Thursday, November 8, 2012

Click for Babies

This post is going to be short and sweet as I don't have a lot of time to write at the moment.  For any of you who watch Katie (jetgirl1313) from Knittin' On the Fly, you know that she collects hats for the charity, Click for Babies.  The idea is to knit purple hats and donate them so they can be distributed in hospitals for all the new babies that arrive.  The charity and hats are meant to bring awareness to The Period of Purple Crying.  Essentially this all relates to infant crying and the risks Shaken Baby Syndrome.   Babies born in the month of November each receive a purple hat.  Click for Babies is specific to certain states, but I know that when my daughter was born in November, in Iowa (even though we aren't a Click for Babies state), she received a purple crocheted hat, along with a bunch of information about the Period of Purple Crying.

So Katie hosted Click for Babies and received an amazing number of hats that she donated in Maine.  Last year I didn't get the chance to knit a hat, but this year, I did!

I used the Otis Baby Hat pattern, which has 3 cables evenly distributed around the hat, which come together at the top in a really neat way.  The hats had to be at least 50% purple, which wasn't a problem for me since I had a couple different options to choose from.  I'd won a giveaway awhile back and received some Universal Yarn Bella DK in a light lavender purple, so that's what I used.  The hat turned out very soft and sweet.
I booked it to the post office (I finished the hat just days before the deadline) and rushed it out to Maine, along with some sheepy stitch markers for the giveaway Katie was hosting in conjunction with the charity drive.
I'd really like to knit this hat again as the cables really add some visual interest.  I'm really impressed with the way the cables were brought together at the top without interrupting the pattern.  Very slick.

Okay - time to fly!  Lots to do today!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Rhinbeck Cloth

I mentioned in the last post that I'd write more about my Rhinebeck trip another time.  Honestly, I don't know if I can really recap it all and do it justice.  There was a lot, and at the same time, not much at all.  It was a lot of sitting around, talking, enjoying the company of like-minded individuals.  We ate and knit and talked and ate and knit and talked some more.  Most everyone bought some yarn on Saturday. We swapped mittens on Friday evening.  I'm glad I had the opportunity to be a part of it all.

I also have to say how neat it was to be in the same place with so many knitters, knitting at the same time.  I've never been in the presence of that many knitters all at one time (or ever really).  And that was even more true on Saturday at the Sheep and Wool Festival.  I enjoyed it immensely.

Something that was part of our trip included a bag of goodies, which we referred to as our swag bags.  I'm not really going to go into all that unless someone asks about it.  There was a lot of really neat stuff and people were so generous with their time and talents.

Which brings me to the purpose of this post.  I had some ideas about what I wanted to include as my contribution to the swag bag.  One of the items I added was a dishcloth/washcloth pattern.

I designed and knit a washcloth specific to this event (the Itty Bitty meetup, not the Sheep & Wool Festival).   It reads "Itty Bitty Rhinebeck 2012" and has hearts and stars/snowflakes in the corners.
Originally I was going to knit a dishcloth for everyone, but after a little closer examination, I realized that if I had done that 1) I'd be broke because I'd be spending all my money on cotton yarn and 2) I'd be bald by the time I reached Rhinebeck from all the hair-pulling knitting dishcloth after dishcloth.

I make the pattern seem terrible, but what I really mean is that it's a little tedious to knit the same thing over and over and over again.  (A hearty applause to all of you that did have more patience than I!)

So instead I made the pattern pretty and printed out a copy for everyone to enjoy.  The pattern is free on Raverly and knits up rather quickly.  Anyone with a Ravelry account has access to the pattern and can choose to knit the cloth, although I don't think it will hold much meaning for those who aren't part of our Itty Bitty group or who didn't attend the meetup.

I knit my sample in Knit Picks Dishie in the Begonia colorway.  I think I used about half the skein, but honestly I didn't weigh the cloth or the skein when I was finished.  (I should maybe go back and do that...)  It's a large cloth, easily the size of a commercial dishcloth.  It had to be in order to fit "Rhinebeck" all on one line.  If any of you are like my mom and I, this is the size of dishcloth you really like, not those other tiny ones (while the tiny ones are fun to knit and have neat designs, they just are so little!!).
I really think the wording came out nicely (I wasn't so sure about how well you'd be able to read it, sometimes paper to practice doesn't translate well...).  Dishcloths with designs can be so difficult to photograph and truly capture what the picture is.  I find the best way is to attack it from an angle, minus the flash.  Any shadowing I've gotten this way makes it easier to distinguish the pattern.  I also try to take pictures outside in indirect sunlight whenever possible.  :)

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Little Quiet

I can't believe it's been over a month since I last posted.  That seems to be a theme - when I finally think I'm catching up, something else catches me by surprise.

So for those of you who are kind enough to keep stopping by to see what is new, I appreciate it!  I would say I promise to be better, but I think we're past that point now, don't you?  I just promise to post as often as possible and I'll try to be better. :)

So what's next to share with you?  Since my last post, a lot has happened.  I've knit a bit, I've traveled a bit, and I've celebrated Lovebug's first birthday.  All these things keep me going, busy and happy.  Shall we get in to the knitting?

In October Mr. Man and I took a wonderful trip out to New York to meet and spend time with some of my friends from Ravelry.  With 21 knitters, 2 husbands and a daughter, we had a blast!  (More on that trip another time...)  Part of our meet-up included a Mitt Swap.  Everyone made a pair of gloves/mittens/mitts to swap.  We wrapped them up all pretty-like and placed them in a pile.  Then, using the same idea as a White Elephant Christmas, we each picked a pair of mitts.  Some people did some trading and re-picking, and in the end, I believe everyone was very happy with what they went home with.

Here are the mitts I completed.  I opted for fingerless mitts (big surprise, right?).  The pattern is October Leaves Fingerless Mitts by Abbie Tilden.

The really neat thing about this mitts isn't visible right away.  There's a simple cable that runs up each side of the mitt (which I did without a cable needle, love this method) and on the inside of the mitt, when it hits the thumb gusset, turns in to a very pretty lacey leaf pattern.  The cables and lace are simple but stunning.

If I remember correctly, I didn't make any modifications to the pattern because they were for the swap.  If I were to knit them again for myself, I'd add 2-3 stitches on the thumb as I have big thumbs and large palms.  When I knit mitts, I end up feeling as though the thumbs are always too tight and constrict my thumbs a bit too much.
I used Knit Picks Gloss Fingering in Kenai, which is the same yarn I used for the Be.Leaf shawl.  It's very soft and pleasant after blocking, although a bit splitty when knitting with it.

I really enjoyed these mitts and I'm glad that Denise loves them as much as I enjoyed knitting them!  Hopefully they'll keep her toasty warm! :)