Saturday, March 17, 2012

My Little FO

On Friday, March 9 at 12:05 in the afternoon, my sweet baby boy was born.

Say hello to my latest FO...

Big sister is fascinated by her new baby brother

So itty-bitty
Decked out in handknits from Mommy

Looking more like a baby and less like an new born everyday!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Spring Awakening Cowl

Anybody else out there seriously ready for spring?

I don't know about you, but I am aching for more sunshine, budding trees and green grass... not to mention slightly warmer temperatures. Unfortunately, before the loveliness of that season moves in, the more finicky part comes first... March.

There is a reason they say that March comes in like a lion. And here to help you weather those chilly, windy and usually wet days is a new pattern.

The Spring Awakening Cowl is a cozy spring accessory. It is knit straight, width-wise on circular needles, with a garter stitch edge on the top and bottom edges of the cowl.

The body of the cowl is knit in a “leaves of grass” stitch pattern with a leaf motif on one side edge. A button hole (for mother of pearl shell buttons) sits at the bottom of each of the stems on the leaf motif edge.

The cowl is knit using (less than) one skein of Three Irish Girls’ Wexford Merino Silk yarn, which feels soft and warm around one’s neck to keep out the biting winds of March and April, without feeling overheated, scratchy or bulky.

The leaves of grass stitch pattern, leaf motif and soft blended hues in the Maura color- way hint that winter is coming to an end and spring is making its arrival. Pattern includes written and chart instructions.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Playground Warmers

This simple leg warmer pattern was designed with active toddlers/children in mind. My daughter, Emma, loves to play outside and consequentially gets frequently messy when on the swings at the park or running around in our grassy backyard.

I liked the idea of creating a go-to pair of leg warmers for her that I could toss in the washing machine after a trip to the playground. The yarn used for each pair is a soft, machine washable yarn - a must for little legs running through the dirt.

The Playground Warmers pattern includes instructions for sizes/ages 0- 6 months up to 7 years old. The various sizes are based on a collection of measurements from children ages 1 month to 6 years old.

Now anyone who reads this blog knows that my daughter is exceptionally tall for her age. So I am fully aware that children come in all shapes and sizes. If you would like to make leg warmers that custom fit the recipient, then you can follow a formula also included in this document.

The three girls in all of the pictures (aren't they amazing photos, by the way?) are all 3 years old. They are all wearing the 2-3 year size leg warmers.

Funny how they each chose to slouch them down. Emma usually likes to stretch hers up to her knees, but I guess on the day of the shoot, she wanted to be like her buddies. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Sweater #4

Warning: I am about to do a little bragging for a sentence or two.

I am on a roll! Two days ago, I finished my fourth sweater in less than a month! Yes, the first 3 sweaters were children's sweaters, but the fourth one is an adult-sized one! Plus (and this is an impressive factor) I did this while super pregnant!

Okay. I am done. It is out of my system now.

Now, on to the details of sweater # 4...

Last summer, I took advantage of an amazing sale at a not-too-local (an hour away) yarn shop, KNOTS- Knitting on the Square, and purchased Berroco's Ultra Alpaca Fine yarn (in the Pea Soup Mix colorway) with this sweater pattern in mind. 

After months of reading project notes on Ravelry and yarn reviews, I pondered whether the Featherweight Cardigan would be a flattering sweater for my curvy figure. I know from experience that Hannah Fettig, the designer, writes exceptional patterns, always so clear and fuss-free. However, I had just had a somewhat disappointing experience with her Contented Cardigan recently and was concerned I might be headed in the same direction: sizing issues.

Well, I bit the bullet and dove in. My swatch gauge was 23 stitches/ 4inches, very close to the 24 stitches recommended, and I really liked how blocking softened the fabric and smoothed the stitches. While knitting the garment, a top-down/seamless construction, it seemed to me that the sleeves were mighty large. I was having flash-backs to my Contented Cardigan's wide sleeves, which I've never been happy about, and debated for days whether to finish the sleeves and live with the result or to re-knit them and alter the pattern (which I don't like to do).  I even asked my husband's opinion, a rare occurrence when it comes to knitting, and he recommended a do-over.

So here were my modifications:

  1. I added 2 inches to length of st st section on the body before ribbing (total length of back from underarm = 13 inches).
  2. After the 1st decrease on each sleeve, I decreased 2 sts on every 7th row until 52 sts remained, then knit in single rib for 2 inches. This makes a slimmer sleeve - much needed. 

I chose to knit the collar in stockinette stitch as shown on the model in the pattern pictures. The designer recommends a single rib stitch as an alternative if you don't want your collar to curl. I have spent way too many late night hours examining other knitters' finished products and decided that the stockinette stitch collar is much more interesting even with a little curling.

And I couldn't be happier with the end result. It fits so well, lays nicely (beautiful drape from the alpaca blend yarn) and the sleeves are much more flattering!

My 3 year old kissing my baby belly:) 

I am due in a few days, so I think it is safe to say that I won't be making sweaters for a little while... or at least I won't be finishing a sweater anytime soon.

On my needles: project A and project B, so stay tunned!