Posts Tagged ‘baby knits’

Baby Blues

August 21, 2018

I thoroughly enjoyed making a Baby Vertebrae sweater for a friend’s Baby-to-Be. The name is a bit puzzling. My brother asked, “what’s up with that baby spine sweater?”

The pattern gets its name (I presume) because the sweater covers the baby’s back and not its front – an open front makes better snuggling and less cleaning of inevitable spit-ups and dribbles. Plus, no buttons, button holes, or button bands.

I love the Neighborhood Fibre Co. yarn  (worsted in Old Towne East) so much that I decided to add a little hat.

Baby-knits

Many thanks for all the kind wishes for dear Mom. I’m happy to report she’s home and getting a bit stronger each day. I’m still confident that knitting helps her, and I know it helps me.

Advertisements

For the New Life to Come

February 16, 2018

In the midst of breath-stopping tragedy and rage from my country’s latest mass murder, finishing a knitting project for a baby-to-be has been a welcome respite. When the project made its last appearance on the blog, I was in search of buttons and had cast on for a little pair of shorts (or, as the pattern called it, a diaper cover).

My search for green buttons yielded lots of unsuitable options – pastels, leaf, pine — but not the bright apple green that I wanted. So I switched to pink and found the perfect pair.

Wee-penny-buttons

Before sewing them on the top, I finished the bottom (if you’ll pardon the expression!). The pattern called for longer ribbing on the “legs” that would then be folded over like a cuff. Since this will be for an infant who won’t be moving much at all, I decided about six rows of ribbing would be plenty.

Wee-penny-bottom

The seed stitch pattern makes the flowers look a little wonky but so what? Although there’s not really a front or back on the cover, I think of this side as the back. The flower pattern lands on the waist (something a baby doesn’t even have!) on the other side, which seems more front-ish.

There’s probably enough yarn left for a little hat or two. For another baby at another time, I think.

Once I was done weaving in the ends on the diaper cover, I untwisted the yarn and sewed on the buttons.

Wee-penny-top

I’m quite pleased with the results and expect the mother-to-be will be, too.

Wee-penny-set

Lest I get tempted by another project, I immediately cast on the next striped sock because, you know, Second Sock Syndrome is real.

Sock-cast-on.jpeg

Wee Penny Plus Bottoms

February 11, 2018

Last Sunday, the lovely, almost-finished Wee Penny had an unfortunate encounter with a platter of baked chicken — with some tasty but messy sauce, to be precise. If I wasn’t the type of knitter who usually washed a finished project before blocking, I would have become one!

A good sudsy soak and swish in the sink plus a couple of rinses in cool water did the trick. I lay out the little dress on a towel and placed a couple of pins along the neck so it would drive evenly.

Wee-penny-block

I need to find two small buttons for the back opening. I think green would be nice. Agree?

Wee-penny-blocked

Since I had just under half a skein of the lovely Hayfield Baby Blossom remaining, I decided that I’d make “an outfit.” Rather than a hat or booties (which are cute but, given their tendency to slip off and get lost, kind of ridiculous for an infant IMO), I decided on a pair of “shorts” or, as I discovered after perusing Ravelry, is more commonly called a “diaper cover.

Hayfield-diaper-cover

Eventually I’ll get to the second sock, but for now, I’m having fun with baby knits.

 

But It Was On Sale

February 4, 2018

I haven’t bought any much yarn in the past six months or so, which I consider a feat of enormous willpower. The Hayfield Baby Blossom DK doesn’t really count because baby yarn isn’t a regular part of my stash, and I can’t not knit a gift for a future member of my extended family.

Besides, who’s counting? There are no knitting stash police. And the Wee Penny is progressing nicely, don’t you think?

img_5403.jpg

Imagine my delight, when I arrived to teach Knitting 101 this morning at The Stitch House and discovered they were having a bit of a sale.

In the interest of supporting a local yarn store and boosting the local economy and because I’d donated several bags of stash yarn to a local library’s upcoming yarn sale, I felt almost compelled to buy a few skeins. Wouldn’t you?

Sock yarn is always a good buy because I know what I’ll make with it. This skein of Done Roving Yarn’s “Frolicking Feet” in the Peacock colorway caught my eye. I don’t think it’s self-striping, but the colors will suit my Michael quite nicely I think. Plus it’s made in my home state of Maine, so I was almost required to buy it!

Dove Roving Yarn skein of Frolicking Feet yarn

A sparkly skein in the clearance basket caught my eye. At less than $4.00, how could I resist?

I found some lovely Madeline Tosh Twist Light that I think will complement it nicely.

The question now is: what will I make with these two? Maybe a shawl or wrap of some kind? I welcome all pattern ideas – leave a suggestion in a comment. I’ll let you know what I decide…eventually!

Old Photos and New Knits

January 31, 2018

I have the great good fortune of living only five miles from my Mom and visit often, more so lately as my work commitments and travels have diminished. Part of every visit — whether we’re doing errands, specific household tasks, or just hanging out — includes some sorting through of old photographs.

At least once a week, I come home with a few photos from my childhood. Third grade school photo? Check. Image of brothers and me in Easter finery? Check. Blurry shot of relatives or neighborhood friends? Check.

As with many (most?) families, my mother was the repository of the family record — not just taking photos but also putting them into albums or envelopes (some labeled, some not). As life with four children, a husband who worked long hours, and her own civic and volunteer commitments, the photo labeling diminished.

Fortunately, I developed the habit of writing dates and names on the back of photos when I was about 12. That’s how we know that this motley crew at Rummel’s Ice Cream included friends Beth and Margie, California cousins Brian, Bruce, and Doug, plus my three brothers and me. Ah, 70s style!

Runnels-bothwell's-1973

This week’s photo sorting yielded some possible treasures — negatives from my Mom’s childhood and some of her elder relatives.

AGH-old-photo2

I find the reverse negatives (is that a thing?) difficult to “read,” but in some images, I can identify the subjects by their size or features. For example, this is my Mom and her three sisters, probably in the mid 1930s..

agh-old-photo3.jpeg

I’m planning a trip to our local library to see if there’s a viewer or projector of some kind that I can use to see the images more clearly. There’s a terrific camera and photography shop nearby — the kind that sells film and developing chemicals — where I’ll have some prints made. This one may be my Mom’s father with her and her two older sisters (again, the hair bows!). He died when my mother was 9, so images of him are especially precious.

AGH-old-photo

On the knitting front, the Wee Penny has been joined in the round and is growing. What’s up in your world?

Wee-penny-joined

Fiber Arts from Morning to Late Night

January 29, 2018

Despite its size, I find New York a remarkably easy city to navigate. Walking and the much maligned MTA subway were are sole modes of transportation this weekend. Keeping to my daily routine, I headed out from our hotel in Downtown Brooklyn for a solo walk early Saturday morning. After a mile or so, I discovered a yarn store (of course!) Alas, Woolyn wouldn’t open for several hours, so I just peeked through the window and snapped a photo.

Woolyn yarn shop in Brooklyn

Brooklyn Waterfront Park is a creative, accessible, and — on a mild, sunny, late-winter morning — truly beautiful public asset. On the edge of a renovated pier, I watched the Staten Island Ferry land at Battery Park, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in the distance (New Jersey, too). As always, I sent a silent prayer of thanks to my father, who arrived at Ellis Island in 1939.

After a tasty lunch with Hannah in East Williamsburg, we boarded the subway to Manhattan, transferring to the legendary A train for the journey to 190th Street near the northern tip of the island. Hannah did the New York Times’ crossword puzzle on her phone while a fellow passenger practiced guitar.

After a 10-minute walk through Fort Tryon Park, we arrived at The Cloisters, an exceptional museum “dedicated to the art, architecture, and gardens of medieval Europe.” A selection:

Cloisters There’s an extensive collection of tapestries, the most famous of which are the likely the Unicorn Tapestries. Given their age (more than 500 years old), travels, and centuries of less-than-ideal environmental conditions, they’re in remarkable condition. I didn’t even try to capture the detail or colors or scale. I hope you can see them yourself one day.

unicorn

Our evening included dinner with cousin Kathy, followed by a performance of “The Band’s Visit.” There really is nothing like live theater. The subway ride back to Brooklyn provided the perfect opportunity to dissect the day, marvel at our great good fortune, and get in a few more rows of the Wee Penny.

Weekend in the Big Apple

January 27, 2018

There’s much I miss about not having any children living at home (at least, most of the time), but being able to easily plan a weekend away isn’t one of them.

Yesterday afternoon, Patrick and I hopped in the car and drove a few hours to Stamford, CT where we left the car and boarded a commuter train to New York. Since we’d caught an express train, we arrived a full 90 minutes before we were due to meet Hannah for dinner, a 40-minute walk away.

What to do? We had the same thought at almost the same moment: the famed Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station (of course!)

Oysters and knitting work in progress

Patrick enjoyed a half dozen (minus one for me) raw oysters and some delicious oyster stew. We had a lengthy, enjoyable chat with a Swiss lawyer on the next stool, who was savoring his two dozen oysters plus a half bottle of wine.

By the time we’d finished our brisk 37-block walk to the East Village, we’d worked up an appetite for our second meal!

Diagnosis: Second Sock Syndrome

January 26, 2018

The sock is done and looks quite nice. It’s a bit big for my foot, but it’s not meant for me. I don’t know the eventual recipient yet, but I know it’s not me. That’s not a problem.

Knit sock on foot

Here’s the problem: I’ve come down with Second Sock Syndrome. Instead of casting on this sock’s mate, I’ve fallen for a clever yarn and the prospect of a baby knit.

Skein Baby Blossom DK yarn

The trigger was the arrival of an invitation to a baby shower for a marvelous young woman, who’s also a first cousin once removed. As soon as I learned of her pregnancy, I began thinking of what to knit the lucky baby-to-be.

What? That’s not the usual reaction to pregnancy news?!

Before heading to Mom’s house today, I zipped to a nearby yarn store and grabbed a skein of Hayfield Baby Blossom DK. It’s patterned but not exactly self-striping and knits up with banners (kind of like stripes) interspersed with little flowers.

I’m just getting started so you’ll have to trust me on this one.

First inch of knitting

As for the Second Sock — you’ll have to trust me that it’ll get finished someday. I promise to share.

Summer Romper for a Baby-to-be

July 5, 2017

I wasn’t really looking for a new project when I walked into Flock over the weekend, but it would have taken nerves of steel not to have purchased something. I know there are people who only knit one project a time — I even met a knitter who stated as much with great pride (stunning!) — but I’m not one of those knitters!

One of the employees at my local coffee shop is due with her first child at the end of August, and I’m a sucker for baby knits. I was tempted by the collection of cute toys in the shop window, but frankly, I was looking for something a bit simpler.

knit-toys

Then this adorable striped romper caught my eye. It’s OGE Designs’ Spring Into Summer Romper, available on Ravelry.

spring-summer-knit-romper

Sheila, who’d knit the sample, provided some additional notes for the pattern and a yarn recommendation. I don’t know if the B2B* is a boy or girl, so I chose a gender-neutral combination (even though I truly believe all colors are for everyone).

I decided on Anzula’s “Cricket,” a delicious DK blend of superwash merino with a touch of cashmere and nylon, in Gravity (gray) and Keola. Casting on will have to wait until I get home where my needles are. What’s on your needles these days?

anzula-cricket-yarn

* Baby-to-Be

Good Day for a Baby Sweater

March 24, 2017

I haven’t knit anything baby-ish in a while, but the Gidday Baby sweater (Tosh DK in Leopard and Maple Leaf) and reminds me how enjoyable such projects can be. Starting with the first few rows of garter stitch in alternating colors, I was hooked.

gidday-baby-sweater-neck

My recent spate of travels gave me lots of opportunities to work on the sweater — with the exception of my ill-fated Kentucky trip during which I found myself without the necessary next ball of yarn. In case anyone’s still wondering, my suitcase did arrive at the hotel — about an hour before I checked out and headed for flight back to Boston. Better late than never and all that.

Once I’d cast off and woven in the few ends that remained, I tossed the sweater into the sink for a pre-block soak. I’m a full-water blocker, preferring it to steaming, assuming that I’ve got the time, which I generally do. After I patted it into shape, I left it in the sunshine for a while.

Gidday-blocking

Something was missing, namely a couple of tiny buttons to hold the yoke together. So the sweater and I spent about 15 minutes at a nearby yarn store trying on different buttons before deciding on these stylish, square-ish pair.

Gidday-baby-sweater-buttons

It’s all come together quite nicely, and I’m looking forward to walking it down the street to my newest neighbor.

Gidday-baby-sweater

 

 

Knits for a New Life

February 28, 2017

There’s a new person our street, a baby girl born last month, and that is a cause for celebration! And how does (this) one celebrate a new life? By knitting something small that isn’t a pair of socks.

I showed what I consider remarkable fortitude by searching through my stash for yarn with which to make something for this new little one. It would have been much, much easier and more efficient to spend an hour at my local yarn store, perusing patterns and buying yarn. As much as I love to boost the local economy and support a local business, I’m trying to exercise some financial discipline when it comes to yarn. Plus there’s the space issue: how many plastic boxes of yarn can one person have?

I’d already decided against a traditional pink, preferring to go with a blend of bright and neutral colors. Gidday Baby by Tikki Knits seemed like the perfect match for the two skeins of Madeline Tosh DK that I bought last summer at the lovely fLoCk on Nantucket.

On my flight to Philadelphia this past weekend, I cast on and worked a few rounds.

gidday-baby-sweater-neck

Switching colors every two rows and bringing up the yarns along the side made for quick knitting. Of course, after two rounds of 20+ stitch increases, my pace slowed a bit. On the train down to Washington on Sunday afternoon, I managed a couple more rounds after doing some prep for client meetings.

gidday-baby-sweater-train

I think I’m going to like this project.

 

Wash and dry knits

April 19, 2015

Via my wonderful friend Cathie, a lesson in the resourcefulness of knitters and the durability of knitting. Picture this:

Skilled attorney, frequent flyer, intrepid knitter Cathie in the airport lounge where she’s passing the time during yet another Air Canada flight delay. Cup of coffee and suitcase by her side. In a perfect example of the domino effect, suitcase tips, knocks over coffee, which spills into open knitting bag at her feet, soaking her knitted baby blanket.

knit baby blanket variegated yarn

After some choice words (I wasn’t there but I’m pretty sure she wasn’t silent during said event), Cathie calmly takes blanket to wash room, rinses in sink (cool water, of course), squeezes excess water, and returns to lounge,

where the beautiful blanket is draped over the offending suitcase to dry.

knit baby blanket drying at airport

Topping Off a Baby Hat with a Tassel

March 2, 2015

Gillan, a fiber artist who’s one of the Fearless Knitters in my weekly knitting class, made an adorable baby hat. Don’t you agree?

Simple Colorful Knit Baby Hat

Since it seemed a little bare on top, she asked for advice for some kind of finishing detail. She had crocheted a flat flower, complete with multi-colored petals, but that didn’t seem right. Neither did a pom-pom. Either one would have hidden, or at least obscured, the beautiful detail of the decreases on the hat’s crown.

My recommendation was a two-color tassel, which would provide a nice finishing touch while allowing the crown stitching to shine through. Knitting designer and teacher Lisa McFetridge has a helpful video tutorial on how to make a tassel. Lisa was the instructor on last fall’s Sheep Ahoy Knitter’s Cruise. (Doesn’t a Boston – Bermuda cruise in July sound pretty tempting right about now?! Check it out. I believe space is still available.)

Look what a difference this topper makes!

Easy Tassel on Knit Baby Hat

Baby Steps Complete

July 23, 2014

There are few life events better than becoming a grandparent. At least, that’s what new grandparents tell me. It’s not a transition I expect to be making anytime soon.

My dear friend Pat is justifiably besotted with her first granddaughter, a lovely, bright-eyed sprite born in mid-May to Pat’s son and his sweet wife. As Pat’s own birthday approached last month, I pondered how to mark that occasion and decided that a baby sweater would be the perfect gift. I know, I know, it’s not an item she can use herself, but what’s a gift anyway but something with personal meaning that’s given with love?

Although the Baby Steps Cardigan is knit entirely in garter stitch, with nary a purl in sight, the construction is clever. I learned how to do a provisional cast-on (used white “waste” yarn), so I could pick up and make the sleeves. I just love the hues of the Mermaid colorway in the Manos Silk Blend.

Baby_steps_cardigan_progress

The back is knit from the center out with regular yarnovers that create a star burst (of sorts).

IMG_3778

Did I mention how much I love the colors?

IMG_3776

Choosing the right button took a while. I was drawn — as I usually am — to the blues and purples, but they didn’t stand out as much as the smooth, lemony one that I finally selected.

IMG_3777

I think the birthday girl will be pleased.

 

 

 

Baby Sweater in the Bath

June 26, 2014

I’m a proponent of full immersion blocking. In my mind, steam or a spritz just doesn’t give yarn the chance to “bloom” in the way that a good soak does.

After binding off the Baby Steps Cardigan yesterday, I plopped it into a big mixing bowl that I’d filled with tepid water and a few drops of Eucalan.

baby sweater soaking in soapy water

Why the mixing bowl? Because every sink in our house, except for the big kitchen sink, is missing its stopper, making them all unsuitable for filling. Why we’re a stopper-less household, I don’t know, but there we are. I left the sweater on top of the water and returned a couple of hours later to discover it had sunk nicely and was thoroughly soaked.

baby sweater soaking in bowl of water

After a couple of swishes with new water, I rolled the sweater into a towel. I gave it some good squeezes and shaped it on a dry towel, where it’s now drying and resting. The photo doesn’t do justice to the lovely colors, but I’ll remedy that once it’s  truly finished. Next step: find just the right button.

BabySweater_blocking2

What’s your take on blocking? And what’s on your needles these days?

 

One by one by one

May 26, 2013

The first time I saw the Illusion Cube Blanket in the WEBS catalog (which regularly occupies space on my bedside table), I put it on my mental “to do” list. I love the variety of colors — 8 in all — and the geometry of each individual cube and of the overall piece. With the completion of my most recent baby sweater and my neighbors’ second child on the way, the opportunity was at hand.

Selecting the colors was fun.

YarnColorsButtons

Plus I found a terrific bumper sticker.

KnitHappens

The blanket is a compilation of separate “cubes,” two of each color combination with alternating borders. Like these — magenta and green.

IMG_1923

Some of you will recall from math class that 8 individual items paired twice will yield 56 possible combinations. Right? Yeah, I didn’t remember either. But that’s how it works out — 56 individual cubes that will be sewn into a single piece. Blankets can be daunting because of their size and because it’s not uncommon to reach a point where you knit and knit and, as if in some sort of time or space warp, the piece seems to stay the same size. Not so with this blanket. There are 56 chances to finish a part. 56 chances to bind off. And 56 chances to weave in the ends on each piece.

CubeSpider

That’s a lot of ends. According to my calculations, 448 ends. But who’s counting?

Next year already

May 22, 2013

As a Boston Red Sox fan, “there’s always next year” has been my defense mechanism fan philosophy for decades. Each spring, I relish the return of the MLB season. The game radio broadcast is the aural wallpaper of my home: the play-by-play commentary, the background sound of the crowd as voices rise, fall, and cheer, the pause between pitch and swing, between hit and defensive play.

cubefirstinning

Baseball season is also prime knitting season. The slow pace of the game is the perfect complement to whatever is on my needles. On weekday evenings and weekend days, I knit at Michael’s baseball games — glancing up regularly to watch a play or pitch, usually (but not always) when he’s involved. I learned long ago that my kids don’t really care — or even know — that I’m watching their game or performance, so I feel no guilt if I miss a line drive or strike.

cubesixthinning

There’s a new life in the neighborhood, so I’m making a blanket, the Illusion Cube Blanket, something I’ve had on my radar screen for several years, just waiting for the right time (and the right human). Takes me about six or seven innings to knit a single “cube” depending, of course, on how exciting the game is or how often I put down the needles and cheer or how much I chat with fellow parental fans.

The Best Container for Love

March 12, 2013

“Knitting is still the best container for love” — Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, aka the Yarn Harlot

I can’t remember what I used to give as baby gifts before knitting. As soon as I learn that a friend, colleague, neighbor, or family member is expecting, I immediately begin to think of what I can knit for the wee one.

A hat is lovely and relatively quick to make. Blankets have a longer useful “life” since it takes years for a baby to outgrow a blanket. All three of my children had special blankets (none handknit) that they fondled, carried, draped, and loved for years and years. My youngest still has remnants of his lovely soft woven blanket on the bookshelf near his bed – a childhood version of the Shroud of Turin!

Sweaters are somewhere in between. Depending on the size, they fit the baby for longer than a hat. And they almost knit up faster than a blanket.

close-up of buttons on baby sweater

When I learned that a coworker was expecting her first child, after several years of trying, I just had to make a sweater. Every time I knit — whether at a hockey rink, basketball court, medical office, or curled up in the rocking chair keeping company with a late-night homework doer — I thought of this child-to-be. “You are so lucky to be born to such loving parents who’ve waited so long just for you,” I’d silently whisper into each stitch, imagining the finished garment as a talisman of sorts, something that could gird this tiny person in those first weeks of life with a special strength that might last for years, long after she’d outgrown the garment.

IMG_1629

It’s my second Puerperium Sweater (by Kelly Brooker), named for the period immediately after a baby’s birth. I made a striped one last year, and this time chose a solid dusty grape — my description, since I can’t find the yarn label — and some delightful buttons that remind me of sprinkles on frosted donuts.

Tessa arrived last week and is as perfect as perfect can be. I was delighted to see that she was sporting a handknit hat in her first day of life.

babynap

Baby Stripes

February 26, 2012

I got a new neighbor just before the New Year when young Parker arrived into the world. What perfect timing since I’d finished my quick and sparkly scarf and was on the look out for a new project.

I’m a sucker for babies and a cleverly designed knit. This one fit the bill. It’s knit in one piece. Nary a seam on the whole thing. The Yarn Harlot was my inspiration yet again. She knit several kimono-style baby sweaters last year while awaiting the arrival of a friend’s baby. I loved the style — no over-the-head wrestling needed since it buttons up the front side. Plus it has a few clever-but-not-difficult design features and stitches which always makes a project more intriguing.

picking up a few stitches along the edge

It’s called the Puerperium Sweater (by Kelly Brooker), named for the period immediately after a baby’s birth. I was running a bit late since wee Parker had been around for a while, but that didn’t faze me.

I even managed to find some cute buttons to complete the look.

blue and white star-shaped buttons

I used Cascade 220 Superwash in Aran and Navy. I hope he hasn’t outgrown it already….

finishes Puerperium Sweater

A lovely wee hat

October 11, 2011

When my now-teen children were younger (three under the age of five), a wise neighbor encouraged me to reignite my love of knitting. When I explained how I didn’t have a moment to spare and couldn’t possibly find the time for such an indulgence, she waved my cares away. “That’s exactly why you should knit. You’re at a time in your life when you’re doing the same thing over and over again — making meals, doing laundry, changing diapers — all of it. You need to finish something. Finishing something is a wonderful feeling.”

Once I got over my pique at her complete disregard of what I accomplished in my professional life, I realized she was right. You’re never really finished raising children — at least, not for a decade or two. And finishing a project at work, while an accomplishment, doesn’t always bring a sense of completion because the next item on the to-do list is waiting.

Enter baby hats — endless variety of patterns, made with any variety of yarns and colors, and able to be finished in several hours (or so).

Tomato hat for baby

My dear sister-cousin Meg recently picked up her needles after many years and created this beautiful wee tomato hat for a soon-to-be human.

Seasonal hats are great fun. Babies grow so quickly they’ll only get one season out of any item of clothing, so why not go all out?!

Baby flag hat

Baby pumpkin hat

%d bloggers like this: