From the fella’s knitting queue

A couple of weeks ago when I said I didn’t know what to knit Matt immediately had some suggestions for me. Socks, sweater, or the navy arm warmers he’s been wanting. Of course he would have a list. The man has an insatiable appetite for hand knits. arm warmersThe yarn is something unpronounceable to me that I won in a holiday swap a few years back. While not really navy, it’s the closest I had in my stash. I don’t know if I’ve stated this publicly, but I might try to knit the whole summer from my stash. This would be a pretty big feat for me. I might have to allow an exception for a birthday yarn purchase mid-July, but this is my goal. I won’t go into the politics of maternity leave in the United States, but for most people it’s completely unpaid (I’m in this category) and it is requiring some definite budget discipline for us. Luckily I’ve spent years stashing like yarn was going out of style and I have a nice under-the-bed stashed yarn cave to choose from. arm warmers-4I am thinking of writing up this pattern when I get the time. I just did some hand charts on graph paper and went with it. I had to rip it a couple of times because I didn’t like the size first, then the way the chevron looked, but I’m satisfied with the finished result and it barely about 190 yards of fingering weight yarn. arm warmers-2Now to think of a name…It’s so hard to name things.

TTTKAL progress coming soon!

Little feet keep growing

kiddo kicks-2Last winter Z outgrew all of her hand knit socks, so I’m working on getting a few pairs ready for next winter. The pattern is my Kiddo Kicks and I’m making the 3-5 year size for her since she turns three this summer. Yikes! Where does the time go?!kiddo kicks-3
The majority of the yarn is Shibui Sock in Sand and some long ago leftover Louet Gems Pearl Fingering weight in Brown for the top of the cuff. Zooey did not want to put these on to try yet, but she did want them in her drawer, so I’ll take that as a good sign. I think about 3 more pairs (making a total of 5) would do her well for the next cold season. For Charlotte I will probably whip up some tube socks since her feet will be growing at lightning speed.

Somehow I’ve temporarily morphed into a monogamous knitter! When I finished Breezy these socks were the only thing left on my needles and when I finished them I started some arm warmers for Matt. As soon as I said I didn’t know what to knit he supplied me with several requests including a new sweater, socks, or often requested arm warmers. I can always count on him to have a list of knits that he wants. I decided arm warmers would be the most interesting right now since I could quickly design them. After a little revision I settled on something he and I both like and I’ll have them finished to show off soon.

Sweater for a post-baby body

breezyMy second Breezy Cardigan is finished. I just did a quick steam blocking on this since I wanted to put this on while the weather is still cool enough in the early mornings and evenings to wear it. breezy-2I used Rowan Felted Tweed in Watery. This yarn is classified as DK so I did this on a size 5 needle and got a 5 st to the inch gauge. I did some algebra to figure out how many stitches should be in each section. Since this pattern provides a schematic with measurements all you have to do is take the number of inches for a section and multiply by the number of stitches in your gauge to get the number for each section. If you want a 12″ sleeve you multiply by 5 sts per inch and know that you’ll need 60 sts around your sleeve to get that measurement. Sometimes the altered gauge has numbers pretty close to another size in the pattern and I just follow the numbers for that size. breezy-3Loose fitted knits are my friend right now. Postpartum bodies are squishy weird things that take time to recover. It can be a slap in the face when 99% of your clothes don’t fit. I’m still rocking some maternity jeans since they’re the only ones that fit. It took me two years to lose all the baby weight from Zooey. I plan on working at things a little faster this time since I gained less weight with Charlotte, but in the meantime I’m trying to stay patient and positive. Healing is hard enough at this point. breezy-4Breezy is a wonderful pattern. It’s simple to execute and I LOVE wearing this design. The blanket-like fronts are excellent for cuddling small babies and toddlers as well. Zooey often asks to “get in my sweater” and I love snuggling with her in that way. breezy-5So go knit one, already!

Cover up those baby butts

Oh hai.

Oh hai.

I’m so pleased that all the knits from my last post are going to good homes. The overstuffed cedar chest in my house is breathing a sigh of relief as well. In the meantime I was knitting on some baby pants in the background. Though I’m thisclose to finishing Breezy (maybe 1.5 inches of ribbing on the collar), we had a cold night last night and are having a few more coming up. I know knitting for newborns only lasts 5 minutes, but since these just took a day and some leftover sock yarn to whip up, isn’t that worth it? baby pantsThese are inspired by Ze Tiny Pants, a free pattern on Ravelry. I changed most of it and tried to take some good notes this time because I always regret when I haven’t done that for myself. I added short rows to the butt for the curve. Hard to see, but I tried to capture it here: baby pants-5I did mirrored increases on the front around the center two stitches. baby pants-4I used some leftover Vice Carnal in Corpses Christi and some Anzula Squishy in Teal. This used 39.2 grams of fingering weight yarn, or about 160 yards of yarn. I’ve been bad about keeping up with remaining yarn weights after finishing projects so I don’t know exactly how much I used of either yarn. baby pants-3I feel happy knowing she has a snuggly wool layer to put over her sleepers for the next few nights. We are cosleeping and that means no blankets above adult waists, and no swaddling for baby. I’ve heard rumors of a colder than usual May and June, so maybe she will actually wear these for awhile.

When fall turns into spring

vitamin DNo, fall doesn’t come after spring. But sometimes a knitter might abandon an early fall knit for wools when the weather turns cooler. That’s precisely what I did with this Vitamin D, and lo and behold it was spring before I picked it up again. Luckily I could tell exactly where I was in the pattern and I was just a few inches from the bottom. vitamin D-4

This color reminds me of some of the pink dogwoods around my neighborhood, so it will fit right in as a spring piece. I used Louisa Harding Aimée in Cupid. It’s very soft, but I fear it might shed or pill a bit as it did while I was knitting the piece. vitamin D-2This is another one I knit at a different gauge. This one was 22sts and 28rows over 4″ as I knit it on a size 4 for most of the body. I was aiming for about a 35″ chest size. I also added a repeat of the yarn overs to the bottom for a little extra length. The length grew about an inch and a half while blocking though, so I probably could have skipped that. I’m cool with it though. The yarn is 90% cotton and 10% cashmere.

I will likely make this again, perhaps in a fingering weight wool. I think the fronts could drape a little better, but I still like it for now.

Baby ready

I’ve finished the baby blanket, so the baby can come now, right? pinwheel-2This Pinwheel Blanket is finished. I used Dream in Color Smooshy in Callous Pink. I used almost 3 full skeins. The color looks very different in different lights. Sometimes the grey looks very grey, and sometimes it looks completely purple. I’ve loved and hated this colorway during the knitting. At certain points the skeins got very grey and I felt like they weren’t cheery enough for a baby blanket. Z’s was much more bright. I’ve decided to think of it as elegant and leave it at that. pinwheelThis ended up being about 40″ in diameter. I was aiming to make it the same size as Z’s and I pretty much succeeded. Even though I use the same kind of yarn I somehow got to more stitches and ended up with more leftover yarn when I made Z’s (800 stitches and about 1/3 of the ball). This time I used almost all of the yarn and only got to about 750 stitches around. It’s a bit mystifying considering I used the exact same size 5 needle. When I blocked this it greeeeeewwwwww, so I threw it in the dryer a bit to firm up.

I’m down to two WIPs, y’all. This is pretty crazy and kind of awesome. I finished and blocked Vitamin D and will show that soon. I’m still on the sleeves of Breezy Cardigan and it’s been fairly cool and damp the last few days, making me happy to knit wool. I have Kiddo Kicks socks that I’m saving for a small project to take to the hospital and that’s it. I’d better start dreaming of new knits…

Screaming spring greens

I’m so happy to finally blog about Marin. I finished this almost a month ago and should have taken pictures with it when we went on vacation in St. Louis, but I guess I was distracted by being on vacation. marinThe yarn is Hazel Knits Artisan sock in Euphorbia and I used all but a yard of the skein. For those that wish to knit Marin, do heed the numerous Ravelry project pages that speak about running out of yarn. On this post I wrote about how I ran out of yarn about 1.5″ from the end of the tip. I unravelled one of the full chart repeats and reknit with a size smaller needle because I didn’t want to wait for a new skein of yarn, and this was purchased so long ago that I would have to stripe in a second skein to blend skeins of different dye lots. The magic of hand dyed yarns can also be a downfall if you don’t have enough in the same dye lot! marin-2Reknitting with a smaller needle was not noticeable in my opinion. When looking at the whole piece I can’t even tell which side I did it on after blocking. If I knit this again I’d use a slightly larger skein of sock yarn. Hazel Knits has 400 yards. I’d just choose one that had even 10-15 more yards and that would be plenty. marin-3I adore this color. The shawl was fun to knit and is reversible. It was a pretty quick knit. Despite being one that has a chart to pay attention to, I finished it in about a week with the reknitting. marin-4It’s a fairly small shawl. I find those fit into my wardrobe better than large shawls. I will likely knit this pattern again. I love the scalloped edges and little bit of cabling.

Still bed resting away, despite my occasional sneaking out to take blog photos… Jude commented on my first post about bed rest that perhaps one of the reasons Z came early was due to the stress of us moving while I was pregnant last time. Well, apparently my being pregnant just coincides with us having to move because we found out from our landlord that we would have to move by the time our lease is up in July. My head exploded a little last week when I found this out and I was freaked, but we have some promising options that have come up in only a week that make me very hopeful. Moving with a newborn and a toddler would not be my first preference, but we will manage.

Any guesses on when this kid is going to make an appearance? My bet is the 17th or 19th or 23rd, simply because I like prime numbers.