Sunday, February 28, 2010

Knitting Olympics - GOLD!

I haven't checked in at all in the past two weeks, but I've been knitting feverishly and managed to finish my Peter Rabbit sweater!

For the sweater (Saddle Shoulder Sweater - Child by Ann Budd), I made the 26" size but added 2.25" to the length. I also knit the neckband in the round (to avoid another seam) and bound off using the Russian bind-off so it would be super stretchy to fit over my little guy's head. Then to add the duplicate stitching from the Run Rabbit Run Sweater by Erica Wilson, I ended up with only 3 bunnies instead of 4 since that is all that would fit with my gauge.

Here's some progress pictures:

And here are my Ravelry badges for the events I competed in:

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Knitting Olympics

So, it's been a while since I've posted to this blog. It's painfully clear since my last post was titled Still Pregnant and my little guy is now 2 years old... Anyway, even though I haven't been blogging, I have been knitting a lot as can be seen on my Ravelry page.

I am super excited to participate in the Knitting Olympics this year. Four years ago, I was a brand new knitter and wasn't up to the challenge, but this year I am totally IN!

I've really enjoyed making my kiddo special vests and sweaters, so I decided my Olympic project should be the Peter Rabbit Sweater by Erica Wilson -- just in time for Easter. The pattern is really just a chart for duplicate stitching, so I'm going to use the Child's Saddle Shoulder Sweater pattern by Ann Budd for the sweater itself.

For the sweater, I'm using Dream in Color Classy yarn in Crying Dove. I love this yarn so much! Then for the duplicate stitched rabbits, I'll be using a mix of Classy and Madelinetosh DK yarn.

I can't wait for Friday night to cast on!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Still pregnant...

So there's more knitting to share!

Pattern: Hybrid Rib Soaker, by Little Turtle Knits in size medium night weight.

Yarn: Malabrigo worsted in color Lime Blue. This size used 58 g (about 74 yards) of the skein and the small used 42 g (about 126 yards) . I bought the yarn at The Yarn Barn.

Needles: I used a size US 4 addi turbo 16" circular for the 1x1 ribbing at the waist, a US 5 addi turbo 16" circular for the rest of the ribbing and the leg gussets, a US 7 inox express 16" circulars for the rest and a size G crochet hook.

I don’t really like this colorway as much as I thought I would. It’s a shame too since it didn’t pool or anything. It’s just really dark -- kind of reminds me of camouflage. I might use the rest with the Marine colorway that I bought this weekend so it's not quite as busy.

I also decided to work on my Lots of Hats goal. So I bought a skein of the super soft Sirdar Baby Bamboo yarn when I was at the Yarn Barn over the weekend.

I wanted to knit up a cabled hat, but wasn't quite sure how to handle the decreases. So I purchased a pattern and went on my way.

Pattern: Easy Cabled Hats, by Momogus Knits in size 0-6 months.

Yarn: Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo in colorway 138. This size used 32 g (about 68 yds) ) of the skein. I bought the yarn at The Yarn Barn.

Needles: I had to drop down to a size US 4 addi turbo 16" circular to get gauge

If I were to knit this pattern again, I wouldn't knit as much ribbing. It was almost soul crushing and the cables are the fun part, right? I'm not sure if it's just because I'm relatively new to cables or because the yarn wasn't very elastic, but the first purl stitch after each cable came out really loose. Unfortunately, I couldn't fix it when blocking.

The hat is super soft though and I don't think the baby will mind that it isn't perfect.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Wool Soakers

After I finished all of the baby UFOs last weekend, I cast on for my first hybrid rib soaker. We are planning to cloth diaper, so how could I not knit some cute woolen diaper covers? I had originally planned to sew a bunch of woolen covers, but between not being able to find wool jersey fabric and not being very comfortable with the sewing machine yet, I have put that idea on hold. So instead, I purchased the Hybrid Rib Soaker pattern from Little Turtle Knits right after Christmas when they were having a pattern sale.

Pattern: Hybrid Rib Soaker, by Little Turtle Knits in size newborn night weight.

Yarn: Malabrigo worsted in color Emerald Blue. I only used 38 g of the skein (about 82 yards) so I should easily be able to make another. I ordered the yarn from Jimmy Beans Wool.

Needles: I used a size US 5 addi turbo 16" circulars for the ribbing, a US 7 inox express 16" circulars for the rest and a size G crochet hook.

Okay, I cast on for this project and finished it less than 24 hours later. It probably took me 6 hours to knit which included learning how to do short rows with wraps, brushing up on the kitchener stitch and learning how to do single crochet.

So what did I do next? I cast on another soaker of course! I decided that the 1x1 ribbing at the waist on the first soaker could have been a bit tighter, so I dropped down to a size 4 for that part. I also decided to save myself a couple of ends to weave in when dealing with the leg gussets. When it was time to single crochet around the leg openings, I started with the first stitch of the leg gusset. That way when I finished crocheting, I could simply do one more single crochet to join the circle and use that stitch as my first picked up stitch of the leg gusset. This worked perfectly.

This time I made a size small and newborn out of a single skein of Malabrigo. I still have 16 grams leftover too, so I might have been able to make a larger size. That is good to know...

Pattern: Hybrid Rib Soaker, by Little Turtle Knits in size newborn & small night weight.

Yarn: Malabrigo worsted in color Citrus. The newborn size used 34 g (about 74 yards) of the skein and the small used 42 g (about 91 yards) . I ordered the yarn from Jimmy Beans Wool.

Needles: I used a size US 4 addi turbo 16" circulars for the 1x1 ribbing at the waist, a US 5 addi turbo 16" circulars for the rest of the ribbing and the leg gussets, a US 7 inox express 16" circulars for the rest and a size G crochet hook.

Since I only ordered 2 skeins of Malabrigo from Jimmy Beans, I had to check out the Yarn Barn to see what they had in stock. I bought two more color ways of Malabrigo and this super soft Berroco Jasper yarn. It is self-striping so I thought that would be fun for a change. I think the yarn is as soft as Malabrigo, but considering the yardage it is definitely more pricey. After knitting the size small citrus soaker, I figured I could eek a size small out of one skein of the Jasper. So I cast on again.

Pattern: Hybrid Rib Soaker, by Little Turtle Knits in size small night weight.

Yarn: Berroco Jasper in Blue Bahia. I used 92 g (about 90 yards) of the skein . I bought the yarn from Jimmy Beans Wool.

Needles: I used a size US 4 addi turbo 16" circulars for the 1x1 ribbing at the waist, a US 5 addi turbo 16" circulars for the rest of the ribbing and the leg gussets, a US 7 inox express 16" circulars for the rest and a size G crochet hook.

So that's it. Five days, four soakers and still no baby. I am obviously addicted to knitting these guys. I think the genius of the pattern is that as soon as you might start to get bored with one part, it's time to switch it up. 1x1 ribbing getting you down? No worries, it's time to start stockinette in the round. I love to watch the way the variegated yarn falls in this section. Will it pool? Will it stripe? Or will it blend beautifully like the first soaker did? I think I could be happy knitting these for months.

My knitting bag has the rest of the emerald skein of Malabrigo and the two new skeins of Malabrigo as well as the pattern and all the needles I'll need ready to go to the hospital. I plan to continue to churn these out until the baby arrives or I get bored. I think the baby might come first though.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Baby Knitting

When I found out that I was pregnant back in May, I had grand knitting plans. This kid was going to be covered from head to toe in hand knits the day he came home from the hospital. (Or so I thought...)

Here was my knitting plan of attack (KPoA):
  1. A blanket.
    • Reasoning: Every kid needs a blanket, right?
    • I chose the "Jospeph's Blankie" pattern from Mason Dixon Knitting because I really liked the bright primary colors in the sample. Plus, I could knit this before finding out the baby's sex.
  2. A baby bunting.
    • Reasoning: The baby was due in January, and it gets cold in Connecticut.
    • I found a pattern at Webs using bulky yarns so I thought this would fly by. Plus, I had the perfect heathered green alpaca yarn in my stash that I bought on sale at Rhinebeck the year before.
  3. A sweater set.
    • Reasoning: Babies look cute in sweaters.
    • I figured I would pick out a Dale of Norway sweater from the many books I've been collected from Webs once we found out the sex. When we discovered that the baby was a boy, I chose the hooded cardigan from Dale Baby #162. (It's the turquoise one on the cover.) This was going to be a challenge since I hadn't done any color work before, but who deserves a special knit more than my first baby?
  4. Lots of hats.
    • Reasoning: Eric & I were both bald babies, so this kid is going to need hats!
    • I love all the little hats in Itty Bitty Hats, and figured I would make at least 3-4 of them!
  5. A christening bonnet & booties
    • Reasoning: I have the christening gown that my great-grandmother made out of her wedding dress. My grandmother, father and I were all baptized in it and my baby will be as well. The gown is about 100 years old, so I wanted to add a knit cap and booties to the ensemble so my baby will have something to pass down even if the christening gown doesn't make it.
    • I found the perfect pattern in Simply Knitting magazine for this project.
I figured that I would finish the blanket and bunting in the early summer and then start the sweater set in September after we found out the sex of the baby. The hats would be a good distraction when the sweater got tough. There was plenty of time to get all of this done. After all, I had nine months! So I made a couple of trips up to Webs to purchase the necessary yarn and needles and I set off with my plan.

I started the baby bunting right away and made excellent progress until it was clear that I didn't have enough yarn. I had six hanks of Big Baby yarn from Alpaca with a twist and realized after finishing the front and back that my one remaining hank wasn't going to do two sleeves and a hood. I knew I wouldn't be able to get the same dye lot, so I had to go to a yarn shop in person to buy an extra hank and make sure it wasn't too far off. The only problem? Nobody around here carries this yarn! I ended up making Eric stop at a small shop in Pennsylvania when we were driving through on vacation to pick it up. That was in June. I don't think I picked this project up again until November when I finished the knitting in a couple of days. I sewed all the seams up over Thanksgiving and just put the buttons on last weekend. So this project technically took 8 months to complete. This was not a good sign for the KPoA.

While I was waiting to find the bunting yarn, I started this baby blanket in June when we drove out to Ohio to meet friends at Cedar point. This blanket is knit from the center out, so at first I was flying through the strips. "How fun is this?", I thought as I kept changing colors. Then the strips got longer and the endless rows of garter stitch grew monotonous. September came and I was only half-way through the blanket. We found out we were having a boy! I quickly made another trip up to Webs to buy the yarn I needed for my little boy's sweater. But I knew if I started the sweater now, I would never want to finish this blanket. (Plus, the bunting was still hanging over my head.) So I forced myself to finish this project before casting on for the sweater set. Finishing didn't happen until November. I also stupidly left all the ends to weave in for the end. Those were probably the most boring 8 hours of my crafting life. The good news? The blanket is perfect! I love the bright colors of it and the applied i-cord edging in black really makes them pop even more.

Now that I finished the blanket, I was ready to start the sweater. I also had been invited to Ravelry at this point, so I figured I would ask someone else knitting the sweater if I would be in over my head. Luckily, I was advised to try a smaller project with only 2 colors per row first. So I figured I'd make a different dale hat from the same book to learn the technique. I cast on in early December and managed to screw up three times before getting to the color work. The first time, I had twisted the hat before joining to knit in the round. So I ripped back to the ear flaps and tried again. Then I didn't cast on enough stitches for the back of the cap. Ripped back and painstakingly tried again. Third time's a charm I guess. I did procrastinate for a week or two before starting the charted section. But, when I finally did decide to try it (following the tutorial on knitting help), it ended up being pretty easy. The rest of the knitting was very fast. Once again the project was stalled until last weekend when I finally sewed on the button. Looking back, I must have carried some of the strands a little too tightly because the top mushrooms out a little. When I finally do start the sweater, I'll have to be really careful with that.

Where does that leave us in the KPoA? It's now January and the baby is due any day now. Let's take another look at that list:
  1. A blanket
  2. A baby bunting
  3. A sweater set
  4. Lots of hats
  5. A christening bonnet & booties
Okay, technically it's only one hat, but I'm still crossing it off the list. I might be able to squeeze out another hat from stash yarn this weekend. Either way, he'll have something on his head.

I have come to terms with the fact that the sweater is just not going to happen. Luckily, I have enough yarn to knit the 12 month size, so I plan to wait until summer to see what size he'll be and start that then.

And the christening bonnet? Well, I still have a few months to work that out. I guess I should get started soon though. ;)

In addition to the measly 3 items that I have finished, my knitting friends and relatives have blessed us with 4 crocheted blankets, a gorgeous cabled cardigan, booties, crocheted bibs and a cute knitted teddy bear.

It's not quite what I envisioned, but I think the kid made out just fine.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Christmas Knitting 2007

Being pregnant, I didn't have a huge Christmas knitting list this year. I do have an extensive baby knitting list (more on that later) and I'm not quite stupid enough to think that I could handle much more than that.

However when Anny Purls posted her Buddy Bags pattern, I fell in love! I ordered the pattern right away and dreamed of knitting bags for all of Eric's little cousins (2 girls and a boy).

On the flight to Vegas in October, I started the Bunny Buddy Bag using Caron Simply Soft yarn that I had in the stash. The bag itself flew by and was finished by the time we got home. I then knit up the i-cord strap, the little basket and the bunny finger puppet in another couple of nights.

Sewing all of the pieces to the bag was a bit of a challenge. I hate finishing. I made the mistake of sewing the basket onto the bag before closing the bottom. So, it is slightly off center. Also my embroidery skills could use some brushing up, but all in all it came out okay.

To line the bag, I bought a fat quarter at Joanne's in tie-dyed hot pink. I couldn't find any gingham or polka dot fabric in the right colors. It works pretty well though and considering it was the first time I ever used my sewing machine, I am happy with that result as well.

Pattern: Bunny Buddy Bag, Buddy Bag by Anny Purls.

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft in Rubine Red, Watermelon, White and Off-White. I only used part of a skein in each color. I bought the yarn from Wal-Mart.

Needles: I used a 16" US 6 Addi Turbo needle and a pair of US 3 double pointed Pony Pearl needles.

The verdict? I only knit 1 bag. Sewing all the pieces together was more than I felt like doing three times. I will definitely use this pattern again because the end result is too cute. But with all the finishing work, it wasn't as quick of a project as I expected.

Eric's little cousin was quite enchanted with the bunny finger puppet though. That definitely made it worthwhile!

Monday, September 24, 2007


First off, I have actually been knitting since March. Hopefully I will get around to taking pictures & updating soon. My Ravelry page is pretty boring without pics of my works in progress. (I'm ssummerer by the way.)

At any rate, I got a question in the comments today about the hat I made for my sister-in-law last Christmas. Anonymous asked:

Can you please tell me how you knit the herringbone stitch in the round? in order to make the Christmas hat to match the "my so called scarf"
To be honest, I don't remember if I even knit the brim of the hat in the round. I don't think I did. I probably did some math to figure out how many stitches to cast on and then knit the brim of the hat flat. Once I had the brim the correct length, I most likely joined the two ends and knit the rest in the round in stockinette. I had previously knit some baby hats from Dale of Norway patterns that were done this way. When the hat is done, you just sew up the seam of the brim and it's good to go.

Of course, you could probably reverse the second row of the herringbone pattern so that it could be knit in the round. I just don't think I did.

Hope that helps!