Sunday, April 29, 2012


I made my dad a sweater vest for Christmas.  This was back in 2009.  It was a perfectly fine vest, but it came out too big.  It wasn't a gauge error, but mis-estimations and too much rounding on my part.  The project has been in time out for two full years now.  Dad has a major birthday coming up next month, and I've been thinking of fixing his vest in time for his birthday.  Now that I've thought about it long enough that I probably don't have enough time, I've gotten started.

I ripped it all out.  This is the first time I have taken a finished project and frogged it.  It may have been possible to cut the vest and sew it together to the correct size, but I've never done that and didn't have enough confidence that it would come out well.  I do know that if I have the yarn back, I can knit a smaller vest.  So I unraveled the ribbing around the neck and armholes, picked out the seams, and frogged the entire back. 
Now I haven't done this before, but I have the impression that it would be a good idea to wash the yarn to help it relax and undo some of the kinks.  So here it is tied into skeins and ready for its bath, and then soaking in the sink.
When I hung it up to dry I tried using clothes hangers to weight down the skeins.  It worked fairly well, but I think I would have needed more weight to take out all the kinks.  It made for a strange set of wind chimes in our bathroom for a few days.

Yesterday the yarn was finally dry and I wound it into center-pull balls.  Here it is with the yet-to-be-frogged front of the vest, and the first two rows of the second attempt.  This time I have a vest of his that fits him well, so I'll be constantly comparing to that, instead of working from a sticky note of measurements.
I'm hopeful.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Yarn Along - Striped BSJ

I'm joining Ginny's Yarn Along again this week, kind of at the last minute.

I've been working on my three colored striped Baby Surprise Jacket.  I really love this pattern, and I'm also liking this method of striping.  I'll really like it at the end when there are only six ends to weave.

I've been reading French Kids Eat Everything:  How our family moved to France, cured picky eating, banned snacking, and discovered 10 simple rules for raising happy, healthy eaters by Karen Le Billon.  My mom recently gave me this book, and it's a good one to read as a follow-up to Bringing Up Bebe.  This one is by a Canadian who married a Frenchman and moved to his small hometown for a year with their two small girls.  I'm already changing some of our habits based on the some of the simple, smart things in this book.

In other news, I have a very strange set of wind chimes hanging in my shower right now.

More on that project soon!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Yarn Along - 2012 Washcloths April Edition

Joining in Ginny's Yarn Along. She says:
Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well.
Check out some of the great projects and books linked there this week!

The Lil One wanted to help me knit today, so I pulled out the April washcloth. She sat on my lap for maybe two rows, and then I finished it later in the day. Simple garter stitch with three-row stripes. The goal for this washcloth was to use up the scraps of dishcloth cotton I've accumulated and to do a trial run of three-row stripes. My friend Alisha made a Baby Surprise Jacket a while back using three colors and making stripes that were each three rows wide. It's a little hard to see the effect in the washcloth because I was using variegated yarns and had to swap in new colors when my remnants ran out. But I really like this idea, and I believe I will use it in my next BSJ, which will be my second and probably to be knit in the next few months.

The book is my new toothbrushing reading (use the moments you can), as I've finished the Harold Bloom collection from way back when. The Growing Church: Keys to Congregational Vitality was edited by Rev. Thom Belote, who was our History and Theology presenter at UU MidWest Leadership School my student year and my first year on the volunteer staff. It's a collection of essays by ministers of thriving congregations, and I'm using it to help me get back into church-lady mode as we gear up for this year's MWLS, and I gear up to rejoin my congregation's board in July. I think my position will be Secretary, which means I won't be able to knit as much at the meetings. :-P

Oh, and I finished the OSU Baby Blanket. In time and everything. It ended up being 170 stripes long plus two 3-inch borders. 170 stripes x 2 sides x oh, at least 130 stitches per row = I don't even want to know. Let's just look at the pretty instead.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

2012 Washcloths - First Quarter Report

So far so good with the 2012 Washcloth knitting. I've made one washcloth in each of the first three months of this year, plus one extra for four cloths knit so far.
From left to right in this picture we have two ball-band dishcloths made last year, the January and February cloths in the same white-lime-tan colorway, the first-quarter-extra cloth, and March's. I don't have an individual picture of January's cloth, finished just in time, in a knit-one-below pattern called Bee Stitch. I have not yet been able to make a Bee Stitch cloth come out square.

February's was finished in the first week of the month and was knit in a stitch called Crocus Buds
Since I finished that one so early, I started in on the extra cloth for these three months. Back to the good old Ball-band pattern using the left over yarn from January and February and denim. This one sat for most of February and got finished in early March.
Mid-March I cast on a fairly simple textured pattern -- seed stitch diamonds -- and finished it in two days.
So I'm keeping up with the washcloth schedule and am pretty pleased with the results for the first part of the year. I'll be needing more Sugar n' Cream yarn pretty soon.