Monday, March 30, 2009


I recently spent two solid weeks working on a knitting deadline (which partially explains my blog inactivity). Normally I work best under a deadline, but this experience was almost frantic. Even worse, it was of my own doing. I really hate it when I have no one to blame but myself.

Toward the beginning of February, I received an invitation to a baby shower that was scheduled for the third week of March. "No problem," thought I. It was plenty of time to knit some sweet baby gear. I spent the first week deciding whether to make a blanket or a sweater. Then I spent far too much time obsessing about color and pattern. After much dawdling, I realized that I only had two weeks until the shower, and I absolutely had to make a decision. (Oh, and I had to entertain houseguests the week before the shower.) Ah, procrastination—my old nemesis.

And what did I decide to knit? A toddler-sized fingering weight cardigan with a hood. Egad.

But I did it. I didn't get the buttons sewn on until the morning of the shower, but that is neither here nor there at this point, right?

ff cfm done angle
Pattern: "A Cardigan for Merry," by annypurls
Yarn: Fearless Fibers lightweight superwash merino sock yarn, "Inner Sanctum"
Needles: 2.50 mm.

ff cfm detail
Very happy with the cable grafting

I have wanted to knit this cardigan ever since I first saw the pattern a couple of years ago. Being mostly stockinette, it really is a fairly simple cardi. The reversible cable is quite intuitive to knit, too. Because I had delayed the decision about what to knit, though, I definitely had to knit it with yarn from my stash. My two favorite colors for baby sweaters are green and orange, and since the last two baby sweaters I knit were green, I wanted to go for orange. Luckily I had two skeins that fit the bill. The pattern calls for sport weight yarn, but I did a bit of number crunching for my fingering weight, and all turned out well.

Before I started on the baby cardi, I managed to finish up some yarn that's related to another deadline.

cmf swm tm swirls
Fiber: Crown Mountain Farms superwash merino, "Touch Me"
3 ply
806 yards
212 grams

cmf swm tm strands
My two pink-loving nieces both have birthdays at the end of April. Can I bring myself to knit two pairs of bright pink socks in that time? Stay tuned to watch the disaster progress.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

February Gentleman Sweater

Thanks to all who helped me convince the Professor to pose in his new sweater. The photos I got aren't stellar, but since it was over 80°F outside during the shoot, I took the shots as quickly as possible. It seemed cruel to make him wear a wool sweater in that kind of heat.

Pattern: Cobblestone Pullover, by Jared Flood
Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers, color 2445, "Shire," 6 skeins
Needles: US size 7 (4.50 mm)

cobblesont back2
This sweater is easy and fun to knit. Because my gauge was a bit smaller than the pattern called for, I knit a size larger (43.5 inches) than I normally would have. The sweater is a little roomy on him, but I'm glad I didn't knit the smaller size. He does have to roll up the sleeve cuffs, but he tells me that's a common problem for him. I'll have to file that knowledge away for future reference.

The good news is that the Professor really seems to like the sweater. He has worn it quite a bit since his public even! And I think he looks quite fetching in it.

Monday, March 02, 2009

First and second

I recently finished spinning up my first laceweight, and I must admit to being fairly pleased with myself, if only because I proved I still know how to do 2 ply.

ab m forest
This multicolored merino made its way into my stash when I first started spinning, but I could never figure out what I wanted to do with it. When I decided to try my hand at spinning laceweight, this was the first fiber that came to mind. I thought it would make a nice heathery yarn, and so it did.

ab m forest skein fiber
Fiber: Ashland Bay multicolor merino, "Forest"
2 ply
1600 yards
209 grams

asu m forest lace swirls
Since I normally spin sock yarn, I'm used to adding a lot of twist when I spin. I wanted this yarn to be softly spun, though, so I had to give it a little thought before I started. In the end I decided to back down one notch from my smallest (fastest) whorl and go for it, and I'll be damned if it didn't work. The yarn is soft and squishy. Is it perfect lace yarn? No, certainly not. Is it good enough for me? Oh yes. I will admit, however, that at certain points I didn't think I'd make it through all the plying. For the first time I wished for an electric spinner to help move things along.

I also got some socks off the needles last week.

bf a thel socks done
Pattern: Thelonious, by Cookie A.
Yarn: Brooks Farm Acero
Needles: 2.00 mm DPNs

bf a thel socks macro
This pattern is one of my all-time favorites. In fact, this is the second time I've knit it. Both times I made them for other people, and yet I would still like a pair for myself. Can I bring myself to knit the same pattern three times? The answer is probably "yes."

I'm still trying to get photos of the Professor's his birthday present, but confound the man, he keeps wearing it. (And he normally doesn't come home until well after dark—a terrible time for getting good photos.) I would really like to get shots with him modeling it, but he seems down on the idea. Still, he does read this blog, and if he sees comments from people stating how much they would like to see him wearing his birthday gift, he might succumb to peer pressure. It's an idea, anyway.