My Girls

I hate gender stereotyping, but for the sake of brevity, my Richmond girls are my girls.

And I love them.

I have to giggle whenever i tell my cool trendy co-workers (at my cool trendy clothing store workplace) that i’m going to my knit night. They frown and question me with a confused expression. “Your knitting night?” they say as if they might have heard wrong.

I smile, thinking “OH, if only you knew…”

My girls are definitely not what non-knitters would think of when i say knitting group. The richmond knitters are a true SnB, Debbie Stoller style. We range in age from around 25 to 65, with most of us 30 -45. Some of us have children, most of us don’t. Some of us work full time, some casually, some are professionals, some are artists, some are even unemployed (for the moment – career changes ftw!). We are so different, coming from many countries and backgrounds.

What we all are though is passionate, clever and FUCKING HILARIOUS. sorry for the expletives, but i need to express just how awesome my girls are. People who have this nana-ish image of knitters in their head have no idea about the kind of wonderful conversation we have and the trust and friendship we share.

Last night was a little end-of-year get together and there was great food, excellent cocktails and wonderful company to be had. Conversations ranged from family, to work, to things that are best not discussed in print.

And again i had to giggle, thinking, if only those doubters knew how wonderfully wicked and fun my girls are.

sorry if this post is repetitive, but it bears repeating. Also, i may or may not have had most of a bottle of red.

here is an obligatory knitting photo…

that is not of knitting, but of handspun yarn. just keeping it real.

obligatory FO photo

handspun superwash merino – 3 ply, but sadly not enough for socks. *fail*

Months in the Making

A baby is months in the making (9 months or 40 weeks to be more precise) so it is only fitting that when someone you really care about is making a person, you spend a few months making something too.

When my darling friends E+SJ told me they were expecting (something that took a bit more effort and planning than it does for some couples) E told me a story about a knitted blanket that her brother had had as a child. Sadly this blanket was lost to the family but hearing the memories and longing in E’s voice i knew what i had to do for her and her little foetus. E is an amazing quilter and stitcher and though she has tried the yarny needle arts she doesn’t feel comfortable with knitting needles or a crochet hook. SJ knits beautifully but occupies her time with other activities (including learning to be a teacher – pretty important!) so i knew these were the kind of people who would really appreciate the time, effort, dedication and love that goes into a hand knitted blanket. There was no doubt about what i would do!

I picked out the yarn and pattern pretty much as soon as i knew. I chose a beautiful lace shawl pattern* by debbie bliss from one of her many beautiful baby books, but decided against the baby cashmerino. Firstly I figured if i knit it in a thicker yarn i could cut out a few repeats and it would go a bit faster, secondly, baby cash isn’t cheap (even with a staff discount) and thirdly, while it is beautiful, occasionally i have heard tell of it not standing up to years of use, and this was a project i wanted to be a family heirloom. I chose instead Adorn Cotton Cashmere in a beautiful soft sage green – a colour i know E loves, would complement their home and that i thought would suit either a boy or a girl. I know from experience that the cotton cashmere is both wonderfully soft and EXTREMELY hardy. You can throw that yarn in the dryer NO trouble!

I didn’t cast on until the pregnancy had been officially announced, not wanting to jinx anything and once i had the ‘go ahead’ knitted on it every now and again, here and in adelaide, at mine and at friends’ houses, until i got the date for the baby shower (today) and a deadline for the blanket! And so, on Thursday night I finished sewing on the edge, washed and blocked the present and today gave it to the lovely mums-to-be.

Green on Green on a sunny summer's day

Just for frame of reference for size, here is a photo of it blocking on my double sofa bed

a blanket, a play mat and a shawl in one

For anyone wanting to do this blanket i’ll tell you i cut out 2 repeats (18 stitches per repeat) and worked the 24 row pattern 12 times, with a further 7 rows to create the finer zig zag at each end. It still turned out huge! I’d read on rav that this was really big (which was why i was happy to cut out a few repeats) but i probably could have cut out another one or two repeats and still had a good sized blanket!

This was not the only present for E and SJ – good friends deserve lots of knitted things!

Earlier in the year i presented them with the following items, both knitted once it was known Fruiby (fruit baby – a nickname given because E has been blogging each week comparing in size Fruiby to fruits and vegies) that fruiby would be a child of the boy type. E and SJ are very much against gender specific-ness anyway, and have worked on a wardrobe for Fruiby in gorgeous brights of every colour, so i used the very special leftover yarn from my swedish fish socks to create a colourful little vest for him

A stripy vest!

E and SJ are massive Dr Who fans (as am i) and it occurred to me that rather than knitting traditional booties, i could pay an homage to a wonderful fandom and still create a cute baby present. Now, I’m not the best crocheter in the world, and of course i didn’t use the recommended gauge yarn, but i managed to create these in reference to 10s distinctive footwear…

BABY CONS!

So now I am moving on to me projects. I don’t think i will be knitting presents this christmas, which is a bit sad, but with so many babies it’s like my gift quota is done! There are more babies to knit for yet, so i hope you like adorable cute things! It does feel weird to be finished with a project i’ve had with me for so long though.

*ravelry link