Friday, August 22, 2008

Weedy Surprise

And no, I'm not talking about my garden. It's that Baby Surprise Jacket again. (I'm a little too pleased with myself for dyeing some yellow yarn and calling it "Mustard Weed" so that not only the color, but also the name coordinates with the blue/yellow "Flowering Weeds".) But in today's installment, the jacket is fully completed--buttons and all. I thought I'd mention the rounded neckline, since that's the only modification I made to the pattern.

The original pattern has a squared off neck. I wouldn't normally mess with a square neck, because I really like square necklines, but I just wanted to see what a curving neck opening would look like. In the pattern, when it directs to cast off a bunch of stitches on each side for the neck, I simply cast off 3 at the beginning of the next two rows, then cast of 2 at the beginning of the next two rows, then cast off 1 at the beginning of the next bunch of rows until I had cast off the originally specified number of stitches. The edge was smoothed out with the applied i-cord, but I think it's still maybe a little lumpy. I think I'll be doing the regular neckline in the future; the angles of a square neckline echo the shaping on the front of the sweater, and it just looks right. Favorite part of this project? Doing the i-cord edging. It's such a perfectly gratifying way to finish off an edge. I want to put i-cord on everything now.

I have 2 skeins of Hello Yarn Fat Sock (DK-ish weight, super-springy merino) in Zinnia. I've been trying valiantly to make socks out of this yarn, but every time I get about an inch on my needles, I start having visions of a particular Baby Surprise Jacket (that's a Ravelry link) that I saw in the same yarn--and it was soooo adorable. My real problem is that I'm too selfish to give away anything made out of this treasured yarn, so I've resisted the BSJ urge. Alas, resistance is futile. My weapons are useless. (Save yourselves!) (Does anyone else have lines from Star Trek Next Generation and Tommy Boy flitting through their heads?) I want to cast on today. And it can be my new car-knitting! And I could just knit the sleeves and body a little longer to make it big enough for PeeWee! But maybe I ought to finish the Bog Jacket collar and button bands first. Hmmm.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I stayed up late tonight to do dishes. Not to read, not to knit, not to spin, and not even to watch the Olympics. I finished the dishes and now here I am, actually typing a blog post! I'm stunned, too.

I have been knitting a little, here and there. I finished the body of a Bog Jacket for PeeWee that has been my car-knitting for the past 6-7 months. I started it with some Noro Silk Garden that was left over from Boberly's entrelac hat I made last fall. When I ran out of that, I bought a couple of random balls of Silk Garden from my LYS. Then I bought a few more balls of Silk Garden as souvenir yarn this past spring when I was in Solvang, California for an art show. I'm not really sure how much yarn I used... I plan to finish the jacket off by picking up stitches up one front edge, around the neck and back down the other front edge, then knitting button bands and a shawl collar. I have to add on a couple inches of width to the jacket with the button bands because when I started this project, PeeWee was a lot smaller than she is now. :)

I've also been doing some gift knitting for darling Prairie Mama Kim. She's due in about a month and I'm taking this Baby Surprise Jacket over to her tomorrow. (Kim, if you read this before I get to your house, just act surprised, okay?) I subscribe to the Spunky Eclectic Fiber club, but in July, I got sent the sock yarn of the month by mistake, instead of the fiber of the month. I think it was meant to be, since the colorway (Flowering Weeds) just cried out to be made into a BSJ and the pretty yellow made me think of Kim. I adore this pattern. This was the first time I've knit it and it was a delight. I HEART Elizabeth Zimmermann. (Sisties, she's the designer of this pattern and the Bog Jacket above--and though she has passed on, I consider her to be my Knitting Muse and Guru.) About halfway into it, I got worried that I would run out of yarn, so I pulled out some of my undyed Henry's Attic Kona DK (superwash merino that matched the weight of the Spunky DK sock yarn perfectly) and dyed it a coordinating yellow.

My babies started school this week. I have one big baby who is now in high school. I have another baby (who is actually bigger, though younger, than the big-baby-high-school-freshman) who is now a Big Man on (middle school) Campus. I surprised him with his first cell phone (you got to love pay-per-use phones, huh?) and he's pretty excited, can you tell? My next two babies are still in elementary school, and then the baby of all is here at home. She strapped on a back pack this morning and asked if she could go to school, too. She was pretty disappointed that she didn't get to stay at the school with the big kids. (Can you see the look on my Middle Child's face? He was peeved that I made him stop for a picture.) Sigh. Where did my wee precious darlings go? Why can't they grow up already and stop breaking my heart with how fast they change? I have a recurring desperate fear that I'm going to blink and they'll be old and I'll be really old and I won't remember any of the clever and adorable things they did (are doing)...whatever. I need to go to sleep. I should have left the dishes for morning.