FO: Waterloo and Ottawa Baby Sweaters

Baby Sweaters

As I mentioned a while back I have two cousins both expecting babies last month.  Back in February, over Family Day Weekend, my Aunt hosted a joint baby shower for Heather and Lara at my mom’s house in Parry Sound. There were about 40 family members and it was a great chance to see some of my cousins I hadn’t seen in a couple of years.

The shower had a book theme and I gave both copies of Brambly Hedge, one of my favorite books as a kid.  However, as a knitter I couldn’t resist adding some handknit woolies to the parcel.  I pulled out the Puerperium Cardigan pattern which is quickly becoming my go-to baby knit.  It is quick, can be done from a single skein of DK weight yarn and gets good reviews from moms.  I’ve been considering getting more of Kelly Bookers patterns for kids, because these babies are going to grow up (rumor has it) and I really like the way she writes and formats her patterns.

Neither of these babies has made their arrivals yet, but I’m looking forward to meeting these new additions to my already large extended family (I’m 7th of 14 grandchildren).  I’m glad to know that they will have wooly goodness and that I have a go-to pattern for the babies that will continue to show up in the years to come.

_______________________________________

Projects: Waterloo Puerperium and Ottawa Puerperium

Pattern: Puerperium Cardigan by Kelly Brooker

Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts, Yellow Label in Spearmint and Pink Grapefruit

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FO: Baby Sophisticate Scarf

Buying yarn is a fun thing, you find a pattern you think you are going to love, you invest in the yarn and then it sits in your stash because either the pattern doesn’t work for you or you don’t really use knit bags or like wearing colorwork mittens.

That is how I ended up with a far too large stash of KnitPicks Palette.  It is amazing yarn for colorwork, however I don’t enjoy colorwork, I spend too much emotional energy making sure my gauge isn’t too tight or stressing over the fact that I use needles several millimeters larger than called for to make it work.

I was able to destash quite a bit of it to fellow Guild members back in February, however I still held onto some of it for some odd reason and now find myself drowning in yarn I’m not interested in using and not valuable enough to go to the effort to destash through Ravelry.

However, after washing this scarf, I think the yarn has found its calling, it is soft and drapey and the colors are just amazing.  I think colorwork is far more fun when I don’t have to worry about gauge and floats.

That’s not to say this scarf was without its challenges.  Because of the warp seperator I’ve been using on my loom I managed to shred one of my warp threads, way back at the back apron beam, and so I decided to cut the scarf off the loom early and sacrifice the rest of the warp to either future striped scarf or for the compost bin.  I should have narrowed the scarf and retied it to the front beam, but I was fairly discouraged and started cutting the warp off the back beam before I had really thought it through.  Oh well, live and learn.

Also, let me know how you like these pictures. I have been watching the Craftsy class Shoot It on product photography by Caro Sheridan of Split Yarn so I have been trying out her techniques. Tomorrow’s FO post has my old photos, but the one on Friday has new pictures, and I’m pretty proud of those.

– Details –

Project Name: Baby Sophisticate Scarf

Draft: Grab and Go Bag by Liz Gipson in Weaving Mad Easy

Recipient:Baby Nico (who got the baby knits earlier this year)

Yarn: KnitPicks Palette in Bittersweet Heather and Salsa Heather

Modifications:

  • Altered Sett: Modified from Worsted Weight to Fingering Weight yarn

New Skills:

  • Two color weaving: This was my first time using two shuttles at the same time.  I’m still not sure I understand how to make my two selveges look the same, but I was really getting into the houndstooth flow when my warp snapped/shredded.
  • Alternate warp stripes: To warp the houndstooth pattern I started each of my colors at opposite ends and direct warped alternate slots in both directions.  This worked wonderfully, and I ended up not having to cut too many ends and my warp didn’t get funny from sliding off the apron rod from having too much tension on one side but not the other.

Feedback:

  • Yarn: It’s Palette, so the colors were amazing but because of my warp separator I had my one edge warp thread shred.  I should have been smarter when warping and now that I’m on my second scarf like this I haven’t warped too close to the edge and used paper rather than plastic to separate my warp.
  • Draft: Easy and straight forward, but I LOVE the effect.  I see many, many, many herringbone scarves and yardage in my future.

Re-Weave?: Totally, I already have my next one on the loom and a few inches into weave (although my currently garter mania and the Tour de Fleece are keeping me from really getting much weaving done).

FO: Forest Baby Flying Duck Hat and Mitties

So several weeks after asking the question “What to Knit for a Baby Boom” I am starting to get some answers.  You have seen what I came up with, the Legwarmies and Vertabrae combo and now the Duckie Sweater and today’s matching pieces, a hat and mitties.

These little projects were unplanned bonuses, after finishing up the Duckie Sweater with nearly 50g of yarn remaining I thought a hat and mitties would be perfect for the remnants. After finishing up both I still have about 15yds remaining, so I managed to get a nice gift set out of a single skein of DK weight.  And with DK being such a good option across some of my favorite hand dyers dyers, Tanis (Yellow Label), madelinetosh (tosh DK or tosh merino DK for a single) and SweetGeorgia Yarns (Superwash DK), and they all happen to be superwash which can make life so much easier for new moms and dads (or whoever gets the short straw and has to do laundry).

So I would say that I have a good answer to my question about what to knit for babies, I enjoy making little sweaters, but not from fingering weight and legwarmies and mitties are a great way to bust some stash without committing to something too large.  I will wait to hear back from new mom about what was the best part and what can be improved upon.

– Details –

Project Name: Forest Baby Flying Ducky Hat AND  Forest Baby Mitties

Pattern: Aviatrix Baby Hat by Justine Turner of Just Jussi AND Baby Mitts by Susan B. Anderson for Spud Says!

Recipient: Forest Baby

Yarn: SweetGeorgia Yarns Superwash DK in Tourmaline

Modifications:

  • Mitties – Did 1×1 rib to match the sweater and hat

New Skills:

  • Hat – Overlapping shortrows (ie. eating up some gaps while still creating more), I am not certain I did them correctly but the baby will be cute enough no one will notice.

Feedback:

  • Yarn – As seen in my effusive praise on the sweater I am a HUGE fan of the yarn and the color and am excited to use some of the other SweetGeorgia in my stash.
  • Patterns – Both were fine, although the Hat pattern seemed needlessly complex in places.  I don’t love the hat but I will be on the look out for other helmet shaped hats.  The mitties were straight forward but the pattern made it easier.

Re-Knit?:  Probably not the hat, it was more fiddly than I would like but the mitties are cute but seem super small, I will find out how much too small when the baby is born and I will modify the pattern accordingly.

FO: Forest Baby Blue Duckie Sweater

The real success of this knit is thanks to Carla, who helped pick the yarn color and also helped with button selection, and for me the sweater is cute but the duckies make something really fun and special.

However it is thanks to the Yarn Harlot that I know about this great little sweater, she knit it for a baby last fall and I just fell in love with the shape.  And when the arrival of the Forest Baby was announced I figured it was a good a time as any to try out the pattern.  It is a keeper, a quick knit and a great finished object that is totally gender neutral (depending on color and buttons) so it is a good one to keep in the file for friends future babies.

– Details –

Project Name: Forest Baby Blue Duckie Sweater

Pattern: Puerperium Cardigan by Kelly Brooker of knit.so.quaint

Recipient: Forest Baby

Yarn: SweetGeorgia Superwash DK in Tourmaline

Modifications:

  • None – Except I opted for the short-sleeves because I am sick of knitting sleeves

New Skills:

  • Attaching Buttons – The last thing I made with buttons my mom ended up putting them on for me, but these ones becasue of the style I found that yarn worked better than thread for attaching.

Feedback:

  • Yarn – This stuff is AWESOME.  The yarn base was nice enough but the yarn color has nearly send me into a tailspin of figuring what I can make out of it for ME!  I took some of it to a Guild meeting and someone asked me what color I called it, and really it is impossible to determine whether it is green or blue.  It is just totally made of awesome.  I am looking forward to using more of SweetGeorgia’s yarns in a balanced diet with Tanis and indigodragonfly.
  • Pattern – Much like the Baby Vertabrae, (which is by the same designer) I found this pattern clear, however as it was free there was only 1 size.  In future I may decide to upgrade to the paid version as I find the shape appealing and I know that the paid pattern will give me a huge range of sizes and yarn weights.

Re-Knit?: Quite possibly, this size used just over half a skein and left enough yarn to knit a baby hat and some mitties, which makes $20 for the DK and $5 for some buttons makes a pretty affordable knitted baby set as a gift.

FO: Forest Baby Vertabrae

So yesterday you saw the Legwarmies, they matched up really nicely with the Baby Vertabrae.  This knit too way too long in my mind, the pattern is great, but I would do it in DK, because working up fingering weight yarn on 3.25 and 2.75 mm needles is too much purling at sock gauge.

Kindling was a great color, and while this photo is overexposed, it shows off how neat the shifts are.

However I find the design brilliant, keep a baby warm and make sure their bellies are washable.  I did make one design change to the pattern, on the advice of a new mom, I knit 10cm of the arm in stockinette, and then did another 10cm of 1×1 rib.  By extending the rib I gave the option of wearing the sleeve folded back (and not falling down) or pulled down over the hands if the baby gets cold.

This along with legwarmies make a great gift for someone who doesn’t want to knit for a brand new baby but in 9 and 12 month sizes.

– Details –

Project Name: Forest Baby Vertabrae

Pattern: Baby Vertabrae by Kelly Brooker of knit.so.quaint

Recipient: Forest Baby

Yarn: KnitPicks Stroll Tonal Fingering in Kindling

Modifications:

  • Changed sleeve to shorten and increased cuff length

New Skills:

  • Picking up a sweater collar – Worked out fine, but I slipped the edge so the collar seems to really pull in.  Whooops, live and learn for next time.
Feedback?:
  • Yarn – The color of Kindling was nice, although there were all sorts of funny felty joins in the yarn.  Not enough to find concerning but after the Felici incident I was kinda of annoyed.  I have other sock yarns I like more, but Stroll Tonal is great for those who are looking for a hand dyed look at not indie hand dyed price.
  • Pattern – Nice pattern, although there was some errata that thanks to Rav pattern system I was able to get the updated pattern while I was knitting so there was no trouble for me.  It is great that you can make a whole bunch of sizes in all sorts of different yarn weights on the same pattern.

Re-Knit?: Quite possibly, but never again in fingering, DK would be a nice weight.

FO: Forest Baby Legwarmies

I hope that a baby's feet are a bit smaller than bear feat because these were a bit tough to put on.

So as I mentioned before, there is a bit of a baby boom going on with my sister’s friends, but when I heard that one friend in particular was expecting I broke down and started planning out baby knits.  While I really like this friend, she is also a guinea pig, a test to see what sort of knitting I want to do for the impending baby boom amongst my friends (who are still in the wedding boom phase).

This was the first item I finished and I’m quite pleased with the Legwarmies pattern by Alana Dakos of Never Not Knitting (and more recently Coastal Knits fame).  It is the kind of item I probably could have figured out on my own, but this was just easier.  I have finished up all the baby knits and you will be seeing them over  the next couple of days.

I ran knitting elastic through each of the cuffs to help them keep their sproing between washings. I didn't tension the elastic while installing so it won't make the legs to tight, and because it was installed after finishing the knit, if the baby finds it uncomfortable the mum can just cut it out without damaging the knitting.

– Details –

Project Name: Forest Baby Legwarmies

Pattern: Legwarmies by Alana Dakos of Never Not Knitting

Recipient: Forest Baby (this is a nickname Carla and I came up for this baby because the family lives in a cute little cabin in the forests of Carling Township)

Yarn: KnitPicks Felici Sport in Recess (a 2011 Color)

Modifications:

  • Knit TAAT  (Two At A Time) – That way there was just knitting, no counting
  • Extra Long – I wanted to use up most of the single ball I had
  • Elasticized Cuff – I followed the instructions on TECHknitter (who if you haven’t read her before, go now, she is awesome) and used some tan colored knitters elastic I got at my local sewing store.

New Skills:

  • Elasticized Cuff – I can’t see myself doing this for socks, but I would consider it in a beret or two that sack out too quick.

Feedback:

  • Yarn- This was my first disappointing experience with Felici, the ball had a disgusting join and big jump in color.  This is the first time this has happened to me.  I ended up cutting out a big section and using a magic knot (scroll down to find the video, I didn’t want to link straight to YouTube because I find it startling when videos autoplay when I open a link) I reattached the colors, however I wasn’t thinking and I ended up making the green section too long.  I decided it didn’t matter as the kid would never notice and mismatched stripes are kinda cute.   I know this happens with yarn, and I am not going to freak out over it, I have tons of Felici in my stash that is totally fine so this was a fluke ball.
  • Pattern- The pattern was fine, it is the kind of thing I could have figured out myself, but it was nice having a pattern, also it was a good starting point for sizing as I have never really been around infants.

Re-Knit?:  Very likely, this along with the Baby Vertabrae, which will be published tomorrow, are in the running for my go-to baby gift knitting, however there is another good contender, the Tourmaline Set, which is finished and will be up here early next week.

In like a lion …

I finished the brown sweater to the left and cast on all the projects on the right.

Yesterday the weather seemed to sure be following the old adage, the winds were whipping the snow/rain was sideways and it felt like winter and spring were doing battle.  In honor of that miserable I decided that I turn my weekend in to a knitting retreat and I managed to finish and block the brown baby sweater and cast on the blue one.

This image was just too cute to not share.

I also cast on my March Sock, and fought with some double points as I cast on a Comfy Chubby Chirp, my attempt to finally free myself from the last of my baby blanket cotton/acrylic.

Oh an on Friday, because I knew I was headed to a boring seminar in the after noon I cast on a pair of plain vanilla socks like my just finished Recess pair.  These are intended to be purse socks and bonus to my Year of Socks scheme, so we will see how quickly they get finished.

So not only is the weather coming in like a lion, adding all these new March cast-ons to the Brick Cowl I have been working on since the TFA KAL in January, I have a heckuva month of knitting ahead.

WIP Wednesday: February 22nd

So the baby sweater just needs longer sleeves and the front ribbing/collar and the Red Label cowl is growing. I managed to get the legwarmies off the needles and all they need is some elastic in the cuffs (which I have, but haven't done yet) and a trip through the washer.