Change of plans.

I am trying to plan Christmas gifts, which I probably should have done ages ago. I always have grand ideas, but don’t always achieve what I want. Will blogging about it keep me accountable? Maybe.

I tend to knit other people’s patterns for Christmas gifts (though I have at least one original idea in mind for someone), and who better to start with than Elizabeth Zimmermann? Or so I thought.

I was going to make the Fishtrap Aran hat from Knitter’s Almanac, but about one row in I realized that a hat that is that heavily cabled was probably not the best idea. If I’m going to be successful in finishing gifts, I have to be realistic!

The yarn is Rowan Scottish Tweed Aran, which is sadly now discontinued. I’m wasn’t sure how the color will be received – though it looks like a rust from afar, up close you can see some purple-y flecks in the tweed. Since I was intending this to be manly, I was worried about the bit of purple.

I love the yarn, though, and decided that it would be great with Leo’s coloring. I am making a plain version of the Cheery Scrap Cap for Leo to wear out on the playground at his preschool. Of course, that doesn’t hep me finish Christmas gifts any more quickly! To make things more manageable, I intend to make this a multicraftual Christmas. That means knitting, sewing and even a little crochet – I know I don’t have tons of time, and sewing and crochet are much faster.

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Seed stitch, glorious seed stitch.

I’ve long thought seed stitch might be my favorite stitch pattern, but this sweater definitely confirms it. I’ve knit 14-16 inches of seed stitch so far (time to measure again!), and have yet to grow tired of it. Such great texture and dimension without too much work!

The yarn is Cascade Ecological Wool and the pattern is forthcoming. I sketched this out over a year ago, so it’s nice to finally make this sweater a reality!
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Itty bitty.

Tomorrow? Did I say I’d be back tomorrow? Oops. I should have learned by now that if I say I’m going to blog at a specific time that something will come up to delay me.

I’ll be back soon (notice that I’m not committing to a day) with a KCWC wrap up, but for now here’s something I finished for a little one.

Craig’s cousin and his wife just welcomed a baby girl. Unfortunately, she was born very early and weighed just over three pounds at birth. She’s doing well but has a long hospital stay ahead.

I decided to make her a small version of my Little Boy Blue ribbed baby hat using Cascade’s Cash Vero yarn, which is soft and wonderful for a baby. I followed the pattern but used size 6 needles and only knit four inches before doing the decreases. The result is a hat that will fit a preemie, but it will also stretch and fit her for quite some time.

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KCWC: Day 1

My first day of the KCWC was spent at the Knit Nook, (did you know they’re open on Mondays again? Come say hi!) so I naturally spent my time knitting.

First up, the Tomten. It’s quite different than the last photo I posted, but yesterday I just made a bit of progress on the second sleeve. I think I can easily finish this by the end of the week, assuming my children cooperate.

I was originally worried that it would be too small, so I asked Leo to put it on. Though he started waving his arms around “to be like a bird” before I snapped the photo, making my carefully arranged sleeves go astray, I do believe it will fit all winter long.

Disheveled, but cute.

I also worked on the I-desperately-need-to-finish-this project, my Little Scholar Vest. I wove in all the ends, sewed the shoulder seams, and began the armhole ribbing. I am hoping to finish this TONIGHT after the boys go to bed . . . we’ll see. An hour should be enough time to at the very least make some serious progress.

See ya tomorrow with pictures from Day 2.

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A challenge for next week.

Elsie Marley is hosting a Kid’s Clothing Week Challenge. The concept? For one hour every day from September 20-26, work on a kid’s clothing item. I think the challenge was originally intended for sewers, but she is including us knitters & crocheters, too.

I just so happen to have several kid’s items either on the needles or on standby, so I am definitely in! The plan:

* Finish the Tomten – I am down to the last sleeve and edging, so I should be able to finish without too much trouble. (But man, those sleeves seem to take forever!)

* Finish the Little Scholar Vest so I can take photos – again down to the very final details.

* Make these oliver + s pants for Leo. I have the pattern traced and cut out, but I still need to cut out the fabric and stitch ’em up.

I have a list about a mile long in case I finish these things, but first things first. I’m looking forward to my kid-related crafting!

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Little Fang Sweater

Confession: I’m not the most vampy person, but I did read all of the Twilight books and most of the Sookie Stackhouse novels. What can I say – all of the knitters were gossiping about these vampire tales so I had to give them a try (plus they were all on the Knit Nook library shelf). When Genevieve Miller asked if I would contribute a child’s sweater design to her book Vampire Knits, I was relieved that I had a little bit of a vampire background.

I submitted three or four ideas, but the one that Genevieve and the book editors decided on was this Little Fang Sweater. It was inspired by those smiley face t-shirts (something similar to this), but there’s actually no face at all – just two intarsia fangs at the bottom where the smile would be. The raglan sweater is knit in pieces and seamed (intarsia in the round – no thanks!) and uses Knit Picks Swish DK. Sizing is from 2T – 6.

I’m honored that Genevieve asked me to be a part of this book – I’m in the company of some accomplished knitters! Tanis Gray, Cirilla Rose, Julie Turjoman (who has a book of her own to promote), and Nikol Lohr are just a few of the talented knitters that have patterns in Vampire Knits.

I couldn’t write this post without thanking Kristin for her help and Genevieve for her flexibility – the deadline for this book was around the time that Johnny was born, so first it was painful to knit because of pregnancy related carpal tunnel, and then Johnny’s first few weeks were quite rough (thanks to RSV/bronchiolitis) so I was more focused on his well being than my sweater. Thankfully, knitters are kind people that are generally willing to lend a hand/extend deadlines!

Vampire Knits is published by Potter Craft and is available at yarn stores and book stores near you!

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Knit Nook photoshoot.

The Knit Nook just happens to be an excellent place for photo shoots. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense – who better to appreciate your need to document your hard work than other knitters? Plus, there’s always someone handy to snap a photo.

Molly and I decided that today would be stiletto day at the Knit Nook (why not?) and we also both ended up wearing handknit sweaters. Mine is Liesl (which I should probably do a proper blog post about), and Molly’s is Emmaline. Then it turned out we both had extra yarn from our sweaters that we turned into crochet things for our heads. Molly made a headband using her remaining Araucania Nature Cotton, and my Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Cotton became the Beginner Friendly Cap from Crochet Today.

So to review:

Stilettos? Check.
Hand knit sweaters? Check.
Matchy-matchy crochet accessory? Check.
iPhone Knit Nook photo? Check.
A fun Saturday at the Knit Nook? Double check.

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