Sunday, April 15, 2007

Finished Baby Blanket

I needed to have this first blanket done in a few weeks, so I started working on it exclusively. I finished it yesterday afternoon while my husband and I sat in a local coffee shop. I used a size-8 circular needle and almost 4 skeins (85 grams each) of Caron Simply Soft worsted weight yarn in Orchid. The blanket is 133 stitches across with a pattern repeating every 4 rows. The border is 7 stitches in garter stitch. There are about 42 repeats of the 4 row pattern. I took the stitch pattern from the blue book featured in my last post, multiplied out to create an appropriately sized blanket and then added my garter stitch border. I've made this pattern once before. My mother-in-law has since had the opportunity to make it many times. I think it will become a family favorite. I feel really happy with how it turns out. The finished dimensions are about 24" x 29".

Pattern Books

Here are the two stitch pattern books I use most frequently. I've used them to learn new stitches by making swatches out of cotton yarn.... I bought the blue book in 1994, several months after arriving in Japan. There was a nice department store downtown with a nice knitting and sewing section. It had copies of all of the books in this series. I bought the second book (1000 Moyouhen) when it came out in 1996. I had to special order it from a bookstore that was about 30 minutes away from my apartment by bicycle. I remember ordering the book in early March. My father died unexpectedly in mid-march of that year. When I returned, I had a call that the book had come in. I remember biking out there with my husband and a couple friends the Sunday after we returned from America. I felt like I was in a daze after all that happened. That trip out to the bookstore was the first thing I enjoyed doing after returning to Japan. It made me feel a little hopeful again.
My mother-in-law retired this January. She saw the 1000 Moyouhen book and loved the patterns, so we ordered one for her too. We're planning to make sampler afghans out of some of the patterns in there and give them to family members (if we ever find the extra time!)
Well, that's about all for now...

Sunday, April 1, 2007

On the Needles

I decided to start this blog, because, although I'm a pretty busy and very slow knitter, I do occassionally finish projects that I like to give away. I wanted to use this blog as sort of a knitting journal to keep track of what I'm doing. These are the three projects I currently (and will, for some time into the future!) have on my needles. Each of them is a baby blanket intended to be a gift for someone I know who is having a baby. The bottom is a patchwork design intended for someone expecting a baby boy in July. The blue one is for someone else who is expecting a baby boy in July. The lilac colored blanket is for someone expecting a baby girl in May. Both the blue and the lilac colored blankets are stitches I found in Japanese pattern books. I was a Japanese major in college and spent the first three years after graduation living in Japan. I bought several good stitch pattern books while I was there, but have only recently started using them. I knew some knitting basics (learned from my mother-in-law) when I went over, but never really spent much time with it. About two years ago, I received a set of Denise knitting needles for my law school graduation and really started trying some things out. I had to wait about 7 weeks for bar exam results, which gave me quite a bit of time to try and distract myself. Anyway, little by little, I've learned more about various techniques. I'm pretty busy now, and am still pretty slow, but I do knit a bit every day. I'll come back later to add some of my favorite links.

This is Cheri's Knits.

After knitting for a while, I thought I'd share with you some of my work and progress.