Oh, joy – a Monday without work.  At least work work, the kind that involves a commute.  Mostly I’ve had a down-low kind of weekend, and I’ve managed to milk it by keeping the lethargy theme steady throughout today.

This weekend I’ve alternated time between knitting (halfway done with that second sock), looking at knitting patterns, and being cozy with family.  The knitting patterns I focused on yesterday were of the baby blanket variety.  One of my closest friends is due with her second baby late this year, and although I don’t know if the baby is a little he or a little she, I figure it’s time to get poised with at least a pattern, if not the yarn and/or a decision to go with a happy unisex color or colors.

I’ve made a couple of baby blankets, the second and more successful of which I posted about here.  The first one, while very nice to the touch and just lovely when folded, was a little challenged in the way of symmetry. 

Aha!  I've come back to haunt you from 10th grade geometry.

Aha! I've come back to haunt you from 10th grade geometry.

It came out trapezoidal.  That is, in the shape of a trapezoid.

I had decided to knit the Favorite Blue/White Blanket, a Bernat pattern available for free.  This was the third or fourth knitting project I’d ever attempted – the first blanket, and the first thing not to be made on fairly big needles with a fairly bulky fiber.  It was certainly my first baby item, and I was very nervous about the delicateness of it all.  

Favorite Blue/White Blanket

Favorite Blue/White Blanket

The US 7 and US 8 needles to be used seemed teensy weensy to me, and as much as I was determined to make a go of this pattern, I found that the notion of casting on more than 60 stitches made me sweat a little.  I decided not to tempt fate in altering the recommended yarn (it didn’t occur to me then that gauge isn’t quite as important for a blanket as it is for a sweater).  I used Baby Softee as instructed, in, you guessed it, blue and white.   It seemed to me if the pattern is called Favorite Blue/White Blanket, better not to mess with Texas.  Blue and white it was.  Good thing the baby in question was a boy.

The trapezoid FO was the obvious result of nerve-induced too-tight tension on the starting end of the blanket.  The stitch was actually very pretty – nice texture, yielding a lightweight fabric that wasn’t too lacy or fussy – but it took me days to get through the first couple of rows.  This wasn’t because the stitch was difficult, but because I was inadvertently pulling each stitch so tightly that none of them would slide down the needle without a lot of elbow grease.  An obvious fix, you say (duh, stop pulling them so tight), but I just thought that these were the inevitable and wily ways of working with smaller needles. 

With progress, my stitches gradually yet increasingly relaxed.  By the end of the blanket, my stitches were loosey-goosey, happily flying off the needles.  Didn’t really dawn on me until it was done that it was a leetle off from a rectangle.  Even blocking couldn’t bring it back into shape – but oh well, it was done, and the myriad of stitches I’d made were ready to embrace that little newborn, no matter how asthetically imperfect the collective whole of the stitches might have been.

I packed the blanket up and sent it off with love to the adorable Q and his mom, who is one and the same Kimlee I visited in Richmond recently.  She was very gracious about the trapezoidal nature of the blanket, and made me feel good about the uniqueness of my humble handicraft.  It made my heart sing when, during my recent visit, I noticed the Blue/White Trapezoid draped across the rocking chair in the nursery.  I took a few surreptitious snaps while everyone was downstairs, and brushed away a little tear of joy at the sweetness of finding it there.

I know, I’m a sap.

So.  Now I’m looking at patterns for the next blanket up to face the vice-like grip of my needles.  Below are my finalists.  Colors may depend on baby gender…or maybe not.  Suggestions welcome on color or fiber, but it’s the pattern that I need to settle on first.  Help me choose! 

Please drop me a comment below with your favorite pattern, or at least your favorite category: 

  1. Something with cables
  2. Something lacy
  3. Something blocky

 Just click on each pic for a closer look.

 

Something with cables:


Shower of Love
Leisure Arts #3219

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Something lacy:


Summer Blanket
24-25-48, Gosyo Co., Ltd


Blanket with pattern in Alpaca
b13-22


Curlicue Blanket
Skruddevutts stickade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Something blocky:


Moderne Baby Blanket
Mason-Dixon Knitting

Color Block Baby Blanket
Knit It! Magazine, Spring 2007

I’ve been so shy.  I don’t know why.  I’ve had this junior-high feeling lately:  I just want to be cool like the other kids, but there’s a lingering fear I won’t get picked for dodgeball.  You know the feeling I mean.

It’s time for me to put myself out there more and get to know other knitters – weirdly, it feels a bit like flinging myself into the dating pool.  Why is that?  Why have I been such a wimp about introducing myself to people online who are clearly very nice and non-scary?  Since when am I such a wuss?  Buck up!

One good really really great thing that will help here is Ravelry.  I’m in love with Ravelry.  First, from a personal project standpoint, it’s a lifesaver for unorganized me.  The more I use it, the more helpful it will be, and any time I can spare to roam on Ravelry increases the likelihood of me whipping myself into gear with archiving and labeling things in storage (instead of losing track of what I’ve managed to leave all over the house).  In terms of contributing, I need to do a better job of logging my stash and projects to share, and I can knock that out in a weekend if I settle down to do it. 

Then there’s the people part.  For the most part, I feel like I’m just scratching the surface there, and I want to come out of my little shell, say, “hello, world” and start making friends.  There are so many fabulous profiles to peruse, with knitters of all kinds who would probably be very happy to extend a hi-how-are-ya. 

Through Ravelry or otherwise, part of what I need to do is comment more on blogs I find really inspiring.  I don’t know why I don’t do this regularly.  I think in some respects it seems like I’m crashing the party with my newbie comments when an established group of blog-followers is in the process of commenting on a new post.  Pish posh!  The whole spirit of this community is welcoming and collaborative, which is a big part of why I’ve become so attached to my cherished network of delightful knitters (even if I’m still in the category of unheard blog-hoverer to most).

I must give props to a few ladies who haven’t known how much their impressive blogs have inspired me (because I’ve shyly kept my yapper shut):

  1. It never crossed my mind to have a blog – ever, on any subject – until earlier this year.  Although I was grateful for the wealth of knitting information that was out there to stumble upon, I just wouldn’t have pegged myself as ever having the desire (or ability, frankly) to throw another log on that fire.  Then, during a web search for a review of a Webs closeout yarn, I stumbled on Amanda‘s fantabulous blog at Fancie-Pants (love the Fancie-Pants nickname).  As I was reading through the relevant post I became hooked and ended up perusing her site that day for, well, a long time.  I read her post about the day she got her invitation to Ravelry, and I asked myself, “Huh? What’s Ravelry?” (never fear, I was on the waiting list by the end of the day).  What I learned:  in addition to being a very talented (and fast!) knitter who tweaks patterns confidently (sharing the juicy details and providing awesome photo documentation), she frequenly gives kudos to and examples of projects from other blogs she enjoys.  So, in addition to learning a lot of interesting things that Amanda shares about herself (including other crafting talents like sewing and jewelry-making), I’ve learned about other great bloggers from her as well.  There are a lot of nice blogs out there, but for whatever reason, Fancie-Pants won my heart that day with her friendly ways.  Her blog made me want to live nextdoor to her so I could bring over a bundt cake and introduce myself, then bring my yarn over and hang out.  While I was getting to know her virtually, a light bulb came on, and my life suddenly seemed incomplete without having a similar outlet to share the knitting love.  That’s it.  Sassy Does It was born.
  2.  



    Hilarious story here
  3. Lickety Knit is such a fine, fine blog, and the twins-expecting Rachel is just wonderful.  I admire her ability to create an almost tangible circle of friends.  We can all relate with her self-deprecating humor, although her obvious skill and creativity have us all shouting, “Crazy talk! You’re fabulous!”.  Her extended family of handknits-appreciaters makes me wish I had my beloved kin closer geographically so that we could unwittingly turn heads when going out en masse with our Pointer-Sister versions of the perfect winter wooly hat.  In addition to her talent with creating people-sized knitty goodness, check this post out:  it pretty sums up the BFF-caliber fun Rachel is.  She’ll be an awesome mom!  Rachel, congratulations on the two tiny and lovely buns a-baking!  I know you’ll have even less time for blogging, but your fans humbly await the first pics of the double-bundle of joy.
  4.  

  5. Cyn at Half-Assed Knit Blog is my hero.  She’s a designer who shares her ideas and free-spirit commentary on what she’s up to.  Not only is she very talented with impeccable taste (her yarn selections make me drool), she’s bloody great at making me laugh.  Cyn’s sassy twist on everything makes any topic a thoroughly enjoyable read.  On top of that, everything she models looks fantastic on her, and I end up inspired to be funky and adventurous and frankly, as cool as she is.  This is the first blog entry of hers I read; my favorite quote from which was, “Yes, I love me some nine foot scarves.”  That was when I bookmarked her.  Isn’t the scarf pictured here (called Serpentina) simply fab? I want to wrap myself up in it.  Check out her half-assed free patterns as well – ah ooga!  Love it – love the whole blog.

Anyhoo – I’m forging ahead.  I’m quite a boisterous bigmouth in person, so I’m just going to start in friend-making with a big virtual handshake.  Want to share!  Want to compliment!  Want to ask questions!  Want to connect.  This post is a way to kick my booty into gear and acknowledge that my hesitation is just silliness.  I’m going for it.  Taking that bull by the horns, because, you know, I’m not in junior high anymore.

Soooooo….

You can find me on Ravelry – I’m sassydoesit – Amy to my friends.

Where my stitches at?  ;)