Knitted Baby Gifts, Part 1

Apparently everyone is pregnant and due this summer.  There must be something in the water, and just in case there is,  I think I’ll stick with beer!  The great thing about this, aside from excited new parents welcoming a baby into the world, is that this gives me the chance to knit sweet little baby gifts for my friends which is a ton of fun.  Baby-sized sweaters have basically the same construction as adult-sized items but use less yarn and knit up much faster, so it’s pretty close to instant satisfaction.  There’s also something about a handmade gift that’s really special for folks who appreciate the work that goes into them.  This is the first round of gifts which have already been given to the recipient, so I figure I’m okay to blog about them and won’t spoil any surprises.

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Pattern: Tilting Blocks Baby Blanket
Designer: Ranee Mueller
Needles: US 4 (3.5 mm)
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Ease in, “Maize”
Ravelry Project Link
It’s a really simple stitch pattern and works up so quickly.  The original pattern had a square of stockinette in the center, but I opted to just do the whole blanket in pattern.  I used just about three whole skeins of yarn which is a basic cotton/acrylic blend which makes it great for use for baby knits.  Durable, washes well, still pretty soft.  It stretched out MUCH larger than anticipated since it’s lace, but it really looks great and will make a wonderful summer blanket for a summer baby.  Plus, the parents have opted not to know the gender of their child, so yellow is a nice, neutral color.

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Pattern: Sunnyside
Designer: Tanis Lavallee
Needles: US 4 (5 mm)
Yarn: Kangaroo Dyer Franklin Hand Dyed in, “Fried Green Tomatoes”
Ravelry Project Link
Knit in under a week!  Super fast knit and I didn’t even use a whole skein of sock yarn.  I made a small modification and flipped the cables on one side of the cardigan so they’d mirror the otherside (right twist instead of left twist).  The size I knit was 6-12 month, but it came out at more like a newborn-6 month size.  Next time, I’ll have to go up a size.  Still, a really cute and easy cardigan to knit!  I definitely prefer knitting baby items in fingering weight yarn instead of worsted or DK – babies are so small that a bulky sweater just doesn’t work out, and for a summer baby, a lighter cardigan is defintiely best.

Knitting Update – finished objects!

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So I actually have been knitting, honest.  I just haven’t posted everything here.  So, here’s a quick post with a few recent finished objects.

On the top above, is 14 Karat.  The yarn is from the club I’ve been a member of for a while now, and is a colorway called “Sunken Treasure.”  I figured a pattern referencing jewels would work nicely with a color referencing treasure.  They were pretty labor intensive and required working from the computer with the chart, but they’re well worth it!

On the bottom above is Business Casual, using another yarn from the club, this time the colorway was, “Fathoms Below.”  Easy to knit, and they worked up pretty quickly.  These two pairs of socks were worked at the same time, but the Business Casual socks didn’t require looking at a chart and were taken along with me everywhere.  The faux-argyle diamond pattern shows up more in person than it did in the photo, and I really love how they came out.

 

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This is the big project that I’ve had sitting in my Works in Progress (WIP) queue for a while.  I started the Royale sweater in November of 2010 for the National Knit a Sweater Month (NaKniSweMo).  I got about 5 inches up from the bottom and set it aside.  With Ravelympics 2012 coming up soon, the team I joined decided that we should spend the month prior to the Ravelympics ‘training’ and finishing up WIPs.  This one isn’t my oldest one, but it was a huge undertaking – the cables, twisted stitches!  All the hard work was totally worth it though, I mean, just look at that!  It’s sort of unfortunate that I finished now, mid-May, when I won’t be able to wear it all summer long.  The pattern and charts were easy to follow.  My only big mistake is that I usually don’t do as many increases for the bust as the pattern sizing calls for – everyone has different measurements and should adjust a knit pattern to suit their individual measurements for a best fit.  Nooo I just kept trucking along!  So, the bust is a little loose, but it’s not a dealbreaker, and there’s NO WAY I am going to go back and work all that over.  The yarn used was Valley Yarns Northampton in the color, “Twilight Heather.”  The photos above are pretty color accurate, and I’d call the color kind of a purpley maroon heather.  I over estimated on the yarn purchase, so I have three skeins left – I’ve got a short torso, so while most folks have 4 or more repeats of that center cable pattern, I only needed three, cutting down drastically on the yarn requirement.  Love this to bits, and I’m so glad I finally finished it!

September Knitting Wrap-up

YES!  September is already over – can you even believe it?  The weather got cool so quickly, I feel like fall just came around and slapped me in the face with a wet trout.  Or assaulted me with acorns.  No wait, that was the squirrels.  Anyway, on to the knitting!

Just going back, again, to the Knitting Resolutions.

3. Knit one pair of socks per month

DSC_5265 Twisted Flower Socks
Pattern: Twisted Flower Sock
Designer: Cookie A.
Needles: US 1.5 (2.5mm)
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Sock
Ravelry Project Link

Still going strong on the one pair per month goal. These were rather challenging in that there were a lot of twisted stitches, cables, and I had to pay attention on every row, but the result is a gorgeous pair of socks that I’m proud to have conquered. These came together in a trip to Loop in Philadelphia, on a whim, and just ended up being the pair-of-the-month. Dear friend Abbie graciously modelled them for me.


4. Spin four ounces of roving per month.

I got this one too! That is some lovely alpaca from dkKnits in the colorway, “Wheat Fields” and I’m just dying over how soft it is. This is the first time I’ve spun alpaca and it was like butter through the fingers – a very enjoyable spin! We came out to 400 yards from the 4oz of fiber which makes it fingering weight. Not sure what this will become just yet, but I’m sure it’ll let me know someday. DSC_5401


2. Knit two sweaters this year.

DSC_5444 Wicked Sweater
Pattern: Wicked!
Designer: Sarah & Rachel
Needles: US 6 (4mm)
Yarn: dkKnits extrafine superwash merino squish
Ravelry Project Link

IT’S DONE! One sweater down and one to go. This blocked out perfectly and the color is just spectacular – it looks much more incredible in person. The yarn is soft and squishy and really easy to work with, not to mention, again, the incredible custom dye job that Becky put together for me. I’ll probably be wearing this to Rhinebeck, so if you see me, come say hello!

To wrap this all up, Socktoberfest begins today and I’m all prepared to cast on for a mystery sock.  There are four total socks that I’ll be doing this socktoberfest, so wish me luck!

April and May wrap-up

Hah, I knew at one point during the year, I’d miss a month or get lazy or even give up completely on the resolutions.  So far, though, doing okay, and still chugging along.

Going back in time to January again for the knitting resolutions..

2. Knit two sweaters this year
Started one. It’s tough knitting a sweater in the summer. I had a big rush of excitement when I started, gushing over the gorgeous color, dyed by Becky of dkKnits and then set it aside about 30% of the way down the body to do socks and lace and other fun summer type projects.

3. Knit one pair of socks per month
Got both of those!

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April – Blue Angee Socks May – Twisted Devon Socks
Pattern: Angee Pattern: Devon
Designer: Cookie A. Designer: Cookie A.
Needles: US 1½ / 2.5 mm Needles: US 1½ / 2.5 mm
Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Sock, colorway, “Impressionist Sky” Yarn: Twisted Fiber Art Kabam! in colorway, “Terrain”
-Ravelry Project Link- -Ravelry Project Link-
These were finished just in time to go to Stitch n’ Pitch with the Phillies.  Sadly, we were soundly beaten by the Nationals, but the socks told me that they didn’t mind.  The pattern is from Cookie A’s new book, Sock Innovation, and I’m absolutely in love with all of the patterns.  This one was pretty simple, but with a great effect.  And the yarn!  There’s a reason why we call it MMMmmmmmmalabrigo.  Squishy, Yum. Another entry from Cookie A’s Book.  Both the yarn and the pattern came together to produce an absolute delight to knit and wear, even if one sock somehow tricked me into knitting an extra repeat on the leg.  I’d go back and rip the longer top down to match the shorter one, but there’s a cuff-to-leg transition set of stitches that I wouldn’t be able to do if I knitted back up the cuff.  So, we’re going to call them unique and leave them as they are, unmatched and beautiful.

4. Spin four ounces of roving per month.
My poor wheel has been feeling woefully neglected. I did get my 4oz for May though.

DSC_1417 Corriedale from Maisy Day Handspun in colorway, “Water Lily.”  I never really liked corriedale, until now.  I got my hands on the raw roving in the past and did a little nose wrinkle – scratchy.  It’s not merino.  But, after it’s spun up and plied?  Not so bad.  I probably still wouldn’t make a scarf out of it, but it’s pretty and squishy and I rather enjoyed spinning it.  It clocks in at 285 yards and is about sport weight.

 

And that’s the wrap-up for the last two months of acheiving resolutions.  There has been more knitting, of course, that I haven’t detailed here, but with the garden growing, the lawn needing mowed, and a whole host of fun outdoors stuff to do in the lovely weather we’ve been having, knitting has mostly taken a back seat to a lot of seasonal things to do.