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.

Light as air

Need some spring/summer knitting inspiration? As the weather has been warming my mind drifted to a glorious little piece of linen that I had on the needles. I can’t believe I started this Linum Tee last July and didn’t finish it till now. I kept thinking I must have started it in late August and that explains my indifference come fall, but I had it on the needles for the majority of the summer. It just doesn’t make sense. linumI love the swoop at the top. I used Shibui Knits Linen in Fjord. I altered the gauge a bit and used size 3 needles. I used the numbers for the 48″ size and ended up closer to the 38″ size with my 26 sts over 4″ gauge. I was initially hoping to be able to wear this without an undershirt, but I doubt that will be possible regardless. I think the gauge ended up being better for this delicate chain-plied yarn. It seems like it could easily snag, so maybe a tighter gauge will keep it safer.

linum-3This was an enjoyable piece to knit. I think one of the reasons I may have put it down is that it was a knit that I would have to look at often to work on because I sometimes snagged the chain ply as I knit it. linum-4I added waist shaping. I decreased with mirrored ssk (left leaning) and k2tog (right leaning) decreases every other round. The pattern did not include waist shaping, but I thought it might be nice in such a flowy top. I only did them on the back. linum-2I did try this on and it fit over my preggo belly, but I thought dressmaker dummy pictures would be easier to get quickly. It gives me hope that I’ll be able to wear this post-pregnancy fairly quickly, and I can easily wear it over the soon-to-be-endless nursing tanks.

I was able to take these pictures mostly sitting down or moving little. I’m on bed rest till next Friday, rather than next Tuesday or Wednesday like I thought. I can do it. I can do it. I must keep telling myself that while trying not to focus on the beautiful weather or flowering spring trees I’m missing outside. Now I must go finish another warmer weather knit, a Vitamin D I started last September.

Bed photo shoot

fluormania-3I finished my Regia Fluormania socks a couple of days ago. Since this batch of Regia yarn has been known to have dye bleeding problems, I immediately did a citric acid dye fix recommended by The Knitmore Girls. I am still on bed rest, but it is not super strict bed rest and I am able to do small things in the house like getting snacks or water and going to the bathroom. Pouring water into a bowl and using the microwave seemed like an acceptable task…

fluormaniaFor these socks I did two cycles of the dye fix and followed up with an additional soak in some Eucalan wool wash. There was still a little color in the water after both dye fixes and soaks, but I thought surely two treatments will do the trick. If not, I guess I’ll have some color fading, but for now this is the best I can do. Maybe when I’m off bed rest before I wash these for real (likely next fall when it’s cool enough to wear them), I can do a third dye fix just to be safe.

I learned about the color bleeding in this particular Regia colorway on The Knitmore Girls podcast. I’m a huge fan of Regia for their durability and crazy fun colorways. I’ve never heard of them having bleeding issues before, but I trust input from The Knitmore Girls and I was happy to have that information before I put these in the wash. The fun part of these socks is their crazy crazy bright color, so I want to preserve that if possible. fluormania-2There was a bit of bleeding during the jelly roll portion of the dye fix. If you want to know what the heck I’m talking about, check the bold link in the first paragraph for the dye fix instructions. I had woven in the top strand of yarn, but forgot to cut the strand before I rolled the socks up in plastic wrap and microwaved them. There is a faint vertical red line on one of the socks where an uncut red strand from one of the socks was pressed against the sock. I’ll be more careful next time I try this.

The socks are fraternal twins, since I wanted to maximize the amount of yarn I could use. There are probably 8 grams leftover. It’s not enough to make kid socks or even baby socks. I suppose I could have used every last bit, but I wanted something to be finished!

I’m still working on the Pinwheel baby blanket. I got to the addition of the third ball and took a break since it was getting monotonous. I’m not worried about finishing it by the time the baby comes because it will be warm out and I won’t be wrapping that kid up in wool anytime soon. I picked up my Breezy after a small break from it. While it’s cool enough I’ll be trying to finish it up. I know I won’t wear it this season, but it will be nice to have it finished. The weather here has been glorious and it’s making me resent bed rest, but it helped me remember a couple of spring/summer projects I should finish… I have a nearly done Linum Tee that will hopefully fit sometime this summer. I also have a Vitamin D that probably only needs a good couple of days’ work to finish. I’d like to get as many of these finished as possible so when I look at my Ravelry project page I don’t have a full top row filled with ongoing projects.

Whew, this is a long post. I’m still on bed rest and I haven’t been able to socialize as much as I like so this is a good outlet for now. Thanks for all the encouragement in the comments on my last post. Some of you ladies had MUCH more intense bed rest situations and that made me feel grateful for my situation and put things in perspective. My doctor told me that if I make it to 36.5 weeks I can get out of bed and resume light activities and leave the house. I’m about 35.5 now so I only have a week to go and I’m feeling better about it all the time. I’m really hopeful that I can make it that long without having the kiddo and I feel more confident every day that she is incubating as much as she needs and is growing well. I’ll keep up the knitting, reading, and Netflix in the meantime to stay entertained. I’ve had many friends stop by to socialize and bring needed items or treats and I’m very grateful to them. Having small doses of socialization through the week has made an immense difference in my mood and outlook and I’m so happy to have both supportive local and online friends. You all rock!