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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?

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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?

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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!

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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!

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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?

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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?

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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!

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This is kind of a surprise project…

I wasn’t sure about the yarn combo – now I love it.

I wasn’t sure about the style – now I love it.

I wasn’t sure about the techniques – they worked like a charm.

I wasn’t sure about the sleeves – they are charming in a Jedi sort of way.

I have nothing to wear it with – but I love it anyway!!

I can’t wait to show you this as soon as it’s dry!

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I had 8 people favorite this hat it’s first 24 hours on Ravelry. For a small knitter like me that is unheard of. I wasn’t planning to write a pattern for this hat, but there was interest so here you go. I don’t yet have the cabability to create PDF files, so for now the blog format will have to do. If you experience any problems please let me know.

The pattern is adapted from a Binge colorwork pattern found in “Traditional Scandinavian Knitting.”

handspun1.jpg
Size: 20″ around / 8.5″ from brim to crown

Gauge: 5 stitches per inch over stockinette in the round

Materials: 50 gms each of 2 colors in a (preferably) woolen-spun DK weight yarn. I used my own handspun yarn.

Needle: 16″ and double point needles in a size to give you the above gauge, I used US sz. 5 / 3.75mm

Pattern Notes: Each round has three pattern repeats, each is 34 sts, so I would recommend using gauge for minor size adjustments. If you are clever you can hide the pattern jog and keep your patterns intact by anticipating them at the end of the round. There are some very long floats so keep everything loose, and weave in the unused color every few stitches if this helps you. The contrast brim is picked up afterward from the CO edge, decreased to hold in the edge and bound off.

Using your contrast color and the Long-Tail Cast-On CO 102 stitches, place marker and join to work in the round. Note: this is not what I did on my hat. Casting on with the contrast color will give you a more distinct stripe for the brim.

Start working from the chart, chart is repeated 3 times per round. Chart is read right to left bottom to top, all rows are right side. The crown shaping looks very odd charted out, but it makes more sense once you get there. Switch to double point needles when necessary.

bingehatchart.jpg

When you have completed the chart you will have 12 stitches left. K2tog around, break wool, thread through remaining stitches and fasten off.

Try on your hat and decide how much brim you need to make the hat the right length for you.

Contrast brim: Using your contrast color, pick up and knit all 102 cast-on loops. Next round: P5 P2tog around. Next round: Bind-off loosely in purl. Note: if you need a taller hat, knit a few rounds of garter stitch before binding off.

Weave in ends, wash, block, and enjoy!

binge-hat.jpg

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