Tag Archives: baby knits

Baby knit parade

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Holy, I did not mean to disappear for that long. But having a newborn, and everything that goes along with that (no sleep, literally-full hands, a whole new routine, etc.), plus the holidays pretty much took me right out. It’s not that I didn’t know life was going to change, it’s just that it’s impossible to know how much your life will change until it does, and then you’re playing catch up.

But, here I am! And it’s pretty good timing, since Helen has now grown into some of the the things I knit for her before she was born! (She was so petite at birth that even the newborn-sized knits didn’t fit until recently.) So, without further ado (and before she wakes up*), here are the knits Helen has been wearing during what has so far been an absolutely freezing winter (last weekend it was -39 C/-38 F with the windchill, and it was windy).

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Tiny Foot Tubes + Little Joggers
Pattern:Rocky by tincanknits • Yarn: MC – Indigodragonfly Merino Sock in Sargasm; CC – Anzula Squishy in Rootbeer (both deep stash)

I’ve already written about the little sock kick I went on in the last weeks before Helen was born, but of course I only knit one really small pair. They are the only pair that fit her, of course, so until she grows into the other socks and booties, these little foot tubes are getting good wear.

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A better shot of the pants. (Helen is 6 weeks here.)

Also pictured here are the Rocky joggers I knit after Helen was born, making them the only thing so far I’ve knit for her (as opposed to for the unknown baby). Wool pants are pretty much indispensable for a winter baby I think, at least for the kind of winter we’ve been having. At first I worried I’d chosen the wrong colour (don’t get me wrong, I love this colour combo, but it’s not exactly standard), but as you will see they go surprisingly well with various tops. The only change I made to the pattern was to modify the waistband: I worked 1×1 rib for 2 inches, rather than doing the fold-over waistband in the pattern. I changed it because, while I like the look of the waistband in the pattern, it isn’t all that stretchy, which limits the wear-time of these pants. The 1×1 rib is stretchy and adds height, so it will ensure Helen can wear these pants for a while (we’re still folding up the bottom cuffs, so there’s plenty of length).

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Playdate — Pattern: Playdate by tincanknits • Yarn: Raventwist Torc in Wild Forest (more deep stash). (Helen is 8.5 weeks old here.)

I will admit that I did not love knitting this little cardigan — I found it a bit fiddly for a baby sweater — since it has a lot more structure than a baby sweater really needs (though, since this pattern is sized from 0-3 months all the way to adult 4XL, that structure makes sense). That being said, it has been a real workhorse in Helen’s wardrobe. It was the first sweater that fit (ie., that she wasn’t swimming in — as you can see, there’s still room for her to grow into it), so he’s been wearing it since she was about a week old. I also love the colour of this yarn. Vibrant green is just the thing for a winter baby.

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Puerperium Cardigan — Pattern: Puerperium Cardigan • Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts PureWash DK in Spearmint (leftover from this gifted sweater). (Helen is 9 weeks old in this photo)

This little Puerperium Cardigan was the first thing I knit when I was pregnant (once I let myself starting knitting for the baby, that is.) It was a very quick knit, and even though it didn’t fit Helen during the puerperium phase, it is a great little sweater now. I have knit this a few times before and always gone with short sleeves, which are easy to put on a wriggling baby (and reduce the bulk under an outdoor suit) and make this a great little sweater for layering. I also really like that the buttons are set along the side, out of the way of her many chins. This is a nice snug fit on her now, and should fit for a little while longer, but I definitely see more iterations of this sweater staying in rotation for a while. It’s a classic for a reason!

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Ruby Romper — Pattern: Little Sister’s Romper by PetiteKnit • Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Purple Label Cashmere Sock in Poppy (leftover from this shawl). (Helen is 10 weeks here.)

This might be my favourite baby knit ever, though it’s not her most worn (she’s only just grown into it). I just think it’s adorable, and I’m already plotting more rompers and bodysuits because they are pretty irresistible. This also took very little yarn, which is a definite bonus, since it makes the pattern a good candidate for leftover half-skeins or special 50g skeins that otherwise might languish in my stash.

So, that’s Helen’s current handknit wardrobe, with more items waiting in the wings (so to speak). I also have a few knits planned for her, if I can find the time to work on them. It’s definitely a good thing that baby knits are quick!

(*Obviously writing this was a jinx, since she woke up 10 minutes later! Being okay with something simple taking longer than anticipated is one of the things I’m learning.)

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Keeping tiny feet warm

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To be clear, right off the top, these tiny feet have not yet materialized. Bed rest is continuing (successfully), and it turns out I wasn’t as done with the baby knits as I thought. I was pretty focused on knitting a new sweater for L until the end of last week when the weather turned chilly and I realized the baby didn’t really have any warm footwear.

Well, no warm footwear made by me, anyway. We of course have some cotton baby socks, tiny pants and sleepers with built-in feet, and a little fleece suit with fold-over hands and feet. But, since we’re having a winter baby, I felt like maybe some warmer footwear was in order.

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Very Small Slippers — Pattern: Made up on the fly • Yarn: Fleece Artist Back Country in Grasslands, SK; Sweet Georgia Superwash Worsted in Slate; and Koigu KPM in #1205

So, I started with little shoes. These are definitely not going to fit the baby anytime soon (I would guess 6 months at the earliest), but they are very cute and there’s no harm in being prepared. Also, they took rather a lot of concentration — in part because they require crochet, which I am definitely not good at — and I don’t think I’ll have it in me to be that focused when I have a small baby to look after. So just as well that they’re ready to go!

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These are so fluffy and soft. I regret not buying a pair in my size.

I bought the sheepskin soles at Gaspereau Valley Fibres (which I deeply wish was my LYS) when I was visiting my family in Nova Scotia on Labour Day weekend. The soles came pre-punched (thank goodness) and I also got a pattern with them, since the shop had several pairs of these little slippers on display. The pattern, I’m sorry to say, was almost entirely useless to me (which is why I’m not naming it — no amount of Googling led me to a digital copy). It was photocopied from (I think) an issue of Interweave Knits, but did not come with the table that explained all the abbreviations. It also lacked a photo, and I neglected to take one of the shop samples, so I was kind of working blind. Not a huge deal for a basic knitting pattern, but the crochet portion, which starts everything off, was a very real challenge (for me. If you have ever crocheted before, I suspect it’s about as difficult as a knitting ribbing). I ended up just kind of crossing my fingers and going for it, and when my stitch counts didn’t come anywhere near the pattern’s, I just worked out my own numbers. I did have to knit and reknit the first slipper three times before I was happy with the shape (and, looking at the pictures, should probably have ripped out and redone the crochet, which is maybe a bit loose), but the end result seems like it will be cozy and warm, which was the whole point.

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The yarn is all leftovers from a pair of socks I knit for my mum. My scale needs a battery, so I don’t know the exact amount of yarn I used, but I’d guess about 30 g for the main and maybe 10 g for the contrast. Definitely not very much. I added the i-cord ties (the pattern just has the ribbing) because babies are notorious for losing socks and shoes, since their feet are really too little to keep them on, and then once they discover they have feet, they delight in pulling socks off. In theory, the ties will help keep these on, but we’ll see.

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After I finished the little shoes, and realized they’d be too big for the first little while, I decided to whip up some little socks. I went with tube socks, since there’s a way better chance of having those fit, and grow with the baby, than trying to guess a foot length and making a tiny gusset. That can come later, when I actually have a little foot to measure.

 

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Teeny Tiny Foot Tubes — Pattern: Made up (and detailed in my Ravelry notes, if you’re curious) • Manos del Uruguay Alegría in A9537

These were a bit tedious to knit, but are very satisfying to have finished. They are so small and adorable. These tiny tubes are also a great way to use up the leftover bits of sock yarn that are too big to throw out, but not really big enough to do anything with. I’d estimate these took about 12 g of yarn, which is not very much at all, and I for sure have enough of the yarn left to knit a third should one go missing (which it almost certainly will).

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I should have included a quarter or something for scale, but they’re about 5.5 inches long.

Despite being a bit tedious (small circles don’t grow as fast as it feels like they should), I so love the finished ones that I’ve already cast on for a second pair. These ones (in more leftover Fleece Artist, in the Blackberry colourway) will be slightly bigger, since babies grow pretty fast and I want to at least make myself think I’ll be ready for that. I actually cast on the same number of stitches, but I went up a needle size and this yarn is slightly heavier than the Alegría. I’ll also add a quarter inch or so to the length. I pulled a couple of other leftovers out of my stash and if this tiny sock bug sticks around I will be ready!

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Future baby socks (or booties/bootees)! Left to right: Malabrigo Sock in Lettuce and Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 in Blackberry (which I’ve already cast-on for more tiny socks) and Earth.

While I’m on this kick, are there any bootie/bootee patterns I should be looking at? Somehow, I’ve never knit any until now, but I am finding them so delightful that I suspect there are more in my near future. Please let me know your favourite baby footwear pattern(s) so I can add them to my list!

Sprinkle party

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I have a pretty substantial (for me) backlog of finished knits. Chronological order is all well and good, but since both of these little sweaters use the same yarn in different ways, I thought they’d make more sense as a pair.

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These speckles — which, in the context of kids’ clothes, seem more like sprinkles — are courtesy of the Madeline Tosh colourway Cosmic Wonder Dust. I picked up one skein of it, in Twist Light, a little over two years ago with some vague idea it would be fun for something kid-related (possibly I had Rocky joggers in mind, but I don’t remember anymore).

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Gathering Stripes – Sprinkle Edition — Pattern: Gathering Stripes by Veera Välimäki • Yarn: Fibreyla Barnabas Solids and Semisolids in Daïquiri and madelinetosh Twist Light in Cosmic Wonder Dust 

Anyway, when I was planning what to knit for our little friend Amber’s second birthday, I came back around to the speckles. I’ve been trying to use my stash better, and one of the ways I’m making that work is by thinking about fingering-weight yarn for more than just lightweight projects. Generally, I can get a nice DK-weight gauge by holding fingering-weight yarn double, which makes for a lot more options when it comes to using my rather large (for me) stash of fingering-weight yarns — especially all the single skeins.

Pattern-wise, I settled on Gathering Stripes (though I also considered Sprinkle by Jenn Emerson) because it is a favourite of Cassy‘s and I figure that with two little girls of her own, she knows what she’s talking about. In a non-stash-busting move, I picked up a nice DK weight for the main (and then used just about every inch) and used the speckles (held double) for the stripes.

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I love the way the speckles splash across the stripes, and that the slightly denser gauge of the doubled yarn (same stitch and row gauge, but a denser fabric) gives this sweater a little structure without making it stiff. The yarn I used for the main colour feels amazing (I would swear it was a silk blend, though the label says otherwise), and gives the cowl neck a lovely soft drape. I used three different buttons, since I had them and it seemed like a fun echo of the speckles, and honestly, I love this little sweater. It’s big enough that it should get Amber through a few winters, and will certainly not be the last one I knit.

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Speckled Sunnyside — Pattern: Sunnyside by Tanis Lavallee • Yarn: madelintosh Twist Light in Cosmic Wonder Dust and Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label in Natural

Even held double, though, I used just less than half the skein, which left (I thought) plenty to whip up a little Sunnyside cardigan a few months later. Sunnyside is one of my go-to baby patterns (I’ve knit it three times before), so when we knew we were expecting, it was one of the first patterns I added to my queue. I thought I had enough of the Tosh Light to knit the smallest size, but once the body was finished it was pretty clear that I did not have enough for the arms.

 

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The colours are more accurate in the first photo, but this one shows you how plain the arms are in contrast to the body.

Luckily, I had a skein of TFA Blue Label in Natural sitting in my stash and the whites matched! I alternated a little with the Tosh I had left, so there are some speckles down the arms, but they are few and far between. It doesn’t really bother me, but it does make for a funny contrast — one I could probably have avoided with better planning and/or ripping back the body a bit to introduce a second colour. But oh well. The finished cardigan is pretty cute and I’m not going to mess with that!

So, there you go! Two very different applications for the same yarn, and very satisfying stash busting. Kind of makes me wish I had more of this one on hand…

(Bed rest continues apace, with quite a bit of knitting to keep me feeling productive. More on that later.)

Destination, 36 weeks

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It has been almost exactly 8 months since I posted last, and it seems like a pretty obvious thing to say, but, things have happened in that time! Most notably, life-wise, L and I are expecting our first baby! If you follow me on Instagram, this isn’t new-news (and maybe it doesn’t come as a surprise anyway). To catch you up either way: I am due in mid-November, we didn’t find out the sex, we are very excited.

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Stripey Newborn — Pattern: Heirloom Hats for Newborns by Purl Soho • Yarn: The Fibre Co. Road to China Light in Apatite and Jade

A week ago, I was put on bed rest. The baby, it seems, is eager to meet us, so I have been assigned the task of fighting gravity by spending my days reclined and calm. Of all the reasons to be on bed rest, this one seems like maybe the best one. The baby and I are both in excellent health, and I feel really good, so besides the very abrupt lifestyle change (no more work, no standing, no more most things, actually), the last week has gone pretty well.

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Autumn Bonnet — Pattern: Bits + Pieces by Veera Välimäki • Yarn: Malabrigo Sock in Dewberry and Fleece Artist 2/6 Merino in Autumn

As the title of this post suggests, I’m on strict rest until I reach 36 weeks (a little over 3 weeks from now), and since knitting is one of the few activities I actually can do, it seemed like a good time to get back to this blog that I never really meant to give up in the first place. I have quite a back-log of knits to talk about, most of which are even photographed (thank goodness, since my limited mobility means new photos are going to be pretty basic, styling-wise — see the photos in this post for an example of what I mean), but my main motivation is really just to break out of the little bubble I’m now in. Bed rest is a bit isolating, especially if you are somewhere you haven’t yet lived for a year, since that limits the number of visitors you can expect.

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Bobble Bonnet — Pattern: Hugo by Alison McCarney (undecided about the pompom) • Yarn: Indigodragnfly Merino DK in Violet Ending (the button is vintage) 

But, in the spirit of making the best of things, here I am! I have been meaning to get back to blogging for months now, and finally I have the perfect excuse. So, hello! Maybe a chronological recap would make the most sense, but oh well. For a baby set to be born on the doorstep of winter, little hats seem like an item we probably can’t have too many of. The three in this post (presented in reverse-chronological order — the green striped one was my first bed rest project and very speedy) represent three of the typical styles you see for baby hats, and I find each one charming in its own way.

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I am really happy with how the stripes worked out on this. I love the way the colours in the Autumn yarn plays against the solid purple.

The middle one is the smallest. I really should have gone up a needle size, but it is so friggin’ cute (and if the baby is early, it might even fit). It took almost no yarn at all, so I might just knit a second, larger, one and then have two. It was fun to knit and very quick, so I don’t see that as a terrible compromise. The bobble one was also a fun little knit, and of all the similar patterns out there, seems to have the best fit around the bottom (so many bonnets in this style look loose around the base of the head, which just seems draughty). I really like the vintage look of it, and can definitely see myself knitting more bonnets in this style. The top one, in green, is so absurdly soft. I whipped it up in just a few hours (spread over a couple of days) and it was one of those delightfully simple knits that seem to make themselves. It is small, but stretchy, and should fit no matter when the baby comes.

Three hats is probably sufficient for now, but I will probably whip up a little Garter Ear Flap Hat too, sized for the baby to grow into. I cannot resist that pattern, and if this winter is anything like the last one, a cozy selection of hats will not go to waste.

Clothes for a sheep

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Six weeks ago, two of our best friends had a baby. I already knew I was going to love this kid (her parents are the best — how could she not be!?) but when she held on ten extra days just so she could be born on Chinese New Year, I knew she was a kindred spirit. This is the year of the sheep (or goat), and any baby who wants to be a sheep that badly is clearly going to be showered with knitting. (Also, be warned, there are a lot of photos in this post. Between her inherent cuteness and her dad’s fantastic photos, I couldn’t resist.)

Two days old, already hamming it up.

Two days old, already hamming it up.

We met little Amber the day she came home from the hospital, and as soon as I knew we were going I decided that whip up a little something to bring with us (besides, of course dinner and treats for her parents). I decided to go with a hat, for both speed and immediate practicality. It was friggin’ cold the week she was born (down around -40C with windchill some days), and as most Canadians learn early in life, a hat is indispensable in the winter.

About a week old.

About a week old.

I thought about going with a hat I’ve already made, but where’s the fun in that? I did a quick search through my Ravelry favourites and decided to go with the Garter Ear-Flap Hat from Purl Soho. It’s ridiculously cute with the little ear flaps, and the funny tassel on top was a huge hit. I knit the smallest size, in lighter weight yarn, and it still came out pretty big for a newborn. It will get her through her first winter though, so I consider that a success.

Details
Pattern: Garter Ear-Flap Hat by Purl Soho
Yarn: Tosh Merino DK in Candlewick
Notes: I sped up the decreases to get a (slightly) smaller hat. You can see my notes (such as they are — I knit this quickly and a little on auto-pilot) here.

She loves it.

She loves it. (Also, maybe I should whip her up some tiny mittens?)

These days Amber is also rocking the Wee Envelop sweater that I knit her months before she was born. I was worried at the time that it might be too small, but it turns out it’s the perfect one-month size, and a big hit.

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She’s just over a month old here. 

I wrote about this little sweater in the fall when I was knitting it, but I never got proper photos of it before I gifted it, so it didn’t really get its due here. Seriously, though, what a fun knit. I’ve still only knit the one, but it will definitely become a go-to pattern for future babies (and perhaps for Amber, since there’s a generous size range in the pattern).

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I love a good top-down raglan as much as anyone (and my love of Sunnyside has not yet abated), but it’s fun to knit something a little different, and the construction of this sweater is clever in the best way — that is, it’s fun to knit without being needlessly complicated. I also love that, because you knit the sleeves and yoke first, you can knit the body until you run out of yarn (if you want). That, plus the potential for fun buttons, makes this such a winner for me.

Details
Pattern: Wee Envelop by Ysolda Teague
Yarn: Indigodragonfly Superwash DK in My World is All Askew
Notes: I knit this so long ago I don’t really remember if I changed anything. I knit it at a slightly smaller gauge, so I did make some modifications to accommodate that, but nothing that changed the overall look or construction. Ravelled here.

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Baby Boom

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The last two winters have seen two separate friends have twin boys. This winter, there are two more babies coming, but to two different friends, and they’re both girls! My cousin is due with her first baby in January and then our good friends Sam and Carmen (for whom I knit these mittens way back when) are expecting their first baby in February. Both of those babies aren’t due for a while, but since Christmas is coming, starting some baby sweaters now just made sense.

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First up, another Sunnyside! I’ve knit this twice now, and I’m pretty sure I’ll knit it again. I’m knitting this pretty much as written, but with all the cables mirrored — mirrored across the button bands and down the raglan lines. I also miscounted when I started doing the second cable, so these are a little tighter than written (every six rounds rather than every eight), which makes them a bit ropier.

I’m also knitting a wee Envelop, which is one of the most fun and clever patterns I’ve ever knit. It’s nothing crazy, but it’s fun to watch it all come together. I’m just about to knit the right arm, but I’m debating about the size. Despite going up in yarn weight (I’m using DK instead of sport-weight) and needle size, my gauge is smaller than the pattern’s. I added some extra rows to the yoke area, but right now, pre-blocking, the chest circumference is about 16 inches. I’m planning this for a newborn, so that seems like it should be big enough, but I’m not sure and don’t have a baby nearby to measure — what do you think? Keep going or rip back and reknit on a larger needle?

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When I planned these projects, I didn’t know that both my cousin and our friends were expecting girls, so I planned for unisex garments. These are both first babies, so I think it makes sense to make things that can get used again. Really, though, I just love both of these colours for babies. They may not be traditional baby colours, but I like rich colours on babies, and that red is really gorgeous. The orange is for our friends, and it’s one of their favourite colours, so it was an easy choice.

I suspect there will be more little knits on my needles before these babies are born, so please let me know your favourite patterns for new babies.

Signed, sealed, delivered

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Ta-da!

Ta-da!

It was right down to the wire, but I finished Sproutlette on schedule, which meant it was blocked and ready yesterday when we went to visit our friends, who loved it. It was too warm for the baby to show it off, but it looks like it should fit her well.

What a fun little pattern. It has so many fun little details, and although I thought the scalloped eyelet cast off would take forever, it was surprisingly quick (I had considered switching to a picot bind off and am really glad I stuck with the pattern on this one, because those little eyelets under the leaves just kill me.)

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Honestly, if had been any cuter I might have passed out. Or, at least succumbed to fits of giggles every time I picked it up. The super girly-ness of it is mitigated by the colour though, which suits both the parents and the baby, I think. (I was very tempted to knit it up in this, but I restrained myself.) I’d had this skein in my stash for almost a year, so I was happy to use it, and then half way through I decided I also needed something in this colour and went out and bought another skein. Sigh. I’m thinking cabled socks.

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Details
Pattern: Sproutlette Dress by Tanis Lavallee
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock in Lettuce (with 32g left over)
Needle: 3.25mm
Mods: I mostly just followed the instructions for the middle (6-12 months) size. I knit it at a tighter gauge, though, to get something a bit in between sizes. So, I followed the pattern as written and then after dividing for the arms I cast on three stitches in each armpit. I knit the stockinette portion of the skirt to 5.5 inches, then cast on eight stitches evenly for the leaf chart, giving me 14 leaves around the skirt. Then cast on two stitches for the scalloped eyelet cast-off and you’re golden. It’s ravelled here.