and the rest of the stuff

My fingers are sore! I’ve been knitting like mad all week- here’s how the rest of the projects went down:

Sunday I was able to spend some time knitting while Jakob slept, which gave me a 2 hour block. I worked on the Puffalump Limbo Line facecloth while we watched Fools Gold, which meant we had a weekend of Ray Winstone movies. The movie was cute, but it felt like I was watching a Harlequin Duets book come to life, and when there were about 20 minutes left to go I had no choice but to go upstairs and get ready to leave…and I didn’t ask Yannick to stop it. I could tell where it was going, and it really didn’t change anything having watched it or not.

Sunday night was a lot of fun, my friend Maia was in a play from the Yiddish Theater, and a bunch of us from Jakob’s playgroup bought tickets, grabbed our moms (and some bubbies) and made a night of it. Because the show started at 7 we went for an early dinner at 5. I brought the washcloth in my purse and took advantage of the 15 minute intermission to do a few rows.

I was reminded at dinner that the following day’s playgroup would be celebrating 2 of the little girls’ birthdays…which threw me into a panic. I’d been making cupcakes for each kid, remember? So now, in addition to having one week left to finish all the projects for the bridal shower, I had to squeeze in 2 cupcakes…that night!

I got home from the play around 9:45 and parked myself on the couch to watch tv with Yannick and knit cupcakes. I finished the second one at 12:50am…finally!

I’d kinda screwed up, though. I always alter the pattern, every time I knit it. I don’t like the way the top comes out if you follow the pattern, it is too flat and round for me (does that make sense?) I prefer a top that looks more like a muffin-top, almost bloused over the edges of the base. (I also ALWAYS omit the first row of the pattern, after casting on I jump right into the increases, without a plain row. This is to avoid a pointy center to the base).

This is the first one I made.

It’s lumpy because I don’t put anything in but stuffing, so there is nothing to hold the shape of the base in where I’ve increased for the top. Still…it’s not bad.

This is the second one. See the problem?

It’s an artsy photo- trying to hide the flaws. I was exhausted and too tired to play around, so for this one I followed the pattern as written. It’s basically a tube with a round top. It’s cute- but not like the others I’d given. And also a lot smaller than the one above. And I was supposed to give them to the 2 girls together.
I didn’t have the energy to stay up later and knit a third…so I decided the moms could pick for themselves. (Let’s ignore the fact that I brought them on Monday and forgot to give them to the girls, after all that work and staying up so late!)
In a way I was glad I was still up that late, because no sooner had I changed into my pjs, taken out my contacts and pulled back the sheets to climb into bed- Jakob woke up crying. And I mean CRYING. It took me until 2:30am to rock him back to sleep. I don’t know if he had a bad dream, or if his molars are hurting him, but even in my arms, with a bottle at one point he was still inconsolable.
On Monday I finished the facecloth I’d started over the weekend: the Puffalump Limbo Line (Ravelry link).

I’m very happy with how it came out; I think it will make a great facecloth and has excellent scrubber potential. The yarn is more Bernat Handicrafter Cotton (as have been all the washcloths I’ve shown so far) and I think this one was called French Blue.
Up next was Knitty’s Calorimetry (Ravelry link).
This was a VERY fast knit, and I enjoyed it so much that I want to make one for myself.

I did alter it a bit though- my yarn (Bernat Satin in the Florals colorway) was knitting up much bigger than the pattern, and had I cast on 120 sts like suggested I would have had a headband that was at least 6″ wider than the head circumference…so I only cast on 80 sts, and did my short rows accordingly.

Calorimetry was followed by a Reverse-Bloom Washcloth (Ravelry). Using a 5mm needle meant that there was not enough in one 50g ball of the variegated cotton (Playtime colorway) to finish the washcloth, so once I ran out I switched to the solid Hot Orange I’d used for the Ballband Dishcloth.

Here’s the reverse, for those of you who like that.
And here’s another one, this time in the Summer Splash colorway, with some Banana Yellow for the center (again, all Bernat Handicrafter cotton).
…and the back…
Up next is one of my favorite projects, although I’ve only made it twice, each time I want to keep it for myself!
Can you tell what it is? By the way, yes, it is crochet, not knitting. (That’s why this is the “handmade by jennifer” blog, and not “wicked knits” like it used to be).

It’s a bath puff! As still more of the bridal shower gift, I made the bath puff with a matching back scrubber

The back scrubber came out narrower than I’d remembered from the last time I made it, but it was still cute. The scrubber and puff are from a 5-piece crocheted bath set, a free online pattern. (Ravelry link). I didn’t do the face or wash cloth, and I didn’t make the soap saver bag from that set either…I found it too frilly for the bride-to-be. Instead I did one from another pattern (also a free one online but I misplaced the link). I was told by my cousin (the groom-to-be) that their bathroom is navy, so I made all the pieces predominantly white with navy and white sparkle accents. (Seriously, if you ever have the urge to make yourself a bath puff, make this pattern! It takes only an hour or so and is awesome- I MUST make one for myself!)
Would you believe that I only finished that stuff by Friday night? The bridal shower was Saturday at 2:30pm, and it was already midnight and I couldn’t force my eyes open any longer. I banked on the fact that Saturdays are Yannick’s day with Jakob, and told myself I’d finish (and wrap!) the gift the next morning.
I couldn’t force my eyes open too early, so once I was up and had breakfast, it was already about 10:30 Saturday morning when I sat down to plan out a design for a mug cozy. My first attempt didn’t give me what I later realized I’d wanted (it closed with buttons instead of being seamless) but it did give a “gauge swatch” so I could make my second attempt practically perfect.

I knit the blue one first (Handicrafter in Delft Blue) then the purple one (the Jewels colorway).
The pattern is quick and easy, and I’ll be typing it up when I get a free moment and will post it for free here and in Ravelry.

So now it was 12:30pm Saturday. I had one more gift to knit, and I still hadn’t showered.

I really, really wanted to include Knitty.com’s 302 Calories (Ravelry link) in the gift basket. Really wanted to. But it was not to be.

I had the licorice laces, and I had the 6.5mm needles (instead of chopsticks)…but it just didn’t work. First I had done about 3″ worth when I noticed a hole down below where the licorice had snapped and come open. I started over with fresh licorice and was FINISHED…just “weaving” in the ends…when I found 3 other torn spots.
See in the center there? That’s one, there’s another right below it to the right, another right below it to the left. I gave up. I had enough for the gift basket without it (!) and I just didn’t have the time to spare to go for a third attempt.

I started wrapping the gift, which of course took longer than I’d thought, and had to force myself to go take a break at 2:05 when I remembered I still hadn’t showered or dressed. Luckily the party was only 5 blocks away from my house, and I wasn’t even being picked up until 2:30…so I rushed, showered, got dressed and hurried to keep wrapping.

I made it just in time…but is it any wonder I ended up with a migraine all afternoon? Still, the party was a lot of fun, the bride-to-be is a really sweet girl, and it turned out to be a great day. (It didn’t hurt that my friends from Ottawa were coming in that night and would be coming over for dinner, so I had even more to look forwards to).

Next post- how it all came together…


more procrastination…

In keeping with my apparent fondness for throwing in extra projects even when I have deadlines, I present the 2 other projects that made up the 5 that I spent the last week on, instead of the stuff I should have been knitting.

Yannick’s cousins welcomed their second child Emily on Monday, and we were supposed to go to the hospital on Wednesday night to meet her. I couldn’t show up empty handed, especially after making/bringing something for their first-born (anyone remember Elodie’s Sweater and Booties?).

I grabbed some stash yarn and cast on for the Child’s Placket Neck Pullover (Ravelry link) Last-Minute Knitted Gifts. I know that when I’d knit it for Jakob, it had only taken me 8 hours, so with 2 evenings ahead of me, I should have been able to finish a sweater for Emily.

I didn’t do a gauge swatch because I figured it was for a baby…if it didn’t fit her at a year it would fit her at 6 months, or 18 months. Ahem. I *should* have knit a swatch, because after I cast on the number of stitches for the 1 year size and finished the 8 rows of seed stitch border, well, it was big enough to fit me!

That got promptly ripped back. Unfortunately it was now about 9 pm on Monday, leaving me with only another hour or so to knit before bed, and then Tuesday night to make something for Elodie so she wouldn’t feel left out. I had to find something quick. I found it in the Blanket Buddy pattern from Lionbrand. It is a pattern that you can either knit or crochet, and after browsing the Ravelry archives for a bit, I decided I liked the crochet version better. Plus, crochet is faster than knitting (although it does take more yarn), so I knew I had a better chance of getting it done on time.

It came out perfect, with one small flaw. It’s small. It’s supposed to be about 17″ long. Mine? Maybe 8″. I switched yarns and instead of using a bulky yarn I used a dk-weight yarn. I didn’t feel like fussing with the pattern (although it is really easy to make it whatever size you want) so I left it as is.
Here’s a bad photo of it with Jakob to give you an idea of it’s actual size.

I figure that it’s being given to an infant. She’s tiny, so her little toy can be tiny. Who knows…maybe she’ll end up loving it and it will be the “doodoo” that she carries around until she’s 18?

As I mentioned I wanted to give something to Elodie as well so she wouldn’t feel jealous of the attention (and gifts) that the new baby was getting.

After some debate between knitting anothe cupcake, another bunny or another swatch bunny, the cupcake won. Both bunnies only take about an hour or two of knitting, but they each have quite a bit of seaming. The cupcake takes under an hour to knit and really only has 4 ends to weave in once you’re done.

This time I followed the pattern exactly as written. I won’t do that again. There’s nothing *wrong* with the pattern, but my (and Yannick’s) mental image of a cupcake has some overhang where the top meets the base. We’re probably influenced by our love of muffins, and we freely admit that. Regardless…we like my variation on the cupcake better, so when I knit more of these (“when”, not “if”) I will continue to use my increase/decrease rounds in the icing section.

On Wednesday night we found out that they were leaving the hospital in the morning to go home, so instead of running down there we made plans to go see them and their home this weekend. With my now-free time I sat down to knit and by the time the CSIs in New York had caught Suspect X, I had finished all 4 of my swatches for the Sally Melville workshop this weekend.
Yup, I’ll be spending the weekend learning from Mrs. Knit Stitch and Purl Stitch herself. Is it cheesy if I bring my books for her to sign?



Seeing as how I’ve never met a deadline I didn’t like, I’ve got a lot on my knitting plate right now. That still didn’t stop me from throwing some (5!!) new projects into the mix.

Remember those swatches I showed you? They became bunnies!

A friend is in town with her young daughter and I wanted to make her a little something. (I admit to also being influenced by the cuteness of Amy’s swatch bunny and wanting to make one myself).

The pink one is for Rebecca.
This wee little bunny is TINY!
All together only an inch and a half long! Yannick thinks an 18 month old might try to swallow the bunny, so I’ll tell her mother to put it away until she thinks she’s old enough to play with it.

Here’s a link to the free pattern.

I really wanted one for myself too, which led to this little guy:

Isn’t he precious? I followed the pattern as written for each, but modified the ears so they wouldn’t end up too huge. Plus I added a little loop on mine so I can hang it on my keychain.

It will be hard to separate the two- they seem to be getting along quite well!

I don’t know why this photo has me thinking of the Cabbage Patch Kids.

So those are 2 of the 5 new projects. This weekend I also worked on a little something for one of the girls in Jakob’s playgroup. The first of our kids turned 1, and we had a little party for her on Monday. Everyone had agreed “no gifts” but I couldn’t show up empty handed, so I make a quick little cupcake for her. It only took 2 hours to knit, stuff and sew, and I put a bell inside too so that it rattles.

I had wanted to put a “B” on top for Brooklyn, the birthday girl, but after I knit the icord and held it in place, it looked really stupid and bulky (instead of sweet and icing-y like I’d envisioned). Yannick encouraged me to add some sprinkles instead.

The pattern is a free one, from here. I did make a few modifications. Besides not doing the cherry on top, I skipped row 1 and went right into the increase row to avoid the point at the bottom that I saw on some finished ones. I also added an increase row after the first k row of the icing section. I did a *p1, yo, rep from * around” row, and on the following row I purled but every time I got to one of the yarn-overs I purled it through the back loop to close the hole. After purling another row or so I did a *p2tog, repeat from * around” row to get back to the original number of stitches. I wanted the cupcake top to have a puffy look where it joined the cake part. I didn’t stuff it exactly right, but it gives a look closer to what I’d wanted.