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!

Paloma puzzle pieces

Oh, I love blocking sometimes. All of these pieces looked so skinny and out of sorts, but after a soak and some pinning they all behaved exactly as I wanted. I don’t always wet block sweaters. Sometimes if items are knit all in one piece and they don’t seem to need it, I just do a little steam blocking. When I have sweaters in pieces I almost always do. It seems good prep for the next step: seaming. palomaThese are this close to being dry. I can’t wait to put these Paloma pieces together and be able to wear this. After the seaming I just have pocket, the button band, and sewing on buttons. I think I’ll definitely have this finished tomorrow if it’s dry and ready to seam. I can’t wait to wear it! I will definitely have this and Z’s two Abate sweaters done this month. Happy NaKniSweMo 2014!

Sleeves to keep me warm

I’ve been plugging away on my NaKniSweMo sweater goals. After finishing the back of Paloma I moved straight to the sleeves, because for some reason they always seem to be torturously long if I leave them till the end of the project. I did them second to get them out of the way and have another couple of pieces that required little focus. palomaI added an extra increase at the top to make them more like the sleeve width of my Oshima, which has turned out to be my favorite sweater. I also added a couple of inches in length because I like my sleeves to go just over the bottom of the hand. They’re crazy crooked right now since I haven’t blocked them yet. Moss stitch always does that for me, but a good wet block always does the appropriate straightening magic.

In other news, I finished Z’s Abate, which is awesome, but it’s way too big. I don’t know what’s been up with me and assuming my kid is still growing an inch a minute. I did the same thing with Z’s Like Sleeves tunic. In both cases I decided to make the 4T sizes, perhaps because it was the next size up and last year I was making her 2Ts. Well….this one is even more ridiculously huge than Like Sleeves. I may have her put it on just for a laugh when it dries, but since I added length (why? why?) it would be like a super oversized 80’s sweater dress. So, I have a couple of skeins of the same yarn in lavender that I will just immediately turn into yet another Abate, this time in the 2T size. At least the thing is a quick knit. I know there are other amazing pullovers out there, but I know I have the right amount of yarn, and I don’t feel like having to think about it so much. Luckily I have the whole week off next week since my school is closed all week for Thanksgiving. I have big plans to make my Ravelry stash more accurate, writing up a kiddo sweater pattern, and just getting my knit on.