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One of the treats I remember as a kid was getting a chunk of sugar cane to suck on when we visited my dad’s family farm. My uncle ran the farm. Because I’m still trying to adjust to the time change, I should tell you one of my favorite stories about my dad’s oldest brother. Since he was the oldest, he ran the family farm while all the younger boys went off to war in the forties. During WWII, daylight savings time was used to save electricity. It wasn't used again until 1966. I can picture my Uncle WJ in his pickup truck, window down and air conditioner on full blast and complaining about the institution of daylight savings again. This time one of the arguments for daylight savings time was to give the farmers more daylight hours. He would rant and rave about what idiot thought daylight savings time would give him more time for farming. It would only mean he got up an hour later and went to bed an hour later. He would still have the same number of daylight hours for farming. What a character he was. The time change takes me forever to adjust to.

So what does all this have to do with sugar cane? I’ll get to that shortly.

I’m definitely not the fastest knitter in the world. So last fall when Peggy Stuart decided that we needed to have an Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Baby Surprise Jacket KAL, she and Susan the Blue Lake Knitter had me hooked but I knew I wouldn’t be able to get started until after the first of the year. Too many obligations before the holidays.

Susan forged ahead with her little Sam due in January. She was the first to finish and she did a terrific job. Look at the wonderful little buttons she found. We know Sam is going to be so cute in his BSJ.

Peggy was a little slower in finishing because she had her second thumb surgery last fall. She managed to finish up her BSJ for Daphne in January, just about the same time as I began. We can hardly wait for Miss Daphne to arrive sometime in late May, early June so we can see her in another cute BSJ.

The yarns I chose were a wee bit crazy for a baby. It’s not machine washable. I chose Araucania’s Multy Ruca, color #1

and Debbie Bliss’s Pure Silk, color 27005.

The reason for the choice of yarn is simple. The Multy Ruca is 100% sugar cane. I couldn’t have found more perfect yarn. How could I not use this to honor those family memories of that sweet taste of sugar cane from our family farm? And well, the silk is simply because it was what I found that could trim this beautiful sugar cane. The silk reminds me of that green sugar cane swaying in the fields.

So I forged ahead and before I knew it, I was making great progress.

It soon managed to evolve. So many buttons to choose from.

Before determining what buttons to use, I decided I wanted longer sleeves.

And I knew I wanted a collar. It took a long time to decide what type. I really wanted a sailor collar, but the front lines weren’t quite right for a true sailor collar. So I decided to go with a square collar. I ended up doing the collar separately. It took me forever to decide the best method for attaching the collar. I ended up whip stitching it. I placed the right side of the collar next to the wrong side of the BSJ. As soon as I find where I hid my directions for the collar I will post those directions in the BSJ KAL. Then I whip stitched around.

It was starting to look good but still wasn’t exactly where I wanted it. So then I decided to do an attached i-Cord around the edges and I’m in love again. And what buttons did I choose? I really wanted to use the bees. We used to have beehives in our backyard. So wouldn't sugar cane and bees be appropriate? But the little bees were too washed out and need something else to show them off. This has yet to be blocked but I didn't want to wait another week before posting this blog.

Since I haven’t decided on a recipient yet, I thought my little baby doll could use a little warmth on this nippy day.

Here’s a little bonus. I took pictures of the chair backs I did for the chair my baby doll is sitting in. We bought 2 chairs for $10/each. The backs were vinyl and the seats were just cloth. They had obviously not been Waters boys tested. The vinyl and seats were torn. I had some scrap upholstery fabric which I covered the seats with, but I couldn’t figure out how to do the backs. I knew I wanted to knit something but I didn’t know how. One day while staring at the chairs, hmmmm….. it reminds me of the toe of a sock. Finally, I knew how to shape it and voilá: beautiful new chairs! [Okay, I realize the backs could stand to be fulled again. What can I expect after 5 years and Waters boys testing?]

On my Needles: The Yvette Beret and Mitts. The band is completed and I’m ready to start those magical triangles for the entrelac set up. Please check out the discussion in the Entrelac KAL and join us if you like.

On my iPod: As always: At Knit's End by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off, Mason Dixon, Knitting Outside the Lines by Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne, The Secret Language of Knitters by Mary Beth Temple. As well as the following videos: Drafting: the Long and the Short of It and Respect the Spindle by Abby Franquemont, Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann. The mystery book of the week is The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly. No, this is not a story about Abe Lincoln, but a modern day lawyer that loves Lincoln Continentals.

What book am I reading?: I’m still enjoying The Knitter's Book of Wool by Clara Parkes. What a delightful book!

Breed of the Week. Navajo-Churro: This breed is the descendant of the Churros. The Navajos bred these sheep for meat and fiber. The fiber is more suitable for weaving that knitting. There is some efforts today to breed for a softer fiber more suitable for knitting. The Knitter's Book of Wool by Clara Parkes. Please consider purchasing Ms. Parkes book. It is an excellent resource book with some very nice patterns.

Word of the Week. Hinky: Slang for nervous or jittery; slang for suspicious. This slang word has been around since 1956 and is alteration of argot hincty suspicious. Thanks, Susan for using this wonderful word this week.

Until next time, Happy knitting to all.


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Comment by cherylbwaters on April 3, 2010 at 2:19pm
Thanks, Lena, for watching my backside. I was making sure the provisional cast on was the same as the one from Lucy Neatby when my computer decided it needed some loving care. Yep, that's the one I love! I've been having to do real work for the past couple of days and haven't had a chance to look this up for Susan. ♥c
Comment by KnitWhich? on April 2, 2010 at 9:54am
Thanks, TooMuch. I like that one, also.

Comment by HavetoomuchYarn on April 2, 2010 at 9:36am
Panda Man's Stockinette Stitch BSJ.

And Baby's Coat by Mary Lee Herrick with the dec/inc on the arm/raglan instead.

seriously addicted to these things...
Comment by HavetoomuchYarn on April 2, 2010 at 9:14am
My favourite provisional cast-on is this one by Knittingatknoon. It is croched onto the knitting needle and *very* easy to undo and pick-up.

who loved the window-markers...
Comment by cherylbwaters on March 30, 2010 at 6:29pm
It may have been in Yahoo also. I will check over there for you.
Comment by Susan the Blue Lake Knitter on March 30, 2010 at 5:49pm
I saw a mention of it over on Ravelry... I think! ♥s
Comment by cherylbwaters on March 30, 2010 at 5:26pm
It seems I heard about directions for a st st BSJ somewhere. I'll see if I can find it. ♥c
Comment by Susan the Blue Lake Knitter on March 30, 2010 at 4:41pm
I'm thinking about doing my next one in st st for a change. Any thought about that? ♥s
Comment by cherylbwaters on March 30, 2010 at 4:19pm
On the shoulders, I grafted the seams together but I think it would have looked better if I had done a provisional cast on so there would be live sts to graft. ♥c
Comment by Peggy Stuart on March 30, 2010 at 3:44pm
I just want a prettier edging than sc. --P

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