Thursday, May 10, 2007

 very special baby stuff

I finally finished the entrelac blankie! Here it is all washed and dried:

Project Specs:
Pattern: none. Just regular entrelac 10 sts wide per square and kept going until I felt it was square.
Yarn: Patons Decor in Rich Country Blue and Winter White
Needles: 5.5mm
Cast On to Bind Off: December 29 2006 - May 7 2007
Notes: I was going to knit a garter border but realized last minute that I didn't have enough 5.5mm needles to make it all the way around so I used the same size crochet hook and just did 2 or 3 rows of single crochet around, putting 3 sts in each corner st to ease better around the corners.
Would I knit this again: yes, its fast, easy and mindless knitting

This is the Baby Einstein I knit up. I love how rustic it came out! I still need to wash it, as I only sewed the buttons on yesterday.

Project Specs:
Pattern: Sally Melville's Einstein Coat, Baby Einstein version, 6-9 month size from The Knit Stitch
Yarn: SandesGarn Smart (as per the pattern)
Needles: 4mm
Cast On to Bind Off: April 16-23 2007
Notes: I was a little disappointed with one part of the pattern. I don't know if there was a mistake in my book, but for the body of the sweater, the pattern has you work X width around, then work the top halfs, from one edge right to the other. That's fine...except that the pattern doesn't add any room for overlap. What I mean is, once the sweater is folded in half to become a coat, there is no overlap for the button band. One side has button holes, the other side gets the buttons, but the edges meet perfectly. So when I tug one side over by about an inch to pull the button holes over the other edge to close the buttons, the neck and shoulders and sleeves get pulled out of place. I don't know if I'm explaining this right, but it isn't right. So since I could never have the coat close up to the top button anyways due to this error and how crappy it looks if buttoned all the way, I chose to sew down the top two sides as lapels instead. The yarn is scratchy enough that I don't need to worry about the baby wearing it alone and having a cold neck, there will always be at least a tshirt underneath. Since there is no finishing on the neck itself (in the pattern) I like the "finished" look my variation gives.

Would I knit this again: probably since the knitting was fun and easy, but I would check for a pattern correction or create an amendment myself first.

I originally referred to this set as the "Clown" cardigan and hat set since that is the name of the yarn called for in the pattern, but I have sinced changed that to the "Ice Cream" cardi and hat set ('cus of the colors) so if you look for it in my sidebar, look under Ice Cream.

Project Specs:
Pattern
: Clown Cardigan and Hat from a Marks & Kattens pamphlet, 9mo size
Yarn: Regia Canadian Color sock yarn color 4733 (I think its "Ottawa")
Needles: 2.5 and 3mm
Cast On to Bind Off: November 20 2006 - April 11 2007
Notes: I turned it inside out while knitting so I had to adapt the shaping to be on purl side instead of the knit side. I like it better that way, but 90% of those who see it think it's inside out and prefer the knit side as the outside. Since the button band is picked up and knit on afterwards, thus leaving a seam, plus mattress stitch also leaves a seam, it is not reversable. Still, I don't care. I like the way it looks. And I LOVE the hat.
Would I knit this again: Yes. For my child I'd knit the hat again. I'd knit the cardigan for a gift but in a different colorway.

Last, but not least, I bring you a very special finished object and I believe that until the little one is born it is my favorite FO of all time.

Let me present to you...

Yannick's blankie.

Yes, this is the blanket that my husband Yannick knit for our baby. Sit down if you need to. I'll wait.

For those of you that don't know the story, about 3 or 4 years ago Yannick's anniversary gift to me was that he would learn how to knit and make me something. After a bit of swatching he realized how much he hated knitting and had possibly bit off more than he could chew. Still, he took me to the yarn store to find something for the project. I let him pick the yarn since it would be flowing through his hands, and after some trial and error he settled on bamboo needles that allowed the slippery yarn to slide without being too fast. He practiced his knits and purls on some waste yarn, then we had to decide what the project would be. I had originally asked for a little "blankie" for myself, something small to have with me for when he couldn't be there. Once we saw how much he didn't enjoy knitting and how uncomfortable he was at it (even though his stitches looked beautiful) I offered to give him some chunky yarn and big knits, and said I'd be just as thrilled with a scarf. He refused. He wanted to prove he could "do it".

We decided on a basketweave pattern with a stockinette stitch center. He cast on himself, and got started. He used stitch markers for the first 20 rows or so, but found they got in his way and made messier gaps between the knit/purl transitions, so he abandoned them. He also abandoned the knitting many times over the years. We fought often about how he seemed to have forgotten my anniversary gift. Sometimes he'd work on it...most of the time he'd forget. Once in a while he'd come to the knitting meetups with me and work on a few rows, but then he'd get to talking and it would hang in his hands, untouched.

Then we found out we were pregnant. It wasn't hard to decide that this blankie should be for the baby, not for me. I threatened that I would keep my legs crossed and not let the baby out until the blanket was done. He'd work on it for a while, then a month or so would go by without any progress. He learned how to read his stitches and became such a perfectionist that he'd often call me over to fix a non-existant mistake. Over the last few weeks he got a burst of energy when he realized how close he was to finishing, then last week he did it.

He finished the blankie. On Monday morning I taught him how to bind off so I could wash it with the next load of baby clothes. He did it all: cast on, knit, purl, basketweave, stocking stitch, stitch markers, no stitch markers, bind off. He even refused to use the larger needle trick to make sure his bind off wasn't too tight- he didn't want tricks. He wanted to do it right like everyone else, so he went slow and made sure he didn't pull the yarn. The only thing I did for him was weave in the ends.

Project Specs:
Pattern:
none. We made up a repeat of basketweave with a stockinette stitch center.
Yarn: King Cole's Soft as Silk DK (I think it's now discontinued)
Needles: 4.5mm
Cast On to Bind Off: A long time.

Photos of all this and more at my blog.




5 Comments:

Anonymous Meg said...

I love the blankets and sweaters :) What a nice story about your husband, he must be so proud that he did it!

8:43 PM  
Blogger B said...

I like your baby Einstein like that. I can't believe you got your husband to knit! That's so cool.

11:30 PM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

Your story of your husband's knitting process moved me very much. How incredibly sweet. I love his determination. I could NEVER get my husband to knit, he's too Italian( they are the workhorses, not meant to sit still and be artistic!). But he did buy me a hand-crocheted lap afghan from a Fair a couple years back ( while I was busy with something else) and handed me the bag and said,"since I can't knit for you, here's something some little grandmother made. It's the best I can do." It really touched my heart. That blanket of yours will always be so special to you.
Your other sweaters are sweet, too. Even with the mods to the Einstein Coat.

8:30 AM  
Blogger Annie said...

That entrelac blanket is just beautiful! Great work. What a touching story about your husband. I'm sure your baby will treasure the blanket and the story that goes with it.

3:29 PM  
Blogger Jofrog said...

All of those projects are fabulous! Yeah for a completed blanket too. Good luck on your upcoming delivery.

1:18 PM  

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