Posts Tagged ‘knitty’

Wrap it up

July 6, 2009

the baby, that is.

This is why I’ve been away.

Well, that’s not completely true.  It is why I haven’t had anything crafty to share, because on the rare occasions I felt like knitting, I had to work on this, since I missed the baby shower deadline and just barely got it finished for the kid’s birth.  My lack of desire to knit is no doubt linked to the lack of freedom I felt on this project.  But, all in all, it was worth it.  It was for one of my closest friends who just had her first baby, a little boy named Caleb.  I hope he’ll enjoy this blanket forever (and that it will not unravel and blatantly disclose my lazy, half-assed “technique” in weaving ends in).

The blanket is the OpArt pattern from the Fall 2008 issue of Knitty, which I thought was perfect for this particular child and mom.  My friend is a speech pathologist, very tuned into the subtle developmental stages and patterns of babies and children.  While she’s tapped into the auditory and verbal development of children, this pattern touches on their visual development:

“This pattern also appeals to the developmental process of infant vision. Babies are born color blind, and with very poor vision (about 20/400 for a normal infant at birth. They are naturally attracted to high contrast, black and white images, since these are more distinct to them. From a distance of a foot or so, a newborn will be able to distinguish only the larger stripes on the edge of the blanket, with the thinner ones fading away into a solid gray, as the baby matures, the thinner stripes will become distinct.”

The blanket is made of Be Sweet Bambino (one of my most favoritist yarns ever) in sea green and natural.  I used two size 5 circulars and 5 balls of each color–which still left me short, but I cut off the pattern 2 stripes early rather than finding 2 more balls of yarn (which can be very difficult).  The blanket seemed big enough as it is anyway.

It’s really soft, organic and I think will be quite nice to its new owner–a very adorable and mellow little baby.

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Remember the emergency bolero?

July 12, 2008

It got done — in time even.

Last weekend I went to what I knew would be a stylish and lovely wedding in Tribeca, at the Tribeca Rooftop. I bought an interesting dress that I was relatively excited to wear given the fact that I had literally not bought a formal-ish dress since 1999 and had not worn one since 2004. In between then and now there have been a few saris and one bridesmaid dress. This was an occasion.

After I bought the dress I immediately realized I would need some sort of a cover-up since it was at night and was supposed to be outside (though it rained and it was moved inside). Given the color of the dress and some lovely silver shoes, I wanted something armor-like, quick to make since I only had about 10 days, and very lightweight since it is July afterall.

I found the Shetland Shorty from this summer’s new Knitty. With some modifications, I think it all turned out pretty top-notch.

I used Habu Textiles bamboo XS-45 in charcoal and silk stainless steel in gray for the body and the bamboo and wool stainless steel in wine for the neckline and part of the right front..
I ran out of the silk stainless with about 10 rows to go, so there’s an awkward/artistic stripe at the right shoulder…but I think it was fine. I actually wish I had had the foresight to know that would look nice so I could’ve done it on the other side for some symmetry.

Given the threadlike weight of the yarn I used, the net-like shetland lace pattern wasn’t really going to work, so I went with classic stockinette, which produced the chainmaille effect I was going for (especially with the incorporation of the stainless steel).

The fabric the yarn produced was absolutely perfect for what I wanted and was really just beautiful. The bamboo was shiny and the silvery steel gave it more dimension and an airiness. The garter stitch border using the steel was also three-dimensional in a way that “came alive” when the whole piece was done. I say that because it kind of looked ugly when I first started.

My only complaint with the whole project was picking up stitches with this yarn, weight and needle size used. It was messy. I will definitely be making other things with this yarn combination again — but I will be knitting neckbands separately and sewing them on. Thank you Phildar for letting me know that’s perfectly acceptable.

For the record, I decided as alternative fibers (steel and bamboo) they still met my “green” criteria for the year — (the wool was used sparingly and I don’t have much of an issue with silk at this point). This is despite my issues with the production of alternative fibers. I think there are better green choices, but the Habu yarns are not a bad once-in-a-while choice. Habu also has quite a few choices using vegetable and other natural dyes. Though I have not seen anything organic from them, which is more important to me.