Bright Bitty Breezy

Last weekend I was hanging out in my latest Breezy, hiding behind “the wings” and being playful at the dinner table. Zooey commented that she would like a “wing sweater” and of course I had to jump at the chance to make her one. breezShe said she wanted purple so I pulled out some Regia in this vivid Violett color. I love this color and have 920 yards. I thought it would be perfect and luckily, so did she. I originally got this on vacation in Kansas City and thought back then (a couple of years ago) that it would be lovely for a little dress or something for Z.

I’m making the 4T size. She was so excited and cooperative that I was able to take measurements on the spot! I will add a little length (an inch or two) to the body, and maybe a half inch to an inch to the sleeves. Otherwise the 4T size should be just perfect. I can’t wait to give Zooey her “wings.”

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.

Sweater for a post-baby body

breezyMy second Breezy Cardigan is finished. I just did a quick steam blocking on this since I wanted to put this on while the weather is still cool enough in the early mornings and evenings to wear it. breezy-2I used Rowan Felted Tweed in Watery. This yarn is classified as DK so I did this on a size 5 needle and got a 5 st to the inch gauge. I did some algebra to figure out how many stitches should be in each section. Since this pattern provides a schematic with measurements all you have to do is take the number of inches for a section and multiply by the number of stitches in your gauge to get the number for each section. If you want a 12″ sleeve you multiply by 5 sts per inch and know that you’ll need 60 sts around your sleeve to get that measurement. Sometimes the altered gauge has numbers pretty close to another size in the pattern and I just follow the numbers for that size. breezy-3Loose fitted knits are my friend right now. Postpartum bodies are squishy weird things that take time to recover. It can be a slap in the face when 99% of your clothes don’t fit. I’m still rocking some maternity jeans since they’re the only ones that fit. It took me two years to lose all the baby weight from Zooey. I plan on working at things a little faster this time since I gained less weight with Charlotte, but in the meantime I’m trying to stay patient and positive. Healing is hard enough at this point. breezy-4Breezy is a wonderful pattern. It’s simple to execute and I LOVE wearing this design. The blanket-like fronts are excellent for cuddling small babies and toddlers as well. Zooey often asks to “get in my sweater” and I love snuggling with her in that way. breezy-5So go knit one, already!

When fall turns into spring

vitamin DNo, fall doesn’t come after spring. But sometimes a knitter might abandon an early fall knit for wools when the weather turns cooler. That’s precisely what I did with this Vitamin D, and lo and behold it was spring before I picked it up again. Luckily I could tell exactly where I was in the pattern and I was just a few inches from the bottom. vitamin D-4

This color reminds me of some of the pink dogwoods around my neighborhood, so it will fit right in as a spring piece. I used Louisa Harding Aimée in Cupid. It’s very soft, but I fear it might shed or pill a bit as it did while I was knitting the piece. vitamin D-2This is another one I knit at a different gauge. This one was 22sts and 28rows over 4″ as I knit it on a size 4 for most of the body. I was aiming for about a 35″ chest size. I also added a repeat of the yarn overs to the bottom for a little extra length. The length grew about an inch and a half while blocking though, so I probably could have skipped that. I’m cool with it though. The yarn is 90% cotton and 10% cashmere.

I will likely make this again, perhaps in a fingering weight wool. I think the fronts could drape a little better, but I still like it for now.

Dinosaur bones

Z was not really wanting me to take pictures of her in her new sweater, but I managed to get a few! I didn’t get close ups of the buttons, but you can see them here. They’re adorable and Z was a little sad when I actually put them on the sweater because she had spent a day and a half playing with them before they were sewn on.

antler finished-3I made the 2-4 year size of Antler Cardigan. It’s definitely big on her, but wearable. Right now it’s a super long cardigan. antler finished-6
The yarn is Cascade 220 in Sunshine Heather. I adore this color. antler finished-4I told Z that the cables at the top were dinosaur bones to go with the dinosaur buttons. I normally don’t let her out of the house before taking pics of items, but she wanted to wear this to school today, so I let her. antler finished-5I got really lucky with this one. She actually likes the sweater so much she wanted to wear it to bed tonight. We wouldn’t let her and she had a little fit and I felt gratified at a final cardigan success. antler finished-2This pattern is easy to execute and even the cable part flies by. This is my second time making it and I’m sure it won’t be my last.

A wee bit of tweed

breezy-2I’ve had this on the needles since the beginning of January. It’s another Breezy Cardigan out of Rowan Felted Tweed in the color Watery. I love my first Breezy and wear it often. Zooey also loves it because she often likes to be wrapped in my cardigans when possible. She says, “I wanna get in your sweater.” Of course that means I should make more sweaters I can wrap around her. breezy My gauge is modified to be more like 5 sts to the inch. This yarn is a bit heavier than fingering weight, so I just altered the math a little. Lately that hasn’t been working in my favor for projects, yet I refuse to stop! This pregnancy brain won’t get the best of me yet.

I’m loving having several things on the needles. I have this, the Smithfield, some socks, and Z’s little Antler Cardigan, which will likely be finished or close to it by the time the buttons arrive on Monday. I’ve really been talking up those dinosaur buttons to Z, so I hope they deliver!

NaKniSweMo 2014 results

I’ve had this Paloma finished for about a week now, but it always takes a little time to get pictures, so my reporting of it is a bit delayed. paloma-3I’m very pleased with the outcome. I did this pattern almost exactly to specifications for the 38.5″ size, I did add an extra 2 inches to the length because I’m somewhat long-waisted and usually add at least that much to sweaters. I wanted to make sure that it was the long and cozy length shown in the pattern, so 22″ on me did just that. palomaThis sweater knit up very quickly for me. Bulky yarn (Cascade Ecological Wool) on a size 10 needle flies by. I did add an extra increase to the top of the sleeves because I was hoping for more ease in the sleeves like my Oshima sweater has. Even with the extra increase, this didn’t really happen as I expected. It’s still totally comfortable, so no loss there. paloma-2For the remainder of the winter knitting season, any sweaters for myself will likely be cardigans or oversized pullovers. Shown above is a baby bump of 17 weeks. Cardigans seem like the best option at this point to stay warm and still be able to knit new things. Of course, in a couple of weeks when I find out the sex of the baby I’ll have a whole cadre of new things to start knitting…

paloma-4As quick as the knitting part was, the finishing took forever, or so it seemed. I spent all last Tuesday parked on the couch seaming, working the pockets, making the button band, and weaving in ends. I started at 8:30 am and kept at it with only bathroom or snack breaks until about 4:30. I had anticipated all of that taking about half that amount of time. Ha! I think it was well worth the work and I hope to enjoy wearing this for years to come.

Surely between this sweater and the two Abate sweaters I made for Z I must have hit 50,000 sweater stitches last month (the goal of NaKniSweMo). I love participating in that event and can’t wait for next year!