I am spending some time strolling the streets of Paris, enjoying my family, buying French yarn and eating Lemon Tarts. I will write all about my adventures after April 18th. Until then…à bientôt.
“The time has come,” the Walrus said, “To talk of many things: Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–Of cabbages–and kings–And why the sea is boiling hot–And whether pigs have wings.” Lewis Carroll – The Wlarus and the Carpenter Poem, Through the Looking-Glass.
So here I am happily knitting away at yet another baby blanket. All white and embossed with little sailboats and tiny anchors. It is to be a “Coming Home from the Hospital” size and since I elected to use size 5 US needles, it is half done in a week. I shake my head at my own inability to stay away from knitting them, and like those little oysters I trot right into another baby blanket knitting pattern on Ravelry, buy the yarn and cast on. I will never learn. But you must admit, it is coming along nicely. The pattern I chose had anchors and hearts but I sketched out a sailboat on grid paper and replaced the hearts as the boats seemed more fitting for the baby boy that will be gracing our presence come late June. What else should I make to go with the layette? Booties (that never stay on), a little hat, perhaps. More soft white cotton yarn is ordered so we will have to wait and see. Any ideas?
Here it is Monday and I totally forgot to write my weekly post. [Face Palm] I’ve been busily knitting away. I finished the “Cabled” hat. Next time I use real cables, the pattern was hard to see in the work till it was done so any mistakes will remain because I have no idea if they are there or not! And I cast on a small baby blanket. I know I said I’d never make another one again but I had only 3 skeins of some acrylic yarn from France (also a “never again”) that I wanted to use up. Plus acrylic can be thrown in the washer and dryer without worry. But after 3 inches it was apparent the blanket was going to be only 12″ long. So I ripped it out and started over with many less stitches. Now on the last half of the last skein, I’m happy to say it is nearly done. I hope to finish today to make room for my next project if the yarn comes in: another small baby blanket. I know I’m totally nuts, but it’s hard to concentrate in Paradise!
Remember those days when you first started knittting? You know, when all those abbreviations in patterns were like, “whaaat?” And after all those crossed and dropped stitches, remember the day you finished your first sweater? It took months but you stuck with it and finally FINISHED it. THAT, my friends is how I felt after finally finishing the CRIB SIZE (what was I thinking) baby blanket in size 3 (US) needles. The pattern was simple but I wanted the stitches to be tight, not lacy, so I went down several sizes on the needles. This is coming from someone who was under the gun to make an entire cabled sweater for my adult daughter – IN TEN DAYS! Baby blankets just go on and on and on. My frustration turned into frenzy when I made the coming home sweater in 3 days for the little darling. It was like I couldn’t wait to start something, anything that I could zing on and off the needles. Fair to say, I took breaks on the blanket to make the Princess Dress and Birthday Crown. But that blanket glared at me from the knitting bag over its glasses as if to say, “Ahem. We have a project unfinished over here. Are you sure you should be working on that?” I would sigh and knit a few zillion stitch ed rows and close the bag. I’d like to say I’ll never make another blanket again but that one is way to big to bring a newborn home from the hospital wrapped in, so I am making a small blanket with sailboat and anchor pattern. I have till the end of June. Wish me luck.
One of the fun things about having a baby girl to knit for is all the new patterns and stitches to try. Some turn out adorable and others (like any knitting projects) well..not so much. This time, thank the knitting fairies, it was perfection. I bought a King Cole baby knitting book (7) from Deramores that has me dying to try every piece but the cover has the most precious pinafore I’ve ever seen. Naturally as I was making something else, it kept calling me so I gave in and cast on the stitches. Now I’ve never done lace on the side before and expected difficulties with the pick up but since I used the James C. Brett Cotton On DK baby yarn it was easy as pie. I did change the needle size two sizes down for this yarn and used the 9-18 months pattern for a one year old (is it me or does that seem like a large size span?). The whole dress only took a few days and is definitely fit for our little princess grand baby. Her first birthday has come and gone but this will be the perfect Easter dress and summer pinafore. I plan to find a white eyelet puffy sleeved top to go underneath so the lace and stitching shows up better.
I’ve been knitting furiously and am half way done with the blue baby blanket. Luckily for me it has been announced that the baby will indeed be a boy. Whew. But a large crib sized blanket can get tedious so I started another project for a certain little birthday girl about to be one year old (where did that time go?). This project was a struggle. It’s hard to say if it was the pattern, needle size change or the yarn. I used a “premium acrylic” from France. Yeah, it’s still acrylic and I will never spend my time with this or any 100% acrylic again. Being from France did not elevate it one notch from difficult to work with, impossible to fit and less than desirable outcome. Besides it was squeaky on the needles. While the James C. Brett yarn for the baby blanket has a bit of acrylic blended with cotton rendering it soft, supple, and a joy to work with, the Phildar Charly of the Birthday Sweater was as if I used something from a discount warehouse. But once I started I just wanted it finished and I kept telling myself “But I bought this yarn in Paris.” The front of the little Cardi refuses to lay flat and be blocked to match the back so the point will have to be part of the design. Sigh. At least the ladybug buttons I ordered came quickly and dressed up the front bravely . 🐞🐞🐞
My discontent prompted me to make a Birthday Crown. I used the James C. Brett cotton in lavender to match the photo in the King Cole Baby Book 7 I bought. It only took a few hours and turned out perfect. All is right with the world (of knitting, dears, only of knitting).
The new year still has morning dew and snow dust on it and already I’m a third of the way through another project. I have project envy when I get about 3/4 of the way through with something. In my mind I’m choosing yarn (pink or rose), selecting needles (straight or circular), buttons and bows (depending on who it’s for) and figuring on how much time I need to finish it. My determination to make sweaters for everyone’s birthday this year is still fresh but the announcement of a baby on the way in June (my son’s first) may slow things down a bit so I started early. Trust me, when I find out the gender of the baby I will go into “full-on Baby Knitting Mode”. But for now I’m working on a little miss who’s first birthday is the day before Valentines Day. So this project will be old rose and white. It will be my first attempt at crochet edging (the white) and it has the sweetest little bow and slit up the back of the jacket. She is the cutest little imp and it will fit her for a while as I’m making a size 2 for her. Of course I may have to get out the sewing machine and make that little petticoat to go with it.
Two rows left and it was Christmas Day so why wouldn’t I slip in a little knitting between stockings, wrapping paper clean up, cinnamon rolls, and a Christmas Dinner cooking marathon of Prime rib, asparagus tart, baby Brussels sprouts with bacon, creamed peas & pearl onions, Cranberry Bree encrute, lobster tail salads, my aunt’s enduring jello cream “salad” and an amazing Peppermint Forest Cake. I did need to make two little elbow patches but they only took a half an hour. So this sweater has become my Christmas sweater. It’s a size 3T for my grandson’s birthday in March. He lives in Paris with my darling daughter and son-in-law. Sure, they all got Christmas Knits but those were finished months ago and mailed early. (I always hold my breath sending packages to Paris until they arrive with good reason, this one went to several postal stations before they had to take a train to pick it up) So this little sweater will be hand delivered. Yes, we have another trip to Paris planned for the little man’s 2nd birthday. He is such a precious little boy and I’m lucky enough to FaceTime with him a couple times a week, many of which he grabs a bag, slings it over his should and pretends to go out his front door to work, waving and saying in a tiny French voice, “Au Revoir”. What’s not to love? It was an easy pattern, well written and done in 10 days even with Christmas festivities on the line. The pattern is on my Ravelry account (as are all my projects). Merry Christmas. 🎄
Read all about it! The sweater is done! In 15 days start to finish: a cabled V-neck adult sized “Cricket Sweater”. Usually I’m pretty happy about finishing any project but this one was under pressure. My daughter’s birthday is January 3rd so I thought I had plenty of time to finish when I put the first stitches on those size 5 needles November 30th until I realized she would be coming home from college December 14th. It wouldn’t have been so bad but I was combining two different patterns to get the sweater I wanted for her and as with any pattern, the stitches have to work out. A lot of counting and starting over on every piece happened along with a lot of late nights. But I’m thrilled to have finished just in time to pick her up at the airport. I do have to say, however, not a lot of housework or grocery shopping got done.