Tuesday, December 26, 2006

never mind the blue blanket...

... I have a new niece!
Linnea Anne Block arrived just in time for Christmas on 12/23.
Here she is!

And here she is with her Auntie,

stoned Auntie.

manic Auntie. (you're glad I removed the red eye)

Auntie getting frustrated with how long this is taking.

And finally Auntie looking like a human being.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

A quick, but cozy baby blanket

My procrastinating lifestyle extends to knitting as much as anything else. So as the months of my sister's pregnancy went by, my baby blanket plans were pared down more and more. Ultimately I used a bulky alpaca with and easy stitch that took me less than three weeks to complete. That lightening fast for me! And, if I say so myself, it turned out great.

I used Plymouth Yarn's Baby Alpaca Grande in blue mix (2564) and turquoise mix (2566). I cast on 60 sts. with size 15 needles, started each row by slipping one, and otherwise used a 1x1 seed stitch. The 1x1 seed stitch involves alternating 1 knit and 1 purl; knitting the knit sts and purling the purled sts on subsequent rows. I changed yarn every 15 rows to make the stripes. Changing yarn was actually the trickiest part. I started by just knitting with both colors for about five sts and then putting down the old color. But the sts made with both yarns were bulky and my eye was immediately drawn them. Ultimately the best way I found was to slip the first stitch of the row, like I did for every row, then make a slip knot in the new color and pull the loop through the next stitch. Then I cut the old yarn and pulled it through the second stitch too. I know knots are less than ideal, but they were less obstrusive than the double knit sts. What do you think? Are knots in knitting bad?

Anyway, the blanket turned out great. The seed stitch is really stretchy, so although its a little small, it can be wrapped around the kid easily. And the alpaca is soooo soft, everyone at my sister's shower oohed over it.

By the way, if anyone out there decides to try making this blanket, let me know, I'd love to see it!