Sunday, September 30, 2012

In the Pink

I've made enough progress on the Honey Baby Blanket that I've been able to switch from dpns to circulars. Admittedly, I may have jumped the gun a bit on that decision -- it was tight going for a while -- but now all is going swimmingly.

With all the increasing going on, this thing is gaining in circumference rapidly. It's also taking a lot longer to get a round completed, and I'm finding I'm making some mistakes from zoning out. I've caught each one before disaster struck. Mostly thy involve not paying attention to which direction a decrease should lie. Right now, I'm fixing a round that I messed up two rounds back. Tedious, but necessary.

So progress continues. I've nearly finished up the first pattern section. And although I just about have this one memorized, I'm eager to get started on the next one

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Baby Blanket Bingo

I started a new project a few days ago for a new neighbor expected in February. It's pink and it's lacy. And yes, the new neighbor is going to be a girl. Don't judge. It's the right yarn, and my LYS either had this lovely pinky-purple, a lime green, white, or black. Pinky-purple it is, although my camera seems to have brightened it a bit in this shot. The yarn, made by Araucanía in Chile, is called Itata, the iname of a Chilean River. It's a blend of wool, silk, and bamboo that's quite nice to work with after the straight-up Scottish wools I've been working with lately. And it's washable -- a must for baby things.

The pattern, Honey Baby by Anne Hanson, calls for sport, but I decided to go with fingering. Instead of size 5 needles, I started with size 3, and then quickly switched to size 2 (2.75mm). It looks about right now. The blanket will be smaller, but then, babies are pretty small -- or so I've been told. I seem to remember my nieces and nephews being tiny little things at one time...

So for now, I'm just following the chart around. Honestly, how anyone can knit lace from written out row-by-row instructions is beyond me. I can't wait to move from dpns to a circular, but my 16" 2.75mm needle is out on loan, and my one other one is a 32". I tried it earlier today, and trust me, I'm not quite there yet. But I so long for the speed and ease of whipping around on metal needles. These bamboo ones are getting very crowded...

I should also mention that I was totally inspired to make this by a lovely example I saw in Ravelry by gcnatter. So, so beautiful!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Tassels Hassle

I finished up the Polar Chullo today.

Yesterday, my niece was over. I had her in mind while making this. She tried it on, it fit her fine, and it looked great on her. So it's all hers. I finished up the I-cord border today and added the cords and tassels to the ear flaps. It's blocking right now.

This was a great project for going through some leftover yarn. It turned out okay -- except for the tassels. I don't feel I was quite doing them right, and they won't last forever. The tassel on top doesn't have any of the gray yarn because I was afraid of running out. As it turns out, I would have been fine. I had ideas of making more of these hats, perhaps with other animals, but not any more. I'm done. I need to make something with different yarn right now.

And that thing just might be Honey Baby. We have neighbors expecting in February and I've been admiring this pattern for a while. Problem is, I haven't planned ahead, and I'm going to have to go buy some yarn. Life's hard.


Sunday, September 09, 2012

14 Bears

It's starting to look like the outskirts of Churchill, Manitoba around here, what with all the white bears prowling around.

I managed to sneak in a fair bit of knitting this week and closed up the top of the Polar Chullo today. All that's left to do is add the I-cords and tassels, and do a bit of applied I-cord edging. I may have to break with the color scheme and use other colors than the ones called for since I'm running low on yarn. And I need to think about how I might pin down the steek leftovers inside the ear flaps. I'm leaning toward sewing thread rather than yarn so as not to add any bulk. Oh, and some serious blocking needs to happen.

I originally thought I might line this with fleece, but now wondering whether I want to go through all that when I could be knitting on something else. I suppose I could always tackle that later.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Bears in the Mist

I've had some time to really knuckle down on the Polar Chullo this weekend., and have made quit a bit of progress. Recently, I finished a section that's really what this hat is all about -- Polar Bears!

The design features two rows of Polar Bears -- eight on the lower level, which I've just finished, and six on the upper level, lumbering in the opposite direction. The design is cleverly done -- each alternating bear on a level is walking with a different seal-mangling paw poised forward. I had a color scheme in mind which I think works great big-picture-wise, but I didn't think about the lack of contrast between the Granite and Natural White colors. So I used some unplied yarn to embroider on some eyes and noses. It seems to help enhance their bear-ness, plus it gives each one a little personality. I think the bear on the left above needs to lay off the eye liner a bit. Although they're more visible now, I'm imagining these bears walking through a misty polar landscape. That helps.

One of the tips in the pattern isn't working for me. It suggests working in the tail of both the new and old yarns working toward the left after the color change. This leaves a sloppy seam at the row change, or at least it does the way I'm doing it, so I'm shifting to my old school method of weaving in the new color before the change and weaving in the old color after the change. I'll try some sort of seaming trick to fix the part I've already done later.