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?
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?
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.
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!
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!
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?
Actually, it was new pattern time two (three?) months ago… Things have slipped through the cracks, what with everything going on. But hey! That doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate a new pattern.
Actually, 2 new patterns!
That’s right, today I’ve got not one, well, two, but kind of just one cute little hat(s)- The Puget Hat in Fingering and Worsted!
They’re both simple bottom-up beanies with a big panel of cabling on one side. But, the big difference between the two patterns (as you might have guessed) is gauge and yarn requirements.
The fingering-weight hat is a really great light hat for cool fall nights when you just need a little something extra to stay warm, but the worsted hat is perfect for the depth of winter, and will keep you toasty even in the snowiest months of the year.
I love the decrease details at the top. Instead of a typical, boring decrease pattern, this hat features an X-shaped decrease scheme, a super-cute detail that’s surprisingly easy to work.