Yarn Since Baby

Well hello there, ol’ blog.  Long time no see.  This baby/working full time stuff  is busy and leaves little room for making.  I keep reminding myself that there are times and seasons for everything and enjoying the little sweet little sips of knitting or spinning that I get to take while J is napping.

Spinning is something that I can do with him on my lap; he seems to like the treadle motion and watches the whirling wheel.  Now that he’s sitting up and getting grabby, he also seems to like the fiber (and likes putting it in his mouth – nooo!), so I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be able to spin with him.

FatCatKnits Polwarth handspun
FatCatKnits Polwarth in Mixed Peppers

Mixed Greens BFL
Mixed Greens BFL

For her birthday in November, I knit my MIL some thrummed mittens:

When my SIL saw them, she asked for a pair for Christmas. I got the green fiber spun up above for use in her thrums and spun the rest.

Thrummed mittens knit up surprisingly quickly, even while baby-minding.

I’m still plugging along on a pair of handspun socks. I rounded the heel a couple of weeks ago and am knitting a row here and there when I have a moment. And I’ve started to look longingly at my sewing machine – I have several FMQ ideas and am hoping to get back to it in the spring.

All this goes to show that all is not lost in my crafty life.

Baby in Sweaters

I knew, from about 32 weeks pregnant, that J would be a big baby. When they placed him on my chest immediately after birth, my darling husband’s unbelieving exclamation was “that’s the biggest baby I’ve ever seen!” Later, we had to ask my mom to bring some 0-3 month outfits, as he was already too big for all the adorable newborn outfits we brought to the hospital. Sadly, that included the Baby Surprise Jacket I knit before he was born. We put him in it on day two for a picture, but it was a lot shorter in the sleeve and tighter across the chest than desired.

J in Baby Surprise Jacket

Still, pretty adorable, right?

I had better luck with the Pop! Cardigan, knit in the 0-3 month size. This one fits him right now, and he wore it out to dinner the other night. He’s now 11.5 lbs and has a head circumference in the 91st percentile. He’s a big boy.

J in Pop cardi

Hope you’re having a great Wednesday! I’m pleased that my big boy napped for just long enough for me to get this up and out.

Tiny Baby on a Quilt

I made this.

Tiny Baby on a Quilt

Hello, tiny baby

Joel David was born on October 9th weighing in at 9 lbs, 5 oz and 21 inches long. We’ve spent the last two weeks getting to know each other and nursing at all hours of the day and night. I’ve knit exactly four rows of my current sock in those two weeks and glanced briefly at my sewing corner, which is just fine with me. He’s a joy and a love.

Finished Squares Plus

I was really hoping that by the time I wrote this post, I could take a picture of a tiny baby on this quilt. Sadly, tiny baby is staying comfortable and still cooking. But his quilt is finished, whenever he makes his appearance!

Finished Squares Plus

The back is four fat quarters of Tula Pink’s Prince Charming I’ve had in my stash for an age, paired with a teal honeycomb print from my LYS.

Back of Squares Plus

Finishing this was my September Lovely Year of Finishes goal!

Squares Plus Quilting

I’m quilting along on Squares Plus. I’m using a rounded squares pattern like this one on Mystery Bay Quilt Design (scroll down) and while I’ve never used this design to fill an entire quilt, I think it’s going well.

Squares Plus quilting

Except for the many skipped stitches. I’ve cleaned and oiled my sweet Juki, changed the needle, adjusted the settings, rethreaded, and the only thing I haven’t done is switched to a new spool of thread. I’m working with a brand new spool of Aurifil, and I’d really hate to think it was bad thread, but I’m running out of ideas. Any thoughts why this is happening? Can bulky seams sometimes cause skipped stitches?

In any case, skipped stitches or no, I’m hoping to finish this up by the end of September (because let’s face it, with other life changes happening around there, it won’t get done period if I don’t finish before then). For a little added incentive, I’m linking up with A Lovely Year of Finishes at Sew Bittersweet Designs.

My Button

And oh hey, it’s WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

Squares Plus in Progress

WIP Wednesday, it has been a long time. It’s nice to see you again! I’ve been working this week on a quilt for my son – with his arrival within the next month or so, I’d like to finish this sooner rather than later! I have a coworker that thinks the minute I complete the final stitch will the the minute I go into labor – it’s a nice idea, I gotta say.

Squares plus in progress//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsThe pattern is Squares Plus from McCall’s Quick Quilts Feb/Mar 2015, which I found originally on Pinterest. It calls for F8ths, which made for easy cutting. I’m also decreasing the size of the top from 5×6 big square units to 4×5. The finished top is somewhere in the vicinity of 55″x67″ Squares plus in progress//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

The fabric is Lizzy House’s Natural History line, which I love. My husband and I are both science people – he has a geode/rock collection, I studied environmental biology – so this fabric line seems perfect for us.

Squares plus in progress//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

(Why yes, that is an Aquaman print by Jonathan Reincke we’re going to hang in our kid’s room!)

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

A Finished Meadow

It’s really nice when you finish a project and it turns out exactly how you wanted it to be, isn’t it? My Meadow quilt has been a back burner project for me for a while (since last September, in fact!). I had a plan for the rainbow section since taking the class with the lovely Lizzy House at Gather Here, but I had to have a think about the background and flower centers.

Meadow quilt//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

I’m glad to say that the grey background and slate blue flower centers really makes the rainbow pop. I also added extra border fabric than what the pattern calls for to make this queen-sized (86″ x 93″). It’s perfect. Because we both are huge, I decided to send it out for longarm quilting to Mary Gregory at See Mary Quilt. She did such a wonderful job – each component is individually quilted and the flowers have individual designs.

Meadow quilting//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Meadow quilting//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsMeadow back//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

I just really love it and can’t wait for the weather to cool enough to put it on our bed!

Three Wee Cardis

If you were in New England, do you remember last winter? It was pretty terrible, right? If I had had my way (ahahaha ha ha) I wouldn’t necessarily be bringing my kid into the world right before winter. Welcome new person, it is cold and dark and snowy here. But that’s when he’s slated to appear and my number one defense against cold and dark and snowy is warm, snuggly handknits. So I’ve knit three.

Baby Surprise Jacket

For those first few autumn months, Baby Surprise Jacket! This one is knit from Claudia Handpaint Fingering, which is dreamy dreamy to work with and has been in my stash since grad school.* The construction is absolutely genius – simple to knit but stunning in the way it looks sort of like a manta ray until neatly folded and seamed. Hence the surprise.

Pop! Cardi

For early winter, Pop! Baby Cardigan, knit with my own handspun, as well as Berroco Comfort DK leftovers. I’m not sure how practical this one is going to be as it is mostly white, but at least both yarns are easy care. This one practically flew off the needles – very easy construction.

Old Man Baby

For deep winter, Old Man Baby (the actual pattern is named Elwood, but seriously, this is a tiny old man sweater and babies sort of look like tiny old men anyway. I think it’s fitting, don’t try to dissuade me). The wool came from my dear cousins in Australia and it is very warm.

5 weeks until my due date, y’all. The weather hasn’t turned cool yet (hello, mid-August) but when it does and when this kid shows up, he’ll be warm, by wool.

*aside: sometimes I like to think about the fact that I usually have no idea what yarn will become when I buy it; how could I have known in grad school that my little yarn splurge would become a baby sweater eight years down the line?

Plus Quilt

A while ago, a good friend from college told me her sister was pregnant with a little boy and asked if I’d make a quilt. She had no particular feelings about pattern or color (other than the room would have a lot of navy), so I had a lot of freedom in design and fabric.

Plus Quilt

I settled on the Color + Print plus quilt pattern from Issue 17 of Love Patchwork and Quilting. All the fabric came from my stash and it was a lot of fun to use some bits that have been lingering for a while. I only bought the grey background print – even backing (the classic Ikea numbers print) came from the stash!

Plus Quilt back

The recipient arrived two weeks ago and I got to meet him a few days ago. He’s tiny and dark-haired and snoozed comfortably in my arms for a while. It was a little like looking into the future – I’m expecting our kid to be tiny and dark-haired when he arrives this fall.

Lizzy House Mini Quilt Swap

This spring, I participated in my first Instagram mini swap. I’d seen these but none of them really called to me until the Lizzy House Mini Quilt Swap (#lizzyhouseminiquiltswap), hosted by Joanna (IG: riddlingwhimsy) and Sarah (IG: smilestooloudly). You know I’m a big Lizzy House fan; my very first quilt was made from her Outfoxed line and I’ve been following her designs ever since.

Here’s the finished top:

Lizzy House Mini top

That’s 42 3.5″ triangles; some of them fussy cut. I think most of her collections are represented (except for Lizzy Dish and Natural History). The grey is leftover AGF Pure Elements.

Lizzy House Mini

It’s quilted with straight lines 1/4″ from each seam.  (I know, the lighting is a little weird here – it was getting dark outside when I took this).

Lizzy House Mini back

The backing is Cat Dreams from Catnap; my swap partner said she really liked the kitties. I was a leeeetle sad to send this one away; my husband told me that it was one of his favorite things I’ve ever made. But I have plenty of scraps and can easily make another one. And then I received the mini that made for me and seriously: how gorgeous is it?

Lizzy House Mini Quilt made for me by akchrissymae!

Thanks Sarah and Joanna for a great swap!