The only kind of baby blanket I make

I must be addicted to Pinwheel Blankets. Aside from making the occasional square for a group effort blanket for kiddos all of the blankets I’ve made on my own are pinwheels. This one is my fifth, if I’m remembering correctly.

The formula is so simple. It includes ten sections that you increase with a yarn over on every other round and knit your heart out. Variagated yarns have a chance to sing, and I get to knit my heart out with rhythmic and soothing stockinette. pinwheelI’m sure there are scads of amazing baby blanket patterns out there, but I’m really hooked on this one. I’m also making this as close to Z’s baby blanket without using the exact same color of yarn. I used a Dream in Color yarn for Z’s as well and I’m really pleased with the way the yarn has held up with almost daily use in bed at night. It’s soft and doesn’t pill that much.

This is Dream in Color Smooshy in Callous Pink. Sometimes the darker color looks grey, sometimes it looks purple. It seems to change a lot depending on the light, but I feel that this picture is pretty accurate. I’m 34 weeks pregnant now and Z was born at 35 weeks and 6 days. I’d better knit faster just in case!

Breezing along

Breezy-2I’m making a second Breezy Cardigan. I started this back in January and it’s been set aside for many other projects, but I pick it up here and there. Since I’m finally at the bottom ribbing it feels like I’m finally getting somewhere. Breezy-3

The yarn is Rowan Felted Tweed in Watery and since that’s a bit heavier than fingering weight used in the pattern, I modified this a bit. I’m getting 5 stitches to the inch so I just picked the size I wanted and used a little algebra (yes, it is useful in adult life) to figure out how many stitches I needed to knit. Breezy

I might not get to use this much this season, but if I finish this soon there will probably at least be some chilly evenings when I can wear it.

By the way, my reknitting of Marin worked out well with two whole yards of yarn to spare! Yes, it was really really close. More details and pics of that project soon, when I can get Matt to take some pics of me.

Grrrrrrrrrr

So this happened: IMG_20150317_091535I was a mere 1.5 inches from finishing Marin and I ran out of yarn. A knitter’s worst nightmare. I measured the remaining skein at the halfway point and I had over half of the ball left. I’m not sure how this happened, but apparently I must have gotten slightly looser on the second half. The gauge measures the same, but it feels a bit looser.

First I contemplated buying another ball of yarn. I love this color and would happily make something else out of it (Hazel Knits Euphorbia), but I didn’t want to pay $24 plus shipping and have to wait at least 5 days to be able to finish the project for less than two inches of knitting. So, before I take that step I’m ripping back a repeat and a half of the big chart and I’m going down a needle size. I think this will snug up my gauge enough, and hopefully I’ll scrape by with enough yarn. I really don’t think it’s going to be noticeable later at all, especially after blocking.

If I knit this thing again (because it’s lovely and I probably will), I might just use a 2. The recommended needle is a US 5, but I would have defaulted to a 4 since I’m a loose knitter. After reading so many Ravelry project page comments about people going down a needle size, I decided a US 3 was the best bet for me, but I guess I just got too relaxed in the second half. Sigh. Here I go again: marin-2

If 1500 other knitters can do it, so can I

I started a Marin a couple of days ago. I’ve had the pattern for awhile, and even the yarn in mind that I thought would be perfect for it. I just hadn’t been in a shawl mood for a really long time. Since spring seems finally just around the corner, it is a good time for a transition piece.marin

Well, turns out my brain doesn’t work sometimes. I’m chalking it up to pregnancy brain. There are over 1500 other successful projects on Ravelry, so I knew it was definitely me, not the pattern. I was ending up with stockinette stitch and there clearly is none on the pattern. Guess who forgot how to read a chart? I finally ripped back a bit and looked at the written out directions compared to the chart. I forgot that often a symbol stands for knit on the RS (right side) and the same symbol becomes a purl on the WS (wrong side). I was just looking at the little blank spaces for knit and dashes for purls as if they were absolute, and I was happily creating stockinette for awhile until I realized, “Hey, there’s no stockinette on this thing.”

I’m still crossing my fingers that everything turns out well because several knitters have commented that they didn’t have enough yarn. As I have only one skein of this amazing Hazel Knits Euphorbia and it’s a mere 15 yards more than the pattern calls for, I’m really hoping it works out. Some have knit it at a tighter gauge to make it come out closer to the specified yardage. After reading a few of those project comments I decided to go ahead and rip back and knit the thing on US 3 needles. Gauge isn’t usually crucial for shawls, but I’d rather make sure I can make it through the pattern since I only have one skein. I’m really beginning to be an expert at the beginning of this shawl, y’all.

A little Neighborly

I thought I was done making Zooey sweaters for this year, but it turns out that I might just have an urge to make a little vest. I’m several inches past the armpit on Breezy (update soon), but that feels like sloooow progress and I needed some instant gratification. She’s been crazy in love with the color purple lately, and I had one skein of some Cascade 220 in Lavender Heather that I used for a Nanook last year. It’s perfect amount for a Neighborly. I made her one when she was pretty teeny still and altered the pattern to be about a 12 month size. I always meant to go back and add length to the bottom, but still haven’t yet. Instead, I’ll just make her a bigger one. NeighborlyThis time I’m using the recommended needles for the project and I’m going for the 4/5 yr size. It will likely be big, but she will likely be big soon too. I think I will make the stripes similar to the way I did the first time, because I like the look of them. I’m still contemplating which contrast yarn is the perfect one. It will likely be some fairly neutral yarn, but I could get crazy ideas before I get to that part…

Snip snip

Well, well. I cast off Smithfield last night and as I feared a little bit during it’s creation, the collar was not as loose as I really wanted. I tried it on and wiggled it around a bit. I thought about seeing if a wet blocking made a difference, but I felt like it would continue to look like an Elizabethan collar no matter what I did…so today I cut it off. smithfield neckAt first I tried to undo the tubular cast on and thought I could just rip the thing out. It wasn’t really working and seemed like I would have to pick out each stitch by hand. So, I got impatient and got out the scissors to save time. smithfield neck-2I put the needle through a row below where I wanted to cut to give myself a guideline. Then I hacked into the thing and was able to unravel from the opposite end of the neck. It was kind of fun. smithfield neck-3I did have to pick out one row by hand but it’s all back to the point I want. I pondered just doing an inch or so of ribbing and calling it quits, but I love my Oshima more than any other sweater I’ve made, so I’m going to make the collar just like that one. The fisherman’s rib in Oshima is a bit of a style change from the granite stitch, but it seems they may be complimentary. We have some cold weather coming at the beginning of next week, which is motivating me to get this done over the weekend. We might finally get SNOW in Northwest Arkansas this year. Maybe.

Blinded by the socks

I’d really like to be showing off a finished picture of Smithfield right now, and I’m so close (3 inches of sleeve ribbing) to being done. When the 70 degree weather hit last weekend I was somehow less motivated to work on a giant winter tunic. Instead, I thought I’d show some crazy bright socks that have been on my needles since September that I totally forgot about putting on the blog or Ravelry. It happens. regia socksThe yarn is Regia Fluormania in color 7188 Neon Rainbow. I had to get this yarn the moment I saw it at my LYS. I’ve heard through the grapevine, aka The Knitmore Girls, that this particular Regia yarn has a reputation for losing some color in the wash. They recommend using citric acid to fix the dye. I’ve never had a problem with Regia socks not handing a hearty amount of washing and drying, but I’m going to follow through with the dye fixing advice.

I got distracted by several other projects and left these bright babies in my WIP basket. I will probably continue to ignore them until the larger winter projects are finished, but the colors make me happy when I see them peeking out of the basket.