Tag Archives: pattern books

Busyness: why I shouldn’t go to Michael’s

I shouldn’t go to Michael’s because there is always a sale on something that I didn’t think I needed until I saw it. But then I see it and I have to have it, and I can justify it because it was on sale.

An example: when getting the embroidery floss for the Prank Craft , I found out that Bernat’s Baby Blanket yarn, which is this great chenille-feeling super bulky, was 30% off. And it comes in super-cute variegated colours. And there was an easy-looking pattern on the label. All these things came together, and I thought to myself, You know, it’s a shame that you haven’t made Baby Bear a blankie of her own. You make blankies for everyone else’s babies, but not for your baby. What is up with that? I bet she would love a snuggly chenille-feeling blankie in Peachy.

20 minutes later I am walking out of Michael’s six balls of Bernat Baby Blanket richer, trying to ignore the fact that the bunny blanket is waiting patiently to be completed before its August deadline.

Fortunately for the bunny blanket, Baby Bear’s project is whipping up nice and quick:

cuddle blankie

It is indeed an easy pattern: corner-to-corner seed stitch. I still managed to screw up a couple row (don’t knit and watch Criminal Minds, apparently), but the yarn is really forgiving and doesn’t show.

The pattern can be found on Yarnspirations, the new site for the Bernat/Patons/Caron/Phentex family of yarn brands. I hadn’t realized that they had put all their brands together under one site and do I ever appreciate the redesign. Much more user-friendly, and nicer to look at to boot.


Busyness: Knitting

I am working on a baby blanket for a friend. It is revoltingly cute, with bunnies that have fluffy tails and everything. It will look like this when it is done:

redonkulously cute

redonkulously cute

It is from Stitch N Bitch: Superstar Knitting, and on the surface, it is a very simple pattern. It is just counting.

I am enraged with the design.

The pattern chart is in a graph, with the little boxes in different colours to make up the bunnies. You count the little boxes to make sure you get the right amount of stitches in each colour and voila! Bunny.

Except when the graph is TINY and my fat fingers cover the little boxes when I’m trying to count them and the rows are too close together to have the numbers on the same side. My bunnies did not look like the ones in the picture. They were misbegotten mutant bunnies. I thought at first that I could power through and it would fix itself, and it became glaringly obvious that they were only getting worse, and it would be shameful to give to someone as a present. A few mistakes you can pass off as wabi-sabi; these bunnies meant that I can’t count.

And so I heaved a great sigh and began ripping back what I had knitted and started from scratch, this time counting everything twice. Hopefully it will be done in time for the baby’s arrival.

Busyness: knitting

I have been knitting since I was ten. My grandparents taught me and my brother and sister and cousins to knit (we were all visiting and it was raining). I have improved, gradually, to the point where I can look at a photo of something and know how it was done, read a pattern, and figure out how to substitute various items to get the same result.

I like knitting because it is a (fairly) low effort for a big result. Many of the things I make are gifts and people are generally quite pleased to receive something hand-made (as long as it doesn’t look too hand-made). It is something that I can do on the subway, in a car, on a plane, on a train, while I watch a movie, while I’m hanging out with my daughter while she plays – all very portable and put-down-able. Also it will be a good skill to have in the post-oil apocalypse, just putting that one out there.

A recent favourite project is this little headband:

Headband for a baby, because babies care about this kind of thing

Headband for a baby, because babies care about this kind of thing

This particular pattern is from Baby Knits Made Easy, a very nice pattern book with a variety of projects for the littles. Not only are the patterns easy to follow, the book itself is lovely: lots of white space, nice layout, and great photography. The different pattern groupings are a little weird but that’s what a table of contents/index is for.

Predictably, this was the result.

Predictably, this was the result.