Sunday, July 16, 2006

Birds, babies, and beginnings

As promised, I did get outside last Wednesday to pick cherries. I collected a 2 gallon bucket full of cherries, left plenty on the tree for the birds, and discovered that the nest in the tree was occupied. Our best guess is that it's a sparrow nest ... composed of grass, straw, a Freezee wrapper, and miscellaneous recycled paper. With some effort, the cherries turned into 5 dehydrator trays of cherries and 2 quarts of pie filling, plus some miscellaneous syrup.
Here's the Baby Surprise Jacket, all finished. I made a matching hat, which made for a terrible picture, so I won't show you what it looks like. The jacket is definitely destined for a girl, so I only made one set of buttonholes, and went with gender-specific buttons.

Then, to get ready for the fair, I just had to finish off the communion cloth and get the Latvian mittens begun and finished. Virtuously, I decided to work on the communion cloth first. I packed both items for a day out with my mom, and started in on cutting purple fabric, pinning the lace around the outside edge, discovering that I was one repeat short, remembered enough of the pattern to knit another repeat sans directions (I'd left the stitches on the needle, and the yarn connected ... this was not an unexpected development.), and sew the edging on. It even got blocked!

Then tragedy hit. The Latvian mittens call for size 1 needles. I packed size 2 needles. I always use size 2 needles for sock-weight yarn, and for Palette (unless it's a shawl). But the pattern called for 10 stitches per inch, and I only get 9 spi with size 2. So I had No Viable Knitting Project. I was devastated. Briefly.
While Mom doesn't have a yarn stash like I have a yarn stash, she does have a good variety of things for emergencies like this. (Unfortunately, she's never been so insane as to work on size 1 needles, so she didn't have a set to loan me.) I found some 5/2 cotton from Silk City (which I used to make a baby blanket back in 1995) and some size 4 needles, as well as an old Workbasket with lace edgings, and promptly cast on. This lace is destined to be a pillowcase edging. It's about 3 inches wide, and I think I'm already half done. It's certainly going faster than No 10 DMC Cebelia on size 0 needles!

Of course, when I got home, I had to dig out my size 1 needles and get to work on the mitten. I have two sets of size 1 needles. One has four needles, 12" long. Too few needles, too many inches. My other set has 5 needles, 7" long ... but one is cracked. I obviously need to order the KnitPicks Options dpns. What else do I need to order so I can get free shipping? I'll figure something out.

The Latvian Sampler Mitten uses a technique I've never seen (outside of the Harmony Guide) or done before. Fringe. It's made in a rather insane way, involving wrapping the working yarn around your left index finger three times, then pretending those wraps are actually one piece of yarn and using the right needle to manipulate them through the old loop on the left needle. Without snapping the tip off either needle, puncturing your finger, or cutting off circulation for too long. There is a knack to it. Then I discovered that with the turning the work halfway around this way and that, that I'd carried the yarn on the outside of the work ... so all the fringe needed to get retucked on the opposite side of the floats. And then there was braiding. And then ... the nice normal stranding.
Here it is. It's cute. I'm up to the thumb. The mitten pattern doesn't change much from here ...red and blue flecks alternating all the way up to the top. The mitten will be 5" around (if I've got gauge ... I'll measure later. These are samplers, and never need to fit anyone)

Now, if only the temperature was cooler so it felt more like wool-knitting weather!

1 comment:

Olive Oyl/Pensguys said...

WOW, wow, wow!!!!!!!!

I LOVE the GIRL Surprise jacket!! CUTE!!!!