Friday, March 09, 2007

Kettle Dyed Yarn

Is there anything more beautiful? Really. I'm obsessed with the subtle variations (and sometimes downright odd colors) that spring out of a "nearly solid" yarn when it's being knit up.

This is the beginning of a cardigan I'm making for a classmate of the Squid. Her mom is a friend of mine and a wonderful photographer and she took a bunch of photos of me a while ago - some great photos of my hands making stitches that I'll use someday for something useful. Her daughter is a pink and purple fairy princess fiend and I thought a cardigan in her colors - but in a beautiful, earthy way, would be a nice thank-you.

The yarn is Targhee dyed by Mountain Colors in their "Ladyslipper" colorway which they claim is "Lavender, Mushroom, Taupe, and Peaceful Peach." The yarn is perfect for a spring sweater - heavy enough for those "do I need a jacket?" days, but soft and rugged enough for a kid. She may be a princess, but princesses roll around on the playground, too, you know.

This is a scarf I made for my husband, to coordinate nicely with his panta. Yes, he wears a panta. Want to make something of it?

The yarn is a merino from Ebay vendor "100purewool" in the color "black," which, of course, it isn't. This yarn is remarkably similar to Malabrigo (the Malabrigo version of this same color is the yarn used for that little photo of me in the grey hat in my profile). I think the Ebay version is slightly thinner, and slightly less pilly. You can see in this photo that the scarf that my husband's been wearing for less than a month now is already hazy. It's not sturdy yarn, but it is soft, and I do love the near solids. The multiple color variagations from both Malabrigo and 100Purewool make me crazy because it's never what you see pictured, and no two skeins are ever alike. In my experience, no two skeins are ever even alike enough to use side-by-side. I do love the solids, though.

Last but certainly not least - here is another pair of baby pants (full photo here) knit from an organic merino hand dyed by Mosaic Moon. While her multicolor variegated yarn is more popular, I am enamored with her solids. Look at that depth. The richness of the color makes me want to lick it. And I have to say, I'm not generally a huge fan of purple.

So that's what I've been into lately. All of the soakers and pants has been about using up odd balls, and most of that isn't even yarn I purchased for myself, but leftovers from various projects which were chosen for me. It's nice to get back to knitting with yarn I've chosen.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

About Patterns

I've received a bunch of emails about the patterns used for the clothes in my previous post. I responded to each inquiry, but thought that maybe saying it here would save people some time.

Soaker pattern: mine. There's a link to it in the sidebar. It's a free PDF pattern you can download.

Pants pattern: mine. I haven't published it because it is very similar to my friend Pamela's Perfection Pants pattern available at her Wooly Wonder. My pattern changes a little bit every time I knit it. Pam's is well written, well photographed, and chock full of how-tos. I'm not going to bother publishing mine because hers is so complete. The instruction for the pleated waistband I use instead of a drawstring is in my soaker pattern, and can easily be incorporated into Pam's pattern.

Sweater pattern: mine. I made this up after measuring a bunch of clothes the Squid had as a newborn, and shaving or adding inches where I thought it was needed. I have not tried this on a baby yet, so I have no idea if it fits at all. If it does work, I will certainly make it available to anyone who has interest in it.

There you have it. Thanks for your interest and your emails and comments. If you feel like it, vote in the sidebar for a name for this kid I'm having. He's a boy, by the way, and his last name his huge and long and Italian. So many of our choices are Italian names. They just sound better.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Still here. Still knitting Still whining.

I loathe being pregnant. I find no charm in it. I am tired of being poked and beaten from the inside. I am tired of my stretched and worn muscles being pushed yet another inch. I feel like I'm being drawn and quartered.

And then I remember that I'm healthy. The baby is healthy. This is temporary. And I try to buck up and eek out a smile. Junk food helps, a lot. I have recently discovered peanut butter double stuff Oreos. I hide them from my child.

Anyway. I am still knitting. Baby things, of course. They don't take a lot of time. And I don't have a lot of concentration.

Soakers. Knitted wool diaper covers. An excellent stashbuster. I've made 4 newborn sized soakers, 2 small sized soakers, and one medium. I'm wavering back and forth on the sizes. The Squid was a tiny 6 pounder and wore preemie-sized clothing for 2 months. So I hesitate to not have enough newborn sizes. But I have this enormous fear of giving birth to a huge 14 pound baby (all of the junk food), so I'm afraid to spend too much time knitting things that will either never fit, or fit for a day.

Yarns pictured and needle sizes used (clockwise from top):

- Little Turtle Knits farm yarn, dyed in "Midnight Ride" (grey/maroon) 3,5,8.
- Wooly Wonders by Nada Bluefaced Leicester, aran weight, dyed in unnamed colorway (yellow, sage, blue, red)3,5,7.
- Mosaic Moon 2 ply Targhee, dyed in blue and green - 5,7,9.
- Full Belly Farm organic wool dyed in blue, purple, and brown by Mosaic Moon. Waist and cuffs in New Zealand Merino also dyed by Mosaic Moon 3,5,7.
- Uruguayan Merino dyed in black, red, blue, and yellow by Mosaic Moon (this one is going to stretch beyond reason but it's soft so I made it anyway, for the early days. It's not like a newborn is going to crawl out of it) 3,5,8.
- Mosaic Moon NZ Merino kettle dyed blue (same as the waist of the FBF soaker) 3,5,7.
- Organic Bluefaced Leicester with NZ merino trim dyed by Mosaic Moon- 3, 5,8.

Yes, I went against my own pattern's needle recommendations. This for no other reason than I was too lazy to unpack all of my needles (from the move 2 months ago).

I made some itty bitty newborn pants, and am now working on some small sized pants, which suddenly seem enormous.

I made this little garter stitch raglan cardigan from several colors of Cotton Fleece that I bought to make a sweater for the Squid 3 years ago. It never became that sweater, but it did become a hat for the Squid and a placket sweater for Asher. Cute as that placket sweater was, it looked a little goofy on him in his newborn necklessness, so I made this cardi with only 2 rows for a collar. Aside from needing buttons, I like this little sweater. It reminds me of a roll of Five Flavor Life Savers. I'm thinking some little striped cottony pants for the spring/summer with the last of the yarn. Now so useful as a diaper cover, but awfully cute.

I'm trying to quell my desire to make another blanket. I've made one already, blankets bore me silly, I have a thousand blankets already, and yet...

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