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Egads, folks.  It’s been a long, long time since I blogged here.  It’s not that I don’t love you; it’s just that I’ve had a lot of Life (with a capital L) lately.  So, instead of regretting the past (which I don’t, and everything is fine, and nothing that’s been happening is in any way anything that is affecting the bedrock of my life), let’s look forward!

(Seriously.  Everything is fine.  Alex is fine, I’m fine, the cats are fine.  All of our very minor woes are homeowner-related.  Those are resolving.  Everything is fine.)

It’s storytime!

As you may or may not know, I often forget to swatch. It’s not that I hate it or anything; it’s just that I very seldom knit things that actually need to be fitted. I knit a good many shawls. I also knit socks, but the vast majority of those are for me, and I know pretty much instinctively at this point how many stitches on what size needles I will need to fit my foot. Plus, my foot is really convenient for trying socks-in-progress on if I have any doubts.

My very dear friend, Heather, had a baby recently.  (I was going to say “a wee baby,” but he isn’t.  He’s HUGE.)  Naturally, as soon as I learned that she was pregnant, I started knitting a baby blanket.  I always knit baby blankets for people to whom I am particularly close. (Also, there is really no need to swatch for a baby blanket, unless it is lace, which mine are not.)

Sadly, Heather is one of those people who is actually allergic to wool.  (We think it’s the chemical processing, but her hand turns bright red when she touches wool, so we’ll just go with that.)  I knitted the blanket out of Berroco Weekend, which is a yarn that I have since learned to detest for its splittiness and lack of give.  (It’s not the yarn’s fault — it’s a cotton/acrylic blend.  It’s just spun that way.)  I finished the blanket, and I’m very, very happy with it.  (I’m also very, very happy that it’s finished.)

Doesn’t he look adorable there? The blanket is the Chevron Baby Blanket from Purl Bee. It’s nice and easy, and I’m making a big one for me. I didn’t double the yarn, because that particular yarn would drive me even crazier if I doubled it.

Somehow, this particular baby has finally inspired the Knitting For Babies Urge about which so many other knitters have warned me. I want to KNIT ALL THE THINGS for this child. I want to COVER HIM IN KNITTED LOVE. The problem with this is that I hate knitting with cotton. Also, hats really don’t work well in 100% cotton (at least, not the cotton I was using). The attempt was droopy, drapey, and not at all nice. What’s a knitter to do?

Well, this knitter had a brainstorm. I remembered that Heather had once admired a project I was working on in Malabrigo Rios. I had her clutch the skein, and there was no negative reaction. And Malabrigo Rios is WOOL. Perhaps the dyeing process is different in Uruguay? Perhaps they have Magical Merino Sheep?

Being a Responsible Knitter, I decided to ask Heather to participate in an Experiment. I knitted up a swatch — just a swatch — and mailed it to her with a note asking her to see if Malabrigo Rios was still OK for her to touch/cuddle/wrap her sweet baby in.

It worked. Heather says that all systems are go for covering this baby in Malabrigo Rios. I am SO EXCITED, seeing as this is probably one of my favorite yarns EVER to work with.

I guess there are times when swatching makes sense. And I have a feeling there are many, many baby/child sweaters in my future. Those have to fit, right?

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