Monday, May 27, 2013

Bata Blanket - Part 1

Happy Memorial Day!

Bata, in the Filipino language, means Baby.  I have decided to crochet a baby blanket and give it to Vince's best friend who just had a baby girl in February and call it my Bata Blanket.  It is a pattern that I have crocheted in the past, so I will not be reinventing the wheel on this one.

The pattern is the Marbled Baby Throw from the huge selection at Lion Brand Yarns.  I had crocheted this for my friend's baby last summer, the CB Bebe Throw.  Here is a photo from that project:

Oliver's Blankie

I hear from Crissta and Oliver loves the blanket and sleeps with it every night!  I love it!!!

So, since it was a hit with one baby, let's go for two!  Vince's friend lives out in California and just had his second child.  Way back in 2010, I crocheted the same baby blanket pattern, like, 4 times.  His son got one of them.

Mateo's Blankie

Ok, let's get down to the details of this blanket.  I am using Berroco Comfort (50% Nylon, 50% Acrylic), worsted weight.  I am using two different purples (Raspberry Coulis & Grape Fizz), a teal blue (Dutch Teal) and a pink (Ballet Pink) bought at the Brandon Yarn Boutique.  I am using a size I hook. 

The Ballet Pink and Grape Fizz are light colors and the Rasperry and Dutch Teal are darker, more saturated.  The mix of them together area great! 

Berroco Comfort

The pattern is your basic granny square.  Just one big square that you change colors after two rounds.  I started this blanket last Sat, May 19.


The above pic is what the start looks like, with all of the colors being used once.  From the middle, the colors are Dutch Teal, Raspberry Coulis, Grape Fizz and then Ballet Pink.  Once the pattern is established, you don't even need to lug around the pattern anymore and the colors start to come together.

Love this color combo!

I chose these colors over the Comfort Baby colors because the saturated colors give it such a pop, that I'm sure the bata will enjoy it as a toddler, too.

Vince and I have a plan that is being worked on for the sewing room!  I'm so excited to be moving forward with something in that room.  Once I had unpacked everything, it looked just as worse as when the stuff was in boxes!  Preview: I helped cut wood on a compound miter saw, I sanded with a belt sander and I am an expert on wood stain.......

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Weekend Shrug - Finished

Okay, let's call this the Two-Weekend Shrug!  I did mainly work on this on the weekend days, so it is safe to say that it was a quick knit.  I bought two hanks of Berroco Weekend and I ended up only needing less than 1-1/2 hanks.

My last post, explained the source of the pattern and a bit about why I chose this to knit:
Continuing with the open weave pattern, I need to knit to a length of about 15 inches.

Once I had 15 inches knit, then I knitted the ribbing again, like in the start.  I have essentially knit a rectangle, with ribbing at the top and bottom of the long sides of the rectangle.

There was a special bind-off method that was needed to mimic a cast-on edge, called Elizabeth Zimmermann's sewn bind-off.  Elizabeth Zimmermann was a British-born knitter that revolutionized the modern practice of kntting, so essentially she is the Mother of Knitting.  What she says goes. :-)

So, this is how it is done.  First, when you are ready to bind-off, you cut the yarn really long; put it on a sewing needle.  Thread the yarn from right to left through the first two sts, purlwise.

Second, thread the yarn from left to right into the first st, knitwise.

Third, pop the first st off the needle.

Repeat, threading the needle in this fashion until you have threaded through the last st on the needle.

The bound-off edge looks like the cast-on edge.  Yippee!  Even if it doesn't, who is going to know??

Then I sewed the ribbed edges together for 3-1/4 inches on each side; folded the ribbed edge that will be on my neck and I was DONE

I went by Brandon Yarn Boutique to show off how much I had done (I was at the final ribbing part at the time I stopped by the shop).  There were other people there and enjoyed looking at my project.  I loved hearing their praise and comments.

How neat is this little shrug?  I can't wait to wear it!  This will be my newest favorite article of clothing.

I am vowing to make only practical pieces.  I have several items that I have knit and barely wear because it's too warm out or it only goes with one thing.  That is a good-intention statement, but in my UFO pile there are wool items and long-sleeved pullovers. Sigh.... 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Weekend Shrug - Part 1


I'm back to knitting and blogging.  This is a good thing!

My newest project (yeah, yeah, I know I have a few UFO's hanging out there) is called my Weekend Shrug.  It was a free pattern on Ravelry called Ribbed Lace Bolero by Kelly Maher published in her blog: 10 feet high.

Kelly Maher's pic of bolero - Front

Kelly Maher's pic of bolero - Back

Isn't that cute?  I wanted something that I can do in cotton or cotton blend, versatile with my spaghetti strap and sleeveless blouses, and will be a quick-knit.

I went to my local yarn shop (LYS): Brandon Yarn Boutique to find the perfect yarn.  I knew if I went to Joann's or Michael's, I'd end up not liking the yarn I chose or something, so I decided to splurge and do it right.  My time is worth it!

Anyway, I chose Berrocco Weekend (75% Acrylic, 25% Cotton) in Pitch Black.  I am using size 8 and 10.5 knitting needles.

Weekend is a nice acrylic/cotton blend that feels and acts more like cotton than acrylic.  It is not springy like acrylic, but true to form like cotton (aka, no give).  Just what I wanted...something that can get thrown in the wash; carefree.

First you start out by ribbing a k2, p2 on the 8's.  I would use my 8 circs, but they are tied up with my UFO Cabled Cardi KAL.  Oh well, I have so many straights, that is what I used.  It was a little awkward because I used the 14" ones, which gave me arm fatigue holding them up.  I did not realize how spoiled I had gotten with the circs!

Little ribbing

Next you start the lace or open weave on the 10.5's.  These were even more awkward to work with at the 14" length.  How did our foremothers knit all day with these things?!

Kathy, my sister, talked my into buying the 10.5 circs.  Her convincing argument was that you only have to buy them once and you will always have them.  So true...consider me convinced.  I printed out a Michael's coupon and bought them at 40% off.  Yeah me!

Once the open weave portion is done, then you knit the ribbing again, back on the 8's, and connect the corners which meet under the arm and sew.  Right now, I would consider myself only about 25% done.  I have about 6" of the open weave knitted and I need about 18".

I will not let this shrug stay a UFO for long.  I have been wanting a black short-sleeved shrug for awhile and have been too cheap and lazy to go shopping for one.  I figured that I would be crafty and just knit the darn thing myself.

Cheers to a quick knit!