Another baby, another pinwheel blanket

pinwheel-2Please excuse the indoor light. I was far too impatient to hand this off to my friend, Canem, on New Year’s Eve for her baby that was due the following week. Luckily she and her husband have a very bright kitchen. I can’t seem to stop making Pinwheel Blankets when I want to make a baby blanket. I love the round shape, and the design works well for all kinds of wilder sock yarns.

This yarn is ONLine Supersocke in the colorway New York, which seems appropriate for this couple since they are recent transplants from NYC. I used two skeins for this and I think it ended up measuring about 36″ in diameter. Their baby boy was born on Monday and he is lovely. I can’t wait to see him in person. pinwheel

The neverending pinwheel blanket…

…had ended!

I ended up with about 1/3 of a skein left of the Dream in Color Knitosophy yarn in the Princess colorway (the perfect yarn for Princess Mozzarella). The pattern is this one available for free on Ravelry. This is the second pinwheel blanket I’ve made. The pattern is mindless enough for conversations, movies, or anything else that you want to put the primary focus on.

I used a size 5 (3.75mm) needle and increased to over 800 stitches. At that point each row seemed to be taking ages, as you might imagine, so I put it down a lot in favor of working on other faster moving things. It was sitting on a shelf looking very sad for a few weeks. The color changes in the ball worked out pretty well. I bought two balls from my LYS and supplemented with another that I ordered online. The two from my LYS had a good mix of both the purple and the red tones, but the one I found online was mainly red. Luckily, the ball I knit with first had the most purple, and it naturally progressed into more red in each ball.

I’m very happy with the result, and I hope it will be a blankie that Princess Mozzarella can have fun with for years. I was a blankie kind of kid and had a soft flannel one that I wore into shreds. I think I still have a piece of it wrapped up at my parent’s house somewhere. It ended up being about 41 inches wide, and I can just throw it in the washer and dryer. Hooray for superwash sock yarn!

I’m not sure what to knit for her next. I’m hesitant to knit more clothes, because I’d like to see if she’s large or small for her age before I knit many seasonal things based on the size I think she will be. Arkansas has very mild winters and very hot summers, so I’d like to see how she measures up size-wise before I start a bunch of cute cardigans. I might make some kind of toy, since that can’t be outgrown. I’m also interested in knitting a few more things for other people that might not get the knitted kind of love from me for awhile. I’ll keep you posted, of course.

Itchy fingers.

The Featherweight Cardigan has caught my eye, and is what you’re seeing on those needles. I started looking at this on Ravelry about a week ago and it stuck in my head. You know you’re obsessed when you go shopping for yarn on your lunch break. My LYS is closed on Sundays and Mondays, so I went as soon as I could on Tuesday.

Yes, the color is a seafoam/aqua/turquoise even though I just made this and this . Out of the lace weight yarn at my LYS, this seemed the most attractive to me. I think I have an aqua problem. At least this “problem” is inexpensive, because if I get this out of two balls of Classic Elite Yarns Silky Alpaca Lace (color 2420) like I anticipate, the entire project will cost less than 20 dollars.

When I looked through some of the 4000+ Ravelry projects, it seems the ones made out of the recommended Malabrigo Lace or sock weight are a bit more substantial in thickness. I saw one made out of Silky Alpaca Lace and I liked the wispy look, so I thought I would try this. The cardigan I wear the most is a black cotton thin jersey cardigan from Express that I bought a couple of years ago, so I thought something nice and light would be appropriate. I can easily see myself making this again out of some kind of sock weight yarn, or a slightly heftier lace weight. For now, I’ve gone down to a size 3, rather than the recommended 6 to get gauge. The stitches still look pretty uneven and loose to me. I’ll hope for some magical blocking at the end. For this wisp of a sweater I think I’m going to forgo my usual blocking method. Most of the time I completely soak the item, then magic it into shape. Since this is 70% alpaca, I worry that it might grow more than I want, so I’m thinking about pinning it into shape and then covering it with a damp towel.

I’m still plugging away on the Pinwheel Baby Blanket I started mid-month. I think it’s fair if I have one baby knit and one me knit going at the same time. The blanket is over 720 stitches now as I increase, and is at least 36″ wide. Really, I could end at any time, but I have the entire third ball to knit still.

Maybe I should make something for that spectacular fella of mine one of these days…but anything I would make for him would probably be wintry and wouldn’t be worn until late fall anyway. I guess I’ll just vow that the next socks I cast on will be for him because he appreciates the hell out of them and he’s a terrific guy.

A wheel of many colors.

This is the progress I have made so far on the Pinwheel Baby Blanket. My Curve Hem Top was seamed up this morning and worn today, but I’m waiting for a good time in the day to get a shot of it when the fella can help me out. I planned on taking a picture of it Thursday morning on a little trip to my parent’s house. I was diligently weaving in the ends and pinning the side for the mattress stitch Wednesday night at their house, and then I remembered that I had left the yarn at home, so I had nothing to seam it with. ARGH. Let’s call it pregnancy brain and move on.

See how different the colors in the skeins are above? The two wound ones were purchased at my LYS, Hand Held Knitting. The super red skein was purchased online from The Loopy Ewe since Hand Held had only two skeins. I figured different dye lots would be fairly different, and the yarn labels even say to alternate skeins within one dye lot. I didn’t expect that one skein could be almost completely purple, and another could be so red! I’m just going to go with it though. The first skein is very purple, the second is a pretty good mix, and the third almost lacks purple. I’m just going to enjoy the changes from the inside out. One of the most fun things about these blankets is watching them grow with great variety.

Violently violet.

This is a sneak peek at the beginning of my Pinwheel Baby Blanket. I let myself cast on last night as soon as I finished the collar of my Curve Hem Top. I haven’t seamed the top yet, but I’m not cheating on it since it’s still drying on the blocking board. Here is my evidence:

The light is a bit low in that room since I took the picture in the 7 o’clock hour this morning, but it is solid evidence, so there. I blocked it at about 11 last night. I was a bit confused by the diagrams in the pattern, but I bet it’s just me. I did my best and moved on. At first, I realized I was about to block the short rows in the front into a straight line, destroying the curve. Luckily, in my half-sleep state I realized something was up and fixed it. The pattern recommends blocking under some wet towels that you allow to try on top. I’ve never actually used that method. Most of the time I just get the whole thing wet with some baby shampoo and block to size. Sometimes I steam the object. My steamer is on the fritz, so I pinned the top to size and just sprayed it down with some water. It seemed like a good compromise, and it was mostly dry this morning, so I should be able to seam it tonight!

I love the color of this Pinwheel. It’s really not that accurate in these shots. I fiddled with the colors in Lightroom this morning, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on which adjustment to make to make it perfect. I like the color better in person. This is accurate enough for now. I’ll have to play with different lighting times and/or locations to try to represent it better with the finished product. I’ve got another “mindless” knit happening with this blanket, and I get to make a second thing for the future Princess Mozzarella. I promise I won’t neglect my Honeybee Cardigan much longer. I need to finish it to make sure it’s safe to exchange an untouched skein of Ella Rae Lace Merino for another of this Knitosophy Princess yarn and pretend that I’m not just adding stuff to my stash…

Happy knitting!

Fit for a princess.

We’ve been calling the unborn little lady by the nickname “Princess Mozzarella.” I really don’t know how this got started. It was a joke and just stuck. I don’t think we’re going to be revealing the real name prior to her birth, even when we figure it out, so don’t get your hopes up, interested parties!

I’m not really a girly girl (though there’s nothing wrong with being one). I think I shocked some of the ladies at knit night when they saw me in a fuchsia dress. It was that or a black dress in that style…I like color, ok? I hope that calling our unborn bean “Princess Mozzarella” doesn’t make people think that we want a spoiled little pretentious ruffle-wearing future queen. It just sounds ridiculous, and since many things that happen during pregnancy/parenting seem ridiculous…why not? Anyway, check out this yarn:

I’m thinking it’s going to make a perfect Pinwheel Baby Blanket. I made one of these before for some great friends that were expecting at the time. Sadly, I forgot to take a finished shot, but it was lovely.

I haven’t abandoned my Curve Hem Top. I am determined to finish that before I let myself cast on a blanket. I’m at the front after the divide for the v-neck, closing in on the last few inches. After that, I just have the collar and sewing it up! I’m hoping to finish by Tuesday or Wednesday, making the whole project a week and a half venture. My Honeybee Cardigan is still languishing in her project bag, not because it’s not a fun knit, but because the thinking-and-making-me-look-at-it part was taking away from my reading Feast for Crows. I can’t wait to start this Pinwheel though, so I’d better get finish with that top!