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.

SSKAL15 finale (AKA the baby kissing post)

gemini-3I finished one sweater for the Summer Sweater Knitalong 2015. I originally started out making a Carpino for this KAL, but as the hot and humid weather continued I began to long for something I could actually wear sooner. I cast on a Gemini and got to work!gemini-5

This is my fourth Gemini. It got a little boring after the lace at the top, so I took breaks. I made a modified 3/4 sleeve version like Jane shows here.gemini

I used Knit Picks CotLin in Surf. I didn’t have enough initially, but I ordered more and the dye lots were so impeccably similar that there was no need to stripe balls of different dye lots. I used about 760 yards. I’m contemplating making a crocheted edge at the top because this one feels much looser than my previous version. I think I will wear it for a bit before I decide for sure. Then I might just decide I don’t care and/or I’m too lazy and it doesn’t matter because I’ll wear it just the way it is anyway. Procrastination does have some benefits.gemini-4

This probably won’t even be my last Gemini. I can already imagine a wool version and it will probably happen.gemini-2

 

 

Sweater snapshot

gemini-3The potential thrill of finishing a project in time for SSKAL15 got me going on Gemini again. I’ve finished the body, but I’m not 100% pleased. I expected it to be a little looser, but it was more form fitting than expected and thus, some of the length got eaten up as width when I put it on. I’m contemplating adding an extra inch, but I’ll wait until I have the sleeves finished and try it on with some different bottoms to be sure. Sometimes I like sweaters finishing around 15″ past the armpit on me, and sometimes I like them more like 17.”

I just wanted to post a quick snap of the progress. Now to get some sleeves going…

Waning summer

I love the long long days of summer. Lovely evening light seems endless. It’s starting to feel more like fall, mostly because all of the schools around me (public and college) are back in session. The time for this Summer Sweater KAL is waning, but I’ve been making decent progress. I took time out for baby socks and big people socks and cast on a whole different sweater, but I’m still working on this lovely Carpino.carpino-3 I’ve long ago memorized the lace repeat. I’ve been working the waist decreases. carpino-2This pattern made me want to make few changes, aside from eliminating a couple of the bust and back increases in the raglan section. It seems like it will be a nice lightweight fall sweater. The September 9th deadline might come and go before this is finished, but I’m glad I’ll have at least an almost-finished sweater come early fall.

The gentle raglan shaping seems like it will be a fine fit and more naturally curved to the shoulder. carpino-4I’ll give you a peek of the Gemini progress soon!

That August heat

The heat and humidity keep creeping up and up lately. I had good intentions to keep focus on Carpino for SSKAL15, and I was doing well. I’m a few more increase rows away from separating the sleeves. But even fingering weight wool was too much the past few days. I had some Knit Picks Cotlin in Surf that was set aside for possible dishcloths or a hand towel, but suddenly it seemed much more important to cast on yet another Gemini (my fourth) to have some cotton and linen in my hands instead of wool. geminiOddly enough, my first Gemini began in nearly the exact same way during the exact same time of year. I guess I have some pretty strong patterns. The yarn for my first Gemini was slated to be cotton napkins, but I decided I had enough and it was pretty enough for a top instead. I started that one on August 8 two years ago. This one I started on August 6. A little freaky, eh?

This time I didn’t have enough stashed so I just ordered a few more skeins. It might not be the same dye lot, but I’m counting on the consistency that will likely come from this being a big company with probably pretty standard dyeing. If it’s not similar enough I guess I can stripe some skeins. I might make 3/4 length sleeves like Jane Richmond’s example to make this more of a transitional piece. I guess I’ll see how hot it is when I get closer to the finish!

Barely begun

My SSKAL15 project is moving slooooowly. Even with all of the lovely comments suggesting Carpino for my swatches, my thoughts were still on Element quite a bit. I didn’t want to use the Cascade Fingering for that, but instead I wanted to tear out this sweater and salvage the beautiful beautiful Socks that Rock yarn for something I would wear more often. Don’t get me wrong, Rocky Coast is a beautiful sweater, but it slips down my shoulders terribly and I made it far too long, and I really am more of a fan of cardigans I can wrap myself in completely. I ripped out half of it, reset the yarn, swatched in the round, blocked my swatches, and thought and thought and thought. Then I flipped a coin.

Sometimes all you need is to actually flip the coin and while it’s in the air you know what you really want. I decided even though the coin toss determined Element in Socks that Rock, my heart said Carpino in Cascade Fingering.

But before that all happened I spent $24 on patterns just to study them. I have Marshall, Carpino, and Element and all the lovely information that goes along with them. Regardless, I finally got going on Carpino and here is where I’m at: carpinoI haven’t memorized the lace yet, even though it’s a simple simple four row repeat, but I’m getting into the rhythm. I wasn’t totally satisfied with either a 35.5″ or a 39″ chest, so I’m splitting the difference and ignoring a couple of increases to end up around 37.75″ or so and I’ve figured out where I’ll be ignoring those increases, so the mental work is mostly done. Now it’s just smooth sailing.

Swatching indecisions!

swatchesShannon’s Summer Sweater Knitalong (SSKAL15) is just around the corner (starting in TWO DAYS)! I had planned to make Marshal out of this Cascade 220 Fingering in Olive Oil. The thing is, I’m not getting that close to gauge and I’m hesitant to go up two needle sizes or more. It seems like that cardigan might need some structure and the fabric might get pretty floppy at that gauge. I swatched on a size US 4 as recommended by the pattern and got 23.5 sts and 36 rows over 4″ on that needle. On a size 5 I got more like 22.5 sts over 4″. I could pick a different size and make the numbers work, as I often do. By this I mean I could use the numbers of a larger size and get close to what I want because of my smaller gauge.

But then I began having doubts about how this sweater might fit into my wardrobe in this color. I pared a lot of things down as we moved. While it’s not quite a capsule wardrobe, something like that is my eventual goal. This color is gorgeous, but I don’t have many other shirts that go with it. I could return the yarn and get something more versatile in color. Or I could knit a pullover instead like Keaton, Carpino, or Element, since a pullover in this color would look fine with jeans or other pants I own and the shirt underneath would be less important. Do you sense some Brooklyn Tweed pattern love going on? I only wish I could afford the Loft yarn to go with it right now, but that would double my sweater price. Maybe I should start knitting fewer sweaters (gasp!) so that I can afford to try a larger variety of yarns. Points to ponder.

I guess I have to keep thinking for now.