It’s Christmas this week, and you were totally going to knit that thing for your mom/sister/neighbor/uncle/whoever. And now you’re out of time and don’t have the yarn or the pattern picked out. Well, I’ve got the perfect alternative for you!
Instead of stressing, just have your recipient fill out this Knit-Lib (like a Mad-Lib, but knitting-themed), to tell them all about their new gift!
That’s right- why spend hours trolling through Ravelry and weeks picking out just the right skeins of yarn, when you can have someone else spend 5 minutes choosing random words to design your project instead?
I haven’t been inside a yarn store since March. Which is a bummer. There’s nothing I’d like to do more than take a good wander and browse through a bunch of fancy yarn that I would never know what to do with. Online shopping just isn’t the same. (Which is wild. If, six months ago, you asked me what my least-favorite thing to do was, I would have said root canal, followed closely by shopping. Oh how times have changed.)
Instead of acquiring more yarn for new projects, I’ve been slowly working through my stash. It’s been kind of fun- a challenge to myself to see what yarn I’ve had hiding away for “someday.” I don’t think I have a particularly extensive stash (I’m not one to buy sweater-quantities of yarn without a plan), but but I’ve been surprised to see what I have found lurking around at the back of drawers and the bottoms of bins. And it’s been a good excuse to force myself to finish up projects that I had hiding in the back of my closet for “someday.” My quilt from the 2000s is done (ish). And I found this amazing half-finished scrappy project(OK, it’s not half-finished… it’s probably barely a quarter-finished, but still): a crazy scrappy crocheted afghan!
According to my Ravelry, I started in 2013. I remember digging out all the worsted-weight leftovers I had in my stash (and I mean all. There’s definitely some Red Heart, a little fancy-pants alpaca, and everything in-between) and made probably several thousand little round yoyos.
Then I crocheted around the yoyos, adding a round of white to turn the yoyos into squares. Each square is maybe an inch-and-a-half across… they’re very small.
Then I started sewing them together.
Then I got bored.
Well, I’ve got nothing but downtime this year (thanks Covid!), so I’ve dug this project out and have slowly started making progress again. It’s approaching baby-blanket size, but I’m nowhere near finishing off all the yoyos. If I had infinite time and patience, I’d keep going until all the yoyos were used up. But, I don’t, so this might just end up being a small blanket.
Or maybe I’ll get bored and throw it back in the closet for another 7 years!
Have you ever actually finished a long-stashed project?
Hey guys! Guess what? I did a thing! I had a baby! He arrived at the end of November, and in my unbiased opinion, he’s pretty perfect.
Plus, it’s nice to have a kid in the house who doesn’t fight me when I try to dress him in seasonally-appropriate knitwear. (I swear, the big kid hasn’t worn anything warmer than a t-shirt in months… it’s 40 degrees out!)
The baby is a big fan of being snuggled, especially in his cozy garter-stitch baby blanket.
He likes wearing his big brother’s hand-me downs (and rainbow-colored bootees from Grandma).
And, frankly, my favorite thing about babies is that you can dress them up in ridiculous outfits, like this rainbow-sweater-pants-and-storm-cloud-ensemble. Too stinking cute.
Anyway, pretty pleased with this kiddo (and his big brother, who’s being very sweet about “his baby”). I think I’ll keep him.
And as far as this blog goes, I’ve got a few months’ worth of posts already written, so there won’t (or at least shouldn’t) be a break in the blog.
It’s early, as I write this from the past (ooohh!), but it’s never too early to be thinking about Christmas. Especially if you’ve got plans to knit for Christmas. And boy, howdy, do I have plans.
Just one. I’ve given up knitting Christmas gifts, because… well… it’s a lot of work, it’s stressful, and I just don’t wanna. Sure, I might make a pair of Christmas socks or a particularly special Christmas sweater from time to time, but I’m not doing the whole “everyone on my list gets a pair of mittens” thing this year. (And not just because we have a new member of the family this year.)
But I love a tradition, and one tradition we have is hanging stockings by the fireplace. We haven’t really filled them ever, but I love how they look, just as decorations, and I kind of love making them.
Plus, since our older kid and our dog both have stockings, it would probably be unfair if the baby was stocking-less.
So, I’ve dug the stockings out of storage, and re-ordered more Cascade 220 (thank goodness I actually kept the yarn tags from the last time I made a stocking, or I wouldn’t have had any idea about what shades of green and red to buy), and set to work knitting up a stocking for the little one.
Of course, I never took decent notes or wrote up an actual pattern, so I’m kind of guessing/using an old stocking as a general template. It’s simple enough for the leg of the stocking, but we’ll just have to see how it turns out… I really don’t remember how I did the heel…
And, while you read this, the baby will probably be born already (if there’s any justice in the world, anyway… I’m still a month+ out from my due date as I type this, and let’s just say, I’m ready to move on to the next phase of this thing), and should have a name. But, for now, I’m leaving the name blank, and will go in later with a little red yarn and duplicate-stitch in the letters.
It’s going to be so weird having 5 stockings hung up this year! (Assuming I can figure out the heel turn on this thing…)
Have you ever tried to re-create a project years after you made the first version? How did it go?
It’s true. I think I might be that mom (or at least I want to be that mom). The one who gets matching clothes for both kids. Because I can’t get over how cute these two sweaters are.
(OK, honesty time. I’m actually that mom that hasn’t gotten her kid to wear actual clothes in over a week. PJs at night, and sometimes during the day, sure, but mostly he just parties around the house in a diaper. If we leave the house, he has to wear clothes, but these days, is anyone actually leaving the house?)
(Further honesty time. I haven’t even gotten the kid to try on his sweater. I assume it’ll be worn at some time. Right now, I’m just enjoying the idea that he has a new sweater that he will be wear at some point. Hopefully before he grows out of it.)
Anyway. I love the “fraternal twin” vibe these sweaters have. Essentially the same, but just different enough.
Plus, they’re cute, even if they’ll never be worn at the same time.
If the kid ever deigns to wear his sweater, I’ll be sure to share a picture. Keep your fingers crossed for me.
I’m sure the baby will wear his- after all, he won’t be able to fight back as well as the two-year-old. Yet…
Have you ever made a project that you half-knew would never be worn?
I enjoyed making my kid’s striped sweater so much, that I’ve decided to keep going.
(Or, if you’re feeling less charitable, I’m having some real designer’s block, and can’t think of what else to make.)
But either way, I’ve decided to keep going, and make a newborn-sized version of the same striped sweater. I’ve still got a good chunk of Hawthorne, and I know how I made the big one, so I can crank out a bitty one pretty easily.
So I’m cruising through, I’m about halfway through the belly, and already thinking about the arms. It’s crazy how small this one feels after the 3-year-old-sized one. It’s going so fast!
Anyway, that’s how I ended up being that mom, who makes matching clothes for her kids. Sorry, kids.
Do you ever make favorite patterns in different sizes?
I’ve got some exciting news. It’s good news (and we all need more good news these days), and it’s big (at least for me and my family)!
I’m having another kid! Wild!
Am I crazy? Maybe. Am I worried about being pregnant and having a newborn mid-pandemic? Absolutely (though, for what it’s worth, this whole ball got rolling before Covid really set in). Am I beyond excited to meet the little dude? Definitely.
And, since this kid will be a fall/winter baby (he’s due in a couple weeks!)- more excuses for knitting teeny tiny sweaters! (You know I’m only in this parenthood thing because of the tiny knitting opportunities.)
What will this mean for you? Hopefully, not much (except that there will probably be more baby sweaters on the blog in the immediate future). I’m working on building up a backlog of posts to cover me when it gets really hairy, but I’m still hoping to keep the blog going, posting once a week. And, I’m still planning on keeping my freelance pattern-writing going, though that might slow down for a bit. But, who knows what the future will hold? I can’t imagine I’ll have more free time going forward. Ha!
Do you have any favorite baby knits? Sweaters? Pants? Blankets?
Wow! Those are some regular hats that I just really think are nifty. Nope, no ulterior motives for posting them here. No sir. **
Are there any regular old hats that you like?
** For the love of America and everything/everyone in it, if you haven’t already voted, please, please, please vote tomorrow. Voting is always important, but this year it’s insanely important. And, while I usually try to say “Vote for whichever candidate you prefer,” this year, I’m going to say “Please vote Biden/Harris.” Because, frankly, this election is literally a matter of life and death.
If you’re not sure where to go, this is a great resource.
They go super fast (at least compared to a grown-up sweater).
I usually have just enough yarn just hanging out in my stash to make something fun.
The dang kid grows so fast, I don’t really have to worry about sizing (as long as I make the sweater big enough). He’ll grow into it in about fifteen minutes.
Makes me feel like some sort of Type-A-Martha-Stewart-Ma-Ingles impressive mom who’s got it all squared away.
Why I don’t love making sweaters for my kid:
The dang kid refuses to wear them.
I mean, he’ll wear them sometimes, if it’s cold enough. But currently, Seattle is not cold enough in his opinion. (He runs hot like his dad. I’ve been wearing sweaters since August.) Also, with being in quarantine for the last… several months, I’ve been a little lax about the whole “getting dressed in actual clothes” thing. Most days he spends in last night’s footie PJs, or just running around in a diaper. I can’t really blame him. I currently have my “Day PJs” and my “Night PJs,” so I’m not doing much better.
Anyway, all that is to say: I finished his Striped Pullover. It’s super cute. It’s gigantic. And he probably will refuse to wear it until mid-December. So, here’s a picture of it, nicely blocked and laying out on the floor. (Not pictured is my kid, just out of frame, spreading LEGOs all over the living room.)
I love how the stripes turned out, and how all the disparate colors ended up blending pretty seamlessly (though, part of that is the poor color balance on the photo. The green stripes are much more green and the red stripes are much more red in person.) And, as far as I can tell, it’s going to fit the kid. (I managed to get the collar over his head, just to check if my bind off was too tight for his giant noggin. It’s not.)
Though, compared to his current favorite outerwear, it’s massive. I’m just going to say it’s “oversized,” “cozy,” and “he’s going to grow into it”.
Maybe by the time he’s ready to wear real clothes again, he’ll fit into it properly.
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.
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.