Mini Monkeys

monkeyI can’t get over blending sock patterns lately to keep socks for Z interesting. These are my Kiddo Kicks blended with the ubiquitous (for a reason) Monkey by Cookie A. Monkeys have an addictive texture that makes you keep wanting to knit just one more repeat. monkey-2I’m using leftover yarn for these. The green is some Shibui sock, but I don’t remember the color name. The upcoming color is leftover Colinette Jitterbug in Ochre. I had to alter the Monkey pattern chart by ignoring stitches 1 and 16 and eliminating rows 9 and 11 to make it work for the stitch count. To do the Monkey chart I had to have 28 sts on the instep to make the chart work. These will be a little bit bigger than the last pair I made her, but I’m sure they will be fitting by mid to late winter next year. This will make pair 4 out of the 5 (at least) I want her to have for next winter. After culling my stash I found so much great fingering weight leftover yarn that I’m sure I’ll always have some kid socks going in the background.

Sweater for my brother

My brother lives in Minnesota. From what I hear, it’s hella cold up there in the winter. I refuse to visit during that time (and actually have yet to visit period). To assuage that guilt a bit, and because he asked me last winter, I decided to knit him a sweater. He loves Matt’s Hugo sweater and said he wanted one just like that. He said he wanted a rust orange kind of color. I found this Cascade 220 Japanese Maple on sale last January and got some. I was still hemming and hawing over when I would actually work on this sweater, but since my big destashing last week I began to think of this as one more way to reduce my stash. Knit it and get it out! hugo

Charlie (remember this ham?) has a 41″ chest, so I went between the 41.75″ and 45.5″ sizes by adding some extra stitches in the moss stitch area, just like I did with Matt’s sweater. I’m aiming for about 2-2.5″ of ease for comfort without looking baggy. At first I thought I wouldn’t love knitting this again, but the chart is only 12 rows and it gets addictive. hugo-2

It happens to be his birthday today as well. This sweater isn’t in time for your birthday, Charlie, but it will definitely get to you before the cold comes. Happy birthday, baby brother.

If you are all interested in some bulky wool, silk, tweed, or a paper linen/silk purse kit, please please check out my destashing post. I reduced some of the prices because I WANT THESE GONE. I’m doing the KonMari method throughout the house and these need to go.

June is for Geminis

geminiI’ve had this Wool and the Gang Shiny Happy Cotton (color: Spearmint) in my stash for about 10 months since they sent it to me to review. It seemed the perfect yarn to make Zooey another Gemini top. The one I made her last year is most definitely too small and will have to be passed on to Charlotte one of these days. For this one I cast on 48 stitches with a size 8 needle and switched to a size 9 needle after the lace portion. It will be around 24″ in the chest and will likely fit or be slightly large now.

This yarn is incredibly smooth. It’s one of the nicer cottons I’ve worked with and has many tiny plies, so I’m hoping that means that it won’t pill much. I love this color. It’s pretty close in color to the Togue Pond I just finished and will post about soon, so Z and I can be a little matchy matchy this summer.

This never happens!

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Check out the kiddo that is eagerly trying on her Immie Tee in progress! I can’t remember her ever being this eager about a WIP for her.

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She even helped with the knitting… And she asked about the sleeves.

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I might have to knit everything in purple (her favorite) to keep her interested in handknits, but maybe that’s worth it to get interest like this!

I’m adding some increases under the armpits as I go so this might flare out slightly. So far for toddlers I’ve found the belly is a bit bigger than the chest and I want this to look polished.

Upside-down Immie

I wanted to make Z a little shirt as soon as I saw some examples of it on Instagram. It’s called Immie Tee and it’s adorable. I had just the perfect purple: Pigeonroof Studios Super Sock in Orchid. immieThis color is amazing and it’s my first time working with this yarn. I’m loving it so far.

The top is supposed to be knit from the bottom up. Basically I’m using the lace, the numbers as a rough guide, and I’m working it from the top down instead. I want to make this as long as possible for Z and I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t run out of yarn. The lace is upside down, but it’s gorgeous both ways, so I don’t mind. This will likely be a little big in the chest, but bigger is better when it comes to speedily growing kiddos!

I might even have to make myself the adult version…

Gentle curve

I’m making some progress on my Togue Pond for the TTTKALtogueThere were a couple of snags along the way, and I do mean snags. When I was lovingly unraveling and washing and winding the yarn from a previous project I left them in the huge skeins formed from before. I had connected my ends with Russian joins so I had large hanks to work with. The larger one tangled when I was trying to wind it and I had to painstakingly wind it by hand, untangling it as I went. My knitting time has many baby interruptions and this took me about three days to complete, so that slowed knitting progress. That’s why there is a giant ball in the picture above rather than a lovely ball-wound cake of yarn. I wasn’t about to rewind it. I just wanted to knit.

It felt so good to just have the needles in my hands again and whip through the stockinette. I’m making the size 48″ with a smaller gauge to get me to about 36.5″ in the bust. My gauge is 5 sts per inch. I have to add an extra decrease to get to the right bust size. I think I could have gone down one more size in the pattern to get what I want, but I didn’t math correctly the first time. Yes, mathing is a verb for me sometimes.

Also, there is a slight color variation in the skeins that were used and the newer unused skein which I didn’t notice until I joined the older skein. It shows slightly in the picture above but you have to look for it. I’m thinking the yarn must have bled some during the washes and it will all even out when I block this. I hardly wore the previous garment so it couldn’t be from sun bleaching or excessive washing. I’m just going to go with it since no one would notice but me.

I think I need to cast on something new as well! I asked Z if she would wear this tee and first she said no, but I asked if she would wear it if it was purple and she said yes. I shall start a purple Immie Tee soon!

Yarn, reclaimed

Guess what begins today? I’m very excited to participate in the Tops, Tees, and Tanks Knitalong (TTTKAL) put on by Shannon. I almost forgot it was happening since I’ve been behind on blog reading, but I saw stirrings about it on Instagram and started planning. This year I want to make a Togue Pond. It’s a simple tank with a bit of a hi-lo style. I don’t have Aran weight linen like the pattern calls for, but I did happen to have a top I’ve been dying to rip out to reclaim the yarn. I made a Curve Hem Top when I was pregnant with Zooey and I never liked it post-maternity. The yarn is Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece (80% cotton, 20% merino) in a worsted weight. It was knit at 5 sts per inch for that top and I’m just going to make a size 48″ in Togue Pond to get the 36″ at my gauge. I had a leftover ball so I could start today, but I needed to rip out the top and freshen the used yarn a bit. reclaim-5
First I wound it around my swift as I ripped it out. Then I tied up the hanks. reclaim-2I put them in some water with wool wash for a nice soak. reclaim-3And after an hour or so I pulled them out, rolled them up in a towel like I would with a finished knit, and I whacked the hanks against the bathtub to straighten them out a bit. They’re drying now. In the meantime, I cast on with the unused ball I had in my stash. reclaim-4I also have finished arm warmers to show soon. They’re blocked and just awaiting a photograph to do them justice. Getting some of my knitting mojo back!