Archive for March, 2008

One of the worst things about being a mother is the almost total memory loss. (You would think it would be the moment when, happy because you finally have clean hair, your child sneezes on it thus letting loose a tangly mass of snot. Really, the memory loss is worse.)

Last Spring, while largely pregnant, I purchased a pattern for wool shorts and/or pants from a woman I know. I had intended to knit the newborn size, but eventually realized that just wasn’t happening. At Rhinebeck 2007, while staring down the massive clearance bins at Morehouse Merino, I was fired up again to knit my boy some drawers. If you have been to Morehouse during Rhinebeck, these giant metal cages stacked three or more feet deep with inexpensive, underlabeled yarn are almost impossible to resist. What knitter doesn’t want to dive into (literally or figuratively) a bin of yarn that size? I knew from Lisa‘s experience that I needed to give these skeins a good look-over: some have what seems like a thousand knots in them, while others have enough straw in them to suggest they got up and rolled in the pasture themselves. Once I spotted a pretty perfect jewel-toned colorway with no discernible knots I was sold. They would make a perfect pair of longies (lanolinized wool pants to be used with cloth diapers) for my then-four-month-old son. A quick snatch of a skein of black for the ribbed trim and I was done.

A few weeks ago I was searching the for sale or trade cloth diapering boards and it seemed that every knitter and her grandmother had a pair of these up for sale. While I had a whack of PayPal money burning a hole in my virtual pocket, I just could not bring myself to buy someone else’s hand knits. Not when I could easily do it. With Em happily napping a long stretch I dug one of the yarn bins from under the bed, rescued the skeins from Morehouse, and cast on.

In all truth, I actually did start this pattern lat year but gave it up in frustration before the cuffs were done. Learning a new technique (magic loop) on too-short circs, while nauseously pregnant and sitting in a too-small front seat of a car jerking back and forth in the stop-and-go traffic of the Long Island Expressway headed to the Hamptons to spend the first night of Passover with a mother-in-law nothing nice can be said about was perhaps not the best choice.

I thought these problems were behind me. I’ve come so far in the last year (stop laughing!). I found my new–and longer–circs in the right size and cast on both cuffs again. And threw them against the wall. Obviously, I hadn’t grown enough in the magic loop department. So I cast on again, this time trying both cuffs in a two socks on two circs style. No growth in that department, either. Fine. I can do double points. I even like them.

And then the problems start.

  • Problem #1: (or three, depending on how you count) The black yarn sucks. There’s thick. There’s thin. There’s dangerously fragile thin. I keep going.
  • Problem #2: Since I’m almost totally ignoring Catie’s pattern at this point, I decide to get lazy. I switch to my main color, the pretty jeweled variegated, and instead of waiting to weave the ends in later I just carry them along, blithely disregarding the difference in gauge and the messy start to the stockinette leg. I pretend I can deal with that.
  • Problem #3: Both legs knit up quickly and I congratulate myself on being so clever as to “interpret” Catie’s pattern to my…[ahem]…skills. I don’t realize that my pretty main color is heavier than the worsted weight called for.
  • Problem #4: By the time I get to the joining for the crotch I’m thinking there may be a teeny gauge problem. Wide-leg pants are in, right?
  • Problem #5: I haven’t the foggiest clue what Catie’s instructions for the crotch mean. I tell myself it doesn’t apply to me. I’m not using magic loop.
  • Problem #6: My interpreted crotch looks like ass.
  • Problem #7: As I’m working the short rows I realize something terrible. There won’t be leftover yarn to maybe make a soaker. There may not even be enough of the yarn to finish the short rows.
  • Problem #8: Confusion. I remember buying enough yarn. What happened to my yarn? Then that memory thing I seem to have lost kicks in. Hey, Cyn. You bought enough yarn for your 4 month old’s size. Not your 9 month old’s.
  • [Insert panicky email to Catie]
  • Problem #9: Not enough yarn to knit the short rows. I cut the 2″ between the two sets down to 1″ and tell myself that suits the fit of the particular diapers we use.
  • Problem #10: That means I’ve started the ribbing three whole inches early. I pretend that won’t be a problem.
  • Problem #11: What’s with all these freakin’ problems? Did I forget how to knit?? And now I neglected to do a knit round after changing colors and now I have miscolored purl bumps? What next?
  • Problem #12: A little voice tells me this is starting to sound like those stories of knitters and sweaters three times too big while they fearlessly ignore all the evidence. I keep going. That won’t be me.

Don’t believe me?


out of yarn


too much ribbing


the boy is cute. the pants? not so much.

At least a long shirt will cover it.





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I am not sure if blogged about these way back in Em’s newborn days. Have you seen these?

From the looks of the scrawny legs, Em was still very much a newborn here, maybe a few weeks old? Anyway, Kelli gifted me these three pairs of socks before he was born. Each pair was a different size so that he could be in hand knit socks for more than just a week (as baby feet grow quickly). We retired the last pair when he was a few months old, and I thought they were each packed away.

Today, one of the mamas on one of my parenting boards mentioned that she knit a sock for her husband’s inhaler, so he wouldn’t keep losing it’s cap. I thought this was so clever! Em now has two inhalers, one of which needs to travel with us in the diaper bag. I have already lost it’s cap, as the inhaler plugs into an infant chamber and stays that way most of the time. As easy as that is around the house, it doesn’t work as well in the diaper bag. Enter a pair of outgrown socks and I have a pair of inhaler cozies! I think maybe 48 stitches and a 2×2 rib in a matching self-patterning yarn and I have a fully cozied breathing system.

My plan to cover the world in handknits continues apace.

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dyeing, suddenly

Part of my slackerness as a blogger is due to my getting sucked into a parenting board (or three). I don’t often have to really think about what I want to write; most of my comments are just a few lines long. Over here I feel a need to be, well, clever. Intelligent. Witty, even. Much harder to do in a post instead of a few pithy sentences.

So while over at my favorite small, closed, board–blithely ignorning my bloggy duties here–one of the mamas posted a thread looking to see if any of us spun our own yarn or hand dyed…and calling me out by name. I posted back a hearty no, no. I haven’t dyed for two years and don’t spin well or fast enough really to sell it. Check out these lovely women‘s stores, please. I’ve met them all in real life and they are lovely.

No, she wanted ME to do it. She likes non-professional. She wants unique. She wants enough for 2 pairs of adult mittens and 2 pairs of child’s. I volunteer a colorway and to do self-striping.

Those of you that have done that before are laughing in the back, aren’t you?

I placed a Knit Picks order and waited with fluttery stomach. I dyed yarn. I made notes so I could blog about it. I started a post, then abandoned it.

So blog why now? I have been contacted by someone else, with an order for three large skeins and three small contrasting skeins. Also, my first customer has another order for me.

How did I get customers??

While I ponder that, here are some process pictures:

warping board
dye bath

My photograhy skills are wretched, at best.  The colors are not as washed out as they appear and are more truly a vibrant turquoise and a rich brown.  The paler blue reminds me of Tiffany’s blue (purely an accident, I assure you).   I have orders for a pirate-themed colorway, a spring one, and a few to match my whims.

I’m even considering taking a dyeing class.

When did I fall down a rabbit hole?

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Another drive-by post

I now have TWO large posts sitting in my drafts, just waiting for me to add pics or descriptions. Unfortunately, I’m feeling half-dead from strep throat* and can’t seem to string together much of a coherent thought. My only comfort right now is these, a much needed gift from Knitter Bunny:


And a detail:

(Sorry about the bad color, it’s pretty grey here today)

Details and better pics in this post.  Thanks, Kelli!

*Em is better, thanks for the good thoughts!

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