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Baby Blue Vest

18 Aug

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My nephew will be born in the next couple of weeks. Even though babies can’t comprehend the time and effort that goes into hand-knit items, I hope all the affection I poured into these stitches will sink into his soft little body and help him know he is loved.

The pattern, Viggo, is for a little striped vest, but I love this so much more. The main yarn is Araucania Lontue, a thick/thin light fingering weight cotton/linen blend. It’s not as soft as most baby yarns due to the linen content, but it will get softer with wear and washing, and as a vest it will be worn over shirts or onesies. Check out more technical details on my Ravelry page.

I got this yarn on closeout when one of my local yarn shops decided to shut down, and I used about half of one skein for this vest. I will definitely use the remaining yarn to make another baby vest or sweater, because I think this is too cute.

It’s not often that I don’t want to let go of a knitted item, but I’m sorry to see this leave. I won’t be around to see my nephew while he’s a little babe (they live several states away) so I won’t even get to enjoy cuddling him while he wears this. But I guess that’s what you get when you live away from your family.

This also makes a great companion for the striped bonnet I knit this spring.

5

The Reveal

30 Jul

My parents visited this past weekend, and I was finally able to give them their birthday gifts. Allow me to present Quill for my mom, and Caldwell for my dad.

Quill, designed by Jared Flood, was published in the 2011 Brooklyn Tweed Spring Thaw collection.

Caldwell, designed by Stephen West, was published in Brooklyn Tweed Wool People Volume 1.

Both of these projects were knit with Knit Picks simply organic cotton – Quill in sport weight, and Caldwell in worsted weight. The colors suit my parents’ wardrobes and personalities, and I feel the patterns complement each other well. I hope they have wonderful knitwear date nights when the weather gets chilly.

Both of these projects were challenging for me in their own ways. Quill is a simple pattern, but it’s huge and requires a lot of time, patience, and blocking with wires. Caldwell is seamed and finished with an i-cord bind off all around. This was a new technique for me and took a lot of time.

I was so pleased that my parents loved their gifts. Their reaction made all of the hard work and long nights worth it. I unfortunately forgot to pull the beautiful photo of both of them wearing their gifts off my mom’s camera before they left, but perhaps I can get it on the blog later.

Additionally, my dad added a wonderful treat to my mom’s gift and bought her a silver shawl pin that features oak leaves, one of my mom’s favorite motifs. All in all, I think she had a beautiful 50th birthday, and my dad will have a great 62nd next weekend.

But you know, my parents weren’t the only ones who received gifts this weekend. I got some new toys, too! Most notably, my mom brought me some gorgeous rosewood Knitter’s Pride Cubic DPNs. These square needles are ergonomic, strong, and create more uniform stitches.

The GNP socks are still in progress. I’ve missed the deadline for the competition, but hopefully they can still make it up to Whitefish in time for the auction.

Because I just started a new job (which I love!) and had family visit, my lofty goals of completing my GNP socks and competing in the Ravellenic Games (formerly the Ravelympics) were not realized. I did, however, cast on a sweater with the yarn I had set aside for the competition.

Great things start with small beginnings. That’s what I’m going to keep telling myself.

This little sleeve will eventually be the Agnes Pullover from the latest issue of Knitscene. I don’t normally purchase that magazine, but just about every pattern in the fall issue is gorgeous, especially Agnes.

I had hoped to have some more impressive in-progress projects to share right now, but I am so happy I took time to relax and enjoy my family’s visit. My parents and aunt don’t get to come out here often, and the Ravellenic Games aren’t a good reason to ignore my family.

Notes

  • Quill is a traditional Shetland hap shawl.
  • The buttons featured on the Caldwell vest are apple wood and purchased from Woods of Narnia on Etsy.

5 projects from this knitter’s queue

27 Apr

Like many knitters, my eyes are often bigger than my stash. I have a huge collection of patterns – downloaded online and purchased in magazines and books – that I desperately want to knit for myself, but I just don’t have the time/yarn/money. Here are five of my favorite queued items just waiting for me to get my stuff together. I’ll start with the head and work my way down:

#1 Year of the Rabbit Hat, Betsy Farquhar


As the proud adopted mother of a house rabbit, I love all things bunny-related. This hat pattern came out in 2011 (the Chinese year of the rabbit) and has been in my queue ever since. It would only cost $16 for the yarn, but the problem here is that I need two sets of needles I don’t have, which would cost an additional $16. That makes this a $32 hat, which is just a bit steep for one small project. As I gradually acquire the right needles, this will move from my queue to my current projects. Link to pattern.

#2 Stripe Study Shawl, Veera Välimäki


Here’s another project that wouldn’t cost too much to make. I already have the needles and the yarn would only run me about $12. The problem here is time and commitment. Shawls are beautiful and cushy, and I love nothing more than having something to snuggle with, but they require A LOT of knitting. It’s a big undertaking to start a shawl, especially one that is entirely garter stitch. This beauty is 63″ across at it’s longest point, and with fingering-weight yarn those rows are a bit longer than I can bring myself to think about right now. I will definitely make this shawl, but I need to work up to it and come to terms with the idea that it may be a long-term project. Link to pattern.

#3 Larch Cardigan, Amy Christoffers


Isn’t it beautiful? I adore cardigans, and the simple design and structure of this pattern gets me daydreaming about crisp fall afternoons with crunchy leaves under my feet and a warm chai in my hand. Perfection. The only problem is I have a 40″ chest circumference, and that lovely drapey design of the cardigan doesn’t transfer so well onto my busty frame. Years of experience have taught me to be wary of anything with a roomy look, because I’ll fill that extra space out and be miserable. Since I’ve started running again I hope I can slim down a little and maybe lose a couple of inches around my bust line, which would make this cardigan a more realistic design for my frame. Here’s to hoping. Link to pattern.

#4 Dimorphous Mittens, Miriam L. Felton


These neat little mittens actually have two parts: The inner mitten, knit in fingering-weight yarn, and the outer, button-on mitten, knit in sport or DK-weight yarn. This means I could knit a single inner mitten and several outer mittens to change the color combinations and overall look. I don’t have a good reason to explain why I haven’t knit these yet. They’ve been in my queue forever, I don’t really want any mittens more than I want these, and they wouldn’t be expensive to make. This project just keeps taking the back burner to my other knitting whimsies. Poor mittens. I’ll make them someday. Maybe. Link to pattern.

#5 Ellington Socks, Cookie A


The Ellington Socks is one of the first sock patterns I bought after I knit my very first pair of socks last year. I quickly realized I had bit off more than I could chew. Cookie A is a sock genius, and just like you need to know more than basic addition to understand what Einstein was talking about, I needed to log several more hours learning how to knit socks before I could understand Cookie A’s charts. The thing about Cookie A is that there are several things going on all at once with her patterns, so you really need to be vigilant and have a firm grasp of basic sock construction to identify if you’ve taken a wrong step somewhere. Now that I have developed those skills and even knit another of her patterns (Cusp), I’m just waiting for the perfect yarn for these Ellington Socks. I want something with that hand-dyed look in a brilliant raspberry (like pictured), peacock blue, or grass-green color. The selection of vegan sock yarns is pretty dismal, so I’ll continue to keep my eyes peeled. I know I wouldn’t be satisfied with anything less than spectacular yarn for this spectacular pattern. I’ve definitely held it on a pedestal for that past year, and I’m not ready to pull it down just yet. Link to pattern.

What patterns are in your queue? I’m always looking to get distracted from my plans.