A Quick Burst of FOs

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 PoppyGlacier. 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.

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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.

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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.

A Quick Burst of FOs

The Joy of Booties and the Challenges of Blocking While Pregnant

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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App used is Timespotter  by Classy Jackal

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.

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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…

The Joy of Booties and the Challenges of Blocking While Pregnant

A Knitting Nester

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 Guernsey by Fawn Pea. Except my version is not so organic as it’s 100% merino wool. Can merino wool be organic!?

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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!

 

A Knitting Nester

Patience is a Knitting Virtue

In my last post I whined about mentioned my lack of blocking space and how I couldn’t finish MigrationWell, please behold  what a little bit of patience will get you: a new cardigan that’s perfect (aside from the fact that I currently can’t do the buttons up, but that’s not the cardigan’s fault).

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Migration knit in scrumptious Ambrosia Yarns Woolen. You can’t see the details in the buttons but they mimic little owl eyes! I got these beauties from Gloria Patre Spin N Knit on Etsy.

Lately I feel as if my patience has constantly been tested in various aspects of my life, and knitting, as I’ve discovered over and over again, helps remind us to be as patient as we can (even when you have to do a second full wet block to get the collar unpinched…) because the wait is usually worth it. Unless you didn’t swatch and your finished project turns out to fit your 6 year old niece rather than you…

Now if only I could practice patience when it comes to WIPs and resisting the temptation to frog back projects that are 7/8s done and in fingering weight….but more on that later.

 

Patience is a Knitting Virtue

One of Those Days

It’s one of those days where something just doesn’t feel right and so to comfort myself, I’ve been carrying around a couple of skeins for inspiration.

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L-R: 2 mini-skeins of Hedgehog Fibres Sock Minis in Pollen and a mystery skein that I’m pretty sure is Cry Baby, a skein of Soper Creek Yarn exclusive worsted, and a frogged ball of Brooklyn Tweed Loft in Meterorite.

There is something infinitely comforting about having soft, squishy yarn you can cuddle when frustration takes over; especially when you discover your usual blocking area is currently occupied and so your one prominent knitting project is at a standstill until you can go to your grandmother’s to use her floor.

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the prominent knitting project in question: Migration knit in Ambrosia Yarns Woolen

It is quite possible that my entire bad mood today is based on the fact that I’m SO CLOSE to finishing Migration  but can’t until it’s blocked out. On top of that, the buttons I ordered for it arrived today. Why must you mock me, cruel fate?

So I’m contenting myself by finding the perfect project to make me feel happy again – which will probably be a baby knit – until I can finish off Migration.

On a less complainy note, I spent Sunday at Needles in the Hay and finally got a chance to flip through the newest Pom Pom magazine, and was super happy to find this illustration done by my talented cousin included with one of the articles!

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It’s so wonderful when crafting worlds collide in the most unsuspecting ways. If you like the illustration, then I highly suggest heading over to Elena’s blog/shop, Elena’s Treehouse, and checking out more of her stuff.

And then finally, this:

img_1316This is Aviara in her full glory up at Needles in the Hay. What a proud momma moment I had. I love the sweetgeorgia superwash sport – I have to admit that even after knitting this, every time I went by I had to have a touch!

Ok, I will admit: now I feel a little bit better.

One of Those Days

A Nesting Knitter

People have warned me about pregnancy and this whole “nesting” thing. Pretty much where a prego goes insane over preparing for the baby and can feel the insatiable need to:

A. Clean. My BFF has told me on countless occasions about the middle of the night nesting she had where she felt compelled to clean the baseboards on her hands and knees because they needed to be clean NOW.

B. Organize. I’ve already gone through this where I’ve rearranged my growing piles of baby supplies based on size, purpose, colour, and by cuteness factor. (I’m still not satisfied and insist that I need some plastic totes to fulfill what is, obviously, my life mission before this baby arrives)

C. Finish things. This could be anything from the insane need to buy a crib or stroller at 4 months pregnant (guilty as charged), to needing to get as many WIPs finished as soon as possible. Aaaah, now you see where I’m going with this.

I’ve gone through all 3 of those options in the last couple months (and it’s getting worse) but it’s option C that seemed to consume me last week because I finished and blocked not only Aviara, but Lemongrass as well. And the satisfaction! OH! The satisfaction!

*Just as a note before looking at the pictures that I’m almost 6 months pregnant and so the fit is very much different on me than it would be on someone who is not pregnant and I highly recommend looking at the original pattern pages linked above if you are interested in knitting either of these patterns*

Lemongrass has turned into the sweater I always knew it would be. I knit it in Malabrigo Rios in the Lettuce colourway. I only made a couple of mods to the pattern – shortening the sleeves and the turtleneck, and I very quickly did some loose stitching from the armpits to the buttons on the sides just to keep them closed. I was worried a bit while knitting it because even though I thought I was on gauge, perhaps I wasn’t, as when I tried it on pre-blocked the panels were way too small (and would still have been too small pre-pregnancy as well!) and the armpits were tight.

Ah, but my faith in Rios proved itself again and a good hearty blocking made all well. If there is anything I can recommend when it comes to working with Malabrigo (especially Rios) is this:

  1. Malabrigo blocks out a lot. So much so that sometimes I seriously contemplate not using it (mostly Rios) for hats because the bands stretch out so much (obviously this can be easily fixed by using smaller needles than recommended for the bands)
  2. If you need to use more than 1 skein, make sure to switch them every couple rows. Seriously. Lettuce has betrayed me twice with this and both times I’ve ended up with a line of colour differentiation. Even with Lemongrass, I forgot and now I have a line across my belly. Le sigh.

And speaking of yarns that block well: the finished result of the Aviara Pullover, knit in SweetGeorgia Superwash Sport in Sapphire.

Pictured above on the left is the pre-blocked pullover. It was a bit shorter than I would have liked and just generally made me look squnchy. Yup, you read me: squnchy. I’ve knit with SweetGeorgia Sport before though and I knew that really it just needed a good bath, and was I ever right! Pictured on the right is the finished blocked project, a couple inches longer, with the cables popping (not that you can see it well in that picture…) and everything else laying smoother than smooth peanut butter, with this drape that makes me swoon a bit.

I don’t think there’s much I’d change on this sweater; I think I made the sleeves a titch shorter than the pattern recommended, but otherwise I love it. It’s going to be spending some time up at Needles in the Hay and then I think it’s going to make the perfect post-pregnancy sweater (I knit it a bit bigger than my “normal” size for this purpose).

Now that I’ve gotten two sweaters off my list, I feel as if I can focus a little bit on some baby knits. I’ve already cranked out a thick winter hat for Baby Boy and have started on some overalls (overalls!!!) in some Spud & Chloe Sweater I have hanging around.

What are you working on?

A Nesting Knitter

Blocked: Aviara Pullover

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knit in SweetGeorgia Superwash Sport in Sapphire

Things are getting done around here – finally! I’ve currently got my Aviara Pullover finished and laid out to dry; which I’m sure my cousin is very happy about as this is going to be one of the new samples for her store.

My new goal for this week now is to finish the last sleeve of the Lemongrass sweater I’ve been working on since the early fall (don’t even get me started on the unfinished Breathing Space that is languishing in its project bag) since it’s pretty much the only me project that I’ve started that will still fit me and this ever-growing belly. I’ve promised myself that if I can finish Aviara (check!) and Lemongrass before my next shift at Needles in the Hay that I have permission to start Migration

Mama wants a new cardigan, and she wants it in Ambrosia Yarns.

Blocked: Aviara Pullover