New Pattern: Baby Leggings

It feels like it’s been a hot minute since I’ve been able to say this, but: I’ve got a new pattern out this week!

And I’m very excited about this one because it’s something I’ve never designed before.

Pants!

Baby pants, to be specific.

They’re part of a new baby collection from Knit Picks, Peekaboo!

And, yes, that little vest is cute (and so is the teeny model), but let’s get to the important part- my pants!

They’re worked in Hawthorne Speckle, but could really use any sock yarn. (The smallest sizes only take as much yarn as a pair of adult socks!). It’s a great, strong, soft, and MACHINE WASHABLE option, perfect for baby clothes.

The legs are worked from the bottom up in the round, and joined at the crotch. Then, there’s a handful of short rows worked across the seat to accommodate a big ol’ fluffy diaper. They’re finished with a ribbed casing and either an I-cord drawstring (shown) or an elastic waistband.

They’re super quick and easy! And frankly, super cute, if I say so myself.

I actually have a second pattern in this book, too! It’s Two-Way Baby Slippers, which are my favorite simple top-down and bottom-up socks in teeny tiny sizes for teeny tiny feet.

Grab a copy of the collection here!

Two by two, stripes of blue

I’m cruising through my kid’s Leftovers Sweater, and I gotta say, I love it!

It’s the perfect amount of mindless knitting- just switching between main and contrast colors every two rows, then breaking the contrast color after every fifth stripe. Couldn’t be simpler, or more striking. I think it might just be the perfect pattern for a little kid sweater!

And, I’m really digging the blue in-between each contrast stripe. I think it will make the whole color scheme more cohesive. (Which is a feat, when pulling together 6 (I think) random colors leftover from several years’ worth of projects.)

Plus, my favorite thing about 2×2 stripes in the round- it looks like you’re going to have a million and a half ends to weave in, but you don’t! I just carry the unused yarn up the inside of the sweater, and you only have to weave in ends when you break to change color. Easy! (I’d probably use this trick to carry over 3 or 4 rows, but maybe not more than that- the floats start to get a little long and start pulling funny if you do wider stripes.)

Now, am I still going to complain about having to weave in the (few) ends left when I’m done? Of course. I’m still me. But for now, I’m going to pat myself on the back and tell myself that I’m doing a great job.

Are there any little details on your knitting that have really been pleasing you lately?

Yet Another

It’s the beginning of the school year again (sort of), so that must mean that it’s time for me to make my kid another sweater. (Although, when is it not time to make him another sweater?) So far, every fall I’ve dipped into my stash and made him a sweater. And, they’ve all been from the same leftover yarn.

Honestly, at this point, I don’t even remember what the yarn is leftover from.

But, I do know it’s Knit Picks Hawthorne in a whole bunch of colors (mostly light blue, which thankfully looks really good on my kid, in my totally unbiased opinion). It’s a fingering-weight superwash wool that’s right in that sweet spot of soft and strong that makes it perfect for kid’s clothes. Plus, it’s Knit Picks, so it’s fairly cheap.

When he was a baby baby, I made him a “Christmas in July” Sweater. It might be my favorite sweater I’ve made for him (or in general, really). It’s super cute, I love the colors, and it was a super fun, quick knit (maybe because of the size). Unfortunately, because he was a big baby with a gigantic head, he grew out of it in about fifteen minutes.

Last year, when he was 1 and a half, I designed a sweater for him, based on the book Sheep in a Jeep (his hands-down favorite at the time, and still a winner, if I’m being honest). I loved the little radish design. (Also! Look at all that hair! So cute!)

And this year, I’ve broken out my stash of Hawthorne again, but this time, I’m keeping it simple. No color-work, just stripes. My current plan is to do a bottom-up raglan V-neck (just like the Sheep in a Jeep design, and perfect for active little kids with big noggins), with blue cuffs, collar and hem. But, I’ll be covering the whole body and arms with 2-row stripes, alternating between blue and the other colors I have in my stash. They’re kind of a disparate lot of colors- not necessarily something I’d put together normally, but I think using all the colors and alternating them with the light blue will make them come together.

And, heck, if it doesn’t, who cares?! He’ll be cozy either way.

Do you have a seemingly unending stash of a favorite yarn? What’s your favorite thing to do with it?

Please

(Note 1: This post was written two weeks ago, so if there is anything important that I’ve missed, that’s why.)

(Note 2: Oof. I definitely missed some important stuff.)

You guys know I try to keep this blog as knitting-focused as possible, I don’t share a lot of baby pictures or TV recommendations (unless they’re knitting-related) or recipes. And I really try not to talk too much about politics. Not because politics aren’t important or interesting, but because lately they get me worked up, stressed out, and anxious. Knitting (and this blog) is my way to unwind and relax. I can control my knitting. My stitches make sense. I can imagine a design, plan it, work it through and execute it. (Usually.)

All that is to say, I’ve had a lot of extra time to knit this week. Which is great- my current project, which you’ll hear about soon, is almost finished.

But the reason I’ve had so much time to knit is that I literally haven’t left the house in 6 days.

6. Days. Stuck inside with a toddler. No walks around the block, no trips to the park, no play-dates with the one other family in our pod. Nothing.

And why have I been inside for that long? You might think Covid. Which would be partially correct. We’ve been in fairly heavy-duty lockdown for the last 6+ months, but we were able to go outside, work in the yard and visit the beach to look for crabs. Our library has been closed and we have preschool over Zoom. My 2-year old hasn’t been on a playground since March.

But this last week, the few things that were left to us were taken away when wildfires sprung up all up and down the west coast. Washington is on fire. Oregon is on fire. California is on fire. My parents (who live in Chicago) are feeling the effects of the fire; it’s sending so much smoke up into the air that even 2000 miles away, their sky is overcast and smoky.

And here, it’s been “Very Unhealthy” for almost a week. Today is the best I’ve seen in 5 days, and it’s still on the high end of “Unhealthy.” Our air is like pea soup. I went to grab the mail yesterday, and my eyes watered and itched from being outside for only a minute.

And the crazy part is, we’re the lucky ones. We’re healthy. Our part of Washington is not in danger of burning up. We have a comfortable house and plenty of space inside. We have enough food and water and access to the internet.

There are usually wildfires in late summer, they’re a natural part of the seasons in this part of the country. But the last few years have gotten out of control. This year is the worst I’ve seen since I moved out here more than 10 years ago. This is not normal.

It’s also worth noting that this year’s hurricane season is going crazy, there have already been fires and snowstorms out in Colorado, and there was (essentially) a hurricane in Iowa (Iowa!). Climate change is real, and it’s making itself known in a really obvious and scary way.

All this is to say, this fall’s election is vitally important in a way that has never been more clear. If we reelect climate-change-denying elected officials (Trump foremost among them), there’s absolutely no way for us to come back from this, or even slow down its progress. These will become the “good old days” when we “only had to shelter for a week every fire season” and “only had to worry about one pandemic at a time.”

If you haven’t registered yet, and don’t know how to do it, let me know! I will literally help you register. My email address is knittingontheneedles@gmail.com. Email me! I will help you figure out how to vote and where your polling place is and if you have access to absentee voting in your state!

If you haven’t figured out who you are voting for yet, also let me know! From national office to state or city- I will happily research anyone you need more information on. (Looking for candidates that support the Green New Deal is a great way to start.)

So, please, please, please register to vote this year, and if you can, please vote early. And (it should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway), please vote Biden/Harris.

Well, at least it’s done.

OK. So, I finished my “

OK. So, I finally finished my “Quarantine Sweater,” and the best thing I can say about it is that… it’s done.

It might be the least-flattering sweater I’ve ever made. I might even go as far as to say it’s ugly.

I mean, the shape ended up super weird (it’s way too wide, the sleeves are droopy, and the armpits start around my belly button). It’s not even worth taking a flattering picture of myself wearing it… sorry…

The colors are… fine, but I really dislike how some of the sections ended up super-marled (but I suppose that’s what happens when you knit exclusively to use up the random half-skeins of yarn in your stash without a lot of planning), and why did I include that puke-yellow color?

And the fabric itself is… odd (it’s nice and soft and warm, but also the stitches are very open and loose. I much prefer a wooly, structured sweater; this one is altogether too drapey and shapeless).

But, it’s done, so there’s that. Maybe I’ll grow to love it? Or maybe I’ll find a very wide, short friend with very long arms that grow out of their rib cage I can give it to? Or, I wonder what would happen if I tried to felt it? Does alpaca even felt?

Oh well. At least it used up a bunch of yarn.

Have you ever finished a big project, only to hear a great big sad trombone?

,” and the best thing I can say about it is that… it’s finished.

It might be the least-flattering sweater I’ve ever made. I might even go as far as to say it’s ugly.

I mean, the shape ended up weird (it’s way too wide, the sleeves are droopy, and the armpits start around my belly button). It’s not even worth taking a flattering picture of myself wearing it… sorry…

The colors are… fine, but I really dislike how some of the sections ended up super-marled (but I suppose that’s what happens when you knit exclusively to use up the random half-skeins of yarn in your stash without a lot of planning), and why did I include that puke-yellow color?

And the fabric itself is… odd (it’s nice and soft and warm, but also the stitches are very open and loose. I much prefer a wooly, structured sweater; this one is altogether too drapey and shapeless).

But, it’s done, so there’s that. Maybe I’ll grow to love it? Or maybe I’ll find a very wide, short friend with very long arms that grow out of their rib cage I can give it to? Or, I wonder what would happen if I tried to felt it? Does alpaca even felt?

Oh well. At least it used up a bunch of yarn.

Have you ever finished a big project, only to hear a great big sad trombone?

Teeny Tiny Pants!

I finished my tiny Felici pants, and they’re just about the cutest things ever.

They’re super small- each leg is probably about 3/4 the diameter of a standard adult sock, and the way I got the stripes to match up is just *muah* perfect! Even pre-blocked, I kind of love them. (I’ll probably block them up when it’s time for them to meet their new owner, but I’m just not feeling it right now.)

It’s funny, though how on the “butt” part of the pants, the stripes are so much skinnier. Which makes sense, because of math (he butt is about twice as wide as a single leg, so of course the stripes there are half the width), but for some reason it didn’t occur to me until I was halfway up the front. I considered ripping back and fussing with two balls of yarn or grafting in chunks of different skeins to keep the stripes even, but 1. That’s a lot more work than I wanted to commit to, and 2. I think it’s pretty cute as is.

The only problem now is that my 2-year-old wants a pair, too. And a pair of toddler-sized pants is going to take a lot more work (and yarn) than a pair of newborn ones. Oh well- that’s just how it goes, I suppose!

Switchy Swatchy

OK, I totally hadn’t planned on going forward with the Helge Doppler sweater vest from last week. Sure, it was cute, and I really liked the texture, but lord knows I’ve got enough half-finished projects sitting in my studio right now.

But, well, it kind of got stuck in my head. Like a weird knitting version of an ear-worm. An eye-worm maybe? Ew. A knit-worm?

Anyway, one thing led to another and I was swatching before I knew it.

I started with US2s and some leftover Hawthorne Fingering. (I’ve since come to the decision that a kettle-dyed yarn is not right for this pattern, and that I need to go down at least one size (maybe two) to get the stitch definition I want. The swatch isn’t super clear, but bear with me.)

And just to remind you, this vest is my goal: (Again, sorry for the poor-quality picture- it was the best screenshot I could find.)

I began with the pattern I sketched out last week, and rapidly discovered that it was wildly wrong. (It’s the bottom section of this swatch.) What I thought was diamonds of stockinette and reverse stockinette clearly was not. The diamonds were super small and squished- hardly even diamonds.

So, I went back to the drawing board and tried using garter stitch instead of reverse stockinette, which looked a lot better (the top part of the above swatch). I wasn’t sure about the transition from one repeat to another, so I tried a few different varieties (you can see that each repeat is slightly different) until I landed on one that looked more or less the way I wanted it to.

I sketched up the new design, and here we are:

Now I’m off to swatch this new pattern out with finer needles and some machine-dyed sock yarn. Wish me luck.

The only question left is, “Do I want to knit a sweater (even for a 2-year-old) on US0s?” Eek!

Knitting on the TV

It’s been a minute since I’ve gotten really excited about knitting in a movie or on TV, but I think I might have found my next project. (Ha! Like I need another project.)

Ya’ll know I’ve been watching Dark on Netflix. It’s very moody and (well) dark. There’s lots of rain and nighttime scenes, and of course lots of knitwear and very good coats.

Plus, part of the story takes place in the 50s- the heyday of knitting, in my opinion. Knitting in the 50s was all vests and sweater sets worked on tiny needles with fingering weight yarn. It would drive me nuts to do it, but man, I love how the finished product looks.

Speaking of the finished product, look at this amazing sweater vest! (And don’t worry- no spoilers here, unless you consider a kid with a very good sweater vest a spoiler.)

And a close-up:

I mean, that color, that all-over texture, the 1×1 rib edging, the v-neck. It might be the perfect sweater vest. So stinking cute. I kind of want to make one for everyone in my family. Or at least for my kid. After all, making a vest for a 2-year-old on US2s is much less daunting than making one for myself. I’m thinking I could even use sock yarn to make sure it’s machine-washable and can stand up to a very busy toddler.

The thing I think I like most about this sweater is the geometric knit/purl texture. It doesn’t look particularly tricky, but when it’s worked all over the whole piece, it really packs a punch.

In fact, I like it so much I couldn’t stop myself from “sketching” it out and making up a little chart. (Empty squares are knits, dots are purls. Also, for what it’s worth, I haven’t actually swatched this out yet, so it might be wildly off. It’s just my best guess, based on obsessively looking up screenshots of this vest.)

I’m not sure if I’ve got the time/energy/follow-through right now to actually make this sweater become a reality, but man it’s fun to daydream. Maybe it’ll become a pattern?

Has any TV knitting caught your eye lately?

Well, That Just Flew By

Both this knit and the show I was using to knit it up.

That’s right, my Dark knitting is finished, and I love it. (I also love the show, which was amazing. At least Season 1, which is as far as this shawl got me. I’ll have to come up with something new to knit for Season 2).

This shawl was more-or-less the Deep Winter Shawl from Lisa Metzgar (I modified it slightly on accident because I wasn’t paying attention, and didn’t feel like going back and fixing the bits that were wonky). It was a super simple project, a fairly straightforward garter-stitch triangle with big bands of openwork every few inches. It was a pattern easily-memorized with just enough challenge to make it interesting without requiring me to look away from the closed-captions.

I love the finished shape: it’s a slightly-skewed triangle that is really cute and flattering draped around the shoulders, and you know I love me some garter stitch. I even like the dull gray-brown of some stash yarn I was using up. It’s incredibly neutral-y, which means I could see it going with just about any color coat, but there’s enough warmth in the color’s undertones that it looks nice and flattering. (Also: Look at all that hair! My quarantine hair is getting crazy!)

In summary:

Dark is a dang good show.

The Deep Winter Shawl is a dang good shawl.

And I might knit up a second one for Season 2.

Have you got any TV knitting going at the moment?

Itty Bitty, Teeny Weenie, Multi-Colored, Striped Pantinis

I got my yarn last week! And by “my yarn” I mean my yarn! My colorways of Felici from Knit Picks (Dragonboat and Fiesta)! And they’re so cute! I’m so pleased with how they turned out. (Fair warning- my pictures do not do the yarn justice. Some day I will learn how to take a photo with color that’s true to real life. Today is not that day.)

I was particularly excited about the Fiesta colorway- It’s way more “It’s the 80’s, so let’s wear our geometric design windbreakers to the mall and show off our ponytails” than I had intended, but in a really good way. I just had to start knitting something with it.

Anyway, I threw aside all the projects I’ve been working on/I’m supposed to be working on and had to cast on something with my new yarn as soon as possible.

It’s self-striping sock yarn, so of course I started a pair of socks.

Ha!

You don’t know me at all.

No! I started making a pair of baby pants! Because why? Because the world needs a pair of 80’s-tastic striped baby pants!

I’m kind of winging the pattern (which will definitely not backfire on me) based on a pair of my kid’s pants, so we’ll see how they turn out. But, they look so cute so far! (Speaking of the kid, he saw me starting one of the cuffs and said “A tiny sweater!” He’s learning so fast.) It was a pain getting the leg stripes to match up, but not too bad. It’ll be worth the futzing when they’re done.

And, don’t worry- I’ve got enough yarn to make myself a pair of socks, too.

Are you getting any Felici? What’s your favorite pattern for self-striping yarn?