babyStripes!, designing, le tour de gansey part trois

oh, blog, I’ve missed you.

(don't) look up? [365x2.52]
This is what I’m up against

I have been so busy reading for comps, and getting so psychologically drained in the process, that it’s been to difficult to update the blog. And, for that matter, keep up with any of your blogs. Well, that’s not true…I’m reading them, but just don’t have the brainpower to comment with anything besides “ooh, pretty!”. There isn’t a whole lot of updating to do, since with all the reading, the knitting time has been fairly limited, but I’ve got a few things to show you, and a few things on my mind, knitting-wise, that I’d best get off it soon so as to not be distracted during comps.

First off: I’ve decided to abandon the Tour de Gansey, part trois. I know, I said I wouldn’t, but I have to. Not the knitting of the gansey (in fact, I’ve got an update for you, just below), but the Tour-themed posts. It’s just that with the Tour long over now, it’s not really worth the extra mental energy it takes to write posts in my pseudo-sports announcer voice. It’s exhausting enough to just write in my own voice, I assure you!

gansey progress

But see, I have made progress on it! I finished the second sleeve a couple of days ago, and am ready to join. But I may wait to finish this until September, after I’ve taken my comps…there’s a lot of thinking to be done in terms of how to execute seamless set-in sleeve shaping (with the teensiest saddle, carrying that central cable up across the shoulder), and I don’t have the brainpower left to do it, I don’t think.

The other project I’ve been working on is babyStripes! I’m “test-knitting” the 1yo size of the pattern I have yet to write. It’s more fair to say that I’m writing the pattern as I go, using the 1yo size as my starting point. Anyway, here’s that:

baby stripes!

As you can see, I knit the bottom hem flat, and then cast on extra stitches to join and knit in the round. It will be steeked, down the road. You may notice, in that photo, that there are purl columns on either side of the steek stitches. I’m switching yarns for the stripes in the purl stitch on one side, carrying the yarns up the side, and will use the purl columns as a nice place to pick up stitches for the button band, post-steeking. Here’s what the inside looks like:

baby stripes!

You can’t see this detail in the photos, but I cast on extra stitches at the bottom of the sweater, and decreased them across the back after a few inches…this detail is intended to leave room to go over the top of a diaper, since I know those can get rather bulky!

Ok, so with those two current projects out of the way, what else do I want to put in this brain-dump of a post? Maybe I’ll split it up by topic, with headers:

On becoming an aunt
We got news from my husband’s brother and his wife that we are going to be an aunt and uncle! This is pretty exciting, I have to say. The baby is due in February, I think. Anyway, being a knitter, I of course have been thinking of what I should knit for this…”neicephew”? Why oh why does English not have a gender-neutral word for the offspring of a sibling (or sibling-in-law)? I want to get their input before I start knitting away, of course. I’m selfishly keeping the babyStripes! test-knit for my Hypothetical Future Child, so it will have to be something else.

On the new Interweave
Every time I’m about to decide to let my subscription lapse, they come out with something great like this most recent magazine. It’s seriously great. There are some fabulous patterns in there, and some great articles about sustainability and domestic yarn production. I’m particularly taken with the Freyja yoked sweater (does that shock anyone?), but there are lots of lovely things in here.

On Jared Flood’s new book
Y’all have probably already heard about this, but Jared Flood, aka “brooklyntweed”, has a new book. It looks pretty awesome. I have always loved his style, and I think we are of a similar mindset when it comes to updating classic designs and such. Anyway, I’m excited for him!

On Veronik Avery’s new magazine and yarn
You guys have heard about Veronik Avery’s new new magazine, right? And the new yarn, too? I am downright giddy about some of the patterns (like that green shawl), but it’s the yarn I’m even more excited about. A nice, sturdy, wool-lover’s sport/dk yarn? Yes please! I’m only sorry that I’m not tutoring this summer, because that means I don’t have the money to buy some. I have several design ideas that I think would work beautifully in it. Speaking of which…

On design inspiration
A little while ago, I ordered “Knitted Lace of Estonia”, and everyone who has recommended it to me was right…it is a gorgeous book, and full of inspiration. The funny thing is, what it’s inspiring me to think up are yoked sweater designs. Oh, I know, that’s not actually very surprising at all given my yoke obsession, but seriously, I have several design ideas, either utilizing traditional lace motifs or techniques from my other Nancy Bush book on Estonian knitting, like roositud and vikkel braids. I’d love to write up a little pattern collection of pieces inspired by traditional Estonian knitting, but the dual problems of lack of time and lack of sufficient funds to acquire the yarn to do so are getting in the way. I do have yarn that I think will work for one of the lacy designs, at least, so you may see some of that, once life has gotten a little less crazy around these parts.

On Rhinebeck
We made our hotel arrangements last week, so we’re definitely in! Lots of stuff in the area is already booked up, by the way, which I suppose I should have expected, but didn’t. So we’re staying a little ways away from the actual festival. That weekend is also my husband’s birthday, so it’ll be nice to take a little “mini-vacation” down in the Catskills. It’s a bit of a drive, considering the fact that we live in the same state, but that’s ok, because it should be a very pretty one. Anyway, if you’re planning to be there, let me know! I’d love to meet you lovely blog readers in person.

9 thoughts on “oh, blog, I’ve missed you.”

  1. You can do it! You can do it! Rah, rah, rah!! (That’s as close to being an actual cheerleader as I’ll ever get.) I wish comps/prelims didn’t suck so much, but they do.

    I’m waiting for hte new IK to hit the newsstands. I let my sub lapse because there were just too many issues I didn’t like, but I’ll have to buy the fall 09 issue for sure. The Freyje is one of my favorites in there as well.

    Your design inspirations sound cool – could you contact yarn companies and perhaps get some complementary yarn for promoting their products? I don’t really design, so I don’t know how that works, but it’s a thought.

    1. Thanks for the cheering! I definitely need it :)

      I might let my subscription lapse anyway, and just pick up the mags with stuff I like in them. I’ve been thinking about switching over to Piecework for my magazine subscription, because I’m really into the traditional stuff.

      I’m glad someone likes my design ideas! I honestly have no idea how contacting yarn companies with design ideas and such works…I’m such a clueless newbie to this sort of thing. Hopefully I’ll be able to find out something about it, because that would be super awesome if I could arrange something like that.


    1. Thanks. I’m glad people understand!

      I’m so happy with how the gansey is turning out…I just wish I had the energy to finish it up!


  2. ahhh does that mean i have to start thinking about plans for rhinebeck?! congrats on becoming an aunt! hooray! also, i LOVE baby stripes.

    1. I don’t know, it probably does! I seriously did not expect everything to be so booked up so fast. If I can get ahold of my husband later, I’ll ask him to send me the info for the hotel we’re staying in, since I know they still had open rooms at least as of this weekend.

      I’m super excited about being an aunt! And about babyStripes! Babies are sort of awesome.


  3. I’ve been in the same boat, blog-wise. (Only it’s Swine Flu + teacher training for me instead of comps.) So to some degree, I understand!

    The baby stripes looks great, and congrats on being an aunt soon!

    I’m going to be at Rhinebeck, and I’m looking forward to actually meeting you :)

  4. Congrats on being an aunt soon, and my condolences on preparing for comps. I remember those days.

    As for baby stripes, I am so excited by it! I would be happy to test knit it when you get the rough pattern done and check sizing on a baby, since Alice will be in the 12 month size soon. Just let me know…

    Also, I bet I could get Knit Picks to sponsor you providing yarns for designs, assuming your designs work with what kind of yarn we have. Let me know, and I can put you in contact with the right people. I know we send yarn to pattern designers all the time.

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