Friday, July 30, 2010

BSJ 1 Complete....BSJ 2 Already on the Needles!

I almost hate to say the first Baby Surprise Jacket is finished. It IS finished, you see, but it's so dreadfully ugly I wouldn't give it to anyone as a gift! As the Yarn Harlot said on her daily calendar day before yesterday "crap in, crap out". I used crappy yarn, and I got a crappy jacket. It's cheap acrylic, and it shows. Splitty, weird, YUCK. Never again. And I rarely say "never".

Oh well. It was a good learning experience, and I actually think I learned enough from knitting it to justify the time I spent on it, even if it's too small and looks like it's been attacked by a roving band of murderous wolverines. I've got the second BSJ (still not high-dollar yarn, but much better than I used on the first one) on the needles and just completed Row 6. Only 109 rows to go. :-) I just stopped working on it to take a quick meaurement, and it looks like I'm on track.

Just 6 rows in, and I'm already happier. I'm so easily pleased. *LOL*

Thursday, July 29, 2010


A couple of evenings ago I was working on my Baby Surprise Jacket, using a spreadsheet I'd found linked on Ravelry. I'm an Excel kinda gal, so using a spreadsheet just fits in to my basic nature.

The spreadsheet I was using was based on using a different marking system for the decreases and increases in the pattern. My personal preference is to use a total of four markers, one on each side of the center stitch of a mitred decrease so that at each decrease it would work as follows: SSK, slip marker, K1, slip marker, K2T. Because the spreadsheet I was using marked their decreases and increases differently, I was constantly having to rethink the stitch counts and what to do when.

Suddenly it hit me. Why not make up my OWN spreadsheet showing my stitches the way I wanted them? Duh. So I laid my knitting aside, went to the computer and very soon was admiring my very own spreadsheet. For some reason, that was all it took to make me realize that the Baby Surprise Jacket isn't nearly as difficult as I was making it. Last night I zipped right along and stopped after completing line 104. If the buttonholes and the binding off go as well as the parts I knit last night, I should finish up either tonight or tomorrow. *happy dance*

I've not been happy with the yarn I'm using. It's some inexpensive acrylic stuff I picked up at Wal-Mart way back when I was first learning to knit socks and hadn't yet found a place I could locally buy real sock yarn. (Which is, of course, my one true addiction in life. *LOL*) This acrylic is deceptively soft to the touch, but is a little splitty to work with. On top of that, it's pulling ALL the moisture out of my poor little fingertips! YUCK!

I'm anxious to finish the jacket so I can start the second one in some more appropriate (I hope) yarn. I'm calling this one my "trial run". I hope to start the "real" one sometime tomorrow.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Good Weekend to Be Indoors

It's awfully hot in my corner of the world, so I've elected to stay indoors and enjoy the air conditioning today! A little while ago I finished another pair of baby socks made with the leftovers from my latest pair of Dragonfly Socks. Aren't they cute?
This afternoon I'm going to work some more on the Baby Surprise Jacket. Since this is my first BSJ, I like to be near my computer while working on it in case I need to check out something on the Ravelry group.
I'm hoping the next one will be easier. *LOL*

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Camping and Knitting

Last weekend I had another great camping adventure with lots of relaxing and knitting time. I finished my second pair of Dragonfly Socks (see my sock-knitting blog for photo), and knitted a bit on a Purly Lace Swiffer Cover.

Not only is the Swiffer cover a pretty simple project to work on, but I think it will make good small Christmas gifts, too. I'll let you know later how the pattern works up. I'm doing this first one in Peaches 'n Creme dishcloth cotton in the Juanita Rose colorway. It's looking pretty good so far.

I've also started a Baby Surprise Jacket. It's my first Elizabeth Zimmerman pattern, and all I can say is "Thank goodness for Ravelry!" If not for their BSJ group, I'd be completely lost! Zimmerman is a knitting icon and no doubt was a genius, but her pattern writing style assumes that I know a lot more than I know. *LOL*

I didn't work much on the baby jacket while I camped; I knew that I'd probably need to consult with Ravelry and had plenty to work on with my socks and Swiffer cover anyway. I just took it along in case I got bored with my other projects. Much like my habit of carrying more than one book on a trip.

Now I've started another pair of baby socks with my leftover yarn from my Dragonfly socks. I think everyone who's learning to knit socks should start with baby socks. You can learn the basics of sock construction without getting into mind-numbing stretches of knitting the same pattern for rows and rows and rows while working your way up the leg.

Speaking of which, I'll close for now (on my lunch break) so I can knit a bit before having to get back to work. *LOL*

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Dischcloths Finally Finished!

I've knitted all 12 and just need to block them a bit to even them up, then tie them into little packages of 2 each and tie a little gift tag on them. I'm trying to settle down a headache this morning, but hope to get that finished up this afternoon.

Finally, back to my Dragonfly socks!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

STILL Knitting Dishcloths

Okay, how bored am I with knitting dishcloths? VERY. I am kicking myself for promising a dozen and then waiting so long to get started. Even knitting them two at a time in varied hues isn't helping.

I got so bored with them over the weekend that I laid them aside and knitting a bit on baby socks (see my sock-knitting blog, link at right). But even while enjoying that little respite, the dishcloths were looming over my head like a cloud of doom.

Okay, maybe it wasn't quite THAT bad, but let's just say I'll be really glad to finish them up. I have cloths 9 and 10 nearly finished, so that'll leave just one more pair. I'm going to try to finish them up this week in the evenings after work so I can work on something FUN over the weekend.

I don't even want to think about the fact that it's nearly time to start Christmas knitting. I still haven't finished my last pair of summer socks!! And it's JULY for cryin' out loud!

It's time like these that I have to sit back, take a deep breath and remind myself that I knit for fun and relaxation. After all, I'll have another camping trip coming up soon, and that should provide enough knitting time to finish up that last pair of summer socks. I might even have time to knit up some more baby socks while I'm in the tent. on the agenda is to decide what I'm knitting for Christmas, make sure the yarn is either in the stash basket or ordered in a timely fashion, and give myself plenty of time to work on the projects without putting myself in a bind.

Yeah. Right. ;-)