Monday, August 13, 2007

Honorine and Babette

I've finished crocheting the squares for the orange and ivory baby blanket. There are 36 and I just barely had enough of the orange to finish. I frogged the swatches I had to get enough yarn.

Now all that remains is sewing them up and adding a border. And waiting for the baby. However, the baby girl (not mine) isn't born yet, so the blanket is nameless. And I just found out someone else had a baby boy, so of course I'm thinking, another baby blanket to make!

I've cast on for Honorine, using KnitPicks CotLin in Moroccan Red. When I got the box last week, the red made me swoon. Okay, not literally, but I was very happy with it. I swatched with size 6 US and size 5 US and size 6 gave me gauge (22 sts = 4 inches). However, after washing and blocking, the yarn expanded and the size 6 US swatch now turns out to be 20.5 sts to 4 inches.

What to do? Should I go with the pre-washed gauge and cast on the number of stitches for my bust size, or go with the after washing gauge and cast on the number for the smaller bust size and rely on washing to make it grow to my size?

I've also decided to knit it in the round and omit the lace insert for modesty. Actually, I don't want to have to wear a camisole underneath. It's just too warm in Atlanta most of the time to need it. This involved more math, as the lace insert uses a different yarn, with a different gauge which I had to convert to my washed CotLin gauge. In the end, I chose to go with the smallest size and cast on 180 stitches. Here's hoping this works!

Crocheting the orange and ivory really got me into the crochet groove. I've been eyeing Babette by Kathy Merrick from Interweave Crochet 2006 and there are lots of great pics on Flickr. I also have Glorious Patchwork by Kaffe Fassett (love his stuff!). The quilt on the cover was the inspiration for Babette.

But most of my yarn is not machine washable and there's no way I'm going to hand wash an afghan. Really now, people.

However, in flipping through Glorious Patchwork, I found a few quilts that I could convert into knitting or crocheting. After the orange and ivory blanket is done, I'll do some swatching and we'll see what comes of it.

However, it'll have to go the end of the line behind Husband's afghan, Honorine, Brother-in-law's vest -- for winter holiday or his January birthday, the Sandy cardigan from Big Girl Knits for Ma -- needs to be done by Chinese New Year next year, and fixing Sister's Bi-colored Cables sweater. I probably just need to reknit the sleeves. And the collar.

But for now, I will just enjoy going round and round on Honorine, my portable, mindless knitting.

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