Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Problem Solving

I've been needing to sit more. There's no emergency or doctor's order, but I've been pregnant enough to know that when contractions start coming, it's a good idea to use the bathroom, chug some water, and then put your feet up just to be safe. It's just the drill of 3rd trimester for me. This baby and I have had lots of discussions about how she's not allowed to come too early, and so we'll have to see how well she follows instructions.

Anyway, I've been sitting more. Is there anything better to do while sitting than to have some knitting needles in your hand? When you don't feel sick, you don't feel tired, but you KNOW you need to sit and stick your feet up for 15 minutes or so, it's good to have something in your hands to keep the feeling of productivity up.

Mostly I've been working on Christmas presents which are mostly handmade this year, which I aim to do as often as possible. I know...my poor relatives. No ipods from Knut and Gretchen. I was almost done finishing up one when I realized a huge mistake. A mistake so big that I wasn't sure if I should rip up over a week and a half worth of work, or if I should just wait a few days and see if I could come up with some way to fix it.

So the only thing to do at that point is to start a new project. Ha! Like I need another one. I should have finished another unfinished project, but I needed some unattached bliss. I needed to make something not off of my to-do list, not on any goals...something made that was quick, uncomplicated, refreshing, and just for the fun of it.
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This is what I came up with. This set took me 3 days from cast on to weaving in ends. Seriously, it was just what I needed. Thick aran weight yarn, one piece pattern with very very little seaming, something that was from a new pattern so I wouldn't be bored, but not too hard so I could easily work on it back and forth while holding a conversation on the phone, watching the kids at the playground, whatever. It needed to be a project that I could be interrupted multiple times without needing to count a hundred stitches to figure out where exactly I had left off the last step.
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I wasn't sure if I was going to make this for my little girl, or give it away, and I think selfishly I'm going to keep it, but with the pride soothing reasoning that I should really see if this pattern fits a baby nicely before gifting it.

The sweater is from the gifted designer, Debbie Bliss (although the dress pattern I'm nearly swearing over in finishing is also by her, and not exactly one I'll eagerly do again). I have never made a sweater this way. It's such an odd way to construct a sweater to me, but it made it such a fast knit, and very very simple. I think it's such a unique style for a baby sweater, and worry a little about the collar on a little baby, because I think babies have such little necks that collars often don't look that great on them. This one is quite thick. However, I think this, a onesie, and a pair of cute pants would be just darling. I have the book this pattern comes in, but I think it's offered by itself free online. I pinned on a little ribbon rose that I don't intend to keep. I'd rather get a nice silk flower to use. I think if I make this pattern again, I'll add about 2-3 rows of garter stitch on the bottom edge to replace the rolling stockinette stitch, and I'll add a buttonhole in front for a large button instead of the pinned rose that the designer uses.
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The bonnet is from the same pattern that this one came from, except I sized it at the size "small" instead of "newborn" as the previous one I made was. I also made the rounded crown style instead of the pixie crown. I debated back and forth on which style to do and couldn't decide until I figured I already made one style...why not make the other one and see which style looks better on a little baby. Again, it's good information to have when making a little handmade item as a gift. I also did an i-cord tie in front instead of the buttoned chin strap that I made for the other outfit.
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What's even cooler is the yarn I used for this. Normally I brag about this nice fancy natural yarn that I got from the local yarn store made from some specific breed of sheep wool, or bamboo fibers, etc. Well, this is from the local yarn store, but it's a nylon/acrylic mix and despite that is one of the softest yarn ever, was super cheap (in comparison to what I've grown accustomed to) and it knit up so so nicely. Not only that, but I got this sweater and bonnet out of just one skein. (See the tiny little ball I have leftover! It doesn't get more right on than that!) That skein was less than $6 (but I had a 50% off coupon when I bought it) so that makes this an under $3 set. One of the few times these days that making your own clothes actually is cheaper. I could not be more pleased. Now to just see it on the little girl. (Not that that's an invitation, little one. You stay put.)

Now that this little diversion has accomplished what I hoped it would, my mind has cleared and I've figured out what to do about my enormous mistake on the other project, have fixed it, and am throwing myself back into finishing some Christmas projects. So you may not see many crafting pictures for a little while again. Unless I screw up again, or get an overwhelming urge to nest again...which is entirely possible.

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