Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Quickie Update

Just feeling like I should take a sec for an update. Though not too much to report.

The Baby Surprise Jacket still hasn't had what little seaming there is completed. Have I mentioned how much I dislike seaming? *grin* I should do it soon.

I was really glad I had my knitting with me in the car on Friday. DH and I were running around, looking at baby stuff. Unfortunately, there was a minor fender bender (more details on my non-knitting journal). We were both fine. It was start and stop traffic. So no one was going very fast. I don't even think our seat belts locked up.

It did mean that we had a lot of time to just sit around and wait for the cops to arrive and such. I had the First Coat for the kiddle that I was working on. It is a very simple knit which was sorta perfect. I also had the BSJ with me, but I just knew seaming at that moment could be a disaster. So I left it alone.

The funny thing was that I forgot my tape measure. So when I got home, I realized I had knit more than I should have. So I ripped back to the point when I should have started some decreases. Whoops!

I have finish the pieces other than the collar. Of course, that means that it is time for the dreaded seaming work! *laugh* I have to attach some pieces before I can pick up the stitches for the collar.

Overall, it is going well. And I think it will look really nice.

Though sooner or later I need *buttons* so I can complete the Baby Surprise Jacket, Loving Memories Lacy Bunting and the coat! I had actually stopped at a Michael's before the accident but they didn't have any buttons. *grumblegrowl* I should go up to the Garment District in the city and get some. It is just between all the baby stuff and having too much work to do these days, it has been a challenge to get away from my desk for lunch, much less out of the building to do anything else. Maybe next week. *crosses fingers*

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Baby Surprise Jacket in Handspun

Cast On:
August 7 2009

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The Infamous Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann

Made for:

US 8 / 5.0 mm Knitpicks Options

Handspun blend of DragonFibers Superwash Merino/Tencel & The Fiber Denn Merino/Silk
~300-350 yards

4 oz. DragonFibers Superwash Merino/Tencel Fiber
Purchased from
Colorway - Heart of Darkness
Present from Silvercat

4 oz. Violet Silk/Superwash Fiber
Purchased from
Colorway - Violet

Making for my baby due in September. Since the baby isn't born yet, I figured it would be good to make this now. Using the handspun means I wasn't sure what size the BSJ would be. But it means at some point in her life, it should fit her.

The handspun is 8.5-9.5 wpi. I tried a size 7 needle. A little too dense in garter. The size 8 needle has a nice feel. Tight enough to be warm, but loose enough to have some drape.

The yarn was spun for the 2009 Tour de Fleece. I was worried I might not have enough to complete the jacket. But I have yarn to spare.

I am so grateful for the pages with this project. The YouTube videos by L2Belt are extremely helpful. She offers some great suggestions on how to make this an easy project.

The wiki page photo by Nancepance also really helped to see where I wanted to add some strips. I am going to add it at row 21 for 6 rows and row 53 for 10 rows. This added enough without being too much.

I also used the spreadsheet by Civilgrrl. It is very straightforward which I found useful. It just gives the counts for each row. But it is set up row by row which helped me a great deal.

The DragonFiber has some striping to it already. But because I plied it with the Fiber Dragon, it is more modeled than straight striping. I only have a little of the solid violet from Fiber Denn.

Overall, I liked how quickly this went. I cast it on on Friday and bound it off on Monday. It was definitely quick to knit.

Just need to seam up the shoulders & add the buttons. Then it will be done!

I think if I had only had Zimmermann's instructions, I would have been pulling out my hair. But since I could use the different bits of help, it really made a huge difference. It made it a quick and fun knit. I think I just have trouble with Zimmermannese. Her patterns are very short and don't lay out much detail. So I am never sure about when you keep doing increases, when you are done with them, etc.. So it helped me so much having others who had done this and share the knowledge. Thanks heavens for Ravelry. Made it easy to find the info as the pattern has its own wiki page.

My DH did say there was a lot less swearing involved with this one. *laugh*

Though I am gonna have to figure out some creative words for when I run into trouble once the little one is born! *chuckle*

Finished or Almost Finished Objects

I have been a busy bee with baby knits. I want to get as much done for the baby's arrival as possible. And heaven knows I love the instant gratification of baby knits! *grin*

So I have been working on knitting as much as possible.

Loving Memories Lacy Bunting

Cast On:
May 20, 2009

All Knit, Just Waiting for Buttons & Bottom Closure:
Around July 30th, 2009

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Loving Memories Lacy Bunting by Lion Brand Yarn

Made for:
Kiddle Due in Sept.

US 4 / 3.5 mm
US 6 / 4.0 mm

Bernat Organic Cotton in white - 43006
Purchased at Smiley's Yarns in Woodhaven, New York

I looked at a number of buntings and really like this one. The lacy bits on the bottom will be lovely for my baby girl who is due in Sept.

I have decided to knit the body in the round. I loathe seaming and there doesn’t seem like there is a good reason why it needs to be done for this piece.

I subtracted 2 stitches from each side of the front & back. That means I cast on 180 sts.

I charted out the lace pattern. It is my first time converting a flat pattern into one in the round. It was definitely interesting. I should post the chart to my blog as it might be useful for someone else.

I finished knitting the body on 7/25. Added the hood which was done shortly afterwards.

Just need to add the buttons. I am also thinking about on putting a zipper on the bottom. The pattern suggests velcro. But after having some velcro get stuck to another knit item, I think having it on a knit item on purpose is just asking for trouble. So the zipper might work better.

Wave Jumper

Cast On:
May 17, 2009

July 18, 2009

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Wave Jumper by Leslie Barbazette
From from 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders

Made for:
Kiddle due in Sept.

3-6 mns - Middle size

US 3 / 3.25 mm (I think, might have been a 2 and I didn't mark it)

Some Assembly Required Socks That Shine
~400.0 yards (365.8m)
Colorway - Roses Are Red
Purchased at Etsy Trunk Sale

The middle size pattern has errors in it. It should be 198 sts cast on. There are additional changes as well.

I was super impressed. I wrote to let the publisher know about the error. Within a day, the editor wrote me back with all the corrections! It was very cool.

They have posted the corrections for the middle size:

This was my third attempt at the pattern. The first two were in self striping yarns. I thought they would look good after looking at some finished projects. But they didn’t work at all.

I think this colorway is okay. It is still busy, but the colors relate well and I think it looks good.

I confess that there were times I thought I would never finish it. If it wasn’t that my baby will be here soon, I might never have completed it. The skirt was kinda tedious. But I did a bunch in the car which helped.

Going Home Mary Janes

Cast On & Completed:
August 1, 2009

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Mary Jane Booties by Lucie Sinkler

Made for:

US 3 / 3.25 mm

Knit Picks Shine Sport
~0.5 skeins = 55.0 yards
Colorway - Cherry
Purchased at Knit Picks

Figured these would be cute to go with the February sweater. It is to match my baby to come’s going home outfit.

They were a super fast knit and very easy. They look adorable. They only took a few hours to knit. Hope they fit well.

Suspect I will make others given the simplicity and the look of them. Very cute.

3 1/2” long
1 1/2-1 1/34” wide

I should have taken the pics *before* they got washed as they looked better. But they will look great on her feet!

I suspect I will make more of these. They were so quick and cute it is hard not to.

Tour De Fleece 2009

I know, I know. This is long past due. But July was a rough month and this is the first I have gotten to post pics and write a bit about it.

I started the Tour with a lot of vigor. I spun a lot over the July 4th weekend, taking my Babe Double Treadle Production wheel with me to the Adirondacks. It was lovely getting to spin there.

Problem was when I got home from the long weekend, my cat was sick. I have posted about her on my non-knitting journal. If you read it, you will see that it was a rough month. In the end, I had to let her go. It still hurts so much. But it was her time to leave us I believe. I still get all teared up just thinking about her. I miss her a lot.

Between all the trips to the vet, caring and spend time with her and the sadness involved, I didn't get as much done for the Tour as I hoped. But I did complete 8 oz. of fiber.

I spun a single of the 4 oz. of DragonFibers Superwash Merino/Tencel fiber over the July 4th weekend. It is lovely to spin. I really want to pick up more from DragonFibers as they do some lovely fibers.

Thanks Silvercat for sending it. It really is lovely stuff.

DragonFibers Superwash Merino/Tencel Fiber from:
Colorway - Heart of Darkness
Present from Silvercat

Though I confess, the pinks in there are *bright*. It is the reason I knew I didn't want to do a Navajo ply with this one. It just would have been too bright in sections.

I debated what to ply with the DragonFibers. I wanted something superwash as I was figuring this was going into something baby related. And given my wooly allergies, I don't really want to have any wool on the baby other than superwash. Superwash is specially treated and doesn't set off my allergies so I am hoping she has the same response.

I tried predrafting some superwash fiber I bought from Etsy in a darker colorway. But honestly, I am not thrilled with the way it was drafting. So I put it back and looked at my other fibers. I have a lot of fibers that either didn't match or weren't fibers I want to put against baby skin.

I finally remember the superwash/silk blend I bought from The Fiber Denn. It is a beautiful fiber. And the silk gave it a nice long draw with some great petability. I figured the silk shimmer would compliment the shine of the tencel. So they would work well together and the violet wouldn't seem dull by comparison.

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So I plied the two singles together and got ~398.0 yards of the two fibers together. I had some of the Fiber Denn single left. I was able to make a small skein that was about ~47 yds.

Honestly, this was the only thing I accomplished for the Tour. I am saddened that I didn't get more done. But under the circumstances, I actually did pretty well. I didn't spin every day that I should have. But given things with my cat, I got a lot more spinning done than I would have otherwise.

Spun on Babe Double Treadle Production Wheel. I love my Babe wheel. *smile*

I will confess though. I haven't done any spinning since the Tour! Ack. Once this was off my wheel, it has been dormant. I have been working on baby knitting or just too wiped to do anything.

Less than 6 weeks until my due date. So it isn't surprising that I am a little preoccupied. *laugh*