Baby things are surprisingly small

…Yeah, I know. And the pope shits in the woods.

After saying I might get a pair of mittens out of the green-and-orange combo when I’d finished Tomten and the jester hat, I realised that I really should weigh the remaining yarn and work out how much of it was left. It was more than I thought:

The back of Thursday's starry kimono

This is the seamless baby kimono, with added colourwork – the large star at centre-back is intarsia (apart from the points at the bottom, which are stranded), and the band of small stars are stranded. The light-green-and-orange doesn’t work very well from a contrast point of view, because the colours are too similar in brightness, but it was fun knitting it, and has reminded me that even though I’m evidently incapable of maintaining motivation for stranded knitting for two socks, I do enjoy it in smaller amounts.

Since taking the photo, I’ve finished the body, and am now working on both sleeves in parallel, because I’ll be finishing them on fumes and I want the stripes to match. Sadly there’s not enough yarn left to do a band of the smaller stars on the sleeves as well.

Green and orange and some more green

Tomten is now finished, apart from the buttons and button loops. I’m trying to source some green plastic toggles for this, but I can’t finish the icord trim until I know what I’m doing about fastenings.

Tomten for Thursday

Despite being made of the same yarn, at the same gauge, the jester hat doesn’t match the hoodie at all, which is good and nicely avoids the absurdity of making a hat to go with a hoodie ;-)

Jester hat for Thursday

I might make some little pom-poms for the corners of this, and I’ve got a fair chunk of yarn left, so I’ll probably make some mittens as well.

The opposite of lost mojo…

…Is what happens when I have loads of ideas for things I want to do, and I flit manically between them, unable to settle on anything for long enough to make decent progress ;-)

My second package arrived today, and I’ve swatched and started knitting EZ’s Tomten, for Thursday (which is what we’re calling my oldest friend’s child-to-be). I love knitting baby things – they’re small and quick, and I get to knit with bright colour combinations that most of the other people I knit for wouldn’t wear.

Uncharacteristically speedy decision-making

Having knit and blogged* my swatch, and held it up against my face to see if the colour suits me, I’ve made my fastest decision ever: this fibre will be Wisteria, in its beautiful undyed state.

I’ve even bought the pattern (and, cough, Sylvi too, ahem). I’ve been meaning to buy something from Twist for ages, if only because I heartily approve of them, so feel as if I ought to support them by actually giving them money. It’s not that I don’t like free patterns – Knitty is fabulous, and I don’t think Twist could exist without Knitty paving the way for it – but designers should be able to be paid a decent amount for their work, and it makes me very happy that the knitting community can produce and support a magazine like Twist. Especially after my less-than-happy experience with Vogue.

So, Wisteria here I come! I think the mojo might be back :-)

*How can I know what I think until I say write it?

Speedy sampling

When I got home this evening, I opened one of the bags of fibre, stroked it for a bit, and then pulled off a small piece for sampling :-)

This is spindle-spun three ply (I’ve never made a true – as opposed to navajo – three ply on a spindle before, and it’s a pain. I resorted to breaking off three pieces of singles and winding them onto bobbins in the end), knit up on 5mm needles to exactly the gauge of 4.5 stitches per inch that Wisteria calls for :-)

(The contrast-coloured yarn at the edges is random sock yarn I used in order to eke out every last drop of the tiny amount of sample yarn.)

The stitch definition is actually better than it looks in the photo, the fabric is soft and drapy and slightly fuzzy, and I love the way the different shades of grey blend with each other. I might lightly dye it for a reddish or purplish tint, but I might just spin and knit with it as-is because the natural colour is gorgeous.

A present? For me?!

This is the first before-work postal delivery we’ve had in ages, and it’s a whole box of fibery goodness just for me :-)

Sadly, I now have to go to work and leave it sitting here all unloved, but when I get back there might be a teensy bit of sampling to do.

(Fibrecrafts‘ delivery times are not to be sneezed at – I only ordered this on Sunday night.)

Careful! Don’t scare the mojo!

I have knit all of my spinning oddments into a decent-sized (ie its ‘wingspan’ is a bit longer than mine) triangular shawl, and then crocheted an edging onto it, and added crochet ties. It’s the craziest garment ever, a hotch-potch of colours and textures, and I doubt I’ll ever wear it outside the house, but I love it anyway, and am enjoying identifying all the little bits of handspun yarn.

I’ve also made some purchases, one within the rules of the self-inflicted yarn and fibre diet, and one breaking them. The permitted purchase is a bunch of nice-but-cheap superwash wool yarn in three different colours, which will be a Tomten hoodie for the baby my oldest friend is currently working on. Depending how much yarn is left after that, there will be a matching hat, and possibly even mittens to go with (in which case I’ll come up with some way of attaching the mittens to the jacket). Yes, I know a hooded jacket doesn’t need a matching hat, but I’m having the urge to knit the baby jester hat.

It’s a permitted purchase because I don’t have any superwash in stash apart from sock yarn, and baby gifts need to be washable! Plus it comes from the gift budget, rather than the yarn one (or would if I planned my budgets that precisely ;-)

The not-permitted purchase is 1kg of undyed grey wool fibre, with a couple of discounts applied, which worked out to be really quite cheap. I’m toying with the idea of spinning a jumpers-worth, and then following someone else’s patten, in the hope of actually achieving a jumper that I like. And the pattern might be the beautiful Wisteria (noooo, not influenced by sockpr0n at all, why do you ask? ;-) I can’t resist a bit of a mod, though – I think I’ll leave off the cables around the hem, because I suspect they look best on people much thinner than I am.

Depending on what kind of grey it is when it arrives, I might dye some or all of this, possibly carding the dyed with the undyed for a heathered yarn. Of course, thinking about all this has reminded me that I haven’t finished carding the black alpaca and purple merino blend, and have spun only a very little of it, so now I’m thinking about that again, as well, and trying to decide once and for all what it will be, and therefore how to spin the rest of it.

This in turn reminds me of the red leaf wrap, still sitting mostly-unwoven on the loom, and calling to me every time I go into the library and see it sitting there. I have a crafting date this weekend, so I’ll probably take the loom or the wheel with me and weave or spin while the others knit.

Talking of spinning: the weekend just gone, I met my first real in-the-wild spinner (Sadie and B don’t count, since I pimped the spinning shiny at them), and I’m deeply envious of her since her father owns a sheep farm and is the neighbourhood shearer, so she gets her pick of fibre!

Finally, a new project! This is another baby hat, two coloured intarsia in the round, and intended to have zig-zaggy stripes and cat ears (for which I might need to ask around for a little bit of pink sock yarn, since I don’t have any, and I think ears look cuter with pink inside – anyone have any spare?). The zig-zagging, shown in closeup in the photo, means the join between colours moves one stitch each row, which is helping with the holes intarsia would otherwise risk.

So on the whole I’m tentatively declaring the mojo returned, which is a relief :-)

Getting back on the horse

I’m just back from a lovely week with some roleplayers, during which Frax and I compared notes on our lost mojo. She recovered hers during the week, and mine is now slowly resurfacing, I think. I don’t want to scare it.

In the couple of months since I last wrote here, I have done some knitting, including most of a cardigan, but it’s not gone well, and I’m not sure if the yarn (soft handspun singles) will stand up to frogging and re-knitting (not least because there has been quite a lot of frogging already), so at the moment I’m not thinking too much about that.

last pair of baby coriolis

While on holiday, I picked up the sixth and final baby jungle stripe coriolis, and forced myself to knit a few rows. Now, at home again, I’ve found that finishing it required less force than picking it up again did. And I’ve now wound my first skein of spinning oddments into a ball, and am starting to think about the shawl I’m going to knit it into…

ball of handspun oddments