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?

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!

Handspun Rye Socks

Here are my handspun Rye socks, finished on a day that looked like spring finally gave winter the ol’ boot. And then it snowed two inches this morning, because clearly we need more snow.

Handspun Rye Socks

Rye is a free pattern from The Simple Collection, and it made for a quick, easy knit.

Handspun Rye Socks

The yarn is Crown Mountain Farms Superwash Merino, spun 2-ply during my time in Oklahoma. I love seeing the colors transition and blend, and I am especially fond of that bright yellow stripe across one foot. When I spin, I dislike plying colors opposite each other on the color wheel (for example, plying green with purple) because it muddies the colors, but I really like the effect with complimentary colors.

Handspun Rye Socks

I did have an issue with pesky ladders on the first sock, but I mostly solved that by moving stitches between needles during the garter stitch section to break up where the break between needles happened. It was a little tedious at first, but I got into a rhythm by the second sock. This might be a pattern better suited to being knitted on one or two circular needles so that the breaks can happen in the stockinette section instead of the garter stitch section.

Handspun Rye Socks

Knitting notes (stitch counts, etc) can be found on my Ravelry page.

Herbivore

My Herbivore shawl started like this:

Bluefaced Leiceter roving from FreckleFace Fibers

Blue faced Leicester roving from FreckleFace Fibers in Firenze

I don’t exactly remember when I spun it (Rav says my stash page was updated on October 20, 2011, but it must have been sometime in the spring), but I felt victorious upon finishing this yarn.  I wanted 400+ yards of thin 2ply and I got just that.  This was also the first yarn that I spun exactly what I wanted to spin – usually my handspun is thicker or more uneven than I like.  Spinning this yarn made me feel like I’m finally at the place where I can imagine a yarn and then spin it up (usually).  I don’t have a picture of the finished yarn all skeined up, but trust me, it was pretty.

Herbivore Shawl

I cast on for Stephen West’s Herbivore shawl in the middle of a July heat wave.  My thought was that since it would grow so slowly, I wouldn’t be working on the body of the shawl until after the heat had passed.  And indeed I was correct.

I worked on this shawl, a row or two at a time, for the rest of the summer, autumn, and winter.  It hibernated through frenzied Christmas knitting and witnessed the beginning of my foray into quilting.  And yet I plowed on.

Herbivore

Fast forward to February 2012.  Me, in my chair, in my pink gnome PJs, muttering under my breath as I unknit the hundreds of stitches in the last three rows for the second time.  The first time it was because I hadn’t realized I’d come to the end of the yarn.  I thought, “I’ll unknit this present row and then cast off,” forgetting that the pattern called for a garter stitch edge (which wouldn’t roll).  Also, I didn’t realize that the little ball of yarn was way too small for casting off.

Closeup of Herbivore

The second time I unknit those hundreds of stitches was when I realized the two things mentioned above.  I confess to sitting in disbelief for a moment, and then knitting quickly to try to outrace the end of my yarn.  You know the thought.  “If I just knit as fast as I can, I will finish before the ball finishes.”

And that never works.

But after everything, it is done!  And this is all the yarn that is left:

Yarn Leftover

Barely even a yard.  I’m calling it a success.