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FO Friday: Unnamed Baby Cardigan

2

I finished this little sweater a few weeks ago, but I never got around to blogging about it.

MalBaby frontMost of the party is in the back:

MalBaby backThe specs:

Pattern: My own (very first self-designed baby garment!).

Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted in Emerald, about 1.25 skeins. This yarn has been marinating in my stash since August of 2012 (long time readers might remember it from this birthday wrap-up post!). I love using long-term stash yarn.

And yes, it’s completely impractical, since the yarn isn’t machine washable. But it’s cuddly soft, and I figure my baby will probably fit into it for about 30 seconds anyway, so I’m willing to do a few hand-wash-and-dry-flat rounds.

Notes: I was shooting for a 3-6 month size, since my little one will be born in July and this won’t be worn until the fall. I think I pulled it off, but the sweater looks so teeny to me… I guess time will tell.

My plan is to write up this pattern and get it tested this summer, and then I can make this part of the baby collection I’m planning to release this fall.

I really like the little cable pattern on the back. It shows up so nicely in the Malabrigo:

IMG_1042You’ll eventually see more pictures of this one when my model arrives!

WIP Wednesday: Outside-In Baby Blanket

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Remember how I said I was obsessed with baby knits these days?

I knew I wanted to design some kind of baby blanket for my kiddo, so I delved into my inspiration folder and came up with these two blanket-like ideas.

Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 11.55.16 AM Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 11.58.17 AM

After a bunch of swatching, I found a stitch pattern I liked that was reminiscent of the swirls from the first pattern. I figured a “start at the middle and increase on four lines to the edges” construction would work well for the pattern, but there was just one problem.

I hate projects that start with very few stitches and increase out to a zillion at the edges.

I would so much rather slog through the loooong part at the beginning and then be rewarded with ever-increasing speed and progress as I go on. That way the initial burst of enthusiasm sustains me through the beginning, and the visible progress sustains me through the rest of the project. So I decided to design this blanket to be worked outside-in instead of the more traditional inside-out.

I swatched a corner, took a picture, put it in Photoshop, and played around a little:

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 10.08.57 AMThat’s the general idea, anyway.

I’ve been working on the blanket steadily for about a week now, and here’s what I have to show for it:

Outside In WIPNot very impressive, is it? But when you consider that the CO had 664 sts…

Outside IN WIP fullI could possibly use a longer circular needle.

FO Friday: Baby Hats!

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Well, I said I’d go nuts with baby stuff now that my commissioned designs were finished. Maybe you thought I was exaggerating?

Ahem. For FO Friday today, I have two baby hats, designed and knit up in about two days each.

First up, this little fair isle number:

Fair Isle baby hat

The specs:

Pattern: My own, coming… sometime? I’ll probably have a flurry of baby releases this fall, after the baby is born and I have a willing model. The colorwork pattern is one I was playing with more than a year ago, but I wasn’t happy with it for an adult hat. I think it’s perfect for babies, though!

Yarn: Knit Picks Brava Sport. I got a bunch of Brava in a few different weights for Christmas, since I knew I’d want to make some easy-care baby gifts. This was my first experience knitting with it. I totally understand why people are raving about it. If I didn’t know it was 100% acrylic, I wouldn’t have guessed. It’s soft and non-squeaky. Very nice to knit with.

Unfortunately, I’ve heard that Knit Picks has moved production of this yarn to another country recently, and it changed considerably so it’s closer to other types of 100% acrylic yarn. Here’s hoping they get it resolved, because I’d buy this stuff by the truckload if it was always like this.

Notes: Does this colorwork pattern look like TIE fighters to anyone else? Just me then? Okay.

The next hat turned out pretty dang cute, too:

Mal baby hat

Pattern: My own, probably coming sometime this fall.

Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted in Azul Profundo and Lettuce. This yarn is soooo nice on the hands. After knitting with a cotton-like yarn on the commissioned designs, it was like bathing in lotion. And bonus–this is all leftover yarn! I knew I was hanging onto that teeny ball of Lettuce for a good reason.

Notes: I love the bobble-y pattern on the brim, but the contrasting color decreases and the teensy i-cord make this hat for me. I cannot WAIT to put it on my very own baby. I might die from cute.

And if those weren’t enough baby knits for you, I also started a little cabled sweater design, also in Malabrigo Worsted. It’s about 1/4 of the way done already. Maybe if I hustle, I’ll have it finished for next Friday. :-)

New Pattern Releases: Keelback Hat and Mitts

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I showed off the cable for these designs on the blog months and months ago:

Keelback teaser

…but then I got swept up in a bunch of secret commissioned projects and couldn’t work on it.

Finally it was warm enough to go out and take pictures, so without further ado, here are the Keelback Hat and Mitts:

Keelback Hat

 

IMG_0985Here are the specs on the FOs:

Pattern: My own Keelback Hat and Mitts, now available to purchase for $3.50 each or $6.00 as a set.

Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Merino DK in Grey Garden. This yarn does nothing to dim my love affair with Tosh. It’s like butter to knit with, and the greenish-yellowish-gray color… swoon.

Notes: These were really fun to knit (and I’m not just saying that!). I wanted to design a hat with a different construction, since I was getting a little sick of the usual bottom-up stuff. I love cables, so I thought I’d knit a cabled band and then pick up stitches and knit down for the ribbing, then pick up stitches and knit up for the crown. It worked perfectly!

Keelback Hat Drawing

The mitts were a little more challenging to design, since the big cable I used on the hat was too long to work for the cuff of the mitts. I used the smaller cables for the cuff and then echoed the big cable in the body of the mitt. I was a little worried about the mitts looking too busy, but I think they turned out well!

I did have a pretty major snafu with the second mitt. I misplaced the markers for the back of the hand cable and ended up knitting the whole dang thing off kilter. Not gonna lie, there was some swearing when I figured that one out and had to rip all the way back to the cuff.

Keelback Mitts 2

Anyway, now that I’m done with the majority of my commissioned designs, it’s time for BABY KNITS! I’m so excited. I’ve already finished a baby hat design and am swatching blanket patterns obsessively.

And bonus–because these are my own designs, I can share progress pics and ideas here on the blog. I’ve missed you, blog!

 

New Pattern Release: Roanoke!

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It’s always a thrill when I can show off something I worked on in secret months ago. :-)

Meet Roanoke, part of the Louet North America Spring 2014 collection, which was just released today!

Roanoke Full

This tee is knit in scrumptious Louet Gems Fingering weight at a loose gauge. I wanted to design a drapey garment that was still figure-flattering, so it has a close, body-skimming fit.

The cable and eyelet pattern at the top adds just enough interest to an otherwise easy knit:

Roanoke detailAnd that picture shows off my favorite part of the design: top-down, short-rowed, seamless sleeves! I’ve been wanting to design a garment with this construction for ages (I even blogged about it during Knitting and Crochet Blog Week last year). I think it worked beautifully for this top.

The rest of the patterns in the collection are GORGEOUS. You can flip through the whole lookbook here: Louet Spring 2014.

The specs on the tee are below. You can buy the pattern for $7.50 through my Ravelry store (no Ravelry account needed for purchase) by clicking on the button below.

YARN
Louet Gems (Fingering Weight); 100% merino; 185 yds/169 m per 50gr skein; shown in #67 Sea Foam Green: 4 (5, 6, 6, 7, 7, 8) skeins

RECOMMENDED NEEDLES
US 5 (3.75 mm) circular needle, 29” – 40” long
US 5 (3.75 mm) double-pointed needles
US 5 (3.75 mm) circular needle, 16” or 20” long
US 6 (4.0 mm) circular needle, 29” – 40” long
US 6 (4.0 mm) double-pointed needles

NOTIONS
Stitch markers
Stitch holders or waste yarn
Tapestry needle

GAUGE
24 Sts and 30 Rows = 4” square in Stockinette stitch on larger needles
24 Sts and 34 Rows = 4” square in Mock Cable Eyelet pattern on larger needles

Roanoke back

FO Friday: Zita

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I actually finished something I can show you this week! It’s a Christmas present for my three-year-old niece:

IMG_0589I used to knit Christmas presents for almost everyone in the family, but once I started designing, that went right out the window. My sister-in-law still makes wistful comments about the baby sweaters I used to make for her daughter, though. So hopefully this will be a nice surprise. :-)

The specs:

Pattern: Zita (Ravelry link) by Sarah Ronchetti of Sezza Knits.

This is a great pattern! I followed it pretty much as written, although I did change the cap sleeves to long ones because my sister-in-law requested dresses appropriate to wear in winter.

IMG_0588Did you know baby/toddler sleeves aren’t always tapered from underarm to wrist (and if they are, it usually isn’t much)? I didn’t, but luckily I looked at some other patterns before I decided how to do the sleeves. I was ready to sail in there with my usual decrease rate for adult sleeves. Guess I have some things to learn before I start designing sweaters to fit my upcoming little one…

Yarn: Berroco Vintage (wool/acrylic blend) in 5159 Elderberry, 4 skeins. This yarn is now pretty much my go-to for washable baby/toddler knits. It’s nice to knit with–not squeaky at all–and it blocks well. Plus my niece’s favorite colors are purple and pink, so this magenta should hopefully be perfect.

Notes: I’ve never knit a dress before, so I was surprised at how long the skirt took and how much yarn it ate up! But I love the finished product. The twisted stitches at the chest give just enough visual interest without being too busy. And the ruffle is so dang cute:

IMG_0584We’re heading off to (hopefully) sunny California on Monday for the holidays. It’ll be a nice change from the endless snow/rain we’ve had here. And I even have a teensy-weensy baby bump to show off (although it kind of just looks like I’ve been eating too many Christmas cookies).

I’m planning to kick back, relax, and get tons of knitting done. It should be a blast!

 

WIP Wednesday: It’s a Big One! (Well, so to speak…)

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Well geez, posts have been thin on the ground around here, haven’t they?

But I have a very good reason, I promise. Ready?

I’m pregnant! My current WIP that’s taking up an awful lot of my time and attention is a baby boy or girl, due to be completed around the first week of July 2014. This is the first baby for me and my husband. We’re really excited (and I’ll be even more excited when the all-day “morning” sickness subsides, yuck).

You know what this means, right? Baby knits! (And possibly baby designs… but that’s a little further down the road.)

I whipped up these booties for our announcement post on Facebook:

Saartje's Booties

 

They’re Saartje’s Booties (Ravelry link), which I’ve made for several other little ones… but it was a thrill to make them for my very own baby! I used some Madelinetosh Sport left over from my Put Together vest to make them nicely unisex.

We’re probably not going to find out the baby’s gender ahead of time, so I’ll be on the hunt for yarns and patterns that work for boys or girls. Any suggestions?

Giveaway Winners!

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The random number generator has spoken!

KP Swish Collection

The two winners of the Swish Collection booklet are:

1. Sonya (post #17)

and

2. Rebekah Evelyn (post #9)

KP Bulky Collection

The two winners of the Bulky Collection are:

1. Britney (post #10)

and

2. Stephanie (post #13)

I’m sending a message your way asking for your address, so keep an eye out for that.

Congratulations to the winners!

Pattern Book Giveaway!

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Apologies for the lack of blogging recently. This is mostly due to a couple of secret projects I’m working on. Hopefully I’ll be able to show off one of them next week, so stay tuned!

To distract you from the lack of posts, how about a giveaway? Remember I mentioned two new designs I had in Knit Picks books recently? (If you get the Knit Picks catalog, you may have seen them featured there.)

The first, which I blogged about, is the Reilly Pullover in the Swish 2013 Collection:

KP Reilly Pullover

And the second, which I somehow missed announcing here, is the Ayri Tunic. This pattern is included in the 2013 Bulky Collection:

Ayri Tunic

Now, on to the giveaway! Knit Picks generously sent me multiple copies of each pattern booklet, so I have two of each to give away. Click on the link above each photo below to check out the patterns in each booklet on Ravelry. There are some gorgeous designs!

Bulky 2013 Collection:

Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 11.26.50 AM

Swish 2013 Collection:

Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 11.23.38 AMTo be entered for a chance to win, just leave a comment on this post telling me which booklet you want to win and why. Next Monday (Nov. 18), I will use a random number generator to pick the winners! This contest is open to anyone (although you may have to wait a little bit longer to receive your prize if you don’t live in the US, as I probably won’t be shipping it super-fast).

Good luck!

 

 

The Indie Design Gift-A-Long Launched Today!

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So here’s something exciting: a whole group of independent designers got together on Ravelry a few weeks ago and decided to put together a promotion/knit & crochet-along for the months of November and December (just in time for gifting, hence the “Gift-A-Long” name).

Giftalong-logo-400Here’s how the Gift-A-Long works. From Nov. 1 – Nov. 15, participating designers are discounting select patterns by 25% with the coupon code giftalong. You can see a list of all discounted patterns here in the Ravelry thread. I’ve decided to apply the discount to all of my self-published patterns–because hey, sometimes people deserve a hat, and sometimes they deserve a sweater, right? Or maybe you want to knit a “gift” for yourself… that’s okay too. :-)

Once you’ve got a participating pattern (or even if you had one already), you can knit (or crochet) along with others in the Indie Gift-A-Long Ravelry group until December 31st.

Also! There are prizes. Really, really good prizes. There’s a full list of them here. I donated a few awesome skeins of yarn I had in my stash. If you’re interested in the chance to win any of these, hop on over to the Gift-A-Long group and check it out!

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Tosh Merino Light in Badlands

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(Green yarn only) 2 skeins Crystal Palace Kid Merino

IMG_4984_medium

Fleece Artist Blue Face Leicester Aran

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numma numma panna

IMG_6666_medium

Malabrigo Arroyo in Sabidura

 

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