The only kind of baby blanket I make

I must be addicted to Pinwheel Blankets. Aside from making the occasional square for a group effort blanket for kiddos all of the blankets I’ve made on my own are pinwheels. This one is my fifth, if I’m remembering correctly.

The formula is so simple. It includes ten sections that you increase with a yarn over on every other round and knit your heart out. Variagated yarns have a chance to sing, and I get to knit my heart out with rhythmic and soothing stockinette. pinwheelI’m sure there are scads of amazing baby blanket patterns out there, but I’m really hooked on this one. I’m also making this as close to Z’s baby blanket without using the exact same color of yarn. I used a Dream in Color yarn for Z’s as well and I’m really pleased with the way the yarn has held up with almost daily use in bed at night. It’s soft and doesn’t pill that much.

This is Dream in Color Smooshy in Callous Pink. Sometimes the darker color looks grey, sometimes it looks purple. It seems to change a lot depending on the light, but I feel that this picture is pretty accurate. I’m 34 weeks pregnant now and Z was born at 35 weeks and 6 days. I’d better knit faster just in case!

Crazy pants

I really meant to keep working on my Breezy Cardigan. I had good intentions. Then I remembered I’d be going to St. Louis and would see a good college friend who is also pregnant and due just a few days after me. I decided I must knit her something immediately. Tired of baby sweaters and socks, I decided to try out some pants. I perused Ravelry and settled on Ze Tiny Pants. The pattern is written for a newborn-3 month size. It’s pretty easy to adapt and I followed Catrinea’s example and knit them top down.

One pair is a DK weight. I started with 84 stitches and did 1×1 ribbing. The pattern calls for garter stitch, but I thought ribbing would be faster and just as attractive. After 2.75″ of ribbing I increased to 114 (sorry, didn’t take great notes), then knit about 1.25 inches before doing mirrored increases every 6 rounds in the center front for 3 times. After the third set of increases I did some short rows in the back to give a little butt curve for diapers. Then I divided the leg and decreased every few rounds till there were 46 sts per leg and then did 2″ of ribbing. This ended up being close to a 6 month size, rather than a newborn size, which will work out better for this baby. The yarn for this is Happy Feet DK in Lemon-Lime Sherbet. This used about 3/4 of a skein.

pants-2For the fingering weight version I took even fewer notes, but I know I started with 94 and increased to 126 after the ribbing. On these legs I did more rapid decreases, every other row on the inside of the leg (2 sts per leg) because I felt I would not have enough yarn otherwise. These are also in the 6 month size range. This yarn is some Koigu KPPPM (no idea of color number) and some Shibui Sock in Teal. I used a full skein of the Koigu and about 2/3 of a skein of the Shibui. pantsI am woefully behind on taking pictures of Marin, but it will happen soon. We traveled most of the week and even though I was wearing Marin often, it somehow didn’t occur to me to get photos of it. Oh well!

 

Breezing along

Breezy-2I’m making a second Breezy Cardigan. I started this back in January and it’s been set aside for many other projects, but I pick it up here and there. Since I’m finally at the bottom ribbing it feels like I’m finally getting somewhere. Breezy-3

The yarn is Rowan Felted Tweed in Watery and since that’s a bit heavier than fingering weight used in the pattern, I modified this a bit. I’m getting 5 stitches to the inch so I just picked the size I wanted and used a little algebra (yes, it is useful in adult life) to figure out how many stitches I needed to knit. Breezy

I might not get to use this much this season, but if I finish this soon there will probably at least be some chilly evenings when I can wear it.

By the way, my reknitting of Marin worked out well with two whole yards of yarn to spare! Yes, it was really really close. More details and pics of that project soon, when I can get Matt to take some pics of me.

Grrrrrrrrrr

So this happened: IMG_20150317_091535I was a mere 1.5 inches from finishing Marin and I ran out of yarn. A knitter’s worst nightmare. I measured the remaining skein at the halfway point and I had over half of the ball left. I’m not sure how this happened, but apparently I must have gotten slightly looser on the second half. The gauge measures the same, but it feels a bit looser.

First I contemplated buying another ball of yarn. I love this color and would happily make something else out of it (Hazel Knits Euphorbia), but I didn’t want to pay $24 plus shipping and have to wait at least 5 days to be able to finish the project for less than two inches of knitting. So, before I take that step I’m ripping back a repeat and a half of the big chart and I’m going down a needle size. I think this will snug up my gauge enough, and hopefully I’ll scrape by with enough yarn. I really don’t think it’s going to be noticeable later at all, especially after blocking.

If I knit this thing again (because it’s lovely and I probably will), I might just use a 2. The recommended needle is a US 5, but I would have defaulted to a 4 since I’m a loose knitter. After reading so many Ravelry project page comments about people going down a needle size, I decided a US 3 was the best bet for me, but I guess I just got too relaxed in the second half. Sigh. Here I go again: marin-2

If 1500 other knitters can do it, so can I

I started a Marin a couple of days ago. I’ve had the pattern for awhile, and even the yarn in mind that I thought would be perfect for it. I just hadn’t been in a shawl mood for a really long time. Since spring seems finally just around the corner, it is a good time for a transition piece.marin

Well, turns out my brain doesn’t work sometimes. I’m chalking it up to pregnancy brain. There are over 1500 other successful projects on Ravelry, so I knew it was definitely me, not the pattern. I was ending up with stockinette stitch and there clearly is none on the pattern. Guess who forgot how to read a chart? I finally ripped back a bit and looked at the written out directions compared to the chart. I forgot that often a symbol stands for knit on the RS (right side) and the same symbol becomes a purl on the WS (wrong side). I was just looking at the little blank spaces for knit and dashes for purls as if they were absolute, and I was happily creating stockinette for awhile until I realized, “Hey, there’s no stockinette on this thing.”

I’m still crossing my fingers that everything turns out well because several knitters have commented that they didn’t have enough yarn. As I have only one skein of this amazing Hazel Knits Euphorbia and it’s a mere 15 yards more than the pattern calls for, I’m really hoping it works out. Some have knit it at a tighter gauge to make it come out closer to the specified yardage. After reading a few of those project comments I decided to go ahead and rip back and knit the thing on US 3 needles. Gauge isn’t usually crucial for shawls, but I’d rather make sure I can make it through the pattern since I only have one skein. I’m really beginning to be an expert at the beginning of this shawl, y’all.

Mother-daughter socks

I love when I can make matchy-matchy mother-daughter knits. Sometimes I do this by just using the same yarn for our projects like this one and this one. And sometimes I want to make us the very same thing in the same yarn. That’s what I did here with some socks: Momdat socksThe yarn is the ONLine Supersocke Emotion III in color 1217 that I went a little crazy for awhile back. I used 73% of the skeing (or about 335 yards) for my socks, then stopped because I wanted to use some for socks for Z. I knew I wouldn’t be able to get hers as tall as I wanted with the yarn I had left, so I added a pink cuff with the Laines do Nord Baby Milk in Light Pink that I just used for Little Sister’s Dress. I think it worked out nicely and these socks are sooooooft.

Momdat socks-2They’re so cute when they’re miniature. Z is excited because they have purple in them, since she proclaims often that purple is “my favorite.” She even tells us that her lovely blue eyes are purple. The other day she was disappointed because blueberries were not purple and I helped her find compromise by making a purple smoothie with the blueberries for her. Toddlers are wacky little people.

Another little sister

I made a Little Sister’s Dress for an upcoming little sister. A friend of mine is having a baby girl, due about 3 weeks before mine, and she had a baby shower last weekend. I whipped up this dress in the 6 month size over the past couple of weeks to give to her. The yarn is Laine Du Nord Baby Milk in Light Pink and Dove Gray. I got this yarn at Webs awhile back and I think it might be discontinued or no longer carried by them now. It’s a shame because it is SOFT. It’s merino, cashmere, and milk protein for the fiber content. These colors were remnants from the yarn I used for Cocktail(Dress) and I was waiting for just the right baby garment. Little SisterThis is the third time I’ve made this baby dress, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. My only mod was to make the top and bottom different colors.

I have been working on several other projects, but have been lax in blogging since I was at a conference a good chunk of last week. I will have some finished adult socks and matching kiddo socks to display soon, as well as some slow progress on a Breezy Cardigan very soon.

I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S MARCH! Where is this year going? My baby is due in less than 9 weeks at this point and I’m sort of freaking out. The nesting is starting to kick in and yesterday the sad state of my yarn stash was getting to me. It really needs a good reorganization (and probably some destashing, ahem), but I at least made sure it could all fit inside bins and drawers or the current UFO area for now. Closet organization and deep cleaning comes first. Oy.

In other knitterly news, if you’re interested in contributing to some research about knitting communities, check out this survey. The researcher is looking at ways that we are involved with knitting and crafting communities. I love to help out other researchers, so go on and check it out if you have a moment.