Friday, March 30, 2007

Eenny, Meeny, Miny, Mo...

Which blankie do I like best?! There's blankie #3, which now has a bit of its pattern showing. I like that, but I don't know about the comparatively open weave, due to the #15s. It's about 1/5 of the way done. It's by far the most complicated pattern I've done, and I'm really enjoying that, but if I do another pattern from this book, I think I'll use #13s, even though I tend to knit a little on the tight side. Yep, there are flecks of pink in #3, if that matters.

And to refresh your memories, here's blankie #2:
I like it a lot too, but it's a much narrower gauge, and has much tighter weave. Just blue, white and soft green here. The other thing to keep in mind is that it's warming up rapidly here in Virginia. Now, I've never had a baby, so I don't know that it even is really a consideration, and both blankies will be given to friends having May babies, supposedly boys.

Does it matter?! Both are soft. Neither is perfect, but both are certainly nice enough that I can given them with pride. My mother inlaw knows both mothers to be, so of course, before the first shower in 12 days, I'll have to finish both and parade them by her for her vote too. Or if things look dire in either or both directions, I'll bundle up my bundles of baby boy bundles of joy holders and get her opinion on which gets finished immediately, and which waits its turn.

See?! This is why I will probably never have two projects in the works at the same time ever again. I hate making decisions, especially when I am ill-equipped to make said decision.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Knitter Treat Exchange Questionnaire

1. What's your favourite type of yarn?

Anything that feels good as it is knitted up. I honestly haven't experimented enough to have many opinions.

2. What's your least favourite type of yarn?

I don't know. I haven't had good luck with chenille and suede, but it could just be me. I also can't see myself doing lace, but who knows?!

3. What's the first thing you do when you visit a new yarn shop?

Again, I'm so new to all of this I've been in all of TWO yarn shops, right here in my own town. I still find it all gloriously overwhelming. I tend to go in on a mission, and come out with at least one extra project.

4. What other crafts do you do / would like to do?

I scrapbook, and I've recently taken up rubbering stamping and card making too. I have done cross stitch and needlepoint in the past as well.

5. What magazines do you currently subscribe to?

Creative Knitting, Southern Living, Virginia Living, Guideposts

6. Put this type of magazine in order of preference:Knitting / Crochet / Other Craft / Food / Home / Fashion / Celebrity Gossip / Garden


7. What items do you like to knit / crochet?

I'm on a baby blanket kick right now, but I also enjoyed felting, and I want to learn to do socks... I don't really crochet.

8. Are you allergic to anything?

Not that would matter here.

9. What do you like to* smell of?(*This is not a typo. The question is: What do you like to smell of)

Gardenia, magnolia, citrus, lily of the valley... soft florals and citrus.

10. What's your favourite way to relax?

Yoga, walking, knitting, tea

11. You're stood in front of a Victorian style sweetshop, an Italian cafe, an old fashioned bakery and a dainty tea room. Where do you go first?

The tea room, despite the fact that I am not dainty. I do love pretty china though.

12. What do you come out with?

I don't. I stay for hours, sipping, tasting, savoring. When I finally must leave, I'll come out with a yummy for my husband and a local blend of teas, and maybe a neat cup or something. If they have a selection of local cookbooks, at least one of those will come home with me too.

13. Where do you go next?

The bakery. Do they have eclairs?

14. Any other words of wisdom for your pal?

I love surprises! After checking out some of the other questionnaires, I've decided to add a couple of things here that might be helpful. I'm not crazy about coffee. I'm not fond of purple or orange, but both are fine in a colorway with other colors. I love regional and local "flavors" or specialty items, so if there's a great little shop in your town that is awesome at whatever, that would be a great treat for me.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Blogging *IS* Good

Now I know why I let The Bag Lady talk me into this blogging thing. It comes in handy. My mother inlaw, always so supportive, is REALLY into my knitting. She wanted to know if I'd done a blue blankie yet. Of course, that meant explaining #2 and #3, and she's not very visual. Finally, I remembered! I blog! I could just pull up this site and voila!

(For those who might stumble across this blog and don't know me, I work with my inlaws. I lurvers them. Good people.)

Blogging is good.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Baby Makes Three

And there's the start of blankie #3, on the #15 Knitpicks Options needles, in Lion Brand Baby Soft - Twinkle Print and Pastel Blue. Sadly, my lack of skill with the camera doesn't do Twinkle justice, but as the blanket progresses, I'll try again. I do like how quickly it is knitting up, so I think #2 will get set aside while I whip out #3. We'll have to wait and see though, once I get into the patterned part of #3. I like them both well enough, but I did have a certain friend in mind when I picked these yarns as opposed to the boucle in soft blue/green/yellow.

Here comes the basset hound, Fred, wondering why he hasn't even been mentioned, much less had a photo debut. (Could it be because you won't wear a sweater, my always hot big boy?!) So, to make Fred feel better, here's a favorite pose I call "beauty boy." Of course, Fred could have simply been coming to see if I was eating anything, but I think he knew he'd been slighted. I'll sleep better now, knowing both dogs have had a moment in the still very new blog.

Monday, March 26, 2007

They're Here!

My Knitpicks Options in the larger sizes showed up today. The world is a better place. A friend asked for measurements on blankie #2. It's about 37 inches wide, and obviously, the length is yet to be determined. The pattern says it will be about 36 x 40.

Maybe tomorrow will bring something worthy of a photo or other excitement.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Knitpicking Knitpicks

My only regret is that I didn't buy the set the day my husband first said, "Why don't you buy a set of these circular needles so we aren't always trying to get to town in time to buy the size you need." I love my Knitpicks Options. My only complaint is that in this age of instant gratification, the needles take a while to ship out. I realize I'm not the only knitter who decides at the 11th hour that she *MUST* begin a project immediately, only to be stuck waiting for the next layer of my Options to arrive. I mean, these babies aren't going to wait - blankie #1 still hasn't been delivered, 10 days after little Helen was born - so I really don't have time to wait on needles.

I'm hardly idle; despite all of the knitting time lost yesterday with the craziness that is life, I'm still moving right along on blankie #2. The problem is, blankie #2 isn't what I want to give at the shower in just a couple of weeks, and I need those #15 tips to arrive so I can get to THAT blanket.

Big pout.

When Tomorrow is Really Today

I used to have this problem when I had to work midnights; my body/mind doesn't acknowledge a day/date change until it gets some sleep. So, at 3am on Sunday, my body/mind still is feeling that it is Saturday. Not that my Saturday wasn't packed full enough for ten days, but that's another story, and one that has nothing to do with knitting. I don't believe that even knitting would have destressed me, but anyhooo...

I'm not really a night owl, and my body is very confused by the late hours and the hubbaballooo that was my Saturday. No sock yarn, but after the Saturday I had, I might venture a visit to the one local yarn shop open on Sundays for a treat, to reward myself for surviving. Now, if you'll pardon me, I'm going to go dream of knitting the perfect sock on my very first try.

Friday, March 23, 2007


Both of my local yarn shops close early enough most evenings that I can't get there unless I go during the workday. But tomorrow is a different story! Last week, I intentionally told myself not to stop in as I drove very near one yarn shop, but this time, the lure of socks is too much. I've found a couple of different tutorials online, and I think I'm going to at least pick up the makings of my first pair of socks. Then, I can take the challenge when it suits me. I'm also still waiting on my larger Knitpick Options tips, so I can consider starting baby blankie #3. No, there were no overnight miracles; #2 is still not even halfway done, but what's to stop me from starting on #3, and seeing which one needs to be finished in time for the baby shower?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I'm So Blue...

Well, not really, and the blanket isn't very blue either. I'm actually in good spirits, but my photography skills could be better. The point of this questionable photo is to prove to The Bag Lady that my husband is right, and blankie #2 truly does have a good side - shown here - and a bad side, shown below. This is a simple, but fun little pattern with a seed stitch border and a stockinette "body," shown here. It's a great baby boucle by Bernat, soft as a baby's bottom. The pattern actually shows up better here than it does in person, at least when person is the knitter and is holding it in her lap. I just wanted something that required a few more braincells that Lion Brand Diagonal Pattern Baby Blanket (pattern #khs-diagonalBabyBlanket). (I'd do a link, but with Lion, you have to register to see patterns, so the links I've followed have never taken me to the actual pattern, even when I sign in first!) That's the pattern I used on blankie #1, and while it is pretty enough, it was rather dull to knit.

Now, we'll show the "wrong side" of blankie #2. It probably should be rotated, but you get the idea. (Yeah, that I'm a poor photographer, but...) It's just loopy. Again, the photo shows more contrast between the border and the body than I see, which is good, I guess, but as my non-knitting, critic of a hubby pointed out, it is clearly not a reversible blanket. Sigh. Does that matter? I've never used a baby blanket, so I have no idea. I'll just have to hope that whichever mom and baby end up with this one will be okay with the fact that it does have a front and a back, whereas boring blankie #1 is truly reversible.
I've also read/heard that the best baby blankies don't have holes for little fingers and toes to snag. Blankie #2 gets an A+ there, and blankie #1's yarn over holes are much bigger than infant fingers and toes, so I'm guessing it's fine and dandy too. Additionally, I read/heard that blankets knit on a diagonal (#1) "stick" to the baby better. Curious stuff.

There's also Lion Brand pattern #60241, which is the same diagonal concept but it's done with Pound of Love instead of Homespun, on smaller needles, of course. I hope that answers all the questions I told The Bag Lady I'd answer, because I need to get back to knitting, and cooking supper.
So much for keeping blankie #2 under wraps. I doubt my non-knitting friends will find this blog anyway, and even if they do, there are so danged many of them, that no one can be certain she is going to get this blanket, because at this point, I don't even know!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Oh Baby!

So, here it is, baby blanket #1, which didn't quite meet the deadline. I had hoped to have it done before little Helen arrived, but she was eager to greet the world, so... I'll get it to her later this week. It too was done from a Lion Brand pattern, for Homespun. I used Baby Homespun, and with those awesome Knitpick Options, had no trouble knitting it right up. My only complaint, which has happened with Noro too, is that I, who so carefully joins without knots, find the "manufacturer" produced joiner knots VERY annoying. I tucked it into the soft, fluffy stitches around it, so I hope the awful knot stays hidden for as long as little Helen and her family use blankie #1.

Blankie #2, done in a varigated blue and a (gasp!) non-Lion Brand pattern must remain a bit of a secret until we see how fast it knits up. If it will hurry along better than it has been, it is intended for a little boy coming along in late May. If #2 and/or a friend who is due a bit sooner fail(s) to cooperate, it may go to whichever little boy is born first. Sigh. The invitation to the shower for baby who was on my schedule to receive blankie #3 arrived today, so maybe I should just accept that he will be getting #2?? (Did you follow that?!)

And socks. Did I mention that I am nearly obsessed with learning to knit socks?

Oh yeah. There's another pink blankie (#4??) sitting in the stash, waiting to happen rather quickly too. Note to self and anyone else thinking they might cut into my knitting time: no more "updates" that must be installed three (yes, THREE) times before working as they should, and no more meetings that aren't already on my schedule until I get these blankies done!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Inserting pictures, aka: a new blogging experience

So, I'm learning. Comments are now welcomed; they were before, but I didn't click something that needed to be clicked somewhere in the settings, so... Told ya' I was new at this.

Meet the crup. (For those void of Rowlinguistics, that's a Jack Russell Terrier with magical talents.) He's a reluctant model, but he loves his warm, handsome sweater. It's a slightly modified Lion Brand pattern, as in his old age, he's gotten a little chubby. (Round is a shape, thank you. He's still plenty active and fit.) This was my first "it has seams" effort. Luckily, it only had four, short little seamed parts, and it's not like he cares how they look.

(Hooray for me! I just figured out how to put the photos where I want them!) This is another Lion Brand pattern, the felted needle case. It's lovely, and was my first felted project, as I didn't believe I could manage a felted bag. The Bag Lady insisted, and I found a pattern with my name in it, so there was no choice but to give knitting in the round and felted bags a chance.

Introducing the Chan bag. It's done in Noro Kureyon, which is wonderful for its self striping, but the texture was weird and the thick to thin and back again was annoying. It was all worth it to have a tiny little bag that matched my outfit, held my keys, phone and credit card, and rested happily (and out of the way) in my lap, under my napkin through dinner and a speaker.

And last, but hardly least, is my Booga bag, done in Noro Kureyon, colorway 102. I thought it was going to be a knitting bag, but it's not big enough for the baby blankets I'm doing now. It's a great bag for general use though, and I will probably use it as a purse in the fall, when wool seems more appropriate again.
There's one pink baby blanket done too, but there is no photo yet. One will have to happen soon, as little Helen came a few days early (last Wednesday, before blankie was done) so it must go off to be a useful little pink blankie soon.
Happy now Bag Lady? Mugsy (the crup) isn't. I must go sit on the sofa, hold him, and knit. But first, treat time.

For the Bag Lady

Well m'dear, I hope you're happy. I'm a blogger. You are quite the force in my life. The definition of a true friend: one who drives for hours to see me, someone who raves over a meager Thanksgiving dinner for three, who reconnects me to knitting and the great women from my past who tried to instill the passion AGES ago, and then nudges me into trying something new and scary - blogging.

Oh yeah. Knitting. I'm very much the novice, although I have finally moved beyond scarves, which should please my dear family. (Thanks for pretending to love 'em all.) Pictures of some of my past projects will follow, probably in a day or two as I do have busy spells in my life where knitting (and now, blogging about knitting!) cannot be my priority. The dishes will wait, but there are meetings that won't.

Baby blankets are my current fad. Not necessarily by choice, but because I seem to be in that phase in my life - not surprisingly, three years after the some fifteen month period that saw us attending over a dozen weddings - where there are lots of babies on the way. And that's a good thing. I even caught myself studying a baby booty pattern in a magazine over the weekend, so who knows?! Those friends not yet in the third trimester might get something other than a blankie...