Thursday, August 30, 2007

If this works out I will be very surprised

I am only about 20 rows from the end of this Baby Surprise Jacket and for the life of me I do not know how it is going to magically fold into a jacket shape. I guess that is the surprise.

I hope the slabs of colour look OK when it is finished.

I've really enjoyed this from a knitting perspective - it's a fun project - but I think I'll enjoy the next one more when I "get" how it works and where the stripes end up. I'm trying to reserve judgement but I think 10-ply (worsted weight) yarn is way too thick and heavy for baby clothes - even 8-ply would be pushing it. This little bit of knitting weighs a tonne - all I want to do is cast on a nice lightweight 4-ply sock next! The poor baby! Maybe it will be a good blanket alternative for next winter.

My colleague S safely delivered a little girl last night. Apparently the labour went for 30 hours. Counting backwards it means that labour probably started within a few hours of her finishing off work and finally going on leave. Months ago we were joking S would still be working while pushing out the baby; earlier this week we realised it was getting a bit too close to the truth.

I'm sending up the little sock-yarn jacket to her tomorrow (she's in another state); if the BSJ works out, I'll post it next week.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Still slogging along

Still slogging along with the BSJ, randomly alternating bits of pink and blue. I have no idea how the slabs of colour will fall when it all comes together (as my mind is not yet around the construction of this jacket) but I have faith that it will all work out in the end.

I barely knit at all on public transport any more. The trams are getting more and more packed - even having enough room to read is a challenge some days. I suspect the transport authorities will soon be hiring "pushers" to squeeze all the commuters in, much like they do in Japan. It's cheaper than putting on more vehicles but sooner or later they will have to have to concede that twice as many commuters into the same number of trams does not go!

I've got slack on my reading blog; trying to write reviews of everything I read started seeming a little pointless and I kept falling behind. But I'm still going to use it as a way of keeping a record of what I've read this year; a record of where some of my life has gone.

Today was the first glorious (almost) spring day of the year (it's still technically winter but someone forgot to tell the sun that). It was amazing just to be able to hand the washing outside and bring it back in dry within a few hours. I also attacked the ever-growing ivy and 'Wandering Jew' (I hate that name but I don't think there is another common name for the plant) that regularly takes over the side of the house - I fantasize that one day I will finally rid our home of these pests. I have to admit that I was inspired by Crazy Aunt Purl who has just redone her living room floor single-handedly; if she can do a major project like that on her own, I can face up to a few persistent weeds. Of course I ran out of space in the green waste bin before I finished the job but we can't afford a skip, so it will have to be a regular fortnightly project until it is finished. J, meanwhile, was painting a door on the flat; he reckons painting is the most boring project possible, mainly because you have to wait so long between layers.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Warped strip of garter-stitch fabric

The problem with the Baby Surprise Jacket is that it looks like nothing until it is completed. At the moment is is a warped strip of garter-stitch fabric.

I'm using some lovely soft Cleckheaton Merino Supremo yarn.

I got a bit confused at 'Make 1 using a Backward Cast-On Loop method' but found an excellent instructional video here.

I keep getting distracted. I've joined the Yahoo Illusion Knitting group. I finally gave the pirate illusion scarf to my brother and for the first time I think I may have even impressed him. I want to do more illusion knitting but I'm determined not to have 20 projects on the go at one time again.

And I've found a new pattern for an Irish Hiking Scarf that is completely reversible which I really want to try.

On top of this I really want to make another jumper for a three-year-old friend.

And, oh yes, I still have another lollipop sock to go.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Knit one, rip one

Not much to report on the Baby Surprise Jacket except that I have made every stupid mistake possible and have unravelled my first few inches three times to date. The worst part of this is that I then have to re-cast on 160 stitches which I suspect is a special form of torture designed especially for knitters.

I am contemplating starting with a fresh ball of yarn as clearly the ball I have selected, a lovely deep rich shade of royal purple, is cursed.

The truth is I am not paying close enough attention; trying a new pattern which involves counting stitches while travelling on public transport is just beyond my skills at this stage. There is nothing wrong with the pattern itself; I particularly like EZ's double decrease (slip one, knit 2 together, pass slipped stitch over) which I haven't previously encountered.

I'm sure once I get the first few rows right, the rest will flow beautifully. And I have even joined the Zimmermania blog to keep me motivated and inspired (I'll post there once I have something to show!)

In other news, my lovely ISE4 pal Beth, who has decided that a record-breaking hot Ohio summer is the perfect time to churn out multiple pairs of socks (I can't talk; I knitted my Noro Lizard-Ridge blanket in similar temperature during the Australian summer), nominated me for a Five Star Pal Award. I was very pleased to see that Beth also got a well-deserved award.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Blocked and appliquéd

Amazing what a difference proper finishing makes. It's not perfect but I'm not ashamed of it either - and I've learnt an important lesson for next time.

I've started the famous EZ Baby Surprise Jacket. No pictures yet. Casting on 160 stitches while travelling on a packed tram was the major challenge for today!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

In denial

I resolutely finished the sleeves of the baby jacket.

It still looks unbalanced.

I tried to crochet a dark flower to sew onto the light side and a light one for the dark side.

No go.

I'm contemplating an appliqué.

I'm in denial.

I think it is time to start on the EZ Baby Surprise jacket in a nice plain yarn with no pooling possible. Although I'll probably introduce a contrast stripe.

Once that is finished I may be able to face unravelling the jacket I've just knitted so the yarn can be reused for socks.