Tuesday, December 31, 2013

StashDash part 5: Milk Infant Top

I've heard all the arguments against making baby sweaters, which typically boil down to, "It will be worn for 3 minutes before the baby balloons into a naked toddler."

Don't care! Pretty.

Also, will you look at those adorable hand flaps? Can you see them? So when the kid starts scratching everything you turn the cuffs over and it's like mittens, on the sweater. Squeak!

A lot of people on Ravelry have remarked that the crocheted edging gave them some trouble, and they wish the directions had been more thorough. For me, the directions were sufficient, or they would have been, had I actually followed them the first three times. Instead I thought, why not simplify things and [so on, rep 3 times].

Yeah, three times.

In the end, I did change things up a bit by not doing the scalloped edging around the neck, because the contrasting color I had in my stash was not as soft as i'd prefer.

I also added that nifty little flower, which I found in a book given to me just this Christmas, 100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet. Nice book, great flower, all around cuteness. 210 yards, gone!

In other news, this past weekend, the gentleman from the pest control company made his case for me having a natural childbirth, sans epidural. I told him I'd consider it if he can stop all these damned ants from getting in through the front door all the time.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

StashDash part 4: Summer Coverage Shawl

I should have posted this weeks ago, when I finished the most interminable stockinette I've ever encountered:

And it's all my own fault. I made this pattern up.

Stockinette plus some simple garter lace at the edge. It's roughly a triangle; the picture doesn't show it, but there's a middle rectangle and then two triangles on either side, if that makes sense.

As to how this came to be, I had a skein of mystery yarn gifted to me by… let's say, "a family member" to protect the sort-of innocent. Ha! The yarn had lost its label before it came to me. At first I thought it was hemp or linen, now I'm not so sure. The edging is some leftover hemp, and the main color was much softer than that. Probably a blend of some kind, fingering weight, at a guess 500 yards…

You see where this is going?

I thought it would be nice to have something to cover up with in the coming months, provided attempts to feed the expected offspring go as hoped.

And on that note, yes I totally know that I don't really look pregnant in that picture. Look more closely. The shawl sort of points on the top of a bump. I'm tall, and I'm told that helps in all sorts of ways, once of which is that I don't get as big as a shorter lady might.

And I don't think I mind too much. It's slightly irritating when I'm in one of the rare situations in which I would really like to play the pregnancy card (getting to sit down when waiting in line, for example - or, I've heard that some women get offered free dessert in restaurants, but I wouldn't know about that). But it's a relief, honestly, to know that I can minimize the extent to which people around me notice/obsess/ponder the bump.

During all the awfulness of our infertility experience, one of the hardest things was to interact with pregnant women. Of course I know it's not their fault - but come off it, Nagging Stranger. Since when was life fair? Somehow, I don't think a single one of the pregnant ladies I encountered was affected for the worse by the fact that I had a rough time being in their presence and listening to them talk all about their Braxton-Hicks contractions. Instead, I think -- and by the way, a whole host of other infertile folks will identify with this, if you don't believe me then go read their blogs -- I got a whole lot of exercise in deep breathing and attempting to foster compassion for myself and others in the way of Buddhism lite. It worked maybe part of the time.

Now that I'm, well, here, it's a sticky situation in which I'm happy to talk about my pregnancy to folks whom I know and whom I know to be in an okay place about it. But at work? In public, to strangers? I'd rather minimize the extent to which a baby bump seems to snare all attention. I can't completely avoid causing other people pain, but I can appreciate that there are reasons why another person might not dig my presence these days.

Besides, I do like the idea that maybe people remember I have an identity in addition to Foetus Carrier.

Tangent over. Happy holidays, everybody! 580 yards gone (500 for the stockinette, 80 for the border.) My remaining stash is hanging out in the dining room right now. So sad.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

StashDash part 3: Oliver Hat

Oliver, as in, "Please, sir, a little more."

In using up stash, I actually started running out of red yarn here. So I backtracked, added the top gray stripes, then after it was finished made the lower gray stripe in duplicate stitch for balance.

And then it wound up being too tall for the recipient. Oy!

It is for a coworker's one-year-old, however. He'll grow into it.

That red yarn: what mileage. A single skein of Cascade 220 Superwash gave me three blanket squares for a charity blanket and then this hat.

In StashDashing news… today is my "eviction" day from my office/crafting studio. Ha. The three projects I've posted as actually using up more stash than they cost me only totaled 500 yards.

It was a valiant effort. I'm afraid I'm just going to have to displace the wedding china.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Another FO, but I did not come out ahead

I don't think it fits in my StashDash series if the yarn was purchased in recent months just for this project, and I have over half the yardage remaining.


But the sweater is cute. A Tulips baby sweater! (Follow the link at your peril: the model baby is so cute I want to munch her ears.)

I went for the 12-month size, with the idea that our youngun will almost certainly be tall and lanky and will fit into it in time for the three days of cold weather we might catch in late 2014.

There's a healthy number of FOs on Ravelry of this pattern already - if memory serves, the Yarn Harlot went on a streak with this pattern and everybody took notice. I used Knit Picks Swish Superwash… I'd give my color choices on this one a B+. Almost awesome, but you could do better with those greens and maybe the dark pink, too. Overall, though, I think it's a nice and squishy sweater that will help fill baby's shelves for the next year.

This is what is formerly my closet, about 25 percent of the way to getting cleaned out and ready. Not exactly Pinterest-worthy, is it?