Sunday, March 09, 2014

Birthday knitting

Last weekend my mother reminded me that my niece is turning one year old next month. This resulted in frantic searching of a suitable birthday pattern. I made her a sweater for Christmas, and for an April birthday, more woolly clothing didn't seem like the most practical thing. But no worries--as soon as I laid my eyes on the Jam Made granny kitty, I knew I had to make it! Jen's versions were so delightfully colorful! I wanted to make mine a little smaller, though, so I rummaged my stash for fingering/light sport weight yarns.

The center square is called October Love, made of left over sock yarns. The back side is a simplified version of the same without the 7th row that creates a raised edge on the previous row (the blue row on the front). The grey yarn is Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine.

When I was little one of my favorite toys was a kangaroo made by my aunt. In my romantic and perhaps unrealistic dreams I am hoping that Granny kitty can become one of those favorite toys for my niece. The one that she can't leave home without.

As I was making this, my son already announced that he wanted one, too. Because crochet is much slower than knitting (at least for me), and requires more looking at the project when working on it (i.e., I can't really read or watch TV while crocheting), I am going to modify the pattern for the next one. My plan is to crochet the center square, then pick up stitches and knit the rest. I'm thinking about lightly  felting the kitty, but I need to test the compatibility of crochet and knitting because they shrink at different rates. I'm thinking garter stitch would probably work best for this.

The big slipper project is also progressing, although it got put on hold for making the first Granny kitty. Two pairs of slippers--the two biggest sizes I had to make--already got finished. Both are made from Cascade yarns Eco Wool. The snake-like pattern is embroidered on top before felting.

In other knitting news, my 9-year-old son decided two days ago tat he wanted to learn how to knit. I showed him a basic knit stitch and he worked a few rows with much frustration. The next morning when I got up he'd already been up for an hour. I asked what he was doing, and he showed me his knitting. He told me he'd gone on Youtube to learn how to cast on and started a new project, then worked on it with no help, all by himself. He had pulled some yarn from my project basket, but I didn't mind, I was just giddy about him wanting to figure it out by himself!

Yesterday he already started a hat, which he worked on for two rows and then set aside, then later started a scarf, and today he wants to go to the yarn store to pick out yarn for a project. Again, I don't mind, I know what startitis is like, and I'm going to embrace his enthusiasm for knitting as long as it lasts (which might not be very long.) Off to the yarn store!