FRANKLIN’S GHOST OF CHRISTMAST KNITTING

I’m with Franklin all the way on this. I’ve been visited by his Ghost of Christmas Knitting, but that specter couldn’t force his way into the room, crowded as it already was by the Ghost of Hastily Announced Baby Shower Knitting, the Ghost of Birthdays Come and Gone Knitting, and the amorphous yet omnipresent-in-December Ghost of Holiday Preparations. The whole spooky committee then voted and consigned me to wherever procrastinators end up, when they remember that they have to be somewhere.

But tamales, cookies (cocoa rum balls and peanut butters both done and lagered away), work, and routine family support tasks aside, I did manage to whack into the baby shower backlog. Which is a good thing because today is the first of several.

babyknits.jpg

The white with speckles hat and white booties are knit in Sirdar Snuggly Snowflake DK. I believe it’s now discontinued, but these are leftovers from a Oat Couture Curlique Coverlet done about six years ago for a niece. It’s a spectacular pattern and I had a great time with the blanket, although (like everything else) I did play with it a bit. It’s difficult to see in the official cover photo, but the thing is a round blanket, knit in garter stitch paisley-type slices, with the shaping formed by short rows and picking up along an edge. I wouldn’t quite call it modular knitting, but if you’re familiar with that style, this blanket will be easier for you than for someone who has never done short-rowing before. What I did was notice that the pattern had a logic that would enable the use of two colors. I knit all of the segments radiating from the center in a white-with-speckles Snowflake, and all of the other segments in plain white Snowflake. What I ended up with was subtle, but effective – a center swirled star with speckles surrounded by a plain white field.

One caveat – because I used the loopy Snowflake, my final texture was sort of reminiscent of a supple light terry cloth towel, with less distinct garter ridges than the pattern’s own photo. I wish I had pictures of that blanket to share, but I made it BS (Before String), and never got a snap back of the target baby with her present. I’d do the blanket again but not in this yarn. In any case, Snowflake worked just fine for my no-pattern hat and standard issue booties, although again, I’ve played with the pattern. I did the Ann Kreckel baby bootie, but because this is DK weight, I worked it on a sole of 8 stitches x 16 rows, and adjusted the rest of the pattern accordingly.

The multicolor hat is knit in other stash-dwelling odds and ends. The multi part is clearly Regia Crazy Color, left over from the Crazy Raglan I made for Smallest Daughter. The solid white and yellow used on the welting and stockinette edge are ancient bits of Baruffa/Lane Borgosesia 7 Settembre DK, shamelessly stolen from my mother’s stash. Both colors are remnants of a project she did around 1993 or so. 7 Settembre was a particularly nice machine wash textbook-standard DK weight 100% wool that came in a wide range of colors, including brights; now long since discontinued. There will be booties to accompany this no-pattern hat, too.

Moral of today’s post – Those half-ball or less odds and ends left over after a project come in handy if you need to do up a quick, small gift; don’t throw them away! Think of it as bonus investment in future gifts. Oh, and that holiday knitting thing? Boo, humbug! There are still 9 knitting days to Hanukkah (which thankfully lasts until the 23rd), and 18 knitting days until Christmas.


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