Have you been wondering what happened to the little projects I wrote about starting in this post? (Be polite: say, "Yes," even if you have no idea what I'm talking about.)
I have finished the delicate pink cotton bib (pattern here):
It was a fun project, especially good for "travel knitting." I think I'll add a couple more for the gift. Not the kind of bib I think I would enjoy using (on a child--not myself), but I assume perfect for the person who likes the very similar cotton knit washclothes everyone's doing these days. I certainly hope the person I give it to is such a person. What's great about them is that the bib can protect the baby's clothing during dinner and then afterward be dampened and used to wipe off hands and face as needed. Then it's time for the laundry...
The other small project was the toy ball in Toronto Maple Leaf colours:
Now this was really fun. Lots of short rows and knitting "backwards."
The pattern is brilliant in how it works to achieve the swirls. It could be written better, but it gives you a really good start to getting this done.
The knitters out there can see how the rows line up horizontally in the following picture:
So even though initially it seems you might knit along the length of the stripes, you actually knit across them with short rows. "Short rows" are where you stop knitting before finishing the row and then turn around and go the other way. It's a very effective way to shape knitting into 3D shapes. In this case it also means you do a lot of short rows of only 9 or 10 stitches. Turning a project around that often can be a real pain so I prefer to knit "backwards" (moving left to right). It's a little more awkward, but still more convenient and efficient than turning so often. I've included a short video of knitting backwards in case you want to try it yourself.
Go forth and experiment!