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Archive for the ‘baby’ Category

There aren’t too many hard and fast knitting “rules” that I subscribe to. I’m hard-pressed to think of any that I follow faithfully every time. Even swatching is hit or miss; I typically don’t bother for anything other than sweater projects and I can think of a couple where I didn’t even bother (with the expected results, naturally).

So I’m not sure why it tickles me so much that I tossed convention aside and am knitting this baby cardigan in whatever order strikes my fancy.

I knit on the button bands, sewed on the buttons, and even started weaving in ends – all before I started the first sleeve. It’s actually kind of nice. I don’t have bits of sweater flopping around, since I just keep it buttoned up.

The bottom hem is bugging me though. I bound off loosely as I usually do and as convention often dictates, but since I made some slight modifications regarding needles size, it’s a bit flare-y. I’m going to rip back the cast off and try it again tighter. If that doesn’t work, I’ll rip back the garter band altogether and go down a couple needle sizes which is more in keeping with the pattern.

But since this is intended to be a next winter sweater for the little dude, and I’m in no great hurry to get it finished, I’m going to work on this long cast aside project:

For a couple days, at least.

I took this photo last year; on 12/4/11 to be exact. It’s come a bit farther since then, but not much. I typically work on it a few days in between big projects, or when I’m feeling out of sorts and restless with my knitting or other things.

As the countdown to D-Day (Delivery Day) has commenced, it’s safe to say I’m feeling both out of sorts and restless with life in general.

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A Re-Entry of Sorts

In what seems to be an unfortunately recurring theme on this blog, I’m back (I think. Pretty sure I am.).

Looking back through the post history, though, it seems like the gaps lasted 2-3 months, never almost 7. I do feel I have a reasonable excuse for this most recent disappearing act:

My best WIP yet!

I’m closing in on my 9th month of pregnancy – next Friday will be exactly 36 weeks. There are times when I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone. And then, more and more lately, it feels like it will be another 9 years before we will finally get to meet our son. Seriously, it feels like this last month is going to last forever…I hear that’s common.

My estimated due date is October 12th, and I’ve maintained throughout my pregnancy that I want an October baby. J thinks he’ll be an early baby rather than a late one or even an on-time one. Like mid-September early, which freaked me out when he told me that for the first time last month. I’m coming around to the end of September being ok (but October 1st would be better).

To catch-up on other major life events, this July was a month of a couple highs and a very low low. I finally finished the degree I’ve been working on and off (a lot of off) on for several years. I was promoted at work, which was very gratifying and almost felt like as big an accomplishment as the degree.

Then towards the end of the month, we had to put our beloved dog, Charlie, down.

It was definitely the right decision, and in his best interest, but it was still incredibly hard. We were both there the day Charlie was born, just over 15 years ago. J picked him out on that first day, the pudgiest and darkest-colored pup in the litter, and took him home as soon as Charlie was old enough.  He was the first dog J and I shared. He saw us into our first apartment together, and into our first house. I wish he could be here to welcome our first child. He will be much loved and remembered always.

In knitting news, there has been a flurry of baby knitting. I’m sure this surprises no one. Most recently, another baby hat.

Pattern: Aviatrix by Justine Turner

Yarn: Stitch Nation by Debbie Stoller Alpaca Love in 3350 Espresso Bean and 3520 Peacock Feather

Needles: US7/4.5mm and US9/5.5mm

The only modification I made was the contrasting ribbing and strap. J thought it looked like a little girl’s hat while I was working, but I told him I think it’s adorable and that he is crazy. This knit up super fast – I finished it in a day (minus the sewing on of the button). I knit the newborn size, and it seems slightly big but I’m okay with that. Babies grow, I hear tell.

In lieu of a baby to model it on, I swiped a stuffed monkey instead. Not the best model, I admit. His noggin definitely doesn’t fill out the hat at all. But he’ll do for another month or so.

This little monkey was the star of my baby shower. My best friend created a diaper bike (instead of a diaper cake) as a nod to J, who is an avid trail rider, and this guy was the cyclist. Yes, I know. My best friend is fabulous!

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I’ve fallen behind on posting my recently finished projects. So here I go again playing catch-up, starting with my first-ever Baby Surprise Jacket:

Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann

Yarn: Dream in Color Smooshy in Blue Lagoon

Needles: US5/3.75mm

I won’t re-invent the wheel by waxing poetic about the genius of this pattern, and of EZ herself. Suffice it to say this was a very enjoyable knit. It was so intriguing that I finished it in less than three days. I started it on a Saturday afternoon and finished it up on a Monday night as soon as I got home from work. I just couldn’t stop knitting on it, wanting to see how it would come together.

I did start (and finish) this with no particular baby in mind, but it didn’t take very long for a recipient to present itself. A couple weeks after it was done I gifted it to a co-worker who is expecting her first baby, a little boy, in September. Lest you think I’ve lost my mind and have taken to foisting handknits on unsuspecting (and undeserving) people, I did test the waters with a pair of booties. Both her and her husband were so delighted with them that I knew immediately that they were knitworthy, and decided to gift them the sweater as well. She was so happy to receive both gifts, and said she’d like to learn to knit, as did another co-worker. Hopefully we’ll find time soon to sit down so I can get them started.

As a knitting ambassador, I consider this a job well done!

The color is more true-to-life in this picture.

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Necessity, or the nagging voice that sets in when you start to think you’re going to run out of yarn?

I encountered this voice earlier on with the 3×1 Ribbed Socks than most people usually might with their projects. Maybe because I ran out of yarn on the last pair of socks I knit for J, but I’ve had a niggling suspicion all along that I would be short on this pair too. So on the first sock’s toe, I put in my first ever lifeline thinking if I ran out I’d just frog back and knit a different colored toe from that point. I finished the last round of the sock and weighed the yarn; I had approximately half the skein left. But since my scale is not digital, and is in fact super duper cheap, I don’t really trust it (Note to self: buy a new, trustworthy scale). Not wanting to give J a second pair of socks in a row with a mismatched toe, I decided to try to eek every last bit of yarn out of this skein. So I put the first socks stitches on holders and started the second sock from the outside of the ball. At least this way, if I have to do contrasting toes, they will match. This is the ‘fight’ that has killed my mojo on this project.

On a happier note, I made a pair of baby booties out of some of the yarn left over from the Hedera socks.

Pattern: Christine’s Stay-On Baby Booties

Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in Blue Yonder

Needle: US2.5/3.0mm

I’ve made this pattern once before, and I’m working on another set for a cousin expecting twin girls in August. So it appears that almost a year later I’m correct; this pattern has become my go-to baby gift pattern! I made these with no particular recipient in mind, but I’m sure they will find a good home at some point.

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Itty Bitty Socks!

Pattern: Better-Than-Booties Baby Socks by Ann Budd

Yarn: Dream in Color Smooshy in Blue Lagoon

Needles: US0/2.0mm

These are some baby socks I knit up last month, but only got around to mailing last weekend, for my cousin who is expecting her second child this spring. Her and her husband have decided to keep the gender a surprise, so I tried to make these as gender-neutral as possible. This is the Ruffle Rib version of these socks, and they turned out pretty darn cute if I do say so myself. Actually, I don’t say so just myself; she said so too!

I usually don’t have a problem with small needles, but the small needles on such a small sock, and the fact that I’m a fairly tight knitter, resulted in some tired and painful hands at times. I really like the finished product, however, so if I were to make these again I think I would just plan on them taking a while, and working on them in short bursts of time. I accomplished my first short row heel (and toe!) with these little socks, and I really enjoyed the technique. I’m thinking about trying it out on a pair of adult size socks at some point.

As far as progress on the various and sundry projects I’ve started recently, the Hedera socks are done! I mailed them to their recipient on Saturday, and even though I know they won’t arrive for another couple days at least, I’m anxiously awaiting word on how they fit. Today I turned the heel and started the gusset decreases on my 3×1 Ribbed Socks (linked to my Ravelry project page since I’m just winging it and not following a proper pattern). Sadly, the Sockhead Hat is no more. It was shaping up to be one ugly hat, and not in that “I’m wearing a hat so ugly it’s cool” kind of way (I may be getting too old to pull that kind of thing off anymore anyway). I will definitely be making one of these at some point, just not with Knit Picks Imagination Hand Painted Sock Yarn in Mermaid Lagoon. I’m thinking that stuff will become another baby knit of some kind. It seems like every third person/couple I know is expecting, so continuing to stock up on baby knits for gifts seems like a pretty good plan. Plus, they go so fast they make me feel good and accomplished!

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