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That’s not a typo. Just imagine Gollum saying the post title. I’ve become obsessed with kiddo sweaters, and have made three in as many months. They’re the perfect gift because 1) little kids need to stay warm; 2) they’re more likely to stay on than booties; 3) they’re faster to make than blankets; and 4) they’re more interesting to knit than just about anything else.

Pattern 1: Raglan Baby Cardigan (Top-Down)

The first sweater I made was for my friends who recently welcomed their first child. Can you guess their last name? I’d actually been playing around with this idea for years. Initially I thought I’d make them a blanket in these colors, but then I remembered that I’m still traumatized by the thought of knitting another baby sweater, and went back to the drawing board. I bought the yarn in March, before I knew that they were expecting. The color was exactly what I’d had in mind, and it seemed too fortuitous to pass up. Then I ended up needing more yarn for the sweater I wanted to make, so I had to turn to my fellow knitters on Ravelry. I was able to find more of this yarn, but the yarn I had was discontinued and the new yellow wasn’t as good a match for the colors of the Brazilian soccer team, which is what I’d been going for. Curses, universe! The color in those pics is pretty weird, since I took them with my cell phone (why couldn’t I have reached for my real camera?); the picture of the front of the sweater is most accurate, color-wise.

Horribly uncooperative child. Figures.

Pattern 2: Crossed Cardigan (not yet available)

The second sweater is one that I test knit. I made the 1 – 2 year old size. I didn’t get gauge on the completed project, and my model also experienced a terribly inconvenient (for me) growth spurt, so this one will be passed along to somebody else soon. This sweater was also done in one piece, but involved a lot of picking up stitches that struck me as too fiddly. The end result was lovely, though. I’ve decided that my current block-fu may not be working anymore, and finally caved and bought some blocking wires. Once they arrive, I’ll reblock this sweater and see if it ends up at the right dimensions. Even if this one doesn’t end up conforming to the suggested gauge, I think I’ll make this sweater again (the pattern includes directions for many sizes). I didn’t love all the picking up I had to do, but now that I know what to expect from this, I’m sure I could do it again.

Pattern 3: Sunnyside

I haven’t 100% of the way finished my third sweater, because I have yet to figure out how it’s going to close. I have a matching zipper I could put in it (learning that you can purchase $.27 zippers fixed something in my soul, btw), but since the buttons were the least of my concern with the Crossed Cardigan, maybe I should stop avoiding them.

Completed Gentle Teresa

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© 2012 Satanski

So I finished my Gentle Teresa vest that I talked about in my last post. I did it in a bit over three weeks, with little breaks in between to do other things. I know that, due to the short sleeves, this isn’t a sweater in the sense that most people think of, but I’m still pretty proud of myself. I did it as part of a knitalong. I didn’t remember to check the designer’s blog as I was doing it, so don’t know if other people participated. This ended up being a pretty solitary project for me, but that didn’t really affect me. Before I started this project, I hadn’t finished an actual adult-sized garment before (accessories don’t count), so I’m pretty proud of myself. Plus, it’s really cute! I wore it to a Pints and Purls meetup, and my buddies didn’t realize that I’d made this. They thought that I’d purchased it, which made me feel good. Getting props from the general public is nice, but it’s always awesome when fellow knitters, who understand how time consuming it can be to make things by hand, think that something handmade was actually professionally done. Or something. That sentence made more sense in my brain jelly.

I rethought my decision to make my Heather Hoodie my Halloween costume, mostly because that thing has tured into a drag to work on. My second idea was to be Baberham Lincoln, complete with a top hat and beard, but now Frankenstorm is happening, so I’m not really sure what’s going to happen.

My poorly-done attempt at a sewn dress last year never saw the light of day because of the freak October snow storm the weekend before Halloween, and now dire weather is threatening my participation in Halloween 2012.

Gentle Teresa – back

I am participating in Jean Chung’s knitalong of her Gentle Teresa pattern, which debuted in the First Fall issue of Knitty. I LOVE this sweater, and can’t wait to be finished with it so I can wear it everywhere all the time. It’s purple, so I’m not exaggerating very much at all.

Knitting? What knitting?

I signed up for the knitalong, and then promptly forgot all about it until Jean asked me how my sweater was coming along. At the time she wrote me, it wasn’t at all, but twelve hours later, I was ready to start the chart section. I should have called it a night there, but Damon was doing something funny with his eyes and I decided that I had time for more knitting and more episodes of The Vampire Diaries.

I love the way this pattern starts! I was doing just fine until I reached the chart portion of the back (so, you know, 3.5″ into it), and then things quickly spiraled out of control. It’s my fault for not using stitch markers, forgetting that I suck at counting, and for paying so much attention to episodes that I’ve already seen.

If there’s a way to lose a stitch between one row and the next, I will find it (the way, not the stitch; that usually takes several minutes of searching to locate). Once I righted my ship for the third time, I put stitch markers around the three charted portions of the pattern, which is where I was doing all of my stitch-losing. So far, so good, and I have already received several compliments on the color of this sweater. Having this many witnesses means that I’m going to have to work at this one and not procrastinate too horribly, but I still have my Halloween costume to work on, so this could get tricky.

Let’s go Mets!

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Freezing my buns off with my bestest bud.

I went to two Mets games last week, on Sunday and Tuesday. The first allowed me to reconnect with an old friend and some of his friends, and the second allowed me to introduce Satanski to America’s pastime. The Mets won the first game, which took place on a warm and sunny afternoon, and I had an insanely good time. The Mets lost the second game, which took place on a cold and windy evening, and I had an insanely good time.

Nice selfie, Nic

To show my Mets pride, I made myself a hat. I winged this one, and worked it top-down because apparently I didn’t have enough going on in my life that week. I duplicate-stitched the saddest ever Mets logo on the hat, but cut off all evidence of my attempt at branding off as soon as I got home, because it was just too tragic for words. There is photographic evidence of this, but I’ll have to think long and hard before releasing such an image into the ether of the Internet, where it may return to harm me when I least expect it. I haven’t given up on the logo, though. I’m shall attempt to embroider it the next time, and hopefully that will allow me to walk around wearing my hat with pride.

Now I just have to learn how to embroider.

Babette, schmabette

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Planned out the blanket. Discovered I was missing one square. Oops.

I learned to crochet pretty much entirely to knit the Babette blanket, which I find beautiful. I had the pattern in my Ravelry queue for years before I actually started it, and my first attempts at granny squares were enough to make the wee baby Jesus weep. I practiced with acrylic until I got to where I thought I needed to be. I thought that my first squares were pretty good, but once I’d finished the two spiral blankets and came back to the Babette, I realized how wrong I was. The squares that had looked great to me were uneven, the row changes were sloppy, and on the whole it didn’t look like anything I’d ever want anybody else to see. Thankfully, I had only done a few real squares, so I didn’t lose much time by going back and undoing those. I shudder to think of how bad my rejected practice squares must have been.

Piecing together one section

Once I was better at crochet, I got going in earnest, and made the approximately million and three  squares in this blanket (okay 126, but who’s counting)? In between, I did crocheted some hats and skulls (many many skulls), which I think further improved my stitches. Even when I went back to crochet the one square that I was somehow missing, I noticed the change in my stitches’ tension, as compared to my efforts back in October.

I’m now finished with all of the individual blocks in the blanket, but am having the worst time figuring out the final configuration, and how to achieve it. I’m not sure how this is going to pan out, because I haven’t really loved any of the available options for putting together this blanket. Whip stitch is ugly, mattress stitch seems like too much work for not a pretty enough payoff, single crochet looks a little ugly, and I’m reluctantly going with slip stitch, but I have yet to be bowled over by how it looks. Plus, because I’m joining blocks of different sizes, the standard wisdom regarding connecting horizontally and then vertically really doesn’t apply here.

Another problem is that I clearly need to block my squares (like, ALL of them), and I really don’t want to. This thing may be hibernating until Jesus comes back.

I really like the way that this Purl Bee Babette came out, and I may have to go back to Purl Soho and look at the blanket, which is usually on display in the shop.

All the cowls

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I’ve made several things lately, none of which have appeared on this site. Why is that? Sheer laziness, obviously. Here are pictures:

I made my first cowl, which was for a Valentine’s Day exchange. It was so cute, and it matched a hat I’d already knit, so I kept it.

I attempted a second cowl, using the same pattern, more for giggles than anything else, since the color was not what my exchange partner wanted. I liked seeing how different the resulting cowl was, due to the bulkier yarn that I used.

The cowl I eventually did give her was something that I finished literally 10 minutes before I got to the exchange (due to the pesky buttons, which always give me trouble). I liked it, although I wished I’d had time to block it first. Since I started it at 11 pm the night before, that really wasn’t in the cards.

Stitch markers

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I’ve learned how to make stitch markers because why not? It seems that I enjoy picking up new things, without mastering the skills I already sort of knew.

I’m not an expert at this, but it’s a fun endeavor. I used two in my cowl project, and was pleased at how much nicer they looked than those tacky green and orange plastic markers that so often trail in my wake.