I finished Crabby Crawl for Little Miss over the weekend, but I couldn’t resist playing with the pieces before sewing them up.
Creepy, aren’t they? I tried to get a picture of them curling around a door frame, but I couldn’t quite contort myself enough to get a photo of my own hand in that position. And the other members of my household may have had enough of my crab-leg-fingers after I put them on and waved them around eerily in the semi-darkness as we watched The X-Files: I Want to Believe.
Once they were stuffed and sewn onto Mr. Crabby Crawl, though, they were downright cute.
Pattern: The Deadliest Crab, by Amber Allison, in the Summer ’09 issue of Knitty
Yarn: Cascade 220. The white is from a batch I bought at Stitches West a few years back; the orange is from The Loopy Ewe. It took just over half a skein of orange and about a quarter skein of the white.
Needles: Size US4 Crystal Palace DPNs. I went down to 4s, and you can still see stuffing through the stitches in some places.
Notes: The pattern is pretty easy to follow, especially now that the decrease error has been corrected. I also picked up the stitches for the bottom shell in the wrong direction – watch out for that, or you end up with a reverse stockinette belly! I don’t trust “safety eyes” in knitted fabric for the under-3 set, so I cut circles out of black and white felt and sewed them on with matching embroidery floss.
Little Miss found him in the den on Monday morning and immediately exclaimed, “Crabby Crawl!” She proceeded to carry him around by one leg for quite a while. Ah, a girl and her crustacean. Is there a sweeter sight?
I’m starting to wonder if this particular yarn is cursed.
Looks perfectly innocent, doesn’t it? Nice orange Cascade 220 all skeined up, waiting to be knit into a cute toy for Little Miss. My plan was a carrot from Amigurumi Knits for my daughter’s play kitchen. I popped the yarn onto my swift, wound it up into a ball, cast on, and happily knit away for several rows before realizing that I had miscounted somewhere along the line.
Off to the Frog Pond with the carrot. Maybe I should try something else. So, I cast on The Deadliest Crab and knit merrily away for several rounds, all the way through the first set of bobbles, and then I noticed that something was wrong.
Miscount. Again. A really big one this time, and I could not for life of me figure out what happened where.
Ripping out stitches can be so satisfying.
I’m hoping the third time is a charm in this case. If this one goes all wonky, I’m afraid this skein will be in need of a time-out, and I’ll just have to comfort myself with stringing another couple hundred beads for Entomology.
I’m all set to get started on Miss Honeychurch (which I keep calling Miss Honeydew – perhaps I need more fruit in my diet), except for one thing.
My yarn is somewhere between Ohio and California. My copy of A Room with a View is also somewhere between a shipping center and my house, but I expect it to arrive today. (A year of Amazon Prime is one of the best holiday gifts I’ve gotten. It is, indeed, the gift that keeps on giving.)
But I have my pattern and a short circular needle for swatching. My plan is to read the book and knit the sweater over the course of July and August. The sweater should will be done by Labor Day, which is still quite warm in this part of the country.
It’s not like I don’t have anything to knit in the meantime. The Chicago Illusion Blankie is coming along slowly:
Each charted row is actually four rows of knitting (two in each color). It’s going a little quicker now that I’ve marked every 10 columns on the chart for easier counting. And it only took ripping out two rows to get me to do it!
And my beloved blue skein of Wollmeise informed me that it didn’t really want to be socks (after I started a cabled sock not once but twice!). It wants to be the Entomology shawl. How could I argue?
250 beads down, 955 to go.
In my long blog silence, there has been knitting. Last night, I finished off a blankie for Little Miss.
Pattern: Alphabet Blanket
Designer: Debbie Bliss
Source: The Baby Knits Book, courtesy of my library system
Yarn: Patons Grace, hot pink, 9 skeins
Needles: Addi Turbo Lace, sizes US 2 & 3
Comments: Bliss suggests her own (now discontinued) Wool/Cotton Blend for this pattern. I had this Patons Grace (originally intended for a pair of matching Reid sweaters for my niece and Little Miss) in my stash. Of course, using mercerized cotton for a lace blanket was not the best idea I ever had, but I think it turned out rather pretty, and I’m sure the various joints in my hands will stop aching really soon. I used Russian joins throughout, which are a little bit bulky in the DK weight cotton, but not noticeable unless you’re really looking for them. And since the Patons Grace had at least one knot in almost every skein, I did a LOT of joining.
I really need to make a second blocking board. I had to block the blanket folded in half.
I left it overnight and took it off this morning, spreading it over our coffee table, still slightly damp.
To celebrate completing the blanket, I cast on a new blankie, this time an illusion-knit one in Sanguine Gryphon Traveller. I’ve never done illusion knitting before.
Speaking of new-to-me techniques and finished objects, my most recent contribution to Knit Picks was in the May catalog.
The Fruity Bibs were my first go at intarsia in cotton. The Knit Picks Comfy, by the way, is incredibly soft. Just lovely, lovely stuff. The buttons are sweet little shell buttons I bought at Unwind, my fantastic LYS.
And speaking of Knit Picks, I ordered a batch of CotLin for Miss Honeychurch, about which I’ll have more to say on Monday.
There’s a new baby over at Georgia‘s house!
I would say a new “little one”, but that baby’s not so little! 22 inches and over 10 pounds, and a drug-free homebirth to boot!
I, too, had to have the water broken to kick-start labor (the castor oil didn’t work for me, either), then went on to have a drug-free hospital birth about 11 hours later. We give a whole lot of credit to our doula, who was with us all day – if you’re a mama-to-be who wants a no- or low-intervention hospital birth, especially, I can’t recommend a good doula highly enough.
Enough about me! Go look at that baby!
I have a new method of tackling my stash. I’m working alphabetically. You see, Ravelry displays my stash alphabetically, so I decided to just start working at the beginning.
Except I’m not, really, since the first yarn listed is Austermann Step, and I keep changing my mind about what to do with it. Instead, I cast on the Berroco Cotton Twist for a Baby Tart.
The color in that picture is not at all true. The yarn is shiny, and the “crust” is a nice golden color, while the “filling” is a bluish-purple shade. It’s turning out to be really cute, but those bobble decreases are tough. I’m nervous about the Denises, since I broke the join the last time I tried to work cotton yarn on them. For most of the K3TOGs, I’m using a separate DPN with a nice sharp tip, and I’m having a lot of trouble pulling the loop through without splitting it. I have some of the golden yarn left, and I was thinking of trying to make the smallest size for a gift stash, but I don’t think so. I think I’ll use it for sock puppet hair or something instead.
Huzzah! The Debbie Bliss Hooded Jacket is done!
Pattern: Hooded Jacket from Simply Baby, by Debbie Bliss
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, 7 skeins
Needles: Size 9 Denise Interchangeable
Notions: One large plastic button, picked up at a garage sale
Comments: A pretty quick knit, and not too hard. I learned the backwards-loop cast-on to make the hood, and I got to practice my seaming. (That would be putting a positive spin on it there. I got to practice my seaming more than I might have expected, since I sewed the underarms the wrong way and had to pull it out and do it again.)
Now for the bad news. After all that worry about finishing the jacket so she could wear it this winter, it’s too big. I suspect that by next winter, it will be too small. Gah. Maybe it will be just right on a day we have strangely cold weather. One can hope.
I was catching up on one of my mailing lists yesterday, and I realized that I’ve pretty much managed to avoid a problem that seems to plague knitters everywhere.
Unappreciated Gift Giver Syndrome.
Those of you who have experienced the UGGS know the symptoms all too well. Aching hands and tired eyes (from hours of knitting), only to have your beautiful gift insulted, abused, or sent off to the local thrift shop, leading to sore throats (from screaming about the unfairness of it all) and strange bruises (from kicking walls, curbs, or other stationary objects in an effort to relieve the frustration).
In these post-holiday weeks, scores of tales of knitters (and crocheters) suffering from the UGGS have appeared on mailing lists and blogs and Ravelry boards.
I have avoided this by protecting myself from the sole disease vector: I very rarely knit for other people. I knit for myself, and if I don’t like it when it’s done, well, I’m not insulted. And I knit for the Little Miss, who, being pre-verbal, can’t complain about what I give her. From time to time, I’ve knit for K, who reminded me several times before the holidays that I still hadn’t knit her a pair of socks.
How could I refuse a wish for handknit socks, I ask you?
So, I cast on in mid-December, and before midnight on New Year’s Eve I was able to present these to K:
Pattern: Retro Rib socks, from Favorite Socks
Yarn: Lime & Violet Sasquatch Superwash in Connect 4, from the Loopy Ewe
Needles: Set of 5 Brittany Birch size US1.5 dpns, one of which snapped just rows from the end of the toe of the second sock. They’re sending a replacement, because they are spiffy that way.
Comments: I really liked this yarn, and I really liked this pattern, although I always wonder if ribbing is easier for those who knit Continental. I’ll have to try it sometime. I liked the yarn and the pattern so much that I’m working up a matching scarf for K, using the pattern from the ribbing at the cuff, on US3 needles. That may be ready for next winter.
I haven’t cast on a new pair of socks yet. I’m still hard at work on the Hooded Jacket – all the way up to the beginning of the hood now.
Sometime early last year, the Black Sheep Knittery had a ridiculously big sale on their entire in-shop inventory. By the time I got there, a lot of stuff was gone, but I did manage to walk out with this:
Two bags of Cashmerino Aran in a pretty shade of gray. I wanted to make the Cardigan for Arwen, and I decided to make a hooded jacket for Little Miss to go with. There’s a cute pattern in Simply Baby for a hooded jacket with a single button closure, made from Cashmerino Aran. Perfect.
Of course, time passed, as it does. I realized I was not going to have enough yarn, so I managed to find 4 balls of the same dye lot from someone on Ravelry. More time passed. I realized that my baby, who at 9 months was the size of the average 18-month-old, was going to quite quickly be too big for the jacket.
So, I cast on.
I’m hoping to get this done with time for her to wear it before the weather gets too warm. I am not likely to finish Arwen anytime soon (especially since I haven’t started it), but at least the baby will get a cute hooded jacket.
Last night, I put the finishing touches on Checking His List. I trimmed the selvedge, hand-stitched the hem at the top of the aida cloth, braided the yarn for the loop, and stitched that onto the side. K’s coworker had sewn up the seam for us Monday night. It’s now hanging proudly over the fireplace. Little Miss’ name is stitched at the top, though you can’t see it in the photo.
I think it’s fantastic, if I do say so myself. And nobody can say anything about the appearance of the back side of the stitching, since I used the included white felt to line it and made the back out of red felt.