Wednesday, January 21, 2004


Knitting the Janis baby gift for her little Marina was one of the most enjoyable design projects I've done in a while. The inability to share it on my blog was the least pleasnt part about it.

Janis Baby Gift
First of all, Marilyn gave me the great idea to make a baby version of FiestaWare for Janis' baby. I loved the idea, but I wasn't sure I'd be able to find a baby-weight, superwash merino with a large enough range of colors that I could use for that project (requires at least 17 colors).

Fortunately, GGH has Merino Soft in baby weight and in awesome colors. And it's superwash.

I immediately purchased 11 colors that I thought were perfect, and asked my local yarn store to order 7 more colors.

I actually did a gauge swatch for this sweater and calculated how big I wanted to make the finished sweater (actually how many squares across I wanted it).

Here's the result.

The sweater came out absolutely perfect. I loved the size, I loved the colors and I loved the yarn. I even left the right shoulder and neck open and added a small button band and buttons so a baby head could fit through easily.

Even the buttons I had in my stash worked perfectly.

After buying all that yarn, it seemed like a waste to leave the remaining yarn to rot in my stash, so I decided I also needed to do leggings.

I looked everywhere for a baby leggings pattern. For some reason I thought Dale had a lot of them, but I couldn't find a single one.

I had finally decided I would just design my own, when I found a pattern in my trusty old Patons book (the same one that I made underwear from as one of my first projects).

Then I selected most of the brighter colors that I used in the sweater and went to work on the leggings. I have to say, the leggings took almost as much knitting time as the sweater. I also didn't weave in ends as I went along, because it was distorting the stitches, so I had LOTS of ends to weave in after I had finished the knitting and sewing up.

Anyway, here's the result.

I had originally anticipated making this sweater/leggings combination as a matching set, so that both could be worn together.

When I put them together after they were done, I thought the baby and mother might get nauseous from the combination of patterns and colors. I figured Janis could just use them as separates. What do you think?

I'm glad to say that Janis was thrilled with the gift ("astonishing" was the word she used). It's so satisfying to knit for grateful recipients.

Current Knitting
I got some additional work done on the sleeve last night. I'm growing more and more convinced that I will be woefully short of yarn for this sweater, but I'm still in denial until I completely run out.

I should have a picture of ths finished sleeve by my next blog entry.

Kake asks "What's the advantage of doing the hemp pullover sleeves sideways?"

First of all, the entire pullover is being done sideways, so knitting the sleeves sideways is just a consistency thing. The pullover is done entirely in garter stitch which would stretch much longer if it was knit in the normal fashion. The weight of the hemp and the stretchiness of garter stitch would make it a VERY long sweater.

Brief Political Rant
Thanks everyone for your comments on George W.'s resume.

I had heard most of the content of the resume over the years, but seeing it all in one place was infuriating. Especially in light of the political masterpiece he delivered last night at the state of the union. Very typically filled with lies about the economy, obfuscations about the "war on terrorism", and hateful "defense" of the institution of marriage, that wasn't exactly a pillar of morality before gays and lesbians started getting the right to do it.

Please feel free to e-mail folks the link to his resume, or copy the PDF file for your own use. The direct link is:

The more people that know, the better off we will be in November.

Readers' Comments/Questions
April asks "Who are you taking notice of in the running so far?"

First of all, I will vote for whomever is nominated as the Democratic candidate. Any of them would be better than the incumbent. My dilemna is this. The folks I like most, don't seem likely to beat Bush. I realy liked Carol Moseley Braun, and what she had to say. Sadly, I don't think this country is anywhere near electing an African American woman for president.

I really like Dennis Kucinich, but he doesn't seem to have what the majority of Americans view as a "presidential presence".

Overall, I will probably vote for Edwards in the primaries, but I have to read up a little more on his record before I decide. He seems to be the most likely candidate to oust Bush, and that is my highest priority in voting.

Ann asks, "you think VK is worth the $'s?"

No, I don't. I would have rather found a book I liked and put it toward that instead.

Ray asks, "What are the flatbed machines that I own?"

I own a fine gauge White machine with Japanese instructions, and a bulky gauge Studio 155 with a second bed attachment for knit/purl stitches (I forget what it's called). I have used both machines, but only for practice. I've never actually made any garment on them.