Saturday, February 8, 2020

roundabout sweater

Several months ago, mom asked if I would knit her a sweater. While I usually bang out a few handmade gifts each year, most of my crafting does tend to be projects for myself or the house. That’s where my inspiration strikes! Then, a little before Thanksgiving, mom revised her request, saying that there was no way she could ask for a sweater when my own kid doesn't currently have a handknit item.

This is a very ROUNDABOUT story about why I knit this Roundabout Sweater for Mae. I ordered the yarn, Mad Hatter from Frabjous Fibers Wonderland Yarns on Black Friday. I really like the tight twist and slightly variegated colors of this yarn, which I also used for a Baby Tea Leaves sweater a few years ago (my "Sweater in One Week.") For Mae's sweater, I chose Goat's Beard for the light gray and a 5 pack of color morph mini-skeins in the aptly named Fuchsia to Turquoise for the stripes.

The sleeve cuffs and hem were supposed to be knit in the main color, but I ran out of gray near the end of my second sleeve. I think my gauge was very slightly off. Plus, I made the body and sleeve lengths a bit longer than recommended for the 4T size, since I want this to last Mae at least another year (and she seems to be growing in the length direction much faster than the width direction.) Instead of gray, I switched to purple for the sleeve cuffs and pink for the hem. I like how they stand out now!

The neckline of the sweater was threatening to stretch out too much. I was careful to cast on loosely so Mae wouldn't have trouble pulling it on over her head, but I might have been a bit too generous. To reinforce the neck, I used a crochet hook to make a chain of stitches inside the neckline where the ribbing meets the sweater body. It feels a bit more secure now.

Mae loves her new sweater! She wore it for the first time a couple weeks ago when Grandma, Grandpa, and Kevin came to visit. We went to the museum to see an exhibit on Apollo 11. Mae's favorite part was Buzz Aldrin's shiny space helmet, while Kevin and I really enjoyed watching a museum employee describe the different parts of the rocket using an amazingly accurate Lego set. (It even had 1,969 pieces... so witty.)

In the evening, Mom stayed to watch Mae while Dan and I went to see the Lion King (the Broadway show, not the movie). His parents had given us the tickets for Christmas. I didn't quite know what to expect, but the opening number was so cool I almost cried!

The next day, Mae's new "big girl" bed and dresser were delivered. I'll share photos of her room once it's a little more put together. I have some holes to patch in the walls where we've moved furniture and decorations, and we're still waiting on her nightstand. But mostly, I want to finish the new quilt I'm making for her bed. I've been working on it in the evenings, and I like how it's coming along so far. Excited to see how it looks when it's all assembled!

Sweater details on my Ravelry page.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

a year of baby gifts

I accidentally left my laptop at my parents' house when we visited before Christmas, and I finally have it back. Reunited and it feeeels so good! Now I can catch up on sharing all my recent crafty endeavors. This post is a wrap-up of the baby gifts I made last year.

Let's jump all the way back to April. I finished this Notre Dame baby blanket in a little over 2 weeks last spring! I couldn't find a pattern online so I made my own grid in excel by tracing an interlocking ND logo. I knit the background and purled the logo part. The border is garter stitch. The dark green yarn is Cascade Anchor Bay (machine washable wool/cotton blend) from my local yarn shop. They had just the right amount to make this blanket!

This blanket went to my friends Erin and Matt, who welcomed baby Patrick over the summer! I hope this blanket brings the luck of the Irish. Congrats!

Next up, this Meredith Baby Cardigan for my friends Lauren and Zach. I managed to make zero notes about this project while working on it, which is very unlike me. Here's my guesses. Yarn: pretty sure I used the actual yarn recommended by the pattern for once (gasp!), Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, purchased at a local yarn shop. Color: spearmint? I think? Size: I know I debated this for a while, but I think I settled on 18-24 month. Seems like babies don't grow out of their clothes quite as fast once they're past the one year mark, so they get a little more wear out of a handmade item!

I hope baby Adeline stays toasty warm in her sweater (next winter)!

In the fall, I made these felt mobile pieces for Stacey and Raul's night sky themed nursery for baby Bode. I used the same technique for cutting the shapes as I did for my felt birds, Harry Potter mobile, and Avengers mobile. I designed the shapes on the computer, printed and traced them onto freezer paper, lightly ironed that to the felt, and then cut out the shapes along the template lines. Instead of hand-stitching these pieces, I sewed them on my machine, which worked out much better than I expected. I trimmed the shapes after sewing to get a nice, even edge. Ben and Jen assembled these into a mobile, which looks very cute in Bode's room!

Lastly, I knit this Guernsey blanket for Laura and Andy's little boy Connor. Apparently I have a thing for teal baby items. This is a modified Guernsey Wrap pattern, re-sized to make a baby blanket and knit in aqua Anchor Bay. I managed to take zero photos during the baby shower, probably because I was having fun catching up with my high school friends and their kiddos! We're just starting a cold snap here, so Connor will definitely need some snuggly blankets to stay warm this winter!

I think that's all the baby items I made last year, but I still have a few more knitting projects to share. Stay tuned!

Details for the ND blanket, Meredith Cardigan, and Guernsey blanket are available on my Ravelry page.