Trumpet the Crumpet and other knitted goods

Back in September when I decided to let my unfinished sassymetrical rest for the winter (last seen here) I started working on a series of smaller projects I’d promised various people (and a couple gifts).  There were 3 or 4 projects that each should have taken me a week or two to complete.  In mid November I was still working on nagging details.  Snaps to be sewn on, ends to weave in, seams to be sewn…  it was rather frustrating.  Now we are in the second week of December and I just sent off various fall gifts on Sunday evening (the joys of a 24 hour quick-shop/postal outlet, though the guy helping was baffled that I’d want to hear about the cost-differences between sending first-class/priority mail/parcel-post for even the third package sent while when I’m at an official Post Office they always give me those options without me asking).

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But not as frustrating as trying to work kitchener stitch with manos silky wool in the round over 50+ stitches.  Not pretty.  See, I’ve been siting on the crumpet beret (Rav link) which I’ve made for Fractone of Dear Blank, it felt like it was taking forever when really it was a 2 week project (started at the end of October) but I decided that the 1×1 ribbing was a great project to finally try out a tubular bind-off.  So of course I put off trying tubular bind-off for over a week then I dutifully did my two set-up rows to create double kitting and started to graft, I got about 5 stitches in when I decided it wasn’t going be pretty and undid that work and did  Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind-off instead. The Knitty pictures were failing me, but luckily Cat Bordhi made a video of this – Thank you Cat!  The bind-off is a little fluttery – I think it is supposed to be that way for the non-squeezing effect.  I hope  the hat stays on nicely and I personally like to find that sweet spot where hats don’t smoosh hair around your face and yet don’t fly off with a random wind gust.

crumpet hat

I also sent off two baby sweaters that I really really hope will fit.  My friend had twins this fall, and she sort of lucked out since I started the first baby sweater with no idea who it was for (odd for me).  This August I was lamenting about the idea of making not one but two baby items, contemplating sewing something instead, when I realized one item was already made and it might just fit.  Maybe.  I don’t know yet.  At some point this fall I decided I wanted to make little flowers to embellish the sweater so I flipped through Crochet Adorned and picked out one of the motifs, the 5-petal pointy flower, from Crochet Adorned’s Garden Party Cardigan (you can’t see it on most of the book’s photos, check page 39 where it is hiding between strands of the model’s hair on her left shoulder) and modified a raised center by picking up stitches in the middle and single crocheting towards the center then pulling the end toward the back.  These two sweaters were the subject of much procrastination mention above.  I finally stitched on the two matching flowers, going around the center about three times to make sure it was good and secure, but leaving the flower petals ends detached for a little more dimension.  And shipped those sweaters off, hopefully before the babes grow out of them.  Now to work on my long backlog of other baby items, I think a few of the babes might reach kindergarten before they get a knitted object from me 😦  The lesson – always have something baby related on the needles so stuff is good to go (great idea in theory).

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Of course what is the best thing to do in November, when you have nagging details to complete and a desire to make christmas gifts?  Cast-on for two selfish projects of course.  I joined a local knit-along and finally started my first lace shawl, Ishbel, as well as took a class to learn fair isle by making Selbu Modern.  Since I hope to start blogging again (actually I never stopped, I just never got past the draft stage of any posts) and can’t use Zarah’s techniques of close-ups (awesome idea) for some of my gifts I’ll tell you more about those projects next time.

December 9, 2009. Tags: , , , . Knitting. 1 comment.

Sea Baby

I’ve had two skeins of Blue Sky Alpacas Dyed Cotton in my stash for a couple years now.  I bought it at a going out of business sale before I knew that 300 yards of worsted weight yarn isn’t a great amount for things, and cotton isn’t a great fiber for scarves when you live where it gets wet.  But I also bought it because I had been considering using it for a sweater and buying one skein seemed sillier and at 40% off I was lucky to get two skeins in the same color and dye lot.  Luckily if you look around and have friends popping out babies like crazy (this is year two of knowing at least half a dozen pregnant women) you can find baby sweaters that don’t take much yarn.  But you have to be quick since getting a sweater out of less than 300 yards of worsted means knitting a smaller size and smaller sizes, I have heard, are notorious for being worn once before they are outgrown.  Those growing babies, the nerve of them 🙂

Anyways.  I came across this Debbie Bliss baby jacket pattern on Ravelry and it seemed like just the thing for a quick knit (and a swatchless knit for the lazy). I decided to make the 3-6 month size which called for 400 yards of aran weight yarn. I thought worst comes to worst I buy a coordinating skein of BSA dyed cotton for the ribbing but my LYS knit night pals suggested waiting until I get to the ribbing as (IIRC) Debbie Bliss patterns can be overly cautious with the yardage requirements.  I’m glad I waited to purchase that 3rd skein, because I still have 33 grams left (of course the sweater weighs in at 162 grams so either might be up to 5 grams off measurement).

Sea Baby Sweater

I didn’t bother swatching (according to my Rav notes I did, but I think it wasn’t for this project), since the 3 month size starts with a cast-on of 48 stitches, and just decided if it looked off I’d rip it. The knitting was quick for me, this took me about 3 weeks (we will ignore the fact that it has been over a month for posting and I’ve yet to sew on the snaps). And at 28 cm wide and 25 cm from waist to shoulder it is within the realm of the pattern’s measurements (25.5 cm at chest and 25 cm length).  I still haven’t measured it to check my gauge, but that number would be fairly useless since I’ve already forgotten which needle I used (it was a US 7, but was it KP nickle or Bryspun? wait, a WIP picture saved the day, I used my KP Options nickle needle).  16 1/2 stitches for every 4″ (24 rows for every 4″) of course this gauge measurement was taken the lazy method (the sweater still hasn’t been washed) and I just set the tape on the sweater and started counting, no precise needles in place or anything.  Anyway, this was a fun quick knit in soft and luscious yarn (a tad expensive, but not bad for a 2 skein project) and hopefully I’ll soon figure out which wee one will best fit in the sweater.

June 30, 2009. Tags: , , , . Knitting. Leave a comment.