Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Half full, or half empty?

I had two baby blanket projects on the go and one of them is still going...

So is 50/50 an incomplete failure, or a partial victory?

The Alphabet Block Blanket is tricky because you have to follow a large chart closely, but otherwise is fairly straight forward in that there are no complicated stitches, cables or increases/decreases. My 40 year old eyes must be going on me because for the life of me I can't knit 10 rows without frogging at least two of them!

Part of the problem is likely my decision to use a double strand of a very fine washable wool that I have in my stash. Keeping track of individual stitches when using a double strand of yarn in nearly the same shade as your bamboo needles is asking for trouble...even before you factoring in the aging eyeballs!

So, I'm taking a little break from the Alphabet Blanket. I still love the pattern and think it will make a lovely gift for SIL, but I need to re-think my choice of yarn.

Perhaps the merino wool that I'm using for the Big Bad Baby Blanket (BBBB) would work. If I have a few shreds left over when I'm finished the BBBB, I'll knit a swatch for the Alphabet Blanket. FWIW, the BBBB is also knit with a double strand of yarn, but doesn't require a chart and is knit in stockingette and moss stitch only. Much less of an issue for the double strand/eyeball thing. Also, the BBBB is knit with two strands of different colour yarn, so stitch identification is a bit easier than with the monochromatic version.

Here is the little bit of the BBBB that I've completed.

The two colours, a powder blue and a barely there caramel are blending together very nicely. The resulting marl is much nicer than the photograph suggests. All in all, it is a very simple, yet quite lovely baby blanket.

Now, if I can only not figure out a way to ruin it...!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

I've fallen and I can't get up....knitting wise

I don't know what's wrong with me. I can't seem to get going on this baby blanket. After completing about 20cm of chevron blanket with a wider moss stitch border, I decided that I didn't care for it either and discarded it. (no photo...hey, once you've seen one blurry, aqua-coloured blanket bit, you've seen them all.)

Maybe this yarn just isn't destined to become a baby blanket and is therefore resisting my efforts to knit it into one.

I'm starting over, with a different yarn. I'm using a double strand of a fingering-weight superwash wool in a pale lemon colour to make Debbie Bliss' Alphabet Block Baby Blanket from Simple Knits.

Here's what it looks like, (according to package directions)

Another note to self: Check errata pages before beginning complex chart patterns. I hit a snag 11 rows into the block pattern and wound up frogging a few rows before I corrected my error. Sure as shooting, the errata page (on the web) listed row 11 as being troublesome. Coulda saved some braincells there.

The pattern is interesting and it has been ages since I've knit anything substantial from a chart, so after the lesson learned regarding errata pages, it should be fun! It isn't really mindless knitting, (or at least knitting that I can pick up and put down in the five minutes before the schoolbell rings for dismissal), so I also started...

The Stitch N Bitch Big Bad Baby Blanket. I'm using two strands of Lana Gatto Wool Gatto in place of the Koigu PPP, partly for economic reasons and partly for practicality (having spawned a "refluxy" pup myself)
Not enough progress on either project to merit a WIP photo yet!

So, hopefully my new projects will shake me out of this knitting funk. Wish me luck!

Thursday, March 17, 2005


I'm ripping out the baby blanket again.

Note the curling edge. It drives me nuts and with a part-acrylic yarn, I'm not sure that it could be blocked out completely when it is finished.

So, I will start again. Maybe with a moss-stitch edging?

Monday, March 14, 2005

Note to self: Do not read this blog.

Ok, you could probably see it coming. After whinging about the fact that so many baby blanket patterns are just garter stitch borders with a fancy stitch in the middle, I examined my work-in-progress more closely.

The shell stitch is nice on the right side, but not that attractive on the reverse. This bothers me. Now, I knew that the stitch wasn't reversible before I started the blanket, but this fact became unacceptably obvious after a few pattern repeats. (As an aside, I also think that the shell pattern would be a bit prettier if the shells were arranged in staggered rows rather than straight columns, but changing that also necessitates starting again.

Anyhoo, I knit a small sample of stitches, reversible and one-sided (brambles, clusters, stars, chevrons and such) and decided that despite the reversibility issue, I was most fond of a chevron lace pattern. I restarted the blanket.

Unfortunately, my love for chevron was not returned and I made a silly mistake and took an even sillier length of knitting time to discover the whoops, so I don't have too much to show for my labours.

Here is what survived the frogfest last night...

Monday, March 07, 2005

A bit of knitting

Ok, everyone is back at school today, (touch wood). Health-wise, I'm hoping that the worst is behind us, although Clare is acting a bit cranky, which is usually a sure sign that she isn't 100% well.

I did manage to finish Clare's top-down sweater-dress, using my new 12" circular needles.

With any luck I will be able to convince her to wear it!

I've started my SIL's baby blanket. I'm using some Sirdar Country Style yarn in turquoise, which has a small twist of lavender in it. The yarn has an interesting texture to it and it is machine washable, so I think it will be suitable. I'm making the Vogue Knitting on the Go, Baby Blankets 2 "Shell Stitch" blanket. (Although, like many baby blankets I've knit, this pattern consists of a few rows of garter stitch surrounding a more interesting, novelty stitch, all worked in the same colour. A quick thumbing through the stitch library in Vogue Knitting probably would have been just as simple!)

Here is the start of the blanket...

And an attempt at a closeup of the shell pattern

The colour reproduction is terrible, the turquoise is really quite a bit more subtle and the lavender thread adds a sort of "mermaidy" quality to the shell pattern. Yes, I know that I have stitch markers on the needles, but I was knitting in a dark movie theatre yesterday and it was the only way to prevent whoopses.

I do knit in movie theatres, but usually only when I'm seeing kid's movies. Yesterday, Clare and I saw "Daniel and the Superdogs". (Daniel and the Superdogs is an independent Canadian film.) Clare is almost 6 years old. She is truly dog-crazy and especially adores the Superdogs, but even that couldn't hold her attention throughout the almost two hour film. The film was awkward in that it had a lot of dialog relative to the amount of action, which made it tedious for younger children, but the plot and dialog weren't sufficiently substantial for older kids or adults. Not truly painful to watch, but close. I'm glad that I brought my knitting.