There’s a Season for That

Have you ever noticed how people tend to get married or have babies in waves?

We’re in the middle of one of those waves.  Several of our friends and family members are having babies right now.  Between December and June there are 4 babies.  There’s not much I like more than knitting for little people!  The projects are fast and fun.
And I firmly believe that babies should be wrapped in wool to keep them cozy.  I tend to use superwash wool because I believe in keeping it easy for the parents.  I’m not a fan of acrylic for babies partly because I think acrylic sweaters make me feel clammy instead of warm and because I don’t like knitting with most acrylic.  Every knitter is different – this is just how I roll.

I’ve been combing through Ravelry finding new patterns to knit.

 

This sweater is the Garter Stitch Baby Kimono by Joji Locatelli.  (By the way, you pronounce her name the Spanish way, as though the J’s were H’s.  “HoHee”)  This was a really fun knit and the pattern was free.  It takes less than 1 skein of sock yarn to make.   I used a skein of Knitted Wit Victory Sock, which is lovely to knit with. It is quickly becoming one of my favorite sock yarns.  You are supposed to finish the neckline with an I-cord edging, but I thought the pico type edging was pretty cute for a girl.  I did not check my gauge on this one (I know!  Bad knitter!  But I often don’t on baby knits) so it is a little wider than it maybe needed to be.  However, I kind of like a little extra wiggle room in the belly on baby knits.

The hat was made almost entirely of the leftovers from the sweater.  I did throw in a couple of rows of sparkly white that I had in a mini skein.  Partly because I thought this little girl needed a little sparkle and partly because I was nervous about running out of yarn at the very top.  I ended up ripping this hat out once and redoing it with a smaller needle size.  I think it’s already on the large size for a 1 month old, but that’s ok, she’ll grow!  The hat pattern is the Sweet Norwegian Cap and I’ve made many of them.  The hat and sweater went to a friend who had their baby in December.

Speaking of growing, the hat at the very top of the post is one I’m doing for my brand spanking new nephew!  He surprised us all by coming at 33 weeks.  At 3 lbs 7 oz, he is one tiny guy.  Both momma and baby are doing well.  This hat is made from some leftover Quince & Co. dk yarn from my Clayoquot cardigan and is one I just made up as I went.  I started the hat this fall and then set it aside because I didn’t think I was knitting for boys and I certainly didn’t think I’d be knitting for a preemie.  See, the babies in our family tend to be girls and they generally tend to come on the large size (my girls were 9 lbs and 8 lbs respectively).  Just in case you’re wondering, I don’t gamble because I’m really lousy at playing the odds!  And I hate loosing.  The boy hat got put aside until a later time.  Probably a good thing because when I heard my nephew was born, it was right there beside my knitting spot, ready to finish.  The finished hat should fit an orange, which I’m hoping is about the right size.  If it does not fit, my sister can definitely donate it to the hospital for another baby to use.

 

It’s Possible

It’s no secret that there’s a lot of musical theater going on in our house.  Both girls have been involved in musicals this summer.  Addie was a Bird Girl in Seussical Jr. and Lily is a villager in Once on this Island.  I watched back to back showings of Seussical and have been singing “It’s Possible” ever since.  My favorite part (other than watching Addie bevel and swish) was when Horton asks JoJo if she dreams when she thinks.  JoJo replies, “In bright colors!”  I might have yelled in my head, “YES!” at that scene.

2016-07-02 18.17.10While I’m not always drawn to bright colors in my knitting (I am trying to branch out), knitting for kids is a great way to get some bright colors on the needles.  My 2 year old nephew needed some wool socks for next winter.  Enter this fun skein of Lollipop Yarn in Best Friends that I was able to snag.

 

2016-07-02 18.17.14I made the Tube Socks for Kids pattern as my nephew is growing fast and I wanted them to be worn as long as possible.  He really wasn’t crazy about trying them on during a warm July day, but I know they’ll get worn this winter.

*I have not counted these for Stash Dash yet even though they are finished and gifted.  I’m waiting until I finish this particular ball to keep the math easy.

2016-07-04 20.50.29

Since I had quite a bit of yarn left, including the green heel/toe ball that is included with the yarn, I decided to cast on immediately for socks for Lily.  These are tube socks as well since her feet are growing at a crazy rate.  The socks have been moving at a crazy rate as well, but that might be because they’re small and the only project I’ve worked on this week.

The Little Things

It’s the little things in life that really make a difference.

  1. A snow day even if it did come with less snow than I had hoped and 50 mph gusts.  They closed one of the highways near my house so I decided to stay home with my hubby and kids.
  2. Having electricity back after 5 hours without it.  The kids enjoyed “pioneer day” at our house!  Lunch was a little interesting, but we survived.  We ate some cold leftovers or sandwiches and were happy that we didn’t have to go out in the blizzard.
  3. Having some time to work on Hexipuffs for the Beekeepers Quilt.  I’ve become slightly addicted to finding mini skeins of yarn on Etsy.  It’s so fun to use a mini skein rather than great big huge skeins of yarn.
  4. Finishing my 3rd sweater in the month of February!  With two sweaters, a pair of booties and a hat, we know my new nephew won’t be lacking in clothing.
Modular Cardigan

This is the Modular Cardigan from Grammy’s Favorite Knits for Baby.  I used Frog Tree Alpaca’s Mariboo yarn.  I have just enough left over out of the 3 skeins to squeak out a matching hat.  I did it in the smallest size since I wanted to have something that Baby X can wear almost right away.  It’s a cute sweater and a very quick knit.  So quick in fact, that I didn’t realize that the sleeves were supposed to be in stockinette stitch rather than garter.  Oh well, I think it’s kind of cute.

 

All the News That’s Fit to Print

There’s nothing like a new baby coming to kick your knitting into high gear.  I became a proud Auntie once again last week.  Our new nephew was born on Friday afternoon, healthy and happy with a full head of hair All the babies in our family are born with more hair than most adult men.

In the past week, I have finished

Professor X Sweater

A 6 month size sweater for Professor X (what we’ve nicknamed the baby).  Made from Sanguine Gryphon yarn in Abu Dhabi colorway.  Sorry for the crummy iPhone picture, it was the only one I took last night that was remotely OK to use.  This would be my official February Sweater for the 12 in 12 challenge.

A pair of baby booties, also for Professor X.

My January Sweater.  Yes, it’s actually done.  I do need to sew on buttons still.  I think I’m going to do the ribbon button band from the Knitmore Girls to give the button band more stability.  I’ll show pictures and talk about it more when it’s all done.

And I started a new baby sweater, just to see if I can get it done in the remaining days.  Have I mentioned I’m crazy?

 

Hemmed In

pre-hemmingThere is something about a hemmed piece of knit wear that I just love.  The edge is crisp and straight, there is no curling and it just looks neat and tidy.  Plus, it is double thick along the hemmed edge, so the fabric lays very nice.  I really don’t know why I don’t do hems more often!  It seems like every time I do a knitted hem I spend as much time admiring it as I do knitting it. Hmmm… maybe this is why I don’t do hems that often, the admiring takes too long.   I tend to show it off to everyone I know because I think it’s the cleverest piece of knitting I’ve ever seen.  It makes me wonder who thought of this.  I’d love to spend 5 minutes in the presence of that genius.

I’m not sure if there are other ways to do it, but I’ll walk you through what I do.

First, knit an inch in plain stockinette.  Then do one row of purl.  Knit another inch in plain stockinette.  You’ll see as you start to knit the second part of stockinette that the edge folds over on itself very nicely.

HemOnce you have two equal lengths of stockinette separated by one row of purl, fold the cast on edge up so it is directly behind the needles.  Knit one stitch from the needle together with one stitch from the cast on edge.  This will be a knit 2 together.  I think you could easily use a provisional cast on or put the cast on stitches onto a 3rd needle, but I usually just pick up a stitch as I go.

'lil pumpkin hatThe finished product will make for a very warm band around the baby’s ears.  This is some Blue Sky Alpaca dk weight that has resisted my every effort to make it into something presentable up until this point.  I tried lace, I tried fussy, I tried tiny booties.  Nothing seemed to work until I hit upon the magic gauge of 5 stitches per inch.  I cast on 94 stitches, did the hem and then knit until I almost ran out of yarn.  I finished it off with kitchener stitch to create the flat top.  Somehow I think the yarn knew exactly what it wanted to be.  It wanted to be a simple garment and I was trying to force it into something more than it could be.

I love funny hats on babies and I think this will fit the bill perfectly.  It’s being sent to an old college friend as soon as I can drag myself to the post office.

Start Your Engines!

 I have a case of start-itis in the worst possible way.  I want to cast on for a ton of new projects.  There’s no rhyme or reason to this start-itis, I just want new new new.  I don’t want to focus.  I want to play.  Luckily I finished this little baby sweater (or almost finished) so I can almost justify starting another project.  I still need to make the little I-cord loop closures, but those will be done shortly.  I needed to block it first in order to figure out just how long the closures need to be.  And as long as I was blocking it, I might as well take a photo at the same time. 

Pattern:  Flower Cardigan and Hat Set from Itty Bitty Nursery. 

Yarn:  Pagewood Farms Alyeska.  One skein was perfect for this project.  I did have one big issue with this yarn.  I think it was a problem with this particular skein because I’ve knit with Pagewood Farms yarn before and never had a problem.  The yarn kept fraying and individual plys would break.  Because it was superwash, I couldn’t just spit splice the ends together.  I randomly added in bits of a pink and green ribbon yarn to jazz things up as per my Stashology class at Stitches.  Every so often I used an overhand knot to tie on a piece of the ribbon yarn.  I tried not to do too many rows of the ribbon yarn on the back of the sweater since I thought a baby lying on this wouldn’t like the feel of the knots too much.  Normally I wouldn’t tie knots in my knitting, but with the ribbon yarn it seemed like the only way to really get it to stay and not unravel.  We are getting some new baby cousins on my husband’s side of the family, so this sweater will go to one of the babies (we know it will be a girl).  The other baby is still unknown as far as which flavor it will be, so I’m going to wait to knit for that baby.  Both will probably be given lots of knitwear!

Rowan Lima

To reward myself for finishing a project, I decided to cast on for a sweater for myself.  It’s Solaris, a free Berocco pattern, made out of Rowan Lima.  I’m planning on doing a fairly big modification on this sweater, basing it on what someone else on Ravelry has done.  I’m done with one sleeve so far and I am absolutely loving the yarn.  It is making a beautiful fabric and it’s gorgeous to work with.  It may become my new favorite yarn!  Perpare to hear a lot about this yarn as I work on the sweater.  I just can’t help but pet the yarn and admire it as I go.  The yarn and the fact that I’m knitting something like this for myself feels like total indulgence.  I’ve realized that I don’t knit for myself very often and that maybe it’s time again. 

I also decided that Christmas is just around the corner and that I’ll need to knit a little something special for the girls.  I’m making this sweater in pumpkin orange for Lily.  She’s always asking me what I’m knitting for her, so I know she’ll love it.  Plus, orange is her favorite color.   For a four year old, she has an exceptionally long list of what she’d like Mommy to knit for her.  I’m debating about doing a heavily modified version for Addie.  I’m thinking about making it more of a full length cardigan with long sleeves.  It will probably be navy blue, since she’ll be able to wear that to school with her uniform. 

I don’t know if it’s the change of seasons that’s making me feel this need to start new things, or maybe it’s just coming off the high of Stitches.  Maybe the combination of wool fumes and the chilly nights are making me a little crazy.  Am I the only one who wants to indulge in fresh from the garden tomatoes simmered on the stove and a new project? 

Something Got Done Around Here

I seem to be collecting photographs of finished items but just not blogging about them.  Mostly because they just don’t seem to fit any one post particularly well.  Plus, when my home life gets busy, my blogging takes a bit of a back seat.  Suffice it to say that life seems to have sped up to hurricane force now that the girls are in school.  We’ve got piano lesson one night a week, a garage sale to get ready for (yep, it’s round 2 for the summer since the last one was a dud) and a house that seems to dirty itself.  Seriously, do the dirty socks grow on my living room floor???  Why is it that we have an automatic dish washer and an automatic laundry washer, but not an automatic putter-awayer of any sort?  I know my trials and tribulations are no different than any other working parent.  And I also know that I am lucky to have a husband who helps out.  So why is it completely overwhelming at times?

Enough whining.  Here’s a bit of a random assortment of finished items.

Cruiser Mittens

1.  Cruiser Mittens.  Made from Misti Alpaca Sport weight and Rowan Kidsilk Haze held together on size 3 needles.  I do these on 9″ circular needles because I don’t like switching needles all the time, that’s just how I roll.  The combination of alpaca and Kidsilk Haze is wonderfully soft.  The photo is of the unblocked mittens, I wasn’t in a rush to block them because they’re  a Christmas present.  As I was working on these I realized that with just a simple heel added in, the pattern would make amazing socks.  I even have more Misti Alpaca to do this with.   Hee hee.

Lined Mittens

2.  Basic Lined Mitten.  Made with Malabrigo Twist on the outside and Berrocco Ultra Alpaca Light for the lining.  These are the mittens I made for a friend in trade for doing some minor body work on my car.  He’s been hinting that he’d like a matching hat for Christmas.  I finished the mittens right after the Finish-a-long challenge ended so I couldn’t count them in my total.

Sweet Norwegian Cap

3.  Sweet Norwegian Baby Cap (not the original pattern, but there’s a link to the English version and sweet photos) out of leftover sock yarn.  You might notice this is the same yarn that made a pair of socks last year for my sister and the troll vest.  I bought this yarn at a fiber festival and promptly lost the sellers tag.  I wish I knew where I bought the yarn because it is lovely stuff.  It also seems to be a bit of a never ending skein since I still have a tiny bit left.

Now, I’m off to indulge in a bit of startitis.