Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Hopping right along

Ye ole Wonderful Wallaby is coming along nicely in salmon wool.
Yesterday was the first day that knitting merino in the near-summer became uncomfortable, which means one thing: It's time for full-throttle.
For the next several days, I'll be blasting through the yoke, ribbing the neck, stockinette stitching a hood, and sewing up the underarms.

There's an optional tie at the neck ribbing, with three choices: I-cord, crochet and twisted cord.
But that's thinking a little far ahead. I've set a goal: to finish the sweater by the weekend. Saturday and Sunday are forecast to reach a temperature high of 76 degrees. Wish me luck.

Dress up baby

Several months ago, I chanced upon a delicate little baby bib, flipping through a glossy knitting book among the new releases at the library. I have a little one, whose sloppy mealtimes are far behind him, and didn't know a soul with a baby; still I so wanted to try this intricate little pattern.
"Sweeten up baby's mealtime, at least until the creamed spinach starts to fly, with this pretty petal bib," the pattern says. "It's shaped with short-rows and fastens with an I-cord."
Beautifully knit in melon cotton yarn; I couldn't resist. I've an Achilles heel for anything knit in cotton - big, bulky sweaters, vests with large loopy holes; I've even kept the ecru crocheted sweater I wore in my college days; still in pristine condition, long-sleeved, crew-neck ... of course it needs an opaque shell underneath, which means any color of the rainbow can peek through each lacy hole, making it the most versatile object in my closet.

The first time I knit the bib pattern, I used a robin's egg blue, yarn from Wal-Mart, a place I rarely shop for yarn; but the best place for affordable cotton in 1-pound cones. I've knit a sweater dress from Wal-Mart's cone cotton, combining the pale yellow with blue.
That delicate little bib sat in my "finished bin," items I've knit and then put away; they're too beautiful to wear because once you wear them, there's the chance of stains, of fading in the wash, of ... gasp! ... shrinking them or discoloration with detergent. So there it sat, safe in a sheer orange plastic bin from Wal-Mart and every once in a while I'd pull it out and admire it.
Then my sister-in-law announced she was pregnant; due in August. Out came the bib and at our Memorial Day get-together; then I presented it to my brother by draping it around his neck. While I sat enjoying portobella mushroom burgers and homemade guacamole and hummus, I began knitting a pale yellow bib, foolishly thinking (hoping) I'd finish it at their home and present it to them; a gift hot off the needles.
It took me another couple days at home to finish it and now it awaits my sister-in-law's baby shower for its moment in the sun. That's the wonderful thing about knitting gifts for people, not only does the knitter cherish each stitch and - even more - the completed item, but the receipient does too.
On a telephone conversation last week, my sister casually asked if I'd made booties yet for the baby.
Excuse me while I exit left ... and begin the search for the most perfect tiny boots for my soon-to-be niece or nephew's feet.