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Busy as a Bee!

A bee, I tell you! A bee! There has been so much knitting around here that I haven't had time to sit down and blog about it. There have been the usual suspects: the Sophie Shawl is growing, and I'm slowly moving along with Claudette.

In the midst of this, I'm also working on a baby project for a coworker's son, born two weeks ago. It's my usual striped baby sweater. This time I'm knitting it in Lion Brand WoolEase. Some of you, I know, are cringing at the mere mention of an acrylic yarn. Subway Knitter ain't no yarn snob, and she will not stick a high-maintenance garment on new parents.

Of course, valuable blogging time has been sucked up by other matters:

Karneval0224.jpg

Yes, we had to take some time out on Monday to celebrate Rosenmontag at Loreley. We drank a few beers and watched a rebroadcast of the Rosenmontag parade in Cologne. You need to do all this in costume because...well...that's what you do. Notice my costume? I'm a bee!

What's a great thing about living in New York? You can be wearing a bee wig (complete with glittery antennae) on the subway, start to knit, and nobody thinks anything of it. Then, some guy in a crazy hat starts taking your photograph, and nobody bats an eyelash:

BeeKnitting0224.jpg

K├Âlle Alaaf!

So Cute!!!

It's a six pack of cuteness.

SixPackBooties0410.jpg

The Details:

Pattern: the Baby Bootie pattern from this Filatura di Crossa booklet. Yeah, I had all sorts of plans to use a new pattern, but in the end I didn't have time to make gauge adjustments. I knit what I knew.

Yarn: Odds and Ends. The brown and white pairs are cotton. I know that the white is Peaches 'n' Cream. The brown is a mystery yarn that I picked up years ago in a Knitsmiths swap.

Needles: US 7s and 6s.

Will I knit this pattern again? Undoubtedly.

With these three pairs all ready for gifting. I guess that I'm ready for the next knit. This one, of course, will be all about me.

This So Did NOT Work

Can't win every time:

BadBootie0401.jpg

Although the photo doesn't illustrate my failure well, the idea (like the photo--symbolic!) failed miserably.

But it was fun, nevertheless, and thanks to a couple readers, I have no need to experiment further. Two seamless bootie patterns were brought to my attention.

Excellent. I know that booties are a great way to use up tidbits of sock yarn, and I especially like the slipper-type design of the Magic Booties. Add a strap and cute button across the top, and you've got some serious Mary Jane action.

Using the idea behind the Newborn Crawling Booties, my plan is to come up with a version that uses worsted weight yarn (I could adjust for gauge, but I think that it'll be easier to simply design a new pattern.)

Whee! Bootie fun! (Just imagine the google hits....)

The Evolution of a Bootie

Some friends are having their first baby some time in April. I don't know when in April this kiddo is due to arrive, so better safe than sorry, I'm doing the baby knitting now.

And what, exactly, am I knitting, you ask. Well baby booties, of course,

Booties0331.jpg

I completely love knitting baby booties, especially when I use my favorite pattern: the bootie pattern from this Filatura di Crosa booklet. I picked up the booklet a few years ago at A Good Yarn in Brookline. Do you know that I first typed "Brooklyn"? Perhaps this New Yorker gig is sinking in after all. Then again, I could have sworn I heard someone say "train to Ashmont" last week and it took a few seconds before I reminded myself that there's no way that I could be on the Red Line. Baby steps, baby steps.

Speaking of baby steps, let's get back to the bootie discussion. Most of the reason that I like this pattern is that it works with worsted-weight yarn. Baby booties are fun, and quick, when you knit them with worsted weight.

There's just one itty bitty problem with this pattern. You first knit the bootie flat, and then you seam it. While I don't mind a little bit of finishing, seaming a baby bootie is unnecessary. Do you seam socks? No. How much difference is there between a sock and bootie? Not much. For the speckled pair (yarn unknown) I eliminated some of the seaming by using a provisional cast on, and doing a three-needle bind off for the bottom of the foot. That left me with only the back seam to finish.

BrownBootie0331.jpg

Then, for the white pair (yarn: Peaches 'n' Cream, or Sugar 'n' Cream--don't know which is which) I had the brilliant (to me) idea of joining the stitches at the cuff. Combined with the three-needle bind off, this left me with only about an inch of a seam. A lot better, but still not perfect.

WhiteBootie0331.jpg

I think that I can re-engineer this pattern to be a top down pattern. All I need to do is to Change the decreases to increases and vice-versa. I'm convinced that the bottom seam adds some stability to the bootie's shape--so I want to leave that. If, however, I finish with the those stitches, instead of beginning, then a three-needle bind off is still possible--but does not require a provisional cast on.

Thea, how soon do you need that sweater? Can I play with some booties this week?

All Tied Up

Today, I can safely unveil the project I was racing to complete last week:

PinkStripesHat0114.jpg

It's a baby hat! I feel like a baby-hat machine these days. This is not exactly a bad thing, as baby hats have the two qualities that provide almost instant gratification to knitters everywhere: 1) they're cute 2) they work up quickly.

Hey, as long as a project can deliver that time and time again, who am I to complain?

The details:

Pink Stripes Baby Hat

Pattern: I grabbed the basic pattern from Ann Budd's The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns and to it I added a simple horizontal stripe pattern, and a simple picot row above the rolled hem. I slipped threaded a ribbon through the picot row and tied a bow.

Yarn: GGH Goa that I picked up at Seaport Yarns.

Needles: US8s circulars, and finished with DPNs. I knit the hat in the round.

Time to complete: Two days, with lots of subway knitting time.

Would I knit this again: Sure! This knit kept me happy.

Notions: About a half yard of 1/4-inch grosgrain ribbon.

Now, I know that we're working on mid January here, but I haven't had time to share much with you about Christmas, or my after-Christmas European jaunt. Because I think that post after post of just me blabbing on and on about things that happened weeks ago would get boooooring, I'll tack on these posts after current information about the knitting project du jour. So, without further ado:

KateYarn0114.jpg

This was the Christmas that Kate discovered yarn. She first discovered that it's a lot of fun to run across the room carrying my ball of working yarn. I guess that it wasn't so smart to leave my knitting bag withing Kate's reach. This was quickly substituted with some spare Claudia Handpainted that I had with me. Can you see it there in her hand? Even all decked out in her Christmas finery (white cardigan hand-knit by none other than KG--that's Knitting Grandma to new blog readers), she had to carry some yarn with her. I hear that this yarn also went to bed with her.

Hey, what can I say? It's probably in her blood.


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