Friday, April 27, 2012

Victorian knitting

Today, I volunteered at the Heritage Farmstead, an old Victorian Farm north of Dallas. It was sheep shearing day at the farm so there were shearers, wool carders, spinners and me -- demonstrating how to knit socks "the old fashioned way" -- or as I like to call it, "knitting socks."My trusty sidekick was with me, charming visitors and waiting for her friends to arrive so they could go on a tractor ride.
On the back porch, demonstrating knitting.

In the old school house
Playing in the back garden while I knit on the porch
Watching sheep shearing
Snack time

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Perfect reaction

This is why nearly all my knitting time goes to projects for this kid -- have you ever seen such a smile? Awesome. After all that work, that's exactly what a knitter wants to see.

The pattern is my take on the Blue Sky Alpacas Eyelet Baby Blanket. As you can see, there are no eyelets (except in the ruffle) and it is quite a bit bigger than a baby blanket -- it's toddler-bed size in fact. BabyKnotty has outgrown all her lovely hand-knitted baby blankets. She proved it to me one day by pulling her blankets up to her chin and urgently stating "See? See?" as she wiggled her calves, ankles and little feet, all of which were quite clearly sticking out in a most un-baby like fashion.

So we bought out all the Manos del Uruguay Maxima from my LYS, and my sister picked up two more skeins for me from a LYS in Austin.

I followed the stitch count for the Blue Sky pattern but used circular US size 11 needles -- this was after a lot of experimenting to see what would make the proper width for a toddler bed. I skipped the eyelets because I remember the discomfort of attempting to keep myself warm with an eyelet blanket while watching Saturday morning cartoons during the early 80s -- back when there were Saturday morning cartoons and I was young enough to want to get up and watch them. The eyelets always left little open circles of chilly, no matter how I twisted the blanket around. I figured if I was going to make a blanket this size, I wanted it to be functional for many chilly mornings for years to come. So no eyelets. And then I just kept knitting the length of the blanket until it reached 51 inches -- toddler bed length. The ruffles were a snap -- so easy and they knit up really quickly. That colorway is Meltaway Mints -- I ended up with one skein plus a little extra. I think it will be a hat and mittens set for her in the fall.

Next up -- a lot of dresses, skirts and tops using Oliver + S patterns, some Lisette dresses and a bag for me and this little dress using Spud and Chloe in firefly and ice cream (yellow and white).