aswim in knits

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Pumpkin time of year

It's pumpkin time! Not these ones though.

I'm talking about these ones ...

And these ones...

MIT has a glass blowing lab, and every year they host the "Great Pumpkin Patch" as a fundraiser. Artists from the lab create 1000 pumpkins over the course of the year. Each is handblown and unique. The pumpkins are then put on display for an evening, and sold on the next day. I visited the display on Friday evening ... the pumpkins took up several loooong tables, and there was quite a crowd admiring them. From what I could see, the prices ranged from about $40 to upwards of $200. I might have to buy one next year!

I will leave you with a parting shot of one of my favorite pumpkins. Blue and green may not be the typical choice for a pumpkin, but I love the way the colors seem to be in motion.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Sneak peek

The 4 green lace edgings, one for each side of the baby blanket, are done. Two are blocked and two more are happily sunbathing on my living room floor.
(You can see an edge of the blanket, also pinned out for a proper length comparison.

Since I chose a garter stitch lace that sits flat, I probably didn't need to block these. Although, blocking did help to open up the lace a bit. I was also concerned that the yarn would grow when washed, as each of the squares grew a bit. I knit the edgings slightly shorter than the blanket, and when blocked they did end up just about the right size. Lucky me.

Tonight, I have a date with episode 2 of 2 in the Law and Order and Law and Order: SVU crossover plot line. I'm hoping to attached both of the edgings that are done being blocked, and if the other two that are pinned to my floor are dry, perhaps get a start on those too.

Friday, September 23, 2005

All together now ...

Awwww! How cute....

These are the little Koigu baby booties I whipped up for my mom's cousin's new baby boy. Super quick. I started at lunch on Tuesday and finished last night during the news.

Yarn: Koigu KPPPM. Variegated blues.
Pattern: Stay-on Baby Booties, from "Knitting for Baby" by Melanie Falick and Kristin Nicholas
Gauge: Ummm ... around 7 sts/in in st st. I think. They're so darn tiny and hard to measure!
Needles: Size 4 bamboo for bootie, and size 3 bamboo for icord ties.

I will certainly make more of these in the future -- mom's other cousin is due to have a baby any day now too. I may try to modify the pattern to use garter stitch for the soles only, and st st for the "bumper" and instep. We'll see how that works out...

This pattern was very well written. It was very wordy, though. However, it would be great for a new knitter, since everything is spelled out in great detail.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Thank you all for your thoughts on the baby blanket edging. I've decided to go with the middle one -- the zig zag edging from 200 Knitted Blocks. I am going to sit down and cast on tonight. Oooh! Season premiere of Law and Order is tonight! That should give me lots of good knitting time.

In the meantime, I have been working on a quick little project out of some leftover blue koigu. Yumm!
(Christine, this photo is for you, since I know you've been missing my plants:))

Photos tomorrow, I would guess.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Very impressed with myself...

I had a highly productive weekend! Well, I take that back. I still have a big mountain of clean laundry to fold. But, in the things that "count", I got a lot done!

Friday night, I had an event at work to attend, so I got home late. When I got home, I had to program all my phone numbers into my new cell phone (nothing fancy, just came along with my change in service providers). For those who know her, you will not be surprised to know that Genia was assigned the "Can Can" ring tone!

Saturday, we went grocery shopping, which we hadn't done in 12 days. You know, 2 people can eat a lot of food in 12 days!! I got all the ingredients for Thom's birthday dinner, too. I served duck with a cherry sauce, accompanied by squash soup and roasted root vegetables.

The soup came out great, courtesy of the recipe that Chris posted last week. Modifications: left out the whipping cream, mostly because I forgot it! Subbed dried tyme for fresh, and dried parsley for fresh sage. I could have sworn I had sage in the spice collection. Perhaps it's time for a trip to the new Penzeys spices in Arlington!

The duck was pretty good too, I was told. I don't really care for duck, so I only had a small piece. Thom said he really enjoyed it, and ate my leftovers, so I guess it was good.

The soup:

And the rest of the meal:

Knitting? Did you say that you came to see some knitting? I did a little of that too! I assembled the squares for the baby blanket for Tracie and Chris' baby. This is how it looks right now (excuse the funny shape. I think I was at a strange angle while taking the photo. It really is a rectangle, not some weird trapezoid!)

I was very pleased with the seams too. They seem nice and sturdy, and look good on both front and back sides. They also are flexible, which was important to me, since the blanket has a really nice drape to it.

I even got around to swatching some possible edgings. I think I am going to make the edgings in green, with a yellow square at each of the corners of the border. Here is what I tried:

The top one comes from Knitting on the Edge. I really like the look, but I am afraid that the delicate lacy part near the top will get snagged easily. I was able to pull a loop out without much effort.

The second and third ones both come from 200 Knitted Blocks, where I also got the ideas for the lace blocks. I like the middle one better, as I like the points of the lace, rather than the straight edges of the third one.

I'm having a hard time, though, since I really don't like garter stitch! Yet, all these are based on garter stitch, mainly to keep the edging from rolling. I want the blanket to be low maintenance, and not require blocking to look good, as it is going to a non-knitting soon to be new mom! What do you think -- which is your favorite? Vote below, and/or leave me a comment with your suggestions!

All in all, a very productive weekend!

Friday, September 16, 2005

Green Blocks

I finished the green blocks for the baby blanket. They are now blocking on my living room floor. But, since it is cool and damp here in the Boston area (66 degrees F, 96% humidity), I'm not sure that they will dry so quickly. I'm thinking that a fan or even a hairdryer might move the process along. If they aren't drying well when I get home tonight, there might be some intervention needed.

Anyways, this is what they look like:

A seaming party will commence tomorrow, especially as New England is supposed to get some of the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia tomorrow. Kir Royales, anyone?

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Accidental Stash Enhancement

I wrote up a lovely post about how I acquired some lovely new yarn, but I managed to lose everything I had written.

So, you tell me how you think I got it (FemiKnit Mafia and Christine, no cheating, since you already know the story!)


Tomorrow, the real story and some photos of actual knitting ... oh, the excitement of it all!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

in the lineup

Subtitle: no photos, but lots o' links.

I'm still plugging away on squares for my baby blanket. I've got 4 yellow, 4 orange, and 1 2/3 green ones. I hope to finish another green one tonight, and maybe one or two more this weekend. We'll see. Photos to come...

I'm now at the point in the project where I am ready to move on to the next one. I'm not sure what is next, but I feel like I am in a bit of a finishing mood.

So, I could finish the second Koigu sock (it's almost to the heel) or the Broadripple socks (which are not more than 1/3 finished). I've been bitten by the lace bug, so maybe the Broadripples would feed that frenzy. But, I also want to make a lace shawl.

WHAT??? I've never been a shawl-y girl. I like things plain and simple, not lacy and froo-froo. But, on my trip to Webs a few weeks ago, I bought the pattern for the Pacific Northwest Shawl. I also have the Interweave Knits with the pattern for the ubiquitous Flower Basket Shawl. Problem is, I don't have yarn for either and I promised that between now and the time Thom finishes grad school in May, the only yarn I would buy is for gifts, not for me.

Um, so I could make a lacy scarf in baby angora (have the yarn, and the pattern) or the Branching Out scarf in some dk or worsted weight red mohair (a gift from MIL's stash when I first learned to knit).

I also want to make a pair of Koigu baby booties for my mom's cousin's baby, due to be delivered tomorrow! I have the yarn and the pattern.

I could make the Scoop du Jour in some red Cotton-Ease, as I would very much like to own and wear this sweater. Yarn in the stash, pattern only $5 ... hey, it's a yarn diet, not a pattern diet!!!

Or, I could use my stash of Debbie Bliss Cotton Silk Aran to make a Trellis sweater, or a similar sweater jacket in one of DB's baby books I took out from the library. Got the yarn super cheap in a clearance bin over a year ago. It's a dusky purple color, and I love it, but don't really have enough for a project for me. If I make the sweater, there is no particular recipient in mind. I just like the yarn and pattern and will hang onto it until I know a baby girl in need of a gift.

Oh yeah, I also have a hank of Schaeffer Anne destined to be a pair of socks, and all the yarn for a Must Have Cardi for my mom. And a silly little secret project in mind for Thom, with yarn also in stash. And many odds and ends waiting to turn into squares for the John Glick blanket project or hats/mitts for the Dulaan Project. And some leftover Noro that wants to be a Multi-Directional Diagonal Scarf or maybe an Opptuna if there is enough left. And some white and pink and variegated pink and white yarn that might want to be a sweater for my niece Gracie. And some Cascade 220 to be a pair of gloves for my FIL's Xmas present. And some wool to make a hat for myself to match the gloves and scarf I made last winter.

That's at least 15 projects right there. See why I'm on a self-imposed yarn diet???

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

next project ...

After I finished the pink sweater, I started Tracie and Chris' baby's baby blanket. I decided to knit 12 8x8 inch squares, 4 each of butter, apricot, and green apple, and then pick an edging and edging color when the squares were all assembled.

In the past week, I did nine of the squares. The first 4 are in butter with a simple eyelet pattern. (Sorry for the bad photo -- I took it as I was dashing off to work this morning, and didn't realize how badly the red fleece background confused my camera's colors!)

The next 4 are in apricot with a diamond eyelet pattern.

The ninth is in apple green, in a chevron eyelet pattern, but I don't have a photo of that one yet.

So, anyone have any lace edging suggestions? There are a few I like in the afghan book these patterns came from, and a few more in the Knitting on the Edge book, and maybe one or two in Barbara Walker's 2nd treasury. I'm thinking of doing the edging in yellow, but I'm not sure yet. I used a little over half of a ball for each square, so I will easily have 2 full balls left in each color, if not more. I'm going to put the whole thing together and then decide...

Friday, September 02, 2005

Big Pink Blob finished!

So, I finished the pink sweater tshirt ... last Sunday! I've just been very busy since then, so I haven't had a chance to post.

Here is a REALLY BAD photo of the completed sweater, posing against a red velvet chair (velvet=velcro for knits! It just stuck like magic...)

Before I forget, here are the project specs:
Big Pink Blob sweater (aka Jane's tshirt)
Pattern: My own, using the Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns as a guide and the Arbor Lace pattern from Knitting on the Edge on the sleeves and hem.
Yarn: Tahki Cotton Classic in bright pink (I think it might be color # 3450 or 3459 ... I'll check the ball band later)
Gauge: 5 sts/in
Needles: Addi Turbos -- size 7 for body, size 6 for picot edging, and size 9 for cast ons

Here is Jane modeling the shirt (and the pants it was knit to match...)
Notice that the neckline on this one flares out a lot. This was the first of about 4 attempts to get a neckline I liked. I ended up with a picot edge, but going down a needle size. I picked up stitches, knit to the turning row of [k2tog, yo], and then knit one less row than on the side that faces out. I did not bind off, but instead sewed the live stitch to the inside of the sweater, covering up the area where stitches were picked up. I used exactly the same technique that Kathy documented so nicely on her Picovoli page. Of course, since she only put this up there yesterday, I did not have the advantage of seeing this as I was working :)

The end result is a nice finished looking neckline, both inside and out...

Here's a closeup of the lace pattern I chose (pardon the funny color ... my camera was being momentarily stupid...)

Overall, I liked this shirt, and I think Jane did too. She was happy to model it for me, so I hope she wears it :) I had fun designing this one, and it was a nice quick knit. In rerospect, I would have made the sleeves a bit shorter. I knit straight for about an inch before starting the armhole, but would have been better off with about 1/2 an inch, or even less for a true "cap sleeve" look. It's sometimes hard to make decisions like this without the intended wearer at hand (Jane lives about 2 hours away.) But, it's still cute, and I think Jane likes it, so that's what counts.

I've been busy since I finished this, but I will save that for another post!