A Productive Weekend

What happens when you combine a new baby in the family (SIL), an impending family birthday and a wet holiday weekend? Why, finished projects of course!

I hadn’t started knitting in preparation for the baby’s arrival. I thought about it & had even chosen the projects but I didn’t cast on. I told myself I was waiting to see if it was a boy or a girl but I also realise that I waited because I wanted the pleasure that comes with making something for a particular person. I know the baby that I knit for was the same baby whether I knit now or had knit 8 months ago. It just seems more real now that she has arrived. Yes, a little baby girl. That makes 5 nephews & 4 nieces.

So after hearing of her safe arrival (sorry to keep referring to her as “her” but no name has been chosen as yet) I raided the stash to see what was calling to be knit. I decided on the 2 balls of Cleckheaton Bamboo I recently received in a swap, one orange and the other a subtly variegated orange. I also used a bit of hand dyed Bendigo Woollen Mills 4 ply cotton in green.
This was my first Baby Surprise Jacket so it was an interesting knit, with me stopping every few rows & attempting to figure out how it would all go together in the end. Very puzzling but I continued with (someones) advice in my head – ‘don’t try & figure it out, just go with it’. Very wise words. I released my problem solving brain to Ms Zimmermann and just knit as it was written.
This is a pattern I would definitely knit again. The construction is so clever. I don’t think I’d use the bamboo (which by the way is lusciously soft) or the cotton again for this particular project. I’m planning on a DK weight in a wool or wool blend. I would also try a mattress stitch (or some other invisible seam stitch) for the 2 seams (shoulders/sleeve tops). My next BSJ will also be in a variegated yarn – maybe a Noro ?. I like seeing a contrast ‘stripe’ in these mitred knits but letting the yarn do the work saves on tidying up loose ends later. I also added a little crocheted ruffly collar.

If you haven’t knit one of these yet, then find yourself a baby & give it a go!

The other baby project was a very quick, very cute hat. The pattern came from Yarn magazine – an Australian publication- but it is available in a new book by Amanda Keeys called Baby Beanies: Happy Hats to Knit for Little Heads.

The Loopy Pixie hat – so cute. And the best bit is it knits up quickly in worsted weight.

This is another pattern that I would recommend and looking at some of the other projects from the book, I think this would be a nice collection of hat patterns to have.

The third finished project was not knitted. It was a scarf I wove on my rigid heddle loom.

I had the 12″ knitters loom previously (which was sold to fund other equipment) but found I missed having the loom. I also realised that the 12″ was restrictive so I started looking at 24″ looms. The knitters loom has a higher price tag than other rigid heddle looms, I guess that’s because it has the advantage of being able to be folded in half (with work in progress) making it portable. However, as I wasn’t interested in portability & my only requirements were the size (24″) and the type (rigid heddle) of loom I was able to afford to buy another loom from Ashford. I’m really happy with this loom and have some ideas I want to try out on it. The larger size is great, although I haven’t warped the full width yet. I wouldn’t like to go wider as passing the shuttle along the width of this one needed a bit more care & attention than with the 12″ – just to make sure all the warp threads were in the correct position & that I wasn’t getting caught on any on the way through.

I also need to practise more on making my selvedges neater.

So now that the latest woven scarf is off the loom (blocked & ready for the post office this afternoon) I need to decide on my next weaving project & get warping!