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:
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?
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).
Here’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!
Just a quick little WIP Wednesday post today, mainly because my Creme de Menthe vest looked like this a few days ago:
Sigh. I had a feeling while I was working on the vest last week that it was coming out too big, but I pushed the feeling aside and soldiered on, not wanting to contemplate ripping out and starting over (we all do this, right? Tell me it’s not just me). But when I had about 8-9 inches of fabric, I finally measured, and sure enough–it was almost 2″ too wide. My gauge changed from 5.5 sts/inch in the swatch to 5.25 sts/inch in the vest. Not a big deal if it’s a small piece, but it makes a lot of different over a whole garment.
But oh well. I’ve started again with fewer stitches and have about 3″ done. And I’m still madly in love with the yarn, so it could be a lot worse. :-)
I finished the large design and shipped it off, woohoo! Although I still have a few commissioned accessories I’m working on, with the sweater load off my shoulders, I allowed myself to start a new design.
Here’s the sketch (which I did in about 10 minutes using Adobe Illustrator–I’m getting pretty good with that program, if I do say so myself). I really like the idea of a vest with skinny stripes running perpendicular to each other, so that’s what I’ll be attempting. It’ll either be cute or a mess… but that’s part of the fun of designing, right?
I’m using the Tosh DK Twist I showed off in last week’s post, and man is this stuff lovely. It’s as springy as Tosh Vintage, but lighter weight and softer. I’m an addict after only a few inches:The tank is bottom up, in the round to the armholes and then back and forth. The 2-1 stripe pattern I’m using will necessitate pushing the work back and forth on the circular needles to keep the stripe pattern correct when it’s worked flat, but I tried it on a swatch and it’s actually kind of fun. You have to think about the fabric you’re making on each row, but that helps alleviate the boredom of endless stockinette. :-)
Also: I thought of a name for this design right away, which almost never happens. It shall be Creme de Menthe. Perfect, isn’t it?
Thanks to lightning-fast shipping from Knit Picks, I got my extra skein of Gloss DK this week and finished Concord, too!
I finished a new hat this week!
Pattern: My own (probably will be released this month, depending if I decide the pattern needs testing)
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Chunky in Natural. While the yarn was as squishy and delicious to knit with as ever, it was sort of bizarre to have colorless Madelinetosh. I really love the dyeing, so I think I’ll probably stay away from this shade in the future. I do like the color with my reddish hair, however!
Notes: The lace and cable pattern I decided to use seemed very straightforward… until I tried to convert it to knitting in the round rather than flat. Many swatches later, I figured out that the end of round marker needs to be moved forward one stitch at the end of each pattern repeat. That also gives the hat a neat spiral effect.
I decided to do a cable-cast on instead of my usual long-tail, because it plays more nicely with the garter stitch brim. The cable-cast on hurts my hands, and I find it much more fiddly than the long-tail, but I think the results were worth it. You can see the cast-on edge pretty well in this work-in-progress pic:
The purple vest is almost ready for public viewing! We did a very successful photoshoot in our new backyard. It has this great wooden fence, which makes an excellent photo backdrop. Here’s a sneak peek from the photoshoot:
I’m done with the Excel sizing (XXS to 4X for this pattern), so the next steps are to lay out the pattern, finalize the chart, and proofread. Then I’ll put the pattern up for testing on Ravelry (likely in the Testing Pool group–if you think you might be interested in testing, drop me a line!).
I also need to think up a name for the pattern. Since it reminds me so much of grapes, I’m thinking maybe Concord Vest? Like these concord grapes:
And I’ve started another project! While looking through my Madelinetosh stash to get ideas for Madelinetosh May projects, I was struck with a colorwork hat idea. I tried to be good and wait for May so I could do the knitalong with everyone else, but I couldn’t stand waiting, so…
The main colorwork pattern is in Tosh Sock in French Gray and Norway Spruce. The lining (to be tacked up when the rest of the hat is complete) is Tosh too, but laceweight so it’ll tuck under without much bulk. I love how the design is going so far!
I don’t know what my deal is, though: usually I’m strictly a DK and up gal, but my last three projects have been on size 2-5 needles. Guess I’m branching out a little…
From the pattern page:
Have you been dreaming of a lightweight pullover for indoor wear, changing seasons, or winter in temperate climates? Look no further than Dream a Little Dream. This stylish but still casual pullover is light as a feather and easy to knit. Mock cable rib at the hems and upper back adds texture and keeps the knitting interesting.
This sweater is constructed from the top down in the round and is completely seamless. The only finishing is picking up and knitting the neckband and buttonband placket.
XS (S, M, L / 1X, 2X, 3X)
Finished bust measurement:
30.5 (33.75, 37, 41.25 / 44.75, 49, 53.25)”, or 77.5 (85.5, 94, 105 / 113.5, 124.5, 135.5) cm
Shown in size M with 1” of negative ease
madelinetosh tosh merino light (100% merino; 420 yds/384 m per 100g skein): 3 (3, 3, 4 / 4, 4, 5) skeins in Worn Denim
If substituting yarn, you will need approximately 900 (1000, 1150, 1300 / 1450, 1600, 1750) yds, or 825 (925, 1050, 1175 / 1325, 1450, 1600) meters, of fingering or sport-weight yarn.
NOTE: This sweater is designed to be knit at a loose gauge. A DK or worsted weight yarn won’t drape like the original, even if the gauge is right. Fingering or sport-weight yarn is recommended.
I have an FO I can show you for Friday! Second week in a row!
Although that photo doesn’t show scale very well, it’s little, trust me.
Pattern: Tiny Holiday Sweater Ornament, free from the KnitPicks website. I didn’t use my own pattern! Gasp!
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Sport in Moorland, leftovers from my Put Together sample.
Notes: I didn’t enjoy this knit, unfortunately. Part of it is my fault–I didn’t have enough fingering weight yarn around, so I decided to knit it with sport weight on size 2′s. This meant the stitches were very tight and it was hard to work the front and back cables without a cable needle (my preferred method).
The pattern itself was too fiddly for my taste. Also, I would estimate it took me about 6-8 hrs of knitting. That’s as long as I would spend on a worsted-weight hat or mitten: too long for an ornament, in my opinion. I’m planning to make a few more little sweaters for gifts, but I’m going to find a nice DK or worsted pattern for the rest.
At least it came out cute! It’s hard to make anything out of Madelintosh that doesn’t look fabulous, really. Look at the depth of color:
And in other news, I’m planning to knit yet another pattern of someone else’s, this time for my adorable 2.5 year old niece! I have a few skeins of Malabrigo Arroyo in a lovely grayish-purple that have been sitting around waiting to become something, so I swatched it up yesterday:
Isn’t that gorgeous?
I’m drooling over little girl patterns on Ravelry, trying to pick out the perfect one. It’s such a novelty to be able to pick and choose without having to write my own, haha!
My current favorites are (Rav links):
Sweet Peasy: This is really cute and looks quick and simple. My gauge is a little smaller than required, so I’d have to go up to the next size and hope for the best, though.
Saffron: RIDICULOUSLY cute. I’m a little worried it’s too girly for my niece’s stylish mama, though… and I know from experience that ruffles are painful.
Sweet Poppy: Love this one… but I’m a little worried I’d run out of yarn. Also, the sweater has to be mailed all the way across the country, and I’m thinking the drapey fronts probably wouldn’t fare so well. It might need re-blocking at the other end!
Do you have a go-to toddler sweater knit in sport or DK weight yarn?
Rhinebeck was AWESOME. Completely amazing. I’ll be going again next year for sure!
Warning: very photo-heavy post ahead.
I spotted another Chandail just walking around, which made me stop in my tracks and squeal to my husband like a little girl. And I had several people tell me they had been following the progress of my new sweater on Ravelry and were excited to see it in person! I passed out loads of business cards and (of course) bought some delicious yarn.
More on that in a few days :-)