Inside every oyster, there's a purl...

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Picture Day

Tomorrow is picture day at school, and every year, I try to send the boys in something handmade. It's the only day I can get them to wear something other than sweatpants to school and the pictures always come out great, unlike the pictures I take!

Here they are in nursery school, March 2004, wearing cotton sweater vests, self-designed in Tahki Cotton Classic:

Nursery school again, September 2004, wearing the baseball sweaters made with Zara:

For tomorrow? Sweater vests again, made with Zara. Love this yarn! Show stitch definition beautifully, comes in fab colors, and machine washes like a dream. These are my own design, and trying to get that center cable just so was a bear. The other cables are different on each. They are pretty big, so I'm hoping to get a couple more years out of them

Saturday, September 23, 2006

A Tale of Two Sweaters or why I Hate Intarsia, part 2

Of course, I couldn't make Itchy a sweater without making Scratchy one too. He wanted a dinosaur sweater, and my creative juices a-flowin', I decided to design it myself. I had a big dinosaur chart from a long-lost pattern, I went with turquoise cotton classic, with a lime green dinosaur with tweedy green/blue cotton classic for the spots. I started it with all good intentions right after I finished the pirate sweater, and then hit the wall. Couldn't decide on cuffs, neckline, just major indecision. It took a year of Scratchy saying "Mommy, when are you going to finish my dinosaur sweater?" (heartbreaking, right?) that I sucked it up, picked a path and finished it. Ok, but here's the crazy part: so turned off was I by intarsia on the pirate sweater that I duplicate stitched the entire dinosaur! I figured that it would look better (it did), cause me less agita (it did) and be quicker (it was). He loves it. Didn't wear it to school every day, but still loves it.

Specs: Scratchy's T-Rex Sweater
Began: Spring 2005?
Finished: Late Winter 2006
Yarn: Tahki Cotton classic and Tweedy cotton classic
Needles: US6

Friday, September 22, 2006

A Tale of Two Sweaters...or why I hate intarsia

When Itchy was 3 or so, he saw me looking through Zoe Mellor's Adorable Knit for Tots , spied the Pirate sweater and begged me to make it, "but make it red, Mommy." As anyone knows who has had to bribe, er, I mean coerce children into wearing any sweater in general, handknits in particular, I jumped at the chance. Machine washable cotton classic, red of course, being the only color he'll wear, I set off on what looked like a fairly straight-forward quick knit. Ah, silly me. I forgot about the intarsia. I'd never done it before, but I figured, how hard could it be? After all, I'm a gal that likes challenges. The more cables the better. One big motif in the middle? Bring it, baby. Yes, there were tears. Much frogging. The inside is an unholy mess. But I finally finished it and got the greatest reward known to knitters. Itchy wore that sweater to school every day for a year. I had to sneak it out of his room to wash it. It's been two years now, he stills wears it (though thankfully not every day) and every time he complains it's getting too small and I need to make him a new one, I just wash it, lay it flat to dry and tug the sleeves and the body and extra inch. This thing's going to make it to middle school, if I have anything to say about it.

Specs: Itchy's Pirate Sweater
Pattern: Zoe Mellor's Adorable Knits for Tots
Yarn: Tahki Cotton Classic
Needles: US6s, I think
Completed: Winter 2004

Next up: A Tale of Two Sweaters, part 2

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Aiden's Baby Bib o' Love

Can I tell you how much I love Mason Dixon Knitting? The great thing about it is how it's inspired so many knitters to use it as a jumping off point to stretch their own creativity. So, here's my Mason Dixon inspired baby bib, made for my cousin Jennifer's new baby. Usually, when I want to give a little something handmade for a new baby, I'll whip up a little cotton hat, but since Jen lives in Florida, that wouldn't work. I have tons of leftover bits of Tahki Cotton Classic from many many baby sweaters (also using it to go a little miter-crazy), so I decided to make baby Aiden a little bib. I duplicated stitched a sailboat motif from Style your own Kids Knits -- I absolutely hate intarsia (more about that in a future post), found a very cute sailboat button that matched exactly, and voila! A perfect little gift.

Specs: Aiden's Baby Bib o' Love
Completed: July 2006
Yarn: Tahki Cotton Classic (less than 1 skein of the blue)
Needle: US4

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Adele's Handtowels

As soon as I saw the linen handtowels in Mason Dixon Knitting, I knew I had to make them. And luckily for me, my dear friend and yoga teacher Adele was about to get married. She was about to move, so I didn't know her colors, but since I did know that she had painted her last bedroom a french blue, I figured I couldn't go wrong with cream and blue. I did have to drop down 2 needle sizes to get gauge, which is pretty unusual for me, but this was the first time I had worked with linen. It softened up beautifully after washing, and I found if I laid it flat to dry instead of putting it in the dryer, it stayed a little stiffer, which I preferred.


Began and completed: July 2006
Yarn: Louet Euroflax Originals cream and blue, 1 skein each towel
Needle: Size US3
Do it again: Absolutely!