Wednesday, April 11, 2007

WIP updates

The Moderne Log cabin blanket for the impending work baby is out. I read some interesting info about corn fiber and it's relatively low melting point and became somewhat concerned. I'm not sure how that reflects on fire retardancy, but I'm not all that familiar with the fiber, and unknowns aren't such a good thing in this area of safety.Honestly. I'm not THAT worried about the baby spontaneously combusting causing her blanket to melt to her skin like baby shrink wrap. I just feel that with kids, especially other people's kids, it's better to be safe than sorry. My own kids? If their handknits melt to them permanently disfiguring them for life, they should just be damn grateful that mom knit them something.

Instead, I chose something soft and sweet in a fiber I know and trust. Enter the Infant's Fancy Silk Sock from Vintage Knits. I'm knitting them in Dale Baby Ull. I swear those needles get smaller every time I knit a round. next time I say I'm going to knit something on needles with more than a single zero anywhere in the needle size, someone smack me. They are lovely and delicate though.

Obviously the Wool Peddler shawl is complete, it is also fraught with errors and issues. I rushed the thing to be done for the retirement party then prayed hard that there would be no knitters in attendance. I was lucky in that there weren't. Or if there were, they had the decency to keep their traps shut. I also cut off one pattern repeat. I still have a few extra balls of the yarn. I'm thinking it may need to be frogged back to the beginning of the lace and reknit correctly if I am ever to be truly satisfied with it. Until such time, I will snuggle it regularly.

Onto the sweater for dad. My father is from Scottish stock. My father and uncle have traced their lineage as completely as they can. They are so proud. Dad even got a kilt in his clan's tartan. It's remarkably fun to tease him about his legs in his skirt, but really, I like that he's man enough to pull of the kilt.

Anyways, when I first took up knitting, I gave him a gift certificate for an aran sweater or a pair of kilt hose. He chose the sweater, and I've been mulling it over ever since. It's been about 15 months and after various false starts with swatching, finding the right yarn, and toying fruitlessly with a plan for designing it myself, it got back burnered. He has harassed me about it at every mention of yarn since the yarn was purchased. I can't make a single stitch on any other project around him without him mentioning how nice it would be to have a handknit aran. However, in a recent Knittyboard swap I got a couple back issues of IK. In the Fall 2003 issue, I found it. The perfect sweater. Everything dad asked for. Cable-y, turtlenecked, beautiful and comfy. The Byzantine Bazic is lovely. Unfortunately, I've only been able to work on it for two evenings thus far. The chart is uber tiny and my scanner is in the pooper right now. I've been waiting for my parents to leave town to get the chart properly scanned and enlarged. They leave tomorrow. So far, progress is slow, but at least it has been started.

Mom is trying to get me to have it done by fathers day. I can't possibly imagine what he would do with a turtleneck wool sweater in June, but maybe I will have it done by then, and he will shut the hell up about it finally. or he'll start bugging me for the kilt hose.

In the meantime something interesting has magically appeared on a set of my knitting needles. I picked up a copy of the new Favorite Socks book and next time I looked some long stashed Cascade Fixation jumped on the needles and began shaping themselves into the Flame Wave socks. I had nothing to do with this phenomenon whatsoever. (Okay, maybe I did, but it was merely a diversionary tactic to keep me amused until I could get the sweater chart resized.)

Just a tip for anyone who decides to make these in the larger size. The pattern calls for you to use a set of 4 dpns. The pattern fits perfectly with a set of five (the smaller size divides perfectly onto 4 needles). You get 2 pattern repeats on each needle instead of trying to move stitches back and forth on needles for your decreases. Why a clever knitter like Ann Budd couldn't have mentioned that for a brain dead knitter like me who didn't figure out how to divide 56 by 7 until halfway through the first pattern repeat is beyond me. Other than that, the pattern is easy, subtle and quite lovely. I'm totally digging this non-lacy pattern too. It's made me resolve to dig through the stitch dictionaries for similar yarnoverless patterns to make subtly patterned solid fabrics.

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