Some News, A New Sweater, and Yarn Gifts (plus giveaway)
Good day, good people. I have missed you all, and I don’t have a really good excuse for not writing, except for the holidays, and some travel, and having a secret and not being very good at keeping secrets. [Ask Mr. Trask. Christmas and birthdays are not great times for me. Meanwhile, at 6'5", he just puts all my gifts somewhere I can't reach. Bah!]
Without further ado, I give you…Some News.
- Me: Can I refer to our progeny as “Future Knitter” on my blog?
- Mr. Trask: Um…no.
But you guys and I know that this kid is going to grow up swathed in knitted items, anyway. So it’s got that going for it. Anyway, the secret is out!
Mr. Trask and I are very excited. I spent much of the fall being ill all over Oxford (Mr. Trask will, upon request, arrange a tour of all the buildings outside of which I have been sick), but now the nausea is almost gone and the second trimester hunger is setting in.
In no particular order, answers to some Frequently Asked Questions:
- Yes, the baby will be born in England.
- No, that does not mean it will be a British citizen (sad). That whole “you’re born here, you’re ours” thing is a US thing, it seems.
- Instead, we will take the baby to the US embassy early in its young life, and apply for its very first passport as proof of American citizenship.
- The NHS has been great for us so far. Somewhat different from US health care, but great.
- No, we don’t yet know the gender.
- No, I haven’t started knitting for the baby yet (more on that in a moment). BUT my fabulous mother-in-law is making a gorgeous feather-and-fan baby blanket. She’s made one for every one of her grandchildren. Isn’t that cool?!?
I went back to the US last month to see family and friends, and bought maternity clothes there into the bargain. [It turns out that Oxford has no maternity shops, at least not near us. So odd.] I will now be a fashionable pregnant knitter, instead of a knitter with her jeans held together by a rubber band, which is what I was in December. I didn’t get many sweaters, because of course my plan is to knit a few – so I will welcome your suggestions about maternity-friendly patterns. In the meantime, and without further ado, Pregnancy Sweater #1 – based on the modifications to the Polly Pullover that Susan B. Anderson offered as part of a knitalong in the fall.
First a little history. Last spring, as I was buried in work and the giveaways were ramping up, fabulous friend Lynn sent me…some yarn. With a loving but strict note that I was to use said yarn to make something for myself. And that I was not allowed to give this yarn away.
Longtime readers of this blog may feel that the colorway of this yarn seems familiar. That’s right – it’s the same color as the Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran that I bought for myself several years ago…the cursed yarn, that was several sweaters and then went into the garbage. [I have never before or since thrown yarn away...but I have never looked back after throwing away that stuff.] I laughed out loud when I saw the color come back to me through Lynn; I am pretty sure that I was there when she bought the Cashmerino Superchunky. But, because she told me to keep the yarn, I kept it, and tried to figure out what it would be.
Much like the cursed yarn, this stuff went through several incarnations before settling. First, I tried to make a simple throw. Didn’t have enough yardage for Jared Flood’s Umaro, and for no clear reason I was unable to follow the extremely simple instructions for the Lacy Chunky Throw without adding stitches. Then I tried to use it as the basis for a lace bag during the Teva Durham Lace Improvisation class in September. Too fiddly, plus I couldn’t imagine lining the thing, plus I couldn’t imagine carrying it. At this point, I was sure the yarn was conspiring against me, but I brought it to England anyway (and those of you who know, know that this was a big deal).
By Christmas, though, I knew that I needed a cozy sweater, and I needed it now. The holidays in Oxford are really lovely, with cold weather and warm drinks and lights downtown and caroling concerts. But they are also cold and damp, and by the middle of December the sun is rising at 8 a.m. and setting at 4 p.m. That’s about 8 hours of light. Plus, you will recall that I was being sick all over town. I got a little depressed, people. And that was when I realized it was time to make the sweater:
I’d put the Polly knitalong on my Things to Do list a while back, and I knew that it would produce a sweater within a few days. Between Christmas and the New Year, I made this fabulous cardigan (although it took me a few more weeks to weave in the ends):
You’ll notice that there are no buttons on the thing. I bought the cutest buttons at fibre space while I was home, and now I can’t find them. This is why I shouldn’t tidy up! I always shove something important, like all of my tapestry needles, into an odd place, like the inbox where we keep unpaid bills, and then it takes me two months to recover whatever it was. Bah!
This was a quick knit, and a fun one. Susan did a great job of offering lots of modifications in her blog posts, and the Ravelry knitalong group offered their expertise, as well. It cheered me right up to have finished something, and to have a pretty and thick sweater to wear. Once I find those buttons, it’s going to be perfect.
Giveaway! If you’ve made it this far, you deserve some yarn. This time, it’s Rowan Calmer on the block, in a beautiful chocolate brown that the photos don’t really capture.
This soft yet springy yarn is a blend of cotton and polyester, one of Amy Singer‘s favorite yarns. [If you haven't yet signed the Save Calmer petition, pop on over and do that now!] You can’t do better than this yarn for lovely spring hats and scarves.
So, here’s something. The winner of the last giveaway was Syd. Now, Syd did something lovely and yet something no one else is allowed to do. She donated the Alisha Goes Around yarn right back to me, as a thank-you for previous giveaways. She sent me a beautiful note suggesting this, and after a lot of thought I have decided to accept, because it’s such a nice thought. Now, people, none of the rest of you may do this. The rest of you must take your yarn, and like it. I will consider Syd’s thank-you to be from the rest of you, because if you all keep doing this then I’ll still have the same amount of yarn (as Mr. Trask wisely pointed out to me. Thank you Mr. Trask).
That said, I’ll use the skein from Syd to make my first baby something. So – what shall we make, people? Recommend a baby pattern in the comments, or tell me the best yarn gift you ever received, or…tell me where my buttons are. Or my tapestry needles. Or the remote. Whatever you say, comment by Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 12 p.m. GMT, and you’ll be entered to win the Rowan Calmer.
Next time: How I knit a sock and a half using a circular needle with a broken tip. MacGyver Knitting!