In which I knit, and the lovely Mrs Agnew is the unsuspecting recipient of a gift

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I've recently joined Ravelry and I've been completely caught up in their beautiful patterns and projects. If you haven't yet, and you're no stranger to knittery goodness, you really sign up and start contributing! Anyway, the beautiful February Lady Sweater caught my eye and with reckless abandon I thought, 'hey, why not? If I can knit an Owl Sweater, I can knit lace'. Yeah right.

So, I started. Yes, really. That's what the giant ball of wool is for. And then, in the fifth row, I had to knit buttonholes. Yes, that early on. So what do I do at this stage? Instead of the logical thing (raiding my button stash and looking for completely normal, completely run-of-the-mill pretty buttons that I already have), I decide, with my infinite wisdom, to find some buttons that are on the other side of the world - in Michigan, no less. So that is how it came to pass that I ordered some absolutely beautiful buttons cut out of Mulberry tree branches to go with my Mulberry-coloured wool (oh infinite wit, how I've missed you). I'll do a bit more show-and-tell when they finally arrive in the post.

In the meantime, I have knitting needles. I have wool. Oh, what to do?

I know.

I know!

Our dear friend Mrs Agnew is an expecting mum. And with that, soon will be cold baby feet. And I just so happen to be the owner of a pattern for very, very sweet baby booties. Oh, don't judge me: you'd knit them to if you saw the pattern. (Downloadable for free, from Saartjie's blog)

All new parents should own something knitted for the little person they're brining into the world. It might be that I like things 'old-worldly' and traditional, but so be it.

I used my Patons Fab DK Aqua (which I was saving for a cabled hat, but this seemed like a worthier cause) and got knitting on my 3.25mm needles.

They take shape very quickly! There's a little complicated bit that involves casting on in longtail casting mid-row, but after a bit of trial-and-error and a little frantic YouTube video searching, it's easy enough. I especially like the colours - the wool is a nice colour combination of blues, purples, greens and white which creates a stripy pattern with layers of purple dots here and there.

I really like the way this wool knits itself into patterns! And I love that the booties are so different and unique, but quite clearly a pair. Here's the left bootie, not quite finished.

... and here's a closer look at the right bootie, not quite finished. Saartjie's pattern calls for you to 'finish them off' without detailing how, so I chose to use these loose ends as the basis for a crocheted loop, and then I wove the loose ends through the straps to keep them securely in place.

The finished product! They're rather sweet little shoes, even if I do say so myself. I was agonising (yes, agonising) over what kind of buttons these booties needed - crocheted flowers with purple middles? No, too feminine. Giant blue buttons? No, too masculine. - and so settled on oversized lilac buttons with the shiny side sewn on the inside so it exposes the neat, matte lilac of the underside. Perfect. *hopes*

If you're working at the same time or doing other attention-grabbing tasks, it takes about two days to knit up a pair of these, and another day to do all the fiddly bits. Not bad going for my second knittery project this year!

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