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:
Thrums//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

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.
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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.

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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.

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?

Knit Finishes

Last month, I finally finished both the CustomFit pullover and the Jeweled Cowl I’d been working on for many months. I started the cowl back in July and the sweater in September.

Jeweled Cowl is a really easy pattern. I didn’t have as many beads as the pattern calls for, so I just randomly placed 6 or 7 beads per bead row. The beads give it just a little sparkle. My company has Tuesday lunch knitting sessions because we’re awesome, and many of my coworkers were suitably impressed with knitting beads. I didn’t tell them how very, very easy it was.

Jewelled cowl

Jewelled cowl

CustomFit Scoop Neck Pullover is a great fitting sweater. I took all the necessary measurements required by CustomFit and it truly fits perfectly through the shoulders, bust, and waist. It was a little short when I tried it on after seaming all the pieces, so I picked up stitches along the bottom and knit several more inches. It’s still a little shorter than I would have liked but it fits well and I’ve worn it several times. I think it will get a lot of wear next winter!

Scoop-neck pullover

Sweater now with wee bump!

Scoop-neck pullover

Progress…?

Here’s the thing about knitting. It’s great for the knitter/blogger and less interesting for the reader. I’ve been knitting like a beast over the past few days. I churned out the first sweater sleeve over the weekend (hello, football games) and am making strides down the second one. The front and back are done. I may have a sweater sometime while it is still winter.

All this is super exciting for me but less exciting for you, because the sweater currently looks like this.

Sweater pieces

Oh yeah. Super interesting, right? A bunch of teal knit tubes.

The chuppah isn’t much better. Right now, it looks like this:

Chuppah "progress"

But they’re both coming along and soon, I’ll have actual items to show. And they’re both WIPs, so I’m linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

Winter Goals

The start of 2015 brings a new year of the Finish Along, this year sponsored by Adrianne at On the Windy Side. I enjoyed participating last year, as I felt like I got things done faster with self-imposed deadlines. Also, I like the possibility of prizes because who doesn’t? In any case, here are my goals for Q1:

1. Rainbow Meadow: After changing plans, I’ve cut all the fabric but haven’t completed any sewing yet.
Meadow planning

2. Green HST Chuppah
Fabric for HST Chuppah

3. Metro Medallion: the top is done but I need to sort out a back, quilt, and bind.
Metro Medallion top

4. Scoop Neck Pullover: I’ve knit the front, back, one sleeve, and a bit of the second sleeve.

5. Jeweled cowl: It’s probably 75% knit and I’m puttering away on it.

Yup, those last two are knitting projects. I’d like to finish both while it’s still winter and there’s a need for woolens. Today is 16 degrees F and dropping. So: woolens and quilts are necessary!

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Sweet Red Bunting

First Christmas project finished, first gifted, second blogged about. Or something? In any case: Sweet Red Bunting is finished!

Sweet Red Bunting

I’ve had my eye on this little cardigan for a while, perhaps even before there was a sweet niece in existence. And it’s been so long since I’ve finished a knit project with a modicum of success. Like most of my knit projects lately, this one has had some ups and downs. Back in September, I CO using a completely different yarn – the lovely Dirty Water Dyeworks Bertha (hello 10% cashmere, I do love you). The swatch was just lovely and would also probably felt in a hot second when exposed to an infant. So Bertha is destined to be a Lucy sweater, not a niece sweater. WEBS provided a much more sensible niece sweater yarn (Berocco Comfort DK, machine wash and dry!) and I cast on on December 6th.

Sweet Red Bunting

All was gravy until I hit the bunting section. I’ve knit colorwork in the round before using the two-handed stranding technique, which works fine for knitting, but Sweet Bunting is knit flat. This means that at the end of the row, the work is turned and I had to purl back. Which required learning two new skills: two-handed purling and learning to purl Continental (I knit English).

Let’s just say that I was very, very dubious that the stranded section had the necessary stretch to fit. And then the shoulder portion looked far too long in my eyes. I tried to trust the pattern and I tried to remember that blocking cures a multitude of sins, but I still had many doubts.

Sweet Red Bunting

But it fit! And I consider this fact to be this year’s second Christmas miracle.

Adventures with Hat

I made a hat two weeks ago. I’ve been thinking about this hat for many years, since I don’t usually knit hats for myself, as I have the unfortunate tendency to look about twelve years old in most hats. But this hat, made from a gorgeous See Jayne Knit handspun bulky single languishing in my stash for nearly 5 years, would be different. It would envelop my face in a slouchy, wooly embrace and make me look cool and artsy and not at all like a mushroom.

Handspun BFL

After one or two false starts, I settled on a version of the
Zombie Killer Slouch by Luciana Young. And by “version” I mean that I skimmed the pattern and the stitch counts, cast on, and then did my own thing from there. And last Friday, I cast off just before my Father-in-law arrived to whisk my husband and I off to the airport on an adventure.

You see, I needed a new hat because I went to Iceland. In November. When the average temperature is in the 40s* and the weather report says rain. And it doesn’t get light until 10 AM and it gets dark at 5 PM. A new hat is needed for these conditions.

Skógafoss

The hat proved itself to be an excellent travel companion. It was perky and bright on the first morning in Reykjavik, where we wandered the empty city in near-darkness, fueled by coffee.

Sun Voyager

It provided a shield from waterfall mist and kept me warm and mostly dry.

Gullfoss

Even when we went behind a waterfall.

Behind Seljalandsfoss

The hat very much enjoyed seeing a geyser and hot springs.

Strokkur

And enjoyed wistfully staring out to sea.

Dyrhólaey

Grotta Lighthouse

The hat feared being felted, so merely observed the Blue Lagoon from a safe distance.

Blue Lagoon

The hat even got to see two shooting stars and the Northern Lights! (And yes, that is me and the hat in the foreground! Thanks to tour guide Helgi at Reykjavik Excursions!)

Northern Lights

The trip was capped off (oh ho ho, throwing a little pun in there) by a visit to the Giantess in the Mountain.

Giantess in the Mountain

All in all, the hat and I had a truly marvelous trip to Iceland and we’re hoping to return some day!

(But please don’t tell hat that I’m hoping to return in the summer!)

*Truthfully, the weather in Iceland was warmer than the weather in Boston during our trip.

A Bit

It’s nice, after finishing a big project, to work on bits of things.

A bit of Metro Medallion.

Metro Medallion blocks

A bit of a label.

Metro Medallion label.

A bit of a sketch and a bit of a sweater.

Sketch and Sweater

And a bit of something new.

Something new

Linking up with WIP Wednesday.

Sock Musing and Fabric Choosing

After finishing my Rye socks, I waned to knit something else with my handspun. I grabbed a 2-ply skein made from a Blue Moon Fiber Arts Sheep to Shoe kit in Christmas Balls, spun a way long time ago.

Here’s the fiber, which I think I got sometime in 2010.
Sheep 2 Shoe!

And here’s the skein.
Blue Moon Fiber Arts Sheep 2 Shoe Kit

Ravelry tells me that this skein is 304 yards, which may not be enough to make a full pair of socks. I split it evenly and started knitting a pair of simple toe-up socks.

Handspun toe-up socks

That toe may not look like much, but I’ve knit it three times already. The first two times felt too big, but the stitch count was still smaller than I usually knit, but I’m concerned about running out of yarn. Another option is to knit the toes and heels out of a contrasting color. I should probably bite the bullet and just do that already.

In quilty WIPs, I figured out fabric counts for my Tula Pink Fox Fields quilt. The pattern is Fox Tails, a tutorial from Craftsy, and it is exactly what I want to sew right now – bold colors and diamond pattern. I’m planning on at least two more diamond/triangle quilts in the near future, so watch out!

Strips of Fox Field

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!