FLOOD OF BABY GIFTS – ROUND 1 DONE
Finished the fuzzy Entrelac blanket.
Because I began it with a cast on row plus two garter ridges all the way across before starting the foundation triangle row, I finished it in parallel by picking up stitches across the top and working two more garter ridges and the cast off row. Now all that remains is to wash it and darn in the ends. For some reason I never do that until just before I am ready to give the gift.
On to the next baby gift – #2 of 4. At the same LYS mega-sale where I got the fuzzy, I also picked up some Asa Gjestal Spinneri Baby Superwash in a light turquoise. It’s marked at 28 st = 10 cm, about 7 spi, but feels comparable to Dale Baby Ull. I could do a strip or medallion blanket throw out of it, or I could work up a sweater and hat set. Not sure. I’ve also got a couple of lots of soft acrylic at worsted weight given to me by a friend. There’s enough there to make a couple of blankets, too – one pale yellow, one pale blue, and another white with flecks one similar to the one I did back in the early Spring:
The other thing I bought was not on sale. It’s a cleverly packaged kit from Plymouth Yarns. It contains one large ball of Cotton Kisses yarn (mine is a baby multicolor), four duck-shaped buttons, and instructions to make one of two sweaters – either a v-neck cardigan or a placket pull-over, both knit on US #5s and #7s. There’s enough yarn in the kit to make one item in one of three sizes – newborn, 3-6mos, and 6-9mos. If you figure a leaflet is usually two or three dollars, and four buttons of this type would run two bucks, too, this all-except-needles pack was very reasonably priced at $14.00 for the whole thing. I’m holding off starting it until I know the sex of the target baby. Although there’s no real reason to differentiate, I think I’d make the placket for a boy and the cardigan for a girl.
So, I’m off to experiment, not quite sure which of these projects I’ll start tonight.
BACK FROM LIMBO – ENTRELAC FUZZY BLANKET
Here I am. Remember me?
I’ve managed to survive a perfect storm of deadlines at work – about 3 months of +80 hour weeks, odd improvised snacks instead of meals, and barely seeing the Resident Male and the kids. Then I collapsed into our week long escape to Cape Cod family vacation. Seven blissful days with no TV, no computers, no cell phones. Just watching the tide reclaim and surrender the strand, reading, playing golf, knitting, playing Killer Bunnies, cooking on the beach, and paddling Feckless II – our replacement kayak. (Feckless I was swept away during a storm last summer).
I’m now back, facing a double whammy here at String. Not only am I months behind on wiseNeedle and String-related mail and maintenance, plus my personal eMail inbox, I also find that I was hit by the dread Comcast Port 25 block outgoing mail problem, which appears to have started out as an intermittent nuisance before hardening into impenetrability. If you’ve been looking for a note from me starting around early May, deepest apologies. I think we’ve got the thing licked now, switching to a different outgoing port, and mail both in and out should be flowing again.
Now, what did I knit on the beach? Nothing exciting. I didn’t take my green lace piece. I’ve tried to knit lace yarn in windy dampness before and haven’t been happy. I didn’t take my North Truro counterpane. I had intended on doing so, but I came home late on Friday and we had to be in the car and on the road before breakfast on Saturday. I didn’t have time to dig it out, and make sure that all was ready to go. Instead I opted for something new, quick and near-mindless. I took a bag of yarn I got at my LYS’ annual sale with the intention of figuring out a baby blanket to do with it.
The yarn is a bit unusual. It’s Lana Grossa Bambino, machine washable acrylic/polyester blend worsted weight novelty yarn. It’s a short plush/fuzzy, with splotches of contrasting color. It knits up into an extremely soft, terry-like fabric. However the heavy plush obscures almost all stitch texture, and the spots of color compound the problem. About all you can do with this stuff is stockinette, garter or very wide ribs (think k5, p5 at the least). Anything else is totally lost.
So what to do?
First I considered something very flat and very plain. But the thought of knitting all that garter or stockinette was too boring for words. Plus the spots would have that loving-hands-at home look. Not fun. So I played a bit and came up with something simple that puts more movement into the color splotches.
I cast on for the width of the piece and knit four rows, to make two garter ridges, then I began working out in garter stitch Entrelac, on squares of 16 stitches (yes, I cast on a multiple of 16). It’s still all knit, and not the most exciting thing in the world to produce, but it’s more interesting that working the piece plain and flat. And the movement of stitch direction stirs the color splotches a jaunty jig. Compare the very first couple of rows at the bottom to the body and you’ll see what I mean. For once it’s my subject that’s fuzzy and not my photography.
[If pix above aren’t showing, we’re experiencing technical difficulties. Apologies! Will work on resolving them tonight.]
Not an exciting project, but a simple and satisfying one. Plus it’s only two courses of squares away from being done.