Monday, February 10, 2014

Wee Knitting ...

I love knitting for wee ones. Everything is so precious. The knitting is always fun because its all scaled down to a size that always produces "awwwww's" where ever you go!

My friend Ariane is pregnant and due in May. Everyone in our circle knew that a baby would be coming, it was only a matter of when. You may remember that I knitted my very first garment ever for their eldest daughter Savannah a few months back...

 Pattern was Sweet Peasy by Heidi Kirrmeier knit with Knit Picks Swish DK on size 6 circulars

Best as I could tell, Savannah really like it and it fit her like a dream!


She got it before Christmas and I was paranoid that it wouldn't fit her. It took me so long to finish it I thought she would grow out of it. She has a new baby brother or sister coming and everyone is very excited about it! Us knitters are excited because we get to knit for a wee one and that, my friends, is some of my favorite knitting around. In the past I have always knit hat and socks sets. Come to think of it, I have knit and given these sets to people who probably could care less about having knitted things at all. I only started knitting in 2008 and I was still excited about knitting for anyone having new babies in their families. I knit a set for my ex-boss years ago for her 1st grandson. She was so excited. I'll bet that kid never even wore it. I never received a thank you care from her or her daughter. I did the same thing for the woman who trained me at that job....same thing. No thank you card, nothing. It took me a while to understand that you only gift knitting to people who really care and understand the importance of receiving a hand knitted item. I have a very dear friend of mine, Raonna, or Rae Rae as I call her, that I knit a pair of socks for. She loves them and wears them all the time. She posts pictures on Facebook to let me know just how much she loves her socks. That means a lot to me. Its nice to know that the time and effort that goes into the gifting of hand knitted things have not gone unnoticed. But I digress. Back to the new wee one on the way. Having knit my first garment for Savannah I am confident in my abilities to knit a sweater for the new babe. So I went trolling around on Ravelry for the perfect sweater. I had a few criteria that had to be met. It had to be a top-down raglan design, it couldn't have a tight or crew like neckline, and most importantly, it had to be easy to get the baby in and out of. It has to be easy for Mum to deal with. A difficult sweater to deal with probably wouldn't get worn all too often. After spending a lot of time looking at almost every sweater design available on Ravelry I found the pattern I wanted to do. I am so excited about this thing I can barely stand it even though I wont be able to start it until I am finished with a certain shawl on my needles which has an end of February deadline. I can probably get away with finishing the shawl the beginning of March if I really need to but that's another story. The perfect sweater for this new babe is a Carina Spencer design. I wrote to her asking her permission to use her pictures from Ravelry here on my blog so I could show you all and she said yes! I was so excited she said yes because this little thing.....omigosh....check it out...

Small Things Sweater by Carina Spencer. Photo used courtesy of Carina Spencer

Isn't it the cutest thing!? It meets all of my criteria. Its a top-down raglan design, no crew neckline, and with this wrap/kimono type design it will be super easy to get baby in and out of this sweater! I love the slipped stitch details too, very tailored and clean looking. Here is another pic and closeup of the slipped stitch detail...

Small Things Sweater by Carina Spencer. Photo used courtesy of Carina Spencer

I can't wait to look for the perfect buttons for it too. I may need to take a trip to Santa Fe's Tutto if I can't find what I want at Village Wools. I think I'd like to keep the Celtic theme going that I started with Savannah's sweater because the family really loves that. The next step was to find the perfect yarn. The baby is due in May so I didn't think Malabrigo Worsted, despite the awesome tonal colors that are available, would be the best thing to use. I think the fabric would be way too warm. I know that little ones cant regulate their body temperatures which is why we dress them in sweaters when its warm outside but not thick, wintery sweaters. Not in May. Maybe a thin wrap or something made out of....cotton! Yes, I think a cotton blend would definitely be the way to go here. And with a little extra room to move so that when he/she gets a little older the sweater can still be worn when it starts to cool down outside here in Albuquerque. So, I turned to Knit Picks to see what they had in the way of a cotton worsted yarn. I found Shine Worsted which is a 60/40 cotton and modal blend. Modal is a natural beech wood fiber that adds sheen to the yarn. Per the Knit Picks site, the modal is described as... "giving high quality Pima cotton an elegant sheen and soft drape while minimizing pilling and stretching. This very appealing yarn can be used in any of your favorite designs calling for worsted weight yarn. Supremely comfortable for warm weather garments, and the easy care of machine washability fits right into your summer lifestyle. Excellent for showing off textured stitches and cables."  I promptly ordered up enough for the sweater and a beret I want to make to go with it, along with matching socks of course, in a cream color. Since we don't know if the baby is a boy or a girl, cream is a nice neutral that also, coincidentally, will hide spit up better than any other color. So,as you may be able to tell, I am very excited to get to this sweater once the shawl on my needles is done. 

Unable to hide my excitement for all knitted little things, I started a pair of socks. They take, like, no time at all and I wanted to see if I could remember my formula for baby socks. I did. I plan to make lots of pairs of socks in different sizes and different colors because they are so easy. Here's the one I finished this morning....

 
Newborn feets are so tiny! This sock is so cute I could cry. Here it is next to a crochet hook for size comparison...


Awwww! See what I mean?! So cute. This pair, and all the others, will be done in nice soft acrylic because it is machine washable. And all the colors are neutral. And its what I had on hand. The photo shows a slight pink haze to it but its not, they are white with tiny little flecks of green, blue and purple. So this is all the news on the knitting front as far as the new wee one is concerned!

I FINALLY finished my fingerless mitt streak. 14 pairs. Yes, 14 pairs. This is the last pair I finished and they were for me...


 They are a much more deep and richer color than in the pic. There was light coming in from everywhere and I this was the best I could do. Anyway, they're all done! I made a pair this same color for my hair stylist and she LOVED them! The day I got my haircut and gifted them to her it was cold and grey outside and there was still snow on parts on the ground that hadn't melted yet. It was a perfect day for fingerless mitts!

This is the shawl on my needles that I need to finish before I can get to any of the baby knits...


I need about another inch of garter on this before I can start the edging. I have finally decided on an edging so I'm excited and happy about that. The edging certainly fits the theme of this shawl which has yet to be named but I'm working on that. This is Phydeaux Designs yarn 50/50 merino and silk and the yarn is so luscious. I don't know where she gets her bases from but this one is positively perfect to work with in every way. It has the shine and softness that comes with silk but it doesn't overpower the merino. The merino keeps this yarn bouncy and full of life. It is in no way limp. It has been such a beautiful yarn to work with. I just need to put another few rows on in garter, chart out the border and then I can start that.

I have to tell you the embarrassing part of my weekend. I was so excited for it and had been planning it for days in advance. I've known about the Wooly Wonka Fiber trunk show at Village Wools for a long time. At least ever since Designer Day at Village Wools. I planned to meet both Kristy and Dilshani there for the event. I got there about 12:15 all excited to see all the yarn and FINALLY meet Anne, the owner and dyer of Wooly Wonka. Well, I'm not sure how I did it but I was there a whole week ahead of schedule. Wooly Wonka isn't going to be there until next Saturday, February 15th. Boy did I feel like an ass. So I sat and knitted until Kristy and Dilshani arrived. Dilshani did a little shopping while Kristy and I knitted and chatted for a bit. Kristy is participating in the Ravelry Olympics, or whatever they are calling it these days, and she knits so fast I have no doubt in my mind she will complete her project. Since I didn't ask if I could use the project photo on my blog, you'll just have to jump on over to Ravelry to see what she's doing. Kristy no doubt will finish her Peplum and Pleat Jacket by the end of the games on February 23rd. I don't think Dilshani is participating and I am not either. I guess I could try and finish the edging on my shawl by then? But since its not a whole project it wouldn't qualify for the Ravelry Games. It could be a little motivational for me though. The three of us headed over to Flying Star for lunch wherein we ended up staying and talking for over 3 hours! We all had such a nice time that none of us even knew what time it was. I meant to get a selfie of the three of us Saturday afternoon but instead I got a selfie of me at Village Wools waiting for them to arrive...


I am wearing my Quartzite Shawl in this picture. Not that I'm advertising at all :-)

I hope you are all having a wonderful start to your week today and that your Monday is not typical. I'll see you back here soon! Until then....Knit On!

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