Monday, March 30, 2009

Off on the next great adventure!

I have started Lillie's Little Sweater. If you're on Ravelry, it's here.

After knitting so many Babies & Bears, I felt it was time for a break. And I'd heard wonderful things about this pattern from different people.

At first I was going to use this yarn, acquired during a recent trip to the LYS:

But then I got to worrying. I'm so anal about the striping matching from side to side and that's one thing I love about Babies &'s so easy to manipulate the self-striping yarns to match. Would this pattern be the same?

I looked on Ravelry to see what it might look like in a self-striping yarn and saw a few examples that persuaded me that I might not be able to control the striping as I like to, so I decided to go on a stash dive and find some different yarn. And this is what I came up with:

The sweater is to be a gift for a pregnant friend. I'm doing the 12 month size and the mother doesn't know the sex, so I thought this tweedy red/blue/pink/yellow would be a nice gender-neutral choice without going into pastels, which are more for tiny babies, IMO. I decided not to do the all garter stitch hood, so I'm working the stockinette version instead.

One thing I was shocked to find was that I only have ONE tote full of Encore! I could have sworn there were TWO. Hmmm...

Dan said something really funny the other day. He said, "Hey! I know a place where you can get rid of all your yarn!" As Scoobie would say, "Ruh Roh!" Get rid of yarn? Why would I want to do that?!?!?

I cautiously said, "Where?"

And he proceeded to tell me that someone at work knows about this charity where they knit hats and mittens for poor children. Phew! I was able then to say, "I do have some yarn that I could donate, but a lot of what I have is not suitable for hats or mittens"

Poor man. You can't blame him for trying. The yarn wall lives on his side of the basement and he wants more room. I'm knitting as fast as I can, is all I will say!

I haven't been knitting a whole lot because I am still sick with these darned ear infections. Three courses of antibiotics and it's still going on. I decided not to mess around and have made an appointment at the ENT for Wednesday. That's the earliest I can get in.

BTW, William's teacher LOVED the sweaters and the box I made to put them in, which you can see here.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

On the importance of the right buttons

You all know that the right buttons are SO essential for your knits to look their best, don't you?

I've had a thing about buttons for years now. Back when I used to sew my own clothes, it was the same. I like buttons that are unique, yet complement the garment. They don't fight for attention, but make you go "YES! THOSE ARE PERFECT!!!" Yes, you know this, I can are nodding your head, aren't you?

If you are not, then you need to learn this, because it helps your hand-knit garment look much better.

When I first started knitting, I made this bunting for my oldest child:

The buttons are wrong. Yes they are! They are little Beatrix Potter buttons and they are just all wrong for this garment. Why did I select these? I wanted something pink and subtle, so the stitchwork would be the star of the show (after the baby, of course and this particular baby always looked PRECIOUS in everything she wore. Really!) And the owner of the knit shop talked me out of it.

I am not naming names and I will say that that owner is no longer owner of the shop. But she had this thing where if you made something for a baby, then you had to buy cutesy buttons to put on it. No ifs ands or buts. I still regret giving in to her, but hers was a forceful personality. And at that time, mine was not. I'm much better now.

So recently I went on a quest for the perfect buttons for that little Babies & Bears sweater I made a long time back and I found the perfect buttons, IMO. Lookie:

Aren't these just way perfect for this little sweater! I knit this out of Sirdar Denim DK about...4 years ago??? Can't remember! Who this was for I can't remember either, but it's getting given to the Squatter's teacher who is having her second child and this one is a boy. Remember how I told you I wanted to make her another in a bigger size and started another Babies and Bears?

I have finally finished it! I've been sick for weeks now with ear infections or it would have been much faster. But since the Squatter's teacher is due next month and she'll probably be going on maternity leave any day now, I figured I better get with the program. Lookie:

I was very careful about the striping sequence and managed to start the second sleeve almost exactly where I should. And I was very careful about the front panels so that they would match. And I engineered the back panel so it would be all one color by joining yarn in the middle of the panel so that the next color sequence would not start. I am so dang clever and yes, I do love myself very much!

But I'm particularly proud of my button choice:

Aren't those just PERFECT? And didn't I sew them on in just the right way, alternating the diagonal lines! I love myself, yes, I do!

I had gone to the LYS with Mary, because I have created a knitting monster. Mary wants to be going to the yarn store all the time now. She has already finished one baby blanket and has two more on the needles. So I feel that I have done my duty by creating a new knitter to keep our yarn economy rolling along. But since she made me go with her to the yarn store (no, she didn't have a gun! Mary does not need a gun to get what she wants!) I had to do something there, so I ended up buying these buttons. And some yarn. I think maybe I have gone too far and now she is making me spend money on yarn and patterns and buttons that would maybe not have been spent before!

Okay,'s my own fault, I admit it. But I did need the buttons. And one of my friends is pregnant, so the yarn will be used for that. But not another Babies & Bears...instead, I'm going to do Lily's Little Sweater...just for a change of pace.

ANYWAY, I tried lots of different buttons with this sweater, both blue and turquoise and nothing seemed just right. Until I had the brilliant (yes, I love myself) idea of using the brown in this colorway and once I found these square buttons with the diagonal line, I knew that once again, I had chosen wisely. (yes, I love myself!)

Well, it's time to go put my feet up. I'm sick of these ear infections which are stealing all my energy...I *have* gotten lots of knitting done in the doctor's waiting room, but I'd rather get it done somewhere else. Here's hoping this third antibiotic does the trick. Ta!