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.

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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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The next wave approaches …

So earlier this year I was prepping for what is an inevitability of growing up, that  my cohort would start having babies.  I wanted to get a sense of what a person should knit for babies, and used baby Nico as a test run.

I ended up knitting two “sets” a Puerperium Cardigan  Sweater in Tourmaline by Sweet Georgia Yarns and Baby Vertebrae Sweater in Kindling by KnitPicks both by Kelly Booker.

Nico is now six months old (and still wearing the brown sweater) and over Thanksgiving I heard that two of my cousins are expecting babies in April!

I’m really happy for both families, and these are the first babies in several years.

One family is planning on finding out their baby’s gender while the other is  not, so I’m trying to plan out matching/coordinating knits in coordinating and gender neutral colors.  I’m expecting that there will be lots and lots of pictures of these two together (because the mom in one family and the dad in the other are siblings).

Seeing how much love the brown sweater has had I know I want to make ones for the new babies, and the blue sweater was just so cute (and perfect for pictures) so they will each get one of those.  I just need to hear about the gender of one of the babies and then I can pick the yarns.  Of course I have till April to get these done, I do want to get a fresh start on these in the new year.

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.

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.

What to knit for a baby boom?

Two of the three yarns were in my stash and I spent most of yesterday swatching and trying to cast on.

Here in the town of Parry Sound, pop. 6,191 (according to the 2011 Census figures released last week) we are having a mini-baby boom, well at least amongst the people I know.  Between last October and this October I know 8 couples (most who are friends of my sister) who have had, or are expecting a baby. And they are all boys, well not exactly, one couple adopted a beautiful little girl and for one person the gender isn’t known, yet.

Most of these folks aren’t close enough to rate knitting, but one, who is expecting a boy in May, totally is.  She is a very close friend of my sister and Carla is hosting her baby shower.  So when faced with the imminent arrival of an adorable baby boy what is a person to knit?

Right now I am considering some Legwarmies by Alana Dakos made from some KnitPicks Felici Sport, a super soft, superwash self-striping yarn, actually the same stuff I am making my just finished pair of vanilla socks out of.  I am also thinking I will take a hint from the Yarn Harlot who made a Puerperium Cardigan by Kelly Brooker for one of the littles in her life.  I know it is silly to make such a tiny sweater, but it so freaking cute and I found a great color of SweetGeorgia Superwash DK to make it in.  Also the Baby Vertabrae by Kelly Brooker is also totally adorable, and made out of sock weight, KnitPicks Stroll Tonal in Kindling a really nice brown, in a larger size can serve all through the cool summer evenings and crisp fall mornings.

I have some very small, and adorable knits up next, but I haven’t forgotten about my Sock of the Month plan, I am knitting away on my stripe-y vanilla socks and then I will jump straight to the legwarmies and then into my next pair of socks, Staked by Glenna C out of a nice red yarn, the TFA 2011 Year in Colour club shipment from November.  Of course when I ordered the SweetGeorgia for the Forest Baby (as we call the baby I’m knitting for) I had to throw in some sock yarns to try out, so I have some BFL Sock, Silk Crush Sock and Tough Love Sock headed this way.  But I won’t be swayed, Buffy socks like Staked need to make from a nice red yarn.

On Autumn and Knitting Plans

This is what it looked like at work on Sunday morning ... yes, there are some perks to my job.

The weather is starting to change here, and while I know we will have at least two more blasts of summer, you can tell that Winter is Coming (and no I haven’t read A Song of Fire and Ice, yet) by the chill in the air.  After getting practically nothing knit this summer (okay I did get some knitting done, but I miss how much knitting I was getting done when I was marginally employed, although I couldn’t afford yarn), I went through and reordered my queue, because my knitting bug is back with a vengence.

Unlike my sister, who plans her knitting projects around the seasons, I am a bit more random (we are a perfect examples of a product knitter and a process knitter).  However, now that fall is on our doorstep I am starting focus a bit more on getting through my queue and turning my closet of wool into wearable objects, because right now it is only giving me a mental warm fuzzy feeling not a physical one.

So here is what we have next, however this is subject to change pending the release of jaw dropping new patterns, like the ones in the Fall 2011 Brooklyn Tweed LookBook (which just about knocked my socks off when it came out a couple of weeks ago.

I want to make this scarf/shawl, it is #6 on the queue so not quite yet.

Seeing as how I have been slacking at WIP Wednesdays, I do have a project on the needles, it is the Thundercloud Cowl by Snowden Becker, however since I only have one skein of KnitPicks Aloft, it will be shorter than the pattern describes.

Also on my needles, just barely, is the first half of the October Pair of the Woodland Winter Mittens.  This kit contains enough KnitPicks Palette to make six pairs of mittens, themed for the months of October to March.  They are fun colorwork mittens and they have been sitting in my stash since last January. I am planning on keeping on adding the next months pair to my queue till I get them all done.  I know many people find Palette to be evil, scratchy and felty, I however find it warm, lofty, soft and felty. For me the felty nature of palette helps make the mittens warmer and more windproof, something you need here year round, but most critically in the winter.

So, here is my list.  You all can keep me honest now that I have confessed my fall knitting plans.

After that, I am going to try and finish off the KnitPick Comfy Sport stash I picked up and turned about half into My First Crocheted Blanket.  I am going to make a baby sweater and possibly (depending on what is left) matching hat and baby socks/booties.  I am going to use the Playtime Colors Pattern, because it was designed for KP Shine (Cotton/Modal) Sport, which is quite similar to KP Comfy (although the Modal will give more shine and drape than Acrylic will).  Also, it uses multiple colors, which is good, because I need to get this moved out of my stash.  The Comfy is a nice yarn, but I do prefer wools and future baby things will probably be made out of superwash wool, rather than cotton.  The other reason for doing this pattern is that it uses a more complex sweater construction than the top-down seamless cardigan I made last fall.  I may want to start knitting garments at some point (because I will reach a point where I have enough mitts, hats, cowls and socks to keep me happy for a good long while), and making small garments is a good way to try out some new skills.

After that, another pair of Palette Mittens.  This time Strago by Jared Flood.  I have had this pattern in my queue for a while, but there is something about fall that makes me want to have an obscene number of mittens, and again Palette because it is versatile, cheap (or was when I bought it) and warm. I think this color work will be a nice change from the more involved Woodland Winter Mittens, that will be dotting up all winter.

So, after warming my hands (and some mystery, yet to be born child) I think it will be time for a hat.  Capucine has been in my queue since I first saw it being knit by Phat Fiber folks. It seems like an ideal hat for me in the winter, because I prefer earflaps on my hats, but I look insane if I wear an earflap hat, so hopefully this cap, along with the Lara pattern from the Twist Collective last winter will fit well  and look good on me.  The yarn for this comes from a local fiber producer.  I used the same stuff on a Mobeus Cowl for my Mom last winter, and while it is scratchy (it is farm fresh wool), I think the pattern will leave room for lining if needed.

Guess it is time for the November’s Woodland Winter Mittens.  Not much to say here, but I sure hope I like these patterns, because there are another four pairs after this one.

Finally, some crochet.  I loved making the Baby Blanket and watching Carla make her hexagons, so I thought I need to crochet more often.  Initially I had bought the tosh DK I am using for this to make a large triangle shawl, however, I don’t wear triangle shawls, at all., I love crescent shawls and stoles, but traditional triangle shawls aren’t for me.  So instead I found the pattern for this Calm Cowl (cowls being one of my favorite things to knit or wear). I am excited to crochet with a nice yarn and make something larger than a hexagon.

So those are my next five projects (not including the two already on the needles), hopefully I will have some finished objects to start showing off soon.

P.S.  If you are on Ravelry, feel free to come check out my live Queue, it is always changing, but I do have some awesome stuff planned (and for most of them I already have yarn, yikes).