Knit Your Scraps--They're Good for You!!!

Pattern: "Cowgirl Butterfly Astronaut Vest," by Fawn Pea, available free here
Size: girls' 2
Yarn: Berroco Comfort (Pot-Au-Feu and Adirondack); Berroco Touche (Yucca); Debbie Bliss Pure Cotton (06) - All yarns leftovers from mittens, poncho, baby booties, and cowl, respectively
Needles: US7 and US5 circulars (worked flat)
Mods: several adjustments to make this a tad smaller than the 27" chest minimum; gauged at 5 sts per inch instead of 4; reduced skirt length by 1"; reduced top length by 1/2"
Plus: What a cute and flirty little garment! I can't wait to see this on the recipient. I really lucked out that all these random, machine-washable scraps work together so well. This is the second Fawn Pea design I've worked, and it probably won't be the last, since her designs for babies and kids always catch my eye. I'm also proud to report that I learned some new skills with this piece: three-needle bind-0ff and the "wrap and turn" method for short rows. Additionally, this piece had quite a bit of sophisticated garment construction compared to my previous sweaters, so it was good practice for the more complicated adult-sized sweaters to come.
Delta: I shouldn't complain, seeing that it's a free pattern and all, but the pattern had a few mistakes AND was rather unclear in several places. It's totally workable for an intermediate knitter or beyond (just think it through and the solution will come), but I think a beginner would find this pretty frustrating.

Pattern: "'The Republic' Hat-Toddler Edition," by Nicole Reeves, available free here
Yarn: Red Heart Ltd. Soft Yarn Solids (Brown) - leftover from baby blanket
Needles: US8 Circular and dps (workled flat AND in the round)
Mods: none
Plus: Yes, those are bear buttons, for my favorite little bear. This pattern is soooo easy. I whipped it up in one evening, riveted 100% to the television. No purling required! I think this would be a great beginner project, especially for someone trying double pointed needles the first time (cough-Hannah-cough)
Delta: 100% acrylic is a bummer to work with. No soul.

New on the needles: Stephanie Japel's Split-Neckline Cap Sleeve Tee from Fitted Knits. This will be my 2nd me-sized sweater. Cross your fingers that I luck out again! The last attempt was very encouraging, even if it was just a fluke. Also, I've completely lost my marbles and agreed to knit 7...SEVEN!!!! shawls for Becca's bridesmaids, due by January 2nd. I've tried to reduce the insanity by holding three thick strands together and working on US17 needles, but the pressure is still giving me heart palpitations. Before this agreement, I had pledged to make an afghan as a wedding gift, and I still want to, but it's taking a back seat for a while. Still working on Temple's wedding blanket, Amber's scarf, and Jake's sweater.

My grandmother in-law just lost her husband. They married less than a month before Jake and me, not even two years ago. He was healthy and active and jolly, until one day he obtained an ordinary case of bronchitis. His doctor, forgetting that Jim was diabetic, prescribed steroids, a mistake which triggered three heart attacks in quick succession. Ma (everyone call Jake's maternal grandmother "Ma") lost her first husband to cancer over a decade ago, and I cannot wrap my brain around the frustration and loneliness she must be feeling right now. My thoughts are with her tonight, wishing her peace and restful sleep.

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