Squeaky Is as Squeaky Does

Squeaky baby in her Squeaky blanket

Elinor’s modular baby blanket has occupied much of my knitting time this winter past.  It was an awesome take-anywhere project although that came back to kick me in the butt when all the blocks finally needed to be put together.  But once I decided on the crochet seaming, it took only 1-2 evenings with Masterpiece Theatre (Oliver Twist, I believe).

Squeaky blanket designed for my daughter

I ended up naming this blanket pattern Squeaky because, well, this baby is.  She makes a lot of noise!  From day one when she grunted and squeaked and moaned throughout her first 7-hour postpartum nap up to today (2 weeks old), she is a noisy little squeaker.  We don’t recall any other baby being this noisy, including our firstborn.  We speculate that maybe she makes noise because that’s what we sound like to her.  Maybe she will be an early talker.  We’ll see!

The pattern for Squeaky can be found on its own static page here at Entangled but don’t forget to add it to your Ravelry notebook when you cast on!

FREE PATTERN: Squeaky

Ravel it!

Squeaky baby in a new blanket

C’mon baby…

Squeaky Blanket

Baby #2’s Patchwork Blanket is done.

Blanket for Squeaky

Lion Brand Wool-Ease in 13 colors, held doubled.  Squares are crocheted together and the whole thing is finished off with a simple crochet border.  See the project’s Ravelry page for more details.

What are you waiting for?

We have a bed for you, a dresser full of clothes, and an enthusiastic big brother.  What more could a girl ask for?

Okay, I will go look for the booties again.  I understand the need for stylish footwear.

Distracted

It started with talk of a baby hat for Matt’s co-worker, who is due to have her first child in less than a week.  I wanted to do a simple baby hat to tuck into the gift package.  In looking up head circumferences, I saw a sketch of one of those hats with two points and tassles – you know what I am talking about?  Because I can’t find the name for it.  It lays completely flat when not worn.  They look a little goofy.  They are often made for children.

Anyway, I wanted to make one of those.  But I wasn’t sure if I wanted to knit it flat and sew up or knit in the round and graft the top so I started searching Ravelry (to no avail – what are they called?!)…

Matt dreams big.  He wanted a baby knit for his co-worker that used binary because both she and her husband are geeks.  I searched “baby knit binary” and look what I found!  Nrrrdbaby binary hat!

Too perfect!

Yes.  Too perfect because the designer doesn’t provide a pattern.  This wouldn’t be hard to reverse engineer – and indeed I made notes to that effect – but I almost lost sight of the fact that this was supposed to be QUICK.  And SIMPLE.  Gah.

Back to my original plan for a plain, WARM hat.

Ah, that’s more like it.  Free pattern here: Square Baby.  It is also available on Ravelry.  It knits up in less than 3 hours – talk about instant gratification.

I’ll save the quirky binary hat for my own child-of-geek.  I guess that makes the binary hat #9 in my parade of baby knits.  Ha!

Snow in my eyes…

…couldn’t see the keyboard.  Or the calendar, apparently.  Where does the time go?  Sometimes into lethargy and uncertainty.

Rainbow socks are complete, albeit small (photos to come this weekend).  How did that happen?  Didn’t I try the first one on?  It’s small both in girth and length.  Not so much that I can’t wear them but I doubt the length will stretch with wear.  I should rip out the toe and reknit but I am so not interested in that, especially with this self-patterning yarn. Meanwhile, immediately after finishing them Wednesday evening, I set them down somewhere and I cannot find them.  I wonder if this is a sign?  Maybe these are not my socks after all.

The design work has taken twists and turns, it always does, but I think it contributed to my slowness in posting.  The sock design is now photographed but needs to be formally written up.  No big deal, but it is a to do for this weekend.  I hope to have it sent off by Monday morning.

The stocking design had to be ripped and reknit so many times!  I finally have it down and just need to finish.  La dee dah.  Yeah.

The wrap.  The wrap broke my heart a little bit.  First there was the raging doubt that I could knit that whole thing (including all these other projects, eep!) by the end of the month or even the end of the year.  An additional layer of doubt was whether the design as written would work or did I need to tweak this and that and would tweaking mean ripping out rows of 150 sts over and over?  Crap almighty.  Finally, there was the issue of yarn quantity.  I knew I needed more.  I didn’t know how much more and couldn’t until I knit up at least one ball.  Which I wasn’t doing because of all the previous layers of doubt.  So I took my wee swatch, figuring it would at least give me a ballpark and I could buy extra on top of that.  I weighed the swatch using my digital kitchen scale.  I measured the length and width.  I did the math.  14 balls.  I have 3.  It was both crushing and a relief.  A crushing relief. I did not have enough yarn and believed (without reason since I didn’t call the shop) that I would not be able to get 11+ more balls in the same dye lot.

I stuck all the papers into a file folder and will take this on again in January.  I will probably also pick a different yarn.  Meanwhile, what to do with 150g of dk bamboo?

But all the sadness is behind me; I have come to terms.  I am a horrible planner, you see.  I always bite off more than I can chew on the theory that if you shoot for the 10, even if you fall short, you might still hit the 8.  As I get older, I get better at shruging off the disappointments.  I bring it on myself, after all.

Today is actually a day of happiness, which is perhaps why I am also back here finally.  I received my first seed catalog of winter – the earliest ever! – as well as the winter issue of Interweave Knits.  I also spied my Mismatched Legwarmers pattern on Ravelry.  The Ravelry free pattern points back to this site (see sidebar for pattern link) but getting set up on Ravelry as a designer was a small hurdle which I have finally cleared – yey!

Last, my sister and friends are taking me out tonight for a girl’s date to have dinner and see and movie.  I don’t get out much to the movies – this might be my fourth theatrical release this year? – so it is exciting for that alone.

What you do not see

Like the duck, all is calm on the surface while beneath I paddle like mad.

Here’s is a pretty picture to distract you before we get into the talky bit with no pictures:

I handpainted this using Jacquard acid dyes.  I thought it looked terrible and muddy on the skein but it knit up beautifully and I don't have a picture of those socks.  Sarah?
I handpainted this yarn using Jacquard acid dyes. I thought it looked muddy on the skein but it knit up beautifully and I don't have a photo of the finished socks. Sarah?

I am working on pattern designs to send out to various knit magazines.  (Hence, no progress photos, sorry.)  It doesn’t help when some publishers change their deadlines (moving them UP a month) – well, except that I then scrap that plan for this quarter.  It also doesn’t help that this is all on spec because I do not have relationships with any of them and was busy with “real” work up until a month ago when I could have, should have sent in queries.  So I am going to submit my finished work cold.

My focus is on three designs: socks, stocking, and a wrap. All are due at the end of November.

1. The socks were knit months ago so I just need to format the pattern per the magazines guidelines, take photographs, and send it in.

2. The stocking will knit itself in a matter of days and will be available here on my website since no magazine wants to publish stocking patterns.  My only time constraint is that I figure if I don’t post it by the first of December, it will really be too late for this year because it’s a holiday pattern.  It’s a relatively quick knit (worsted weight yarn) if you are comfortable with stranded colorwork.  If you are new to stranded colorwork, this would be a good first pattern because it is not complicated.  In fact, my first stranded colorwork was the Christmas in Tallinn stocking by Nancy Bush (which we now have three of…and I need to make a forth next year!).

Oh, and the completed stocking is for a friend of mine (not a surprise).  But more on that when it is published.

3. The wrap is barely started.  But this is the one I really love.  I love it so much that I worked on the charts for hours, went to bed and had wild dreams, got up and kept working on the charts.  Test swatch is done.  Charts are as done as they can be without actual knitting.  I think I am being intimidated by my love.  Does that make sense?  I think so.  I’m afraid to knit it and then hate it.  Or maybe I have the wrong yarn.  Of which I do not have enough but I do not know how much more I need to get.  Because I need to knit up the first ball, measure, calculate, then hie my ass to the yarn shop.

Good thing #1 – Tonight is “sh** or get off the pot” – I am going to put in a couple inches on that wrap tonight or can it for a while and stop torturing myself.  (Who am I kidding – it’s almost 10:30 PM – but I will work on it tonight.)

Good thing #2 – I realized while writing this post that the intended publication for this design can actually be queried as it is still early for that deadline.  So while good thing #1 still stands, I can stop panicking about being done done DONE by the 30th.

In closing, if you are also interested in pursing knit design, this article about the new online magazine Twist Collective provides some insight into pay structures which I have not come across anywhere else online:

“Purl Power” by Nathalie Atkinson for Canada’s National Post (November 7, 2008)