Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Poem for Baby S or Baby J

The Poetry in Stitches baby sweater for one of the two anticipated grandchildren has been completed. It was a labor intensive project but seems to have been worth the effort.

The sleeves are done in "elm stitch" which is a pretty stitch but very, very slow. The front side is simply knit, but on the back side one has to do a yarn over, purl two stitches and then pull the yarn over. It's a lot of stopping and starting, but adds a lacey look to the sweater.

The motifs are done in double-stitching which is a lot of fun. However, I was surprised to find that the spots on which the sweater is embroidered become hard and inflexible, altering the pliability of the knitted fabric. I guess I should have anticipated that this would be the case, but I didn't. I don't think it will make that much difference in comfort for an outer garment.

On the back is this cute little butterfly.

Pattern: Baby layette from Poetry in Stitches, p. 22-23, by Solveig Hisdal.
Yarn: Dalegarn Baby Ull, 100% wool, machine washable, approx. 3 balls (165 meters each) using doubled yarn throughout.
Modifications: took artistic license with the embroidery, changed the placement and did not include the tulip or cherries in an attempt to make it suitable for a girl or boy.
If I ever knit this again, which I tend to think I won't, I wouldn't use doubled yarn as it seems too heavy (or maybe it was just the yarn I chose) for US1 needles.
Now onto an easy, colorful baby blanket on US6's as a hiatus from little tiny needles.

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Blank Slate ...

This is about being a blank slate in several different ways. The first way is that I'm about to become a grandparent ... well, sort of. I am only 48 (about to be 49), which seems pretty young for a first-time grandmother doesn't it? But, the back story is that I will actually be a step-grandmother or, as I think I might prefer, a "bonus grandmother." My DH is 12 years older than I am and his two children, a son and a daughter, were away at college by the time we met and later married. So, I've never actually parented his kids, we rarely see them, and now both of them are married and expecting their own babies in July. So, I'm a blank slate about how to be a grandmother especially when there are already two biological grandmothers and another "bonus grandmother" in the family.

So I turned to what I know: knitting!

And then I turned to my all-time favorite knitting book: Poetry in Stitches by Solveig Hisdal and decided to start by making the baby layette she designed.

Et voila, here is the second blank slate:

The third blank slate is that we won't know if one of the babies will be a boy or a girl. So I modified Solveig Hisdal's embroidery design in an attempt to make the sweater more gender-neutral. Alas, I fear it tends toward the masculine at this point, although with a butterfly on the back and picot edging and textured sleeves, it may yet suit either a boy or a girl.

I do love the sweet motifs taken from a 17th century Norwegian brocade bed tapestry.

More photos to follow as the work progresses.