Not quite sure what to post today for Messy Tuesday: I have too many options. But here's a mess:
and here's what I did instead of cleaning it up:
Thank you for your get-well wishes - I am feeling slightly better although I'm sure I'll feel worse tomorrow because today is a real runaround for us. There are two dance classes, dinner, and a Brownie meeting, all between 2.30 and 7.30. It may only be one dance class, though - Emily looks to be succumbing to the Dreaded Lurgy.
My uncles have asked me to knit another sweater for Ruby, in time for Christmas. They went book-shopping, and sent me an entire big hardcover knitting book, called Knitting Year-Round. They chose a very cheeky jacket with a stocking cap (wait a second.....am I supposed to be knitting the stocking cap too, guys? I never even thought of it...let me know so I can whip out and buy more grey yarn.) in pewter basket stitch with zany green and orange stripes. Here it is:
The pattern doesn't go down to Ruby's size - it starts at 4 years old - and calls for an acrylic worsted yarn. The heavy yarn, combined with the blocky stitch pattern, would have been too much for a two-year-old's little frame. Also, I can't buy that particular yarn in town (and even if I could....) so I went back to the Smart wool that I used for Drifting - a DK weight, 100% wool yarn that comes in a lot of colours. The Smart does have a grey, but it was a little dark. I went to Loyal, another wool DK, for a softer tone.
I swatched it at knitting last week and found that the fabric is a little rough, a little crispy, until it's washed. The wool and the stitch pattern both relax, making the work more drapey and much softer. I think the basket stitch will be just insulating enough, trapping those pockets of air, to make it a warm little sweater without too much heat. I measured the gauge carefully before and after washing, and adjusted the pattern accordingly. The gauge is quite different between the two yarns, as you'd expect - I'm getting 20.5 sts over 10 cm, and the pattern is written for 16 sts over 10 cm. The finer gauge makes for a more proportional sweater for a toddler, and also corrects the sizing issue nicely. I cast on the number of stitches given for the largest size, and it will fit her perfectly when finished (well, hopefully there'll be a little growing room).
As to the stitch pattern, the lime and orange stripes are shaped in an interesting way. Instead of making bobbles, which they appear to be at first glance, you do a 7-stitch increase at intervals on row one, then you follow that with a whole row of reverse stockinette with no decreases. The decreases are worked in grey over the next three rows. And, most importantly, the centre stitch of the seven is slipped on two consecutive rows, lifting the centre of the increase dramatically to create the bump shape.
I'm planning to have this finished by the beginning of November, leaving me lots of time for all the Christmas knitting for more local folks. It's going fast enough, if I can refrain from dropping any stitches...I dropped one last night, and because the same stitch is slipped on two consecutive rows, suddenly I had a ravelling mess where a green bump used to be. There was no fixing it without ripping, so I had to pull back four rows of textured knitting and redo them.
Lastly, Uncle Dave sent me photos of Ruby in Drifting, and I'm DYING to show them to you. I'll wait til tomorrow, though, to give them their own post.