Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Baby blanket bingo.

Thanks to everyone who commented on my last post with opinions and advice about the baby blanket I've decided to make for my new niece, who'll be arriving in July. The last option, which is called "Lullaby," was the overwhelming favorite, and truth be told, it was my favorite too. It combines lace with garter ridge scallops, and looks like it has the right amount of heft.

And it's in worsted weight for a faster knit, so how can you go wrong? Ashley suggested Valley Yarns Longmeadow (from WEBS), so that's a contender. I'm also looking at another time-tested cotton/acrylic blend...Cotton-Ease, of course. I don't know that I've actually seen it in the stores since Lion Brand brought it back out of retirement, but I've been planning a trip to JoAnn's or Michael's to check out yarns for this blanket, so maybe I'll see it then.

While in Boston last week for a conference, I was able to sneak in a yarn store visit. Hooray! The conference was at the Marriott Copley Place, so the first thing I did when I checked into my hotel was to fire up the laptop and google for yarn stores. I found three that looked pretty close, but Newbury Yarns, at 164 Newbury Street, turned out to be a felicitous stone's throw from the Marriott. I checked into the conference, walked over to Lord and Taylor and scored the cutest Le Sportsac purse on sale to hold all my conference paraphernelia, and then wandered over to the LYS.

When I walked in, a mother and daughter were chatting with the salesperson, so I contented myself with stroking the Malabrigo. When they left, I struck up a lovely conversation with the salesperson, whose name is Meg, and totally geeked out on the sock she was making from Cherry Tree Hill yarn. I mentioned that I was making a Jaywalker with Lorna's Laces and hated the pooling; she mentioned other Jaywalkers she'd made, so I knew she was part of the tribe. Y'all know. I asked her if she read blogs, and she said she did, and she asked me if I had one, and you can imagine the rest.

I was thinking of buying some sock yarn, but surprisingly their selection had been pretty well picked over (Meg surmised that the sock she was knitting inspired people to buy out the sock yarn section--good sales strategy!). So I bought some sweet cherry-colored Malabrigo (it's actually called Geranium) and happily trooped back to the conference hotel and checked out a panel on vampires (um, it was a pop culture conference, natch.)

Well, when I got back to the hotel, I surfed over to Meg's blog, Nepenthe's Misadventures, and discovered that she's the designer of the Shimmer socks in last month's MagKnits! So cool! I decided that I would knit her Bramble scarf pattern with the Malabrigo I bought, so that it could be a true memento of my Boston trip.

I also finally finished the Monica top for my 5 year old niece:



Pattern: Monica, from Spring 2007 Knitty
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton-Ease (stash leftovers)
Needle size: 8

This was a super easy, super fast knit. I knit it in a worsted weight, because that's what I had, so I followed the directions for the smallest size and got the medium size's measurements. I thought I would be clever and make the straps adjustable by sewing buttons on them and making buttonholes. Now I'm not convinced that the straps will hold up because, let's face it, a top knit in worsted weight is a pretty heavy top. Elizabeth just made the same top (in almost the same colors, too!) but she knit long cords for spaghetti straps, so that they can just be tied. I like this idea better.

Also, my garter ridges on the hems are thicker because the pattern instructions confused me. If it tells you to start knitting stockinette on the wrong side, does that mean you knit a purl row? Apparently so. I knit a knit row. Oh, well.

Here's another FO:



It may seem like I'm knocking 'em out, but this was a really fast knit--it's the Trendsetter Swing yarn I bought in Memphis for my friend V., who picked it out. It's just a garter stitch scarf done the long way, and by holding together the Swing with some Lana Grossa Baby Kid Extra. Together, they made the softest scarf ever, and with the green garter rows, it reminded me of spring flowers on a vine.



It cheered me up over the Easter weekend, which was full of nasty rain and sleet here in Austin. But, warmer weather has come back, and I hope it's here to stay!

9 Comments:

At 2:04 PM, Blogger Kodachrome said...

Good choice on the baby blanket. And you are an FO machine--very nice stuff.

Re: your trip to Newbury Yarns--my partner, who was also at PCA, went in there too and brought home some Mountain Mist Jubilee sock yarn for me. Tee hee. How funny that all the academic knitters, and all the academic spouses of knitters, were all converging on that store! Perhaps I'll see you next year in San Francisco...

 
At 5:44 PM, Blogger meg said...

I think the bramble stitch scarf will be gorgeous in the malabrigo! And yes, we are a tribe, aren't we!

 
At 6:12 PM, Blogger la rebelde said...

cute scarf! omg, i can't believe we were in boston at the same time--we could have hung out! good thing i'll see you tomorrow. :)

 
At 6:53 PM, Blogger Kathy said...

Spring flowers on a vine: exactly. I love that mentioned soft yarns. I love soft. Came to you from the famous blogger in the paper!

 
At 7:42 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

What a cute Monica top! I want to knit one for PQL.

 
At 6:34 AM, Anonymous Open the Gate said...

I love Lord & Taylor. You know, they just kicked off a big spring sale yesterday! Try to check it out this weekend if you can.

 
At 10:15 AM, Blogger meg said...

hey i heard i should stop by the same store while im in town. now, i'm definitely going to make an effort.

post a pic of your new purse!!

 
At 7:22 AM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

That baby blanket will be awesome. and your Monica looks so cute, too.

 
At 4:13 PM, Anonymous vero said...

Thank you friend!!! I LOVE my new scarf! You all can't see this in the picture that was posted, but the scarf has an awesome curl to it that makes it look even more like a vine full of lovely (and bright) spring flowers. It's awesome! Plus, I got to keep the left over yarn--oh to think of all the crafting possibilities :) !

 

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