Saturday 9: Sweet Caroline
Sunday Stealing: The Weird Question Meme

A Tale Of Two Milos

I'm still knitting for my friend Stephanie's son Vinnie, the toddler who is allergic to most, if not all, manmade fibers and many natural ones. As I'm currently financially restricted to knitting with the yarn from my stash, and most of my yarns were stashed with myself in mind (read: not little boy colors), it's getting harder to do! I fancy myself the enterprising sort, at least on occasion, so we're making do just fine for now. 


I bought the pattern for Milo {Ravelry link} not knowing it had several different cable options, thinking it perfect for the singular hank of 100% pure Blue-Faced Leicester wool from Spin in the City UK that I had stashed a while back. About 200 yards of rich, smooshy wool... yeah. I was sure I had enough. So I cast on at the end of May.

I immediately hated the pattern when I started knitting. First, it's knit on circular needles. I much prefer straight needles, by a long shot, over circs. And then if I must knit in the round, I rather do it on DPNs (double-pointed needles) over a lone circ. It's just not intuitive for my hands. When I knitted the first four rounds on this Milo, therefore, gritting my teeth the whole way, the next instructions were enough to make me put baby in the corner for a whole week: "Repeat the last two rounds NINE MORE TIMES." UGH.


And then, on Saturday night after seeing Vinnie's pictures on Facebook, I felt urged to knit for the wee boy. I had Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice fresh on iTunes as an audiobook, and though I hate being read to with a passion, I decided I would combine the detested read-aloud with the even more odious circular knitting and kill two birds. 

Oh, my gosh, y'all. I fell in love with BOTH!!

I busted out 6½ hours of knitting on Milo to a wonderful British accent reading me the swoon-worthy story of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy from Saturday night into Sunday morning, and it was time well spent. I got to like circular knitting in a new way, learned to love the pattern de Milo, and am eager to get more audiobooks for future knitting marathons.


The only problem with Milo the First, as you can see here, is that I completely miscalculated the yardage I would need. I only had the one hank and could not find any more online, so I decided to just knit until I ran out. I ended up running out as I was binding off, which sucked. I had to go grab a teensy bit of semi-coordinating wool that Stephanie herself had given to me for a different Vinnie project to finish the binding. It works. Kinda.

I mean, Milo is too short and wide for Vinnie, I think, so there's a bit of a learning curve with this pattern. It measured okay (ie, long enough) on the needle, but off the needle it's shorter than what I had measured before the short garter stitch hem! D'oh. I'm not crying over spilt milk, however, because this particular hank of wool came adorned with a teensy angeline fiber woven in, and as I'm not entirely sure Vinnie won't be allergic to that glittery thread, I won't be terribly upset if Steph ends up regifting the first incarnation of Milo to another, smaller babe.


So on Monday morning, in the wee hours, I cast on for Milo again. I dove deep into my stash and found this 100% Fine Highland wool in the proper weight for Milo. Still squeezy, but not quite as smooshy. Still soft, though not quite as buttery. Much softer than the scratchy Colorblock Sweater I just made Vinnie, so it'll do fine, I'm sure.


I hadn't yet had my fill of the Austen saga, so I found Pride & Prejudice - starring Keira Knightly - on Amazon Prime and sat back with my now-tolerable circular needle. By dawn, the movie had ended and the kids were starting to get up for the day.

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We went to the zoo after the rain cleared up, and I knit in the car while Rob drove there, at the zoo itself while the kids played, and I knit after we returned home. I find myself both addicted to the pattern and yearning for more Jane Austen. What else ya got, iTunes?

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I can't decide whether I did the cable wonkily or if Milo the Second just needs a good blocking (which Steph will handle, because Vinnie's also allergic to cats and so she has to pre-wash everything I send him), but they don't seem to be sitting properly. Eh. Small worry. The length is much more suitable for a toddler boy, as are the colors and lack of glitteriness, so I'm happier with this second rendition.

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It's not really screwy, I don't think; it's just hanging funny on that hanger. I did the bottom binding with a stretchy cast-off, so he'll be able to yank it on and off over his head easily. Makes it a little bumpy and nubby, but that's okay. It's more functional than pretty, and I'm all right with that.

I've already got a third Milo on the needles, ready for yet another cable pattern. Hope you like green, Steph, because I had another skein...