You cannot argue with the power of other people’s knitting. I realize that everyone and her brother have already knit Saartje’s bootees, but you see enough adorable photographs and you find yourself compelled – yes, compelled – to take up needles and make your own. If you haven’t knit these yet, beware. You’ll soon be sitting, working feverishly on the cutest little shoes you’ve ever seen. Let me add that the pattern is easy, fast, well written, requires very little yarn, and is about the closest to actual newborn foot size of any bootees I’ve seen. Join our zombie knitting horde. Join us!
The yarn used here is some of my left over Dream in Color Smooshy. This yarn only improves on further use, and I had kindly impressions of it from the start. I had originally used this yarn to make one garter stitch mitt, but upon realizing that I had just under enough to finish the second mitt, I frogged the whole project. This left a mess of curly ramen-esque yarn, but all it took to straighten the yarn out was a dunk in the sink. I hung it on the door knob to dry and the resulting small skein is as good as new. Not many yarns hold up to frogging.
Still on the needles is the Drops jacket that everyone else has already knit. I was late on the bandwagon. Pam at Flint Knits made a really stunning example of the jacket and that was what first brought it to my attention. When you consider the many many knitting failures of last week, I was very ready for something easy and successful. Combine fabulous Rowan chunky tweed, big needles, a free pattern, and many examples of success over at Ravelry, and you have the recipe for a happy knitter. This is whipping by like the wind. I cast on on Sunday and finished the back of the jacket the same day. I finished my first sleeve today, and expect to have the second done tomorrow. Hooray for fast, simple knits!
I used a three needle bind off for the shoulders. The very first sweater I ever knit (a wee babby sweater for Nora) used three needle bind off on the shoulders, and somehow that imprinted itself in my mind as the Right Way to Make Shoulders. It may not be the Right Way, but it sure is convenient.
Speaking of first sweaters, Maude Louise was mentioned briefly on the really fun knitting podcast Stash and Burn on their recent episode about first sweaters. I enjoyed listening to the podcast very much, and it got me thinking about what I count as my first sweater. Technically, the baby sweater I mentioned is my first. This one.
However, it was so simple, and I was such a bad knitter at the time, that I tend to think of it as a practice run that doesn’t count. The pattern, Red, Set, Go, from Monkeysuits, is supposed to be knit in moss stitch, but I hadn’t figured out how to carry my yarn at that point, so I changed it to stockinette. I hadn’t figured out gauge, but I was lucky and used a chunky enough cotton and rayon yarn that laid flat even in stockinette, and it worked out to the right size. Totally coincidental, and because it all was so random, so boxy, so confused, that I don’t tend to think of it as my first sweater.
My next sweaters were child sized as well, but my very first adult sweater was Maude Louise. In retrospect, this was a pretty silly ambition – to design my own sweater from the bottom up as my first major adult sized project. However, it was so much fun, and it represents what I like so much about knitting. There’s little risk in trying something new. I messed up dozens of times knitting Maude. Even yet, I find little things I’d change if I ever knit it again, but it’s still my most precious knit item, because it contains so much of ambition and silliness and it’s so personal. I wanted something very specific, very me, and I made it. I had to tip it out repeatedly. I had to swatch for days. But I made it. And then other people made it, too. Magic.
I mentioned in my last entry that Orata tagged me for the You Make My Day award that’s circling the blogosphere at the moment. Since then, I’ve been tagged by Elin and Wazz as well, both people who were on my list of folks to tag! I’m too slow. However, I said I’d pass it on, and I intend to. I’ve decided to give up worrying whether someone’s gotten it already or not. So, without further ado…
* Adventures in Domesticity
* The Cat’s Tongue
* Cotton Deer
* Expat Knits and Crochets
* Lynne’s Fabulous Knitting
* Ramblings of a Knitting Obsessive
* s i x o n e s e v e n
Not all of these are knitting blogs, and these certainly are not all the blogs I read – just a few that jumped out at me right now. I have to tell you guys how very much I enjoy reading blogs. Shamefully much. I owe thank yous to all the people whose blogs give me such joy. You may not know who you are, but thank you.