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Various and sundry Sunday things. February 10, 2008

Posted by jeninmaine in bebeh-to-be, Etsy, kidlet, knitting, Ravelry, sewing.
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The lovely, wonderful folks of the Completely Pointless and Arbitrary Group Group on ravelry threw me a virtual baby shower a week ago. They actually orchestrated sending gifts to Sarah, a local raveler who I’ve met to knit with at lunch a number of times, and she brought everything to my house! Unfortunately I was asleep when she arrived as I had had a rough day. Just like me to miss my own durned party. Anyway, after I woke up I had Michael take many pictures of me opening gifts in my pajamas. It was really super sweet of them. The pinnacle of the gifts was a lovely baby afghan containing squares made by group members and joined together. I was so touched!

Here are a few photos from that night, the rest can be found in the CPaAGG Virtual Baby Shower! set.

First, they got presents for my kid, which always endears people to me for thinking of him:

CPaAGG Virtual Baby Shower!

CPaAGG Virtual Baby Shower!

CPaAGG Virtual Baby Shower!

Here’s the final swag tally – lots and lots of handmade goodies and of course a Hello Kitty waffle iron.

CPaAGG Virtual Baby Shower!

Last night I was feeling strangely motivated. I’d like to tell myself it was nesting but I think in reality it was the Diet Coke I found leftover from the StupidBowl and had half a coffee mug full. I haven’t had caffeine in weeks and we don’t drink soda any more so it was a real novelty. It was 11:45pm and I said to Michael, “I realize it’s late but would you be willing to help me clean up my craft room?” He of course immediately said yes (as I’m sure he prays every day that I’ll do something in there) so we dug in. I told him some basic guidelines to what I wanted to save to reuse – packing material in one pile, tissue paper in another, envelopes and boxes in another, plastic bags, gift bags, ribbons, ephemera I would someday cut up, etc., etc.

I also got out a big cardboard box and started tossing yarn to destash into it. That was hard. I don’t like getting rid of yarn but there is a lot that I know I’ll never use and/or I bought back when I first started crocheting and knitting again that just isn’t my thing any more. Some things I had no problem with getting rid of but others gave me a little twinge. Still, better out than in. We hauled all the large bins out of the room so I could get to things that were hiding in random boxes and bags and piles all around them and find them a home. After putting the bins back there is a lot more room and while the shelves aren’t completely organized, it’s been started and I can clearly see how much can fit (and it’s a lot). It’s very exciting to me.

We also managed to clear off the 4′ folding table Michael got for me to use so now I can actually, you know, do things on it. It had been serving as a general junk catcher for the past couple of months. Things had been piling up in there and I would just work around them, but in recent weeks it finally got to the point that I couldn’t walk in and grab some roving or sew something because of the maze I had to navigate. Now I can at least get in there, find what I need, and do something if I so desire. It’s progress. I have one box left of “stuff I don’t want to get rid of but have no idea what to do with.” Those are the hardest. Considering the folding table consisted of pretty much all that kind of thing I’m relieved to have it condensed down to a single box. I’ll tackle that soon, just not today.

I don’t know what time it was when we finally went to bed as I didn’t check the clock (ignorance is bliss you know). After getting everything re-re-reorganized last night, today I wanted to take some photos of things I need to put into my Etsy shop (I’m nearly out of handspun yarn on there…I had only posted a few skeins, which is exciting but eep!) and some of my stash to post in ravelry but I didn’t clamp one of my lamps in a clampy enough manner and it fell, breaking the bulb. I’m not using standard bulbs, they’re 75w natural spectrum floodlamps so I can’t just get another from the bathroom cabinet. Damn. It. I asked Michael to pick up another one for me after the caucus so hopefully he has pity on me and brings one home today. Maybe he’ll bring a spare since I’m a clumsy bint.

But, seeing as I do have the table cleared off and I bought some rattail cord almost two weeks ago(!) I’ll get on making drawstring bags for all the beanbags I’ve had finished and sitting forever waiting for me to get on the ball. Oh, and I finished that Araucania sock that Michael said looked like a condom. Now that it’s a sock and not just a tube it looks much less condom-y. Thank you Joy for convincing me not to frog it. Again, photos when I have a bulb.

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Attack of the bebeh socks! January 31, 2008

Posted by jeninmaine in bebeh-to-be, knitting.
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Here are the socks I’ve been working on. The first one took me a couple of evenings to get down pat, but now that I have the eyelet pattern memorized the second one has sprung into being nearly in one evening – I plan to finish it tonight.

I had some good sunlight coming in the front window so I decided the heck with setting up the lights. It captured the very slight color variation in the yarn perfectly. So far I really like this yarn, it’s going to be perfect for springtime and the knitted fabric feels great.

Hunca Munca Baby Socks (by jeninmaine)

Hunca Munca Baby Socks (by jeninmaine)

Yarn: Tess’ Designer Yarns Super Socks and Baby
Pattern: Hunca Munca Baby Socks (PDF)

Remember that Pixie Hat, the one that took forever due to the ribbing? I’m trying so hard to finish it. All I have left is the tie that’s about two feet long and will be attached to the bottom edge of the hat.

Koigu Baby Pixie Hat - well, sorta (by jeninmaine)

Oh my GOD this is the most boring thing to knit, ever. I keep picking it up, knitting ten rows or so, then putting it away. I don’t even want to think about attaching it. I’ll get it done one of these days!

Yarn: Koigu KPPPM Color 204
Pattern: Baby Pixie Hat pattern by Crystal Palace Yarns

A Tale of Two Hats January 24, 2008

Posted by jeninmaine in bebeh-to-be, knitting.
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2 comments

I wanted to knit a hat to go with the booties I made for my coworker’s baby, but I needed something that would fit a 3-6 month old as I’m a terrible slacker and didn’t have these done before the baby was actually born, so…

I spent a lot of time looking for patterns, both online and in the myriad of books I own. I just wanted something simple but in an attractive design with a shape and good decreases. I finally found my pattern – the Cupcake Baby Hat at Slumberland.org. There’s a link to the PDF in the second paragraph.

I really liked the idea of the tall sides and then a round dome on top, thinking it would look good in the same yarn I used for the booties I made out of the Saartje’s Bootees pattern. The pattern calls for worsted weight yarn and size 8 dpns so I first tried doubling the fingering yarn to see how it would work:

Cupcake Hat #1 (by jeninmaine)

It actually worked out okay, the resulting hat worked up very quickly and looks cute. I’m not totally thrilled with the pooling but it doesn’t matter all that much. The only thing I didn’t like was that it was really thick, especially compared to the booties which were knitted on size 3 dpns.

So I decided to try another version of the same pattern, only with size 4 dpns and one strand of fingering weight yarn. To approximate the “Baby” sizing I used the “Child” pattern to fudge the gauge as best I could:

Cupcake Hat #2 (by jeninmaine)

I like the second one a lot better, there was some pooling but overall I think it looks more finished, the drape is a lot better, and colorwise it matches the booties a lot better. It came out slightly smaller than the first hat, but the first hat is kind of huge so I don’t think it’ll be a problem. I’m going to save the thicker hat for bebeh-to-be as I think it’ll fit her well next Autumn unless she has a big huge melon head, in which case I’ll hold onto it to give as a shower gift to Jenn.

The pattern is very easy once you understand the whole “top down” concept (which I actually like better as you don’t have to worry about casting on too tightly on the band, casting off loosely is a lot easier) and I did the heavyweight in an evening, the fingering weight in an evening plus an hour or two in assorted spare time.

Here’s the set of booties and hat I’ll be sending to my coworker. I hope she likes them!

Cupcake Hat & Saartje's Bootees (by jeninmaine)

Yarn: Hand-dyed sock yarn from now-defunct Etsy seller :(
Patterns:
Cupcake Hat
Saartje’s Bootees

Crafty talk and yarn pr0n January 22, 2008

Posted by jeninmaine in bebeh-to-be, kidlet, knitting.
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I have been slowly picking away at the Hobbit hole that is my craft room the past couple of days – I see this as nesting, essentially. It also means I’ve been slowly unearthing all sorts of things I forgot I owned, which is great as I was so sure I would need to go out and buy them.

Like small dpns, for instance. I mean, I’d still love two sets of every 5″ Brittany dpn sizes 1-6, but I was able to find alternatives that will tide me over until such a happy day will come to pass. A few years back I bought a bunch of lots of knitting needles from eBay and had them all squirreled away upstairs so I was pleasantly surprised to find 7″ dpns in 0, 1, and 4 that I didn’t know I had. I also discovered two different packages for 5″ size 3 Brittanys with just one needle in them. I don’t know what happened to the other eight. Oh well, I’ll just tuck them away in case I break one.

I also found a full set of Brittany cable needles! I keep losing the darned things so being able to compile the stragglers into a full set was very satisfying.

I did a swap on Ravelry recently and my swapee DalaiMama sent me the most coolest package, she is made of awesome:

Secret Santa Swag! (by jeninmaine)

– Cheeky Monkey card
– big pink lips bath gel
– POCKY!
– Hello Kitty “biscuits with chocolate creme” (already consumed)
– funny pin reading “I childproofed my house but they still get in”
– Orange gummy candy (she hit that one on the head, I LOVE THESE THINGS)
– cake tissues
– crazy cymbal-crashing chicken candy tube (my son has already laid claim to the toy once I eat the candy)
– Socks That Rock! I’ve never had a skein of Socks That Rock! It just so happens that DalaiMama hates earthy colors and I love them so this worked out quite, quite well.
Yarn: Socks That Rock by Blue Moon Fiber Arts
Color: Petroglyphs
– at the bottom edge you can see where my baby belly wanted to get in the picture too.

I haven’t sent my package out to her yet (hangs head) but I am nearly ready to do it! For some perspective on just how absent-minded I am, here’s a photo from Monday 1/21 of kidlet helping me send out xmas cards.

Putting kidlet to work! (by jeninmaine)

Um, yeah. Better late than never?

Tonight I went to the craft store to get some boring stuff like buttons and rattail cord. Yawn. I was using a gift certificate I got from xmas, however, so I decided to actually buy a skein of yarn at full price just because I liked it. I know! I literally almost NEVER buy anything full price, I always wait for sales or only delve into clearance/oddball yarn.

But this was just really pretty:

Araucania Ranco Multy (by jeninmaine)

Araucania Ranco Multy (by jeninmaine)

Yarn: Araucania Ranco Multy, Color 310, (sock weight, 376 yards, 75% wool, 25% polyamide)

I am not at all sure what to do with it, but then again I have a huge yarn stash that can attest to my tendency to get glassy-eyed when I see bright colors.

Oh yeah, and I finished a hat using two strands and size 8 needles to go with those booties but I’m not sure I like it so I’m going to knit another one using one strand and smaller needles, but a larger size in the hopes it’ll fit better. One hat will end up going to my coworker, the other I’ll keep for the bebeh-to-be. Photos soon.

In knitting news January 21, 2008

Posted by jeninmaine in bebeh-to-be, knitting.
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In knitting news, I finished the main part of that Pixie Hat and have only the strap to finish and attach. It doesn’t look all that exciting, I think it’ll be cuter on an actual baby. Anyway, here it is all seamed up:

Koigu Baby Pixie Hat (by jeninmaine)

Yarn: Koigu KPPPM Color 204

Pattern: Crystal Palace Yarns Pixie Hat

The only other thing I’ve managed to complete is a pair of baby booties for my coworker’s baby – she was born in November so I made these in what I think is a 6-month size so hopefully they’ll fit.

Gift booties (by jeninmaine)

Saartje's Bootees (by jeninmaine)

Yarn: Hand-dyed sock yarn from now-defunct Etsy seller :(

Pattern: Saartje’s Bootees (pdf)