Sunday, May 31, 2009

Twist off the Old Granny Square

For the past few months I've been hemming and hawing over what sort of gift to make for my dear friend who is pregnant. I wanted to be different, original, unique even. I've made so many crocheted baby blankets that I couldn't even begin to remember what they were all like or even who they were for. "I'm not making another baby blanket." I said. I'll make her something with my homespun, something useful.

SO...I knit the baby soaker from a few posts back. It was a very nice soaker, but for some reason it just didn't seem to be the "it" project. So then other avenues of handicrafts were explored and discarded. I even tried to find enough roving to spin up for a layette set or...or...well something babyish. Finally I broke down and went to the dreaded local superstore "just to look at the yarn possibilities," I said.

Guess what happened. No, I can wait, give it a good guess. Yup, yarn came home with me along with a vision in my head for a new baby blanket. Yes, another one. "I'll just do granny squares in different colors," I said. Then when the thought of sewing all the squares together dawned on me, I just kept on adding to the first one until it got really big. Well, it needed a border, so I made one. Then I decided to put little squares around the big one. Then another border. After that, of course it needs another border, with all the colors right?

What you are seeing here is the result of my obsessive compulsive personality. Isn't it pretty? Now for a matching pillow. Bwahahaha!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Stocking up for Winter

I promised to share some of the other projects I've been working on with you all, so here's another one. It seems so strange to be knitting things so obviously Winter-ish when it's roasting outside, but that's exactly what's been happening here.

I present to you Exhibit A, the Fuzzy Wuzzy Ear Warmers. They are knit it in four sizes, Large, Medium, Small and child's. They are all knit out of some of my hand spun wool yarn that wasn't selling in my ETSY shop. I didn't use a pattern or anything, but all the same I worry about accidentally being labeled a copycat. Sometimes a design is so straightforward and simple, I'm sure many people have had the same idea before I did. It's a little hard to see in the pictures, but they are just a simple band with a big fat cable in the middle. My dear hubby is the dashing model in these pictures (isn't he a cutie?), but I might see if I can find a different one when I list them in the shop later.

The ear warmers are uber-warm and very comfy, so I do hope that someone sees them and takes advantage of a good deal. Iowa winters can get pretty cold, so I'm keeping one for me too. Yay!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

My First Wearable Baby Item

Wow! It has been forever since I updated anything here. I apologize to all my followers for dropping off the face of the planet for a month. During that time I have completed several small fiber projects, which has given me a bit of a sense of accomplishment.

I'll share just one of them with you for now so I have something to talk about for later. Nice strategy huh?

One of my oldest and dearest friends recently told me she is successfully pregnant and into her 25th week. She's had several miscarriages in the past, so I am wildly thrilled for her and her hubby. Here's the thing, they are not finding out the sex of the baby until it gets here in August. This presents a bit of a challenge for those of us who want to make gifts for the little one.

I've made plenty of baby afghans in the past, but this time I want to make something different. I looked around for useful baby items and ran across the idea for wool knit soakers. (For the childless out there, like me, a soaker is just another name for diaper cover.) It just so happens that I was plying up a gender neutral yarn off my wheel the other day and when I swatched it out, the gauge perfectly matched that needed for the Curly Purly Soaker Pattern by Marnie Ann Joyce.

It's knit in the round using 3 different needle sizes instead of increases for shaping and is really a very easy pattern to make. It is written with the assumption that you already know how to make short rows and indicates where to insert them if you choose to. They just add a bit of fullness through the seat. If you have a thin child or one in trainers, you may choose to opt out of the short rows. I had it knitted up in one afternoon with no problems at all.

There is one place which might cause a bit of confusion, so I'll just tell you now so you can breeze right over it. Right after the last set of short rows you actually start knitting flat to form the flap for between the legs. Just knit flat and do what the pattern says and it should turn out fine. Instead of grafting at the end, I just knitted the 2 rows together to form a secure seam, invisible from the outside. Around the leg holes I did 7 rows of 1x1 ribbing, but now I kind of wish I would have done more so she could fold it up or leave it down. Well, there is always the next one, right?

I'm planning on making her several soakers in different patterns so she can find out which kind she likes best. Every baby is different, so what works for some might not work for others. I found a helpful group on Yahoo for wool soakers. If you are interested in more soaker patterns and expertise, it's a good place to go.

Well, that's all for now. Check back soon because I'll be telling you all about the other stuff I've been up to soon. Have a lovely day!