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!

Inspired by babies, part 1

Hard to not have babies on the brain when one is being kicked by a baby all day long from the inside.  Somehow I still manage to think of the impending bundle of joy as “cute” and dream up wonderful things to make in quantities that far exceed the time I have available.

Since watching the Urban Aran Cardigan grow – for the second time – is rather boring for the blog, I am going to blab a bit about the baby knits which tempt me.  And I am going to divide this over two posts because it’s coming out kind of long.

First of all, a finished project: Star of the Day hat by Susan Lawrence.

(Zander models for his baby sister)

Knit up in Violet Wool-Ease, a slightly dusky, dark purple which captures my eye in a way that makes me go “but I don’t usually like purple THIS much.”  The brim, finished with an applied i-cord per the pattern, rolls but not when worn so it’s not that big of a deal.  Sadly, the grapefruit test shows this hat to be too big for newborn use but she’ll wear it eventually.

Second: Organic Guernsey by Fawn Pea.  I have loved this pattern for a long long time but have yet to make it.  Part of my issue is that I really do want to use the organic cotton but the $30+ price tag chokes my momentum.  I’ve read on Ravelry that there are sometimes fit issues so I think I will make this in something I have in my stash and, if I love it enough to knit again, then I will fork over for the organic cotton.

Third: baby cardigan from Argentina… I ran into an old college friend at a party last autumn and she was making this sweater from a pattern handed down in her family who have it from their neighbors.  She said that everyone in their neighborhood made this baby cardi.  It’s knit in one piece from sport-weight yarn (such as Louet Gems wool, which is machine washable) and I have no idea what the finish cardigan looks like.  Adventure!  I wouldn’t normally knit something sight unseen but the background of this garment intrigues me and apparently that’s enough.

Fourth: Toasty Topper, a Knitty pattern which is a hat/scarf combo for toddlers.  Love it!  I even bought yarn for this last month, Cascade 220 in a blue-grey which will look very fine on my blue-eyed boy.  I do highly recommend the Berroco Ultra Alpaca the pattern calls for, which is only a dollar or two more per skein than the Cascade.  If all goes well the first time around, I will make a second one this summer for baby #2 to wear in the winter.

Thus concludes part 1 of the parade of baby knits, many of which I think I am going to make in the next six weeks.  On top of the Urban Aran Cardi, hats and mittens for myself, a few designs in progress, a pair of socks, my Ribby Cardi…. hahaha!

The Fall

Warmer days (1 Oct 2008)
Warmer days (1 Oct 2008)

I found my (first) beret pattern.  I was paging through patterns on Ravelry, found this one and I will look no further.  This is IT:

Moss Stitch Beret

A near second is Norah Gaughan’s Sunflower Tam.  But I would like something pretty basic for my first hat.  And don’t tweed and moss st belong together like PB & J?

SE Michigan is buried under 6+ inches – our first big snowfall of the year.  And it is STILL snowing.  It will be a white Solstice, hah.

I had a breakdown last night over the Solstice projects.  This was perhaps inevitable and you may not pity me because I gave as good as I got to my poor cohabitants.  Hopefully this will be my only “moment” – I am older and wiser after all.  I now have 3 of 8 projects done and the remaining 5 are half done, or more.  To accomplish this, Matt spent half his evening working on Tessa’s gift (which is not a handknit) and my sister’s gift did a 180.  That is, I magically produced a finished object which had been just waiting for the right recipient (hint, see the photo in the previous post). I went from having not even started her gift to finished in less than 5 minutes.  Whew.

I feel a lot better.

I also take Matt’s point, over Forage Night dinner (ie, leftovers), that I had sworn I wasn’t going to do handmade gifts this year.  That I was going to take a break, take it easy.  He’s right. I completely forgot I promised that to myself.  When did I change my mind?  I think it was a slow evolution.  I was always going to knit something for Matt and Zander, I think a hat and socks at first.  Then I made that deal with Noah and Abby and Abby’s part became a Solstice gift (Noah’s was his birthday legwarmers).  My mom’s gift was a happy accident.  Then I must have convinced myself I had enough time to make gifts for everyone else.  Except that I KNOW BETTER.  I know I need to 3-4 months to work on all of these to do it without insanity.  Sheesh.  AND I keep telling myself I should make birthday gifts, not Solstice gifts, so I can spread the love throughout the year.

Oh well, better luck next year.

Excuse me, I need to lock my computer in the basement and get back to knitting.  And watching Rudolph and the Island of Misfit Toys for the 351st time.