Lace Along II

I just can't stay away from lace. I quasi-designed a baptismal stole using the alphabet in Debbie Bliss' The Baby Knits Book. The bulk of the stole is his name, but there was room for a baptismal symbol on the "John" side to make it the same length as the "Francis" side. For ease in quasi-designing I chose a christogram, which combines the letters chi and rho (or X and P from the Debbie Bliss book -- I'm lazy).

I'm knitting each side from the bottom up and grafting them together. I'm about a third finished with the first half. Given the way the lace pattern makes the entire piece slant, I think there will need to be some serious blocking when this is done.


Mini Project

Devan is getting blocked today, which isn't horribly exciting. But whatever could these be?

Baby shoes for the day he's baptized!

The shoes are from The Baby Knits Book by Debbie Bliss, knit in Sesia Baby on size 0 Addi Turbos. My mom is sewing the gown, so my contribution is complete!

Our church also uses baptismal stoles, so I'm currently designing one that should knit up pretty quickly. If I don't manage to finish it, I still have the generic one we were given at our baptism class. See, no pressure! John, you can be born ANY TIME NOW!


The forecast calls for gray

There has been nothing but gray skies and rain here for most of the weekend. Combine that with knitting the gray back of Devan and you get the most monotonous weekend of knitting ever. Still, there's the wonderful payoff near the end of getting to put in the neat little intarsia detail.

If it weren't for the promise of that little square of patterned yarn, I think I would have stopped after about three rows on the back. It's so good to be done!


38 weeks = 14 days to go


Conspiracy Theory

Everything was conspiring against my knitting progress yesterday. I woke up early but my hands were too puffy to knit. Then, despite my best efforts to stay awake, I fell back asleep for the rest of the morning. I guess I should trust my body and also enjoy the extra pre-baby sleep, but this is just so not like me! During the afternoon, a slew of well meaning family and friends called to see how the about to be born baby was doing. I was on the phone almost constantly from noon until four. Who knew that staying at home doing "nothing" could take so much time?

There is some progress to show, though -- one unblocked sleeve!


Another Knit Along

I'm starting to think there's a knit along for pretty much every pattern I want to knit! Nancy of Bronx Girl Knits! is hosting a Devan Along. I bought the yarn for this a while ago and figured a baby boy cardigan goes along with my masculine sock project after the lace frenzy. I also thought trying to finish an entire sweater in a tiny gauge might tempt the baby to be born early.

I'm using Regia Norweger Ringel so it isn't quite as colorful as a jacquard patterning yarn. The stripes are a little wider, too.

This is such a fun little sweater. I've never used self striping yarn for anything other than socks. The stripes keep me knitting quickly -- just one more stripe! Okay one more! Before I knew it the fronts were finished. Here they are in their lovely unblocked state, looking like a weird pair of bell bottoms.

Only three more pieces to go!


Start, start, start!

I started the second sock just to get past the thinking part of the knitting. I'm nowhere near done with the first sock.

Here's a better view of the vikkel braid, before the ribbing pulls back in.

I'm to that part of pregnancy where I'm really wondering when he's going to be born. I'm due in seventeen days. Will starting a lot of projects make him come early, keeping me from finishing anything? Or will starting all of these projects make him come late, as I just keep finishing and finishing and finishing? Or do I have to admit that there's nothing I can do to guess when he'll be born? And even less I can do to influence him?


The Opposite of Lace

I just started a pair of quite masculine socks (that is, fairly plain and in a dark color) for my husband.

They're an enlargement (I had to add two pattern repeats) of the Spey Valley socks from Knitting on the Road. Above and below the knit/purl patterned section they have something Nancy Bush calls vikkel braid. It looks almost exactly like sideways knitted stitches.

Since the rest of the sock is 5/2 ribbing, I thought I might start the second sock now, get through the part that requires some attention and save that endless ribbing for post-baby knitting. I'm a little wary of that option though, since that may well lead to me finding them, unfinished, in a bag four years from now. I do that with projects now, so I can only imagine the state of my knitting in the imminent baby-filled world. Maybe that's why I like blogs of knitters with young children so much recently -- they prove that there is knitting after babies!


All Laced Up

I finished my Lace Along project this morning during some pregnancy-induced insomnia.

Pattern: Waving Lace Socks, Spring 2004 Interweave Knits
Yarn: Koigu Premium Merino
Needles: Inox metal dpn, size US 1

The lace pattern up close:

These socks are so pretty and I used just under two skeins of Koigu for my size 9.5 or 10 feet. Since the pattern was easy to memorize, I think I would make these again for gifts. With all of the socks I've been making, I'm really looking forward to fall when I'll have the most stylish feet!


Life is just a bowl of cherries

Today I decided to make a pie for my husband for his about-to-be-a-father Father's Day dessert. I started everything from scratch, yielding this wonderful bowl of pitted cherries.

That's the last thing that was beautiful. I only had butter at home, so I made some pate brise. Then came the critical error. Instead of using a pie plate, like a thinking person would have, I decided to make a rustic tart. I gleefully filled my rustic circle of pie crust with cherries, sugar and corn starch and folded up the edges. It looked perfect! Into the oven it went!

All too soon I realized that really rich pie crust does not hold in bubbling pie juices. I finally slid the entire thing into a cake pan and let it bake a while. It was not worthy of photography. My lovely husband came home from a long run and was actually happy to find what I deemed "dump pie." And that's why I love him.


Too Pregnant

Things that have made me cry in the last week:

The song Abraham, Martin and John
An American Plastics Council commercial
The movie Yankee Doodle Dandy

If that doesn't say that I have way too many hormones surging thought my body, I don't know what does.

I put off working on my waving lace socks because I decided to knit what must be the one of the most insane baby projects ever. It's a little hat with 136 stitches in a round. I don't think I've ever made a hat with that many stitches, much less one that's intended to fit a tiny baby head. The pattern revealed itself to me as I was flipping through the Spring 2004 IK to find the sock pattern again. A spare skein of Koigu that has been sitting around for at least two years then suggested it would be a good match for the pattern. Before I knew it, I had this.

Here's one of the cables, which looks like a mashed together braid.

It is very cute and hopefully it will fit him perfectly this fall. I think that a baby's head is one of the best places to put nicer yarns. I'm sure they can spit up and have it reach their head, but it's probably a little harder than spitting up on most other places. Will the hat make it through the fall unscathed? Wait and see...


51% Done

I think this is the speediest knitting progress I've ever made. A rainy day and an extremely pregnant belly can convince me to do nothing but knit for hours without pause. There's also this odd fear in the back of my mind that this will be the project that's left unfinished as I go into labor. I keep finishing projects, of course, but eventually one will be the one that is put aside for the more urgent, important things in life. Musings aside, here are my socks.


Lace Beginnings

I started my Waving Lace socks and I'm through the leg on the first. The Koigu is so beautiful with its subtle color variations. I can't get the camera to capture it quite correctly.

I chose to do the scalloped lace edging to make the socks more feminine. The main lace pattern is so easy to memorize so it makes excellent television knitting. When the leg isn't stretched there's a clear zigzag pattern. When it is stretched (over an old check box -- it's all I could find!), it looks deceptively complex.


Lace Makers

Today's saint of the day is John Francis Regis, the patron saint of lace makers. Thankfully, our in-progress John Francis decided not to make his entry into the world on his name saint's day. As an alternate way to celebrate, I finished two lace projects today.

One: a secret Christmas present, a scarf made from Classic Elite Lush. I love how it's reversible, although I think I like the lace side better than the ribbed side.

The original pattern would have made a narrower scarf, but the intended recipient isn't a long narrow scarf sort of person. I added a repeat and now it's a nice little neck warmer scarf. It's so soft that you'd want it tucked in your coat, so that really works out.

Two: my merino lace socks, from Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in Blueberry Hill.

Even if you have larger feet like me (9's that pregnancy turned into 9.5's and may stay that way), you can still get a pair of socks with fairly long legs from one skein. You can even make a tiny swatch beforehand and have a little tiny bit left for future repairs.

On to more projects! I'm so impressed by what others are starting for the lace along but I know I should stick with my simpler project. If I don't, the baby will certainly be born tomorrow.


Salt Peanuts!

Finally, all those ends have been sewn in and the collar has been forced into submission. I think I convinced myself to finish this project because I can still fit a cardigan over my shoulders, even if it does fit incredibly oddly. No other sweater has seen any progress since I started to show. Now for another fine example of an overheated pregnant woman wearing fall knitwear in the summer.

I really love this sweater. It's sexy in a covered up way. Right now I'm currently indulging in the daydreams of the first time parent, thinking that maybe there'll be at least one day this fall where I go downtown looking like a chic, fashionable, "she couldn't have just had that baby she looks too good" sort of mom. A girl can hope, can't she?


Maybe if I just keep starting projects...

... I'll never have to actually have this baby and I can just keep being pregnant. I'll never have to figure out that whole newborn thing. Yeah, that's it. So here's my newest project: a scarf based on the Casual-Formal Reversible Scarf pattern from the Fall 2000 Interweave Knits. It's made from Lush, which feels like you're knitting a baby bunny. I did a basic seed stitch scarf with it last winter, but ended up ripping it out. I think this pattern works much better. I can't decide which side I like more!


36 weeks = 28 days to go

Here I am at the Mother Cabrini shrine in Golden, CO. The walk to the top wasn't horribly strenuous, but I'm so tired now. Ah, the wonderful life of the pregnant!


Almost Salt Peanuts

I just realized that there is a Salt Peanuts knit along going on. Too bad that I knit mine in February, blocked it in May and finally got around to seaming it in June and documented practically none of it. The yarn I used, Austermann Biella, should put me in good standing with acrylics anonymous, though. When I started the project, Elann didn't have any Bergamo yet and I frugally substituted this 70% acrylic/30% wool knitted tape yarn. It'll be easier to clean when I'm being spit up on by the soon-to-be Sutton, right?

I'm done with seaming but still working on sewing in the fifty or so ends. I'm not sure how I ended up with that many loose ends to sew in. I'm also not sure how I'll get the 70% acrylic bit to behave with the way the collar is supposed to lay. Maybe tacking it down would work?

My husband took some random photos the other day while I wasn't paying attention. This is the one photo that I feel sums up my pregnancy quite well.


Lace Along

Since it's summer, all I seem to be knitting is lace. I've decided to join the lace along. Since my time is limited (I'm due exactly one month from today) I'm choosing my project quite conservatively. Had this knit along been a few months ago, I would have used the alphabet blanket from Debbie Bliss' The Baby Knits Book, made with Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece. This is the knitting that got me though the very bad three weeks when I was in the throes of the MS/PhD decision. Since I wasn't actively blogging at the time, here's a picture of the most beautiful thing I've ever knit.

Another very appropriate project would have been the cobweb weight lace christening gown I was knitting. A few weeks ago I realized there was no way I was ever going to finish it in time and called my mom, begging her to sew something for me. She and my Aunt Lori are making an incredibly beautiful heirloom christening gown. But the lace one would have been so pretty, wouldn't it?

And a closeup of the border lace:

Being the very practical person that pregnancy has forced me to become, I finally decided on the waving lace socks from the Spring 2004 Interweave Knits. Practical and portable, easy to finish in a month even if I get distracted. I think I'll start them today, since this Koigu is just so beautiful.


Nesting Progress

Here's the toe of the first Dreambaby acrylic sock. I especially like the way the foot pattern fades into the toe.

I also found the yarn I need to seam! See, I'm nesting, really. Soon there will be yet another "I swear I can't be pregnant forever, this will fit me in the fall" project.

And for no good reason, here are my cats, Emma and Frink. They've done nothing but sleep since it's been so hot.


The Pregnant and the Desperate

It has been so incredibly hot here over the last few days. I've discovered levels of sloth I didn't know existed. I finally decided to go to the air-conditioned library, where I discovered there are two chairs with footstools! I knit a little, finally starting the second merino sock.

Then I found KnitLit Too, a book of very short stories about knitting. Almost as good as knitting with so much less concentration!


One down, one to go

I love patterned heel flaps. I think that these socks may just be calling me to get a pair of clogs this fall.


35 weeks done = 35 days to go


Night and Day

Amazingly, I'm up to the same point on the night socks and the day socks. I really like trying on socks before they're done, so here's the first of each pair.


Just what every pregnant woman needs in June

Of course, what every overheated pregnant woman needs is a brand new wool shawl! Acutally, this it to fuel my dreams of somehow being smaller and sleeker by the time it gets cold enough to wear this.

It's the Union Square Shawl/Poncho from Weekend Knitting in all its completed glory.


Finish one, start two

I found a sweater I finished knitting in March or April and I'm finally blocking it. This is Salt Peanuts from Interweave Knits and I'm knitting it in Austermann Biella, which is a similar knitted tape yarn and much cheaper than the Muench Bergamo. Now all I have to find is the last ball of the yarn for seaming, but it's hiding somewhere in my house.

I've started two pairs of socks as well. One for during the day when I have no distractions and the other, simpler pattern for night when I have another human around to talk to.

Day socks: A pattern from Interweave Knits, made in Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino

Night socks: A pattern from Weekend Knitting, made in Dreambaby microfiber acrylic. It's just so soft!


Knitting Nesting

I'm not a neat person. So this whole nesting thing that's supposed to make me want to clean the house just isn't showing up. I'm sort of forcing myself to organize and I figured that should extend to knitting. I must have several dozen almost finished projects. So here's the first of the lot to escape the plastic bin of unfinished doom. It's my small contribution to the Critter Knitters Knit-a-thon.