Make it Work!

Well, I tried.

I searched and searched and couldn’t find any satisfactory resources for repairing holes in garter stitch.  So after reading a bit and immediately deleting instructional videos, as if I have enough un-harrassed time (or patience) to watch and absorb a video, I decided grafting over it was the best way to go.  Late at night, I read up on the old Kitchener stitch and found Theresa Vinsen Stenersen’s article on grafting to be the first one that mentioned Kitchenering garter stitch.  Thank you, Theresa!  (Since then, I found many more interesting and informative resources like this, this and this.)

So, mostly winging it in my child-free fifteen minutes in the morning, I attacked the moth holes and snapped a few photos during the process.  The moth damage was more pervasive through the knitted yoke than I had realized and there are several more places where the nasty little beasts have chewed half-way through the ply leaving me with a time-bomb on my hands.  All I want is for A to be able to wear it a few times.  Enough to have a few more photos in it and look cute.  Is that so much to ask?

So, anyway, I picked up, what I hoped were the right stitches, overlapping into the adjacent area where the knit fabric was still together.  The hole only spanned one row, so I thought I could just graft the one row – perfect right?

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I tried to wrap my brain around the instructions from Theresa’s article to have, “the last row of stitches on the front piece have purl bumps snug up against the needle and the last row of stitches on the back piece have knit stitches up against the needle.”  I think that’s what I had here, keeping in mind I am including stitches that are still knitted together at each side of the hole.

It looked like this after a few minutes of, “knit on, purl off!” chanting, which kept becoming Tim Gunn’s voice in my head instead saying, “Make it work!  Make it work!”

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And then this, after I adjusted the tension.

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I attacked the second hole the same way and then kind of winged it with the hole on the edge of the button band.  I tied a few knots, wove the new yarn liberally through the back of the yoke, hoping that it will reinforce other weakened areas and called it a day.  The back is not pretty, there’s a loop that I can’t pull in (remember, I’m impatient) and a few stray tails.

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But I can live with it and it’ll work for a few more wears.

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Right now, its thinking about what it’s done in the freezer.

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More Rainbows

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I love me some rainbows!  I have an entire Rainbow-themed Pinterest board to browse when I need a little pick-me-up.  It’s as good as one of those SAD lights, I swear.  People do some amazing stuff with the old rainbow.

So when I saw Arianette’s P’tite coeur on Ravelry, I had to make one for the baby.  Exactly the same.  Well, except for the hearts; I went whole-hog with the stripes.  I ordered the Knit Picks Chroma worsted in Bare and Lollypop and cast on the 6-12 month size excitedly.  I thought I’d have it finished and waaaay too big for A when she was born.  What actually happened was that a sleeveless version was stuffed away before she was born, hidden out of sight, lest the beautiful rainbows shot guilt arrows into my heart.  I have dug it out now in a New Year’s resolution of finishing WIPs (ha!) and realized that if I don’t finish this bloody thing pretty bloody soon it won’t fit her.  My 98th percentile plus babe already looks like she will fill it out and then some.

Because I was so determined to make each stripe a different color of the rainbow, just like Arianette’s, I had to cut the Lollipop yarn repeatedly on the arms as the color grade was not moving fast enough on the puny 6-12 month size sleeves.  So now I have a bajillion ends to weave in and this is causing me no end of mither.

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Not only is it resulting in a sleeve that is practically double knit, with all the bulk, but every time I sit down to tackle it, one of my dear darlings needs something and I think I am averaging about two ends per day.  At this rate I may finish by 2015.  I should have stuck with my first instinct and left the bugger sleeveless; especially in this perma-75 degree weather we are having in SoCal.  Bring me Winter, Universe!  I am a knitter!

Blasted Moths!

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I knitted this cardigan for B back when she was  about 4 months old from a beautiful skein of Socks that Rock heavyweight.  I think the colorway is called Mossay.   I fell in love with the yarn at Stitches West back in 2010; justified buying it with future progeny in mind and took ridiculous love-letter photos of it for my ravelry stash.

I pulled it out again (from the hanger in the closet where it has been languishing) to put on A for our annual New Year’s photos at the Getty Villa.  (I know, I know.  “Yes, dahling, we like to mosey around the Villah before we welcome the New Yahr…”  But it’s a tradition and it’s OUR tradition.  It’s actually a couple of hours of chasing a toddler around and trying to get a good photos in the amazing light and surroundings before we hightail it for home to get to bed before 9:00PM.  The first year we went with B, Andy was rude to a very pregnant Jennifer Garner in the elevator before he realized she was Jennifer Garner.  It’s a funny story now but he still feels bad about it…)

This was B back on 12.31.11.:

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And then the horror…   When I first pulled this delicious little item, perhaps my favorite knit of all my knits for B; the one I was most excited to see A in, I didn’t notice the carnage that had been wrought by some bastard moths.  It’s kind of hard to see in the first photo above.

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But after a few hours wearing it, I noticed a strange notch in the button band and when I investigated, I was gutted to find TWO more LARGE holes.  Feckin’ moths!  What can you do?

What can one do?  I do have a modest amount of the yarn left over, and was recently reading Kate Gilbert’s interesting article about sock darning in the latest Twist Collective after moths ate her socks, so I am hoping there is a manageable way to fix this little sweater.  The damage is only in the garter section of the yoke and the button band.  I am going to start researching ways to fix it, and ways to better store my hand knits, now that they are piling up and no doubt tempting all the winged, yarn-hungry beasties.

Any advice would be much appreciated!

Embarrassment of Riches

Look what I got for Christmas!!!

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I can’t wait to get cracking with this lot.  I have to hold a ball winding party with BB and Aud; I think they will find it amusing.

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I have Ysolda’s Blank Canvas in mind for the six (!!!) skeins of Madelinetosh DK in Flashdance, for me!  Yippee!

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The rest; two more skeins of tosh dk in Iris and two skeins of Sweet Georgia superwash worsted in a lovely teal called “Tourmaline,” and one skein of Tanis Fiber Arts’ Green Label Aran weight in a similar teal colorway called, “Mallard.”

I am feeling optimistic and excited for 2014!

Idea Board

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Andy made me an idea board for the study this weekend. It’s just a piece of insulation board covered with cotton batting, nothing fancy, taken from the Oh Fransson! blog.  It’s a space for me to pin swatches as I get my act together more as a knitter.  Which means, gasp, that I am actually going to start swatching.  Well, now that dirty little secret is out in the open, you will understand, of course, that I had not a single swatch around to put up on it when it was finished.  So I stuck these felt gingerbread men ornaments on it after Andy said, “For the love of god, will you just put something up there?!”.

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I made these funny little guys from the tutorial on the Elsie Marley blog.  I couldn’t see my way to embroidering the face so I just cut corners by gluing on wobbly eyes and sparkly pom poms and painting the mouth.  If I get around to sewing them up, they could go on our Christmas tree when we put it up later this week.  B saw the idea board this morning and immediately requested one for her room.  Happily we have some of the board and batting left and I have wanted to make her a felt board since she was born.  She might actually be ready for one now.  I think that’s a good project for the New Year.

Wurm

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With a lack of foresight I bought this lovely skein of Madelinetosh dk in “Fragrant,” about two and a half years ago; thinking I’d splash out and make something for the baby with it.  It languished in my stash after I realized that there wasn’t much I wanted to make with just one skein of this yarn when B was such a ruddy baby (in the rouge sense) for such a long time that this dazzling, dusky cerise was actually a really bad color for her, hat-wise or anything else baby-sized.

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Happily, she has now outgrown the ruddyness, or perhaps, grown into this yarn.  Either way, we are both very pleased with the result.  The pattern is Wurm by Katharina Nopp.  A brilliantly simple design which makes a no-nonsense slouchy hat.

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I sized down the pattern a bit by casting on only 76 stitches (I was aiming for 80 but my long tail ran out and I couldn’t be bothered re-doing it) and it came out just right for a 2.5 year old noggin.  Stylish and cosy; what more could one ask?

IMG_3224 Dinosaur approves.

Harvest Cardigan

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It’s really hard to get a good photo of this cardigan.  I’m going to have to brush up on my photography skills, or get A to take all my pictures I think, because these just won’t do.  Anyway, this is A2’s first sweater that I have knitted for her.

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It’s the In Threes cardigan that I made in red for B earlier this year, in Malabrigo ‘Carrot’ which I’ve had stashed for a long time.  It pills like a mofo, of course, and won’t be this pretty for very long with all the drool and spit-up it’s receiving, but oh well.  We’ve been getting a lot of wear out of this one and a lot of compliments when we’re out with them both in their hand knits, which is always gratifying!

IMG_1596  Let the thumb-sucking begin!

IMG_2831 I think she likes it.