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

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Wonderful World of Wallaby

Well, I had enough juice left in the dead camery battery (nope, still can't find the recharger) to snap and download W's Wallaby. To everyone who sang this pattern's praises and inspired me -- Thank you! You were right. Great pattern, fun, and open to lots and lots of interpretation. I kept it pretty safe on this one (as I tend to do when doing something for the first time), and just added some stripes on the arms and a stripey pouch. W really likes it and there's plenty of room to grow (a necessity with him, since it seems his arms and legs grow while you're looking at him). I've already finished E's (just plain red, no stripes, Mommy!) and more in the future.

A side comment about the yarn...I used some Lion Brand Cotton-Ease (the discontinued colors) that I got on closeout (even with expensive shipping, it was still worth it, and service was great. I think I received the order in 2 days.) The new cotton ease colors are much more up my alley, but I was being cheap! I'd been wanting to try it, and I envisioned this sweater replacing a sweatshirt (playground, stuffed in backpack, on bottom of school cubby, etc.) so I wanted to use something cheap and durable. We'll have to see how it wears, but I'm kind of iffy on it. It's definitely soft and comfy, but I felt the recommended gauge was way too loosey goosey for my tastes (I think it's 4.25 st/inch on 8s) For W's I went down to a 7 mostly (and 6's for the sleeves) and on E's I used 6's (just adjusted the pattern for a tighter gauge). I liked E's better (a little less "sloppy" looking). I also got some pink and green, so there will definitely be more Wallaby's for the nieces.

Pattern: W's Wonderful Wallaby
Size: I made the size 8, knowing my gauge was off, and it could have been a little wider
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton-Ease in candy blue from here about 3 1/4 skeins
Needles: Addi US 7s and Clover dpn 6 (4.25mm)
Started: 2.10.07
Finished: 2.13.07
Mods: Fooled around with the size a little because of the tighter gauge; added stripes to sleeves and pockets

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A visit from some handknits

The lack of posting lately is not due to knitting inertia. On the contrary, I've been extremely productive this month. A pair of socks, one Anemoi mitten, two Wallabys, one felted bag...So what's the problem? The problem, my friends, is that I can't find the battery charger to the camera. I'm going for a big clutter sweep today, so maybe it will turn up. Sigh. Story of my life. I'm constantly losing things for days, weeks, even, before they eventually turn up (don't ask about the phone extension that was missing for 3 months before I finally found it behind the couch).

Anyway, in light of no new pictures, I thought I'd share an oldie but a goodie. Not just a goodie, but one of the best sweaters I've ever knit. I've made it 4 times already, and probably will make more. It's from this Debbie Bliss book and it's wonderful. It calls for cashmerino aran, which is just yummy, comes in gorgeous colors, and, although it does pill a bit, holds up well. You can use up lots of little odds and ends in the yoke.

These sweaters were made 2 years ago, when dear friends of ours had twins. I had a great time coordinating the colors so that the two yokes had a lot of the same colors. I never took a picture though, and so was thrilled to see them in action this weekend. The pattern is very generous fit (the one I made for W, a 2-3 size, still fits him at almost 6, albeit a little short). The twins are almost 2 now, and there is still lots of room for them to grow into. Since I've been reading Elizabeth Zimmerman, and experimenting with her seamless styles, I'll probably make some slight mods to the next ones. In fact, I think maybe it's time W had a new one...hmmm....

Friday, February 02, 2007

Not a Poem, but...

In honor of Silent Poetry Day, this is not a poem, but since it comes from Rilke's "Letter to a Young Poet," I'm sharing it. Our dear friend read this at our wedding, and it still makes me cry. Especially the last paragraph, which just gives me goosebumps. Hope it moves you as well.

Marriage is in many ways a simplification of life, and it naturally combines the strengths and weaknesses of two young people so that, together, they seem to reach farther into the future than they did before. A good marriage is that in which each appoints the other guardian of his solitude, and shows him this confidence, the greatest in his power to bestow. Above all, marriage is a new task and a new seriousness, a new demand on the strength and generosity of each partner.

For one human being to love another human being: that is perhaps the most difficult task that has been entrusted to us, the ultimate task, the final test and proof, the work for which all other work is merely preparation.

Loving does not at first mean merging, surrendering, and uniting with another person -- it is a high inducement for the individual to ripen, to become something in himself, to become world, to become world in himself for the sake of another person; it is a great, demanding claim on him, something that chooses him and calls him to vast distance.

Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side by side can grow up, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which makes it possible for each to see the other whole and before an immense sky.

-Letters to a Young Poet
Rainer Maria Rilke