Thursday, June 23, 2005

i'm knitting as fast as i can...

But, I'm still coming up short. I've been knitting every free second that I have had this week! As of this morning b^4 is 21" long. That means that I have to knit 9" between now and Friday evening to even have a chance! And, even then, I probably won't have enough time to give the sucker a good blocking.

Frustrated? Yeah, I'm F*#KING frustrated! I guess this is where I should start formulating Plan B. (I hate resorting to a backup plan, but sometimes there's just no other choice). So, Friday, I will be taking the Metro out to the 'burbs. There's a Toys'RUs in the same strip as the A.C.Moore...So, I'll be picking up a few small baby gifts to go with the sweater, and I will mail the blanket once it's done. Since, I didn't spend much on the yarn for the blanket, I don't feel too bad about buying so little gifties.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

back on track...

I pushed past the half-way mark on the baby blanket and I'm picking up speed...I have decided that the only way that I even have a chance of finishing this project before the end of the week is to bring it on the bus with me. I would prefer not to do this since the blanket is wider than most projects that I have made. Thankfully, this morning, I left the house a little early and was able to get on a fairly empty bus. I will also be staying up an extra hour every night this week. I am determined to finish this thing.

Friday, June 17, 2005

out of whack...

I haven't been up to much this week. I haven't been sleeping well, and have a lot on my mind. Surprisingly, knitting hasn't been able to distract me...That translates into no progress on the B^4. So, this weekend and next week will be a real test of strength.

Right now, I have 12" down, and another 18" to go. The way I see it, I will have to knit ~3" a day for the 6 days so that I still have time next Friday (my day off) to weave in the ends and block it. Assuming I can get to sleep at a reasonable hour tonight, I'll get up tomorrow morning and dig right in.

Monday, June 13, 2005

another bun in the oven...

I guess I wasn't kidding when I said that it was baby season! I just found out this morning that my brother and his girlfriend got hitched last week. And, Mr-I'm-never-getting-married-or-having kids is also a father-to-be! I'm simply in shock.

They got married at the courthouse. No glam, or glitz. Just my brother's style, really. And, the due date is in November, so they've been sitting on that tidbit a little longer! My brother and I aren't very close...haven't been for years. But, I feel really happy for him.

I see another baby gift in the making!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


Surprisingly, I was able to work on the B^4 on the bus yesterday on the way to and from work. I figure I might be able to tote this project around for a couple more days, then it will be an at home only project. This pattern is super-easy. The only thing that I'm having a problem with is the transition between the different color yarns...of course, that's not actually part of the pattern.

Since Trish asked for them, these were taken this morning. Please excuse the yucky lighting.

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The sweater still needs to be blocked. That's on my list of things to do while I'm off this Friday.

Monday, June 06, 2005

BBBC moves into phase II...

After many more hours than expected, I have completed the Child's Placket-Neck Pullover. Friday night, I cast on and knit the second sleeve while watching Finding Neverland. It took almost the entire movie for me to make a 6.5" long sleeve!

Saturday, I made it my goal for the day to finish this sweater. Nothing else mattered...not eating, showering, or leaving the apartment. I got up around 8am and started joining the sleeves to the body. Once I started the decreases, I thought I was homefree. So, I went upstairs to the neighbors apartment and watched Emma while working the yoke. I was rather disappointed that I wasn't able to finish the sweater while watching a 2-hour movie! Feeling a little defeated, I figured I would give in to showering and jump back into things refreshed.

Finally, at around 4pm, I had cast off. The sweater is pretty cute and well worth the time I put into it. I would never say that it could be knit in under 10 hours. However, I would still consider this a last-minute gift since it can be completed in under a week. Admiring my work, I decided to give my fingers a rest Saturday evening. But, I wasted no time Sunday morning.

First I swatched the variegated yarn that I bought last week. I wasn't looking for gauge in this case. I wanted to see how the colors might line up. I was trying to decide whether to use the variegated yarn for the border to B^4, or to use it for part of the main body of the blanket. Alone the variegated pattern looked kind of freaky, but with a solid border next to it, it calmed down a little. For now, my plan is to make the border and half of the body using the same color green as the sweater. The other two "blocks" will be done in the variegated colorway.

With my plan of attack in place, I cast on 160 stitches for the blanket. I got about an inch into the border, while watching Garden State. And, later completed the bottom border while finishing Love Actually.

(Okay, in case you weren't counting, that makes it a 4-movie weekend.)

Thursday, June 02, 2005

in other news...

I'm very close to finishing Toledo. I actually finished knitting the second piece on Friday. I also blocked the pieces over the weekend.

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I have also done the garter stitch borders around the neck and sleeves. All that remains is seaming the sides and weaving in a few more of the loose ends. Perhaps I'll have something new to wear this weekend!

Here's a close-up of the neck:
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And, the bottom boarder:
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Also, before I was invited to the baby shower, I had started swatching for Posy.
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The lace pattern is fairly simple. It's made up of a 10 row repeat, and you purl all wrong side rows. Hopefully, I will be able to memorize the pattern quickly. I plan on using "lifelines" for this project. Since I will be working with black yarn, I think that will help me keep my place while knitting the lace.

Oh well, I will start Posy once I finish the BBBC. Or sooner, if I find that I can't take the B^4 on the bus.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

don't wait for the last-minute...

I have had Last-Minute Knitted Gifts since it came out last fall. I originally got it so that I would have some ideas for last year's holiday season. My first impression was that the patterns mixed really nice yarn --read expensive-- and simple patterns to create great, quick knits. Although I didn't make any of the projects around Christmas, I was happy with the book and put it up on my shelf.

Once I was told about the baby shower, this book seemed like a logical place to turn. The patterns are grouped by the length of time. The placket neck pullover is the first project in the 4-6 hour section of the book. Not only does it look cute, the pattern has simple raglan shaping and is done in the round...NO SEAMING!

Since I already had the yarn that I was going to use, I was able to start pretty quickly. I even did a spot on, but close. I decided to make the size for 6-12 month-olds, and cast on yesterday morning before heading out for the bus. I knit on the bus (~20 min), I knit at lunchtime (~45 min), I knit on the ride home (~20 min), and I knit after dinner (~2 hrs). That's about 3.5 hrs. In that time I have knit about 5" of the body.

I'm having a hard time seeing how the average knitter could finish this project in 6 hours. It's true that knitting in the round make the body fly by...But, since I haven't even cast on for the sleeves, I don't feel like I'm halfway through the pattern. All-in-all, this is a good pattern. It even looks good in simple yarns (like TLC Cotton Plus). BUt, I would give yourself a couple of days...just not several hours.