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A Very Special FO Friday

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You’ve probably figured this out from the month of radio silence…

Ronan1Our baby boy arrived on July 1, four days before his due date! We named him Ronan, a good Irish name like his mom’s and dad’s. He’s absolutely perfect and we’re completely smitten with him.

Ronan2We’re still adjusting to the new schedule, but Ronan and I are doing very well. He is generally very sweet-tempered. He does get grumpy sometimes, like when he’s waiting in the car with Daddy and Mom is taking too long in the post office:

Ronan3He likes to be held most of the time, so figuring out how to get knitting done has been a bit of a challenge. I did have a breakthrough about a week ago when I figured out I could knit with him snuggled up in my Moby wrap:

Ronan4I’d love to show off pictures of him modeling the baby knits I’ve been working on for the last few months, but unfortunately they’re all too big for him! He wasn’t a small baby (about 8 lbs and 20 inches long), so I think I’m going to have to revisit my sizing on those patterns. He’s growing at a rapid rate (he should be, with the amount he eats!), so hopefully it won’t be too long.

I did get a picture of him modeling my knit FO for the week, a baby hat for a friend who had her baby boy just a few days before I did. I think he sensed that this wasn’t for him:

Garter Flap HatHere are the specs on the FO:

Pattern: Garter Earflap Hat from Purl Soho (Ravelry link).

Yarn: Plymouth Superwash Worsted. I’ve had this yarn sitting in my stash for years and finally found something to do with it. It’s soft and squishy, very reminiscent of Cascade 220 Superwash.

Notes: This was a quick, fun, easy knit! Highly recommended. And the little tassel and earflaps, which are a little hard to see in the modeled photo of my wiggly son, are so cute:

Garter Earflap flatMore baby photos to come!

FO Friday: Yep, More Baby Knits

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I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, aren’t I?

Confound1This newest FO matches the colorwork hat I knit up a few months ago:

Fair Isle baby hatThe specs:

Pattern: My own (to be named). The hat and vest will likely be part of a baby collection I’ll be releasing sometime in the fall.

Yarn: Knit Picks Brava Sport in Grass and Caution. I got the hat and the vest out of just one skein of the green and less than a half skein of the yellow. Baby knits are tiny.

I’m still impressed with the quality of the Knit Picks acrylic lines. The sport-weight version is just as soft and non-squeaky as the worsted-weight version I used for the baby blanket.

Notes: I went back and forth on whether I wanted to do the v-neck edging in the same yellow-green combo as the hems and armholes, but in the end I decided it would be a little too much yellow. I think I made the right choice. Plus the neckline flows better into the green buttoned shoulder band this way.

I’m planning to knit up another sample of this pattern in a different yarn and colorway, because I want the pattern to have the options of a round neck instead of a v-neck and colorwork placement near the hem instead of at the chest.

Bonus FO for this week:

Golden Pear

Pattern: Golden Pear (Ravelry link) by Melissa Thomson

Yarn: Scroungings from my leftovers drawer… I think this is Dream in Color Classy (the brown) and some varieties of Cascade 220 for the cream and green.

Notes: Not my own pattern, for once (gasp!). I have a friend who’s going into labor at any moment, so I thought I’d whip up a quick little baby hat. I think this took me about 2.5 hours from cast on to weaving in ends, so it was definitely quick! The i-cord loop at the top twisted a little when I sewed it down, but I actually like the look better than straight, so it’s all good. This is going in the mail tomorrow.

FO Friday and New Pattern Release: Oscillation Scarf

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I have a new FO to show off, and a new pattern!

And it’s (gasp) not a baby knit.

Oscillation1

The scarf is part of the awesome Malabrigo Quickies program (small designs that take 1-2 skeins of Malabrigo yarn). You can check out the rest of the Quickies here on the Malabrigo website. There are some ridiculously cute patterns there.

We had fun trying to pretend I wasn’t 36 weeks pregnant in the photoshoot. I think we pulled it off rather well. The bump is kiiinnnd of present in the full body shots:

Oscillation2But I think you still see the scarf first and not just OMG baby!

The FO specs:

Pattern: my own Oscillation Scarf (Ravelry link), available to purchase for $4 US.

Yarn: Malabrigo Arroyo, two skeins in Reflecting Pool. Blue-green yarns are my Kryptonite, so I loooovee this colorway. My skeins were very different from each other, so I alternated every other row and twisted the yarns up the side. It looks neat and tidy in person, and you can barely see it in the photos, even the closeups:

Oscillation3The combo of the winding cables and alternating skeins broke up the pooling you sometimes get with hand-dyed yarns quite nicely. I’m really happy with the way the colorway looks with the pattern!

Notes: This is one of those sweet spot patterns: just interesting enough to keep your attention, but easily memorized so it makes great TV or travel knitting. A good chunk of this scarf was knit at the TNNA tradeshow while manning my booth or chatting (oops, still need to do a TNNA recap post!).

And now, of course, I’m back to baby knits. My little one is due in three weeks, so not too much longer until you get to see some modeled shots!

 

 

FO Friday: Baby Put Together

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Continuing with the theme of baby obsession, here’s my newest FO:

Baby PT fullIt’s a baby version of one of my first garment patterns, the Put Together vest:

Put Together vestThe downsizing added some challenges, especially on the neck/neckband section. I had to rip out and re-knit the neckband five times to get the decreases right so it wouldn’t ruffle.

Baby PT neckband

After all those decreases, I was a little worried about a giant baby head being able to fit through there, so I changed the neckband from worked in the round (as it was in the original) to worked flat with a button. I think it came out cute:

IMG_1218The specs:

Pattern: my own, based on my Put Together adult vest.

Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh DK in Dr. Zhivago’s Sky for the MC. I used less than one skein for a 3-6 month size! The contrasting color is some Tosh DK Twist I had left over from my Creme de Menthe vest.

As usual, working with Tosh was fantastic. It was nice to not have to worry about alternating multiple skeins, though. And I bought two skeins, so I have one left to play with!

Notes: I was aiming for unisex colors, and I think it worked out pretty well (okay, maybe it’s a little on the boyish side, but close). I can’t wait to see my little one in this!

 

 

 

FO Friday: Unnamed Baby Cardigan

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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!

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!

 

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?

FO Friday and New Pattern Release: Reilly Pullover

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Boy, things have been crazy around here! Rhinebeck was awesome, and I promise to have a post up on that in the next few days. But in the meantime, I have had not one, not two, but three new sweater patterns released this week! So as not to overwhelm this post completely, I’ll space them out into separate posts.

First up: a design in Knit Picks’s newly released Swish Collection, the Reilly Pullover!

KP Reilly PulloverAnd here’s the original sample, the FO I couldn’t show you back around this time last year, in its glory at Rhinebeck:

Reilly at Rhinebeck

Forgive the slightly glazed look and the slumped posture-it had been a long day! 

My inspiration for this sweater was my love of Aran patterning, but I wanted to keep it simple because it’s easy for cables to overwhelm a sweater. I knew I wanted a large front cable, and two smaller ones. Making the side cables wavy seemed like a good way to add a modern touch.

Here are the FO details:

Pattern: My own Reilly Pullover

Yarn: Swish Worsted in Marine Heather (the green sweater is in Jade). I really, really like this yarn. It’s soft and nice to work with, but as you can see, cables pop just as well as they do with a stickier, more rustic wool.

Notes: This sweater combines three of my favorite elements: cables that are complex but not hard to keep track of, a v-neck, and raglan, all-in-one-piece construction.

KP Reilly top

Stay tuned for more Rhinebeck pictures!

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