I feel like, like most knitters, I have a fondness for the winter season, if only to see how many knitted things I can wear at one time.
(Three: mittens not pictured)
Because of the whole new-baby-struggle-to-even-keep-myself-alive-let-alone-a-baby thing I’ve been going through, I decided for this holiday season to calm my knitted gift knits and limit my number of recipients and to only knit hats.
Somehow I managed to finish all of them plus a last minute surprise for Husband – shush! I know he reads this blog!
I loved doing all of them. Pennyroyal is a simple and easy pattern with a little kick. I’m actually tempted to knit one for myself since recently I’ve been craving a new toque.
This Cafe au Lait tam has been in my head for months now since I bought the skein of BaaRamEwe’s Dovestone DK at my cousin’s shop when she was getting rid of it. I knew the colour was perfect for my mum, and I’ve been loving knitting with Dovestone on other projects that we won’t talk about because they’re currently being neglected.
I had knit the Fuck It hat before for my dad, who promptly let his ex-wife borrow it then lose it, which is why he asked for another one (and this’ll be the last one for him ever). I luckily still had some Cascade 200 leftover from the first time, but for the other one I went a bit more…feminine.
There is something incredibly pleasing about knitting naughty words in a beautiful pink. And what luscious pinks they were! The words are knit in West Yorkshire Spinner’s The Croft Shetland Tweed in Heylor, and the MC is The Fibre Co.’s Cumbria in Cowberry. I am grateful that this pattern doesn’t use up a full ball of either because that means leftovers for me! Merry Christmas, everyone, and Happy Holidays!
Sorry for the accidental hiatus there. I promise that I didn’t mean to but, well, c’est la vie avec le bebe. And then, well, we went to Hawaii for a week.
The thing I regret not doing most in Hawaii is actually not remembering to take a picture of my knitting in paradise. Sigh. But! The good news is I finished one sleeve of my totally last minute, selfish cast on of Divide by Emily Greene, knit in BT’s Arbor in the colourway Klimt.
Miles loves it as much as I do. I hadn’t knit with Arbor before but had snagged 2 skeins of it from Needles in the Hay when it first came into stock; so when my cousin offered me the Divide pattern, I immediately claimed dibs on most of the remaining Klimt to make it. True knitter that I am, I at first reasoned with myself that I would wait until all my Christmas knitting was done, and I had at least started the second sleeve of my Netherton cardigan…but then realized what a perfect travel project sleeves make, and Bob’s your uncle. Now I have a sleeve.
But I really couldn’t help it! I have fallen absolutely head over heels in love with Arbor. When I started knitting with it, all I could think was, “what is this magic?!” It’s light and bouncy with all the goodness of pure wool that I adore. The colour isgorgeous and the stitch definition is ridiculous; I would willingly knit inches upon inches of twisted rib just for this definition. Oh, Arbor, you seductress.
It is really taking all my will power now that we’re home to refocus on Christmas knitting rather than the second sleeve. My goal this week is to finish the Fuck It Hat I started in The Fibre Co. Cumbria and West Yorkshire Spinners The Croft, both in lovely shades of femininity, which takes the hat to a whole new level of awesome.
My second goal this week is to also start a tam of sorts for my mum in baa ram ewe Dovestone Aran in Bantam, aka red. Once these two hats are completed, the only other Christmas knitting is a possible cardigan for Miles – but at least if I’m a little late, he really won’t notice. I hope.
I very quickly finished the Barley I talked about in my last post for Miles, and love it so much that I’ve been debating casting on another one for a upcoming baby’s birthday present.
On the other WIPs front, Miles’s new Flax Light sweater is coming along slowly but surely. I’ve hit the body which means straight knitting now until the bottom ribbing so my attention has wandered a bit despite my love of the wonderful little garter rows the Mechita knits up.
And then, of course, because I have no self control and found my leftover balls of Rios, I decided Miles needed a Stacked Stag-horn Baby Sweater, like, now.
Since taking this picture, I’ve finished the body and started a sleeve. It’s knit up wonderfully quick compared to the Flax Light and even the Netherton cardigan I’ve also been working on in DK. Ah, worsted weight, it’s almost your season again.
I know, I know. I’ve got mad startitis and I just can’t stop myself! I think part of the issue is that I’ve mostly given up trying to knit during the day with Miles because, well, things like this happen:
So now I reserve my post-Miles-bedtime time for knitting. This means roughly 3 hours or less where I try to cram in as much knitting as I can. Sigh.
I was hoping to have a picture of a finished Netherton body to show you but, well, mandatory cuddles have gotten in my way lately.
Anyways. Since I’ve been working on actually leaving my child alone at bedtime and forcing myself downstairs for some me time (hallelujah for early baby bedtimes!) I’m almost done the body but not quite yet.
I’ve just started the waistband except I keep having the jiggling sensation that this isn’t the right size.
You see, since having a baby, I’ve *ahem* grown in certain areas, making it a little bit harder for me to judge my size and whether or not I’ll stay this size forever. Of course, I measured and low and behold! I have a 37″ bust and the size 3 is for 37″ busts! How wonderful!
….until I reread the sizing section when I divided for the body discovered I hadn’t taken into account the suggested/intended negative ease. Bugger all.
So like I mentioned in my last post, I was getting slightly anxious to finish my Lovely Ribbed Cowl, which I did…
…and move on to what I had had plans for the Dovestone DK I had recently bought, which I did…until I didn’t like what I had planned anymore. Sigh.
Luckily (or unluckily for my wallet) while visiting Needles in the Hay yesterday, I finally discovered what the Dovestone was truly calling for:
The Netherton Cardigan in the new PomPom anniversary edition magazine. I couldn’t help it really. I’ve been thinking about that beautiful cardigan since the last time I had been at the shop, and even though I would have loved it in the yellow, I figured the green I had bought was a good substitute.
I’ll be playing a little bit of yarn chicken with the sleeves as there were only 2 more skeins of the green left but that’s ok. I usually prefer more elbow length sleeves anyways so I’m not terribly worried – just excited!
Did you know that WordPress has an app?! I truly didn’t and now, voila! I’m currently one-handedly typing this while breastfeeding a sleepy babe and I’m quite impressed with myself (and the app)!
Anyways, in knitting news I’ve been surprisingly productive. I managed to finish a baby sweater gift while at the cottage yesterday, and am halfway through the Lovely Ribbed Cowl I wrote about last time.
I’m pretty in love with Luma and want to knit everything in it. I can’t wait to see how it blocks out.
And surprisingly I haven’t gone stark raving mad from the continuous ribbing. I think it’s mostly from the fact that I’m just happy to be knitting.
I do have to admit though that I am getting slightly excited/anxious to finish this project and move on to the one I’m planning for some of the Dovestone I bought. There’s just something about roughspun wool yarns that always call to me, and lately it’s what I crave. This is one of the things I love about Luma: it’s not a pure wool but it satisfies me in the same way a traditional wool yarn would.
Don’t get me wrong: I love the beautiful, special-dyed yarns like Sweet Georgia, Fleece Artist, or Koigu, just to name a couple of my favs. But for me there is nothing more satisfying or more knitterly than a classic sweater in a good, sturdy wool. And right now since sweater knitting is a little out of the picture other than baby ones, I’ll have to settle for accessories.
Yesterday I took Miles to one of my favourite places in the whole world: my cousin’s shop, Needles in the Hay. And while he may have been more concerned about getting in another feed and poop before we headed home, I loaded up.
I even managed to cast on and get an inch or so in when we got home.
This is the start of a Lovely Ribbed Cowl from Purl Soho – something nice and easy that can easily be picked up and put down as often as a crying newborn dictates – being knit in The Fibre Co.’s Luma (in the Willow colourway). I am so in love with this yarn so far; it’s a combination of wool, cotton, linen and silk and just feels cool yet warm all at the same time. I’m not usually a huge linen or cotton fan; I rarely knit with them although I do love the idea of them, but this yarn seems to be the best of both fibre worlds for me. It makes me wish I were knitting a drapey sweater that I know could be worn all year round.
On top of the Luma, I grabbed (from left to right): Dovestone DK in Chevin, Dovestone Natural Aran in Armley, 2 skeins of Shibui Drift in Brownstone, and the Grasslands Saskatchewan colourway of Fleece Artist’s National Parks collection for the 150th anniversary.
I’ve never worked with any of these yarns before (just oohed and aahed and squished wishingly) and am SO EXCITED! Squeeeeeeee!!
What’s the latest yarn you’ve gotten that you’re excited to work with?
As promised, the last couple weeks have flown by as we’ve been settling in to our new digs, and even while writing this sentence somehow a full 24 hours has passed since I’ve been able to complete it. Oy.
We are, happily, almost all settled in and unpacked with the last few remaining boxes hanging out (including a box where all my finished baby knits from Calgary were hiding! The sad part though? Apparently I definitely leaned more towards the girlish knits, with only 2 of the knits “suitable” for a wee boy. Wah.), mostly because I need them moved but they are too heavy for me to lift, handle or shuffle around. Le sigh. However, this means I have more of a reason now to make sure I take rests and do more things like knit – something that has been sadly lacking in my life since we moved.
On Saturday night though, Husband had a guys night/diaper party at our new digs and because I had no energy to leave the house, Jasper and I hid upstairs to watch movies and work on a Little Baby Sweater for Boy.
I forgot how much I love this little pattern. I’ve knit it multiple times before for other friends and hadn’t thought to knit one for Boy until a few weeks ago. Considering how chilly it’s still been here, I figured he may appreciate it.
Anyways, that’s my quick update. Please excuse me while I go finish my morning tea and organize some books.
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…
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!