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

Queued: A Mini-List of Projects I’d Like to Knit

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m a bit obsessive about queuing things up on Ravelry. I’m pretty sure my queue is actually past 400 patterns (eek!) and growing constantly. Queuing items, for me, helps me remember what patterns I’d like to do once I’m finished the ones I’m already working on, keeps gift ideas in the back of my mind, and is a handy place to keep all my favourite projects together for those frivolous days at the yarn shop when I find an extra-squishy ball of wool that demands to be taken home.

And so, since it’s a slow day at work (work on Good Friday, you may be saying, seriously? Yes, seriously) I’d like to bestow upon you guys some of my favourite future-to-do free (!!!) patterns in my queue for anyone looking for yarnspiration.

  1. Campside by Alicia Plummer

Knit in DK, I’ve been eyeing this baby for what feels like eons, but my dread of large shawls always outweighs my love of them. One day I will take the plunge.

2. Squircle by General Hogbuffer

There are 2 reasons why this is on my list: one is that it’s an innovative heel flap and two is that the name itself reminds me of what we used to call “squirrels” to our old dog. I’d love to try this in the colour patterns they’ve done!

3. Delft by RachSøgaardel 

How is this even a free pattern? The only thing keeping me from knitting this is a lack of a sewing machine for steeks and a lack of faith in my hand-stitching/crochet skills.

4. Winchester Plaid, Anti-Posession Mittens by Kat Lewinski

Whether you’re a Supernatural fan or not (but you should be) these mittens will keep you warm and toasty and are PLAID! How can you say no?

5. Venezia Glamour Shawl by Cheryl Beckerich

I love the idea of shawls knit in bulkier weights rather than traditional lace. So warm and cozy, it’s like wearing a mini blanket around your shoulders!

6. Father Cables by Veronica Jobe

I love a good unisex cabled hat. This hat will be creeping its way onto my list for future Christmas knits after an unfortunate incident last Christmas that involved a family member whose head ended up being a lot bigger than anticipated….

7. Conversationalist by Plucky Knitter Designs

This hat would be great for leftover balls of yarn and the colour choices are endless! Can you imagine a whole set for a family in coordinating colours!?!

8. Viaduct by Beata Jezek

Again, another shawl that I’ve been eyeing for eons but am afraid to start. But what a beauty project this would be when finished! And speaking of more shawls I’m afraid to start…

9. Outline by Beata Jezek

I think this is a fantastic idea for a pattern: it comes with a variation for full skeins of fingering, or for using leftovers. Brilliant!

10. Minetta by Kirsten Kapur

Minetta is a super classic cardigan knit in fingering that I could see becoming a perfect work and everyday staple. And think about how many colours this would be perfect in!

Well lovelies, there are ten of my four hundred and something queued patterns. Do you have any patterns that have been queued forever that you’re dying to do?

Queued: A Mini-List of Projects I’d Like to Knit