Saturday, February 25, 2006

More baby knitting!

I think I mentioned earlier that there are more babies due in the family. Scott has a nephew whose wife is expecting their first baby early in the summer and I have a niece who is expecting twins in August.

Well, Scott's sister-in-law called last week to say that the baby shower for her daughter-in-law is March 11th. Great, I thought, plenty of time to make a baby sweater. Then she mentioned that she already is working on a sweater. Drats! I mean I could also make a sweater but I don't want to take away from what the grandmother-to-be is doing.

After much deliberation and starting a couple of different projects, I decided that I really, really wanted to make the Cables and Textures afghan from Leisure Arts book #3325 "Beautiful Baby".

There are no really tricky stitches in this pattern except for the purl 2 together through the back loop. I consulted Sally Melville's "The Purl Stitch" and found instructions for slip 1, slip 1, purl 2 together which works beautifully.

We already know she is having a little girl so I bought some Bernat Berella 4 in Baby Pink and started the afghan on February 20th. There are 192 rows to be done in the pattern and 14 rows on the two borders. I figured out I have to do 12 rows a day to finish this before the shower without making myself nuts. Here's what I have done so far:

I dropped a yarn over stitch on the purl side while doing one of the trees and it took some time to figure out how to fix it. I did finally fudge it and it's not perfect but I don't think it will stand out too much. It's on the first tree in the first set of motifs so I hope it goes pretty much unnoticed. I didn't take a picture of it. A couple of my cables look a bit off but they aren't. I think it's just the way the blanket is posed.

I wasn't sure how I was going to keep track of the chart without totally confusing myself. You complete one half of the chart and then go back to the beginning and knit it again. Then you complete the last half of the chart. I made a working copy of the chart and put it into a plastic page protector. Then I took graph paper and made chart with the 64 rows cross the top and the three repeating sections down the side for both the knit and purl sides. I have a roll of narrow sticky tape that was in my counted cross stitch stuff and is used for keeping your place on a chart. I just put this tape above the row I'm working on and follow the chart. The tape is meant to be used over and over so I'm not using much of it. It's working out very nicely.

I'm enjoying making this afghan so far. I still have quite a bit left to do but I think I can make it with no problem. I hope I didn't jinx myself by posting a picture before it's done. That's just the chance I have to take.

I was reading the blog of someone on the Sock Knitters list and I saw that she is a member of the Upstate New York Knitters ring. I immediately had to apply for membership! Then I noticed that the owner of the ring is Susan Healy Kribbs. I met Susan this past fall at a tailgate party for the SUNY Oswego Cross Country team. Our sons both run x-country and track for Oswego State! So I want to say Hi! to Susan. (She makes the best desserts!!)

Well, it's a snowy, blowy, cold day so I'm staying in today. Between knitting the baby blanket, painting trim in the dining room (we're still eating on tv trays in the living room), and doing laundry, I think I have plenty to keep me busy. I'm making spaghetti sauce for dinner and might even get something baked.

Friday, February 10, 2006


Hmm, two posts in one week. There's hope for me yet as a blogger.

I joined a new KAL this week. The Knitting on the Road KAL is making the socks from Nancy Bush's "Knitting on the Road" sock book.

The pattern for Feb/Mar is the New England. This sock is lace done in fingering weight yarn on size 0 needles. I don't think I'm ready for that yet so I'm going to start with Whitby which they have already done. I'm using size 2 needles and the Gjestal Silja yarn that I bought on sale in Cape Cod this past September. I don't know how well it shows up in the photo but this sock has cables running down the sides of the center front. They should be very pretty.

So far I've cast on for this sock but haven't done anything else. I decided before I start on a new pair of socks, I should finish the pair I started in December of 2004. I completed the first one last night.

Fits perfectly! The pattern is Yankee Knitter Designs "Classic Socks". This pattern has instructions for 5 different size socks in 3 different yarn weights. That was my first Kitchener stitch toe and the instructions in the leaflet were very clear and easy to follow. I immediately cast on for the second sock and have about 1" of the ribbing done. I'd really like to wear both socks (not just the single one I've been wearing around the house) so I hope I finish the second one fairly soon.

As for the rest of the WIP's that are languishing on the needles - don't ask!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Who ordered snow?!

I guess our mild winter has headed somewhere else for a while. After weeks of no snow, we now have about 4" out there. It's supposed to snow all day and there is the possibility of up to 18" but I don't think that's going to happen unless a big band of lake effect snow heads our way.

Two weeks ago Sue, Donna and I took advantage of the great weather and headed for Sybil's Yarn Shop in Cooperstown. (1037 State Route 166, Cooperstown, NY (607)286-7603)

The shop was in more disarray than usual but the yarn was fabulous as usual. She had bought some handspun, handpainted yarns from a woman in Vermont that were fabulous. Farmhouse Yarns was the name on the tags. It came in different weights and was named for each sheep the wool came from. She also had Mango Moon yarn along with Cascade, Classic Elite, many more that I can't remember now.

We poked around in her "discount" closet and found "cheeses" of unspun yarn for $2.00 a piece.

I picked up 5 cheeses, Donna bought one, and Sue bought 4. Sue and I aren't sure what we're going to do with them yet but Donna is carrying it along with wool in a pair of mittens to make a nice warm layer.

Some day I have to remember to ask her if the cones of yarn in the discount closet are $2.00 a piece, too. They would be a great buy!

It was hard to decide what yarn I wanted to buy but I managed. I was looking for something to make another Irish Hiking scarf and finally decided on Cascade "Pastaza" in a nice raspberry color. Originally I was thinking of making myself this scarf but then I found a pretty blue colorway of Lana Gatto "Musa" that will match my blue jacket perfectly. It's 53% wool, 47% acrylic and feels like mohair. So I wound it up and started "Misty Garden" from "Scarf Style" by Pam Allen.

I finished up my purchases with three skeins of Patons "Colours". One is a single skein that I'll probably use for charity hats and mittens. Then I bought two skeins in another color that is going to become a baby sweater, hat, and booties. I have two nieces that are pregnant. One with twins! So baby knitting is definitely in my future.

After the yarn shop, we went into Cooperstown for lunch and stopped in at my favorite used bookstore on Main Street. Donna had never been there and was quite impressed. This place is stuffed to the rafters with every book imaginable as long as it's hard cover. No paperbacks. I picked up three mysteries for $18.00. One was signed so it cost a little more. Unfortunately, there never seems to be any knitting books.

For our next yarn shopping road trip, Sue and I want to go to Old Forge to the Old Forge Hardware store. Don't let the name fool you. This place has hardware and everything else you might possibly need. Including gourmet cookware and clothing.

A couple of years ago they put in a yarn section and it's great. And it's one of the closest places to us that carries Brown Sheep yarn. Plus they have Noro and lots more. But Old Forge is in the Adirondack Park and is a snowmobile, skiing haven so it gets a lot of snow. I guess we'll wait until another nice springlike day in winter to go.