Friday, September 17, 2010

#4 & The Nursery

Some of you may recall the 10 Shawls in 2010 challenge. Two of those shawls have to be over 546 yds. This is my first big one. Big enough in fact, to use as a baby blanket :) Although you can't tell from these pictures, the shawl is square in shape and about 36 inches on a side.

alpaca baby shawl

Alpaca Baby Shawl
in Rowan Purelife Organic Cotton DK, 778 yds.
US 6 needles

I love the softness of this yarn, but I'm reserving final judgement on its long term value. It is naturally dyed and is therefore supposed to be hand washed and stored out of direct sun. If I had checked into the care instructions before purchasing (duh) I might have chosen something more hearty. As it is, I plan to wash and tumble dry the blanket as needed and live with the consequences. The swatch I put through the wash only lightened slightly, although the water did show dye release.

alpaca baby shawl

My other boo boo was that I failed to plan on how to join the yarn. It is a fairly thick yarn, has no bounce and little grab. It is spun in multiple very small plies. I tried the knitting with two strands together... too lumpy. Russian join, very obvious. Weaving in didn't seem likely to stay put. I decided to tie knots and clip the ends, which I did. Then I chickened out at the thought of my lovely baby blanket unraveling and went back and dabbed superglue on the knots. Final result: lots of very pokey, hard spots on my soft, yummy baby blanket. So... maybe this will be a decor only / heirloom blanket? Or I could use it inside out? Or the scratchy parts aren't as bad as I imagine? Time will tell.

taupe quilt

One thing that DOES thrill me about this yarn is how perfectly it matches my nursery color scheme. Maybe I should go back and mention where the idea came from... my mother-in-law made this amazing taupe wall quilt. She named it Taupe for Two and generously gave it to us :) When I found out we were expecting, I decided to use it as the focal point for the nursery. I think its gender neutral enough that if we have a boy it will still work. I also love the thought of quiet, warm colors for a snug little nursery. The shawl I knit coordinates with it and the artwork/frames/mats from earlier also pick up the tan color. I know the nursery is going to be full of all sorts of different colored things, but it is fun to put my stamp on some of it :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

One With The Yarn

My new lens lets me get closer to my yarn...


Much closer.


And it inspires me to try to capture these trees outside my window.

foggy day

Some days they seem to float in the fog...

A Very Small Sweater


Minutes after I told my husband we were expecting, we had this conversation:

Him: "So, are you going to knit something for the baby?"
Me: "But we don't know if it is a boy or a girl."
Him: "You could knit a brown sweater."

How could I refuse a suggestion like that? I did almost immediately start a brown baby sweater, but with pregnancy fatigue and pregnancy brain, I didn't get around to sewing on the buttons and photographing it until this week. So, here it is, the baby's official first sweater...


Knitting details are here. My major advice is to be careful with superwash yarn. I didn't block
my swatch and the sweater developed an unexpectedly floppy texture after washing. But no harm done.