Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Still Life with Shawl

So here are the baby pants. I set out to knit the baby pants from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, but I didn't have the pattern with me when it was ready to join the legs. I'd read ahead in the pattern, but I must not have done it quite right, so it looked a little wacky. I looked at the pictures of the pants Alison made for her daughter, and the pattern for Blu from Knitty, and kind of fudged the join from there. I think they look okay, but I have no idea if they'll actually fit a real live diapered baby.

Which is actually an ongoing problem for me, since till I moved here I didn't know any local babies well enough to measure. I knit a sweater for a shower gift once and at pivotal moments I'd sneak into Baby Gap and try to subtly measure the clothes (using my handy key chain tape measure) without anyone noticing. Who knows why I trusted the Baby Gap people more than the knitting pattern people, but I did.

And the shawl, with yesterday's progress on the Hourglass-ish Sweater. My new temporary blocking system (folding the shawl in half, spreading it on a towel, putting a second towel on top, then rolling the whole thing up--kind of a shawl sandwich) worked out for this shawl, since it didn't need to be blocked severely. The interlocking foam squares some people use to block have been spotted at Toys R Us, but I haven't been able to get any yet. In any case, the shawl turned out be to about 16 x 64, I managed to use all but a tiny bit of the skein, and the whole thing is ready to mail in plenty of time for the photo shoot next week.

The mittens, on the other hand, are a little more complex. They asked me to make 2 pairs of mittens from one skein (worsted weight, 280 yards). I made the adult mittens first, felted them, and then knit an unfelted ruffle for the cuff. Then I weighed the remaining yarn, and found that I'd used nearly 3/4 of the original skein--not a good sign. Especially not a good sign since this was last night (Monday), and I wanted to mail the package tomorrow (Wednesday) morning... leaving about 36 hours for knitting, felting, drying, then knitting the ruffles. Plus, you know, working and sleeping and working out.

At least they're kid-sized mittens, right? So I cast on Mitten #1 on the way to work this morning. I knit through break, I knit through lunch, and I knit through a presentation right after lunch (attending the presentation MAY have become more attractive when I realized it would give me more time to knit...). I used up all my yarn, but my mittens were still minus one thumb and 2 ruffles. I cut the ends as short as I could and spit-spliced the scraps together (not the most subtle thing to do in a crowded lecture hall, by the way)... still not enough to quite finish the thumb. I knew I had some leftovers of the same color from another skein (in a totally different incarnation of the colorway) at home... but that wouldn't help someone using the pattern make 2 pairs of mittens from a single skein.

I tried to involve Kevin in the important yarn decision on our walk home, but for some reason he wasn't as interested as he should have been. So I decided to use the scrap yarn to finish the mittens in time to mail, then let the folks at Schaefer decide whether they wanted to photograph the second pair. Such excitement! (The kiddy mittens are felted and drying as we speak, by the way.)

And here's the long-promised sock yarn. I've already divested myself of the green skein, and I'm thinking of using the red and orange one to design some socks for Schaefer, but the purple-y skein is all mine. Or maybe some gift socks?


Annie said...

I like this concept of you divesting yourself from yarn. It reminds me oddly of the ancient hot potato game--if you get caught with too much stash, you're out!!

(Fortunately, I know that it is not too terribly difficult to divest yourself of Schaefer yarn.)

The baby pants are adorable. I'm sure they'll fit. Babies seem very malleable.

And thinking like that is probably excellent reason #100 why I never ventured into motherhood.

knitseashore said...

I can sympathize with your problem of the measuring of baby knits. I am knitting my first baby item ever, a sweater, for a friend's grandchild that will be born in Australia. I'm knitting the newborn size and hoping for the best.

Good luck on your mittens!!

Greeley said...

Baby Pants! Schaefer!

Sunflowerfairy said...

OMG-Those pants are adorable!!

Jack's a diapered baby, and I'd let you measure him, but he's big for his age.

That sock yarn makes me green with envy. Seriously.

jennsquared said...

Interesting mitten story... By the way, I still think you should go buy some baby sewing pattern and use those...