First, the boring one. Here’s little Malena’s (in Spanish, that’s pronounced “mah-LAY-nah”) personalized baby blanket. As you can see, there is absolutely nothing here to get excited about. It’s a very very plain blanket, stockinette with a garter stitch border. As far as I can tell from the pattern, at some time in the (hopefully near) future, I will reach the point where I can add her initial in the center (hence the “personalized” in the title). But as the days pass by, hope of ever reaching that point grows dimmer. All this stockinette is booooring, so it’s slow going.
And here’s the more adventurous project: Elizabeth Zimmerman’s February baby sweater. Have you looked up the definition of “pithy”? As much as she emphasizes the “pithy-ness” of her directions, I honestly don’t think her instructions quite fit the bill. Pithy means succinct—you summarize all the important points concisely, with no “fluff.” I find Ms. Z (who, I know, is the patron saint of knitting, hallowed be her name, etc., but it must be said) more vague than pithy. Her instructions are certainly brief—unnecessarily brief, to the point of ambiguity. The instructions are disorganized at times (ex: she doesn’t tell you to put in button holes until about 4” into the body—oops!), and essential details and explanations are missing, as is some sort of decoder ring to interpret what exactly she’s trying to say (ex: “Place remaining 92 stitches on needle, knitting up 4 x 7 sts at the cast-on sleeve sts.” Sure.). Which equals vague (at least to someone who’s only been knitting for 1.5, rather than 15, years).
But fortunately, Ravelry comes to the rescue again; after scouring numerous posts, I managed to get a tenuous handle on how exactly to carve out the sleeves, and as you can see, have in fact completed one! It was no easy task though. For the first sleeve I missed a YO somewhere and had to rip back, which I detest. Then I had to sit and stare at the sleeve and body for a while, trying to figure out how to go about picking up the stitches under the arm so it would actually be attached to the body of the sweater, rather than flapping around like a wing. And on the second sleeve, for whatever reason, I originally only worked half the correct number of stitches, so I had to start that sleeve over once (so far). Working out the mystery of the sleeves is the hardest part, though, so hopefully smooth sailing from here on out.
And I’ve been taking copious notes so I can craft something of a “real” pattern for this sweater when I’m done—it is an adorable sweater and I expect to knit it again and again as my friends start popping out babies, but I’d like to skip the sleuthing and translating in the future.
Don’t even ask about Pomatomous. They're . . . there (actually, "they" isn't really the correct pronoun, since I haven't finished knitting the first sock yet). And LBT is awaiting yarn, but I ordered it this week, so she’ll be back on the needles this weekend, hopefully.