Two Left Needles

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Tangerine Cardi

Tangerine Cardi
Finished: 4/8/07
Pattern: Debbie Bliss' "v-neck cardigan with contrast ribs" from Baby Knits for Beginners, size 3-6 months
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cotton DK in Tangerine Orange, 4 balls
Needles: #6; #5 for neckband
Notes: The main modification I made was to knit the body in one piece to the armholes, which had its complications. I wasn't crazy about how the armpits seamed:

Tangerine Cardi

but in retrospect, I think it looks fine. Scott helped me pick out the buttons:

Tangerine Cardi

Cute, eh?

Overall, a quick and easy knit, if you don't massively screw up like I did.


Eyelet Dress
color not accurate

Eyelet Dress
Finished: 4/7/07
Pattern: Debbie Bliss' "Dress with Eyelets" from Baby Knits for Beginners, size 3-6 months
Yarn: Crystal Palace Cotton Biwa in Magenta (on cone), ~6 oz
Needles: #4; #3 for neck- and armbands
Notes: I didn't quite get gauge (24 sts x 33 rows, vs pattern gauge of 25 sts x 34 rows), so I knew it would come out a little wider than the pattern. To compensate, I added an extra row or two to the bodice length.

Also, the pattern calls for DB Cotton/Wool, which is a drapier yarn. On top of that, I knit the Cotton Biwa on smaller needles than the ballband recommended. Result: a sturdier fabric with less drape. Certainly not cardboard, and perhaps washing will soften it up some. If I were to knit this again, I'd choose a yarn/needle combo that would create a drapier fabric. (I do, however, like the sheen of this cotton.)

Quick and easy knit. I had some problems with the neckband, most likely due to my yarn substitution, but I was very satisfied with my fix. Also, I found the buttonhole placement for the back is too far to the right; I would move it left by a stitch if I knit this again.

Eyelet Dress

I still have to find some ribbon to thread through the eyelets!


Ribbed Jacket

Ribbed Jacket
Finished: 4/7/07
Pattern: Debbie Bliss' "Ribbed Jacket" from Special Knits, size 0-3 months
Yarn: GGH Java in peach (2 skeins) and light peach (1 skein)
Needles: #7; #6 for ribbed collar
Notes: What a quick knit! Since the main body is knit in one piece, there is very little finishing to worry about. My stitch gauge was spot on, but my row gauge was off (27 rows vs pattern 24 rows), so I had to add a few rows here and there to compensate.

The GGH Java feels light and springy and I liked knitting with it. It's not tightly spun, so I am a little worried about strands getting caught on things. I knit this after seeing Elinor's cute version here.

I'm trying not to be despondent about the contest guesses that are later than my due date. Actually, I'm trying not to be discouraged about any suggestions that it will be longer than this weekend. ;)

You know the whole nesting thing? Well, I haven't been immune. But strangely (or not so strangely), my form of nesting appears to be yarn and fiber related. Instead of cleaning bathrooms or folding and refolding baby clothes, I've been going through receipts:

Yarn receipts going back 12 years

Receipts that go back to 1995:

Yarn receipts going back 12 years

For practically every yarn and fiber purchase I made since then, every knitting needle and point protector, pattern, book and booklet. And I've been putting it into Excel. Into a very long spreadsheet.

Old Webs receipts don't give details on what yarn was purchased beyond "MILL END", "CLOSEOUT", "CONED YRN", etc. So there's a lot of guessing involved. There are some handwritten receipts from the Classic Elite Mill End store in Lowell, and Shuttles, Needles & Hooks in NC that are equally vague. It's a bit of a conundrum. There's also stuff I bought on eBay that arrived sans receipt. And there's probably plenty in the stash that is somehow not represented in any receipt. Gifts or trades, or pre-1995 yarn.

I've spent hours working on this spreadsheet. Hours. And hours. Over a span of many weeks. There's something comforting about it. Couldn't tell you why. Organization that I can't achieve in the yarn room? Having everything visible and sortable? Filterable? Being able to see what I have so that I have a better chance of using stash? It's a bit insane. Well, a lot. But really, not so surprising, is it?

The Eyelet Dress was moving right along until I got to the neckline. Puckered. Not so pretty:

Eyelet Dress - in progress

I figured I had 3 options:

  • Pick up fewer stitches
  • Use smaller needles
  • Cast off more tightly

I used all 3. The "cast off more tightly" I employed at the center live stitches and on the curves. Worked nicely:

Eyelet Dress - in progress

I did the same on the sleeves:

Eyelet Dress - in progress

Just need buttons and a wash! Not done, but the knitting's done. So I started another project:

Ribbed Cardi - in progress

These baby knits are addictive.

My March UFO Resurrection project was Trellis. Last summer I had finished the back and barely started the fronts before losing momentum. I picked it up again at the beginning of February and quickly finished the fronts and most of the sleeves before again losing momentum and getting distracted by Scott's Re-Grow, finishing Diamond in the Rough for Spa, spinning Lagoon for Twisted Knitters, and getting my ass in gear and knitting something for the little goober.

Alas, I didn't spend any of March working on Trellis, so I feel it's not quite fair to use it as my March UFO Resurrection project. Instead, I've picked a project to say goodbye to.

Last seen 13 months ago, Gram's Socks, knit in Fleece Artist merino:

Gram's sock - first sock done

I wasn't feeling the love on the socks. First, I had to re-knit it because Gram's feet swelled up quite a bit for quite a while, and the socks as originally knit no longer fit (not even close). I added a bunch of stitches as well as ribbing to compensate; but it was becoming clearer that, even if I finished, they wouldn't get used. Gram didn't wear socks, she wore hose. None of her shoes could accommodate socks. And unlike me, Gram always wore shoes, indoors and out. Further, as she continued to decline, it was clear she wouldn't be able to care for or keep track of handknit socks.

I feel really bad saying goodbye to this project, but I know I won't finish them. Instead, I'd rather knt something that she will be able to use, and that will survive with regular washer/dryer care. Maybe a sweater vest or something for her room. That will be a good project for 2007.

Eyelet Dress

Glad you liked Tangerine Cardi! Wait 'til you see the buttons Scott picked out for them, too cute.

The magenta project I call Eyelet Dress, another Debbie Bliss knit. The back is already done!

Eyelet Dress - back done!

The yarn is Crystal Palace Biwa, a 100% mercerized cotton, knit on smaller than the recommended needles. After scouring my many Debbie Bliss books and being disappointed that there weren't many patterns for Cotton DK (her only cotton I have), and that the cuter patterns were in smaller gauges, I attacked my yarn room to figure out what other cottons I had. I bought a bunch of cones of Biwa several years ago on eBay from someone clearing out their stash, and never used it. If all goes well with this knit, I have at least one other suitable color in the stash.

The pattern is written for DB wool/cotton, which naturally has a different hand than 100% cotton (it's softer/squishier and more drapey, for starters). But I don't think it'll be a problem. Gauge is gauge, right? (I think the correct answer is: Sometimes.) Besides, wool allergies aside: 50% wool in a summer tank dress???

Speaking of gauge, I'm not getting gauge. Ha! Over 4", I'm getting 24 sts instead of 25, and 33 rows instead of 34. It's a baby knit, so I think I'll be fine; and I made one slight change to compensate.

Summer Anklets

The socks will be anklets because I only have 1.8 oz of yarn to work with. It's Fleece Artist merino, purchased in Halifax at LK Yarns. They had a basket of odd-weight skeins and I managed to buy only one. I love the colors!

For Mouse: For this weight yarn, I start with 20 stitches using a figure-eight cast-on and increased every other row to (for my feet) 56 sts. Gives me a good toe shape.


Clapotis is coming along nicely:

Clapotis - in progress

I'm about 2.5 skeins in, and I'm thinking I might have to find a 6th skein. I'm not so pleased about having to start mid-ball to maintain the striping sequence and I'm hoping all the unused ends will get used eventually (or I'll need a 7th skein). So far, I'm not at the crazy/bored stage; I think the colors are keeping me entertained.

One almost complete baby cardi:

Tangerine Cardi - in progress

Two new projects:

Eyelet Dress - in progress
for baby

Summer anklets - in progress
for me

One very round belly!

36 Weeks!