Stuck in a Rut?

That’s what the man said when I whipped up these overalls for The Blessing.

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Overalls of my own design in Mosaic Moon Arbor on Gaia Worsted

And maybe he has a point. These practically flew off of the needles just a week before:

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Overalls of my own design in my handspun

And, of course, my pregnant knitting was somewhat similar…

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Overalls of my own design in Family Pendragon Avonlea’s Rainbow on Merlin Superwash Sock with Vertebrea Sweater

Then there are the short overalls that I adore and wish (oh, how I wish I had made them pants!)

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Ballonbukser in Madelinetosh Sock, Glasshouse

Okay, it may be a rut, but it is a cute rut… and I am not out of it yet. I’ve got some Mal Chunky turning into overalls as we speak! The Blessing is excited about those –

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Neon Fireworks

When I firsts saw this colorway on the Mosaic Moon Facebook page, I knew I needed it.

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Mosaic Moon Neon Fireworks on Aran Tweed with Dark Purple trim (I got two skeins of colorway and one trim. It was all that was available)

Okay, so “need” is a strong word. But that didn’t stop me from snatching up the first two skeins I stumbled upon on Ravelry, regardless of base. Fortunately, the base turned out to be Aran Tweed (very like Licorice Twist), which is perfect for a baby thing.

Ever since my early knitting days I have wanted to knit a sleeper for a baby. I always knit soakers, longies, shorties, and bloomers, never quite getting around to covering the entire baby with the knitted love. Well, that all changed this week. I didn’t have a pattern, but I do have a pattern for a onesie and I figured I could just add legs to, right? Well, this is what became of my logic.

IMGP8800Now, keep in mind that it isn’t exactly finished. The legs will have snaps to make for easier diaper changes and I am still shopping for the perfect buttons for the top.

IMGP8801I am probably going to get some really girlie buttons and some really boy-ie buttons and put them on when baby tells us who he/she is.

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Rear view showing the short row bum.

This ended up very different from the pattern that I bought (why do I keep paying money for patterns if I am not going to follow them?). I started with the pattern (All-In-Onesie), but it morphed into something else as I went, and I even went back to pull out the collar and do that differently, as well. So, the only part that follows the pattern is the stitch count for the raglan increases and the sleeves. Well, I didn’t knit the sleeves as long as it said, so…

Modifications:

I wanted the button placket at the neck to be knit in the trim color, so instead of casting on the placket, I ignored that direction and just knit around it. Then, I went back and picked up the stitches, knitting the placket in seed stitch to match the cuffs and collar. I put in three button holes.

When I reached the short row section, I stopped following the pattern and knit my own longie pattern from that point on, including my own short rows.

The gusset is of my own making, as I would normally knit for a soaker.

The legs were knit back and forth and the stitches picked up along them for the snap plackets.

After I finished the legs I returned to the top and pulled out the collar to reknit it to match the seed stitch cuffs.

I knit the sleeves an inch shorter than recommended.

When I picked up the sleeves, I realized that I had missed the directions to cast on more stitches when the sleeves were separated from the body, so the body turns out to be several stitches narrower than supposed to be. This is not a modification, it is a mistake. 🙂

I had anticipated my gauge to be off because my yarn is thicker and my needles larger than the pattern calls for. This was fine with me, as baby isn’t even here, yet. As it worked out, I got perfect gauge (mysteriously!). So my 3-6 month size should be close.

And, since I bought two skeins of this fabulous colorway, I have enough for shorties, too! See? (and there will still be some left. Baby will be bedecked in Neon Fireworks!)

IMGP8804There has been some argument here about the gender specificity of this colorway. Some of the kids think it is too girlie to put on a boy. Some think it is to boyish to put on a girl. The Bookworm thinks it is too girlie for a boy and too boyish for a girl (can’t win with that girl!). The Man says it doesn’t matter. I like it for either. What do you think?

 

Evidence of My Insanity

If you have been reading this blog for any length of time then you know that I am a little crazy.

Okay, a lot crazy.

Case in point:

I recently yammered on and on about how I hate knitting diaper covers. I was so excited to be free from that chore when I bought pocket diapers. I believe my exact words were, “I may be the Benedict Arnold of the Knitting World, but I think I can live with that. Meanwhile I am going to hand this stinky baby to The Man for him to change and I am going to knit a not-a-soaker knitting project.”

Wanna see my most recent finished project? (Ravelry page here)

See? I told you I am crazy!

In my defense, this is no ordinary pair of longies. Firstly, this yarn is not only DK (rather than worsted), but it is the lovely Sanguine Gryphon Traveler. Two hundred and eighty yards of pure heaven. The colors! The texture! The smell! I love this yarn!

Secondly, the baby needed some pants. One small fact that I forgot to put into the equation when I traded up diaper systems was that when one doesn’t knit cute soakers, one must buy pants, skirts, shorts and bloomers. I had forgotten that all those hand knit soakers were actually parts of the wardrobe as well. I am keenly feeling their absence. So, knitting pants for the baby was the most logical choice. (crazy, remember?)

Thirdly, this yarn wanted to be pants for V. Honestly! I cast on a sweater with it as soon as it came in the mail. I took it on vacation. I worked and worked. I also ripped and ripped. I frogged it back from almost complete four times before I got the hint. It did not want to be a sweater. Who am I to argue with such a lovely yarn? Give it what it wants! And it wanted to be pants.

I can say honestly that I enjoyed every stitch of this project, even the ones that got frogged repeatedly. The way the colors play across the strand of this magnificent yarn is dazzling. V will probably get more knit pants in the future…. when I can order a few more skeins of Traveler in some different colorways.

Oh, Baby (knitting)

I finished a few really cute baby things recently, but as they were gifts for people who read this blog, I had to wait to show the rest of you what I have been up to. My sister’s baby shower was Saturday, and this is what I made for her.

As she wasn’t going to find out her baby’s gender, I made this little neutral sweater:

Geordie Stripe Yoke Jacket by Louisa Harding in Dream in Color Classy Dusky Aurora

Then, to make this more feminine if she has a girl, I knit this:

Cora Cloche by Kate McDaniel in same yarn.

Or, if out comes another little nephew for me, this hat:

Baby Newsie by Bekkah Knits in same yarn.

At the shower, my dear sis had a surprise announcement – she found out that she is cooking a little boy!

Perfect.

Three things about this knitting:

1. Recognize that yarn? I had three balls leftover after knitting this:

it is fabulous, and washable and the colors are so gorgeous. I was so glad to find a good use for my extras – and I still have almost a whole ball left!

2. The Newsie Hat was a really interesting knit. If you have a little boy to knit for and you enjoy knits that keep you guessing, this is a good one to try! I don’t know how a person sits down and figures out something as complicated as that. And, it is way cute.

3. The sweater pattern, on the other hand, was a pain in the bootie, and I won’t ever knit it again. Too fiddly, too many things I didn’t want to do, too much sewing (even after I converted as much of it as I could to knit in the round). But, she likes it and that is all that matters. Too bad I have to wait till next winter to see how it looks on the baby!

And, lastly, a baby shower for a friend of mine two Saturdays ago (that I missed because I was sick…) had me knitting a diaper cover:

In case you missed it – this is the cute part:

This is the Picky Pants pattern that I always follow (loosely), and I used some wool that looks like Wool of the Andes, but I can’t remember exactly.  And, she loves it. So do I. It was hard to give away. 🙂

So that catches you up on my baby knitting. None for my baby, but I still have till June. (I keep saying that – but oh, my! I will be EIGHT MONTHS this week!)

I Had A Great Idea

Wool longies are so useful. I have been knitting wool longies and shorties, and skirties and undies, for a few years now. I use them everyday. I love them. I just hate knitting them. Granted, it is a quick knit. I don’t need to look up a pattern. I can whip out something cute, useful and compliment worthy really fast. Sometimes, in the middle of a long sleeve, or a lace shawl, I make a pair of longies to remember what it is like to bind off. But, they are boring. Boring, boring, boring. So, every time I make another soaker, I get creative. This time was no exception.

Winter is coming, and the nights are getting cooler, so I was thinking that I would like a pajama type of longie that would be warm and cute and wonderful. I wanted a square neckline, a straight body and long, warm legs. Something like this, only put the longies at the bottom:

Now, a smart girl would buy the pattern and just change the bottom, but I had a “better” idea. I just decided to wing it. How hard could it be? (famous last words, right?)

This is the first prototype. Well, the first one that got farther than 4 rows. I cast on, knit a bit, and frogged. Over and over and over. And, each time I started over, I changed my stitch count. I really didn’t want it to be too small. Of course, there was no gauge swatch involved, so it was all a big guessing game. And, while that picture above may look cute, it is a disaster, and I will tell you why. The front portion of the neck, from corner to corner, measures seven inches! I don’t know about your baby, but my baby’s chest is probably closer to three.

No problem, I thought when I realized this. I will just change my plan. This can be a something for Emma. This is where knitter denial reared it’s ugly head. Emma’s chest is only 5 inches…

So, I knit around and around, and it was nice, fast, mindless knitting. Then, I thought, I should try this on Emma. So, I put all the live stitches on scrap yarn and called Emma over to me. Wouldn’t you know it? The straps are too far apart (as I suspected they would be) and the body was too tight around the middle.

Some garment I made – it doesn’t work on any body, and there are a lot of bodies to choose from in this house! I need someone who is broad shouldered and skinny as a rail.

Back to the drawing board….