Embarrassment of riches

Published on Friday March 4th, 2011

Most of my friends and acquaintances know I knit — doesn’t take Sherlockian powers of observation to deduce this when there’s yarn peeping out of every bag I own and I’m actively knitting it at every opportunity. So when Ada’s decked out in cute woolen hats/sweaters/booties, people always assume I made them for her. This is true less than half of the time. My girl is blessed with a great many talented knitting aunties who have made many of my favorite articles of her wardrobe. Case in point: the pear sweater.

pearsweater (1 of 1)

I was so delighted to find she’d grown into this. Daphne made it for her and I think it may be the cutest sweater ever. Those stripy sleeves! Speaking of stripes, she’s also wearing this now:

Okoboji_proto (1 of 2)

Okoboji_proto (2 of 2)

Still loving the toes. I swear I try to get her to do something else in photos, but up go the feet…

But it turns out I didn’t get the shoulders quite right. I need to overlap the fronts and backs more, which may mean changing the shaping a bit as well. So we’ll call this an Okoboji prototype and I’ll add it to my list of designs that need to be tweaked and re-knit…. Anyway, back to the gifts. A fabulous blanket arrived last week from my dear New York knitting friends:

Spiders_blanket (1 of 1)

Psst… look who learned to sit, just like a real person!

Knowing my eternal admiration for Elizabeth Zimmermann, they collaborated on a Mystery Blanket for Ada. (That’s a Ravelry link; go check out the many beautiful versions others have made so you can really see what it looks like. I’ll try to get a better photo of this one.) This is the April project from The Knitter’s Almanac and EZ’s singular genius for imagining new constructions is on full display: the squares are knit from the center out and never bound off, but rather grafted together. I’ve knit a few squares of it myself for inclusion in that crazy log cabin-ish blanket that’s languishing at the bottom of my workbasket, and it is fun. As long as you don’t mind grafting. (Which I don’t. But not everyone enjoys it the way I do, and therefore I’m extra impressed that my dear friend Lisa put in as many hours of it as I know she had to for the finishing of this project.) This blanket is soft, soft, soft, and we’re loving it thoroughly.

Thank you, my knitting friends! We wish you all lived in Portland!

Name that sweater

Published on Tuesday February 9th, 2010

So I’ve finished a wee stripey something:


I would be cuter on a baby, if only one were at hand for modeling sessions.

Behold, a tiny gender-neutral pullover! It features a semi-solid background color (“Burnt Ember,” from A Verb for Keeping Warm; this is their Annapurna cashmere-blend sock yarn) with stripes of a bright solid, although you could just as well go the other way and use a neutral background to show off stripes that change color, as in Whitney’s adorable Stripes! design. It’s my riff on the classic white and navy nautical sweaters, down to the boat neck and overlapping shoulders:


Yes, I’m planning to write up the pattern, so what I need right now is help thinking of a name for it. It should be a gender-neutral name (and no, we’re not calling the sweater “Pat”), something playful and bright and maybe even sailing related, and I just don’t have any good ideas. If you do, won’t you leave them in the comments? If you’re interested in test-knitting it, I’d love to know that, too. All you need is one skein of sock-weight yarn, remnants of a contrast color, and two little buttons. At this point it only exists in one size — I’d say for a three-to-six-month baby, depending on the girth of your little cherub — but I’ll be working up some math for a couple of larger sizes. I knit mine in pieces, just for the heck of it and because I liked the way the semi-solid was behaving in my “swatch,” but picked up the sleeves at the shoulders and worked down, so there are only two real seams to sew plus a bit of tacking at the shoulders. It would be very easy to adapt it to work mostly in the round if you prefer.

Oh, you want to see the chicken buttons? Of course you do:


Sorry I didn’t get a real close-up of the chickies. I bought them ages ago because they were so darn cute, and it turns out they’re the ideal colors for this project.

Switching gears, who am I going to see at Madrona? I can hardly believe it’s this week already. I’m taking the train up on Friday evening so I can attend Amelia Garripoli’s “Productive Spindling” on Saturday morning (I sure hope she’s tolerant of self-taught beginners!), Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s “Knitting for Speed and Efficiency” on Saturday afternoon, and Carson Demers’s “Knitting Happily Ever After” on Sunday afternoon. This is the first time I’ll be staying overnight at the hotel instead of just zooming up and back or staying off-site with relatives. I’m hoping that means I’ll have more time to hang out and meet people and practice what I’m learning. If you recognize me, please do come and introduce yourself!