Been on a brief break from RealJob and found myself ruminating on the old days of knitting and knit-blogging. We had our virtual S&B’s, sharing photos of our works-in-progress, asking for advice, and getting sincere responses. There were pattern bandwagons (didn’t everyone get The Clap’ eventually?) and we rallied around the latest hand-dyer on the scene. As time passed, we broadened our conversations, migrated to new platforms, grew apart from some fellow knitters and cemented friendships with others. It’s an ever-evolving “community” plagued by the usual human virtues and foibles.

.

When my bff told me last Monday that he’s expecting his first child in October, I was already in the alert knitter mode and had copious free time available. He lives far, far away in Eastern Europe now and I feel like sending him lots of little handmade things to make up for the distance.

Unlike back in 2005 when I had just a couple of pattern books to access, now I could get lost on Ravelry (you are a member, right?) and consult with my knitter-friends on the Twitter. Even still, I started by casting on for the 2007 Tulip cardigan pattern that’s been on my to-be-knit list for 6 years. (Heh, I even bought the Dream In Color kit back then, but long since cannibalized the yarn for a blanket.)

for bff-baby

Now, when I take a yearlong break from knitting as I just did, I benignly forget that I hate to purl. Yep. With the burning passion of a zillion suns, I hate purling long rows of purls. Sure, sure, these are short, baby-cardigan-length rows, but they are long enough to trigger severe loathing. To avoid the feeling a little, I challenged myself not to turn my work, knitting stockinette fabric by knitting from right to left and then purling backwards from left to right, always with the knit side facing me. As a continental knitter, this meant picking knits and throwing purls. It was an effective diversion for a little while, but it is still a slog. It’s not too far from done: just needs i-cord edging and some sleeves.

How to keep the momentum going? Well, why not knit a rainbow of wee gifts? I could more wisely choose projects requiring very few purls, rewarding progress on the cardigan with quickie knits. For instance, this top-down seamless sock yarn bunny was great fun from start to finish. Pooky earned his tear tattoo, it seems…

the secret life of bears?

And the other ones just flew off the needles: baby socks, my own top-knot hat recipe, and a super-duper quick pointy baby hat.

for bff-baby

Even Pooky celebrated this success with a bunny détente.

hmm...

Doesn’t that bunny need a name? Somehow, though, it seems weird to name a yet-to-be-born kid’s bunny for him. I’ll refrain.

Hmm…looks like I have six more months to make some more. I’ll take a little break, though. What are your favorite baby gifts? Favorite patterns?