Monday, July 14, 2008

let there be knitting

Recently, MadMad published a post on her blog in which she admitted to sometimes possibly not being a perfect knitter. Now, I'm not one to judge, but honestly, I can't figure out where she's coming from. Take my knitting, for instance. Early on in this pregnancy, I took a hiatus from all things woolen, as I was too tired to even contemplate picking up the needles. More recently, though, I've had a bit more energy and have of course devoted that to housework. No, I'm just kidding. I devoted the extra energy to knitting, of course! Care to see what I've been up to?

First, I made the Baby Cargo Pants from Knitty, and while I did not take the time to check my gauge, I think they came out okay (if a little smaller than I would have liked, but that's my own fault for tempting the knitting goddess, right?).

(I apologize for the darkness of all the pictures in this post. I really have to start taking my knitting pics during the day.)

Project Specs-
Pattern: Baby Cargo Pants from Knitty
Yarn: Di.Ve' Zenith (an incredibly soft, squishy merino that I absolutely love and which happens to be on sale at Webs right now!
Started: June 3, 2008
Finished: June 18, 2008
Comments: The pattern calls for cargo pockets to be added, but I decided to wait until the baby's born. If it's a boy, I'll add pockets, if it's a girl, I'll probably embroider little flowers or something. Also, the original pattern calls for elastic to be added to the waistband, but I used ribbon instead.
I love this pattern because it's the first time I got to make a hem. If you haven't tried this, I highly recommend it. It is way cool.
Next up, a winter bunting-thingey for the new baby. I knew going in to this that there were quite a few problems with this pattern, including some with gauge, so I actually knit a gauge swatch, followed the errata listed on Ravelry and proceeded to knit. I even knit both legs at once, because surely the knitting goddess, who smiled favorably upon my last project even though I so blatantly disregarded any notion of gauge, would be benevolent once more, since I had actually knit a gauge swatch this time.

Of course, you know what happened.

I got almost halfway done with the front when I finally faced the fact that the dern thing was a bit too small. Just a little, mind you, as this picture shows.
'Cause newborns generally have 4 1/2 inch legs, right?

Yep, that one got frogged. I swear I'll try again, though. I mean, the kid has to wear something in the cold. Plus I really like the yarn, the legendary Cascade 220 (which I bought at Webs during their awesome, spectacular spring sale, the same day I saw the Yarn Harlot and got to meet a bunch of bloggy friends in person).

While I gathered my courage to figure out what the hell went wrong with the baby bunting (I mean I had a gauge swatch, people!) I decided to start Magic Baby's winter jacket, since he so rudely outgrew the last one I made for him.

I'm using Cascade Ecological Wool and Zoe Mellor's Robin Hood pattern. The yarn (which I also purchased on that wonderful trip to Webs) is much softer than I originally thought, which is good. It was also a really great price (ah, Webs, how I love thee) and since it's 100% wool, should definitely be warm enough for the boy. The pattern itself is all cabley (interesting without being too confusing for a pregnant woman to follow) and I really really like it. (My original plan was to knit myself a Central Park Hoodie so we'd sort of match but not too much- that would be creepy. I think I'll wait 'til next year, though, as I am roughly the size of a small country at the moment and refuse to knit anything for myself using my current proportions.)

The back knit up nicely.

As did the front left panel, and most of the front right (which is where I am at the mo').

I am now at the point where I'm almost out of yarn. See, when I originally bought it at Webs, I got enough to make the jacket if I used one strand of the yarn at a time, but when I knit the gauge swatch (there I go again, being all proper in my knitting) I found out that I actually had to use two strands held together. Now, most of you in a similar circumstance may have come to the conclusion that you needed to order more yarn before you were this far into the project, but I was in denial for a bit. Now, though, I'm almost done with the right front side and have maybe half a ball left. I'm guessing that's not enough to make two sleeves and a hood, so I'm going to go ahead and order that extra yarn now. Yep, I'm nothing if not proactive.

While I'm waiting for the order to come in, let me clue you in on some "design elements" I inadvertently added to the pattern.

Notice anything?

See how the left-side button band is ribbed and the right is moss stitch? Well in the original pattern, they were supposed to match. Where's the fun in that, though? Instead, I figured I'd misread the pattern entirely get a little funky with it and hope to god the ribbing doesn't stretch too much because there's no way I'm dropping and reknitting all those stitches.

Also, I decided that instead of casting off the shoulders and sewing them together later, I'd just use the three-needle bind off. I'm really proud of how that worked.

Did you know you're supposed to work the three-needle bind off on the wrong side of the knitting? Yeah, that'll need to be fixed, although it did make a very straight line of stitches.

In conclusion, I'd like to tell my dear friend MadMad that she should hang in there with her knitting and not consider herself a failure just because she made one sweater that looks like a cat hacked furballs all over it. I mean, with enough time and patience, she too could be knitting up such wonders as The Baby Bunting of Tom Thumb and The Mismatched Winter Jacket With The Painfully Obvious Seam. I'm living proof that any knitter can be a good knitter. All it takes is a little practice.

Seriously, are those for the same kid?!