Thursday, June 26, 2008

a finished object and a freak-out

First the finished object. Actually objects.

Yes, I made a little baby suit, called the Interworld baby suit after the Neil Gaiman children's sci/fi fantasy novel about parallel worlds.

Baby clothes always take more yarn and more time than you expect. These two pieces used five balls of Cascade Pima Silk, the cotton/silk blend I fell for when making the baby wash cloths. Each 50 gram ball contains 109 yards. I used #7 (U.S.) needles to get a gauge of 5 stitches to the inch, because I don't like the fabric as much at 4.5, which is the gauge suggested on the ball band.
Neither of the two patterns I used called for this gauge, so I had to make a bigger (jacket) and smaller (pants) size to get a finished size of (I hope) 3-6 months.

I want to thank two generous and ingenious designers for posting these free patterns on line. The Baby Sachiko Kimono by Erika Flory is from the online publication The Love of Yarn, which I've never heard of. All the issues seem to date from 2007, so maybe it is no longer active. But there are a lot of very cute baby patterns on there. The Baby Bell Bottoms pattern is from The Blue Blog of Alison Hansel, author of the Harry Potter knitting book, Charmed Knits. I found both of these on Ravelry. The Ravelry pages are here and here.

Regarding the baby in question, at the time I started these, the sex was unknown. I picked out this periwinkle blue as a somewhat neutral color. By the time I finished, I knew it was going to be a girl. I thought I could girly up the jacket and even the pants with some trim, embroidery, or applique. But I'm not sure that I will now. I kind of like the simplicity of the designs.

Now for the freak-out. All morning long, this was in my garden.

Here it is chomping my hosta.

Now I realize that this is no news to those living in the suburbs or in the country. But I live in CHICAGO. How is this happening? I was on the phone talking to my daughter in the suburbs who was telling me about the nest of baby skunks under her front porch, when my husband came in the house pointing to the back yard. He had been in the garage smoking a cigar, when this pretty doe poked her head in to the open doorway.

Actually, we live about 3 blocks from a city nature preserve that has a large and increasingly worrisome deer population. A city girl's impulse is to be thrilled that actual wildlife has picked her very garden to chomp, but in truth, this could get to be a problem. I need a deer repellent.

Compounding the problem is the fact that coyotes are sometimes seen in Lincoln Park, and a cougar was recently cornered and killed in a gangway not far from Wrigley Field. Those who know Chicago will know that this is a densely populated neighborhood, much more so than ours. That is scary. The presence of deer can attract predators, and cougars kill more than deer. Read The Beast in the Garden by David Baron about a cougar who ate an 18-year-old man near Boulder, Colorado. Sensationalism aside, this is a thought-provoking story about the intersection of man and nature.


Carrie Ann said...

YAY- you're getting a granddaughter!! That's great. As for the deer, I would freak out too. As a fellow Chicagoan with a toddler, I was terrified at the size of that cougar they killed. It would eat my toddler!! Therefore I wouldn't want any potential dinner (deer) hanging around my yard for too long.

Wool Enough said...

The baby outfit is lovely. And I think periwinkle is a perfect color for a little girl.

That deer in your garden makes a charming picture, but you are right -- deer can be a huge problem in areas where they have no natural predators (this island, for instance). Although if you have cougars and coyotes, that should help. We have a lengthy hunting season, but I don't suppose they break out the rifles and plaid shirts in urban Chicago.

Marie said...

Lucky baby, getting your beautiful suit. I love the color.
We have deer all the time in our neighborhood and they do eat bushes and flowers. I know Chicago so it's pretty funny to see the deer in your garden. You might need to get a salt lick!
Thanks so much for the encouraging words. I think I am emerging from my slump.