Sunday, January 28, 2007

Zimmermann - Squid Style

Made this sweater for the Squid using yarn she chose (I offered 14 shades of red, 3 shades of pink, and then a "ok, grab what you want as long as there are 3 skeins of it." and she chose 2 shades of natural brown organic yarn from Full Belly Farm). Together we decided where the stripes should go. It was her idea to have the sleeves and majority of the yoke be the light color and the body be the darker color. I think it was a wise choice; I love the colors of this sweater.

I loosely followed Elizabeth Zimmermann's Seamless Yoke formula with some minor changes. One minor change was to eliminate all neck shaping - I'm a firm believer that all clothing for kids should be reversible. So I always either make the neck shaped for either side or eliminate shaping altogether. A yoke sweater begged to become a funnelneck so that's what I did.

I spread the yoke decreases out a bit further than EZ specifies. She suggests starting the decreases when you have reached half of the yoke's final height. I started a hair earlier than that, and if I were to do it again, I'd start even earlier. I feel like there's just a little bit too much room across the chest, especially when the kid is in motion. And my kid is almost always in motion.

I also spread the sleeve increases out a bit. Doing them as EZ specified left a too-bulky sleeve, in my opinion. Granted, the Squid is built like an average size 4T except for her height, so when I scale things for her they come out all wide and short. So it may be my kid's proportions that are off, not EZ's calculations.

All in all, I'm pleased to have made yet another classic piece from EZ's classic books. The Squid seems happy, too, as evidenced by the fact that I didn't even need to sneak in the photo. She did, however, request that I make sure to take a photo when her tongue was out and she wasn't looking at me. I was happy to comply.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Who Ordered the Winter?

I fear it was me. I was moaning and groaning about the utter lack of cold and for that I apologize. We have been suddenly smacked with winter. Hard.

So that means I can't stop making socks for my Squid. I feel like she needs them. Besides, they're a great way to use up those 4,000 tiny balls of yarn that make up the majority of my stash.

Of course they're as difficult to photograph as ever, those pesky socks. This time i ribbed the top of the foot (not that you can tell from this angle) and I think the fit is even better than the last pair. I do think I need a few more rows of plain stockinette in the back after the heel before ribbing the cuff. This photo angle is actually perfect for demonstrating that.

The more I knit up my stash the more I am glad I built that "buying yarn for new projects is a-ok" clause into my "knit from stash 2007" challenge personal rules. really and truly the majority of my stash is tiny little balls. The curse of a toymaker, I suppose.

Oh, and check out my talented kid.

She took this photo herself with a camera that's bigger than her head - my Nikon D70s. I'm signing her up for photography camp right this very second.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Stash Thins

Have you ever tried to photograph a 3 year old's feet while she hugs them, rolls around, and sings "I love my socks! I love my socks!" At least she likes the socks, right?

Well, last week it was 70 degrees. Today it's 11. The Squid needed more wool socks. She chose the yarn (Mosaic Moon Organic Merino, naturally) and off I went. This is the first time I've ribbed the entire top of the sock and I think it makes a huge difference in the fit, especially for a non-superwash merino which felts, pills, and stretches easily.

Teeny pants. We had to try them on every doll in the house to make sure they didn't fit anyone before the Squid could concede that they were for the baby, not a doll. Looking at them they look so funny. I'd forgotten how oddly shaped newborns are. More Mosaic Moon merino.

The stash is thinning. I'm feeling great pride and accomplishing a ton of tiny projects that needed to be done.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Knitting for Baby

Made a couple of teeny tiny soakers. I used some delicious yarn I had on hand - the "near solid" blue is an organic merino that makes you weep it's so soft, and the multi-hued purple, blue, and brown is another organic wool that is a bit sturdier. I used the merino for the trim. Both yarns come from Mosaic Moon and I adore the colors.

Though I used to knit soakers for a living, and though the pattern is my own, I was surprised to see how much I'd forgotten. I had to read along with my instructions and made a few mistakes. I have to admit coming to a few spots where i thought to myself "oh, hey, that was pretty clever of me."

Choosing blue was pure accident, i just grabbed from my stash. I'm struggling with the concept of having a boy - not that i wanted another daughter, but I am used to the concept of being the mother to a daughter. I'm having a hard time getting my head around having a son. I guess it's better than last time when i couldn't picture myself with a child at all.

Also, I tend to loathe blue, we're not big sports people, and camouflage as fashion statement pokes me in my pacifism. So I'm glad I'm a knitter and can make my kid things that avoid those three staples of "boy clothes." So what do I knit first? Blue. Of course.

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Monday, January 08, 2007

Stashing Away.

In addition to the whole "Knit from your stash 2007" deal, I'm participating in a "stash game" over at the forum at Wooly Wonder. It's a funk way to kick off the whole stash thing and encourages me to finish up some ufos.
Mittens were made from 2-ply Targhee from Mosaic Moon in a very very very pink shade of pink that my girl who has always shunned pink is starting to gravitate towards. She's too proud to admit that she does, after all, like pink (she's always been snooty to store owners and the like who very condescendingly bend to little girls and say "I bet I know what your favorite color is...." and she has a lot of disdain for the whole princess thing in general). So I've been making her some pink things without asking her opinion about it first, and she's overjoyed.
I also finished Martha's socks. Just in time, she's coming to visit on Thursday and it just might dip below 60 long enough for her to need socks. What is with the weather these days?

Anyway, I washed and dried them and they did improve some, though they are still rather baggy. I think i would most certainly go down to 000s the next time around. I like the yarn (Trekking XXL) and the way it stripes up, so I would like to find a way to make it a functional yarn for me.

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Monday, January 01, 2007

Knitting from Stash in the New Year.

Wendy came up with a great idea for a New Year's Resolution: knitting from stash for nine months. I like the nine months thing, but I'm going to modify the rules a bit for myself (this is not cheating, this is encouraged by Wendy herself. So there). I waver between thinking that since I modify the rules I really should go all 12 months, but I worry that there will be some internet frenzy in September marking the end of Knit from Your Stash 2007 and I'll fall off the wagon just because I don't want to feel left out.

So I'm keeping the 9 months, but I will assess at that time and see if I want to/need to continue.

Here are my personal rules, adapted from Wendy's:

1. The Knit-From-Your-Stash-a-Thon will start January 1, 2007 and run through September 30, 2007 -- a period of nine months.

2. I will not buy any yarn during that period, with the following exceptions:

2.a. I'm having a baby. and I have a toddler. If I find myself in need of making either of them some specific item, I must first attempt to use stash, but if i can not, I may buy yarn for a specific project only. For me the object of this exercise is to not add to stash. So if I buy yarn and use it immediately, then it's ok.

2.b. If someone asks for a specific knitted gift that I really and truly do not have the yarn for, I may buy yarn to knit that gift. See above.

2.c. If I are knitting something and run out of yarn, I may purchase enough to complete the project.

2.d. I get one "Get Out of Jail Free" card -- I am allowed to fall off the wagon one time, but only if the yarn is a one-of-a-kind find, an extraordinary deal, etc.

2. e. Yarn needed for work-related knitting is exempt, provided I buy it with intention and use it immediately.

3. I am allowed to receive gifts of yarn.

The two big changes between my version and Wendy's version are that I am giving myself a "with a specific project in mind and to be used immediately" clause. The main reason I am doing this is that in all honestly, the bulk of my stash are single and partial skeins used primarily for toymaking. It's the exception for me to have multiple skeins of a particular yarn lying around, so not giving myself that clause means I will either be stuck knitting small things all year, thus utterly stifling my creativity and will to knit, or I will have to buy yarn on occasion.

The second big change is that I am not exempting myself for sock yarn. I don't have a huge sock yarn stash, to be honest, and since I gave myself the "with a specific project in mind and to be used immediately" clause, I imagine most sock yarn purchased I'd be tempted to make would qualify.