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Posts Tagged ‘baby’

In 2018, I completed:

  • 7 pairs of socks
  • 7 hats (including 1 headband)
  • 4 other accessories (2 cowls, a shawl, a crocheted scarf)
  • 2 sweaters (one of which was cast on over 3 years ago, and one of which I cast on last year)
  • 1 baby blanket

Of the items above, 3 of them were knit for work – for blog posts and/or photo shoots.

In chronological order of completion:

Not pictured above, 1 pair of socks I never took any photos of!

If you want details on any of these, and you’re on Ravelry, check them out in my Ravelry projects.

The Cube Socks were particularly interesting. They’re knit using a new-to-me method of intarsia, and I wrote two posts for the Interweave blog – one for WIP Wednesday and one for FO Friday.

I started the Cabled Turtleneck last year, in November. It then sat in my knitting bag from March until this past November, when I finally pulled it back out, knit the second sleeve, and finished it off. I used Ann Budd’s The Knitter’s Handy Book of Sweater Patterns for the basic set-in sleeve sweater structure, and incorporated Barbara McIntire’s cable pattern from The Great American Aran Afghan booklet.

After finding the Miki hat pattern on Ravelry, I liked it so much I ended up knitting four hats and a headband out of it! I may end up using it for socks at some point as well.

Finally, my Random Stripe Boxy sweater. I started it on May 3, 2015 and finally finished it on December 28, 2018. It was absolutely worth weaving in a ridiculous number of ends created by all of the color changes! I had three semisolid skeins of Caper Sock that I bought to knit a Color Affection Shawl… then later came to the realization that I simply don’t wear shawls. I also had another two skeins of Caper Sock in the Nerrivik colorway that I bought sometime after the other three skeins, but before I accepted the fact that I’m not a shawl person. Fortunately, the Nerrivik colorway coordinated nicely with the semisolid shades, so I combined them for the sweater. I still have enough Nerrivik and Peridot (the lime green colorway) to knit a pair of socks with contrasting toe/heel/cuff or some other two-color accessory.

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So, now that our new niece, Cora, has arrived and the gifts have been given, I can share them with the rest of the world…

Cora’s Blanket & Sweater

  • Patterns: Cradle Me (blanket) and Inky Dinky (jacket) by Anne Hanson
  • Yarn: Plymouth Encore DK, color #233 (lavender)
  • Needles: U.S. 5 (3.75mm) & U.S. 6 (4.0mm) for Cradle Me; U.S. 3 (3.25mm) & U.S. 4 (3.5mm) for Inky Dinky
  • Cradle Me started February 9, finished April 6, 2011; Inky Dinky started April 7, finished April 19, 2011
  • Links to my Ravelry project pages: Cradle Me, Inky Dinky (login required)

Of course, any time there is a new baby arriving in the family, I’m going to be making something. Traditionally, I’ve made handwoven baby blankets. Unfortunately, I don’t have a space to set up my loom right now with all the remodeling going on in our house — it’s still folded up under a blanket in the unfinished dining room. So this time, I opted for knitting. These patterns by Anne Hanson feature a matching lace motif. The jacket pattern offers a wide range of sizes and also includes a matching hat, which I did not make. The blanket was a very easy knit — obviously, since there’s no construction, just a big square. And the jacket was surprisingly easy, too; it’s knit in one piece from the bottom up to the armpits, then the sleeves are knitted separately and joined to knit the yoke in the round.


Inky Dinky, a closer view

And a Mother’s Day gift…

Finishing things up seems to happen in threes. Here’s the third item — a scarf I started last fall which became a Mother’s Day gift for my Mom. It’s a circular scarf that can be worn as-is and longer, or doubled up as a cowl. Heck, you can even double it up and have half around your neck and the other half over your head if it’s cold. Mom doesn’t like things up close to her neck so much, so she’ll probably be wearing it long most of the time. This is my own design which was “homework” for work — it was included in a sheet of free patterns that Patternworks sent out with the purchase of certain limited-edition yarns (which are sold out now, unfortunately).

Circular Scarf for Mom

  • Pattern: my own unnamed design
  • Yarn: Fiesta Yarns Baby Boom, Surf colorway
  • Needles: U.S. 5 (3.75mm)
  • Started September 4, 2010; finished April 19, 2011
  • Link to my Ravelry project page (login required)

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I have just been dying to blog this one, but had to wait because it’s a Christmas gift for my nephew who just turned 1 year old on Christmas Eve.

billysweater_xl

Not a particularly attractive pic… hopefully I’ll have a modeled shot to add once Billy actually grows into it. This is the “Striped Top” pattern from Debbie Bliss Quick Baby Knits. I cheated a little and used a self-patterning yarn (Trekking XXL sock yarn) instead of two shades of solid yarn alternating for stripes. The whole project went a little faster than I thought it would, considering it’s a seamed sweater and I had to reknit the neck/shoulder shaping on the back because I missed the “work on these stitches for 9 rows” part… twice (left and right sides). Plus, there were times when I had to let it sit to finish up other projects. And let’s not forget that I left it on the spare bed with blocking pins stuck in it for a whole week before I seamed it up all in one afternoon/night.

This is the 24-month size. Had there been an 18-month size in the pattern instructions, I would have made that. But it went right from 12 months to 24 months. And when checking the pattern measurements (of the finished sweater — and mine matches that) against Craft Yarn Council sizing standards (actual body measurements, so you need to allow for negative or positive ease, depending on what the item is), I think this is sized a bit large for 24 months. Granted, several of the photos in the book show the various garments looking a bit oversized on the kiddie models, but this one looked more normal. Anyway, CYC states the actual chest measurement of a 24-month-old child (for clothing sizing purposes) is 20 inches. The chest measurement of this sweater is 29.5 inches. I think nearly 10 inches of ease on a toddler garment may be just a wee bit too much, no? Well, at least the bright side is that he’ll eventually grow into it. Better that than make something he’s already outgrown!

billysweaterbuttons_xlI was also very happy to find just the perfect buttons for this. It would be a great sweater with jeans or olive/tan/brown pants, and the buttons (not sure if you can see it that well in the photo) have sort of a denim-y look to them as far as color and texture.

For those on Ravelry, here’s a link to my project page for the sweater.

billyssweatersox_xlSince I had about half a ball of Trekking left over, I made a pair of socks to match the sweater. I decided to keep these on the larger side, too, in anticipation of him possibly wearing the sweater next fall/winter as well. These are just simple toe-up socks knit two at a time on magic loop, with a stockinette stitch foot, short-row heel and ribbed leg. Made the leg a bit long so they could be worn with or without a folded cuff.

Up next… I’ll be knitting a sweater (Ballerina Top from the same book as the sweater above) for a friend’s granddaughter who was just born last Friday. And I’ll finally be starting an adult-sized sweater for me as well. Hopefully that will turn out better than my first attempts at adult-sized sweaters!

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As promised, here’s the pattern I used for the class I taught on toe-up socks 2-at-a-time on magic loop!

  • This pattern is written for knitting 2 socks at a time on one long circular needle (magic loop). I recommend a needle at least 32” long – but I prefer a 40” circular needle for magic loop.
  • Pattern features a stockinette stitch foot, short-row heel with no wraps, a short ribbed leg, and rolled stockinette cuff. Pattern assumes you know Judy’s Magic Cast On (or other toe-up cast-on) — or follow the link provided to learn how.
  • Two sizes are offered for circumference: 0-12 months is approx. 4” sock circumference, unstretched; 12-36 months is approx. 5.25” sock circumference, unstretched. (The pattern calls for Cascade Fixation, which is very stretchy; the pattern is designed to work with the stretchiness.) To further adjust the fit of the sock, a sizing chart is offered in the pattern, listing child’s shoe size, approximate age, and suggested sock foot length.
  • Notions: long circular needle with a flexible cable (size US 5/3.75mm), stitch marker(s), darning/tapestry needle

If that sounds good to you, and you’d like to make these, go ahead and download the pattern (PDF format). Enjoy!

P.S. Here are the other two pairs of socks — the sample pair I had partway done for the class (blue), and the pair I started during class (pink).

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Just a quickie post today — I tweaked the Helical Stripe Baby Hat pattern just slightly, and uploaded a revised PDF file.

Lemme guess… you can’t tell the difference between this one and the previous one, can you? That’s the beauty of helical stripes. The only change was instead of dividing up the hat into 5 equal sections (since I have 5 colors, including white), I divided it into 4 equal sections so that I’m not knitting one color with more stitches on each round (kind of hard to explain — trust me, it’s better this way, although the first one wasn’t “wrong” the way it was).

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Earlier this summer, Grumperina featured a pair of helical stripe socks on her blog. I was really intrigued by the concept and sort of filed it away in my brain for a while. Fast-forward to this past Friday, when I picked up several pastel shades of Italian cotton yarn (Filatura di Crosa’s Porto Cervo) that was on clearance at Yarns R Us, figuring I would make some more baby hats for the hospital.

(click the photo to see it larger)

I actually hadn’t thought of doing the helical stripes at first, but then the lightbulb went off. I had five colors total: pink, yellow, green, blue, and good ol’ white (1 ball of each, except for the white — two balls of that). I started at the top with a length of i-cord to be tacked down into a little loop later, then increased like crazy. I didn’t like how it turned out at first — I kept using the white till I was finished with the increases, but it was too much. I wanted to start the stripes much sooner. So I started over, again with the i-cord. Then I started adding the other colors as soon as I had a stitch count divisible by 5 (15 stitches). Increased a whole bunch more while working the helical stripes, until I had a hair more than 80 stitches on the needle. Then I just worked even in the helical stripes to the length I wanted, and switched to all white for the rolled edge. Voila!

  • Needle: US 5 Addi Turbo, 40″ (magic loop technique used)
  • Yarn: Filatura di Crosa Porto Cervo (100% cotton, aran weight), 10 grams each pink, yellow, green, blue and 20 grams white
  • Started: 8/30/08 (and ripped and re-started 8/31/08)
  • Finished: 9/1/08
  • Gauge: Approx. 5-5.5 stitches per inch, stockinette
  • Construction: Top-down, stockinette, rolled edge

I quickly wrote up some simple instructions — please note, however, that these instructions are extremely basic and have not been thoroughly proofread/tested. (It’s not rocket science and if you make a mistake while knitting this, it most likely isn’t going to be a serious one — plus it’s a quick knit and doesn’t take a lot of yarn. You can even use scraps!) Click to download PDF instructions.

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Say hello to my newest FO, Nautie the Nautiloid. He’s an Easter/Baptism gift for my nephew, Billy. I’ll confess I didn’t enjoy the “process” of knitting this as much as I enjoy knitting socks, hats, scarves, etc. Maybe because I used 2 circular needles instead of double-points. With having to stuff as the shell is knit and coiled, the technique doesn’t work as well as it does with socks. It gets very tight (especially since this is a pattern that needs to be knit tightly due to the stuffing) and the hands can get cramped up a lot. I’d love to hear from other knitters who’ve knitted Nautie on DPNs as the pattern calls for. Did you have the same problems with maneuverability?

One key modification I made was in knitting the head. I read through the instructions and found that they called for casting on and knitting the head separately (you bind off the shell so that it rolls back slightly and the head sits just inside). That just seemed silly to me. Why knit a separate piece and have that sewing to do afterward? I’m sure the designer had her reasons, but I decided to instead pick up stitches four rows down on the inside and knit it right onto the shell. I hadn’t stuffed the shell completely to the top when I finished it, so I was able to get in there and do this. Part way through, I wondered if I would have problems stuffing the head, but it was very easy. After the first few decrease rounds, I stuffed it full, and then after finishing the last round I stuffed the rest. The hole was still big enough that I could get a finger in there. I also used a knitting needle to help poke stuffing down into the head. It certainly looks much neater than it ever would have if I had sewed it! My sewing skills are not the greatest.
The absolute most fun part of this whole project was knitting on the eight i-cord tentacles after finishing the head. I love me some i-cord. It’s the easiest thing in the world to knit and it’s FAST. Plus, it’s a highly functional bit of knitting. You can tie all sorts of things up with it, use it as an edging, join afghan squares together with it, or — heck– make freakin’ tentacles for a nautiloid! (I even loved i-cord as a kid. I remember having this really long, multicolored i-cord that was like six feet long — made from one of those little spool-knitter thingies — that I used to tie around my sleeping bag after rolling it up, since it either didn’t have ties or they broke off. It served me for many years at camp in the summer, and held the sleeping bag together in the attic for the rest of the year.)

Another great thing about this project is that I didn’t have to buy one single new supply to make it. I’ve had a huge bag of polyester stuffing sitting around for years (and I still have a lot left…) that I’m thrilled I finally got a chance to use, the shell and head were made from three colors of Caron Simply Soft leftover from handwoven baby blankets I made, and the eyes are a little bit of black Pearl yarn leftover from a college weaving project that currently covers our electrical panel in the workout room, plus a teeny bit of white Simply Soft (more baby blanket leftovers) for a highlight on the eyes.

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