Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Survey Says....

Thanks to all who responded to my requests for feedback on the Heart Baby Blanket.

I Don't Know Nothin' About Birthin' No Babies

I was surprised at the results and expected just the opposite in percentages.  I was fully anticipating adding on another row of hearts before binding off on this project.

But I also had no idea that babies don't seem to sleep with blankets in their crib any more, and blankets that are too big will just get in the way and drag on the ground  if used in a car seat and/or stroller.

Good to have some breeders who know things about babies and their associated blankets.

Current Knitting

So I went with the majority of opinions and bound off the Heart Baby Blanket

I have a couple of ends to weave in, and I will wash and block the blanket before wrapping it up (even though I'm sure the mom will wash it again), but overall, I'm quite happy with this project.  It's not the most interesting project I've worked on, but it results in a lovely blanket.

Readers' Comments/Questions

In comments, Jenny writes, "Is the heart blanket your own pattern or one available to the public?"

The pattern is not mine and is available for free, but it has a LOT of errors in it...if you're an experienced knitter, you can easily figure it out.

Here were my suggested changes to the pattern I downloaded:

Row 7 k8, k9,p1, p9, k6, repeat fromuntil 8 sts remain, k8 
Row 7 (should be):k8, k9,p1, k9, k6, repeat fromuntil 8 sts remain, k8
Row 10 k8, k6, p7, k6, k6, repeat from until 8 sts remain , k8 
Row 10 (should be): k8, p6, k7, p6, k6, repeat from until 8 sts remain , k8
Row 18 Repeat Row 15 
Row 18 (should be): Repeat Row 16
Row 19 Repeat Row 16 
Row 19 (should be): Repeat Row 17
Rows 25-29 Repeat Rows 1-6 
Rows 25-29 (should be): Repeat Rows 2-6

Monday, June 18, 2018

Reader Feedback Welcome

Actually, feedback from blog readers is always welcome, but today I ask for specific feedback.

Long Enough?

My current project, the Heart Baby Blanket is almost complete, but my dilemma is whether I should make it longer, or bind off where it currently is.

Right now, the width of the blanket is about 33 inches (84 cm) and the length is about 36 inches (91 cm).  The blanket is loosely knit and drapey so it stretches out quite a bit.

Would you add another row of hearts (approximately 4.5 inches or 11 cm) or would you bind off the blanket where it is now?

Create your own user feedback survey

Current Knitting

I think that's already been

While I await responses, I'll just work on the never-ending knitted sheet project.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Modern Day Alchemy

And that is the most succinct description of the Men's Knitting Retreats that I can come up with.

These two photos were taken during the weekend of the retreat.  The top one was a group of guys that visited Carole Foster's Sheep Farm/Yarn Store (see Carole center) to either take a workshop in indigo dyeing or to supplement their stash.  They all seem happy regardless of the reason for the visit.

The second photo is the full group of guys (with one guy missing...I think the one female sheep in the photo may have had something to do with his absence).

From the very first day at the retreat, some strange and wonderful things happened, and it reminded me that I have very little to do with the concoction of guys, yarn-enthusiasm and natural beauty of Easton Mountain.  When I focus on making sure the space and all the logistics are handled, the guys seem to handle the rest.

I'm blessed to have some small part in it and the ability to participate with an awesome group of men.

If you're a guy who knits who has never experienced one of the Men's Knitting Retreats, you should definitely try the experience.

Current Knitting

The last two days have been very busy with little time to focus on my knitting

Only 1/2 a row of hearts added to the blanket (did that really require 2 progress photos?).

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Useful Reference Guides

I remember when I learned about various on-line formulas that could be used to create one-piece, top-down raglan sweaters and how useful they were.

New Book - One-Piece Knits

The new knit publication, One-Piece Knits by Margaret Hubert is a valuable addition to my knitting references.

This book is full of useful information that both a new knitter and a longtime knitwear designer could find useful with plenty of tips, ideas, designs and detailed photographs.  It starts with many of the useful methods that I wish had been published years ago when I first started knitting sweaters...basic cast-ons, seaming up techniques, yarn weights, measuring a body for fitting a garment...etc.

The author identifies 12 basic prototypes of one-piece sweaters (for those of you who are averse to lots of finishing on a garment) and details how you can make them in various yarn gauges and multiple different sizes.  Top-down, side-over, back-to-front and cuff-to-cuff (all the hyphenated design concepts) and then provides the formulas for each in many different sizes.

And many of the examples are for men as well.

As an experienced knitter, I won't be knitting any of these designs as written, so I don't find this book to be inspirational in terms of ideas.  But when I am inspired with an idea for a new sweater design, I will definitely be starting with this book as my go-to reference on approximating size, stitches, increases and decreases.  It's a comprehensive book replete with templates on creating many different styles of sweater.

Current Knitting

One more row of hearts added to the Heart Baby Blanket...

Three more rows to go.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Gay Pride Allies

Longtime knitting friend Carol and her daughter went to the Philly Gay Pride parade this past weekend to support her oldest son (and older brother).  It reminded me of how important the love and support of parents and siblings are.

A Mother's Love

A few months after my mom found out I was gay, my sister tells me about an incident with my mom and one of her neighbors.  My mom is out chatting with a couple in a neighboring house and the man tells a rather innocuous gay joke.  I don't remember the joke now, but I recall it wasn't meant to be hateful, in fact I remember it made me laugh.

My mom replied..."My son is gay, and I find that joke offensive."

I can't tell you how proud I was of my mom.  More importantly, it made me realize how critically important it was for me to have her love and support.  She wasn't thrilled to know her son was gay, and she struggled with it for a while, but her thinking evolved quickly.  A longtime friend of hers reminded her that I had always been a good son and that hadn't changed.  Having a friend be supportive of my mom seemed important in her evolution.

Sister Kathy and mom
My mom and I have a great relationship these days.  She lives a couple of miles from me and I'm glad to be around for when our family gets together or when she needs me for this weekend I'll be feeding her cat.

Allies...friends...parents...brothers and sisters...and even social media friends and blog readers...people you can be sure of...such an important part of my life.  I'm blessed and grateful for all of them.

Current Knitting

It's growing...

Another layer of hearts have been added on to the Heart Baby Blanket...only four more rows of hearts to go.

I like that this blanket looks good on either fact I'm not sure whether I prefer the reverse stockinette heart on a stockinette background...

...or a stockinette heart on reverse stockinette background.

Fortunately, it looks good either way.