Saturday, January 26, 2008

Hats all Folks!

Well, I still love the pattern and I still don't have a hat that I love. Very sad really. I bought this yarn on line from Web's without having ever seen it before. I loved the colors and it looked like it would work well for this pattern, which is Urchin by the way. Oh, and the yarn is Rowan Spray. Anyway, the colors ended up being just what I expected but the yarn was a lot, I don't know, thicker? I can't describe it, maybe firmer is the word. Anyway, when knitted it is really sturdy. It holds the form knitted and therefore it doesn't really sit on my head the way I would want the hat too. I think it will look cute on someone else but my face is too round for this one. (trust me, I do have a face and it is round) After it all, my love of short rows is still going strong so I won't be surprised if I give this pattern another chance when I find the right yarn. Aren't the swirls pretty?!
I've been on a bit of a Hat kick lately. I think it's a search for instant gratification since they usually only take one or two nights of movie watching to complete. My co-workers are popping out kids faster than I can knit and I was two projects behind in baby knitting last weekend and thus, the hat below. I got this Lion Brand Velvetspun yarn at a swap and it is the softest and most wonderful feeling yarn. However, it SUCKS to knit with. No offense to the Lion Brand folks because generally I like their product, but I understand why this one has been discontinued. It grabs the needles like a drowning victim going down for the third time and has absolutely no stretch. I felt like the darn hat fought me on every stitch. The resulting hat, you ask? Adorable! #*%&$# It would almost be easier if it were ugly because I could just get rid of it and not think about it again. But no, it's adorable and soft and hopefully going to make a new little baby girl happy.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch...we added to the family last week. A situation came up where an adorable Boston needed a home and thus, being the sucker that I am, ours is the home. Could you resist that little face? Darla is the one on the left and Spanky, on the right, has a new buddy. She's fitting in great and we're all happy. (that's it Mom. really. no really!)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

My First Baby Surprise Jacket

Knitting the Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Surprise Jacket has really been a pleasure. As I look over the pictures and the notes about the project I just want to pull it all together here for my own reference. For those who aren't familiar with this pattern, the entire jacket is knitted in a single piece with some clever increasing and decreasing and when folded just right, it makes a beautiful little sweater. When I got the pattern, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how it worked. How did this one piece of fabric turn into a jacket? I looked all over the web at blogs of others who were working on this project to try and figure it all out in my head. While there were a couple of posts with pictures through the process, not enough for me. Therefore, here are a bunch of pictures of my process through this terrific pattern. Quick, go knit!
In the beginning... Well, it's time to start thinking about stripes. I bought two complimentary yarns with the intention of adding a cute stripe pattern. One of the things that both confused me and helped me figure this pattern out, was seeing others who had used stripes. By following the pattern of the stripes, I could finally see how this all worked. As far as placement, I just changed yarns when I felt like it on this one but the next one I might actually be able to plan it out in advance. This is about 33 rows in.
Now, if I manipulate my needles just right, I have sleeves. How cool is that?!?! Too cool! And see those stripes, you can start to see how this is all going to work, but how the heck is the bottom done?
Now you can see where the pattern is turning again at the top and forming the front of the jacket. You can also see that I am running perilously close to running out of yarn. When I bought the yarn, I was told 2 skeins would complete the jacket. I bought three and I was down to just a few more rows worth. Panic rolled in.
I talked to a wonderfully nice person on Ravelry who suggested going to my local yarn store and finding a complimentary yarn for the last few rows. She swore it would look like a border and not a mistake. Below you can see the last 6 rows done with a complimentary purple picked with assistance from Sandy at Knitorious.
The photo above is one I wished more people would post so I could figure this pattern out. Hopefully this will help someone else. The bottom edge is the cast on edge and the top purple is the last 6 rows where I ran out of the yarn. Another thing I wanted to see more of were the backs of the jackets. Therefore...
And finally, this baby is done. I added a little single crochet edge along the collar and cuffs to tie it all together with the add-on purple and I don't think it looks like an oops at all. We'll be the only ones who know. So, OMG, I LOVE IT!! It went in the mail yesterday to my new niece and I hope she gets a lot of wear and love from it. :)