Preparations are steadily moving forward in anticipation of the new granddaughter. After making the cocoon I dug the Baby Yours sweater out of the bag and worked steadily on it until it too was finished, right down to the cute little buttons Ed and I found when we visited Twisted in December.

Look how tiny it is! My thumb just fits into the sleeve.Pattern: Baby Yours by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill, Superwash Merino 4oz/420 yards Colorway: Jade
Needles: #2 – Ed’s needles
This pattern is worked flat and seamed together when finished. By the time I started on the arms I was eager to be finished so I worked both arms side by side on the same circs (not in the round). It was a bit of a challenge to remember which direction and which side I was on and there was a time that one sleeve was suddenly 6 rows longer than the other one. After that I used a stitch marker at the beginning of the right sleeve, front side to help me know which sleeve was which. Otherwise it was a fun pattern to knit.

As soon as Baby Yarns was blocked and drying I spun up the rest of the Crown Mountain Farms Rising of the Phoenix roving hoping to get enough yarn to make a couple hats. Spinning for a worsted I ended up with only 78 yards.  Not wanting to find more roving that would work with the RotP yarn I looked through my stash of handspun yarns and found a happy surprise – the CMF roving, Locomotive Breath, that I spun last fall made a suitable complimentary yarn. Though it’s a three ply yarn and the RotP is a two-ply they are about the same thickeess and have been behaving very well together.

Taking up a J/6mm Knook I cast on 4 loops and crocheted the first few rounds then switched to knooking the rest of the hat.
I had to do a bit of ripping out and adjusting to get the size right since I was flying by the seat of my pants without a pattern – jotting notes as I went. I’m very happy with how it turned out.The colors are pretty true to the yarn in the two pictures above. The one below is washed out.

Little buddy loves the hat that grammi made for him, and it fits great – with room to grow!

Yes! The two grandkids drove to Oregon with their mommy so they could be here when Aurora has her baby!

As soon as Gus’s hat was finished I cast on with the remaining yarn a hat for Feather. This time I’m making it from the bottom up and am about half way finished. I am sure that it will be finished in the next day, or two – depending on how much knooking time I get. The plan is to take group pictures of the three grandkids together with baby in her cocoon and the cousins in their hats made with some of the same yarn. It’s a race between getting work done, knooking and fiddle practice.

Crooked Finger Band has a St Patrick’s gig in Milwaukee on Saturday and there are a couple pieces I’d like to work up a bit more speed under my fingers and bow. I’m hoping that the baby will not decide to send her mommy into labor that Saturday.The  imminent arrival would leave the band without their fiddler, but a new baby to admire and love.


A Hat for the Grandson

Somewhere in the middle of December I was seized with the notion I had to knit Wesley a hat for Christmas. The perfect yarn has been languishing since late 2004 when I purchased a huge hank of luxious charcoal grey wool of unknown type, the label has long since disappeared.  This is the softest yarn I have ever worked with. Knitting the grey hat I kept fondling the yarn almost regretting that I hadn’t bought two hanks to make a sweater.

A couple summers ago I knit up some socks that had an intuitive pattern which I loved and it seemed like it’d be a perfect foundation pattern adapted into a hat. The hat knit together quickly and the parents loved it on Wesley. Six month old Wesley wasn’t quite as sure since he’s not a huge fan of things on his head.

Little Buddys Cap
Little Buddy Hat

I was pressed to knit it and get it finished in a hurry so I didn’t write the pattern down as I shaped the crown, something I came to regret after the parents’ enthusiastic response to the hat. (Neither of them gets excited about handknits). A couple weeks ago they went out to eat and when they returned home they realized the hat wasn’t on Wesley’s head. They searched the car and called the restaurant to no avail. It was the opportunity to make another one and write the pattern row by row as I shaped the top.  The second hat was met was equal happiness and now I’m on to a third, this one with smaller needles but more stitches. My goal is to develope a pattern that will fit several sized heads that I can print up and offer for sale. 🙂

Any takers?

I just put up for sale at Ravelry my first pattern: Felted Spindle Pouch for Walking Spinners. I designed the pouch in 2006 when I was doing a lot of spinning while out walking and needed a good place to stash the spindle and roving. As soon as I get all the kinks worked out and sizings figured I’ll be adding Little Buddy’s hat. 🙂  I’d be tickled to have a few people test drive the pattern before it gets published.

Mostly Spinning

Last weekend we were vendors at the NWRS conference. It was great to get out among spinners and fiber people. Our Turkish spindles were well received though sometimes it was hard convincing people that yes, you can spin lace-weight yarn. One woman trying to decide which spindle to buy was concerned about the weight. She liked spinning fine yarn. Finally I handed my spindle that I’d been spinning very fine silk on for bookmarks. As soon as she spun it she fell totally in love with it, exclaiming over the balance and ease of spinning the silk. After spinning a few yards she asked what wood it was, then the price. She really wanted it. I let her know she could buy it. Then she asked that lethal question, “How much does it weigh?” I shouldn’t have answered. As soon as I said, “2.5oz” she put it down as fast as a hot coal. She ended up buying one that weighed 2.1oz but even as I wrapped it she glanced back at the silk laden one.

We set up across from Susan of Abstract Fibers, a terrific fiber dyer and a fun person to be around.

Susan’s booth assistant and spinning friend, Gail spun an amazing amount of yarn during the four day conference. She’s only been spinning a few months. Another delightful person!

I missed the best photo opt of the packed circles of spinners scattered all across the middle of the large gymnasium Thursday and Friday. By Sunday, when I finally got my camera out, many of the spinners had already packed up headed for home.

I was able to take a Friday morning workshop on spinning for color with sock yarn. Great class though there wasn’t enough time to cover all the steps and details the instructor had planned to walk us through. I did learn to Navajo ply on my spindle! 🙂 And I’ve been playing around with spinning dyed fiber in various ways to emphasis or bring out different color schemes.

So far I’ve managed to spin up a couple samples. On the Baby Delight I spun the tuft of sample fiber Abstract Fibers, Susan, had tucked in the welcome bag. Since it was a very small amount I spun it fine and used the center pull method to ply back on itself. This ended up being 28wpi after plyed, set and dried. The Baby Delight has the plyed yarn; singles still in process on the big Turk below.

From the roving we purchased in the class I split my long repeat patterned dyed roving in half crosswise then split each of the halves into six thin rovings. I’ve spun two of the matching splits starting at the red end ending with the blue then joining the blue to blue and spinning out to the red.

Today, while waiting at a hospital during a friend’s surgery, I finished spinning that sample and plyed the ends together, again using the center-pull method, with the intent of matching the colors. My spinning wasn’t totally consistent so there’s some overalpping and barber-poling but on the whole I’m pleased. I need to take it out of it’s soaking and put it on the warping board to dry and measure.

Would you like to see Wesley at one week?

Family of Four

I’ve been scurrying around trying to cram three days of work into one. When we applied to be vendors at the Northwest Regional Spinner’s Association Annual conference we’d assumed that Wesley would be born well before the date and we’d have this week to fully get ready. I’d been printing books, copying dvds and preparing some fiber samples. But having Faith for most of the last five days put me behind in everything. The postmistress was surprised when I kept laying packages to be mailed on the counter, it’d been awhile since we’d mailed that many in one day. We’re heading into a long weekend starting tomorrow morning. The booths are to be opened from 8:30am – 11pm each day. It’ll be interesting to see how well we hold up, especially Ed who normally is in bed by 9pm. To add to that, he’s been off his feet since Saturday when allergies blew up into a severe sinus infection. There isn’t much that keeps him out of the shop for a few days but he’s been sleeping for the majority of time. Tonight he felt as though maybe he’s finally starting to kick it.

Oh, you want to know about the baby?

Wesley finally arrived late Sunday evening, only 12 days after he was predicted to come. Mom and baby are healthy and well. He weighed 8lbs, 8oz.

With daddy about an hour after birth:

Faith had been staying with us since Saturday as well as Friday. Since she and Ed were sound asleep when the phone call came, I left a note and dashed to town to see the newborn son.

The next morning about 10 we took Faith in to see her little brother. On the whole she mostly ignored him and only showed a brief bit of curiosity. She sat next to him only long enough for a couple pictures then scooted off the couch. She stayed with us until late yesterday.

About 12 hours old: