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.

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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!

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.

Green, Green Almondine

My green, green Almondine socks, begun last fall, are finished! Here’s how they looked as of yesterday morning.

Almondine Progress

Not bad. Sidenote: The color of these socks is a lot lighter than in the pic above; it was inside and darkish when I took that. At that point, only 1.5 repeats and a toe to knit, which I finished up last night!

Finished Green Almondine

After the size issues I had with the first sock, I knit the other at 70 stitches, and it is still plenty stretchy, and I had plenty of yarn to complete the second sock.

Finished Green Almondine

As always, Anne Hanson’s pattern is clear, well-written, and offers several sizes. The lace panel is a 10 stitch repeat that is pretty logical – I memorized it fairly quickly.

Finished Green Almondine

This leaves me with nothing on the needles a conundrum. What should I cast on next? I’ve gotten holes in a couple of my pairs of handknit socks recently (it’s been a long, cold winter, yo) so clearly I need more socks.

Do I CO Primavera in this orange handspun?

Crown Mountain Farms Superwash Merino Roving

Another pair of Sleepy Hollows in this gorgeous chartreuse (omg cashmere)?

Ball & Skein Sophia

Or something else entirely? What do you think?

Socks and Mitts

Last week, recuperating from the flu and melding with my couch, I went on a knitting tear. My poor husband has been waiting for me to finish his Man Mitts for Many Weeks and finally, they’re done. He’s been wearing them every day.

Man Mitts

The pattern is my own, based on knitting other mittens/gloves and sized to fit my nice husband.

Elated with that finish, I turned to my Almondine socks, lingering since last fall. These will be for my mom, and she likes her socks to be stretchy and easy to get on. Because of this, I increased the pattern stitch count to 80.

One Green Almondine

I finished, kitchener stitched up the toe, and tried them on. Perfect! Really stretchy! The foot is kind of too wide… Hmm. I weighed the remaining ball of yarn. 1.8 oz. Finished sock? 2.2 oz. Now, I’m pretty sure that I can’t stretch 1.8 oz of yarn to make a finished 2.2 oz sock.

Also: I’m sort of surprised that this is the first time this has happened to me in six years of sock knitting.

So I went up a needle size, CO 70 stitches for sock two and I’m at the heel turn. I think it is still plenty stretchy and I think I won’t run out of yarn.

Hopefully.

More Blue Socks

I am exhausted.  Family is in town (from the other side of the world, the land down under), and we’ve spent the last two days driving, seeing, touring, talking.

Porthos Toes

It was lovely, lovely time but I’m done in.  Husband and I (two introverts) barely said a word on the car ride home and as soon as we dropped our bags, he went out to run errands (man quiet time) and I put on PJs and a bathroom, put on my autumn mix of Hem and Alexi Murdoch (Lucy quiet time).

Porthos Socks

Before that, I finished the Blue Musketeer Socks. I just flew down the last sock, sped along by knitting in class and a long Sox game. I knit the 80 stitch size, because despite the small feet of the recipient, they may shrink a bit and I want to make sure she gets a lot of wear from them.

Porthos Socks

They’re really blue.

Finished Porthos Socks

Really, really blue. So blue that I need a break from blue, what with all the blue socks I’ve knit lately (with lately being defined as within the last 13 months).

So I did the only sensible thing, which was to cast on a pair of green socks. Green and blue are very different, right?

Ball & Skein Weatherfield

A Sock and a Block

I am ashamed. Ashamed to admit that this poor blue sock languished for over six months on my needles. I’d work a row here or there, it remained a scant few inches long until last weekend. C and I were up in the Waterville Valley region of NH for a tiny bit of hiking and a reunion with friends. I brought the sock, thinking that maybe I’d work a row or two and then I’d get distracted, as the knitting mojo traded places with its friend, quilting mojo.

But between being in the car for four hours plus some really excellent So You Think You Can Dance episodes, I made some great progress! The sock pattern is Squid Socks by Nikki Burns, which has been on my queue for a coon’s age. The pattern has some long swathes of just knitting and purling, but they’re just long enough that it is difficult to remember which row I’m actually on. But I think I’m in the swing of things now.

One Blue Sock

I did get a little sewing done also! Here’s March’s Sugar Block, titled Forget Me Not.

March Sugar Block

I have one more block, the July block whose name I forget, cut and ready to sew as well – I’ll post a picture later this week/month! Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Two Blue Socks!

Technically, my last FO of 2012 is also my first FO of 2013. I finished Mom’s Marilinda socks on the 30th, while “watching” the Pats beat some other football team but couldn’t for the life of me find a darning needle. Somewhere in the detritus of my life, I have a small green bag that originally was part of a Clinique Free Gift set that my mom got several years ago that holds all my knitting tools like stitch markers, small scissors, and darning needles. That and my needle roll were once inseparable buddies, but it has gone missing. It is probably somewhere in my closet and will resurface when I move next month. Anyway, no darning needles were to be found in there.

I also used to keep a darning needle in my knitting needle roll. I’ve kept one there for green-bag backup for quite a long time. But then I used it to embroider my On a Whim quilt with the names of the couple. For a while, it was floating around my kitchen table, and then it was on my night stand and then it disappeared. Again, I’ll probably find it and several more of its kin when I move next month, but darning needles do have a tendency to go missing.

Marilinda Socks

When I explained all this to the fiance, he looked askance at me and said, “needles just… go missing?!” I could tell he was having visions of deadly sharp weapons hiding in carpet and on floors, just ready to stab a foot TO THE BONE. That’s not really what happens, especially as darning needles are pretty blunt and I wear slippers around the house. But it probably would behoove me to take better care where I leave them.

Fancy Heel

Anyway. I made a stop at a nice Joann’s in Concord last night and bought TWO PACKS of darning needles, one of which will live in my sewing kit for backup. Last night, I Kitchenered up the toe and Mom’s Marilinda socks (rav link for deets) are finally done! They are stretchy and blue and long and my mom really likes them!

…And then I cast on for a new hat for me. Because my old hat makes me look:
a) doofy
b) like I’m 12
c) ludicrous
d) all of the above.

We’ll see if this new hat is an improvement!