Hedgehog Knits

Adventures in knitting from the eastern edge of Canada.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

My Newest JoJo

Have you ever wondered about what makes for a re-knittable pattern?

I am a person who very really re-reads a book. Usually, no matter how much I love a book, I resign myself to the fact that there are so many others out there that I want to get to in my lifetime that I'm not likely to make it back to that same one ever again. There are some exceptions for a few all-time favourite classics. Les Miserables is one such example, but it's still different in that I've read it abridged, unabridged, in English, and in French. It has long been a favourite, but it has kind of grown with me.

Some knitting patterns are the same way - that was great, and I'm glad I experienced it, but I've done that now and I'm ready to move on to something completely different. On the other hand, sometimes I get so delighted with a particular pattern that I have to keep knitting it until I get it out of my system. The gnome episode in January is one example, but there have been other runs like that in my past, of kid's mittens, cabled hats, and toys. Usually it's because I think the outcome is so cool that I want to make one for several different people - those gnomes will make decent Christmas gifts next year, and I'll probably give some to a charity craft sale too. I've done three Swallowtail shawls, and I think it's just the perfect little project for a single beautiful skein of laceweight - interesting enough to keep my attention, and it has been a good way to get comfortable with laceweight.

The latest repeat knit is the JoJo baby cardigan. A few years ago, I knit a couple of Devan sweaters for friends who were having babies. Devan was a free pattern at Knitty.com by the same designer, and it is also a sock yarn cardigan, but a v-neck. While I think Devan is really cute, I like JoJo even more because the button bands are a little wider and therefore easier to manoeuvre on a wriggling child, and I love the little pocket and collar details. I think it's a really practical sweater in a baby's wardrobe.

So on that note, here is my third JoJo: primary colours edition. This time around I'm knitting it for a boy, in two colourways of DGB Confetti. I think part of the attraction for repeatedly kntting these sweaters is getting to knit in fun stripey colours that I would probably never wear in socks. I find self-striping yarn to be endlessly entertaining.


Monday, March 23, 2009

An Ending... and a New Beginning

It's been a pretty crazy week of ups and downs. St. Patrick's day was celebrated over the span of three days at the pub. What can I say? We really like all things Irish. Several of my family members play in an Irish folk group, so this is our favourite time of year to go out and see them play. The place was packed, and though many beers were consumed, fortunately none of them were green. Who thought that up anyway?

I also celebrated my birthday last week, on the same day as my mother-in-law. In what is now a bit of a tradition, we celebrated with a big family dinner and two birthday cakes. You can't have too many options when it comes to cake, I always say. I received several great knitting books, including Cookie A's
new sock book (well, actually, I received a printed copy of the Amazon order for that one, as the book hasn't actually been released yet!). I also received a new GPS, which will inevitably lead to more geocaching during hikes this summer.

The sad news last week was the passing of Molly, the hedgehog mascot of this blog. We have had Molly since 2003, so she had a pretty good shake of it, for a hedgie. Over the last year or so she had been really showing her age, getting slower, rather wobbly on her feet, and crankier all the time. She was never as sociable or friendly as our first hedgehog, Pokey, was, but she had her own personality, and nobody can dispute that she was impossibly adorable! We'll miss hearing her wheel squeaking as she ran late into the night.

The new beginning that's getting very close is the new niece or nephew who should be arriving within the next couple of weeks. The whole family is pretty excited, as this is only the second grandchild for my parents. I also can't wait to see how the big-brother-to-be is going to react to the new addition. He has been the centre of our world for the last four years, so I'm afraid he may be in for a bit of a shock.

So this cardigan is in reserve in case it's a girl:

JoJo cardigan pattern by Holli Yeoh. Knit in GarnStudio Fabel (stripes) and Sandnes Garn Sisu, on 2.5 and 3 mm circs. Size 6-12 months.

This is the second time that I've knit this pattern, and it is becoming my go-to baby sweater pattern. I love that it's machine washable, and the self-striping sock yarn keeps me entertained. There are so many possible yarn combinations, that I'll probably start another one soon. I am also quite smitten with the little floral buttons that I found at Fabricville.

And if it's a boy? Well, let's just say that I've gotten a bit behind in my knitting and need to get moving on that!

With almost every bit of snow gone by last week (foiling my plans to take the Guides out on an overnight snowshoe trip), we were rather depressed to wake up to another dumping of snow on Saturday morning (causing the cancellation of the backpacking trip that we had scheduled to make up for the lack of a snowshoeing trip!). Sometimes you just can't win.

Even Lassy is tired of the white stuff. Come on spring!

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Friday, March 13, 2009


There's been a huge tragedy in the waters just offshore this week. While Newfoundlanders have always been a seafaring people, and tragedies at sea have a long history here, this is different.

The helicopter that went down yesterday morning was carrying 18 workers to offshore oil platforms. While one survivor was rescued, another has died, and 16 people are still missing and presumed lost. Though we were starting to think that spring was on the way, the temperature plummeted to -19C today with wind chill, as if a stark reminder of how unpleasant a place the North Atlantic can be in March.

Our oil industry is still young - the first commercial crude was produced in 1997 at Hibernia, and only two other fields are currently in production. But in those 12 years of permanent offshore installations and daily helicopter trips to the rigs, the safety record has been remarkably good.

St. John's is a small city, and the oil industry here is even smaller. Although I have never had to travel offshore, I work in this field. Many of my co-workers travel offshore regularly. While I am very fortunate that this tragedy has not affected my family directly, I have friends and co-workers who will have lost colleagues and friends. So many people have been visibly shaken by this, and it has been strangely ominous to sit in a downtown office building reading about the search efforts on various news sites, while occasionally looking up to see a search helicopter coming in overhead from across the harbour.

I'll be keeping those 17 families in my thoughts over the course of this weekend, as they live through some of the hardest days of their lives, and as the recovery operations continue offshore.

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Friday, March 06, 2009

Coming together

The very astute Martha noticed the mitred squares blocking in the photo in my last post. This is something I've had on the go for a long time. It's going to be a baby blanket eventually.

I started it some time back, when there were several different amazing mitred square blankets showing up on blogs. For me, it was an answer for what to do with lots of leftovers of sock yarn (my frugal nature never lets me throw out even the smallest little ball!). It's neat that it reflects a history of most of the socks I have knit, with a few sock-yarn baby sweaters thrown in for good measure. I overdyed some of these yarns in my early experiments with Wilton cake dyes and Kool Aid (some of the greens and purples), and I've even picked apart variegated yarns to get some of the colour blocks!

Now with a 13th square completed, I'm beginning to wonder how big I'll want to go. I may try sewing it together at 16 sqaures, but I think ideally, it needs to be 20 or 25. But in the meantime, I've run out of interesting colours again, so I'll probably tuck this away again until I've finished a few more pairs of socks.


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Odds and End

I had a little blocking party on the weekend:

Most of these are projects you've seen before in one stage or another. I've been finishing up a few things, and pulling out a few unfinished, hibernating projects for re-assessment. I even found some cute wooden buttons for the Trellis cardigan and sewed those on. It will be going in the mail next week.

And in the past two weeks, I think the only new project I've started is a pair of socks (of which the first is already finished). I'm not sure how long this latest bout of self-discipline is going to last, but for now, I'm going to take advantage of it to try to clear out some projects and plan ahead. The next step will be finding suitable buttons for the JoJo cardigan shown blocking, above. I'll do a proper reveal of that soon.

Nick and I had planned a little weekend getaway to go skiing next weekend, but suddenly we have had a few days of very spring-like weather, and the rain has taken out almost all of the snow. Looks like another weekend at home with my knitting!


Sunday, March 01, 2009

When Film Crews Invade the Neighbourhood

I absolutely love the new tv ads for Newfoundland and Labrador tourism that came out recently. They have really captured a sense of place. Someone over there in the tourism department deserves a pat on the back for this campaign.

My favourite one is this one.

Most of the city scenes with the colourful houses were filmed in my neighbourhood. There's one scene near the end with a family running up a hill that's just around the corner. I walk down that hill every day to get to work! There's also some great shots of parts of the East Coast Trail on the Southern Shore, which I recognize from last summer's hikes. Every time it comes on, we get excited to see the place where we camped, and our favourite ice cream shop (with the cow spots on the building). Fun!

There's actually been a lot of filming going on here over the past year. In the fall we even had a visitor scoping out our house for possible use as a set in an upcoming tv show pilot. Never a dull moment!