Archive for the ‘Babette blanket’ Category

I’m stunned that it’s been so long since my last post.  At least I’ve been keeping busy crafting.  Finally wrapped up Babette.  Just the first 9 panels, then I ran out of steam and figured it would make a good lapblanket for the couch.


Truncated Babette Blanket


Also knit up a brimmed cap in three evenings using the Page Boy hat pattern from Stitch Diva and Lion Brand Landcapes, a beautiful bulky weight yarn.


Knit Pageboy Cap w/ Brim


Knit Pageboy Cap w/ Brim 2


Here’s a another top down raglan I’m working on.  Lion Wool-Ease Chunky (works up fast!) in a beautiful dark charcoal gray that does not show in this pic.


Men's Top Down Raglan WIP


But let me vent:  I will never do a top down raglan again.  It’s supposed to be easy, but I never end up with the right number of stiches for body and sleeves, no matter how many times I rip back.  And I dislike the squared off neck.  Next time I’ll try a top down yoke with evenly distributed increases.


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Babette goes on

Whew, up to panel 7 now. This is taking a while, mostly because I keep second-guessing the color sequences, the woeful decision to dye some of my own colors, and my recent knitting binge. You may notice that I swapped out some of the colors in the earlier panels–mostly removed some oranges and browns to keep things a little fresher. As I was ripping out the sewing, I thought to myself “I gotta get checked out for OCD.”

Babette Blanket Panels 1-7

Three posts in one night. I never have time to post anymore, it seems. Among other things I’m working on a confidential project (not craft related), will post more when it goes public.

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After a long hiatus, I’ve started on the Babette Blanket again. I didn’t like the oranges and browns–a bit too 70s–so I ripped out a bunch of the squares to start fresh. Now I’m making purple the dominant color, rather than taupe/brown. And I finally got the time and motivation to dye some yarn.

Swish Overdye#1 & #2

Both of these started out as Knit Picks Swish Superwash in Bubblegum pink. I added red #20 powder food coloring and red Kool-Aid to the one on the left, and Wilton’s violet to the one one the right. Really love the coral/watermelon color, but it never stopped bleeding in the rinse water. I’m sure it was the powder dye that did it.

My therapist gave me a great tip today: use citric acid powder (from a natural food store) instead of vinegar. Doesn’t have the nasty vinegar smell, and it’s the same stuff they put in Kool-Aid. I find that Kool-Aid colors set pretty well.

Swish Overdye #3

Knit Picks Swish Superwash in Coast Gray, overdyed with Wilton’s violet and a splash of random red Kool-Aid. I’m going to go back and re-do it with grape Kool-Aid, since I was looking for a darker color.

My partner and I hosted afternoon tea–that’s right, a tea party. I made fresh lemon curd* for the scones, and finger sandwiches with the crusts cut off and everything. Cucumber and yogurt/dill/cilantro spread; smoked wild Sockeye salmon and fresh dill with a cream cheese spread; sliced Bosc pear (the Concorde season is over, alas) and deliciously creamy Fourme d’Ambert blue cheese. YUM! Wanted to take pics but my friends think I’m a loony foody as it is. But we did receive this beautiful beautiful teapot, which a friend left behind when she left the country.


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I’m in shock from starting a full time job for the first time in over a decade. Can I say that the 9 to 5 routine is inhumane? Stop bitching, you only have to go into the office 3 days a week and the rest is flexible.  Anyway, I managed to make a little progress on a couple of projects.  Here are a couple of WIPs. Hopefully I’ll dye some yarn this weekend and finally get going again with Babette.


Ghislaine from French Girl. Again with Woolease. I love and hate Woolease. It’s cheap, it’s soft (in most colors), but the quality control is less than ideal. Notice that the sleeve on the right is thicker? Same yarn, same dyelot, different gauge!! After this, no more Woolease for clothing.


A knit cardi I’m winging with Malabrigo worsted merino in Shocking Pink. I splurged an Addi Natural bamboo circulars, because this was too slippery on metallic needles. No pattern; I fudged the raglan increase placements, but so far so good. Being knitted from Malabrigo, it’s as soft as a cloud. I know it will fuzz like hell; I just hope it fuzzes in a charming, not ugly way, if you know what I mean. But at the rate I’m knitting, it will be done some time around the New Year if I’m lucky.

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It’s been so long since my last post!! No pic today either. My apologies. Between diss stuff and contract research, life has been a nutty flurry.

My advisor signed off on my dissertation two Mondays ago. Should have felt great, but I get the inkling that he’s disappointed that I haven’t turned into another him. Then I drove down to LA to collect a signature from a mentor who moved to another university a few years ago. She’s an amazing woman and I’ve really missed her, so it was great to catch up for an hour.

And oh! I took my brother in law and his girlfriend to a fantastic restaurant in Koreatown:  The Corner Place.  Definitely recommend their cold/sweet/tangy noodle soup (Dongchimi Gooksu) and their barbecue.  Yum!!!  A bottle of soju went down great with the food, too.

Today, my third committee member — a sociologist/political scientist who I’ve always been afraid would say my work isn’t rigorous enough — not only signed off, but gave a great review. She all but insisted that I try to publish it as a book ASAP. So, my head is all big and puffed up now and I’m going to go for it.

On the crafting front: another stab at the Frou Frou cardigan from SnB Happy Hooker. Bought some cheap decorative cardboard storage boxes from Ikea and organized my gnarly yarn stash. I’ll start on Babette again when a shipment arrives from Knit Picks with some colors that I ran out of. I keep eyeing my sweater yarn collection — how did it get so big? — wondering what cardigan to knit.

Pics on my next post, promise!

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Babette Panels 1-6, originally uploaded by Rina7.

Completed and sewed on panel six (column on left). Three more to go! Photo shows the whole thing being spray-blocked. Don’t know how this will work: I’m using both wool blends and 100% wool yarn. If it does, I will spray block the next panel before joining it to the main work.

I looked at the blanket last night and asked myself: Was this a nutty idea? I mean, is this going to look way too 1970s? But it looks more mellow in natural light, as opposed to flash photography. In Babette I trust. *gulp*

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Size thus far: 28.5″ x 28.5″, with only the center five panels. This is going to be a whopper! It’s so pretty and soft that I was tempted to sleep with it tucked around me. 🙂

I found it best to seam with a whip stitch, working from front to back (or left to right, depending on where you have the seam positioned as you work on it.)

Working in the opposite direction resulted in a pretty, but visible seam:

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