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

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Socks, Socks and More Socks *RSC spoilers*

no, RSC sadly does not stand for Royal Shakespeare company, but for Rockin Sock Club. I did indeed buy myself an early birthday present and the first installment HAS ARRIVED! huzzah, but more on that in a moment…

Firstly to my January Sock-a-month Sock – Esther in Blue Moonstone, affectionately named Moonflowers.

I cast off on the 31st (well it was still the 31st in some parts of the country) and blocked them today. I LOVE THEM SO MUCH! I decided to do the larger of the two sizes but could probably have done the smaller size as it turns out, but still nice to have a sock i don’t have to struggle to get over my heel. I was REALLY worried about running out of yarn as i finished the first sock but according to weight i have enough and i have about 8 grams left *phew*

Any one in Melbourne today will realise that there was no natural light available pretty much all day, so the colour isn’t quite true, but close

I freaking love this yarn too. It’s the second time i’ve knitted with the lightweight and have also worked with the heavyweight, but socks that rock, really do… ROCK!

Unfortunately the same can’t be said of Zauberball. I started a pair of socks with the teal and black just before christmas, so i would have a pair to wear to the footy this year (my team is teal, black and white) I did Sam by Cookie A which has a zig zagging travelling cable on it. Now, I don’t cable with a cable needle, especially when it’s lots of little two stitch cables. but this yarn was HORRID for cabling with. mostly because it was a single on 2.25mm, but bah, time again and i would not match this yarn with a cable pattern. In fact, i was so disappointed with the yarn i’m swapping one of my other sock-a-months which was going to be zauberball for something else. Look, the yarn isn’t terrible and i think i might want to do a shawl with the other colourway i have of it, but just have to think a bit more carefully about what i do in it, and not as nice as i thought it might be with all the hype. It has come up softer after a wash though!

One more FO to show off before we get to the juicy stuff.

the Richmond Knitters have monthly (optional) KALs and January was Swallowtail, a shawl i’d been wanting to do in this handspun for AGES…

Angorino plied with CamelBunny Silk from Ixchel

So i did. I’m afraid it’s really hard to photograph on ones own, though if it’s cold tomorrow i will wear it to my Melbourne birthday drinks and get someone to take a picture. but this is more or less what it looks like and i love it. I did a full repeat of the lily of the valley section for size. had to fudge the edge lace work a bit, but it looks good in the end!

 

but on to the real item… the first installment of the Rockin Sock Club. Now i assume that if you have read this far down the page you are happy to view the photos so i am not putting them behind cuts… You’ve been warned!

 

seriously.

 

 

I won’t take flack about showing off photos when it clearly says spoilers in the heading!

 

ok…

Here are the TWO, that’s right, TWO colours that make up the first installment. Aubergenius paired with Pinkie Swear designed to go together for beautiful colourwork!

Aubergenius is very hard to photograph. At first i thought it was brown, but it’s actually a very earthy purple. Just beautiful. Pinkie Swear is lovely given it has pretty much every colour i don’t like in it! I love the blue though, so maybe that makes it all better? Together they are beautifully autumnal and the two patterns make great use of them! I’m actually going to do one of the patterns in these, because i’ve never seen such beautifully twinned yarn! BUT who am i going to give these autumnal socks to? we’ll have to see (no seriously, I have no idea.)

The two patterns are both stranded knitting, one with a cute image of birdies and ‘BFF’ around the cuff, the other incorporating cabled circles into lovely squishy boot socks. The designers are Mary Scott Huff (Distelfink) and Lucy Neatby (Social Network) and they’ve both done an amazing job. I really like distelfink, but i think i want to do it at some point in two semisolids, as i feel the pattern gets a bit lost in the variegated yarn, so i plan to do Social Network in these two yarns at some point.

I very much enjoyed my first installment even if it was very un-jen! It’s really fun to feel a part of something!

And the inside of my ball band? Wallace and Gromit 😀