Hedgehog Knits

Adventures in knitting from the eastern edge of Canada.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Quick Update

Thank you for the kind comments on the sweater from my last post. Chris was indeed very happy to receive it, and well, I'm awfully happy to have it off the needles. It even fit really well.

Tonight, you get a disjointed update on four different projects.

First off, another Trellis baby cardigan. The first one that I made for an expectant mom was a huge hit, so I thought I'd make another to stash away for, well, whoever has the next boy. Alas, my adorable pink and purple JoJo cardigan is still awaiting a new owner, as everyone in my circle of family, friends, and even colleagues seems determined to populate the world with baby boys lately. Nothing against boys - I love my nephews to pieces - it would just be nice to knit something frilly once in a while, ya know?

Trellis, from knitty.com, size 6 months. Knit in Lion Brand CottonEase, on size 3.75 and 4.5 mm circulars.

Anyhow, given that my friends and colleagues are reproducing in record numbers, it seems prudent to have some suitable baby gifts stashed. And Trellis is such a fun pattern to knit! Using only two balls of CottonEase for the smallest size, it's a really reasonable investment in yarn and time. This time around I adapted the pattern to eliminate the side seams, knitting the back and fronts in one piece up to the armholes. This was surprisingly simple to do, and didn't even require me to think about math much.

Also on the needles at the moment is another pair of plain worsted weight men's socks. None of the men in my family can get enough socks, so I just keep knitting them. At least on 4 mm needles, they go quickly, and they make for good senseless knitting in the car.

And then there's my Ivy League vest. Still chugging along - I'm just starting the neck steek. My first steek!

And the latest quilt project? It's a double nine-patch, from an old quilting magazine. The pattern is called "Box of Chocolates", and if you squint, you can see why.

Those are the first 11 of 42 squares, so you can bet it will be a while before you see this one on a finished state! My quilting projects normally run on a scale of years, although I think that my latest productive streak may have a lot to do with the fact that I now have a dedicated studio space, and I don't need to clean everything up and put the sewing machine away between sessions. The colours aren't showing up very well in this photo, but it's all pinks, browns, and beiges. Pink is not normally a colour I go for, but I really like the combination with the brown. The sample in the magazine is absolutely gorgeous.

That's all that my tired brain can manage tonight. It's already a very busy week, and it's only Monday yet. Time for bed.

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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Proof Positive...

...that I haven't forgotten how to knit.

"Country Casual" from the ca. 1980's Patons booklet Knitting in the Round. Knit in Patons Decor, on 3.75 and 4.5 mm circular needles. Size 40" men's.

I finished this sweater for my brother, Chris, this evening. It's a bottom-up seamless pattern. This project has a bit of a story.

Back around last Christmas, my mom found a pair of matching sweaters she had stored away that my grandmother had knit many years ago. One was an adult size for my dad, and the matching child-sized one had been made for my older brother.

We tried the small one on his son (my oldest nephew, now four and a half), and though he still has a bit of room to grow, it will soon fit him. Sadly, the adult sweater was too small for both Chris and Dad, but we got kind of reminiscent, and Chris really liked the idea of a yoked pullover. A bit retro, nice and warm, a memory of childhood.

Luckily, one of my aunts, who lived with my grandmother and has never been known to throw out a pattern, managed to dig out the original pattern booklet. It's an old Patons booklet, complete with awful 1980's hairstyles. I remember that these yoked sweaters were extremely popular when I was a kid. Just about everybody at school wore one that their grandmother had made.

Happy to be able to make something that my brother wanted, I lucked into a half-price sale at Michaels after Christmas. He definitely wanted something hard wearing and washable, so Decor fit the bill quite well, while still keeping me happy with some wool content. Chris chose different colours (the original sweater was light grey with burgudy and black patterning), and a different geometric pattern than one that it was meant to replicate, but I think that this makes it even more modern and highly wearable.

Since Chris probably won't pose for a picture, Nick tried it on for me. (Obviously his arms are shorter!)

I get to present the finished project tomorrow evening and I can't wait to see him wear it. Chris likes to tease me when I'm knitting by calling me "Stella", my late grandmother's name, since she was also an incessant knitter. My response is always the same: "Tease away - you're comparing me to a good woman!"

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Monday, July 06, 2009

Again with the Quilts

You may remember that some time ago (January in fact) I started a small lap quilt for my living room.

It's has been all but finished for several weeks, waiting for a trip to the fabric store to purchase binding. I finished off stitching the binding on over the weekend, and the quilt went directly into service.

The block pattern is a traditional one, known as "churn dash", and for the first time, I tried to do a detailed, drawn quilting pattern by machine with my free-motion foot. Still rather wobbly, but you can see the attempt here in the "taffy pull" quilting on the inner border.

I'm not quite happy with my machine quilting skills yet (hand quilting, though incomparably slower, was far easier to control), but I'm working on it.

That makes for three small finished quilts this year. At this rate, my quilt FOs will outnumber the knitted ones! And I have two bed-size quilts in progress too! Nevertheless, I am still giving a chunk of time to Fair Isle and other colourwork knitting lately. I'll give you an update on that next time.