Tuesday, December 31, 2013

StashDash part 5: Milk Infant Top

I've heard all the arguments against making baby sweaters, which typically boil down to, "It will be worn for 3 minutes before the baby balloons into a naked toddler."

Don't care! Pretty.

Also, will you look at those adorable hand flaps? Can you see them? So when the kid starts scratching everything you turn the cuffs over and it's like mittens, on the sweater. Squeak!

A lot of people on Ravelry have remarked that the crocheted edging gave them some trouble, and they wish the directions had been more thorough. For me, the directions were sufficient, or they would have been, had I actually followed them the first three times. Instead I thought, why not simplify things and [so on, rep 3 times].

Yeah, three times.

In the end, I did change things up a bit by not doing the scalloped edging around the neck, because the contrasting color I had in my stash was not as soft as i'd prefer.

I also added that nifty little flower, which I found in a book given to me just this Christmas, 100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet. Nice book, great flower, all around cuteness. 210 yards, gone!

In other news, this past weekend, the gentleman from the pest control company made his case for me having a natural childbirth, sans epidural. I told him I'd consider it if he can stop all these damned ants from getting in through the front door all the time.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

StashDash part 4: Summer Coverage Shawl

I should have posted this weeks ago, when I finished the most interminable stockinette I've ever encountered:

And it's all my own fault. I made this pattern up.

Stockinette plus some simple garter lace at the edge. It's roughly a triangle; the picture doesn't show it, but there's a middle rectangle and then two triangles on either side, if that makes sense.

As to how this came to be, I had a skein of mystery yarn gifted to me by… let's say, "a family member" to protect the sort-of innocent. Ha! The yarn had lost its label before it came to me. At first I thought it was hemp or linen, now I'm not so sure. The edging is some leftover hemp, and the main color was much softer than that. Probably a blend of some kind, fingering weight, at a guess 500 yards…

You see where this is going?

I thought it would be nice to have something to cover up with in the coming months, provided attempts to feed the expected offspring go as hoped.

And on that note, yes I totally know that I don't really look pregnant in that picture. Look more closely. The shawl sort of points on the top of a bump. I'm tall, and I'm told that helps in all sorts of ways, once of which is that I don't get as big as a shorter lady might.

And I don't think I mind too much. It's slightly irritating when I'm in one of the rare situations in which I would really like to play the pregnancy card (getting to sit down when waiting in line, for example - or, I've heard that some women get offered free dessert in restaurants, but I wouldn't know about that). But it's a relief, honestly, to know that I can minimize the extent to which people around me notice/obsess/ponder the bump.

During all the awfulness of our infertility experience, one of the hardest things was to interact with pregnant women. Of course I know it's not their fault - but come off it, Nagging Stranger. Since when was life fair? Somehow, I don't think a single one of the pregnant ladies I encountered was affected for the worse by the fact that I had a rough time being in their presence and listening to them talk all about their Braxton-Hicks contractions. Instead, I think -- and by the way, a whole host of other infertile folks will identify with this, if you don't believe me then go read their blogs -- I got a whole lot of exercise in deep breathing and attempting to foster compassion for myself and others in the way of Buddhism lite. It worked maybe part of the time.

Now that I'm, well, here, it's a sticky situation in which I'm happy to talk about my pregnancy to folks whom I know and whom I know to be in an okay place about it. But at work? In public, to strangers? I'd rather minimize the extent to which a baby bump seems to snare all attention. I can't completely avoid causing other people pain, but I can appreciate that there are reasons why another person might not dig my presence these days.

Besides, I do like the idea that maybe people remember I have an identity in addition to Foetus Carrier.

Tangent over. Happy holidays, everybody! 580 yards gone (500 for the stockinette, 80 for the border.) My remaining stash is hanging out in the dining room right now. So sad.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

StashDash part 3: Oliver Hat

Oliver, as in, "Please, sir, a little more."

In using up stash, I actually started running out of red yarn here. So I backtracked, added the top gray stripes, then after it was finished made the lower gray stripe in duplicate stitch for balance.

And then it wound up being too tall for the recipient. Oy!

It is for a coworker's one-year-old, however. He'll grow into it.

That red yarn: what mileage. A single skein of Cascade 220 Superwash gave me three blanket squares for a charity blanket and then this hat.

In StashDashing news… today is my "eviction" day from my office/crafting studio. Ha. The three projects I've posted as actually using up more stash than they cost me only totaled 500 yards.

It was a valiant effort. I'm afraid I'm just going to have to displace the wedding china.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Another FO, but I did not come out ahead

I don't think it fits in my StashDash series if the yarn was purchased in recent months just for this project, and I have over half the yardage remaining.


But the sweater is cute. A Tulips baby sweater! (Follow the link at your peril: the model baby is so cute I want to munch her ears.)

I went for the 12-month size, with the idea that our youngun will almost certainly be tall and lanky and will fit into it in time for the three days of cold weather we might catch in late 2014.

There's a healthy number of FOs on Ravelry of this pattern already - if memory serves, the Yarn Harlot went on a streak with this pattern and everybody took notice. I used Knit Picks Swish Superwash… I'd give my color choices on this one a B+. Almost awesome, but you could do better with those greens and maybe the dark pink, too. Overall, though, I think it's a nice and squishy sweater that will help fill baby's shelves for the next year.

This is what is formerly my closet, about 25 percent of the way to getting cleaned out and ready. Not exactly Pinterest-worthy, is it?

Sunday, November 24, 2013

StashDash part 2: For Tiny Toes

The other week, I hit two birds with one stone by finishing a baby item that I'd wanted to make for so long that it got painful even thinking about the pattern for a while, and a stash-buster.

Little tiny Chuck Taylors!

This is a great pattern, but you definitely have to think your way through it. Most people on Ravelry have made modifications. I suggest reading through some pattern notes first if you decide to make a pair.

I made these from partial skeins of organic cotton. I am thinking that with this girl's parents (that is, us) both being kin to Marshwiggles, they'll likely fit in about 3 months or so.

And, can you believe I made something pink for her? I think this particular pink has enough rock and roll to it when used in this pattern to make that all right.

We're off to see Hunger Games this morning (yessssss), so I have to cut this short - but in other life updates, one of my favorite belly-related comments so far came from a very lovely LYS owner here in town: "Oh my gosh, you look like a basketball. I just want to dribble you!"

Saturday, November 16, 2013

StashDash part 1: the Norgas… um.

With a new human being apparently arriving soon in our household, I have to clean out what has been my office/crafting studio, to combine spaces with Mr. MGY. Yeah, it's awesome. What are you gonna do: we only have so much room.

That means a massive rush to get as much stash knit up as possible, with the insane conviction reasonable theory that I will somehow be able to find a place for the yarn which is not the attic.

By the way: I'm really tired lately. Some nights, I'm lucky to get a few rows in.

Shut up. It could happen.

As part of this effort to move through as much yarn as possible, I whipped out another Noro Striped Scarf, this time in pastel shades. I love what the off-white colorway does here:

And I've coined a term for what happens when you're working with a ball of Noro that you really only bought for one small part of the colorway. You go for it, you're working, it's nice but not as nice as it will be when you get to that beautiful peachy-rose-pink color… You're almost there -- almost there -- almost there -- yes, yes -- you can just feel it -- and --

May I present, the Nor-gasm.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Never Enough Fishens

A family member is expecting soon. I pulled out my usual trick: my baby mittens that look like little fish. This is the third time I've made these, and every time they're fun and quick to make. Mothers have so far told me that the comic effect from when the kid shoves the fish in his or her mouth is worth a million bucks.

I used bright colors this time.

As for me, I'm fine. I am not getting anywhere near enough knitting done, seeing as I somehow have to empty out the closet of my knitting room/office, which is set to become a baby room. This is a terribly stressful proposal: I've never in my life been good at clearing out things. In fact, I hate doing it. And I married a guy who really, really likes doing it.

The stash has to find another home in a house with little storage. Mr. MGY knows better than to suggest the attic, but we might not have many other options if I don't start tearing through some of this yarn pretty soon here.

What's that? Sell some of it off?

Shut up.

Monday, August 19, 2013

One Year Later

There's been some falling off the earth. Exactly how much of the story I'll tell here is limited by the fact that employers have in the past found this blog without me mentioning it. And employers tend to go all ooky if you say words like "vagina." (That just impacted my search results in curious ways. Turn back, pervs. It's not that sort of blog.)

We just had a year of IVF attempts. Outlook was very depressing. Somehow, it worked after multiple tries. I'm knitting a Tulips cardigan now.

So about that knitting.

If all goes well, the kid shows up in January, which means an opportunity for newborn wool sweaters if you're not saddened by the idea of her outgrowing it after 3 minutes, cotton/bamboo/linen/hemp for much of the year, and then hitting the wool cycle again for the 1-year size.

 As for the future of this blog? I imagine I'll drop in here once in a while. These few months are my time to recover my sanity before losing it again. I'm packing the days with knitting, reading (Graham Greene's The Quiet American, currently - fascinating novel), seeing friends, cooking, going to movies, seeing new places. It's sort of astonishing to go for walks in the evening and look at the grass or the sidewalks and feel something besides despair.

 Thanks, friends. Hope you're well in the yarnworld, wherever you are.

Tulips, with Knit Picks Swish Worsted: