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.

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.

Meow.

charlotte kitty-2This post has too many pictures because I just can’t help myself. I made this hat for Zooey, really, but it fits Charlotte too, and she was such a willing model. There are only so many times you can bribe a 3 year old to do stuff to earn her Halloween candy in one week before you begin to feel like a crappy parent, but I digress.

charlotte kitty-9I stuck some kitty ears on my Magic Hat. The threat to hand off unworn items to Charlotte will now be real for Zooey, because this hat is so dang cute on Charlotte. charlotte kitty-12The hat has 8 fewer stitches than in the pattern, and I knit for 7 inches before doing decreases. Someday if I’m feeling super motivated I’ll write up the information for the ears, perhaps. This is not one of those days. charlotte kitty-10When Charlotte actually saw our outside cat and the grumpy ol’ thing meowed at her she immediately started crying. Our cat does have this ancient and curmudgeonly meow sound, so I don’t blame her. charlotte kitty-13She can’t believe she’s 7 months old in 5 more days! Crazy. charlotte kitty-23Smells like fall. charlotte kitty-24No leaves were consumed during this photo session, despite her best efforts to explore everything with her mouth.

Magic pants?

magic pantsAs you can see, I made more baby pants. Obviously they’re too fun and fast to resist. I also think these might be magical. The other day Charlotte was lightly snoozing and woke to eat. I slipped the mostly finished (ends not woven in) pants on her to see how they fit. She fell back asleep and slept another TWO HOURS. The same thing happened today, except for longer. Okay, it could also be a growth spurt, but why not say it’s the pants so I have an excuse to knit another dozen pair of these…magic pants-3

These are very similar to the last pair. I cast on 98, but used a size 3 needle for the top ribbing this time. I used up the rest of my gray Laines du Nord Baby Milk (soooooo soft and I wish it wasn’t discontinued) for the waist ribbing and an inch of ribbed cuff at the ankles. I had some Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock in Blue Moonstone left over. I switched to that after the waist ribbing and only increased by 8 stitches this time to keep it more like a 6 month size for Charlotte. I knew I wouldn’t have enough of that so I threw in some Koigu KPM (color 2339) for stripes. You might notice that I like pairing these kinds of colors together based on this sweater for me and this one for Zooey. I really should get a group shot while these all fit us.magic pants-2I swear I will knit other things besides baby pants… magic pants-4But look at her smile!

48 hour pants

48 hour pants-4I started these pants around noon on Wednesday and finished them around that time on Friday. Last week I attended a conference and was lucky enough to be a passenger in a carpool situation, giving me ample knitting time. Knitting during conference sessions and in the hotel room during down time also gave me some good hours of knitting. 48 hour pantsThe pattern is a much altered Ze Tiny Pants. You can read a previous post for basic construction details. For these I used two full skeins of Koigu P237S. With a size 4 needle I cast on 98 stitches for the ribbing and increased to 108 after the ribbing. I made mirrored increases every six rows three times. After the increases in the front were finished and I was satisfied with the length, I did some short rows in the back to make a nice baby booty curve. This was all pretty fast and loose and I didn’t write down all the details. After separating for legs I did decreases every 4th row until I had 50 stitches for each leg. I continued until legs measured about 9″ from crotch to bottom of leg, then did ribbing for about 1.5 inches until I was almost out of yarn. 48 hour pants-2I would call this a nine month size. I started out making these for Charlotte, but then thought they would fit my friend’s kiddo, Henry, much better so gave them to him. They are cozy soft and will hopefully last him until spring. On Charlotte the pants needed two large roll ups at the bottom to work. On Henry a fold just a bit past the ribbing was required to make them fit well. He also wears cloth diapers and I was very happy to see they still fit with the added diaper bulk. 48 hour pants-5Of course, I immediately cast on a new pair for Charlotte. Look at me, already distracted from Keaton! There’s nothing like a cold snap that makes me want to start warming up little people with knits. 48 hour pants-3I just hope little Henry is as pumped about these as Charlotte is!

Pink toes

baby feetWe had a couple of cold nights and I immediately wished I had made some baby socks for Charlotte, so I made some. These are some scrappy socks. I used a teeny bit of leftover Colinette Jitterbug in Whirley Fig and some Louet Gems Fingering Weight in Pewter. Working from the toe-up I cast on 12 stitches (6 per side) and increased the toes until I had 32 stitches total. Then I knit for about four inches and then did an inch of ribbing and cast off. These are plain ol’ tube socks so she can wear them through the winter as her feet grow. baby feet-4They fit well, but next time I might make them a smidge wider. I suppose she could also wear them as mittens if needed. baby feet-2Charlotte was 4 months old on the 16th and she’s a pretty happy little lady. Unless she’s looking at me like I’m a weirdo for taking her picture: baby feet-3I haven’t been as responsive to blog comments as I’d like to be and I’m sorry for that. I love reading your comments and greatly appreciate them. I’ve been back at work for 3 weeks and it’s definitely mentally taxing. In my other work life I’m a school based therapist at a school I adore. It is a wonderful job and most of the time but I often leave feeling like my brain has had a big workout all day long, so I’m not as active with responses as I’d like. I will always try my best to get at least one or two blog posts out a week because I love love love doing it. When I started this thing I really didn’t think anyone would read it, and I feel completely chuffed that people do, that I’ve made some friends from doing this, and I’ve also learned from a wonderful and vibrant community of knitters out in the world. I appreciate being part of the conversation.

Cover up those baby butts

Oh hai.

Oh hai.

I’m so pleased that all the knits from my last post are going to good homes. The overstuffed cedar chest in my house is breathing a sigh of relief as well. In the meantime I was knitting on some baby pants in the background. Though I’m thisclose to finishing Breezy (maybe 1.5 inches of ribbing on the collar), we had a cold night last night and are having a few more coming up. I know knitting for newborns only lasts 5 minutes, but since these just took a day and some leftover sock yarn to whip up, isn’t that worth it? baby pantsThese are inspired by Ze Tiny Pants, a free pattern on Ravelry. I changed most of it and tried to take some good notes this time because I always regret when I haven’t done that for myself. I added short rows to the butt for the curve. Hard to see, but I tried to capture it here: baby pants-5I did mirrored increases on the front around the center two stitches. baby pants-4I used some leftover Vice Carnal in Corpses Christi and some Anzula Squishy in Teal. This used 39.2 grams of fingering weight yarn, or about 160 yards of yarn. I’ve been bad about keeping up with remaining yarn weights after finishing projects so I don’t know exactly how much I used of either yarn. baby pants-3I feel happy knowing she has a snuggly wool layer to put over her sleepers for the next few nights. We are cosleeping and that means no blankets above adult waists, and no swaddling for baby. I’ve heard rumors of a colder than usual May and June, so maybe she will actually wear these for awhile.