Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Summer of Babies

I started knitting a few years ago to relax and make nice things. When I joined Ravelry (my username is peridragon, for all my fellow Ravelers out there), I made up a queue of garments for me and ordered them from easiest to more challenging, so I could work my way up.

So far, I haven't made any of them. Why? Because my f
amily has apparently instituted a breeding program.

Don't get me wrong; I love babies. I want
some someday. Knitting baby stuff is fun, since I get to use wild colours and patterns that I would have no excuse to use otherwise. But sheesh, four babies have been brought into the family in a year and a half. No close relative had had a baby in over a decade, and now there is a 20-month-old, a ten-month-old, a three-month-old, and a two-month-old who have all been born to people I know well and want to give gifts to (two of my cousins that I grew up with and two of my mother's cousins that I'm close to). So this has been the summer of baby stuff, and it's not over yet. I have two projects finished and delivered as gifts, one with just the ends to be sewn in, and one I plan to start within about a week that needs to be done by Christmas.

This is the blanket I made for the three-month-old baby girl. I made it using the Pinwheel Baby Blanket pattern. This photo was taken pre-blocking - hence the books holding it flat. It was a lot of fun to make, and very easy, with yarn overs every other row in each section to make the pinwheel effect. It was made with a machine-washable baby wool, which was soft but made me itchy (yes, I am a knitter who has a mild wool allergy). I'm happy with the way it turned out, and I'd definitely use the pattern again. That is, once I've made blankets out of every other crazy style I can find.

This is the baby sweater I made by slightly modifying a Seamless Baby Kimono pattern. Since it was for a ten-month-old, I made it longer and gave it short sleeves so it would be more likely to fit (and because I was running out of yarn... I swear, people on Ravelry lie about how many meters of yarn they use for projects). I used acrylic for this because it's so easy to wash, and I compromised on the pastel primary colour so that I could get the little flecks of colour I liked in it. I wasn't as happy with the way it turned out, but it was my first attempt at a sweater. Lesson learned: rather than upsizing an infant outfit for an older baby, next time make a toddler-sized child sweater and let her grow into it.

The almost-finished project is a Spiderman baby blanket (pattern PDF file found here) for the two-month-old boy. It's huge! There are approximately a million ends to sew in, but it has been probably the most fun project I've ever done. I learned some basic crochet so that I could do it, and I didn't even complain (much) when the yarn estimates were way off for the black and I had to run out for another ball at the last minute. Who cares?! The blanket is quite possibly the coolest thing ever. Once I don't have a whole bunch of black ends sticking out, I'll block it and take pictures to post here, but trust me, it's something I would have drooled over as a kid and I'm a girl who never watched Spiderman.

Finally, the 20-month-old is getting a cute kimono-style dress, which I'm going yarn shopping for once my bonus from my summer job is deposited into my account tomorrow.

Maybe, finally, once that is done, I'll get to start on the vest I've been dying to make for myself for months. I keep telling the boyfriend that he'll get a sweater by next winter, but if my family keeps having a new baby every six months or so, he'll be lucky to get one ever. I've even already picked out a pattern for a blanket for the next baby that appears because I'm so sure that there will be another one fairly soon.

I think knitting might be taking over my life just a little. But I love it anyway.

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