It’s getting hot (pink) in here.

So, the green blanket continues to steal my soul. Particularly on Sunday when I realized I had made a big honkin’ mistake (of the type I feel is inexcusable at this point of my knitting career), and I am having to tear out a few rows to remedy the mess.

As a result, I am now dabbling in a nice pair of socks to calm my nerves, introduce a little pattern into my life (less garter stitch=happier me), and accomplish something.

Here is the beginning.

Toe of my new pink sock

And yes, that looks suspiciously like stockinette and boringness. But it is toe-up, I did short rows, and now I’m on to magic loop. And there is going to be a pattern in the rest of the sock. So my salvation is coming.

And how can anything be boring when it is such amazing, in-your-face hot pink??!

One of these things is not like the other…

So, as I mentioned last weekend, I am trying to knit like I don’t know any better. I am pretending that dye lot 04/2011 is exactly the same as 04/2011 A, though it’s not really quite true.

I got a bit worried last Friday night. I took the two skeins to knit night, and most of the group decided that yes, they could definitely tell the difference. But there were a couple who said they couldn’t. And then someone said it was more noticeable far away. And then someone else said, but in that light, well, maybe it is the same. But over there… hmmm. Maybe you could knit every other row with the different dye lot? (I ex-nayed that pretty much immediately – I don’t think it’s so different I need to be that fussy, and it’s mostly acrylic, so how different can it be?). It’s probably fine, they said. After such solid advice, what was a girl to do?

I’ve been knitting with both dye lots and I can’t tell the difference.

Can you?

Close up of the two dye lots

This week, I took the blanket back with both dye lots knitted into it (2 skeins of each), and the consensus was that no one can tell the difference. So, it seems that purposeful stupidity has paid off in this case!

That being said, this blanket may kill me. When I picked it out, I was in the mood for mindless TV knitting, and I have now crossed the threshold into losing my mind. The miles of garter stitch are destroying my soul. For every 27 rows of garter stitch, I am knitting 13 rows of “lace,” which only requires my attention for 3 of those 13 rows. So, out of every 30 rows, I am only getting to do anything exciting for 3. It’s not good odds for my mental health.

But – on the positive side – I am now on the decrease half of the blanket. The good thing about knitting a blanket diagonally is that it’s a lot like biking to the top of the hill and being able to coast down. I breezed through the first few stripes of knitting while it was small, felt like giving up once the rows got longer than 100 stitches (I added a little extra, so I eventually got to 188), and am now on the every row goes faster than the last one coast.

Now, I’m on the race to the finish!

St. Patrick’s Day and Baby Bib

Had I been thinking, I would have saved the Baby Blanket update for today, since it’s appropriately very green for St. Patrick’s Day!

Unfortunately, I did not plan that well. So what you get today is a baby bib with only tiny bits of green in it.

Modern Cabled Baby Bib

This is for the same baby who will be receiving the lovely green blanket.

It’s made from Sugar’n Cream in the Over The Rainbow colorway. I found the cute flower button at JoAnn’s (though I have to give my mom credit for spotting it and knowing how perfectly it would match the yarn).

Close-up of button on bib

The pattern is Modern Cabled Baby Bib (Ravelry link).

I think it turned out very well! The button is a little tight in the buttonhole, but I think with a few uses, it’ll stretch a bit, and I’ll make sure the button is very secure, and everything will be fine.

Close up of cable on bib

So now, go off, be merry, drink some beer, and knit something green. It is St. Patrick’s Day after all!!

P.S. – What is green and stays outside?

Paddy O’Furniture!

A tale of two yarns

It’s been a long time since my last post! This is mostly down to work becoming a madhouse, and then going away for a 5-day conference that ate up an entire weekend.

Clapotis is done, blocked, and ready to be photographed. However, I have not been home long enough to do so. And today, now that I have time, I have already changed into my sweatpants. There is no way I am going to change in to something presentable for photos now, so the beautiful FO shots will have to wait.

I will, however, tell you about my latest project. We recently found out we are going to have a new baby in the family for the first time in many years (and I swear it’s not mine). So – naturally – I am now obsessed with baby projects!

First off is a darling baby blanket. I am using the Treasured Heirloom Baby Blanket pattern (Ravelry link). I am knitting it in Naturally Caron Joy! which is an acrylic and bamboo blend.

I’m normally too much of a yarn snob to use yarn sold in craft stores, but I was going for a durable and washable yarn that was impossible to mess up (I feel that’s important with baby puke being a very real possibility). I’m actually really enjoying working with it, and it’s very soft and yummy to work with.

The only problem was that I was only able to buy 5 skeins when I found it. I knew I wanted to make the blanket larger than the pattern, and that 5 skeins would be 200 yards more than the pattern called for. I figured this would be find for adding a couple more repeats, and then I would be golden. I did call around to several other craft stores looking for a couple of extra skeins just in case, but no more was to be found.

So I proceeded as planned. Almost all the way through the second skein, I realized I would definitely not have enough to make it as big as I wanted. I started playing around with putting in a slightly more complicated lace pattern in the middle of the blanket to extend it and add some interest without running out of yarn. I was never completely happy with my concepts, and came to standstill.

This afternoon, I spoke to my mom, who is a genius, and she recommended I go back to the same store to see if they had restocked in the two weeks since I’d bought the original 5. They had! And 6 new skeins were magically mine!

One problem: they are slightly different dye lots. One is 04/2011 and one is 04/2011 A.

Once I got home though, I couldn’t really tell the difference. Can you?

Can you tell the difference between the two yarns?

So I am going to proceed like I don’t know any better.

Baby blanket in progress

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Last year, my mom gave me the first pair of socks that she ever knit for my birthday.

This year, though they’re not my first pair, I’m returning the favor. Here are her slipper socks:

Mom's slipper socks

For the pattern, I used the awesome toe-up sock pattern generator, which I also used to make the socks for Mr Snips. The yarn is Berroco Pure Merino, which was very nice to work with. It is very soft and warm, which makes it ideal for slipper socks! I have enough left over to do an opposite pair, which I may end up doing for myself.

This is the first time I’ve made socks with a contrasting toe and heel, and I really like how it turned out. The toe-up method makes changing colors so easy, since you can switch to your main color when you join in the round after the toe, and switch back to your contrasting for the short row heels. I considered doing some more pink at the top, and even knit a few rounds and then ripped them out. The pink just made it too bold. It was the right choice, and I love how they’ve turned out.

Mom's slipper socks

Now it’s time for me to stop wearing them (for photography purposes only, of course!) and wrap them up for mom.

Beary happy

I have a wonderful friend called Sarah, who unfortunately, lives all the way across the ocean from me. She always sends me a lovely birthday present every year and I get super excited to open her packages. But this year, it was especially perfect. It was a small knitted bear.

Meet Sir Ted.

Sir Ted, the knitted bear

Sir Ted is very jolly. He is from England after all. I am considering knitting some more pieces for his wardrobe… ideas on what I should make him first?