Monday, April 28, 2008


I'm back home from Baby Shower Weekend and I'm happy to report that the knitting went over big. And I can finally tell you all about it!


Pattern: Revolution by Woolly Thoughts
Yarn: Filatura Zara in Red, Yellow, Medium Blue, & Fresh Green (2 skeins each-8 total)
Source: Yarnela
Needles: Size 4 Knitpicks Options
Dimensions before blocking: 29.5 inches across
Final Dimensions (after wet blocking): 35 inches across
Modifications: None, really. I just did an icord bind off instead of a regular one.

First off, let me start with the pattern. I really like the people over at Woolly Thoughts. They sell the pdf versions of Revolution (along with most of their other gorgeous afghan patterns) and they go above and beyond with all they provide in that little pdf. The whole blanket is row after row of garter stitch, so it's fairly mindless, but it's in little rectangular chunks, so I really felt like I got something done each night.

My issue with the blanket is the picked up stitches. Even after trying it a million different ways and researching like crazy to find new methods, I never found a method of picking up the stitches that looked neat enough for my taste. Because of the round design, the picked up stitches pull against the existing pieces a little more than they normally would and I just didn't like how that looked. My family said I was being too perfectionistic about it, but you know how it is. When you see something that you don't like, it's all you see.


I had never done an icord bind off before and I LOVE it. It creates such a nice smooth edge and it's super easy. I used the instructions from the Knitting Answer Book (a little gem my friend Apa got me for my birthday) and they were great.

Blocking did help a lot on this guy. It was super lumpy and wouldn't lay flat at all at first, but wet blocking had it laying flat as a pancake. Unfortunately, it got kinda rippley after it was folded up for the gift giving. I couldn't get it to lay flat again for the pictures, but I'm over it. I'm sure the baby won't be smoothing it flat to the ground every 5 seconds like I have been.


I'd like to tell you that you've seen the last of baby knits for a while, but I doubt that is true. Just looking at Cola's belly gets me pretty motivated to get knitting. And I have at least 3 more babies that deserve something special (get ready, Kara!) In the meantime, though, I am psyched to get started on my Ohio hoodie. Swatching will begin this week!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

MIA but busy

So I've been MIA for the better part of April- it's mostly because I've been crafting away at all my super secret projects and can't say a thing about them until after my sister's shower. Good thing it's next weekend! I don't think I can keep this stuff in much longer.

There is one thing I can share for now, even though it is shower-related. My mom suggested that I knit something as a prize for one of the baby shower games, so I whipped up a set of dishcloths on the train.

3 dishclothes

Pattern: Lacy Round Dishcloth
Yarn: Lily Sugar & Cream
Needles: Size 5
Modification: Did a provisional cast on and then grafted together at the end instead of seaming.

This was a cute little pattern, and pretty easy to memorize. Very good for train knitting, except they seemed to cause some confusion because people here in Florida apparently don't use dishcloths. People would ask me what I was knitting and look really confused when I answered. When I explained what dishcloths were for, every single person just said, "but why don't you just use a sponge?"

We always used them growing up in Ohio, and that's where the shower is, so hopefully they will go over a little better. Just in case, I am going to package them like this:
dishcloth prize

Hopefully the Dawn will answer any question as to their utility. The presentation is actually Bryan's idea- he tied them up into that cute little flower. My boy's got talent, yo.

In post-shower news, I got Cascade 220 from the WEBS sale in the mail for my new sweater. I decided on the Cabled Hoodie from the Paton's Street Smart booklet. I'm doing a mini-KAL with Vy and I can't WAIT! Not only because I think this sweater is going to be great, but also because I think it's going to be fun to knit it at the same time as Vy and see how they both become their own versions of the pattern.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Birthday Socks - Done!

Those size 12 socks for Bryan are finally done, and only two weeks after his birthday (he just corrected me- three weeks after his birthday). He doesn't seem to mind too much, though. He really likes them.

Bryan's Birthday Socks

Pattern: Retro Rib Socks from Interweave Knits Favorite Socks (Thanks again, other Farrah)
Yarn: Dream in Color Smooshy in Cloud Jungle
Needles: My trusty size 2 Harmony DPNs

Retro Rib Socks

As always, Smooshy is the best. The color, the thick and squishy (smooshy, if you will) fabric, everything about it just spells great socks. I'm pretty lucky because Bryan is more open to color than many guys seem to be. He loves the purple color variations and has suggested that his next socks are bright stripes.

The pattern is pretty nice, too. It's super easy to memorize and looks nice, but it just got a little boring. To be fair, I can't imagine a pattern that wouldn't get a little boring after 2 of these gigantic suckers.

In other news, I went to Joann last night armed with a 50% off coupon from Michael's (do you know they take each other's coupons?) and was shocked and thrilled to find several copies of Patons Street Smart. I got it for only $3.00! I've decided to make myself a sweater to celebrate getting a new job- which is in Ohio, so I'm going to need a sweater. Now I need to decide which one:

This cabled hoodie (with no boobles and a different cable) in Sapphire Cascade 220:
Cabled Hoodie
I hear the hood on this is gigantic, so I would have to adapt that. I also might shorten the ribbing on the bottom and ad some shaping...but with all these mods, wouldn't I just be making the Central Park Hoodie?

Or a cardigan version of the Urban Aran Cardian:
Urban Aran
I love this on others as a jacket, but I'm a little worried that all that ribbing in different directions would be a bit unflattering on me.

Any thoughts?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Poppy Beret

One of the girls over at TeamKnit was talking last week about her Ravelry Routine. I open up Ravelry more times a day than I'd like to admit, and I, too, go through the same process every time. First: anxiously eye the top right corner of the screen to see if the little envelope icon pops up. Next on to Forums to scan for yarn sales, new Obscure Patterns, etc. Then to Friend Activity and Friend Blogs to see what people are up to. That's how I discovered the gorgeous new Ysolda Teague beret Rose Red (Ravelry link here). I found this, bought it, and started it on Thursday and blocked it Sunday evening.

Beret Front View

Pattern: Rose Red by Ysolda Teague, size Large
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Poppy
Needles: Size 4 DPNs and 16" circulars

I can't say enough good things about this pattern. Ysolda includes the directions in both word and chart form, which actually helped me discover that I prefer knitting from a chart. This was a pretty big surprise for me because I cannot even figure out how to use the stove if it has those little diagrams that tell you which control goes with which burner (why doesn't it just say FRONT and BACK?!?!?). But I found I was making lots of mistakes when I was following the word directions, so I tried out the chart and the needles started flying.

I also figured out that I have become completely spoiled by my Knitpicks Options set- I used Clover bamboo needles, which used to be my favorite, and found them to be way too sticky and too dull.

Beret Side View

Whereas the pattern is written for DK weight yarn, I used the Shepherd Sport that's been sitting in my stash for a few months and made the Large size to compensate for the gauge difference. I think it worked to a degree, but I do wish my beret kept its shape a little bit more like Ysolda's original.

Beret Back View

When I finished knitting, the beret was more like a little kid beanie than a beret. I blocked it over a plate and it got larger, but not large enough. I blocked it over a bigger plate and it got big enough, but it lied too flat on my head. I blocked it a third time over a big bowl, and that gave it more of the shape I wanted.

I've always loved berets on other people but not so much on me, and I'm not sure this one is an exception. It was a fun knit and I'm glad I did it, but time will tell how much wear it will get. I feel like it makes me look a little pie-faced. But on those Sunday mornings that I just need to get to brunch without washing my hair, it may come in handy. Either way, thanks Ysolda!