Since in less than 2 days (2 days!!!) my life is going to start turning topsy-turvy with the whole moving into a new house thing and then inevitable giving birth thing (4 weeks until D-Day, people….so long as he stays in there…) I wanted to give a quick and clean (because all these FOs have been blocked to a T) of some of the projects I’ve seemed to crank out in a nesting freak-out. As my stepdad would say: voila les enfants!
Walk in the Woods shawl by Lisa Hannes, knit in Quince & Co. Lark in Poppy & Glacier. I was a bit worried about the finished size of this but as per usual, a good blocking settled it out and I am pretty satisfied. I even got to wear it yesterday as it was a particularly blustery, if sunny, day.
A completely finished Playdate cardigan with buttons to match.
The infamous Stripey Dungarees that I was really, really, really not looking forward to sewing snaps onto, only to be told by my gram that there are other ways to attach snaps! Thank you, Fabricland, for having no-sew snaps that look fantastic even though you have lousy customer service.
And finally, if not completely finished, at least completely blocked, my Floral Jumper. The shoulders are now seamed and all that’s left is armbands and the sides (and potentially an attempt at sewing in some elastic on the waistband).
Wish me luck on the moving and give me the will not to go insane, as I have a feeling I will, or at least to not try to attempt things that a 9 month preggo should not be doing in the first place.
Over the last week I’ve been both incredibly productive in my knitting – finishing the second piece of my Floral Jumper, finally (if albeit lazily) blocking out the baby knits I’ve been meaning to, and finishing my Walk in the Woods shawl – and yet so fickle all at the same time since I cast on another new baby sweater (a Little Baby Sweater by Purl Soho, which is one of my favourite things to knit for babies and that even I had been surprised I hadn’t cast on for Boy yet) and a pair of Hooties by Kedi Kedi.
Really I blame the Hooties on my swatch for the Little Baby Sweater, which I used mostly to debate colour combinations – knowing I wanted to use some leftover Cascade Yarns Heritage Solids as the MC but unsure what would be a good contrast to the extremely vibrant red.
So I surprised myself and swatched and I’m glad I did because I went into thinking that I would totally end up using the mini skein of Hedgehog Fibres Sock (in Crybaby) that I’ve been dying to use since I bought it only to decide I liked the grey contrast of the leftover Neighborhood Fiber Co. Studio Sock (in Thomas Circle) much, much better.
But…the Crybaby! It called to be used. Needed to be used. I had already used most of the skein of Pollen I had bought with intentions of pairing with it for that Playdate cardigan, where was my empathy for Crybaby? So I did the only rational thing I could think of: cast on a pair of Hooties.
I do have to admit these were a wee bit frustrating to start; 26 sts in fingering weight on 3.25mm needles (yes, I upped my needle size because I have never seen a set of 3mm needles before) can be super finicky and annoying and thank gosh there’s only 26 sts per row…but luckily the finished results were totally worth it.
I ended up using some of the Pollen colourway for the soles (and I still have some leftover again!) and to embroider little x’s on for the eyes. I basically spent a good ten minutes gushing over them to Husband when I was finished them because
a) I can’t believe that there’s someone with small enough feet to fit into these, and
b) It only took me an hour and 20 minutes to make one. It’s true. I timed myself.
I’m seriously considering making another pair, although now I’m really trying to refocus and finish up completely some of my other projects. Like sewing snaps on the freshly “blocked” dungarees (I’m dreading this), and buttons on Playdate (I don’t think I have enough) and possibly the worst of all: properly blocking and pinning out the Floral Jumper and Walk in the Woods shawl.
Now, you might be wondering why I’m worried about blocking these. Blocking is generally my friend and a great ally for making my handknits look fantastic, and I was actually quite excited to block out both to see the differences….until I realized that somehow….in some way….I was going to have to finagle a way onto my hands and knees to shuffle around to pin them out….with an almost 9 month baby belly in my way.
Let me just emphasize a fact for anyone who has never been in this knitting or biological predicament before: I can barely roll myself out of bed in the morning without getting out of breath. How in valhalla am I going to heft my weight around to pin on the ground? But the thought of waiting to block these until after the baby is here makes inner-rational-Tor laugh and laugh and laugh because when will I ever have time to block with a newborn baby?!
Maybe my grandmother will take pity on me as that’s where I’m planning on blocking again if I decide I can actually manage it…
So maybe I’m going through another “I must finish all the WiPs NOW” nesting phase, maybe it’s because of Glenna C.’s post about getting out of a knitting slump, or maybe it’s a spring thaw causing things to come out of hibernation, but any way you look at it, I have mysteriously had the incredible insistence that I start working again on my Floral Jumper(or as I dubbed it, Party Like It’s 1949).
I started this over a year ago and ended up putting it down pretty much when we moved back to Ontario. It wasn’t a good travel project and needs a fair bit of concentration since the flowers are done in a weird intarsia/stranded method; then when I got pregnant, the thought of finishing all that work and not having it fit made me a bit sad, so I put it away to hibernate…
Until earlier this week when it’s siren call came wafting across the basement and I just couldn’t say no (although I have to admit that first I had to squish down the voice in my head that wanted to rip the entire thing back and make something else out of it…it was one of my more insane moments). And somehow I’ve managed to finish the first band of flowers on the second repeat and have high hopes to get that full second repeat done, dare I say, today?!
Friends, I’ve discovered mosaic knitting and I have to say, it is beautiful.
It really started when my cousin knit a Barnstable shawl as a sample for the shop in the new Dos Tierras yarn she got from Malabrigo (oh lordy , is that yarn lovely) and so in an attempt to stave myself off from buying new yarn, I finally cast on a Walk in the Woodsshawl using the Quince & Co. Lark I had previously purchased and had been intending for this project from the beginning. Both patterns are by Lisa Hannes, and both are (at least according to my cousin and I) highly addictive.
If you’ve never done mosaic knitting before, let me give you a brief breakdown on how it works: it is a brilliant system of doing colourwork with slipped stitches instead of stranding, which means you still only use 1 yarn per row and don’t get a bulky extra layer (handy for mittens and winter items, but sometimes not so handy if you want it to be a multi-season item)
This means you get something that looks like this:
But the back only looks like this:
Pretty snazzy, huh? I’m pretty happy with it and the fact that the mosaic technique DOESN’T create that bulky layer also makes me feel a lot better about casting on a worsted weight wool shawl in April.
I’m loving the way the Lark is knitting up, Quince & Co. always has such beautiful stitch definition, but I won’t lie, I’m still tempted to knit up another one using the recommended Rios. Especially since I still have over a skein of the Lettuce colourway left over from my Lemongrass sweater.
On a last note though, Jasper seems to like my yarn choice just fine.
I must be going through a nesting phase again because this week I’ve managed to finish off 3 different projects for Boy!
On the left we have the fully finished Puerperium Cardigan that you may remember me mentioning in this post, but now it finally has buttons! I had put off buttons for a while because this one called for a decent amount, and really, who likes sewing on buttons?
On the right we have a finished (minus the blocking and, of course, buttons)Playdate Cardigan that I had been working on in this post.
I also finished the Stripey Baby Dungarees I had been working on (minus the snaps and blocking; can you see a pattern emerging here?) but alas, forgot to take a picture.
I did, however, remember to take a picture of the newest project I cast on yesterday: an Organic Guernseyby Fawn Pea. Except my version is not so organic as it’s 100% merino wool. Can merino wool be organic!?
It’s being knit in this beautiful ‘Soper Creek Yarn’ that is specially dyed by Mineville Wool Project FOR the shop Soper Creek Yarn. I fell in love with this colourway as soon as I saw it; it reminded me of blue skies and knew it’d be a perfect baby knit. My dream for it would have been a blanket except I was already buying other yarn for another bay blanket. So I’m settling for a baby sweater. Boy’s going to feel like he’s wrapped in a cloud.
I’m not sure if I actually have enough yarn for this project as the pattern calls for; I may be about 30 yards short, but I have some extra Malabrigo Rios in Reflecting Pool I’m keeping on hand for the collar if worst comes to worst. And depending on how it turns out, I have a feeling I may be wanting to knit it again in the cotton called for for next summer!