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.

Toddler feet

kiddo charade-2Getting Z to model two pieces of knitwear in one week is definitely an anomaly. Maybe if I continually get input from her or show her ongoing projects she will be more enthusiastic about the end result. As soon as I showed her these socks she insisted on putting them on, even though it is in the mid 80’s outside. kiddo charadeThe variegated yarn is leftover Manos Alegria in Macachines. The blue is leftover Luna Grey Fiber Arts Astro in Harbor. I used my Kiddo Kicks pattern as a skeleton with the stitch pattern from Charade inserted for a pattern.  kiddo charade-3Z now has three pairs of socks in a 3-5 yr size that should fit for next winter. These have a little room at the toes for growth, but they’re not so big she can’t wear them as soon as it gets cold.

My TTTKAL Togue Pond was not finished on time, but it is done and drying after some blocking. Can’t wait to wear it!

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!

From the fella’s knitting queue

A couple of weeks ago when I said I didn’t know what to knit Matt immediately had some suggestions for me. Socks, sweater, or the navy arm warmers he’s been wanting. Of course he would have a list. The man has an insatiable appetite for hand knits. arm warmersThe yarn is something unpronounceable to me that I won in a holiday swap a few years back. While not really navy, it’s the closest I had in my stash. I don’t know if I’ve stated this publicly, but I might try to knit the whole summer from my stash. This would be a pretty big feat for me. I might have to allow an exception for a birthday yarn purchase mid-July, but this is my goal. I won’t go into the politics of maternity leave in the United States, but for most people it’s completely unpaid (I’m in this category) and it is requiring some definite budget discipline for us. Luckily I’ve spent years stashing like yarn was going out of style and I have a nice under-the-bed stashed yarn cave to choose from. arm warmers-4I am thinking of writing up this pattern when I get the time. I just did some hand charts on graph paper and went with it. I had to rip it a couple of times because I didn’t like the size first, then the way the chevron looked, but I’m satisfied with the finished result and it barely about 190 yards of fingering weight yarn. arm warmers-2Now to think of a name…It’s so hard to name things.

TTTKAL progress coming 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!