Wednesday, April 28, 2010

WIP's Wednesday

I have three projects on the needles. This is the most projects I've had going at one time in a long time.

First up, the Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Surprise Jacket. I started this on our trip out west. It is a fantastic travel project: small, light, short directions and no need to change colors or cut yarn (unless you want to). No hurry to finish this one up. There seems to be a lot of interest in EZ's patterns this year - they seem to be everywhere I look.

Second, an earflap hat. This is my second barter for the marketplace. The earflaps are done and next is connecting, and creating, the main hat. I hope to have this one off in the mail to Mama-pan shortly!

Third, my contribution to the annual silent auction at our daycare/preschool. It is my second milo vest and I love this pattern even more this time around. I'm giving the cable detail a whirl and it's coming along nicely. I hope to have this one done by early next week.

It must be the spring weather that bribed me into all of these new projects: the promise of newness, the belief that anything is possible and all will be a success if given enough water and sunshine. I must have been under the same spell when I started planting the garden last week. As quickly as I put things in the ground my eager and earnest kids took them back out. At least they know not to unravel my knitting by now (a lesson that took 2+ years to teach, no less).

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Barter for bibs

Just before my trip I received a fantastic package in the mail. It was my first barter from Tigerlily Tinkering Barter Marketplace. Inside was a true treasure: seven bibs made from the most fantastic, modern, hip and sweet fabrics.

The bibs are expertly sewn,

with amazing button details,

and kid-friendly, super soft, flannel backing.

Thanks Melissa!

I really like the barter marketplace idea. Create something small (or big) for someone else and in exchange you can pick out something that you admire from another craftsperson. So simple and fulfilling.

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Lastly, thank you all so much for your words or kindness, support and joy on my last post. It means a lot to me.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

FO: Very colorful art

The pram blanket is done and I feel great. It really was the perfect project to help me heal and move forward again. And just looking at all that color makes me so happy!

Details on the pattern can be found here. It was a good stash-busting project, but I still have enough left-over sock yarn to make at least two more of these. I'm on the lookout for more left-over-sock-yarn projects...maybe striped spring/fall hats for the kids?

I was talking with my husband about this blanket and realized that this is more than a knitted blanket to me - it is a piece of art. Most things I knit are gifts, or items for my family and personal enjoyment. They are fun, lively, look great and (hopefully) wear well.

But this project was something different. It wasn't simply a knitting project, or a vehicle for meditative practice. It was and is artistic expression. I wanted to understand why I feel so different about this project: Is it the use of so much color? Is it the discordance in the colors themselves? Or is this project infused with an intensity of emotion in a way that my other projects typically aren't? I tend to think it's the latter.

Art, while arguably undefinable, is certainly charged with emotion. And I share with all of you that while simple in form and function, this is the most charged piece I've ever knit.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The needles pointed west

I'll be back in this space again soon.

I've been knitting, but I also went here.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

FO: Men's Vest

I finished it!

And it fits him perfectly. It looks great; I'm so happy. The zipper was a bit more challenging than expected, but it's done. I machine sewed it to the vest and then hand sewed the ends with extra care. [The zipper came from Zippersource, a great place to order custom zippers!] For more info. on the project you can check ravelry or here.

The pattern is from an Australian knitting publication - which I borrowed from a friend - and the yarn is an undyed, locally-spun worsted weight wool. I learned a new cast-on technique and how to machine sew in a zipper. Overall a great project, but the challenge to finish was tough. It took under 750 yds. of yarn to knit, which made it an budget-friendly project too, but the zipper was an added expense.

If I were to knit the pattern again I would do an applied i-cord around the armholes as the Italian cast-off is difficult to manage and, I think, unnecessary there. The i-cord would give a nice finished look and match the detailing on either side of the zipper. I would also probably shave a few centimeters off the length of the neck/collar. It's pretty long.

Monday, April 5, 2010


They picked out their own outfits yesterday morning. Dresses and sweaters. My jaw dropped when they all came downstairs, each wearing the sweater I'd knit especially for them. It was too sweet not to take a photo and share. Links to the red and purple sweaters here and here, and the blue here. I'm happy to report that after multiple adventures, washings and general wear-and-tear they are holding up well (the kids, and the sweaters!)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

FO: Baby vest

Another baby gift crossed off the list. I think I've almost got them all done. This little cutie is Milo by tikki. The pattern is fantastic: clearly written, lots of size variations and 5 different cable details to choose from. I decided to skip the cable detail for this one as the color is so vibrant. I feared the detail would be lost. The next vest I knit up will be in a solid color and I'll definitely add the cable. It really gives the vest a polished look.

I used a worsted weight wool for this one and think it's sized for 9-18 mos. I'm not good at estimating yardage, but I think it took about 150 yds. of yarn. As always details can be found on ravelry.