March Sickness

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This month we have been decimated by illness.  Entirely thanks to this new thing called preschool that B has been attending, a pretty pricey thing too since we seem to be paying twice as much as we can only send her half the time with all the illness.  She starts to get well, well enough to go back, she goes back and Bam! she’s swaying at the dinner table, falling asleep in her food with a 102 degree fever.  And we start all over again.

Of course, I caught one of these delightful diseases and eventually A and Andy too and they are near unshakeable.  Runny noses and coughs are the new vogue, didn’t you know?

Anyway, enough moaning about that.  The real tragedy here is the lack of knitting that a month-long sickness marathon brings.  I have only a few paltry beginnings, but in my mind, I have planned and knitted palaces and hanging gardens and yellow brick roads and slouchy hats!

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These are the fruits of my March clickings, three balls wound, a few swatches for future plans and half of one toe-up sock.  The sock was supposed to be simple knitting to soothe my no-knitting jitters, but now I have got to the part where I’m supposed to do the short-row heel and I have not found the time, energy or gumption to look it up or figure it out.  Hopefully, April will bring health and productivity.  Goodbye March, you can keep the snot!

 

Mystery Knit-Along Shawl

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It’s finished!  My Mystery Knit-Along Shawl by Ysolda, is finished.  It was a really interesting way to knit and all the buzz each week on the Ravelry message boards gave the whole experience an exciting community experience that almost felt like high school to me.  The pattern consisted of five clues which were released over five weeks on a Monday.  Perhaps it felt like school for me because each week I was racing to finish the last clue before the next one was released and always feeling a bit like I hadn’t done my homework.

I managed to finish and block it on the Sunday before the final Monday when all the finished shawls were entered in a giveaway.

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I didn’t win, but at least I finished my shawl!  The motivation to keep knitting and accomplish it in discrete chunks was probably the most satisfying part for me; I could easily see myself letting a project like this drag out over six months without the momentum of the knit-along.

As for the shawl itself, it’s only the third shawl I have ever knitted and while I like the version I ended up with from the combination of clues I chose (there were two clues each week, resulting in 32 possible combinations, truly an amazing achievement on the part of the designer) I wasn’t too jazzed by some of the others I saw on the spoiler threads.  I was particularly puzzled by the asymmetry that was possible and knit by many, many people in one combination of clues.  For me, an asymmetrical shawl just doesn’t feel right, but clearly there are hundreds of people who don’t agree with me, so what do I know?  There were scads and scads of gorgeous shawls too and even the asymmetrical ones take on a different aspect and look very sophisticated when wound around a neck.  And this Malabrigo sock yarn in Candombe is really beautiful.  It has an unassuming denim-like look at first glance but in the light it is composed of purples, blues, greens and golds and looks a bit like petrol floating on water.  Not perhaps the most beautiful sight in the natural world, but certainly gorgeous when transferred to yarn.

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I’ve just realized that this is the first thing I have ever knitted and kept for myself.  How ridiculous is that?  More knitting for me in the future!

The Golden Child

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Well, it’s really more of a golden jacket and a bit on the small side at that but the great thing about the old baby surprise jacket is that the size really isn’t that important.  Those elbow-length sleeves are meant to be and I’m leaving it open at the front (I might be abandoning my grandiose plans for crochet-learning…) so it will fit for a while, despite being small.  And, of course, knitting stretches, folks.  As B is fond of saying, “It’s not a super-big problem.”

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No closure, no problem!

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I will get that camera!

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What next, Mum?

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There has not been a whole lot of knitting going on around here after almost an entire month of various sickness.  Yay, preschool!  We are all healthy again now, so hopefully I can be a bit more productive once I get my sleep deficiency down a bit more.  Here are a few shots of knits in action though, just to keep this ole blog moving!

IMG_5017This one took a bath.

IMG_4977This is an old BSJ I made for Bea before she was born.

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IMG_4974And it was finally cool enough to wear the rainbow cardi a few times!

Voila!

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So, having only knit one other before, and that was a couple of years ago, I recently thought, “I know what I’ll do with that lovely Socks that Rock yarn I have knocking about; I’ll knit another BSJ for A.”  I imagined it would take me one, perhaps two evenings of knitting at best.  Ha.

For those non-knitting readers, whomsoever you may be; masochists probably if you’re not directly related to me by blood,* a BSJ is a Baby Surprise Jacket.  It’s like the Holy Grail of knitting divined by the original Grande Dame of the craft, the unimpeachable Elizabeth Zimmerman.  One day when grandmotherhood was impending, she devised this pattern for knitting a baby cardigan all in one piece.  You just knit this blob and then at the end, sew up the shoulders and voila!  you have a baby cardigan.  Some people have literally knit this thing hundreds of times.  I have knit it almost hundreds of times because I had to keep ripping the bloody thing out as my increases and decreases got out of kilter.  The key to it looking nice it to really keep those increases and decreases in neat diagonals and for some reason last week, I could not do it.  Maybe it was something to do with both children and myself being sick and a cascade of events related to that sickness that snowballed into the worst week ever… yes, that was probably the reason.  Frogging this little jacket again and again was my only outlet.

Yet, despite all the odds, I got it mostly finished.  When you cast off it looks like this:

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A garter stitch blob.  Then with a little origami:

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I still need to sew up those shoulders, block it and complete some rather ambitious finishing for the closure; I intend to learn to crochet properly for this one little thing, and then get it on A for another fist-bitingly adorable photo shoot.

But one thing at a time.  I’ve only just got the buttons on this:

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* Blood relations reading this are also assumed to be masochists.

On the Needles…

Currently:

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Only two WIPs that I can share at the moment, and considering I can only manage about one hour, sometimes two, of serious knitting each day, not too bad.  I am two-thirds of the way through a Baby Surprise Jacket for A in Socks That Rock mediumweight called 24 Karat (I am going to do better to keep this one away from the moths!)  I just need to choose and sew buttons on to the New Year’s cardi – no rush since it’s still 80 degrees here…  (Enter the part where I moan about the weather again…)  And I am doing the hugely popular Follow Your Arrow Mystery Knit-Along (MKAL) by Ysolda.  Who even knew such things existed?  You did?  Well it was news to me and it’s loadsa fun.

New Year’s Cardi

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Despite this cardigan not even being finished, let alone worn, on New Year’s eve or day, I am calling it the New Year’s cardi because that’s what I’ve been calling it in my head the whole time I was working on it.  Finishing it for the New Year was my goal, which I’ve accomplished, broadly speaking…

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It is the cutest thing I’ve ever knit, being modeled by the cutest little 4 month old I know.  The colors in this Chroma Lollipop yarn are just delicious and I am in love with the cardigan, even if it is single-ply, worsted spun, hand wash only; not the most suitable choice for a teething, nursing baby.  But it is soooo pretty.  At least by following Ariannette’s lead, I have superwash cuffs and collar, which might help preserve it a little longer.

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It is still in need of buttons, which you may notice, if you can see past the blinding adorableness of my child (…ahem) but I don’t let little things like that (or the fact that said cardi was still a teeny bit damp during these photos – c’mon, her hair was perfect and she was not hungry, tired or poopy – needs must!) stop me from a celebratory, all done photo shoot and blog post.

At least all those bloomin’ ends are woven in!

The weather is still bizarro 75 degrees and sunny here while the rest of the US is frozen solid, so just when she’ll actually be able to wear it remains to be seen.   Fingers crossed that happens before she grows out of it!

IMG_4893aToo hot, sweetie pie?  OK, just one more photo and then Mummy’s all done.