Crochet

The pop blanket continues…

Pop Blanket Progress

Also, I’m learning a new needle art – crochet.

Crochet

It’s a bit of an adjustment for me. I’m at the point in knitting where I can “read” my stitches – recognise mistakes, purls, increase and decreases. I can count rows and can figure out how to get where I want to go. With help from Youtube, I feel pretty competent at most projects. But I can’t do that with crochet, so this is a challenge for me. If I make a mistake, I just rip it all out. Casting on is much harder than in knitting, at least if you want to make sure you have the right number of stitches. I recognise now that this may be a function of the yarn, which contains merino, and has a tendency to stick together. It is not very forgiving. That said, once you get going, it’s very quick, so that’s appealing.

I originally wanted to learn to so I could use it to seam my pop blanket, and also to do edgings and stuff. But now I’m starting to be intrigued by stand-alone projects too.

Pop Blanket Update

Well, I’ve got nearly enough little squares for a baby blanket, but I don’t have much use for a baby blanket. I’m thinking I want it to be at least throw size, but that would mean, by my calculation, about 80 squares to make it 50″ by 60″. Which means I have a lot more knitting to do.

Also pondering whether I should do it rainbow-styles, or random. Decisions, decisions.

These squares are upside down as I was drying them in the sun.

Blocking the POP Blanket

Summer

I’ve been off knitting for a while – hard to deal with bulky wool when it’s 30 degrees. But I have a new project perfect for summer. The pop blanket! Wee little colourful squares that are fun to knit, knit with Noro so you never quite know what colour the next square will be.

Pop Blanket
Okay, these two look kind of like boobs, but imagine more! In blanket shape!

What else is up? The garden is growing.

Garden - July

The big kids took horseback riding lessons, which Miss M in particular adored.

Riding

C and I had fun in Stanley Park. Not sure why my hair looks so ’70s unwashed here, but since the Coco-monster looks cute I will post anyway.

Fun in Stanley Park

B learned to climb and torment her sister. Darn, thought I had a better picture of her riding in my new front-bike seat, but I can’t find it.

Bea climbing
And since it’s late and Flickr is being finicky as usual, more later!

2014 Socks

It feels a little silly sometimes to have a post about my feelings about my child’s disability, and then in the next post to be all “Lalala, I love socks!” But I think that’s what I was meant about life being a bit absurd. That’s just the funny thing about parenting – one minute you’re crying with a specialist and discussing your daughters’ delays and necessary therapies. The next you’re laughing your head off at your son’s kindergarten artwork, or wishing desperately they’d go to sleep so you can take a break and surf the ‘Net for handbags.

Socks

So yes, more socks. My first pair of 2014, which means I’m a little behind on my 12 pairs in 12 months schedule. But these have a generous cuff, and I’m planning a few ankle socks so hopefully there is still time to catch up. It’s the Churchmouse Basic Sock pattern. One problem I have with sock patterns is they’re often too wide for my feet, even when I knit tighter than the gauge suggests. I think I’ll reduce the overall number of stitches next time. My feet are pretty normal width too, maybe even on the wider side. Hasn’t stopped me from wearing them nearly daily though. The yarn contains cashmere, so they’re deliciously squishy under boots. The yarn was an impulse buy at Knit City, but the seller also sells on Etsy.

Pullover

And done.

Narragansett

I wish I had a professional photographer who could take glamourous pictures of me looking fabulous on a beach somewhere. But on this day, I just had my husband who was trying to give the kids a bath at the same time as I posed.

This pattern, Narragansett, is a nice, more or less straight, pullover. I’ve been wearing it quite a bit since I finished it. Because of the weight of the yarn and the easy rhythm of the slipped stitch pattern, it knits up easily. At times I found the instructions could have been written more clearly, but perhaps that’s because I’ve become used to the mechanical precision of some of the Brooklyn Tweed patterns. The only slight change I made was that I knit the sleeves full-length instead of three-quarters length. Sometimes you just want a sweater that will poke out the sleeves of your coat, not get bunched up around your elbow.

I love the sweater and I’m sure it will be worn for many years to come.

Mittens – Part Deux

If you’ve been keeping track of my knitting (anyone? Bueller? Bueller?) you might be wondering whatever happened to these mittens I started back in November.

Flint Mittens

A bunch of other crafting projects took precedence through Christmas. But these were to be one of J’s Christmas presents, so I kept working away on them in between my other Christmas gifts. However, it eventually became clear that I’d either be pulling an all-nighter on Christmas Eve (I’ve made that mistake before!) or handing over half-finished mittens. So, I decided one mitten would be token enough for his stocking and set the other one away.

I finally picked up that second mitten (which was about 75% done) yesterday and finished it. I made a few mistakes in mitten #2, but I couldn’t face frogging them, so I powered on and decided the imperfections add character.

“Flint” is a beautiful, well-written pattern, though it’s quite fussy and definitely not a quick knit as I was continually referencing the chart. I’m happy to put them away and dive into some stockinette. But I’m happy with them.

Miss C likes them too:

Happy Girl

I’m just kidding – she doesn’t care at all about the mittens. But a smiley baby seems like a nice way to end a blog post.

Resolutions

My resolution for 2014 is simple: knit more socks.

There’s something so deliciously satisfying about them. The cuff is pure meditation, and you can meditate for as long or as short as you’d like. Or maybe you’d rather not meditate, you’d rather move from Savasana to Vinyasa, well then you can do some sort of lace or cable and make it as complicated as you want. Then you get to the heel, which involves short rows and gussets and picking up stitches. You have to pay attention, but it’s fun and you make this lovely little curve. Then again, meditation as you knit the foot and toe.

Turning the Heel

You can also embellish them in all sorts of ridiculous ways, which makes it even more fun.

Dinosauks

Mittens

Jared Flood must be some kind of genius. Looks how he uses two simple purl stitches to create a braid effect. Pretty neat.

Flint Mittens Braid

The bad news is that this approximately one centimetre of knitting took me about two hours by the time I figured out the provisional cast-on and knit the hem. (It’s hard to see here, but it’s actually doubled over.) After this part, the pattern casually states “work Row 1-64 of the right mitten chart.” Yikes. And the worst news is that I have to do another mitten.

These mittens are a Christmas present for J (who neither reads this blog nor pays close attention to what I’m knitting.) I’ve been doing lots of stockinette patterns recently so I figured a teensy bit of colour work and some cables would be good for the soul. Still have to knit two stockings, a cowl and the rest of this mitten and its mate before Christmas though – can I do it?

I finished this little jacket recently too. I made it for size 12-months just in case the 6-12 was too small by the time I finished. I was too fast for my own good and it’s certainly going to be a few months before the twins fit in it. That said, I think they’ll (one? both?) get at least a few years of wear in it. M could probably fit in it if we passed the sleeves off as 3/4 length. The yarn is the same Madeline Tosh mohair blend I used in the booties, and is not quite as variegated as this picture shows – I was having fun with filters.

B & C's little sweater