Tag Archives: baby

Two weeks

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HJ2

Today is/was my due date, but better yet, today our daughter is two weeks old! The bed rest was a pretty good indication that she wasn’t going to wait around, and she did not! Two weeks early is actually pretty good (especially since it counts as full term), and even though she’s little, she’s growing like crazy and has filled our days (and nights) with more than we could have thought possible.

We named her Helen Juliet, and we are so in love with her.

HJ1

The blanket colours are better in the top photo. I will write a proper post about it soon.

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Ticking all the boxes

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Last week, I finished my Dala Mitts (photos coming soon), which meant it was time to dive into some baby knitting. One of my best friends from high school is due this month, and Amber‘s first birthday is in a couple of weeks (I can’t believe she’s a year old) and that means lots of little knitting. When I started knitting again six years ago, I couldn’t understand the appeal of baby things. Tiny patterns seemed to proliferate, and during my brief time working and teaching in a knitting shop, patterns and yarns for babies seemed to be half the business. Maybe it just takes having some babies in your life to get it, but I am increasingly enchanted by tiny garments — both how adorable they are and how much fun they can be to knit.

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Anyway, when it came to choosing a pattern to knit for the new baby (a girl), I knew what yarn I wanted to use (Malabrigo Sock in Dewberry, from deep in my stash) but I couldnt’ quite settle on a pattern. My go-to baby cardigan is Tanis Lavallee’s Sunnyside, which I’ve knit three times and unabashedly adore. I even though I’d knit the lace version this time, which was kind of exciting. This was the plan, so when it came time to actually cast on I was surprised that I felt kind of restless about my pattern choice. Maybe it was the prospect of all that stockinette, I’m not sure, but something sent me searching through Ravelry for an alternative.

And then, I found it: the February Baby Sweater. I’ve owned The Knitter’s Almanac for years, and though I read it cover to cover, I’ve never actually knit any of the patterns in it. Crazy, right? Clearly, though, this was too perfect to pass up: Baby girl, due in February, plus the fact that I would be knitting it in February — clearly meant to be.

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Just about to separate for the sleeves.

I cast on last weekend and, after figuring out some modifications for my smaller gauge (EZ’s version uses worsted- or DK-weight, but I’m using fingering-weight — I’ve outlined my mods here), I’ve just been happily knitting away. After the total pleasure of knitting my Dala Mitts, this little sweater is a worthy successor, and it really does tick all my boxes: I’m using yarn and pattern from my stash, the knitting is interesting but doesn’t require full attention, and in not too long I’ll have an adorable gift for a good friend. Hard to beat that combination, really.

Clothes for a sheep

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Amber4

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.

Amber6

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).

Amber8

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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It’s becoming my go-to pattern

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My last finished knit of 2014 was yet another Sunnyside, my third for the year (though the first two feel like they were finished much longer ago). I think it’s safe to say that it has become my go-to knit for a new baby. It’s simple, but with a little something extra, and lots of possibilities for customization, and just look at how cute it is.

Ruby Sunnyside

Ruby Sunnyside

I knit this basically as written, except that I mirrored the cables down the fronts and across the raglan lines.This is for my cousin (due any day now!) and, although I finished this last week (just before New Year’s), I started this way back in September, before we knew whether she was having a boy or a girl. Red with cables seemed like a safe choice at the time, and since we later found out she’s having a girl, I added the lilac-coloured flower buttons to girl it up a bit. I noticed when I was buttoning up the sweater that the little petals on the buttons were snagging in the yarn-over button holes, so I went back and stitched around each button hole to make them both more open and smoother (for some reason, I don’t have a photo of that. Sorry.)

rubysun6

Anyway, this was a very quick little knit, or would have been if I hadn’t been so distracted. When I cast it on in September I worked on it until I was almost done the raglan shaping, and then put it down in favour of, well, lots of other things, but mainly the Wee Envelope sweater* I needed to start for friends of ours (I finished that too, but forgot to get FO shots before I gifted it. Ho hum). I picked Sunnyside back up over Thanksgiving (that’s early October in Canada) and finished the body, and then it languished while I did all my Christmas knitting. I just kept thinking “I only have the arms left, it’s no big deal.” It wasn’t a big deal, really. I knit the sleeves in an afternoon after Christmas and then dithered around for a week and half before I mailed it — and I didn’t want to blog about it until it was in the mail.

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I really love a deep red for babies. Especially winter babies. It’s just so cozy!

There’s really not much else to say about this little knit except that you’re almost certain to see more Sunnysides popping up over here because it’s such a great little pattern. In fact, our friends (to whom the Wee Envelope was gifted) are also having a girl, which means I have an excuse to do the lace version of this pattern next!

Details
Pattern: Sunnyside by Tanis Lavallee
Yarn: Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 in Ruby (my stash is really starting to earn its keep, let me tell you)
Notes: I have this weird feeling that I actually cast on for the 6-12 month size, and then forgot and knit this as if it was for the 0-3 month size. I can’t be certain, but the collar looks a little larger than it should. Other than that, and mirroring the cables, it’s knit exactly as written! Ravelled here.

*As an aside, I really wish I’d taken finished photos of the Wee Envelope I knit because it was adorable! I will definitely be revisiting the pattern in the future.

Twin set

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sunnyside4

Last week, my childhood friend Morgan had twins. Twin boys. Obviously, we knew she was expecting twins, so back in the fall I decided to knit little sweaters for her babies, then sex-unknown. It’s a joint gift from my mum and I, since our parents are friends: my mum bought the yarn and I did the knitting, which is a pretty good deal, really.

Besides the yarn choice, I had to choose a pattern. I wanted to do something complementary, but not completely the same, so either the same pattern twice in different colours, or the same colour twice in different patterns. My mum and I both preferred the first option, and after that it was a pretty easy choice to go with Sunnyside by Tanis Lavallee.

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I picked out the yarn before Christmas. I will admit that I thought she’d have a boy and a girl, so I picked unisex colours that played into that a little. I cast on the first little sweater after finishing my holiday socks, and it was my first finished knit of 2014. Then I got distracted and knit other things before casting on the second sweater. I wasn’t even through the raglan increases when Morgan had the babies, but that’s okay. Twins are little (just over 5 lbs each!) so it takes them a bit to fit into full-sized baby clothes.

sunnyside3

I knit the smallest size almost exactly as written, but I mashed up the two options a little. I really liked the back and forth of the lace pattern, but for a more unisex look thought cables would be better (not that babies care). So, I just did back and forth cables. I was initially going to mirror the cables on each sweater, but then I thought it was more fun to mirror one sweater to the other.

I’m really happy with the results, which will go in the mail later today/tomorrow. The yarn (Malabrigo sock for both) is so soft and snuggly and I really like the colours, even if the blue does kind of obscure the cables a little. After knitting this little sweater twice, I can definitely see myself going back to it. I’d like to knit it as written, and maybe also with braided cables, and I do like the lace option. So fun.

sunnyside1

Details
Pattern: Sunnyside by Tanis Lavallee
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock in Lotus (pink/green) and Caribeno
Needles: 3.75mm
Notes: Pretty much knit exactly as written. I started the buttonholes later (on the ninth rather than the fifth row) and then carried on every 20th row as written, which ended up working out perfectly at the bottom spacing-wise. I also did back-and-forth cables instead of the rope cables in the chart. So: on sweater one I alternated cable right and cable left, and the second sweater I alternated cable left and cable right, which gave me zig-zag cables that mirrored each other. I also did five rows of garter stitch at the cuffs and the bottom hem, to match the neck. They’re ravelled here and here.

Cute because it’s tiny?

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There is something about baby-sized knits that gets me cooing and sighing and smiling before they’re even finished, which is really saying something because they’re so darn quick to knit up! (That being said, they also manage to take longer than I think they will, so what does that say?)

Ta da! this photo really doesn't represent how little this sweater is.

Ta da! this photo really doesn’t represent how little this sweater is.

I finished the Puerperium Cardigan yesterday morning, buttons and all, and I am very pleased indeed. It seems like all our friends are having babies right now (this will be the fourth in six months) and that has given me an excuse to knit up lots of adorable little garments. This little sweater, though, might be my favourite (which is saying something because, remember the pumpkin hat?)

Anyway, this cardigan is a super, super quick knit. Even if you zone out the first time you start and forget to knit the button bands in garter stitch and have to re-start. Ahem. As it turns out, I could have just kept going with that sweater and then knit an whole new one with garter stich button bands and decided which one I liked better because, and I can hardly believe this, the finished sweater only required 81 yards. That’s less than a third of the skein. That’s crazy, is what it is. Babies are so little!

I have buttoned and unbuttoned this cardigan several times, and the star points are not as annoying as I feared.

I have buttoned and unbuttoned this cardigan several times, and the star points are not as annoying as I feared.

You may recall that I was worried about the way the colours were turning out and, while I still worry it’s a little baby-camo (not a look I would normally go for), I kind of love the colours. I was going to take Holly‘s suggestion in the comments and buy two sets of buttons – one girly, one more boyish – and then wait until the baby came along to sew them on and send this off, but when I saw the star buttons I decided they were whimsical and unisex enough to counteract the camo. The stars are also perfect, since the dad-to-be and L were housemates during undergrad and L studies aerospace engineering (with emphasis on space), and thus the stars sort of represent L making this a gift that is clearly from the both of us. I know that seems like a roundabout justification for star buttons, but trust me, they’ll get it.

Can I also just say that I loved knitting with this yarn? Oh my goodness it is soft. It’s 100% superwash merino, so I knew it would be nice, but holy. It makes other soft yarns seem coarse in comparison, and even for babies I wouldn’t hesitate to say it’s good for next-to-skin wear. It also bloomed every so slightly when I blocked it, and I know it will get lots of use. (I am seriously considering stocking up on this yarn, since more babies seem inevitable.)

I think it's the black-ish bits that make me think camo. Otherwise, it's all soft and shifting teals and purples, which I love.

I think it’s the black-ish bits that make me think camo. Otherwise, it’s all soft and shifting teals and purples, which I love.

Details
Pattern: Puerperium Cardigan by Kelly Brooker
Yarn: Indigodragonfly DK Superwash in Fringe Over Troubled Water
Needles: 4mm
Modifications: To be honest, I basically knit this pattern as written. I did one extra garter ridge on the bottom, and I shortened the sleeves (details Ravelled here), but otherwise, this is a tidy little pattern and I didn’t change a thing. The reason I shortened the sleeves is because this is a March baby, and while March can be cold, it’s also a tricky month, and I thought shorter sleeves would be more versatile for layering (also, if it’s a girl, little pink or yellow or whatever coloured shirts and poke out) and will maybe keep this fitting for a little longer. I also suspect it’ll be easier to thread tiny sausage arms through short sleeves, but that’s just me.

There’s a moose in these mittens!

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Well, okay, technically they’re gloves, but since I’m not at the fingers yet it doesn’t matter. What does matter, though, is that the moose is starting to appear, and he is looking very moose-y indeed.

I cast on for these mittens gloves (L does not wear mittens) on Saturday, which is a pretty late start considering that his birthday is on Thursday. Honestly, I was just so tired of working on deadline stuff that I wanted to just knit for myself for a few days. Of course, now I’m under the gun and L probably won’t get these on his birthday, which he says he’s okay with (I suspect he’s weighing an on-time birthday gift against my mental health, and I’m pleased to see he values the latter more).

Anyway, moose gloves. I cast on on Saturday and by the end of the day I was finished the cuff and feeling quite pleased with myself.

The red is proving very hard to photograph and, while it is bright, it's not quite this garish.

The red is proving very hard to photograph and, while it is bright, it’s not quite this garish.

I then had virtually no glove-knitting time on Sunday or Monday, but did manage to squeeze in a little time on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. I worked on them a bit this morning and am only eight rows from the top of the hand (as charted, I might add a few extra rows for safety). I have never knit gloves before, but I’ve been trying these on L as I go, and so far I think they’re working out.

It really does look like a moose, doesn't it?

It really does look like a moose, doesn’t it?

Ideally I’d like to buckle down and get this one mostly finished this weekend, but I’m going to a baby shower on Sunday and since the sweater I’m going to knit still looks like this

The parents aren't telling whether it's a boy or a girl, but I think this can go either way. (In case you're curious, it's Indigodragonfly DK Superwash in "Fringe Over Troubled Water")

The parents aren’t telling whether it’s a boy or a girl, but I think this can go either way. (In case you’re curious, it’s Indigodragonfly DK Superwash in “Fringe Over Troubled Water”)

well, I think baby knitting might take priority. On the other hand, maybe I’ll just knit a little hat for the shower and deliver the sweater later (thus leaving time to hopefully tackle at least a few fingers)? The baby isn’t due until the end of March, so in my head this seems like a reasonable plan – what do you think?