Tag Archives: baby sweater

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

So, I’ve been trying to prune some of my stash.  I used up a bunch of that blue Provincial Tweed for my big old sweater that I finished the other day.  I knit that fair isle sweater for my kid a couple months ago, using up a lot of leftover sock yarn.  And, I’ve made a couple scarves, cowls, and other little in-between-big project projects.

Sometimes I actually use up my yarn.

Sometimes I end up with more yarn than I started with.

So, I’ve had these two little balls of purple yarn for years.  (I got them to make a baby sweater for a friend’s kid.  I think she’s in kindergarten now.  It’s been a while.)  I lost the label, and couldn’t figure out what kind of yarn it was, but I know it was superwash and baby-appropriate.  So I though, “Hey, let’s use up this yarn and make a cute little purple sweater for the boy!”  Seems like a good idea.

Except that I apparently have no idea how much yarn a baby sweater takes.

You’ll notice that I ran out of purple  just about halfway through the sweater. (I knit it bottom-up, so it’s easy to see where I ran into trouble.)IMG_1226.JPGI also kind of guessed on the size, so it’s very, very big on the boy.  Of course, he’ll grow into it, but I was kind of hoping he’d be able to wear it now, when it’s cold out, instead of in 6 months when it’s a million degrees out. (Well, 80.  We live in Seattle after all.)  Oh well.img_1205And, I ended up having to buy a whole big skein of sock yarn to finish the top part of the sweater.  Because, of course, I didn’t have any yarn that matched that particular shade of purple in my stash.  So now I have 3/4 of a skein of sock yarn to add to my stash. So much for paring down my collection.img_1230At least the kid seems to like his new sweater!img_1200How do you use up your yarn?  Or do you just keep buying it, like I seem to be doing?

Finished Fair Isle

I finished my baby Fair Isle sweater!  And just in time, too, because my baby’s giant head is already threatening to outgrow the neck hole.  But, I suppose that’s most of the challenge with knitting for babies- getting the project done before they outgrow it.

Anyway, pictures!IMG_0760.JPG Here he is, beginning what I’m sure will be an illustrious career in knitwear modeling.  (He looks a little grumpy because he just got up from his nap and I immediately shoved his head through this slightly-too-tight neck hole.)  Otherwise, this sweater fits pretty well.  It’s even got some growing room lengthwise in the arms and the body.  Perfect!IMG_0817I love the way my speckled, variegated and hand-dyed yarns all play off each other, making the yoke look more complicated than it was.  And, of course, I love the colors. I think they look especially pretty with the boy’s bright blue eyes and adorable pink cheeks.  (But I think most things look especially adorable on him.)IMG_0806.JPGHave you done any knitting for kids lately?  How did it go? Did you manage to finish while the kid still fit in it?

Best Laid Plans

I don’t usually show you my “in progress” designs.  Usually, that’s because either: 1. I’m under contract to keep them under wraps.  Or 2. I’m so excited with how the pattern is turning out that I want to keep it a surprise and unveil it when it’s all shiny and finished.

Which means that you guys only ever see it when projects are finished and I’m happy with them.  (To be fair, most projects that I’m unhappy with never even get finished.  I usually bail halfway through and rip out the yarn to use in some other project.)

But this time you guys get to see a pattern from the Island of Misfit Sweaters!

I was so excited about this design- I was even excited enough that I decided to go ahead and knit it up and write up a pattern, even though my original design wasn’t picked up by publishers.  I was sure I knew better!  It was so cute in my mind!  It was an interesting knit!  It was small enough that it wouldn’t take much time!

Well, maybe I was in a haze of baby-brain/sleep-deprivation when I decided to go on with writing the pattern, but man was I wrong.

This pattern was doomed from the outset.

  1. The colors I picked were not good- two shades of green and a weird yellow-brown? What was I thinking? Was this 1972?IMG_0498.JPG
  2. The design that I thought was so clever was actually just overly complicated and a pain in the neck.  (Why make a sweater the time-tested, easy, simple way I’m familiar with, when I can break out the provisional cast-ons, short rows, and three-needle bind-offs?)IMG_0502.JPG
  3. I had intended the sweater to fit my kid (he’s already grown out of all the sweaters I made him before he was born- he’s a Robust German Baby).  I did the math wonky, and I think this sweater will fit him when he’s about 4 years old.  Look how long it is! And those sleeves!!!IMG_0504.JPG
  4. And, speaking of math, all that math I did to write this pattern… I lost it somewhere along the way.  Maybe I did the math in a fever dream… Maybe I got some sort of virus that only deletes bad patterns… Maybe I just forgot to save.  We’ll never know.

So, in summary.  Here’s a picture of the sweater that is not to be.  You won’t be seeing a pattern for this bad boy.  You might see my kid wearing it in a few years, or you might see me unravel it and knit it into something else (but probably not).  IMG_0506.JPGIt was a good idea, but some ideas aren’t really meant for this world.  Sigh…

Have you ever had a great idea that ended up going really, really sideways?  What happened?

On A Roll

You know what?  That blue-and-green Baby Surprise Jacket was so much fun, I think I’m just going to keep going!  (And I’m still writing these posts from the past, so I’ve got nothing but time as I wait for this gigantic baby to decide to show up.  Seriously!  I’m a really fun combination right now of bored and uncomfortable, and I need something fun to keep me entertained.  I’m sure that by the time you read this, I’ll more than have my hands full, what with keeping a baby alive and happy, but for now I’ve got to keep myself occupied.)

I dove into my stash again, and this time, I found a bunch of bits and bobs of really lovely pink and purple yarn!I’ve already started chugging away, working my way through the my first couple mini-balls of rich violets and royal purples.

I’ve come down a needle size (I’m using US6s instead of US7s), and the fabric is turning out a little more sturdy than the blue-and-green sweater (which is super loose and drapey, but still lovely).  Because it’s a smaller needle, the sweater is going to end up being a little smaller, too.

I think that’s OK, though.  After all, babies tend to be pretty little, at least at first.

Have you got anything fun on your needles these days?

Pips

Speaking of finishing off projects, I am really on a roll lately.

I’m still knitting on my Papaya sweater like a fiend, but I took a break yesterday to update the last little finishing touch on my Mini-Picard Sweater.

In case you forgot, I made a teeny little cardigan, inspired by my favorite Starfleet Captain, Jean-Luc Picard.  I broke out the red and black sock yarn and teensy little needles. I knit the whole thing up, blocked it and added buttons, and a row of little gold Captain’s pips on the collar.But the gold buttons I had bought were too big!  They looked awkward and funky.  They were only a quarter inch across, but they were too much for such a teeny sweater!So, I took another trip to JoAnn’s this weekend and picked up the teensiest gold buttons I could find.  And, voila! Perfection!Or at least close enough to perfect that I’m super happy with how they turned out!  Now my little sweater is fit for a tiny captain, and I couldn’t be more pleased!Have you ever made a small change that has completely changed your opinion of a finished object?

L’il Cap

My little Captain Picard Sweater is almost finished!

OK, it is “finished,” technically, but I’m unhappy with some of the final details.

See if you can figure out what I don’t like about it:Did you zero in on the pips on the collar, too?  Because that’s literally all I can look at.

(Sure, it’s a cute shape, and the color-blocking turned out great.  It’s been finished nice and neatly, blocked nicely, and the tiny black buttons up the front are perfect.  It’s a cute baby sweater, without being too obviously “Star Trek.”  But those dang gold buttons on the neck!  They’re so bad!)

It’s one of those things that I’m sure anyone else wouldn’t even really notice, but they stick out like a sore thumb to me.

In Star Trek (at least in TNG), rank is marked with little gold “pips” on the front of the collar.  More pips means a higher rank, and a Captain’s rank is shown with 4 gold pips.

I thought I had bought buttons small enough to fit on my sweater’s collar.  I was incorrect.

I managed to fit on three (Lieutenant) before reaching the shoulder.  So, I thought, maybe if I replaced the topmost black button with a gold one, it would make up for the missing collar pip. But that just made them all look uneven and weird.Sigh.  I guess I just have to go back to JoAnn’s and see if they have even tinier little gold buttons.

And I was so excited about these guys!  They seemed so perfect when they were still on the card!  Oh well…

Have you ever gotten stuck on a final detail before you were able to finish off a big project?

WIP

I’ve been working on a super secret project for quite a while now.  It’s a huge project, and it’s been taking up a lot of my time and attention.  And, frankly it’s going to be taking even more of my time and attention going forward.

I began this project this summer, and it just seems to be growing and growing on me.  I assume it’ll stop growing at some point, but for the foreseeable future, it’s just going to get bigger and bigger and more and more complicated.

In short, the project I’m working on is… a baby!

There he is!  He doesn’t have a name yet, and isn’t due to be born until the beginning of April, but he’s very much making his presence known (I’m afraid of stretching out all my sweaters, so I’m down to cardigans only), and has currently wedged himself uncomfortably up in my rib cage.

(I wonder how many of you guessed something was up with all the baby sweater talk.)

So what does this little dude mean for the blog?

  1.  Don’t worry, this isn’t going to turn into a “Mommy blog,” or an “All About Babies” blog, or anything like that (though I can’t promise that I’ll never mention the kid).  I’ll still be talking yarn and knitting, and I’ll still be designing patterns, though maybe not as frequently (I’ve been told that babies need a lot of attention).
  2. For now, nothing will change in the blog schedule, but over the next couple months, I’m planning on scaling back a bit.  Monday-Wednesday-Friday posts are a lot of work.  I’ll keep the 3-days a week through mid-February (and my 5-year blog anniversary!), then I’ll be scaling back to twice a week (so I can get to work on a little bit of a backlog, which will let me take a bit of maternity leave).  Then, when the baby’s born, I’m planning on going down to once a week (at least until I get my sea legs).  I’ll still be here, just not as much.

I’m really excited to meet my little dude!  (And really excited to see if his sweaters fit.)

Do you have any exciting projects in the works?

…Engage

I’ve been busy, you guys!  Not doing anything terribly productive, really, and certainly not working on anything that I have a deadline for (whoops!).  But, I have been busy, knitting away.

Remember the red and black sock yarn I found in my stash last week?  Well, I just had to get knitting with it. I considered a couple projects- Trek-flavored socks.  A cowl or maybe a hat that Captain Picard would be proud of.But, really, I couldn’t help myself. I just had to make a Jean-Luc Picard baby sweater.

I couldn’t help myself!  The yarn was too perfect!I broke out my copy of Knits for Everybody Two, and cast on a tiny (3-month-sized) cardigan.  I thought about coming up with a new pattern for this sweater, but figured, hey, I’ve already done all the math, why make it harder on myself?

I’m doing the yoke, hem, cuffs, collar and button band in black, and the body and sleeves in red.  It’s not 100% show-accurate, but I think it gets the point across without having to fuss with intarsia or any fancy colorwork.  I think it looks pretty dang captain-y.  (And I think it’ll look even better once I add some gold buttons and little captain’s pips on the collar.)

It is turning out super-tiny, though.  I accidentally started using US1s, instead of US2s, and didn’t realize my mistake until I was past the point of no return.  I mean, look!  I’m using a safety pin to hold the unused sleeve stitches!I think it’s ok that it’s tiny, though.  After all, babies are pretty small.  Or, worst case scenario, it could become a sweater for a doll.

What have you been working on lately?

Baby Sweater is Go!

It’s done!  And I gotta say, it’s really satisfying to make a whole sweater in about a week (OK, maybe it was two, but I was dawdling).I love the little wooden buttons (that I found in my button stash!) and the Berroco Vintage is so stinking soft and cozy.  I love the little-old-man collar and the cute little raglan shoulders.I even love the fact that it the sweater has one green cuff.  I ran out of gray at the last minute, and while I could have ripped back the sweater and taken some of the length off of the bottom of the sweater (it did turn out a little long… I think… how big are babies, again?), but I wanted to keep this project as quick and easy as possible.  So, I just grabbed a little green Vintage I’ve had stashed away.  It ended up being perfect!

I wish grown-up sweaters worked up as fast as ones for babies!

Have you done any fun, quick projects lately?

Go Baby Sweater!

I gotta say, there’s something really, really satisfying about making baby sweaters (especially worsted-weight ones).  They just go so fast!

I feel like I’ve barely had any time to work on it, but my Baby Sophisticate is already almost complete!I’ve already finished the body, the button band/collar combo, and one of the sleeves!  It’s a little longer than I expected, but I think that’s OK–it’ll just be extra-cozy.  I still have to decide on which buttons to use, or if I “need” to go shopping for more, but that’s not a problem.

It’s been great to be able to work on a sweater that doesn’t take 45 minutes to knit across (*cough* Papaya Sweater *cough*).  I mean, look at this tiny sleeve! It’s just over 20 stitches around.  It’s so small I can use safety pins as stitch holders!The only problem I can foresee is that I’m approaching the end of my skein, and I think it’s going to be a little close getting through my whole left sleeve before I run out.

But, worst case scenerio, I use a little bit of green to make the cuff (I used the same yarn to make a sweater for my husband years ago, and managed to order way more than I needed- lucky me!).

Have you ever made baby clothes before?