Is it precisely related to knitting? Not on its face, but I think the connection will become clear.
My kid had a playdate yesterday. Our neighbor from down the street came over (by himself!) and the three kids played on their own for just about 2 hours. We’ve never had a kids-only playdate before, and as much as I like having adult friends over, too, this was shockingly lovely.
The kids barricaded themselves into the bedroom, played trains and trucks and LEGO and pretended to be dragons and came out only to ask for a snack about halfway through.
YOU GUYS!!! I GOT TO SIT DOWN BY MYSELF AND KNIT WHILE MY CHILDREN WERE AWAKE AND IN THE HOUSE AND IT WAS AMAZING!
It really feels like this is the beginning of a new era of parenting.
Plus, I got the front of my toddler’s sweater done up to the split for the V-neck. Shocking.
When was the last time that you got surprise time to work on your knitting?
It’s been a wild few weeks at our house. We’ve got a toddler that’s suddenly developed a LOT of opinions. A four-year-old who’s realized that the toddler wants to play with the “big kid toys,” and is suddenly on high alert making sure that “babies don’t go in my room.” We’ve had two rounds of illness (one of which was a nasty stomach bug- my literal nightmare). And I’ve been dealing with drama at the kids’ preschool co-op. (Why do all volunteer-run organizations seem to thrive on big drama?) February has been a lot.
To that end, I haven’t been able to get much knitting time. But what I have gotten has been really lovely. It might just be a row or two each day (or half a row), but it’s been so nice to have a familiar, comforting pattern to fall back on. Something that I know how to do, that I can count on, even when things are rough.
This little sweater is going slowly. It might not be done before the warm weather sets in. It might not be done before the toddler outgrows it (especially at the rate they’re eating lately). But right now, the most important part of knitting isn’t getting the object done. We’ve got plenty of knitwear in this house. It’s having a project available that I know how to do. Something simple and comfortable. Something that isn’t going to require more brain power than the limited supply I have available right now.
And, hopefully, once it’s done (some day), I’ll end up with a cute li’l sweater.
What do you like to work on when you’re overwhelmed?
I guess my days of banging out a sweater in a weekend are behind me (at least until my kids can fend for themselves for more than five minutes at a time, anyway). I’ve been working on this ding dang sweater for more than two months at this point. And it’s a kid’s sweater!!
I mean, sure, I’m busy. The big kid has decided not to nap any more, and the little one has decided that it’s hilarious to take my ball of yarn and try to run around the house with it, so I’m relegated to knitting only after bedtime. And yes, it’s been hotter than the blazes over here, so I haven’t wanted to knit. AND, sure, I’ve been doing some design work that’s been using up what little knitting time I have. AND, of course, I accidentally picked a size that won’t fit my kid for about 3 more years… it could practically fit a (small) grownup!
But still. I’m ready for this project to be done.
At least it’s turning out cute. I’ve just got an inch or two left of the hem, a bunch of ends to weave in, and buttons to add. It’s practically finished!
Ha. (Let’s see how many more weeks it’ll take for me to finish up. Taking bets now!)
What’s the slowest you’ve done a project? Did it ever get finished?
Look at this cute little baby pullover that I designed for Knit Picks! It’s the Blueberry Buckle!
It’s worked flat in pieces from the bottom up, then seamed, so it’s super easy (it would be a great first sweater for a new knitter). It’s got the cutest sewn-on patch pocket and a collar that’s picked up and knit after assembly is finished.
I love the new self-striping Brava yarn- it makes this sweater beyond easy to work up. But, it would be totally easy to substitute any of your favorite worsted-weight yarn (self-striping or solid).
Oh, and did I mention it’s a free pattern? C’mon. Can’t get better than that.
Time’s been short around here, and I can’t believe it’s already been a week since my last post. I really thought I’d be further along than this, but hey, sometimes that’s how it goes.
I have to say that even though this sweater is moving slowly, I really am enjoying working on it. The yarn is soft and fluffy, and the fabric is so squishy and warm. I’m considering getting more yarn and make myself a matching pullover.
Anyway, here’s my progress- I’ve really only made it through the back of the yoke. It’s in broken rib- one of my favorite texture patterns. (Couldn’t be simpler, RS: (K1, P1), WS: P)
Next I’ll pick up stitches at the shoulders and work the front yoke as if making a cardigan to make the split for the Henley collar. Then, once I make it to the bottom of the yoke, I’ll start working in the round for the body. Easy peasy!
First, I used safety pins to mark off roughly where I wanted the letters to go.
Then I counted out my stitches and rows, made myself some graph paper and sketched out my letters. I made my own graph paper because I am both too lazy (I didn’t want to go down to the basement to grab my pre-printed graph paper) and not lazy enough (it probably took 15 minutes to draw out these graphs). I wouldn’t recommend it.
Then I grabbed my leftover yarn and a needle and got to work duplicating my stitches.
And I gotta say… this is slow going. When I say it might take me longer to embroider the letters on these sweaters than it took to actually knit them up, I might not be joking. I don’t know if it’s a me thing or if I’m doing something weird or what, but oofa doofa. It doesn’t help that I’m doing the fronts and backs of both sweaters (since Flax is a reversible sweater, I figured I’d make the decoration reversible, too).
It’s going to look so cute once I’m done, though!
Have you ever done duplicate stitch to finish a project? Did it take you an aeon, too? Or is it just me?
They’re so cute, and so fast to work up. They’re just the most fun. (Especially when I’m in a knitting funk!)
And they’re a great excuse to do silly stuff like this. A matching pair of Harry Potter-themed sibling sweaters. C’mon. I’d never do something this silly for an adult, but there’s something so satisfying about doing it for little ones.
I’ve finished the hard part, and it was hardly hard. I just finished up both the big and little brother sweaters! (In my beloved Flax Light/Provincial Tweed combination.) They’re super cute and super soft and ready to be embroidered.
I’m honestly tempted to just leave them like this. They’re already so cute. But, I’ve got a plan, and I’m sticking to it.
I really love this pattern for kids and babies. It’s so functional and cozy. Before I had my kids, I made a BSJ for every friend that had a kid. I still love that pattern- it’s such a satisfying knit, and the final seaming-up is just… the best. But now that I have kids of my own, I’m all about the functional knits for kids. I don’t have time to do up (and worry about) 6 buttons every time we go outside. Flax Light is great because it’s a simple pullover, it’s reversible (no worrying about which is the front and which is the back!), and the head holes are generous enough for even my kids and their giant melons. And, because it’s such a simple pattern, you can do all sorts of things to add your own spin- change the colors, add stripes or… add a giant duplicate-stitched letter to the front!
Speaking of which… I’m itching to get embroidering. It’s going to look so good!
I DID IT! I finished a sweater! It’s the first sweater I’ve finished in… a while.
Yes, it’s a kid’s sweater, but still. It’s so cute and so soft and it’s going to be so appreciated by the recipient (or at least I’ll pretend it will be… the recipient is 3, and probably couldn’t care less about clothes, but still.)
I’ve roped our sleepy dog Ollie into modeling for me:
He’s a good sport.
I haven’t blocked it yet, and I’m going to wait until the little brother sweater is done, too, before adding the duplicate-stitch letters on the front and back. (They’re going to be a set of matching Weasley-inspired sweaters, so cute!)
Now that I’m in a good mood, and on a roll (and, shockingly, both kids are asleep at the same time), I’m going to go wind up the yarn for the baby version and get knitting! I’m so excited!
I’m Type A. Maybe even Type A+, if you will. If there’s extra credit, I want it. If I say I’m going to do something (even if I’m the only one who cares), I will do it. I don’t half-ass things. Basically ever.
I’m not going to lie, there are some upsides about being this way- I’m a very competent person. I don’t (usually) forget things or miss deadlines. I’m always checking things off my various to-do lists. I’m self-driven and self-motivated. All good things.
On the other hand, I’m also always functioning with at least a low simmer of anxiety. If I miss a deadline (hello gigantic wool blanket I decided to make in the middle of summer), I get real stressed out and down on myself. You get it.
I’m doing my best to start being a little easier on myself. Maybe I don’t have to be 100% perfect 100% of the time. Maybe I can start half-assing things and being a little looser on deadlines. Sure, there are some things that can’t be half-assed, but there are definitely some things that can.
For example, this Flax Light sweater was intended to be the first half of a pair of Weasley-style sweaters for a friend of mine. It was intended to be a “welcome baby” gift for the big brother and his little brother.
The little brother is now 5 months old, and I’m barely halfway into the first sweater.
But, you know what? It’s fine! She wasn’t expecting the sweaters, and it’s too hot for the kids to be wearing them anyway. I’ll just size-up the baby sweater and they’ll be done by the fall (probably). And if they’re not… oh well!
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?