01 September 2007

Because every newborn needs a sweater that looks like my parents' retro 70s kitchen all knitted up.

So let's just get that out of the way right now, shall we?

I used up my skein of Rare Gems from the BMFA ladies to make a Babies and Bears sweaters for the new arrival in December. It's almost done; I think it needs rhinestone buttons, but i'm not quite sure where to acquire such things on the cheap, so it may have to wait a few weeks. Which is fine, because this is where my superstition exercises itself slightly; I won't really really really really finish any of the things that I'm making until Thanksgiving or so. I'll have a button sewing-on party.

It's a great way to procrastinate, don't you think?

The sweater came out a titch small, I think, but first babies run smallish in both my families and Robb's, so I'm hoping for the best.

I'm also starting in on what I hope will be the sweater to bring my little baby home in; I got seriously stressed about this for awhile -- it'll be December, this was an important decision! -- but I think I've made the right choice. The sweater itself will be a Peter Pan & Wendy design -- I'll scan the pattern in some day when there isn't crap on my scanner -- but what makes it really important is the yarn. I tore my house apart this past week trying to figure this one out, ten different kinds of strung out because I wanted something perfect for my wee one, but yarn buying is completely out of the question under the current budget restraints. I kept tearing apart the yarn shelves, and then putting them back together, and I kept moving the same skein over and over again, while lamenting the lack of a perfectly colored yarn, crafted with love and sincerity by a wonderful person.

And then I realized that the yarn in my hand was Mulberry colored Sock! by Lisa Souza.

And I felt something of an idiot.

The pattern calls for a DK weight yarn, and it took me a full four hours to get the gauge right. Sock! is a fairly, well, sockish yarn, and I thought I remembered hearing that if you doubled a fingering weight yarn, you get a Dk weight yarn. Apparently, I miss remembered, because I was getting a gauge I associate with worsted weights -- 5 stitches to the inch, when the pattern wanted 6. Single stranded, the gauge was perfect, but too loose and lacy for a winter sweater. Eventually, I doubled the yarn and went from the suggested 4mm needles down to 2.5mms. The yarn isn't quite as drapey as it might be, but it has a denseness and solidness that makes me happy. It feels like Lisa's caring made solid and put close to the skin of someone who'll feel it, if she doesn't mind me saying so. I'll post a picture when there's more to show than just an inch of garter and an inch of stockinette.

And then, finally, I have to brag. I'm having one of those "I have this and you don't" moments, even though it isn't charitable, but look look look what Ranee sent me for my little one-on-the-way!

Angora and cashmere, she said, just perfect for a baby born in the dead of winter.

Thank you thank you thank you, Ranee!

In other news, my aunt has relapsed again; bone marrow tests haven't come back yet, so we're not sure how bad it is this time, but with this particular disease, it just kinda keeps getting worse every time. More chemo, for sure. So far, she's staying just ahead of the science curve, though; each time they battle her back into remission, they say "if it comes back, there's nothing more we can do," but by the time it does, they've come up with something.

Here's hoping for another something.

Much love.


AlisonH said...

Kristine, that's a beautiful sweater! And Ranee, ya done good. Too cool. That will be one well-loved baby. Already is.

Give your aunt my best. Hang in there! (And I can say that!)

Ranee said...

Very cute sweater! Thank you for posting pictures of the bonnet and booties. I'm glad you like them. I'm always somewhat worried when I send a knitter knit items.

Arashi said...

I think it is cute.

And perfectly suitable for tormenting the child with in the teen years with photographs.

Karin said...

The Cuteness factor of your posts is rising.
That is a sweet sweater, and the set is beyond cuddly looking.

I am sending good thoughts for your aunt.

Sheila said...

That is a very sweet sweater. I just finished a Baby Surprise Jacket by EZ and it was fun. Just follow her instruction with blind faith. Go to my blog for links to other bloggers with some tips to knitting the BSJ.