October 22, 2007

Sammamish blog-down

I've been back from Washington for almost a week now, but it's never too late to share a few pics. All told I got to see my two lovely sisters, the wee nephewling, my parents, and my cousins Jessica and Liz. So there was much fun and maybe a little less knitting than expected. The knitterly upside is that the cool, drizzly weather meant that we could break out the handknits. See if you can spot them all!

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Krick learns a thing or two from Elliot, child prodigy; couslings!

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Pop and E. brave the corn maze; drooly baby punkin goodness.

Mum, a crisp chardonnay, Baby E., yours truly, and Sam the dog.

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Elliot street; Monster Jessi Knits!

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An excellent mushroom; a familial handknit extravaganza.

Knits featured in this post: knucks (still waiting on a FO report), the as yet unblogged twiggy bobble hat (hmmm...Spun Mag seems to have let their domain expire. I'll leave the link though, in case it comes back. Who can fathom the mysteries of the internets?), the garter stripe scarf, the mossy baby sweater, and Kricket's Luna Park Socks. Oh fine, you can't see the socks in any of the pictures...but I swear Krick was wearing them. And while we're at it, I got to break in my plain old socks as well.

For those curious among you, the couslings and I did squeeze in a trip to Cultured Purls (right after the trip to the salmon hatchery) in Issaqua. Souvenir yarn and needles were dutifully purchased.

May 3, 2007

Finished: Mossy Baby Sweater

Hey look, it’s a finished baby sweater! This one has been waiting for its write-up for over a week, but lately life has been getting in the way of blogging. And returning e-mail. I'm working on it, I promise!

Oh fine, it's not the same color as moss.

The Specs:
Pattern: My own.
Size: About 3 months.
Yarn: GGH Samoa (50% cotton, 50% acrylic)
Needles: Size 7 circs for the body, size 7 straights for the sleeves.
Start to finish: March 4 - April 24.
For: Little Nephew E.

I couldn't find any snakes or snails or puppy-dog tails, so you'll have to settle for pine-needles and rocks.

If you cast your mind back to early March, you may recall that this sweater started out as a slightly modified version of this pattern from Rebecca Baby and Kids No. 8. After about 100 bazillion modifications, I ended up with what you see here.

The Plan:
I wanted a baby sweater with similar construction to the EZ baby sweater: knit in the round but with sleeves knit flat (though they could be done in the round. Whether a short little seam or knitting in the round takes longer is a bit of a toss-up). I knew I wanted zig-zaggy cables (I can't get enough zigzags. I bet you never noticed).


What really happened:
That was about where the planning ended. I pretended to crunch some numbers and cast on. After I knitted my way to the bottom of the sweater I decided that the neck was too small (resulting in the great backwards seed-stitch rip-out of '07). And then there was the night I decided I didn't like the spacing of the buttonholes so I dropped back the button-band stitches and picked them back up with new yarn-over buttonholes in the proper spots. And we won't go into how I knitted the first arm three times before I got it to look like it would fit a human baby (as opposed to a t-rex baby).

I feel a little bit like I knitted the middle of the sweater first and then fiddled around on the edges for a long time. Maybe because I did?


I took a bunch of notes thinking that maybe I'd write out a pattern, but I feel like I need to knit this one again the way normal people knit (you know, from the start to the finish without all that wishy-washy rippyness) before I put it down on paper. Luckily, people just keep having babies so it shouldn't be too much of a problem finding another one to knit for.

Tree, tree, tree...tree, tree, tree...

Final Verdict: I like it! Even if it was the slowest fast knit ever executed.

p.s. I finished up the Flowerbasket Shawl last Sunday! More finished object goodness coming your way soon! (Though I do realize that "soon" in Elli-land has come to mean "sometime hopefully in the next week.")

March 21, 2007

The State of Things

Knitting has been a bit on the slow side here at Chez Ripalot. As I so briefly mentioned in my last post, I’ve been doing battle with some seed stitch. Lucky you, now you get to hear the Whole Gory Story.

burning the candle at four ends.

So. Little Green Sweater. About the time I get to the underarms, I decide that I want to make the sweater a bit larger. No problem, right? The neck is now too small for what I’ve got planned but I just have to rip back the inch of seed stitch that is the collar and a few of the raglan increases, and then reknit the collar back on. So I went on my merry way. I finished up a ball of yarn on the body and, thinking this was a good time to do that quick little ripping job, picked out the cast on row.

Now some of you probably already know this but I feel it is my duty as a (now older and wiser) knitter to tell you:

The only time you can pick out your cast on row and just rip away is when you’re working in straight stockinette (maybe there are exceptions to this? Anybody know of any?). With seed stitch…well, it’s a royal pain. Every little stitch loops around other stitches twice making it nearly impossible to rip out. It’s like a bad dream.

To make things even more pain-in-the-toochus-y, I decided that I didn’t want to just snip off the collar and call it good. I made the oh-so-brilliant decision that, to avoid the minor pain of weaving in a couple of ends, I would save the yarn as I ripped it out. And pull the whole length of saved yarn through every. little. stinking. stitch. as it was ripped out. Yes, I know that this is insane. I knew it was before and now that I’m typing this out I’m beginning to wonder if I’m certifiably loony. Because really people…it took me a few evenings to do this (not whole evenings, thank goodness, but probably a total of 4-5 hours spread out over a few nights). Do I really hate weaving in two extra ends that much? Seems so.

Ok. Change of subject!


I also knitted and ripped out the toe of a sock.

So there you have it. I have achieved negative knitting this week.

March 19, 2007

Monday update

We just got back from a weekend in Michigan with the siblings. Very preggie Rae and the rest of my family have been going to town on the baby crafts. Here’s a little preview*


Progress has been made on the cabled baby sweater. No pics today. I have made the unfortunate decision to rip back seed stitch from the top. Those of you who have tried this will know what I’m talking about.

In the meantime, a Shameless Plug: Tonight, Thunk’s brother , on TV. Vote if you feel so inclined.

*No, I have not taken up crochet. Rae made these.

March 15, 2007


I'm ducking in to post a pic and to say a quick hi...

The photo:


I took this outside so that you could all see how warm it's been here lately. But really it just looks like a partial baby sweater on a cement slab. Because that's what it is.

As you can see version 2 has got some top-downy, raglan-sleeved, seed-stitchy, sleeves-knit-flat, cardigany-ness going on. So far so good. Over and out.

March 6, 2007

Baby Knits

It feels like it's been a long time since I've had any small projects on the needles. Anybody else notice that the ONLY project I worked on in February was the aran cardi? January wasn't much better. I'm surprised y'all are still hanging around the joint. I’d say it’s time for a break.

As chance would have it, the much anticipated wee nephewling (who, incidentally, we have taken to calling Raoul) is due right at the beginning of April and all I've knitted for the little blighter is one lousy soaker. I'm thinking that I should take the rest of March to see how much baby stuff I can crank out. Sound good? Here goes...

First up: Cables for Raoulito


As recently as when I took this picture, I thought I was knitting the "turquoise cable sweater" from Rebecca Baby & Kids No. 8. Turns out that I'm not. First off I changed up the cables (here's a pic of what they were supposed to look like...after the aran cardi they were just a little boring). Then I decided that I want to change the bottom. And the neck. And the sleeves. Then I took a look at the pattern and noticed that I hadn't even cast on the correct number of stitches in the first place. So it seems that I'm really designing my own.

Next up: Soaker #2


This is the pattern that Rae originally e-mailed me when she asked me to knit her a soaker (pdf here). It's intriguing because it calls for roving, not yarn. Since I didn't feel like dividing up roving into teeny-tiny little strips, I grabbed some White Buffalo unspun 3-ply. Close enough, right?

The yarn was just about perfect gauge-wise but now that I've got the thing mostly done I think that it's too scratchy. Anybody know if lanolin will make it any softer or should I just abandon it here and break out the merino roving? The knitting was really quick so I'm not worried about wasted effort.

That's it for tonight! Time to go finish watching Rear Window.