Life's Little Details: Knitting, Sewing, Green Living, Frugal Living and Cooking In A Little Corner of Southern French Countryside.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Dear Mr. Insurance Adjuster

"Yes, Mr. Insurance Adjuster, Sir. I know it sounds strange, but a gang of dwarves graffitied our new home.... they even threatened my husband at knife-point. He was truly frightened for his... uh... knees. It was awful *sniff, sniff*. A very traumatising experience. I think the only way to erase the pain would be for you to pay for us to professionally erase the bright orange stains from our home." They'd believe that, right? Or, do you think they'd come out, take a quick look at the damage, shake their head and tsk, tsk to their partner and walk back to their car saying, "Yep, it's a crying shame what a toddler can do with a can of spray paint." The sad thing is, though my story would be more entertaining, they'd be right.

And, in case you didn't believe me about his destructive ways, I took pictures (the wet spots are my futile attempts at graffiti removal, a job I'm not trained for). You thought I was exaggerating before, didn't you? I wasn't, and I hear they're opening up a slot for him at the juvenile detention center - you know, their way of nipping the whole graffiti problem in the bud. I swear, we'll try to reform him before it gets to that, though. And no need to call social services. Despite what you might expect, he wasn't beaten.

Now onto the good news...

I have, as promised, some pictures of Lambchop #3's new hat. She was so cute, I couldn't decide which one I liked best, so I'm posting several (Blogger willing, of course). From the smile on her face, I'd say she likes the hat, wouldn't you? These are the first smile shots I've been able to get. I love baby smiles.

The hat pattern is my own. I like it. It was pretty easy. I just cast on 80 stitches and knit in the round (with Knit Picks Merino Style on 3.5 mm needles) for a few inches. Then, I started in with little bitty cables. Then, I decreased evenly so as to have a five-point star at the top (a variation of Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitting Without Tears' formula). And, voilà: warm baby head.

And, lastly a sneak peak of my newest project. I've swatched for Eunny Jang's Deep V Argyle Vest. Very cute pattern, and I've heard the instructions are great. That's actually why I'm doing it. I wanted to learn some things about color knitting and steeking and all that, and this is the very first color work pattern that has really caught my eye. I don't even know if I'll be able to wear the thing after I'm done knitting it. I don't even care, which is a little funny. I figure I'll knit it in the size I usually am after finishing up breastfeeding a baby and hope it'll look good on me then. If not, I've got a friend I think it'd fit and look great on.

As it is for now, I really have enjoyed just knitting the swatch(es). I had to knit two, and I changed needles more than once in the first. The smaller, second swatch was when I finally got the right gauge, which is why I quit after knitting two inches. I'm going to need some yarn to knit the vest with, right? The pattern recommends knitting on 3.5 mm needles. I finally got gauge with 4.5 mm needles. Crazy. I'm just happy I seemed to have gotten row gauge, too. I didn't want to have to calculate. Math. Ewww. Icky.

Doing the swatches helped me learn more than which needle size to go with, though. I also realized I should not knit this while watching tv or with small children in the vicinity (unless they are sleeping or otherwise knocked out cold, like say after having provoked the wrath of God by tagging a local church with spray paint). I should also use stitch markers to place at every tenth stitch, and a magnifying glass would come in handy for reading the chart. All these lessons were learned when I realized how easy it was for me to make a mistake in this pattern (there is one in each swatch). If I can't knit more than two inches following this argyle pattern, I'm in serious trouble. So, maybe it should be renamed the Deep Concentration Argyle Vest... at least around my house.