All Baby Things, All the Time

After finishing the baby blanket for my sister, I had to put my energy towards knitting baby things for a couple of friends who were due within a couple months of each other.  My friend Katy is really into forests and fairies, so I wanted to make her a baby sweater that invoked those ideas.  I settled on the Baby Yours sweater by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and published by Blue Moon Fiber Arts.  It was a relatively easy knit, mostly moss stitch with a cable up the middle of the back and front.  The only thing that tripped me up was that the centimeter measurements were listed before the inch measurements, so I just need to make sure I read the correct instructions as I went (or really, just measure the sweater in centimeters instead of inches, which is mostly what I did).

Picking out buttons was slightly difficult because I wanted something that went really well with the pattern.  I picked up some ivy leaf buttons and some acorns.  I tested out how well each of the button designs would fit through the buttonholes I made.  The ivy leaves had three pointy bits, which made it difficult to get through the holes.  At first, the acorns didn’t seem to fit, but with a little coaxing I got them through.  They looked so cute and really matched the feel of the sweater.

Auntie Blankie

Hey, look! It’s a Finished Object! Never thought you’d see one of those around here, eh? I finished off the baby blanket for my niece a few weeks ago. This is a grand thing for a couple of reasons: 1) It has been blocked and was handed off at Christmas, 2) I can knit on other things… any thing I want. I finished the blanket with enough time to think about whipping out a pair of socks for The Husband for Christmas (although the last couple inches had to be knit Christmas day after giving him his gift). I also managed to finish a pair of socks for myself, although that’s not as much of an accomplishment because I had finished the first one back in May when I went to Seattle for a conference. I cast on and almost finished the second sock on my trip to New Haven, CT to interview at Yale the second week of this month.

Here’s a shot of the baby blanket in all its glory:

All good things…

I haven’t been able to bring myself to post about this until now.  At the beginning of October I was laid off, the official word being that my position has been eliminated.  November 1 was my last day at work.  I spent the month of October trying to wrap things up and say good-bye to the job I loved.  It’s terribly depressing to have to go into work each day knowing that it’s all coming to an end and not because you chose so.  There are several reasons the whole thing has left a bad taste in my mouth, but most of all I feel extremely bad for my coworkers who will most likely have to pick up the slack without the compensation.

I think I spend the month of November grieving the entire situation and accepting the fact that change had occurred and I was going to have to deal with it.  I’ve been looking for new work in my field, but unfortunately, a bad economy is really not the atmosphere to be an archivist in.

Meanwhile, in the knitting realm, all I’ve been actively working on has been finishing off the baby blanket for my sister.  I have finally gotten to the end of the knitting portion and for some masochistic reason have chosen to used a sewn cast off.  I started the cast off at Purlescence Yarns, and in 3 hours I managed to get through half the stitches.  I hope to have it finished by the end of the week so it can go in the wash and be done.

Sweater time?

I think I really need to cast on a new sweater.  The few store bought sweaters I wear are not really good for fall or winter (i.e., cotton and acrylic blends rather than wool).  And the few hand-knit sweaters I have for myself have all fallen into disrepair.  My poor Ribby Cardi has pilled something fierce and both shoulder seams have split.  One of the cuffs on my Mr. Greenjeans caught on something and is unraveling, so no wearing it till it’s fixed.  And… that’s it for sweaters.

So, there are 2 sweaters up as possibilities — Tempest in Rowan Felted Tweed (purple) or a plain crewneck pullover in Rowan Felted Tweed Aran (red).  I’m leaning towards the pullover first as it would probably be the easiest to get on the needles and finished.  Tempest would require more careful swatching in order to match gauge, and I’d have to fiddle with the pattern because I’d be knitting it without the stripes (some of the directions are based on stripe repeats).

Now, I just need to finish my Celaeno test knit, my self-designed socks, and OMG! a baby blanket cause my niece could come as soon as a couple weeks from now.

Putting on a New Look

One of the recommended security updates for my blog was to get a new theme.  Apparently, older WordPress themes can have weakness that allow attackers to get into the blog.  So, a-hunting I went.  I think I did pretty good, and it was super easy because it was one of the new default themes loaded on my host when I upgraded to the newest version of WordPress.  The header picture I have up is one of the default images, but I kind of like it.  It may stay, or I may decided to finally make my blog a grown-up knitting blog and give it some sort of picture with actual yarn or knitting in it. *shock*

More Trouble in Paradise

Many apologies to anyone who has had trouble accessing my site the last few days.  I was hacked again, and a malicious script was added to my site that would download malware to your machine.  This one was way more of a pain in the ass than the last stupid hack was.  So, please if you visited my site anytime this week, just to be safe and especially if you were using IE (which for some reason didn’t seem to catch the problem as quickly as Firefox and Safari), PLEASE run your antivirus scans.  The malware was downloading some sort of trojan horse, but my virus software found it without too much hassle other than running the scan.

My blog has been upgraded, and I’m in the process of making even more security changes to try to prevent this from happening yet again.

Designing in my sleep

Since I am still only spinning the lace yarn for the shawlette I’d like to design, I have been lying awake in the dark thinking of how to execute said design.  Some things have been hard to figure out just in my head and will need to be put on paper to see how the mechanics will actually work out.  Some things I think of then forget as I drift off to sleep, leaving me only to wake up in the morning knowing I had a solution and it’s gone.

One of the mathematical things I’ve been working on is the fact that the lace pattern I have chosen is an even stitch number stitch pattern.  Most shawls started at the top, as I want to start this one, tend to have an odd number of stitches in between the edge stitches and the center stitch.  Last night, I believe I worked out how to jigger it, now I just need to find out if it’ll look alright.

Meanwhile, the sock design I began working on in June is slowly making progress.  I finished the first sock only to discover that even though I had gotten gauge in my swatch, I lost a whole stitch per inch when knitting the sock.  Eight stitches per inch is quite a bit different that 9 stitches per inch, especially in stretchy 2×2 ribbing.  So, I’m working the second sock on needles that are half a millimeter smaller.  The unfortunate part is I really liked how the color of the yarn worked out in the larger gauge, and in the smaller gauge it’s spiraling.  The little bit of fancy stitch patterning it has is an 11 stitch repeat, so not much I can do there to play with fit.  Just have to live with the change in color patterning.