Left To My Own Devices

I’ve been left to my own devices for too long today, which means (naturally) that I’ve gotten a fair amount of knitting done.  I’m off today. A holiday is even better than my usual every-other-Friday off, because no one is at work, I’m not missing anything, so I’m not in any danger of getting a panicked phone call from a colleague, nor am I feeling guilty for actually taking a Friday off, even when it’s due.  I spend days like today as if they were found money — divided between tasks that I ought to do, with a liberal dose of things that I want to do.

So, the laundry is caught up and chicken cacciatore is simmering in the crock pot for dinner.  While there’s no shortage of ought-to-do’s around here, I have taken some time to follow my heart regarding knitting projects.

When I stopped off in the sewing room to drop off a few finished projects, I notice a half-skein of Plymouth Encore Colorspun that I had left over from the burp cloth I knitted some weeks ago.  The burp cloth was a spur-of-the-moment, stupid-easy project that I cast on to keep me occupied at a party, then took to various doctor and orthodontist appointments.  It fulfilled that purpose quite well, but I decided to not make a second one to use up the rest of that skein.  What should I do with the remaining one-and-a-half skeins?

Delighted to have some time to pursue this train of thought, I went through my knitting notebook and Ravelry favorites.  I decided on another baby kimono sweater and a feather-and-fan baby hat.  Together with the burp cloth, these will make a great baby gift for my brother and his wife.  Their baby is due in the middle of a Sacramento summer, so I think I’ll make the sweater and hat sized to fit the baby this coming winter, when I know  they’ll be going to the family cabin up in the mountains.

I printed out copies of the patterns, and gathered needles and yarn.  I usually don’t keep more than four projects going at once, and this is going to make the fifth.  So, I’m fresh out of Tom Bihn stuff sacks.  I put the yarn and sundries in a back-up project bag, and will do a swatch later today.

Next, I was off to take photos of the burp cloth and Shale Baby Blanket.  I went ahead and blocked the burp cloth, just so it’s tidy for gift-giving, and wove in the ends.

Burp Cloth (1)

I also blocked the baby blanket this weekend, following Jared Flood’s suggestion that a stint on blocking wires would even out the edges nicely.  It did.  Now it’s ready for my colleague’s baby.

Shale Baby Blanket 13

 

Shale Baby Blanket 11

I often take advantage of weekends and days off to work myself through problematic or challenging parts of knitting projects.  These are areas of difficulty that, objectively, may not be that bad, but which I don’t want to have to puzzle out on a weeknight when I’m pressed for time and patience.  Today, I pulled out the Charoite Mittens pattern for just that reason.  I’ve gotten to the point where I need to do the gussets.  The chart is a bit hard to read at night — grey and white squares just don’t offer enough contrast for these middle-aged eyes.  So, I sat and colored in the grey squares with a colored pencil.  Now that the chart is easier to see, I’m more likely to work on it during the week.

This weekend, I also started the armhole shaping on the Diamonds and Rings Aran front.  While I still have a ways to go, getting to the armhole is like a turning point for me.  Not too much longer, and I’ll be down to working on the sleeves.

Well, I’m off to swatch the kimono sweater.

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