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We’ve missed everyone, something about that crazy business called life!

Nothing abnormal has happened to keep me from the blog, I just… haven’t done it.   I’d like to be back soon, but I don’t want to make promises I can’t keep.  For now, we’re thinking of everyone and wishing you a short winter and happy Spring!

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My new love…

Little Audrey, 10 days old.

Have I mentioned how much I love babies?

Impossible to resist

It’s not every day there’s a new baby to knit for!

Baby Surprise Snowsuit (ravelry) by Elizabeth Zimmermann and, ahem, me.

I did some second-generation improving on this version (here on ravelry) – making it joinless, and a sharper decrease at the leg cuffs.  I edited the original BSJ Snow Suit post to include my options for “improvements”, and the reasoning behind them.

I don’t really know what else to say about this thing.  Everyone’s seen BSJs before!

I do have a question for everyone though… Do you like to knit your own designs?

Audrey Susan

On Monday morning our good family friends welcomed brand new baby Audrey Susan.

Since the gender was a surprise I hadn’t done any baby knitting since the February Baptism Sweater and Bonnet.

As you can imagine, I started into baby knitting as soon as I heard the wonderful news. First off the needles was a little sister sweater to match Greta‘s that I knit in April.  I had mentally been planning to knit this with the scraps, provided the new arrival was a girl… and it was!

I scaled everything waaaayyy down and knitted it a bit differently.  I knit the original in the round as a bottom-up seamless raglan. The baby one I knitted back and forth as a top-down seamless raglan.  It ended up with short sleeves for ease of dressing a squirming baby, and because I ran out of the teal yarn.

Specs:  Baby sweater loosely based on Printzess by the Berroco Design Team.  Here on Ravelry.

Yarn is Berroco Comfort, knitted on US sz. 7 needles.

Timeline: Knitting on Tuesday, embroidering on Wednesday, darning in ends on Thursday.

I was reminded while darning in ends the reason why I intended to skip this sweater in the future…

Holy Darning Needles, Batman!  68 ends.  Yes, I counted – 68!!!  No respectable baby sweater should have that many ends. Fortunately I used enough of the scraps that I shouldn’t be tempted to knit this again.

Welcome Audrey! Thanks for giving me an excuse to knit sweet little things!

Hobble, again

The week Nikolai spent on crutches is certainly not something I wish to repeat (especially the doctor’s bills), but the sedentary lifestyle we were forced to adopt was perfect for lots and lots and lots of knitting.

My aunt came into town for a visit the day Nikolai got his cast on, and while she entertained the boys, I entertained myself with her knitting!

My aunt had been slowly knitting and knitting and knitting on a seamless yoked sweater for her mom for over a year, and being the impetuous and impatient knitter that I am…

In 3 days re-knit the yoke, steeked the front, knit on the button bands, and wove the armpits.  My aunt got to weave in the ends which was just fine with me!

It ended up that there were 300gms of wool left over from my aunt’s sweater. She very kindly gave me the extra yarn and I knitted a little vest for myself.

Check it on Ravelry here.

I’m calling it “Hobble” because it was knit entirely during the time Nikolai was in a cast.  I wore it to the doctor the day the cast came off.

Yarn: Donegal Tweed by Tahki, royal blue tweed, 3 skeins.  Wool of the Andes by Knitpicks, Beryl Heather, 1 skein.

Needles and Gauge: US sz. 6 /4.0 mm yielding 4 sts per inch.

There was no pattern involved, it’s just a simple pullover V-neck vest with garter stitch edgings. I’ve been interested (fashion-wise) in longer styles lately, as they seem to both look good, and keep your butt warm.  I was also interested in experimenting with the visual impact of a hip-level decoration.

I chose the simple diminishing zigzag pattern because it was appropriate to my stress level during my son’s week on crutches.

Because I have very little personal shaping, I like finding garment styles that create an impression of shape.  The actual difference between my hip and chest measurements is only 4 inches, but this style seems to make the most of what (little) I have.

Edgings: Ribbing seems like a logical choice for this type of simple vest, but I didn’t want anything clinging around my hips.  I chose garter stitch because it looks so wonderfully clean, but it also suits rustic tweedy yarns so well. I toyed with the idea of knitting the whole yoke in garter stitch a la Cobblestone, but this yarn was too bulky in garter, and the silhouette needed to be sleeker.

At the armpit split I bound off 8% and then decreased by another 5% on each side of each armpit.  I decreased by binding off 2 sts each time I was at the underarm, which results in pretty good 45deg angles. When picking up and knitting the garter stitch edges I did a half-miter at each corner which turned out beautifully.

The V-neck: I wanted this to be quite deep and rather more dramatic than anything I normally wear.  Before splitting the front to begin the V-neck I worked the center stitches in garter stitch for several rows before binding them off.   I decreased for the V-neck by one stitch every 2nd row, then worked straight to the shoulder where I wove the fronts to the backs.

I makes me feel tricky to make seamless garments.

The neckband was worked back and forth in garter stitch, starting and ending at the center front. At the end of each row I worked the last stitch together with one of the BO stitches.  In retrospect I would leave the neck edging loose and sew it down, as I think a neater, more symmetrical result could be achieved.

All in all, I’m very pleased with this vest.  I think the shape and style suit me pretty well, aside from being very functional!  The thing that pleases me most about this vest is how well the shoulders fit.  I really dislike wide-shouldered garments, the narrow fit is just divine.

I’ve already worn this several times. Oregon finally got summer, but I still like some wool when the wind picks up!



I have just written this post twice, and deleted it twice because there is just too much to say, and I don’t know quite how to say it. It’s better fodder for an insightful conversation than a blog, but this will have to work.

The gist was this: After a ballet class I started thinking… Is it not contradictory that I should be full of pride in seeing my handknits used and loved, but find it excruciating to let others see me dance?

Everything is a work of the heart… so why are some parts easier to share?

What do you share? and if you’re feeling brave… What is difficult to share?

Take part in the conversation!

Hobble

Not really how I anticipated starting our summer…

Nikolai spent a very patient week in a full cast with a sprained knee. Thank goodness nothing was broken!

The cast came off today and we are looking forward to a positive summer.

Nikolai liked pretending he was Tiger Woods.

Scarves and more scarves

Thank you all for you wonderful comments about the Swedish Cardi, and your answers… we knitters are a predictable bunch – more yarn, more projects, more happy!

I realized today (after casting on another scarf) that I never got around to taking pictures of the last scarf!

Alpaca lace scarf, knit for my mom for Mother’s Day.

Pattern is Tiennie‘s Old Shale Scarf, one repeat narrower.

Yarn is kinda special… The fleece came from an alpaca named Franchesca, I dyed, carded, and spun 30 gms into a 2 ply laceweight to knit this little scarf. Franchesca’s micron count for this fleece is 18.8, this stuff makes the Super Kid/Silk feel like sandpaper. Swoon…

And the deliciously soft, but comparatively sandpaper-y, SuperKid/Silk Springscape. It’s coming along nicely, as long as there is enough quiet to concentrate on the charts. If the kids are around (always) and distracting me (always, they’re kids!) I can be distinctly short-tempered with both my knitting and them.

So I cast on something else, of course!

The Swiss Cheese Scarf, unstretched.

Honestly, this will probably never get finished. And if it does get finished, would anyone actually use it?

But it makes me laugh, it makes other people laugh, it’s brainless, and completely charming. Winner!

What do you do when your WIPs don’t suit your lifestyle? Do you steer around unsuitable projects?

Worth the Wait

After only 6 months on the needles the Swedish Cardi is finally finally done. Another sweater knit entirely from stash, WOO HOO!

Ok, it’s being held closed with a safety pin. I haven’t had a chance to so shopping for some nice clasps, soon.

I blogged about this thing so much at the beginning I feel like there’s nothing left to say except: It’s done, and I love it!

There are lots and lots more pictures on Flickr, and you can read more about it in earlier posts here, here, and here, or check it out on Ravelry.

I’ve already cast on a little “reward” project. Ironically, though it’s beautiful, this might be another 6 month project.  Seascape from the new Knitty, in a springscape yarn. This is yarn I won last summer in a blog contest over at Knititch, thank you so much Merete!

How do you celebrate FO happy endings?

FO: Noro and Tweed

I just couldn’t resist giving you a little teaser yesterday. I’m utterly charmed by this little creation. It is a perfect shape for the flat-chested among us. Ahem. Here on Ravelry.

credit where credit is due – Nikolai, age 5, was my wonderful photographer today. Thanks sweetie!

Greatly inspired by Klaralund and the Portland Sweater… with a few changes…

Yarn: Green Tweed is a 2-ply sport weight handspun inherited from my aunt, about 6 ounces. Stripes is Noro Kureyon Sock, colorway S185, less than 100 gms. Knit entirely from stash, woo hoo!

Needles and Gauge: US sz. 4 / 3.5 mm yielding 4.5 sts per inch after blocking and wear. The gauge is very loose for the Kureyon sock making this very drapy. The Tweed is a much harsher/rustic yarn and it kind of holds everything together.

Sizing: The chest blocked to 38″ but has stretched to about 40″ during a day’s wear. On me this is 8-9 inches of positive ease.

I thought I wanted long sleeves but I wasted a lot of yarn to make the sleeve stripes match. Really, the short sleeves are now my favorite thing about this sweater. It feels somewhere between kimono and Jedi… Proving once again that mistake and design can be synonymous.

I thinking about putting a cute button on the back to hold it together a bit. Opinions?

Guess what? It’s seamless too.

After knitting the body to the armpits I put 50% of the stitches -from center front to center back- on a piece of yarn and slowly knitted the remaining body stitches into the sleeve.

Cast-on 35% at the center front, connect it to the center back like a strap, and slowly work outward using seamless saddle shoulder decreases. After about 4-5 inches start decreasing the sleeve at the top. Slowly decrease by 8%. When only 8% of the body stitches remain, begin knitting around and down the the desired sleeve length.

Clear as mud?

I like both sides of the fabric equally – I even wore it both ways today. I kept taking it off and turning it inside out, I can’t decided which I like better!

It’s been a good couples days around here. Yesterday I finished 3 knitting projects, and today it was finally nice enough to get a few pictures, including all the skirts I made a few weeks ago. It’s all on Flickr.  Cheers!