There is a lot going on (knitting wise) over at Chez Stansbury. I have completed both Coquette and the Baby Things, which is nice because they were deadline-related knits. I have made a lot of progress on the Embossed Leaves (I am currently at the heel of the second sock) and I am enjoying them immensely, so much so that I anticipate being a little sad when they are done. And, finally, Grace's Third Birthday Sweater is moving along swimmingly. I got tons of it done while at a family cookout yesterday, and will likely finish the body tonight, leaving only the arms and attaching the buttons to complete. I love knitting raglans in the round, they are such fast and satisfying projects!
Some projects that have been languishing are the Irish Diamond Shawl, my Mom's Yellow Alpaca Socks and my black Roza's Socks. The IDS is a long-term project, I don't see myself finishing that any time soon, as it takes over two hours to complete one repeat at this point. The Yellow Alpaca Socks are a nice easy knit, and are what I bring with me to the movies (or the drive-in), in the car or two someones house to visit. I like knitting them, as the alpaca is so soft, and they will be perfect for my Mom when they are done. The only reason they are languishing is that other projects had deadlines, and therefore, priority. My Roza's Socks have been back-burnered because they are my "work knit", which means they live at my office and are knit upon at lunch. Thing is, I haven't been taking lunch lately because of some new and exciting opportunities to be involved with more high profile (and time-consuming) clients. I am in no rush to finish them because they are for me...so I'll get to them when I get to them.
With all of that in mind, I have photos of some of the Baby Things....
Pattern: Ruffle Rib "Better than Booties" (PDF) and Bonnet from Last Minute Knitted Gifts
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in a pale pink and Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk in a hot pink
Needles: Susan Bates #1 DPN's and #6 Addi Turbos
Notes: For the socks, I followed the pattern verbatim until the toes. I really like regular toes, call me old fashioned. I love these socks, they may be the cutest thing I have ever knit, and that's saying something, cause I like to knit tiny baby things.
The bonnet is an amalgam of several things. I liked the ruffled rib in the socks and wanted to incorporate it into the bonnet, so I multiplied the number of stitches I wanted to end up with by two and cast on for the ruffle. Once I had completed that, I did a row of eyelets for a tie and then I followed the general construction guidelines for the bonnet, but instead of seaming the "T" shape in the back, I picked up those stitches and knit them on. I am SO a one piece construction kind of a person. I added a little bit of seed stitch to the bottom and then braided some alpaca silk to use as the tie for the front of the bonnet. I think it turned out really well, though it is a bit large. At least she will get wear out of it for months to come.
Also, if you are an observant knitter, you will notice that I took this opportunity to practice a combined knitting technique that resulted in a very pretty, but slightly different stockinette stitch. When I knit items flat (or back and forth, as it were) I am a very loose purler. Because of this, I often get gapping on my purl rows which results in a bumpy finished fabric that I am never happy with. I had heard that there are several methods of combination knitting and wanted to try one of them on this project. So, I knit through the back loop Continental Style and purled regularly Continental Style. I like how it looks, but don't think I would use it most of the time, as it seems a bit....well, fancy.
Pattern: Cabled Baby Hat from Hey Julie and My Own Cabled Baby Socks
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in a pale blue
Needles: #1 Susan Bates DPN's and #3 Susan Bates DPN's
Notes: I found the pattern for the hat on a Flickr search and knew it would quickly become my favorite baby knit. It is well thought out, well written and produces something so cute and tiny that your heart hurts a little when you look at it.
I was so happy with the hat, and cast on right away for the Cable Rib Socks in the "Better than Booties" pattern. However, I didn't feel that they were "matching" enough, so I wrote my own pattern. I am really happy with how they came out, and plan to shoot Julie a short note on the pattern so that she can direct people to me if they'd like matching socks to go with the hat she designed. The pattern (and photo, sorry) will be up tomorrow.