Selling a Baby Blanket

I had an interesting knitting experience today.  A co-worker had asked me if I would knit a baby blanket for her grandson.  I was excited, because I saw it as an opportunity to get started selling my knitting.  I came up with several design ideas and knit small samples for her to choose from.  (I was thrilled when she picked the one that was also my favorite.)  After she picked out the yarn, I started knitting.

After I had been working on the blanket for about a week, I realized that it was going to take longer than I had thought.  I began to wish I had charged more for it.  I enjoyed working on the blanket, and I loved people's enthusiastic reaction to the pretty design, but I couldn't help missing my own projects that I had set aside.  As I threw myself into working on the baby blanket every spare moment, I kept thinking about the half-finished lace shawl waiting for me.

When I cast-off the bottom edge and put the blanket in the bathtub to soak, it hit me that this knitting experience was coming to an end.  As I pinned out the wet blanket, I was pretty stoked about what I had created.  The next day I took the pins out, and that's when I really fell in love with my project.  The lacy blanket had blocked beautifully.

I started working on my shawl again, and the baby blanket lay on our guest bed for a few more days.  Last night I told my husband, "The blanket will be leaving us tomorrow."  "That's sad," he said.  I thought so, too.  This morning I folded it and handed it over to its new owner.

Being blocked
After blocking

My Adventures with Double-Pointed Needles

Ever since I learned how to knit with double-pointed needles, I have thought they are awesome.  I like watching people’s expressions when I pull out a dpn project.  Half-finished gloves and socks look pretty funny with needles sticking out all over.  My adventure with dpns began in August of 2007.  I had been knitting for five months, and I loved learning new skills.  I had discovered that the yarn aisles at craft stores sometimes have free patterns.  One of the free patterns I had was for making baby hats, and my cousin was having a baby soon.  My only obstacle was to learn how to use dpns.

I went to the library and perused some knitting books, studying the explanations and pictures.  After I felt like I had a pretty good grasp of how it works, I went home to try it.  I will never forget my first day of experimenting with dpns.  I had a cat who had been my friend for 14 years.  She was suffering from liver failure and had to be put to sleep.  Our last afternoon at home together, I sat next to her and knitted while she slept.

I didn’t get that baby hat started before I went back to college, but while hanging out with my friends I did begin a pair of mittens for my sister’s Christmas present.  This was my first circular project.  I learned that when you knit stockinette stitch in the round, the right side is on the inside.  This project was also my first time using markers and stitch holders.  After Christmas I finally made that baby hat.

My next project was different.  I had graduated from college and moved back home, and my boyfriend and I were long-distance.  For Valentines’ Day I knit him a teddy bear and mailed it to him.  All the limbs were made separately on dpns, stuffed, and then sewn together, complete with embroidery for his face.  My boyfriend slept with him the rest of the semester.
The following winter I was working in a bank drive-up in Minnesota, and my hands got pretty cold, so I knit myself fingerless gloves.
The winter after that we were married, and I made my first pair of socks.
I then made gloves for my husband’s birthday.  (You can see the finger in progress and the others on stitch holders.)
I also made several tiny items.  In December of 2009 I made Christmas tree ornaments as presents for my family, and the next fall I made a little pumpkin and acorns.
Mini mittens

Snowmen Albert and Franklin

 I have been using dpns for over 3 years now, and I still have trouble with ladders (small gaps in between the needles).  I have heard the magic loop method is the solution for this, and I am interested in learning it because I am always eager to add to my knowledge of knitting techniques, but I don’t think I could ever completely give up dpns.  They are too much fun.
My current collection of dpns: sizes 8-000