So, I apparently only have time to update my blog every, um, several months. The shame, it burns me. So much has happened since I last posted I’m resorting to sub headers to keep everything straight(-ish).
In my last entry I mentioned being thisclose to done on my Ecological Wool soaker. I’ve long since finished it. Here it is, in action:
As I mentioned on Flickr, (way back in October when I finished the thing,) I generally like to post in-use photos of my finished knits, but I think I’m going to stop doing this for my daughter’s butt knits. I know she’s still quite small but it does feel sort of weird to take pictures of her butt for the Internet.
My final verdict on Cascade Ecological Wool for soaker knitting is a mixed one. Ecological wool is ostensibly a heavy-worsted to light-bulky weight yarn, but it’s spun so it’s light and lofty. I had to knit it much tighter than the recommended gauge to get a suitably dense fabric to act as a waterproof barrier for cloth diapering. That being said, I love my finished soaker. As time-consuming and inconvenient it was to knit with size 3 and 5 needles, the resulting fabric is perfect, will wear like iron, and I’ve got a soaker that should work for my kid through potty training.
That being said, I have a second kid on the way, and with two kids in diapers at the same time, I need a lot more soakers, and I need to make them much more quickly. My next butt knitting project is going to be knit with Lamb’s Pride Bulky, and will probably involve steeks so as to simplify the knitting process.
From Vestvember to Vestcember, and even on to Vestuary
After I finished the Epic Ecological Wool Soaker, I decided it was high time to knit something for my husband. (After two years of marriage, I could no longer hide behind the curse of the boyfriend sweater!) We’re both fans of Jared Flood (and more generally, dudes in sweater vests) so when I saw the Alberta vest pattern I knew it was perfect for him. Then I heard about Vestvember on that there Internet, which really sealed the deal, so we took a field trip to Webs that weekend to pick out yarn for the project.
I already had a bag of Noro Kureyon in a discontinued colorway (#199) marinating in my stash that Seth really liked, so we decided to pick a solid color for the body and the ribbing and use Noro for the stripes. We ended up going with Lambs Pride Worsted in Chocolate Souffle, because it was a good match for Kureyon in terms of weight and fiber, and the color looked good with all those random brights and subtle greens in the Noro. The Noro was so busy, too, that we decided to do the ribbing in Chocolate Souffle as well, to keep the non-Noro colors subdued and perhaps lend some restraint and avoid the whole Noro Clown Vomit effect.
This photo here was taken with a flash and isn’t a really good representation of the brown–it’s really more of a richly deep, almost black color. It looks a lot better in natural lighting, I promise.
This project was a big challenge for me in more ways than one–in addition to trying to knit jogless stripes in the round for the first time, it involved STEEKS. STEEKS, which in time I will eventually be able to type in lowercase letters, are strategic cuts in your knitting (really, CUTS! LIKE, WITH SCISSORS!) to allow for things like armholes, neckholes, and cardigan openings to come into being without actually knitting them as you go. The vest was basically a conical tube, which I subsequently sliced open to create places for Seth’s head and arms to go. I took a whole mess of photos documenting my STEEK process, which I will upload sometime in the near future, as the process really warrants its own blog entry. In the meantime, I will say that Eunny Jang’s Steeking Chronicles were an invaluable resource. Here’s a photo of my sliced-open gauge swatch, which I used for practice STEEKS before moving on to the vest:
I went with the crochet-stabilized method, obviously. Worked like a charm, despite my being a total crochet idiot. (More on this later, along with photos of the teeny-tiny scissors I bought to cut open the vest steeks.)
New Baby Prep
Lamb The Second, who we are still calling Flipper despite our rumored better judgment, is cooking along satisfactorily. Here’s a photo circa October:
Being pregnant while chasing around a very active older baby is waay harder than I thought it would be. My daughter isn’t walking yet, and so still needs to be carried in and out of buildings and up and down all the copious stairs in my living space. (All 25 pounds of her!) As hard as it was to parent my daughter during the first trimester epic exhaustion phase, this third trimester is physically kicking my ass in ways I didn’t anticipate. That being said, I feel like we’ve hit a good stride together lately in terms of my taking care of her well and keeping her happy, so I’m trying to enjoy the easy groove of these last few weeks of being alone together before our daytimes turn into a party of three.
As part of my new-baby prep I am trying to clean out what was once supposed to be my “craft” room but never really evolved from my Boxes of Fiber Crap area. I never have time to spin yarn anymore and probably won’t for the foreseeable future, so I’ve been sorting through my spinning stash and separating out various fibers that go well together. About two weeks ago I drove down to Still River Mill (less than 20 minutes from my house!) and met up with Deirdre to give her a giant bag of white wool from the stash. Sometime this spring I’ll go back and retrieve several pounds of bulky weight polypay-merino blend yarn, which I often like to fantasize about knitting into a Sylvi.
I’m still slowly delving into my fiber collection. I’ve got a bunch of gorgeous natural brown romney wool and alpaca fibers sorted out, and I plan to throw some varied green merino and alpaca fibers into the mix to get a heathered brown and green yarn, probably in worsted weight. As sad as I am to retire the drum carder, dyepot and spinning wheel for the time being it’s fun to sort through what I have and dream about being a commercial yarn designer.
Potential Guest Blogger?
My husband Seth did some really impressive knitting recently.
Don’t you think this project warrants some blogging? I already know all the project details but I’m still dying for him to blog about it.
I am going to try to wrestle a few paragraphs out of him this weekend if at all possible.