would be flowing through his hands, and after some trial and error he settled on bamboo needles that allowed the slippery yarn to slide without being too fast. He practiced his knits and purls on some waste yarn, then we had to decide what the project would be. I had originally asked for a little “blankie” for myself, something small to have with me for when he couldn’t be there. Once we saw how much he didn’t enjoy knitting and how uncomfortable he was at it (even though his stitches looked beautiful) I offered to give him some chunky yarn and big knits, and said I’d be just as thrilled with a scarf. He refused. He wanted to prove he could “do it”.

We decided on a basketweave pattern with a stockinette stitch center. He cast on himself, and got started. He used stitch markers for the first 20 rows or so, but found they got in his way and made messier gaps between the knit/purl transitions, so he abandoned them. He also abandoned the knitting many times over the years. We fought often about how he seemed to have forgotten my anniversary gift. Sometimes he’d work on it…most of the time he’d forget. Once in a while he’d come to the knitting meetups with me and work on a few rows, but then he’d get to talking and it would hang in his hands, untouched.

Then we found out we were pregnant. It wasn’t hard to decide that this blankie should be for the baby, not for me. I threatened that I would keep my legs crossed and not let the baby out until the blanket was done. He’d work on it for a while, then a month or so would go by without any progress. He learned how to read his stitches and became such a perfectionist that he’d often call me over to fix a non-existant mistake. Over the last few weeks he got a burst of energy when he realized how close he was to finishing, then last week he did it.

He finished the blankie. On Monday morning I taught him how to bind off so I could wash it with the next load of baby clothes. He did it all: cast on, knit, purl, basketweave, stocking stitch, stitch markers, no stitch markers, bind off. He even refused to use the larger needle trick to make sure his bind off wasn’t too tight- he didn’t want tricks. He wanted to do it right like everyone else, so he went slow and made sure he didn’t pull the yarn. The only thing I did for him was weave in the ends.

Thank you honey. Even with all the handknit and crocheted blankets our baby has, I hope yours is the most loved.
Project Specs:
none. We made up a repeat of basketweave with a stockinette stitch center.
Yarn: King Cole’s Soft as Silk DK (I think it’s now discontinued)
Needles: 4.5mm
Cast On to Bind Off: A long time.