After 2 months of fits and starts and birthday projects, the Baby Coming Home Blanket is finished. I had intended to finish on Friday but I got distracted by dinner prep and stories by the fire and Corgi playtime and didn’t actually complete it until Saturday morning. But finished it is and I’m really glad because it was a self induced pain in the rear. I added complications to the pattern by doing colorwork and then duplicate stitching for the stimulating effect. I didn’t complete all of the squares with animals as the pattern called for these odd square blocks. I figured blank was just as good. The pattern is the ABC baby Blanket on Ravelry. I would suggest sticking to the single color and just doing the motifs in garter stitch as set out in the pattern it would make life much easier. The yarn was BoPeep from WYS in Puddle and Sailboat and I highly recommend as it is wonderfully soft. It has a lovely drape and is perfect for babies. Now on to finish my socks..
I’m being blog lazy these days. I like reading about everyone else’s projects and I’ve even finished a project of my own but my readership is very low and I don’t see the point of taking the time to write about it. I also quit most of the games I play on the iPad. It gave me so much more time to knit, walk corgis, and just enjoy my house because that’s the only place I’ve been! My biggest deal is driving to Whole Foods to get a curbside delivery to my car. I go every 2 to 3 weeks! But I’m not bored. I finished this sweater for my granddaughter’s 5th birthday. They live in California near Yosemite so I had to mail early as you never know with their mail. They don’t get snow in their canyon but sometimes they don’t get mail either.
I’m nearly finished with the 9 square (knit in one piece) baby blanket for my son here on Cape Cod but they are due in April so I have time. All those balls of yarn have been a challenge. Once it’s done I will duplicate stitch in the letters and animals. My socks, well…haven’t touched them.
So let’s start off with the lies. There have been plenty of them played out on the World Stage that is our entire existence as Americans. And not only Americans but those who look to us for help, guidance, support and friendship. But here in my knitting bag I had a lie this week as well. I told myself I could make this adorable baby blanket for my son’s new baby on the way. I would match the layette so I sent away for more yarn. Shockingly it arrived from the UK in a matter of days. So setting my second sock aside I cast on this 9 block ABC blanket knit all in one piece. There are cute motifs of ducks and sailboats, etc in the blocks not displaying an ABC. But, and this was key, it’s all in one color. Well I told myself (now for the lie) that I could use 2 colors, it would be easy. One color for the borders and one for the blocks. I would revert to the border color for the motifs. But after the 24 row border I quickly realized I needed 7 separate balls of yarn for each row. And then I came to the motif I would need 6 more balls! Ok this was not going to happen. I have an assembly line set up to move the balls as I knit to keep them from tangling. (Hence my last post) but I was NOT adding to the mayhem, the motifs would have to be duplicate stitched in. All this was happening as the mayhem and destruction at our nation’s Capital was unfolding.
Somehow my tangled balls of yarn no longer seemed relevant or even important. As I (and the rest of the world) watched in horror as our president and his sycophants tried to justify and congratulate their actions and those of the mob who were hell bent on destroying our very democracy (and possibly some congress members), I just kept knitting and untangling. I also realized I could no longer keep up the pretense that I can respect people who allowed this to happen, no matter how small a part they played.
So now the blanket statement part. I shall keep knitting on the slowest blanket ever and hope it comes out ok. But also if I’m going to err, it will be on the side of decency. Justice and Liberty must be for all, not just those who can afford it or who were born into it with privilege or the right color skin. I don’t have to be friends with anyone who opposes that. I don’t have to like them inspite of their selfishness and corruption. America made a big error 4 years ago and let just that selfishness and corruption run away with our democracy. For the sake of our very lives and those of the entire world, we must not allow it to happen again.
Happy New Year 2021. We are all at least united on hoping for a better year this year. But getting to my main topic, I had to share why I knit. As I’ve said before, most of my knitting is given as gifts to people who really appreciate a handmade things. These 3 pictures say it all. This is Bode, my dear friend’s baby in the coverall and sweater I made for Christmas. Nothing sweeter.
You’ve heard of the flying Dutchman, right? Well this is like that only with knitting needles and a deadline looming, like Christmas. I didn’t think I was annoyed that the new grandbaby will be a boy until I had only a week to knit an entire Layette and present it to my daughter in law for Christmas. I mean all I had to do was a set of booties for the pink set. So needless to say corgi puppies have had a few brief walks in the snow, which they love, and I have spent the days knitting furiously trying to get this little project done and wrapped so it can be delivered before Christmas. Luckily my son only lives in the next town over. We plan to do a little drive-by with gifts because they don’t believe in social distancing or masks! Needless to say they are not invited for Christmas. My daughter who lives in Connecticut will be arriving on Wednesday after quarantining for a week and getting a Covid test, thank goodness She understands the risk to us.
Once I weave in the last end I don’t plan to do any knitting until the holiday is over. I mean seriously I need to concentrate on cooking, baking, and Christmasing. I hope you got all your Christmas Knitting done in time and that you’re safely enjoying your family.
Remember that pretty little lady pink baby sweater I made? Welp, it’s going to be sitting in a drawer a while. My daughter in law honored me by being the first person (even before my son) she told the new baby’s gender to. And no, it’s not a girl. All my dreams of pink frilly knitted everything just vanished. We were all a bit disappointed for a second. But then I thought about how much fun my grandson is going to have teaching his little brother all about trucks, trains, bulldozers and fire engines. Needless to say I raced downstairs to gather up blue yarn (I have tons) from the craft room and started on a blue layette in about three seconds.
The yarn is from my trip to England. It’s Bo Peep by WYS. The wool is from the Falkland Islands and butter soft. The color is Puddle. Perfect since baby is due in April. It just goes to show you can’t second guess these things.
I figure this is a good way to post what I didn’t do Sunday night. I spent the day Sunday driving to Connecticut and back to spend social distanced time with my daughter by shopping for outdoor Christmas greens and putting them up on her house. We also got a 3 mile walk with the dogs on the lovely maintained Airline Trail. Those pups slept the whole 3 hours home while I played Christmas music and unashamedly sang along. But knitting, blogging, no.
I did finish a hat to go with the baby sweater for my son last week so they will match. That is after I tore the whole thing out once because I didn’t like the color sequence. Now I think it’s perfect. I used the Classic Ribbed Hat by Purl Soho. But seriously, how cute will they be?
Now for the Sock Part. I started a pair of socks actually for myself, appropriately named Woodland Walk by This Handmade Life available on Ravelry. I am finally using the gorgeous West Yorkshire Spinners Signature yarn I bought in Bath, UK on our Summer Tour the year before COVID (is that how we remember things now?). The color is called Nutmeg but totally reminds me that of Pumpkin Pie. Also appropriate since I started it on Thanksgiving. I’m a bit over an inch, however as I had to rip out my first attempt. Note to self, don’t start projects on Thanksgiving. And no I didn’t follow the Norwegian Cast-on for this project either.
This week I finished not one but two more projects. There was cooking, cleaning, doggie walking and leaf raking but there was lots and lots of knitting.
First I made a 6 month sized Henley with a hood for my newest grandson from California. They live in Big Sur where is seems to be perpetually on the chilly side. I had somehow won two skeins of Aran Tweed yarn some time ago and was never sure what I could do with them. I don’t usually work in Aran weight yarn but found a great Patons pattern to use it with. It turned out to be not that great. The sleeves were knitted right on to the front piece with not much shaping. As a result the ribbed cuff turned up slightly at an odd angle. I compensated by tacking the cuff in place narrower on the top of the cuff, wider at the base to make it look even. Since the yarn was acrylic, blocking wasn’t going to help. I still like the result and I’m reminded it’s for a growing baby.
The second project is for my son’s baby on the way. We are all hoping for a girl so I used the Rowan Cashsoft Merino (cashmere blend) yarn I’ve been saving. The two balls I had made both a tiny newborn matinee and a hat (not pictured yet) the yarn is hard to get and insanely expensive but I ordered 2 more balls anyway of the pink because I want to work it into the Coming Home Blanket. If they end up having a boy (we find out December 10th) there is enough time to make something in blue. In the meantime we’re “Thinking Pink”.
Happy? Oh I am happy but I’m well aware how fleeting happiness can be. Sometimes it only lasts a moment when something extraordinary happens and then the actual work begins. Am I speaking of the election, maybe. But I’m also talking about the project I finished 2 weeks before the election. This is the one I wasn’t sure who I would give it to. Well, that has been settled but it was a relief to get it done so I could start on that pink layette for my son’s 2nd baby due next spring.
It turned out splendid if I do say so myself. It’s not apparent unless you look close but the pants are striped gray and tan alternately.
Then I started on the sweet Lucille cardigan in baby cashmerino pink just as the election happened. For a week I worked on it. I got as far as the yoke. FOUR TIMES. I guess I just couldn’t concentrate. The yarn was wrong, the needle size was too small. I kept missing eyelets and tearing it out and starting over. Finally the morning before the race was called I realized something was just never going to work with this pattern and yarn and I pulled out the needles and began winding the yarn back into a ball. I went for a walk. The sun was out, the pups were behaving and such a sense of relief flooded over me. I no longer had to fight that baby sweater. When I returned home I turned on the TV only to see that we will have a new President next year. One that is decent, compassionate and audacious enough to bring along a woman Vice President. Of Color.
I decided to dig deep and found another pattern. It’s coming along nicely. Just as it should.