Friday, July 29, 2005

Wish me luck...

Lots of this over the next couple days.

Once again, I am committed to finishing a project in an unreasonable amount of time. This time it's Debbie Bliss' Moss Stitch and Cable jacket (largest size) from Baby Knits. I started it exactly one week before the "welcome home" party for the recipient.

It's partly my fault. I wasted easily the better part of a week swatching everything under the sun trying to select an appropriate article for a toddler/little boy. So, now I have barely enough time to finish the sweater for Monday.

Since I'm grouchy about the sweater already, let me repeat a little rant about pattern books, particularly those by Debbie Bliss.

(rant begins)
I know from bitter experience that you should ALWAYS check the pattern errata sheets on line before beginning any complex (or even just time-sensitive project), but geez I don't think I've made one of her patterns yet that hasn't had a correction made to it post-publication. The Baby Knits book has multiple printings with DIFFERENT ERRORS in each version.

What bothers me most is that the bulk of these errors are pretty straight forward, like not having the same number of stitches on each row of a written pattern (assuming no increases or decreases) or omitting pocket finishing instructions. That is, the errors don't require a great level of technical expertise to detect. I would be a lot more tolerant of the occasional whoops in free, online publication like Knitty, but these are fairly prices books with multiple printings. They can afford proof-readers!
(rant over)

Oh, one of the reasons that I will be racing to complete the sweater with two full days ahead of me is that my oldest daughter's birthday is Sunday and we are having Family Party. (Family party is distinct from Kids party, which cannot be held on the long weekend because no one would attend!)

So, eight years ago Sunday, I became a mom....Happy Birthday Ellery!

Obviously, not a recent picture of Miss E. But wasn't she a cutie?

Friday, July 22, 2005

Shadow Stripe Top

This was meant to be a quick and easy summer top. (From Knitter's Magazine a couple of seasons ago) It is very easy, but the relatively fine gauge and the splitty nature of the yarn made it a bit more of a project than I had originally anticipated. It's been so hot though, that even had I finished it a couple weeks ago, it would have been too warm to wear.

The most surprising thing is that it fits! I tinkered with the needle size and gauge (cuz I had my heart set on using some Yarn Art Summer that I had in my stash), so I figured that the finished size would be a guesstimate at best. Sorry, no picutre of me modelling the top cuz I'm home alone and can't figure out how to photograph myself without getting a really unflattering angle of my widest points!

We're headed to the cottage this evening, so I've got some time to get going on the little boy's sweater that I need for next weekend. I'm unhappy with how my swatches looked for the zipped cardigan or wrapped collar sweaters (see stork post below), so I'm reswatching a variation of Devan from Knitty.
Holli Yeoh sells patterns on line (at Bee's Knee's Knits!) for children's sweaters made from self-patterning sock yarn. I couldn't resist JoJo

If that doesn't work, I'll test a moss-stitch and cable cardigan from Debbie Bliss' "The Baby Knits Book".

Anyway, I have to finish packing...have a great weekend!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Finished Via Diagonale!

Ok, I finally got off my butt and finished Via Diagonale. I may have to find a new name for it, because I've made a few modifications and it looks quite a bit different from the original.

Here is my version...

It's more rigid than the original. I liked a little bag that Maggie from SNB uses for her sock knitting. It's a small straw bag that stands up by itself, so it's perfect for small knitting projects.

Maggie's bag looks sort of like this, but cuter!

Wendy at Knit and Tonic (BTW, a MUST READ blog) used fusible interfacing to give her Via Diagonale some "umph", but the Butterfly 10 Cotton that I used was going to need more structural reinforcement.

So, I used plastic canvas to create a bottom for the bag...

And made sides out of the plastic canvas too. I laced the canvas together into a sort of flat loop to give the bag a rounder shape when it was standing. I used my I-corder to whip up a couple handles, stitched them to the plastic canvas, then I covered the whole mess with a lining...

I'm sure there is a more elegant way to secure everything prior to stitching, but this worked.

I'll have to carry it around for a while and decide what kind of closure it needs. I'm thinking that some sort of I-cord frog/large button contraption could work. (Something about Velcro, or even a magnetic snap just seems out of character with this bag.)

So finally, I have a finished object and more importantly a container for my other WIPs when I'm carting them about in public!

Friday, July 08, 2005

Guess What??!!


One of Gillian's therapists (whom we've known for about 4 years now) just adopted a baby boy from the Soviet Union! He is absolutely gorgeous, based on the pictures that I've seen. His official welcoming party is August 1st, so I have to figure out something to make for him.

Vlad isn't really a baby, he's a bit more than one right now, so I'm leaning towards a two-year old sized sweater. He will probably receive a lot of right now stuff, so something for later might be appreciated.

I like this Debbie Bliss sweater and have a nice wool/acrylic blend in a dull copper/grey marl that is swatching nicely. I'll make a sleeve this week to get a better idea of what it will look like knitted up. I have a second option, another Debbie Bliss zippered cardigan with straight lines and a bit of seed stitch detailing. (no pictures of swatches...DH has my camera)

I'm just starting the back of the plum coloured shadow stripe top, but with it's smallish gauge, it's slow going.

Not too sure how much knitting I'll get done over the next couple days. DH is in Greece attending his brother's wedding and I'm managing the pups (without benefit of camps or classes for any of them, so I'll be busy thinking up fun ways to pass long, hot days at home)

Friday, July 01, 2005


Happy Canada Day!

We're staying in town and doing lots of fun, silly, family things like bike riding, strawberry picking, swimming and BBQ entertaining! Sounds dorky but it promises to be fun. Relaxing, no, but fun.

I'm not getting much knitting done. (Hey, last week was the end of the school year and with picking out and wrapping teacher presents, providing treats for end of year parties and birthday parties, nursing a sick pup and sorting out Gillian's paperwork for next year, I'm lucky to sit down.)

I did start a simple shell top for me. It's a shadow stripe top from a 3 year old copy of Knitter's Magazine. Lots of knitting, (fine gauge yarn and relatively small needles) and very little opportunity to make a mistake.

I'll limp along with this until I feel competent enough to start the lining for the Via Diagonale bag!

Enjoy the long weekend!