Friday, October 28, 2005

Pumpkin Patch

We've made our annual trek to the pumpkin patch. Many photos were taken and many pumpkins and gourds were petted and purchased. The toddler had great fun even though he was too small to partake of many of the entertainments on the premises. Hugging 'punkees' was his favorite sport, and he hugged a great many of them. He continues to hug the specimens we brought home with us as often as we will allow him to.

I continue to work on the Manoir Coat as time allows. I'm currently sewing the collar on to the body of the sweater. It isn't going so well, and I can't help but feel that there must be a better way to make this garment than the one they chose to use in this book. I think curiosity will drive me to research and experiment and come up with some better solution. In the mean time, I struggle to make this one work out correctly. If it doesn't start looking better soon, I may have to put it aside for a while out of frustration. I don't want to do that if I can avoid it, because it will then become one of those projects that sits there on the shelf making me feel guilty for not finishing it. Bah.

Tomorrow will be our neighborhood Halloween party for the children. It promises to be a lot of fun for the kids. A daytime party makes for excellent photo opportunities, so don't forget the camera!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Marker Swap is Complete

Here's the final set of markers for the Stitch Marker Swap. If you've been trying to keep count, you'll be scratching your head in confusion about now because this seems to be the 4th set I've received this month, when you know I only signed up for 3 partners. Well, one of these 4 is meant to be the 3rd set for last month, which hadn't arrived on time. It's all good, no worries.

This beautiful set comes from Michigan. The silver butterfly charms are perfectly set off by amethyst beads. These feel almost slinky in the hand and will drape beautifully, sliding smoothly through my knitting as I work. They look and feel like a dream!

Thank you, Swap Buddy, for a set of markers that are truly a sensual pleasure!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Another Baby Sweater

My latest knitting project is a cabled baby sweater, again from the Bouton d'Or layette and junior book #13. I'm testing the pattern for the Manoir Coat in worsted weight yarn from the dollar store.

I'm enjoying knitting this sweater. I think I'd like to make a similar cardigan for myself. I have some beehive chunky in my stash waiting for a project, and this may be the right one.

This is the third set of stitch markers for October in the Stitch Marker Swap. They come to me from North Hollywood, just a couple hours away.

Aren't they just the coolest markers? I love those stars! They'll keep an eye on things, won't they? I also love the sea green color of the small beads. This photo doesn't do them justice, I'm afraid.

Thank you, Swap Buddy, for such an adorable set of markers! I'll have great fun using them!

Here is a finished object, the hurricane relief afghan I've been working on. It's crocheted, sewn together, ends woven in and has the border done. It measures 44 x 57 inches and is quite comfy for tv watching or for a child to curl up under. I'll be boxing it up and sending it off to Knitzilla for distribution.

I hope it brings some home-made comfort to a family on the gulf coast. I know so many people need a bit of that right now.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Baby Things and Markers

yellow baby pants and hatI finished the yellow baby pants the other day. There is just one last detail to finish-choosing the buttons for the little suspenders. You know how that can be, searching for just the right button and not finding it. I will have to check a few more shops.

Yesterday I spent the afternoon knitting a little hat to go with the pants, using the pattern for the Maupas Bonnet, #33 in the Bouton d'Or layette book #13. (I omitted the stripes and flower decoration)

All of the garments I have made from this book were knitted from the newborn size, and all of them seem to actually be larger. I would estimate the size to be closer to a 6-12 months size when compared to off-the-rack clothing. This is nice if the baby you are knitting for turns out to be a bit bigger than average. This is also not so bad for smaller babies, since they will grow into the clothes in a short amount of time. It's just a bit disappointing if you were hoping to use these garments for a coming-home outfit.

purple stitch markersThe second set of Stitch Markers for this month comes from New York. They're purple hehehe! My favorite color dontcha know.

See how beautiful they are? No two exactly alike, yet one look tells you that they are all part of a set. See the charm that looks like a ball of yarn with needles sticking through it? That's another one of my favorite things.

These little darlings are just crying out to be used with some silk yarn, don't you think?

Thank you, Swap Buddy, for these wonderful jewel-like stitch markers!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Baby Pants and Mail

yellow baby pants in process I've started working on that pair of baby pants I mentioned in my previous post. I'm using the Margaux Pants pattern in Bouton d'Or Layette #13, the same book I worked from for the jacket. I want the pants and jacket to go together; that is I want them to be the same size with the same garment ease and body shape so that they really do go together. So I am working from the same pattern book to make sure this happens.

I recalculated the number of stitches and rows for my different yarn and gauge, Dreambaby DK and 23x33=4"/10cm on #4US/3.5mm needles. The photo shows one ball knitted and the beginning of the second ball begun, pants about 75% complete. Isn't that a bright, happy yellow?

The mail carrier brought a package for me yesterday. These are the first Stitch Markers for October! They come from my swap buddy in Portland, Oregon.

These little darlings are just perfect for the season in the warm shades of autumn leaves. Transparent amber with little touches of brown and green go beautifully with the projects I'm working on this fall.

See how they look with the yellow baby pants? They will be especially handy while knitting the cap and booties!

Thank you, Swap Buddy, for reminding me what it looks like in Portland at this time of year with the maple, oak and alder leaves turning gold amidst the deep green of the douglas fir. These are beautiful stitch markers!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Jar Cover to Knit

This is a simple project, perfect for recycling yarn and food packaging. It's a knitterly way to dress up a simple vase or pencil cup. Try this pattern or use leftover swatches or orphan afghan squares to make a cover.

The sample was knitted using a small amount of leftover Red Heart Super Saver yarn and US size 8 needles (5mm) and was fitted over a Ball 12 ounce Quilted Crystal jelly jar. Any worsted weight yarn will do. Try jars from jam or jelly, pickles, olives etc. or containers from frozen fruit juice concentrate. Just about any small cylindrical package will work, including tin cans.

Cast on 30 stitches.
Work 6 rows of garter stitch (knit every row).
Rows 7-10: *Knit 3, purl 3*; repeat from * to * across the row.
Rows 11-14: *Purl 3, knit 3*; repeat from * to * across the row.
Continue working this checkerboard pattern 4 more times; 46 rows completed.
Work 6 rows of garter stitch and bind off.
You will have a somewhat square piece of knitting. Exact size is not important, it will stretch and is very forgiving. Sew the sides together to make a tube with garter stitch at the top and bottom.

Slip finished cover over your chosen container and fold top down to form a cuff to make it fit.


Fall Weather and a Finished Jacket

The weather has cooled enough to make working hard out-of-doors downright comfy, so I'm taking advantage of the opportunity to catch up on yard work. Much digging and laying of irrigation lines during the day, a little time for sewing up of projects in the evening.

In the photo at left are a soft stuffed spider and a polyester flower cluster chosen by my toddler to decorate the coffee table for the season. The vase is made from a jelly jar covered with a knitted sleeve and is heavy enough to keep from tipping while holding the lightweight poly flowers.

I've finished the Marennes baby jacket from Bouton d'Or layette book #13. I'm pleased with the finished sweater. The multiple colors of the Hobby Kids Color yarn don't distract too much from the little rows of cables. I will be making other pieces to go with the jacket in bright yellow DreamBaby D.K. starting with some little pants.

My markers for the third round of the Stitch Marker Swap are finished and on their way to my swap buddies. At the end of the month I will post photos of all the markers I've made for this swap so everyone can see. I love going to everyone's website to see what they've received, it gives me such ideas seeing what other people are doing!