Feb 7th, 2008
After the holidays, I was on a gift-knitting roll, so i just kept going. This tam is my first finished object of 2008. It’s a gift for my brother-in-law, for whom I knit mittens in the same yarn (Patons SWS) for Christmas. His Christmas gift to me was Ann Budd’s Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns. As I flipped through it, he mentioned that he really liked the tam. “If I knit one for you, would you wear it?” I asked. He assured me he would, so a few days later I picked up the yarn for it and cast on. This was a very fast knit and a lot of fun, too. I intended this as a birthday gift for him, but since his birthday is in March and he may be heading to Nigeria to shoot a film any day now, I should probably get this in the mail to him pronto. (By the way, I don’t have a photo of him wearing the mittens yet. But if you’d like to see what he’s done with other handknits I’ve given him, look here.)
My next project was a baby blanket for a neighbor whose second child was due in mid-January. I had some Bernat Cottontots yarn in a neutral color (light cream) and figured its machine-washability would make it a good candidate for baby gear. I’d always been sort of interested in the log cabin blankets in Mason-Dixon Knitting but really put off by the garish color combinations the book’s authors seem to favor. So I decided to give log cabining a try—in monochrome.
I really, really like how this turned out, even with a few mistakes here and there (which weren’t discovered until well after I’d turned the next corner). The next time I do this, i think I’ll try a “smoother” yarn (the Cottontots has a twist to it that makes it appear a little textured), and I’ll be more careful when picking up stitches at the corners—something I didn’t figure out how to do properly until the blanket was halfway finished. Even though this blanket consists of miles and miles of garter stitch, the fact that every eighteen rows I’d bind off a section and pick up stitches to start another kept the knitting interesting.
I had five skeins of the Cottontots yarn when I started, and when I was near the end of the last one I called it quits on the blanket. It wasn’t quite 30″ on each side, but it did have symmetry (each side had six blocks), and it seemed a good size already. And I was ready to be finished with it. I used the rest of the Cottontots (plus a little bit of green dishcloth cotton when the Cottontots ran out) to whip up this little hat from Baby Knits for Beginners, by Debbie Bliss. I really love this pattern—it’s one I’ve knit many times before.
(Sylvia was napping when I took these photos, so I had to find a different model. And no, the stuffed emperor penguin chick did not sign a release form.)