Here's what I've been working on this week:

Blanket in progress

Yup, this is a more than halfway-completed baby blanket for a baby who's not due until late November. Mark your calendars now--I'm ahead of myself with a gift! And here's a close-up photo of the pattern stitch, which I'm enjoying quite a bit:

Blanket squares closeup

Meanwhile, I'm on my lunch break, when I would normally knit, so this is going to be a short post to give me enough time to knit a few more rows. My nerdy parents are on their way to my house as I type, so I'm hoping to maybe get ready to start a fun new project while nerdy mommy is visiting. We'll see...stay tuned.


Oh, Baby!

Tee hee hee. The recipient of my secret Surprise Baby Jacket stopped me in the hall yesterday to ask if I had been the one to leave the gift. I looked her right in the face and lied to her: "Why, no--I don't know who might have done that; what a mystery!" She said she asked me because she knew I "do that sort of thing." I think she meant that I knit, not that I leave mysterious packages in people's mailboxes.

The really amazing thing is that she said they keep holding the sweater up to the baby, and it's still too big! She thinks it will fit him in a few months, right when he'll need a little sweater to keep him warm. He must be a teeny-tiny baby if that little sweater doesn't fit yet.

Speaking of knitting for babies...I'm already halfway through a blanket for a baby who's due in late November. How is it that I'm so ahead of the game? Well, I think I thought it would take a lot longer, and I was avoiding the long-forgotten partially completed ballet neck cardigan. This blanket is a stretch for me--I'm using acrylic (I chose the denim color), which is sensible for a baby blanket that's going to be washed/dried often, and I'm doing something fairly large and time-intensive, and I'm using a book published by Leisure Arts. I don't like doing rectangular projects becuase they're typically tedious, but this little blankie is moving right along (remember that song in "The Muppet Movie?"). And I usually find the Leisure Arts patterns a little too basic and homemade-looking for me, but there were so many cutie-pie blanket patterns in the book that I decided it would be a good purchase. The pattern I chose is for a faux-quilt blanket that uses a textured block alternated with a stockinette block with a garter stitch border. The stockinette blocks have the little thread tied in the middle to mimic quilt squares with the threads. It's very cute. I think that's why I'm making such progress--I keep holding it up to see how cute it is, then I keep going to see if I can finish another set of block repeats. I'll do photos soon, I promise.

So, lots of baby blankie knitting, and not much else to report. But, my parents are arriving tomorrow, and my mom and I will certainly do some nerdy knitting-related activities. Full report next week.

Oh--how could I forget this? My One Skein Secret Pal is sending my August present tomorrow!!! That means I get a one-of-a-kind, designed-for-me present AND I get to learn who my spoiler has been these last three months. Yahoo!

I'll let you know as soon as I know.



The worst thing about being a surprise present-giver is that you can't ever hear whether the person enjoyed their surprise. Yes, yes, I know, I'm being selfish about my "generous" gift, but I would love to have a way to see/hear whether the recipient understood why I made the gift I made, etc.

Why am I writing about this now, you ask? (I know you did--I heard you!)

Because, on Monday, in our aforementioned never-ending all-employees meeting, a member of our faculty told a story that was very difficult for her to share. It was about her daughter's health, and the health of her daughter's new-born baby. It sounded to me like they'd been through a really tough time, and I felt inspired to do something nice for the grandparents (both of whom work where I work, and are favorites among the students here). So, I chose the Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Surprise Jacket (available here, #1B), and some mint-green yarn I had in my stash.

Presto-Change-o, 3 days later, I had this:

What the heck is this?

And then, with a few folds in just the right places, 2 seams, and 5 buttons, I had this:

Surprise (again)!

Tee hee hee. It's so cute! I just hope the baby isn't too big already. I think the baby was born 2 months ago, but was seriously premature, weighing about 5 pounds, so I'm figuring the little sweater will still fit. Plus, being in loose garter stitch, there's some stretch built in there.

I wrapped the little sweater and put an unsigned "congratulations" card with it and left it in the grandmother's on-campus mailbox this morning. I just checked on my way to lunch, and she has cleared out her box, which means she has it in her hot little hands...I wonder if she has opened it...oh, I'm such a bad gift-giver! The anticipation kills me every time.


Let the blocking commence!

Yes, that's right--I finished knitting on my Kiri shawl this morning in an interminable meeting. I can't normally knit at work (we don't have very many meetings in my immediate area because there are so few of us), but twice/year we have a 3+ hour meeting with every full-time employee, and I can knit to my heart's content. It's the only good thing about the meetings, honestly.

But don't let me distract you from the big news. I'll repeat it, it's so exciting: I'm done knitting my Kiri shawl! I haven't blocked it, so I don't have a photo yet, but I'm going to block sometime this week, I swear.

I haven't kept up with the Kiri saga here on my nerdy blog...let me sum it up thusly: stopped knitting/finished to be sure I'd have enough yarn...ended up with 1 entire ball left over, and a kid-sized finished shawl...tinked (yes, that means unknit, stitch by stitch) about 15 rows of fuzzy yarn, each with at least 200+ stitches. That alone took me a week to accomplish...once the unknitting was completed, I worked additional repeats on the body of the shawl, then reknit the edging, and bound off this morning, with a teeny clown nose sized ball of yarn left over. I can't wait to block it (never thought you'd read that on my blog, I bet). It's going to be beautiful! I don't know if I have a big enough space to use for pinning...hmmm...

In other knitting news, here's a long overdue photo of my felted bowl from my pal, N, who lives in New Zealand. (See my June 14 entry for the description of how this to-be-felted project came to be.)

Felting project complete

Isn't it beautiful? I think I might felt it a bit more, but I'm enjoying its sweetness as-is for the moment.

This entry has a bit of everything knitting-related: finished projects, felted things, overseas pals...and now, for your viewing pleasure, I bring you to Kid Hollow Farm, where the owner, Pat, was kind enough to let me and my friend, E, walk amongst the goats, petting and scritching as we went. We also met her 3 guard dogs, including a very shy Lulu, who has only been with Pat's crew for a week. What a sweet girl Lulu is! I was sent there on a mission for my nerdy mommy: bring a hank of undyed brushed mohair to ask Pat to dye it. Easy enough, right? Well, Nerdy Knitter didn't factor in the fact that she would be seeing Pat's beautiful yarns...so yes, I came home with a skein of beautiful, beautiful yarn (photo sometime this week, I hope).

Boy, I left there so in love with those goaty-goats that I started wondering how we could add some to our Nerdy Home. Impossible, I know, but it's so appealing to consider the idea!

And now, I'm off to rip out 3 rows of the in-progress sweater I haven't touched for months on end. No wonder I couldn't remember which size I'd chosen or where I was in the process!


I'm a lucky nerd!

Why am I such a lucky nerd, you ask? Because I received this:

So happy! So cheery!

And it was made just for me by my One Skein secret pal. Isn't it gorgeous? Any ideas what I should make to do justice to this fun stuff? All suggestions accepted. :-) It's so fun and cheery that I would like to make something I'll see/use on a regular basis because I think it would cheer me up if I'm feeling blue. But I don't want it to get too much wear and tear because I wouldn't want it to pill...such a quandary!

And then, on the same day, I received this:

I'm so spoiled!

This unexpected gift is my thank-you from my other One Skein Pal (the one I was spoiling), Beth. It's in beautiful lilacs and blues. Again, a quandary about what to make with it. I do have one idea...maybe a Bobbi Bear if I have enough yardage. I haven't investigated that to its fullest yet. But it has potential.

And now I'm out of time so I'll leave you with a cutie-pie photo of our nephews fishing at a nearby lake/park:

Three fishermen


Long time no type!

Sheesh! I am the last person I would have expected to be so slow to update her blog, but life has just been busy, busy, busy, and I've been knitting instead of writing about my knitting.

So, time for a guessing game...guess what this is (before you follow the link to read my caption, people):

Kiri close-up

Sigh. I remember when I made the Faroese Flower Shawl, I learned an important lesson: working a shawl from the narrowest point to the widest point isn't such a fun thing for me...knowing that every row brings more knitting is not fun. So why in heaven's name did I do it again?! Because
Kiri (pdf file) is so pretty, and my yarn is so pretty...they belong together, honest. So prepare yourselves for some whining, and some avoidance somewhere along the line...

And, in other nerdy knitting news: I finished the long-awaited wedding gift project!!!! Yup, the top-secret gift is complete, and will be given to my friend, E, tomorrow. I can't wait!

Knowing that my friend, E has no clue that I have a blog, I feel comfortable sharing a photo of the finished item(s):

The wedding gift project is complete!

The yarn is a
recycled cotton yarn from K1C2. My friends are very environmentally conscious people, and I think they'll appreciate knowing that recycled yarn was used. It was really nice to knit with, although in the last batch before I finished, the main color (the reddish-looking one), one of the fine threads that makes up the finished yarn was often snagged and twisted so that it would stick out like a pull in clothes. I just kept knitting along because I didn't want to cut it, but didn't know what else to do. Now that I'm done, I think I'm going to go along and try to pull at that strand somewhere a little farther along the row and see if I can fudge it a little. I hope it works!

And, last but not least (before I have to go back to work after my lunchtime has vanished into thin air), a photo of one of Henry's play pals, Yelli. Sigh. He's the cutest little (and I mean it--he's only 10-15 pounds, compared to Henry's almost-60) guy. Look at that face! How could you not love him?!

Yelli, Henry's pal

Oh, he sweet as can be!


Oh, before I go...my secret pal emailed yesterday to tell me the coooolest thing! She's designing something JUST FOR ME, and she's going to name it after me when she's done with it! How cool is that?!?!? So much for being a nerdy knitter--I'm going to be the coolest knitter around, with a custom-designed pattern named after me. Thanks in advance, Mizzem!

And (I know, I have to go, I have to go...one more thing, honest)--I finally "revealed myself" to my One Skein secret pal,
Beth. We've so enjoyed getting to know each other--she's a librarian, too, which is so cool! We're looking forward to chatting more now that we don't have to deal with my secret identity, etc.

Okay, now I'm going. Honest.

Happy Thursday!