Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Sleepy Sherriff Sleep Sack

Every Baby Needs One of These

Pattern: Sleepy Time from Pipsqueak Knits. I found a bunch of patterns in this book that are absolutely adorable. The only problem from my perspective is that all the patterns are knitted flat and seamed. I'm really not a huge fan of seaming.

Yarn: Babyboo by Knit One Crochet Too, in Lime.

Modifications: OK, where do I start? To keep the long explanation short, I knit this in the round. I cast on, did the garter stitch bottom and added the eyelets for the drawstring bottom, then just started kniting it. I knit, and knit, and knit. I divided up the front for the button band and just kept going. I got up to the shoulders and bound off. That's when it hit me that I didn't leave an opening for the arms. It's one long tube of knitting. Much swearing ensued. All of this happened in the car on a very long car ride to South Dakota with two children. I blame that for the insanity that happened next.

I decided that there is absolutely no reason why I couldn't just steek the arms. After all, it's just knitting. I can reinforce around the steek and then just cut. What's the worst that could happen? Did I mention that since we were driving through SD at the time, I didn't have any time to research steeks since the entire eastern part of the state seems to be without wireless access or AT&T? I've read about steeking. I've heard lots of people say it's really not that bad.

Wellll.... let me tell you the worst that can happen. You can end up with the entire top of the outfit completely falling apart. Apparently the bamboo doesn't hold together the way a garmet made out of wool would. It falls apart exactly like your worst nightmare about steeking. Afterwards, I learned this from Eunny Jang,

"Steeks are useless, of course, if they unravel into the body of a sweater - different methods need to be applied to different yarns to ensure that this doesn't happen. To wit:

  • The traditional, unreinforced steek relies on slight as-you-work felting to hold the cut edge together. Along with tight gauge and frequent color changes, extremely "sticky" yarn is needed to make it happen. Shetland wool, with all its little fuzzy bits and scaly, wiry hairs, works beautifully. Other extremely grabby yarns may work, too.
  • Hand-sewn and crocheted steeks have some extra sturdiness from the applied reinforcement, but the real work is still done by the natural hold of the yarn - the reinforcement merely holds the strands in the close alignment needed. All yarns that felt are good candidates.
  • Machine-sewn steeks are very firm, with the machine stitching providing all the hold needed to stabilize the cut edge. Since the stitching does all the work, smooth, slippery yarns can be used. Beware, though - machine sewing and handknits don't get along particularly well; I often find that machine-stitched knits have an unpleasant stiffness that interrupts the fluidity and drape that are the chief pleasures of knitted fabric.
  • Wound steeks, which are purposely unraveled to the edge and darned in, end by end, don't need to stay together and are therefore suitable for any type of yarn."
Since no one in their right mind would define bamboo yarn as sticky, I should have known I would have a problem. So I ripped all the bits and pieces of bamboo yarn back to the bottom of the armpits and knit the garmet as 3 pieces from that point on. Other than ripping a sleeve out because I failed to read the directions, "at the same time," I proceeded to finish the sleep sack without incident.

Rumor has it that the parents really like the sleep sack even though the baby is still too small for it. I think it will come in very handy come fall. I'm particulary proud of the button choice - the daddy is in law enforcement and I think the buttons are perfect!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sock Summit Update

Socks from my Sock It To Me pal.

I found a roommate for Sock Summit. Thanks for the tips. I bit the bullet and posted a request on Ravelry. I found someone and I think it will work out well. I hope anyway!

My plane ticket is bought. I have a place to stay. I think I'm committed.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Fight Club

The first rule of Fight Club, is you don't talk about Fight Club. So all I'll tell you is that I am wiped out. Wiped out and bruised in some very odd places. The back of my calf, under my chin and my glutes. Lots of falling on my glutes.

I did finish a very cute baby gift that I am planning on blogging shortly (I would be blogging about it now, but I haven't downloaded the photos from my camera yet and it feels like a very long walk across the house to get it).

I'm working on a pair of socks. A hybrid pair - sort of a made up cuff with a Cat Bordhi heel. This will be the first in my Summer of Socks challenge (you can look it up on Ravelry, I don't even have the energy to post a link. I promise I'll post it later)

Lots of hybernating projects are staring at me.

So that's it. I'll try to post more frequently... I've fallen off the Blogger bandwagon and I know I need to get back on. Thanks for the encouragement and questions about where I've gone. :)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Outside My Comfort Zone

The trees are in bloom all around our house

I am doing something way way outside my comfort zone this summer. I registered for Sock Summit 2009. Don't ask me how I managed to find a spot, I just happened to check the website at the right time when there were still some classes available. I managed to luck out and miss most of the horrible craziness that went on at the beginning. When I couldn't get through right at 9 PDT, I went to a meeting and checked the website later in the afternoon.

So here's the comfort zone issue. I don't know anyone who is going to this.
Not a single soul.
I don't have a roommate.
I don't have a plane ticket yet.
I am freaking out.
I don't even know if there's a hotel room within walking distance to be had in the city of Portland.

So if you know of anyone (it could be a friend of a friend) who is going to Sock Summit, please let me know. Help!

P.S. There is much knitting going on in the Big Blue House. There seems to have been a plethora of spring babies born to our friends so I am trying to crank out the baby gifts. Photos to come.