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Archive for the ‘Baby bolero’ Category

Guess what? Em can smile:


And because I can’t help but be excited by a smiling baby, another one:


Is that great? Or is it just me?

My BFF of many years (15 this year!) came out for 11 days to stay with me. You know the type of friend where you don’t have to entertain, you just exist in each other’s company? That was the kind of wonderful we had. We went on a tour of half of New England, including SIX farm & factory tours in Vermont. Her visit came at just the right time, too, as I was starting to feel a little edgy. Getting out with her made me realize that while the first two weeks may be the hardest, the six week mark has a sort of endless quality to it.

Ben & Jerry’s, of course, was quite the highlight of our Vermont tour:

What’s not to love?

While driving nearly the length Vermont with a baby with a deep and abiding hatred for his carseat, I had some time to think. I put down my knitting (yes, knitting. I completed a whopping four rows on a sock for me) and stared out the window. I was trying to compose a blog post about this, about traveling with a baby, about all the stuff that accumulates with them, about staring strangers, and about the stress of it all. I kept rejecting thoughts and opening sentences because they weren’t what I would like to read about. They weren’t that funny/reflective that captivate so many people. Mostly, they had the sound of that high-pitch nervous giggle that you give right before succumbing to hysteria. While that is far closer to my day-to-day emotional state than funny/reflective, it isn’t what I want to be. It certainly isn’t what I want to blog about.

So, I did some more thinking. I though more about it while we were riding through Vermont (while staring at a baby who, despite a full tummy, a clean diaper and every trick we could think of, still insisted on screaming his frustration at the safety of a five-point harness). I’ve been thinking of it every day since. I don’t know why I can’t find the funny. There is certainly something essay-worthy about waking up next to your adorable infant (whom you swore would never sleep in your bed) and realizing that you’re covered in his poop.

Maybe it’s perspective I need.

I realize those thougths don’t sound great, but I don’t mean it that way. He’s a damn cute baby and I really do wake up every morning amazed at his little self and totally in love with the way he insists on curling up his little body into my chest. Even on the days I have to wash the poo off me.

I have been knitting here and there. Sometimes it’s just a few rows on the Baby Bolero I’m way overdue on gifting, but I am knitting. It feels good to go at it again, and as we fiddle with some form of a schedule for the boy I think there may be more time for me in the near future. Lisa and I are even talking about Rhinebeck: Revisited this year. I got my Ravelry invite yesterday, too, so diving back into my fiber obsession seems probable again.

I would like your help, though. I spend a lot of time (still) nursing this little boy. Once he closes his eyes, I like to pop open the laptop and read some blogs. My Bloglines was always pretty sparse, holding just enough feeds for me to be able to sneak a peek at when I was at work. Now that I have oodles of (kinda) free time, I’d like to read more. I don’t get to comment much (or return emails), as may be obvious, but I’d like to read more. Please, suggest some of your favorite reads. (Even yourself, if you’re not listed over there.)

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So it’s Wednesday, and the bolero still isn’t done. If something huge had come up and I simply hadn’t been able to work on it, I might have an excuse. Instead, I’m pretty sure it has taken me the same number of hours to seam/finish it as it took to knit.

This has led to some thinking.

First, I was a little embarrassed the other day to realize that I hadn’t the foggiest idea what was the best way to seam the shoulders. Worse, I didn’t realize that fearing the shoulders was silly. Fearing setting in the sleeves, now that makes sense…but fearing the 10 shoulder stitches? Just silly.

Then, I thought about why seaming was such a big shocker for me. I’ve knit a few things over the last few years, and thought I was pretty competent. But looking back over what I’ve made I see socks, some things done in the round, and more than a few squares/rectangles. Yes, I’ve knit two sweaters (only one blogged of here), but one was entirely in the round. The other is still sitting in pieces in UFO basket, waiting for the finishing elves to sew the shoulders to the body. Obviously, there’s a problem here.

While I’ve thought I’ve been learning lots of techniques, I’ve been learning them in my safe little world. I learned cables while making squares for Warm Up America, and, now that I think of it, Fair Isle the same way. Sure, I’m learning new things, but I can’t shake the feeling that by never having seamed a sweater I somehow had failed to become a “real” knitter without even realizing it. (I am not the only one, it seems)

Several hours have passed since I wrote the bulk of this post, and I’ve had some time to think on this. No new insights have gripped me, except the desire for more sweater experience. Sweaters for me would be silly right now–I am not knitting a watermelon-sized space into a pattern–but I have the perfect template coming up: a wee baby.

I hope to post pics of the bolero tomorrow, after casting off when I get home from work tonight. I hope to do a light blocking, and maybe have it in the mail before the babe (born at 6:30 ish today) graduates college.

* One of the pieces of advice my sister gave me when is started college was to leave Lit papers for last in the queue of homework. I didn’t understand this at first, especially since so much work goes into one, but I finally got it: Lit papers will suck up exactly as much time as you have set aside for all your homework. I think seaming is not so far removed from that.

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Third time a charm?

The Baby Bolero pattern from One Skein is cute. It’s easy. It’s fast. I’ve started three and haven’t finished one.

Not one to lose faith, I’m plugging away at #3, fully believing I can have it knit, seamed AND delivered to Florida by next Wednesday, March 28.

Yeah.

Tuesday’s status:

As of Thursday’s lunch break, I had finished the back (shown partially done, above) the left front (on the stitch holder to the left), and 3/4 of the other sleeve (sleeve one at top). I didn’t actually work on it at all Wednesday or today–turns out Mr. Cygknit is actually sick, oops–so I’ve come pretty far in a short amount of time.

So, my internal Q & A runs something like:

Question: Do I have any hope of finishing it before the weekend is up?

Answer: The knitting, no problem. Even if I don’t knit a stitch tonight, I’ll have that sleeve done on my lunch break Friday. But to get it in the mail Saturday, I ought to block and seam Friday night. And get to the Post Office by Noon on Saturday.

Question: So what’s the problem with finishing these?

Answer: Overwhelming frustration

This is the first one I knit, for Baby CygKnit:

I’ve blocked the sleeves and armholes, and all that’s left to do is seam it. Except…when I tried to sew the shoulders it turned out awful.

Olive helpfully points out that when you graft shoulder seams together, you should have wrong sides facing. Not right sides.

The other shoulder, (seen if you click for big) is just live stitches swinging in the wind. It turns out that blindly following directions isn’t always the best idea. Not only did I bind off as directed, but I actually wove in the ends. Then, I read the assembly instructions: “Sew shoulder seams together.” Um, OK. How? What’s best? An hour of picking my ends out later, I was prepared for the grafting…which I promptly did inside-out. Can you see why I want to frog the whole darn thing and make a different sweater?!

*Deep breath*

For the Florida Baby’s bolero, I left the shoulder stitches live (seen in top photo) so I could do either a three needle bind off or kitchener. Which should I do? Any suggestions would be gratefully (and tearfully) received.

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Mini update

I should have posted this earlier, but the complete and utter joy I took in my snow (ice) day on Wednesday got in the way of blogging.

Since there were requests, I thought I’d post a progress photo on the quilt:

Looks a bit different than the link I provided, doesn’t it? I’d been asked about the style/design of that linked quilt with a little trepidation (Mr. C asked with some horror in his voice), and the hopes it wouldn’t be so…busy? I think what we’ve done looks amazing, and even more so in person.

Last night we tied the centers of all the squares to the fantabulous backing, using yellow, orange and green. I’ve taken possession of it for the weekend, and will tie the corners of the squares, too (I think). What we’d really like to do is quilt the yellow border area. In the interest of time, we can’t quilt the squares–there’s just too much area–but maybe we can swing just the yellow? I’ll keep you posted.

In knitting news, I’ve completed one and a half cardi’s (up from one and a quarter). If this was a full size sweater, that might be some achievement, but for me this just means I’ve finished another sleeve. Four down! Whoo hoo! I should be able to sew up Buster’s bolero this weekend and add the border in the near future. Then, it’s back to Terry’s bolero for the body, and a start on the last one to do. With a little more focus, who knows how many I could do? Maybe I’ll even go a bit crazy and take a picture 🙂

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