I took Laura with me to JoAnn's today to get some buttons for my Baby Surprise jacket, which I could probably get done tonight if not for inconvenient necessities such as dinner and laundry. My goal for the buttons was that they complement the little sweater without calling too much attention to themselves. I believe we were successful.
While there, I decided to get some washcloth cotton and a pair of wooden needles to use to try one more time to cajole your Dad into trying some garter stitch. I just think it would be calming, and he would really benefit. He believes it would just be frustrating. He may be right. If so, I'll knit my washcloths myself.
Anyhow, Laura decides to get some washcloth cotton herself, and then sees a pattern on the ball band for place mats and decides they would be just the thing to protect her new wooden table from her roomates. I see the wisdom in this, so we slip off the ball band to read the pattern so we know how much yarn to get. It takes a lot! three-and-a-half balls per mat. Then I realize why -- they're CROCHETED! Wouldn't you know -- the little contrarian has decided to go ahead and make them anyway. So of course we had to hie to the nearest bookstore to pick up the Happy Hooker. She's happily reading and chaining at this very moment.
I spent virtually all weekend working on my little Baby Surprise Jacket. Which is weird, because I'm making it to give to a woman I don't really know that well, and for whom I would not willfully give up an entire weekend. I think the Yarn Harlot's idea that some people knit for the stuff and some people knit for the process is interesting. I don't really agree with the either/or model, but I do ponder from time to time which I am mostly. I think I'm decidedly toward the process end of the spectrum.
My little sweater is cute, but doesn't look very babyish. That skein of Cherry Tree Hill "Birches" finally found a calling, but it's much darker than I expected (I thought it would be primarily, or at least 50% white). It looks a little like camouflage. If I can figure out how, I'll put a picture I took late yesterday afternoon here:
As I knit yesterday and today, I sat out on the deck and reveled in the fabulous spring-like weather. And I read my borrowed copy of The Opinionated Knitter from cover to cover, including most of the patterns. I've come to several conclusions:
1) you need the book in hand as you work on your own BSJ. If you can't get it from the library, let me know and I'll order two copies for us from School House Press. The book contains many hints. For example, how to make a straight line with your double decreases and side-by-side increases. And how to make an invisible increase (I now realize that what I thought were buttonholes when you showed me that very large swatch were your "make 1" increases. I avoid the holes by just knitting into the back of the picked up stitch, and it seems to be working great on the garter stitch. But then, I'm using camo yarn!
2) I need The Opinionated Knitter in my permanent collection. And I need Knitter's Almanac, too. I already have Knitting Without Tears. And once I have all three, I'm probably going to have to invest in a set of DVDs, too. Although I do think I may be able to borrow them from the library. Wouldn't that be great? Anyhow, let me know if you want me to place an order. I'll order both books for both of us.
I'm editing this post because I just learned that Knit Wiki has a terrific post on the BSJ. Although I think she's wrong about breaking the yarn to pick up the stitches on the right side (I picked them up just as EZ instructed, using Charlene Schurch's instructions for picking up along a garter edge) and didn't feel like I had the "wrong side" showing. Anyhow, it's a good post and you should check it out.
New subject: Did I tell you that our picture from the night we knitted with the Northcoast Guild appeared in the Willoughby News Herald last week? You can check it out here. Supposedly one can e-mail the image from their Website, but I haven't had any luck getting that to work. Ann Smrekar (guild newsletter editor and all-around sweet person) sent me the clipping, so I've scanned it and post it here for posterity:
Knit on, kiddo!