Monthly Archives: March 2006

Welcome Knittybaby!!!

The newest member of our family arrived early Tuesday morning with a beautiful and gentle birth! Knittybaby is a lovely 7.3 pound baby boy! Little Man is an excited big brother, and everyone is doing well.

Obviously, no new knitting to report, but Knittybaby wore his red hat home proudly, although he has some room to grow. Posts will be a little fewer and far between as we take some time with our family. But, stay tuned for the further adventures of Little Man and Knittybaby, and how Knittymama still might manage to get some knitting time in with two boys! (Don’t laugh, I know it can be done!)

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One down, three to go

So I finished side panel one. Here’s the whole thing:

And a close up section:

I’m not going to bother blocking until I’ve got all four finished so I can be sure they match up correctly to the main panel. So in the meantime the panel is waiting quietly in the closet for the other three to join it. Considering the baby is now due in exactly one week, I’ve realized that the shawl will not be done in time. So, I made a hat:

I have to say, I’m glad I made it, but I’m not super excited about this hat, mostly because of the yarn. It is knit in “Crayon” from Knitpicks on size five needles. The cotton is very soft and feels great, which is why I chose to use it, but wasn’t great to knit with. I’m pretty picky when it comes to knitting with cotton. If I have metal needles I’m usually fine, but I only had size 5 DPN’s in Brittney needles, which are the stickiest I have. So, it was slow going and not the greatest item I’ve ever made, but the baby will have something handknit by me to go home in even if it is not the shawl. It actually cracks me up when I thought I would have managed to complete the entire shawl and a sweater, matching hat and booties in time. Of course, it would help if I could manage to stay awake past 9:00 at night (tonight is an exception) but you must be able to tell I’m tired by my inability to end this post. So I’ll leave it here, happy that I got a hat finished and off to bed I go!

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It’s all in the numbers

So Matt is working tonight and Little Man was actually asleep by 7:30 (!!!) so I thought I was going to get tons of time to work on the baby’s shawl. Last night I finished up the decreases on the first half of the panel. Tonight the plan was to do the row of yarnovers for the ribbon, finish the decreases and be done with panel one. Of course, I was delusional that it would be that easy, and I am about ready to nickname this the frogging shawl rather than the baby shawl. So the problem this time?

Do you ever get a number stuck in your head, whether it’s for a knitting pattern, appointment, address, whatever…and you are SURE it is right, until you show up at the doctors at 4:00 rather than 3:00, or knit for 8 inches rather than 6? I do this all the time, and the mistake is never in my favor. In this case, I decreased down to 171 stiches rather than 175, tried the yarnover row anyway, didn’t work, frogged back to 177 stitches, decreased again, goofed the yarnovers, frogged again, and here I am 2 and a half hours later finally with a completed yarnover row and one more row of decreases, putting me back at 173 stitches on the needles. I have to say, despite the troubles I’ve had with the shawl, I’m doing a pretty good job of keeping the love in this blanket and not getting too mad about it (which I usually do). I just need to keep reminding myself to CHECK THE PATTERN and remember that whatever number I think it is, I’m probally wrong. But the panel might still be done tonight, we’ll see how long I stay awake.

Speaking of numbers, have you ever been asked this question by your spouse/parter/SO? Last night we are sitting around listening to a knitting podcast of all things (I’ll save those for another day) and out of the blue he very casually asks me this:

“So just how much do you think you’ve spent on all your yarn and knitting stuff?”

Now, I’m not sure what made him think of this. He has been, in the three years I’ve called myself a knitter, very supportive and rarely complains about how much yarn I buy (although he doesn’t get why I always seem to need more needles. “Don’t you have needles?”). He will suggest that I try to use up some stash now and then, but that’s about it. I gave some lame answer like, “um, I really couldn’t possibly guess (sure I could, just go look in the closet upstairs) and he starts throwing out numbers, “$500?”, “$1,000?” and I’m doing a mental tally and wondering “where is he going with this?” The funny thing was he just smiled, shrugged his shoulders and dropped it as fast as he brought it up, although I do remember him mentioning some sort of tool on sale at Home Depot earlier his weekend.

When I take the time to think about how much I probably HAVE spent (and we won’t even go there, you’ve seen the closet)I realize how lucky I’ve been that he actually says so little about it. He’s the kind of guy who will make sure everyone else in the house gets what they want/need first before he takes what might be left over to buy what he needs for himself. Makes me want to ask him, “what was the tool again?”

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Blocking


So here is the center panel all blocked out. The shots are not the best, but for some reason Matt really wanted to take these pictures. He’s been pretty funny about the fact that I keep a blog about knitting. He seems to go back and forth from thinking that his wife must surely be the biggest geek in the world, to being utterly fascinated with it. Personally, I think he’s just jealous that he can’t find any good homebuilt airplane blogs.

Anyway, if you enlarge the pictures you might be able to see my other big goof, that I realized too late to fix. Anyone notice where the ends are sewn in? I’m so used to the fact that when I knit I can pretty much weave them in anywhere, so I just change to a new ball of yarn whenever I run out. Big mistake, as with this stitch pattern they stick out like a sore thumb. If I had changed them at the end (God forbid, I might waste a half yard of yarn!) they would have blended in nicely when I sew the side panels on, but live and learn, right?

As for the side panels, I’ve got the first one cast on, and seeing that it is in seed stitch it’s going pretty quickly, with the problem of the picot cast on, which took me TWO HOURS to do. Granted, it’s the first time I’ve done that, but two hours? Sheesh. We are now about two weeks from the due date. Anyone care to place a bet on whether the baby actually comes home in this blanket? All I know is I’m having a very hard time staying focused, and awake!

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Two weeks late, but done!!!!


It’s not blocked yet, but the center panel is finished!!!! I plan on blocking it tonight, so I should have a picture of that in the next couple of days. It’s not as perfect as I would like but overall I’m very happy with how it turned out. This is the first project I’ve done that has used something more than a basic stockinette or seed stitch and I’m pretty excited about it!

The mistakes are basically in places where I thought I was on row three or row one when it was the other way around. Luckily it is not too noticable when that happens. I would have fixed that as well, but to be honest this is a really hard pattern to “read” while you are working and it wasn’t until the last third of the panel that I started to make sense of it. To be honest though, I still don’t get it completely, and whenever I dropped a stitch I really had to improvise to get it back to what it should be. I learned a lot with this pattern, and do feel much more confident in my skills.

Next I need to make four more side panels. They start with a picot edging which I haven’t tried before. Hopefully it won’t give me too much trouble as I really want this finished before the baby gets here.


I did some shopping this weekend too.
NeedleworkUnlimited had a 20% off sale this weekend, so I got a few more items. Two balls of Rowan Baby Soft to make a sweater with, and some Lucy Neatby Celestial Merino to make a baby t-shirt with. I wish I could have bought more yarn, but I ended up spending another $30.00 on new size 1 double pointeds, some stitch markers, a pattern for a headband from
MacandMe and the new issue of Knit Simple. I’m still on the fence about this new magazine. There were a few patterns I liked but not tons. I did like the crocheted flower patterns, but I’m not the best at crochet, so we’ll see.

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Finally, the Olympic report

I am writing this while under sheer exhuastion (my week is a story unto itself), so excuse my writing if it is not the most logical thing you’ve ever read. I figured despite my need for sleep I’d better get something up about the shawl status now that the Olympics are over.


As you can see, I’m definitely not finished. I was really hoping to at least have the center panel done by Sunday, and I came within a few inches of it, but not close enough. I’m bummed about not finishing, but hey, I have to admit I learned a lot through this process:

Despite the fact that I didn’t finish, I can actually knit pretty fast when I want to.

When doing a piece that is not easily frogged back and picked up, take the time to check that you haven’t messed up rather than blindly knitting on for inches and inches. (Like I did).

When you realize that you’ve made a mistake, it is actually worth it to tink it back, painful as it is, and fix the mistake. This was the first time I have ever done this and despite the fact that it cost me three nights of knitting, it was totally worth it to not have that ugly spot that would haunt me every time I wrapped my baby in the shawl. Plus, one just can’t knit an heirloom with a ugly spot.What would my grandchildren think of me?

Finally, Addi’s really ARE fast!

Congratulations to all of you who finished! I was impressed with fellow Minnesota knitter Coriknits. Did you see the list she got done?? Impressive! As for those of you who didn’t finish, I hope you still got something good out of it. I’m already gearing up for summer 2008!!!

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