Ta-da!

Ta-da!

Firstly, I want to say congratulations to Jessica! You are the winner for the Yarn Crush giveaway. I will be contacting you via email and gathering your info to pass along to Yarn Crush for your prize. bitty breezy

“Ta-da” has become one of Zooey’s favorite things to say. I can’t get enough of her 3-year old voice sometimes and the certain intonation she uses. Ta-da is one of her favorite words, so it seems most appropriate for a post about her “wing sweater.” bitty breezy-5

This is a Bitty Breezy by Hannah Fettig. I used some Regia in Violett that I had stashed with a project for her in mind. I made the 4T size and followed the pattern to the letter, except for an extra inch of length on the body and about 1.25 extra inches of length to the sleeves. bitty breezy-3The extra length on the body was actually unintentional. I thought it was fine to begin with, but I lost track while knitting and then left it, rather than ripping it out. The length on the sleeves might help this sweater last an extra year. bitty breezy-7

So far, she loves it! I think it helps that she loves my Breezy cardigans and getting wrapped up inside them to snuggle. bitty breezy-2This color is also one of her favorites lately, so I hope this gets a lot of wear. The use of Regia might assure that this makes a useable sweater for Charlotte someday too, barring any crazy stains or damage. bitty breezy-6

The magically adjustable sweater

The magically adjustable sweater

keaton-6At long last, Keaton is finished. I began this adventure in September and finished all of my seaming last Thursday evening at knit night. I began by making the 38.5″ bust size, thinking I didn’t want as much ease as the pattern specified. keaton-5I blocked each piece to measurements before seaming, like a good little knittress. Then I knit the collar and seamed and seamed and seamed. When I tried it on Thursday night it was snug. Definitely more snug than I wanted. For a moment I was quite sad. I worked on this baby for almost four months in fingering weight woven stitch. Major time investment.

keaton-4I kept my cool and went home and gave it a good soak in some Eucalan and then took it back to the blocking board. This time I used my wires to be a little more aggressive and to get the waist shaping exactly how I wanted it. At the last minute I decided to block it for the next size up, giving myself that extra ease, because in the moment it seemed like the sweater could easily handle it. keatonAnd it did. keaton-2I didn’t do much with the collar in the way of blocking. I think when I wash it next I may fold it in half while it dries to try to make it stand up better. If I were to knit in this yarn again I’d probably go down a couple more needle sizes on the collar to achieve a slightly stiffer result. This is Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal in Winter Rose. I haven’t worked with Loft, which the pattern suggests. Loft is a 2-ply yarn while mine was a single ply. I could see that affecting the stiffness of the collar.keaton-3I tried the collar left unfolded (as shown in the fifth picture from the top), folded in half (top and other pictures), and folded in thirds to make it a bit more stiff (fourth picture down). When folded in half it flops a bit more than the sample. I still like it, but I do wish it was more like that one. I’m reconsidering knitting it.

The sleeves look good fully unfolded, with one fold, or with two. I like that I can pull them further over my wrists in the cold or they fold back well to stay out of my way if needed.

This pattern was well written with elegant little details. I added length to the sleeves and the body, by an inch or so, as I often do.

Though I may give that collar a second pass, I’m so glad this can be marked done and be off my mind. I have sweaters for both Zooey and Matt in the mental works that they will hopefully love.

A twice-knitted sweater

A twice-knitted sweater

romane-6Charlotte got a sweater for Christmas. I ended up knitting 85 percent of it twice because I would have run out of yarn otherwise. It was a bit of an adventure. romaneThe pattern is called Romane or Roman. The yarn problem was not with the pattern, though I think they could have estimated a bit more yarn to be on the safe side. In the pattern there are options for making the sweater straight or with an A-line and they don’t specify whether the long sleeved yarn requirements are for the sweater knitted with or without A-line increases. Otherwise it’s a lovely little pattern. romane-3The yarn, on the other hand, fooled me well. I had some leftover Gaea Sport in Marina from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. When I originally purchased the yarn the yardage was listed as 740 yards on the website and ball band. When I was trying to figure out how many yards I had left I went to the Ravelry page for the yarn to get yardage information for my algebra and saw that 560 was the listed yardage. The page mentions that older skeins were incorrectly labeled.romane-2It’s a bit disappointing because I thought I had 407 yards (.55 of one ball) and it turns out I only had 310 yards. That would be barely making it, maybe for the long-sleeved 12 month size. It’s also unfortunate that I thought I was buying 740 yards and I wasn’t. If this purchase hadn’t been over two years ago I’d write them to try to remedy that.romane-5I risked it and went ahead. As I was knitting the sleeves it became apparent that I really and truly would be running out of yarn before finishing the sleeves or the button bands. I ripped everything back to the cabled yoke band and reknit on a size 8 needle, using the numbers for the 6 month size with my larger gauge. It worked with 3 yards of yarn to spare and knitting the sleeves and body to 8 inches each for some room for growth. romane-4The buttons are from Wood Buttons. I don’t remember the exact style, but they seemed to work well with this sweater. I will have to restock my collection of 1/2″ or smaller buttons soon since those are so handy for baby and toddler sweaters.

The older Zooey gets, the more I realize that when Charlotte gets to be her size many of those sweaters will look very worn from regular use and the inevitable stains that happen to many pieces of toddler attire. I don’t think I’ll mind making Charlotte plenty that are all her own.

We’re not above bribery over here

We’re not above bribery over here

Zooey got some mittens for Christmas from me. She recently lost one of her sparkly rainbow mittens (which were getting a bit small anyway), so it seemed time to wiggle some yarn about and make a new pair. I used leftover Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Mediumweight in KMFBLA for the main color and some Colinette Jitterbug in Paint Box for the cuffs. mittens-3I made these top down, using this pattern roughly. Making mittens top down has the advantage of being the knitter being able to make them exactly as wide as wished, without a gauge swatch! If you make them both at once (or divide your yarn evenly by weighing it) it also lets you use up every bit of yarn if you’re worried about running low. I knew I was likely to run out of purple or get very close to that, so this was my strategy.

Unbeknownst to me at the time, but I was making my gusset decreases across the palm rather than just in the thumb area. They make more of an arch. I think my mistake might make for more flexible thumb movement and comfortable wear, but I doubt Z will give me the full review to confirm it. mittensSo where does the bribery come it? I had to promise Z three chocolate chips to get her to take a photo wearing the mittens. She likes them, but she takes umbrage at having her photograph taken on occasion, so this seemed the quickest way to come to a good compromise.mittens-2

If I’d had enough yarn I would have made a third mitten, so when one is inevitably lost there is a back up. Alas, I ran out of purple, so that venture will have to wait for the next set of mittens.

Five month socks

Five month socks

summer nights-2Sometimes socks take five months. In the case of these Regia Arne and Carlos Summer Night colorway socks, that was the case. I started them mid-July, but I promptly got distracted oh so many times by other more captivating projects. Sometimes I also get burned out on stockinette socks (gasp! never!). It’s true. It was the arrival of wool sock season that motivated me to finish these. summer nightsMy favorite bit is the red and white section with the teal bands on either side. I will happily add these to my winter sock rotation and hopefully finish their siblings soon.

Early Christmas

Early Christmas

Sometimes I just can’t wait until Christmas to give a gift, especially a knit one. I managed to knit this Graham hat for Matt completely in secret, but about 10 minutes after I finished it yesterday I wrapped it and gave it to him. graham-2 The yarn is Blue Moon Fiber Arts Gaea Sport in Everyday Grey. This yarn is definitely not sport weight. Keep that in mind if you ever order it with a sport weight project in mind. I originally used it for this skirt and had to alter the pattern to make it work. It’s close to a heavy DK or light worsted weight, much like Cascade 220 Superwash. grahamThis time I knit the pattern as written, casting on 96 stitches as prescribed, and knitting for 7.5″ before making decreases. I added about an extra 1.5″ of slouch to the one I made for myself. I like the slouch in mine, but sometimes it just folds in half and looks a bit weird. graham-3Matt has absconded with mine a few times, so I decided he needed his own. He likes it and I’m happy that mine will remain for my use. Maybe I’ll even borrow his a few times…

A dress of many colors

A dress of many colors

This is a little 0-3 month Little Sister’s Dress that I whipped up last week in some Colinette Jitterbug Paint Box. I think I’ve made about a half dozen of these dresses since I first made one for Zooey. It’s one of my favorite simple little girl dresses that can become tunics, then vests as they grow. For me it’s the plain stockinette sock of baby dresses. It never really gets old as long as I have pretty yarn to use. dress-2The pattern is a cinch to follow. It’s free on Ravelry. I changed this up a bit. I’ve never been able to get quite the tiny gauge in the pattern, so this time I just decided to change things up based on the gauge I was getting. My gauge was closer to 6 stitches an inch. I used a size 3 needle and cast on 51 stitches to start. Otherwise I followed the pattern as written, doing the suggested number of welt repeats at the top and the number of increases and length prescribed for the 3 month size.

Mine came out a teeny bit narrower than the 3 month width, but it could fit on Charlotte, who is almost eight months! (though small for her age). I adore this color of yarn. It was lovely to watch grow into a little dress and I hope that the little baby it is meant for (born December 8th), who also happens to be a little sister, gets a lot of use out of it. dress

When the hell did it become mid-December?! I have been absent far longer than I meant to from posting. I have lovely things to review soon, and other projects I want to talk about as well. I try not to bring too much personal (ahem, complaining) into my blog posts, but I feel like we’ve been hit by a typhoon of kiddo sickness over here. Charlotte is in day care and many parents out there will know what a nightmare that first cold and flu season in day care is. So far we’re on our second ear infection with a vomit-inducing stomach bug in between in about three week’s time. I know it’s not forever, but oh boy is it exhausting while I’m in it. I’m going to go get some coffee now.