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The Curse…

I have mentioned that my oldest son has a knitting curse upon him.  In fact, almost everything that I have knit him since he was born has been destroyed, (Charlie Brown Sweater dryer incident of 07) lost, (double knit blanket thrown out of stroller during Geocaching expedition last winter on the MIT campus), rejected (Icelandic tomten jacket which makes him cry at every attempt to make him wear it), ill fitting (tweed longies, pilot cap) or  largely ignored (knit bunny – but I still have hopes for that one).  I feel that this is the project that will break the curse…the Red Sox World Series of knit objects to give a toddler – in soft merino wool – aran knit – and with his initial embroidered on the front.  This is the one that will break the curse!  

I finished the back last night, and cast on for the front, so hopefully we’ll have a finished item picture soon!

Mr. Floppy!

I’ve been working on the Alphabet Sweater from Debbie Bliss for my toddler, and have encountered some technical difficulties.  Perhaps you have too! At any rate, I started this project the day after giving birth to my newborn (about three weeks ago) and found that the border flared out:

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Which created a very manly ruffle.  The designer has you cast on the bottom garter stitch portion in #3 needles, the ribbing in #5 needles, and the rest of the sweater in #7 needles.  I found that this was not enough to nip it in for the waist, and reduced by about 15% the stitches on the garter stitch portion (casting on 71 stitches for the 24 mo size), increased to the required number on the ribbing, while still working in #3 needles, and then punching up to #7 needles for the main size.  I found that this worked!  And I had the added victory of correctly doing simple math computation to my sleep deprived brain.  (Newborns suck the smart out of your head for the first 6 weeks or so).  Here is the second attempt:

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I’m glad that this worked out, because I have just enough discontinued Jaegar Extrafine Merino Aran to complete this sweater.  Here’s a closeup of the stitch pattern:

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There’s a 4 st cable in the center, and 2 st cables flanking it.  Very texturey!

New crafter!

Some of you may have wondered about my radio silence for the past…umm..almost a year!  Well, I have an excuse!  I was building a new crafter to add to the Craft Attack family.  (and running after the first toddler took the blogging right out of me!)  Introducing: Nathan Max Weber

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And yes, that is a Baby Shedir on his little head.  It fit perfectly at the hosptial too!  Granted, he was a 9 lb, 5 oz baby (ouch!) but it kept him nice and cozy, or I’d like to think so.  I used the Shedir pattern on Knitty.com and modified it with the suggestions from the Something from Nothing blog. What a great idea!  It is a nice traveling stitch pattern and I used the technique that I explained in a previous post.  The yarn was Rowan fingering wool, and was a joy to work with.  Coming soon:  more Nate-wear!  I did get some knitting done while I was expecting this little guy.  Hopefully, I’ll have more time to feed this blog.

It’s Uncle Irving!

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Yes, that’s the little guy with his new leggings pulled up as far as the eye can see.  This is one of the projects from Knitter’s Almanac for February.  February’s theme is a ‘few baby’s things’ and he’s reaping the rewards of all the projects.  In addition to the leggings there is a sweater, bonnet, a double knitted blanket (blocking on my couch right now) and a shawl.  I am probably not going to finish all of the projects, but I hope to complete the baby sweater before the end of February.  I caught the strain of flu that evaded the vaccine, and lost almost a week of knitting time.  Had some interesting hallucinations, though.

A few technical notes on the leggings:  as most of EZ’s patterns, it is elegant, old fashioned, and fun to knit.  I have to admit to a rookie error – I neglected to go down a few needle sizes on the waistband ribbing, so the ribbing is less elastic and a bit ugly, but I made eyelets, as the instructions said, so I’ll run some Icord through those bad boys, and once the waistband actually comes to his waist (he has some growing to do before he fits into the longies properly) hopefully it will cinch up nicely.  I started with some Classic Elite Skye Tweed (discontinued, so I’m using up odd balls) in oatmeal, fully intending to make the pants oatmeal with a cunning blue color pattern down the legs, but wouldn’t you know it, but I had only one ball!  I had lots of leftover blue, so I just switched and did the rest of the longies in blue.  Here’s the little guy on the run:

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He started crawling two weeks ago, and hasn’t stopped for a second!  He’s a man on a mission, but he’s not quite sure what the mission is.  He’ll crawl all the way into the bathroom (with me supervising, of course!) stop at the tub, and then get a bit confused.  I’m here, he thinks, but now what?

Aaron’s Aran

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Pattern: January Aran Sweater by Elizabeth Zimmerman

Source: Knitter’s Almanac

Size: 38 chest, Men’s small (thank goodness for slim husbands!)

Materials: The Irish Ewe in Medium Jacob, zipper facing knit in Bartlett Yarns two ply in lovat

Amount: about 3.5 seven ounce skeins

Needles: US8/5mm Addi Turbo Circulars

Started: December 2007

Finished: February 1, 2008! (hurray)

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Onward to…February!

I finished the knitting of the sweater, sleeves and all!  Here is the sweater, pre steeking.

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Got to love all that natural wool goodness – I’ve become quite spoiled, fiber wise.  The blanket that the sweater is being displayed on is another Elizabeth Zimmerman unvention, her cushy blanket from The Opinionated Knitter, also knit for my husband, and is become legendary in our marriage lore as the best ending to an argument ever..more on that later.  So, I was so nervous about the steeking that I couldn’t bear taking pictures of my progress, as I was sure that the knitting gods would laugh mightily and unravel all my work, especially since I only allowed for a one stitch steek.  But, I got beginner’s luck, and here is my sweater with sleeves attached!

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Horray!   All that is left is to cut the front, install the zipper, knit the facing and sew in the icord zipper hider.  I won’t be posting a tutorial on steeking, since this is the first time I’ve done it, and I don’t really think I did the best of jobs on it.  But, as Mr. Rogers says, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again. Super-quilter Mom is coming over on Sunday to help us move our family room, and will help me sew in the zipper (she doesn’t know yet, but I imagine crafting is much more preferable to hauling furniture.)

Working the sleeves

I’ve worked my first sleeve, and started it on a 16 inch circ, and hated how it was stretching out my stitches – EZ recommends just putting the 42 stitches right on the circs off the bat, but I can’t adjust my gauge like she was able to, knitting master that she was.  At any rate, I ripped it out after about two inches, and recast-on onto four dpns.  But, the dpns were size sevens, and I was working in eights.  So, I switched after about an inch to two size eight circs.  I think the smaller start will hold in the sleeves better.  Here’s a picture of the sleeve on the two circs.

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You can see the fishtrap pattern continued up the sleeve.  After the sleeve grew wide enough, (I increased two stitches every four rows) I transfered the sleeve to one circ:

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So much easier on one circ, as there’s no shifting of needles.  The sleeve worked up pretty quickly, and now I just have to find the motivation to start the next one.  Then steeking…

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