Of Rats and Jen (Inactive)

Tales of a Perpetual
Work In Progress

A Tempest in a Yarn Stash

Filed under: Knitting — folkcat at 3:16 pm on Monday, March 13, 2006

The 99:99 plan kicked into full gear this last week. My crafting focus got even better, and I have been able to complete a number of old, stale WIPs, as well as begin a few new items. This weekend’s knitting was a matter of “don’t blink, you’ll miss it” as I moved rapidly from old WIPs to new, starting several, finishing one or two others, and adding to the progress on current works.

Warming the Tiny

First up in this report is Preemie Hats. About 18 months ago, while I was laid up with a broken foot over Thanksgiving and Christmas, was when I started knitting regularly again. I had a copy of The Joy of Knitting, so I knit several Mobius scarves for friends (page 29). Then I knit some Watch Caps (page 87), until all my friends had hats to match their scarves.

By then, I was bored with what I could knit from my stash. Still not up to going on a shopping trip, I talked my husband into letting me order a small amount of yarn from a mail-order source so that I could try my hand at the Watch Cap for Preemies (page 155).

Preemie Hats - Three FO's and a WIP
Preemie Caps – Center, Sirdar Snuggly Magic DK yarn; Ends, unknown acrylic baby yarn from stash.

Two balls of self-striping Sirdar Snuggly Magic yarn later, and I had knit my first two preemie caps, the cute striped models in the picture. Only problem was, I had nowhere to go to donate them. So they sat in stash, along with the rest of the yarn they were knit from, until my recent stash organizing frenzy.

Preemie Hats with Ruler for Scale
Finished Caps, with a ruler for scale

Now, I have a place to take the caps – Patty from our Eats, Knits, & Leaves monthly knitting group at the Toadstool Bookshop is a nurse with direct connections to the Neonatal ICU. She’ll be passing along completed caps (and other baby knits) for anyone who brings them to meetings.

The organization had turned up two band-less balls of baby yarn of unknown vintage – but they have to have been in stash for at least 10 years. I quickly realized that they, too, were suitable for preemie caps. And so they were added to a special “Preemie Mini-Tote” to become part of what is now an ongoing WIP for me. As you can see from the pictures, I’ve already knit a hat from the peach color, and have cast-on for one in the blue. Tonight, I turn in the first three hats to Patty at the monthly meeting, and I’ll be bringing the Preemie Hat Tote as my knitting for the evening. Who knows, I may have another hat for her by the end of the night!

Pattern: Watch Cap for Preemies, from The Joy of Knitting, page 155
Yarn: Sirdar Snuggly Magic (self-striping), and unknown baby weight acrylic.
Needles: Brittany wooden DPNs, US 5

A Blanket Fit for a Queen

FO - Queen-size Blanket, End View
Miles of Knitting – the Queen-size Blanket

After knitting on a preemie cap for a while Sunday night, I picked up the Queen-size blanket I had finished knitting over a year ago – the one which only needed all its ends woven in. And that’s exactly what I did.

Having gone a little stale-smelling in a plastic tub in storage, the blanket also got a good run through the washing machine today. Knit from Red Heart Super Saver yarn for practicality, this was a full – very full – washload all by itself. I was pleased that it did fit – I can’t stand public laundromats, and I’d hate to have to visit one just to clean this one blanket. As you can see, it’s looking very elegant on my bed.

FO - Queen-size Blanket, Side View
Side View of the Queen-size Blanket

I designed the blanket based on the knit patterns for afghan squares given at the Warm Up America website, with a border of simple garter stitch all around. The border was proportioned to the same height and width as the squares. I couldn’t tell you the measurements offhand, but the arrangement of pattern squares is 9 wide and 10 high, with a matching border. (Warm Up America designed each square to be 7 by 9 inches – I usually get a slightly larger size from the patterns, though.)

I’m pleased with how this came out. It weighs a ton, but that will feel good on a cold winter night. Being acrylic, it’s machine-washable, which is essential for me. It looks good, and the size is what I wanted. I count this as a success.

Pattern: My own, based on afghan square patterns from Warm Up America.
Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver
Needles: US size 10 (or 10 1/2?) circulars (The needles had long since been put away, so I’m not sure.)

Welcoming the New

A friend who saw my stash review noted my comment about how many odd skeins of acrylic worsted weight I had in stash, and suggested a project for them. Her mother is a pediatrician who works in a clinic that sees many immigrants. Lots of these families are from warmer climates, and they aren’t adequately prepared for our colder New England weather. So her mom keeps a closet full of warm clothes to give them, and will gladly accept donations of knit scarves, hats, and mittens in all sizes – children and adult – to enhance the supplies.

WIP - Slanted Eyelet Scarf
WIP – Slanted Eyelet Scarf

I love knitting scarves, whether I need them or not, because they give me an excuse to play with new stitches and patterns. So I went to my 2006 Knitting Pattern-a-Day calendar, and pulled out the page for January 4th – the Slanted Eyelet Scarf. Sometime Sunday night, after knitting preemie hats and finishing the blanket, I cast on this new project.

With only two rows in the pattern – and one of them straight purl within a 3-stitch garter border – this is a very quick, very easy knit. After only one or two repeats, you’ll either have the pattern memorized, or be able to read it from the work on the needles. When I’ve completed this scarf, I may look for a hat pattern with a similar diagonal rib and eyelet pattern to make a set.

Then, of course, since I’ll still have other yarns in stash to use up, I’ll figure out what to knit next!

Pattern: Slanted Eyelet Scarf, 2006 Knitting Pattern-a-Day, January 4th.
Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver
Needles: Susan Bates US size 8

Clothing the Pirates

I can’t show you a picture of this or tell you the details yet, because it’s something I knit to gift to my Booty Pal for the pirate swap. I completed my knitting on what I’ve been calling The Pirate Project. I’m planning to offer the pattern as a freebie after the swap happens, so keep your eyes open! I’m pleased with how it came out, and I took my favorite local pirate, Iron William Flint, out on sunny Saturday to take pictures for the pattern layout. It looks good!

The Weekly 99:99 Update

Last week’s goal: Two ten-minute sessions of marching in place, on each of five days.

Accomplished!

This week’s goal: Two 15 minute sessions of marching in place, on each of five days.

Last week worked smoothly enough again that I’m planning to make another larger baby-step. Originally, I would have added only 5 more minutes to each day this week, making 25 minutes per day. Instead, I’ve decided to jump directly to the end destination for my exercise – two 15 minute sessions, five days per week. Woo-Hoo!

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1 Comment

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Pingback by Crafting Jen » FO’ing the WIP’s, WIP’ing the UFO’s

February 7, 2007 @ 5:43 pm

[…] My original plan was to do this all in a single piece. Which means a 90 inch by 90 inch blanket, all in one unit. If that seems unwieldy, well, I’ve knit a Queen-size blanket all in one piece before, so we know I’m not afraid of working on such a large object. […]

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