Thursday, July 29, 2010

Teddy Bears and Munkies

So, my cousin's husband's daughter is having a baby. Yay! Sort of in the abstract, because I don't actually know her. But babies always merit a "yay."

My cousin asked me to make a blanket for said, unborn child. "I would love to! Are they having a boy or a girl?" I asked not because I would automatically make a cotton-candy-pink blanket for a little girl, or a baseball-on-a-summer-day-sky-blue one for a little boy. But, I would want the palette to reflect the gender somewhat, as with my moderne baby blanket - feminine, but not that's-what-little-girls-are-made-of girly.

"They don't know. They decided not to find out." Love it! That is so quaint. And so cool. I love the idea of having just one more thing to be uncertain about regarding the birth of one's child.

Afterall, the whole thing is kind of a crap shoot, isn't it? People often choose their mates with kids in mind. They wonder if the little ones will look like mom or dad? Whose sense of direction will they have? Will they be good in math like mom? Or gifted at the cello like dad?

"I love your honkin' schnoz!" she tells him as she plants a rough, playful kiss on the bulbous end of her man's nose - all the while silently, fervently, hoping that in the future she'll be planting butterfly kisses on little Emma's tiny version of her own button nose.

"Hmmm . . .," he muses not-aloud, "her feet would be great on a boy. He could do great tricks with two soccer balls at once, and they would really help his balance. But please, God, don't let my little girl end up wearing size 11 Birkenstocks."

So, what's one more thing? This does not mean, of course, that my cousin's husband's daughter and spouse are not planning. The nursery will be green and chocolate. Neutral. Hip. Chocolate brown - with pink, with yellow, with blue, with green - is all the rage in baby decor land.

Cousin wasn't sure what she wanted as far as design, so I scoured Ravelry and other internet sources for ideas for the blanket. There were lacey things and cables galore - you know, heirloom type stuff. Then there were the really cute things - baby motifs using ducks, sheep, teddy bears, monkeys - you name it. I, of course, was dying to do a monkey motif blanket, but Cousin went for the teddy bears. I had to keep reminding myself that I was just the knitter, not the mommy or even the gifter. So, I let the monkeys go, and embraced the teddy.

Teddy Blanket

The teddy motif I used came from Barbara Breiter's "Teddy Bear Merino 5 Baby Blanket" pattern. I added seed stitch borders between the teddy bear panels and finished with an applied i-cord border in the chocolate brown.

Teddy Blanket
See how it's done

I also knitted a single strand on US 9 needles, rather than the double strand on US 11s that the pattern calls for. This is a southern baby, and I didn't want the blanket to be too dense. Plus I love drape.

Teddy Blanket

The yarn, from Knit Picks, is a worsted weight cotton that is washable - let's make this easy on the new mommy and daddy. I was concerned about getting the color right. There are so many greens. So I picked the most neutral green I could find, in the hopes that it will work with the other stuff in the nursery.

Now, we wait. And hope, more than anything, that this new baby loves his/her blanket. Because that is, of course, the most important thing.

Teddy Blanket

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

East Berlin, PA

Yes, I know - it has been a very long time since I contributed to this blog.  And I'm probably taking the easy way out.  But I'm going to commence my return to blogging with a completely photo blog from a recent trip to The Mannings - knitting, spinning, and weaving mecca - in East Berlin, PA with a group of sister knitters - Sandra, Shelly, Dianne, Arthella, and Cici and Chelette of "2 sistahs knit together" blog fame.

The Mannings front porch

The Girls!

For the Birds


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