Thursday, June 27, 2013

Yarn Along - Baby Blanket Progress

Well June has been a crazy month this year.  The husband took a 17-day motorcycle trip across the country with my dad, then three days after they got home I left for a five-day church conference.  (You can read all about the motorcycle trip on my dad's blog In Search of the Weird.  They found some.)  I've been trying to catch up on a lot of things and re-establish some order and routine around here.

I finished the first baby blanket of the year on June 1, right on schedule.

This is my second time making the Mitered Crosses Blanket from Kay of Mason-Dixon Knitting.  I still really like this pattern, and would like to do another variation of it.  Also, I love it when I can knit a whole blanket from the stash.
I love the look of i-cord edging.  It takes forever, but it isn't hard and is so worth it.
This blanket is for a baby I wouldn't "normally" knit a blanket for.  Blankets are usually limited to nieces and nephews, especially since there are so many of them.  But I felt moved to make a blanket for her, I had an idea, I had the yarn, and I make the silly knitting rules anyway, so I did.  I'm not sure yet if this will wait around until her first birthday (when I usually gift blankets), or if I'll give it when the weather starts to turn cold.

During this crazy month of June I've been working away on Nephew E's blanket.  Rendition #4 of the Tell Me A Story blanket.  All 42 squares are done now, and I've started in on edging them.
 Actually at some point during the church conference I lost count and ended up with an extra square.  Whoops.  I'm trying not to look at all the ends already in that picture.  So that's more than half done, running a bit ahead of schedule.

As far as reading goes, there hasn't been much of it with all the other things going on this month.  I do have My Grandmother's Knitting by Larissa Brown out from the library.  It's a great book with stories from some well-known designers.  They tell stories of the knitter who first introduced them to knitting, or the one who really inspired them.  Then they share patterns inspired by these (usually) family members.  I have it more for the stories than the patterns right now, but both are quite good.
Check out Ginny's Yarn Along for more books and knitting.

More to come from me, hopefully soon.  Washcloths are on schedule, and I'm working to finish another Christmas stocking this week.  I need to show you the most recent finished baby sweater, and there's been one more birth this month, so one more sweater to start, too.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Thunder Moon Finally Blocked

I'm trying to make blocking more a part of my knitting routine.  Things sit unblocked for far too long around here, and I'm trying to change that.  I test knit Mindy Wilkes' Thunder Moon pattern almost a year ago -- the July full moon is known as the Thunder Moon.  I finally wove in the two tiny ends and blocked it this weekend.

Blocking can be intimidating.  Do I have enough pins? is the bathroom sink clean enough for my precious yarn or do I have to scrub it first? what if I get it lopsided? and can I keep the kid and cats out of the sun porch long enough for it to dry?

Well, I absconded with a bunch of my dad's pins (he's not in the piecing stage of a quilt right now, so he won't miss them for a while), I got a cheap plastic dishpan to be my designated knitting soak basin, finally realized that if it's lopsided all I have to do is throw it back in the water and try again, and also, the kid and the cats can't work doorknobs (yet), and can find other places to amuse themselves.

I'm really happy with it.  I knew I loved this pattern, but blocking really is magic, and it's so wonderful to see it all opened up and beautiful.  The final kick in the pants to make this happen was a visit from my grandparents.  My grandmother is always cold and her favorite color is blue.

This had to go home with her.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Yarn Along: New Baby Blanket

I'm joining in Ginny's Yarn Along again this week.  Check out her blog for lots of links to lots of great projects and books.

I haven't finished anything recently, but that hasn't stopped me from starting the next baby blanket.  This one is for Nephew E.
I've knit this same pattern, Tell Me A Story, three times before: Nephew S (in the pre-blog, pre-Ravelry days), Nephew R, and Nephew O.  This time I'm using Plymouth Encore Worsted yarn, and this is the first time I've used grey as the neutral color instead of cream.  Six squares done so far, out of 42.
This blanket has been accepted as my Defense Against the Dark Arts OWL in the HPKCHC. Stranded back-and-forth knitting, fourth time through a big project, and all the ends to weave in -- I think any one of those elements would have qualified this project for "Practice Repelling the Cruciatus Curse."  But it's not that bad, and while I'm still knitting the squares, it makes good portable knitting.  Staying on schedule with this is taking almost all of my usual knitting time.

For reading, I recently started Ireland's Pirate Queen:  The True Story of Grace O'Malley by Anne Chambers.  My dad picked this up for my husband, but he left it on the dining room table one day too long and I'm reading it before him now.  This is the kind of non-fiction my dad and I absolutely love.  It sounds like Granuaile was a truly amazing woman.  I can't wait to read the rest of this, and I hope to get to go visit the O'Malley lands sometime in the next few years.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Surprise! It's not a Baby Surprise!

The next baby sweater is blocking.

It's not a BSJ!  This pattern is the Jester Collar Cardigan from a Leisure Arts booklet called "Beautiful Baby."
This month is the two-year anniversary of my LYS owner buying the shop.  In addition to some awesome sales, she's running a contest - everyone who cast on a project at the anniversary party on May 1st and finishes the project during the month will be entered into a drawing for a gift card.  This little sweater is my entry.  I need to sew all the seams, knit on the triangle "Jester" collar and add buttons.  Finishing work always seems to take the longest for me, so hopefully the deadline will keep me focused, and it'll be done soon.

I did recently finish another BSJ (periwinkle-yellow-green) that has been sent away.  But the only pictures I remembered to take of it are on my phone.  I have a DumbPhone, so as soon as I figure out how to get those pictures into the computer, I'll post one. :-P

Friday, May 10, 2013

2013 Washcloths - May Edition

May's washcloth is complete, for a total of six so far this year.  Ten more to go.  Made once again with the spring-green color of Nashua Handknits Creative Focus Cotton (same as the January washcloth), this pattern is called Tulip Lace, from May 2nd on the perpetual calendar.  There's just a tiny ball of green left, so I think there'll be a random multi-color Nashua washcloth sometime this year.

I'm turning this in for my Transfiguration "homework" in the HPKCHC.  The assignment was to make a fish or flower or something with a fish or flower motif.  Perpetual calendar came up with Tulip Lace on May 2nd and Fish-tail Lace on May 3rd.  I thought this green yarn would be just right for the greenery around a bunch of tulips, so I picked flowers.  Ta-da.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Yarn Along - Scrappy Striped Toddler Socks

Joining Ginny's Yarn Along again this week.  Lots of great knitting and reading ideas over there.

I've been knitting a pair of socks for Lil One out of some sock yarn left over from a pair I made for me and a pair for the husband.  The red-purple-blue stripes on the legs actually made a pair of socks for me and a simple hat for Lil One before I used up the last of it here.  Since I knew I would run out of that, I'm knitting these two-at-a-time so the socks will match.  I don't have a long circular needle in the right size, and I prefer double pointed needles for socks, so I'm using this technique from an old Knitty article to make one sock inside the other on dpns.  The blue-brown-black yarn is the leftover from the husband's favorite pair of socks.  Those were actually the first socks I made two-at-a-time on double points. I think it'll just be enough to finish these socks.  I'm hoping to finish them today and turn them in for Detention points in the HPKCHC.  Gryffindors try to "WIP the First" and turn in a Detention project on the first of every month.

The husband and I have been listening to the final book in Robert Jordan's (help from Brandon Sanderson) Wheel of Time mega-series.  I love these books, and love the audio versions.  We laugh all the way through the Matrim sections.  I may just have to start the series over when we finish this book.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Baby Blanket Squares

Most of my knitting time recently has been going into squares for the first baby blanket of the year.  This is my second time making the Mitered Crosses blanket from Mason-Dixon Knitting, and I still love the pattern.  Instigated by the 2011 tsunami in Japan, proceeds from the sales of this pattern still go to Mercy Corps relief work.
For a baby-sized blanket, I adjust the pattern and do a simple 3x3 square.  That's my 5-inch gauge ruler in the picture for scale.  I'm knitting it entirely out of worsted weight stash, and am pretty thrilled that it looks like I may actually have enough of the cream color.  One more square to go, attaching, weaving of ends, and an applied I-cord border (in the multi-color yarn).  Looks to be on track for finishing by the end of May!

I have once again joined the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup group on Ravelry.  I intend that this will distract me from neither my knitting goals nor my blogging.  It did last time, but this time around I feel like I know more about it, and have a plan for incorporating it into my knitting routine.  Hopefully, it will also help me get my ravelry projects page caught up with reality.