Because Bow Ties ARE Cool

yet another item in the unending stream of hand crafted baby things

Yes, the hand crafted baby things just keep coming. My dearest E and S finally welcomed their little boy into the world. At the Baby Shower, we were asked to take onesies and return them decorated in some way. Weeeelll, I’ve had a bit on my plate what with moving to the UK, and i knew that A was going to be a massive little bub and I had a 000, so to make up for my slackness, I purchased a 00 to embroider and whipped this up on the last weekend i was in melbourne. I am such a terrible free stitcher, but it’s cute and homey and the Doctor would approve!

(also, what a BRILLIANT colour! Thanks E for the photo)

meanwhile, N + G are expecting a Muffin!girl and in the COLD months too, so i finally got to knit a pink (and green!) cardigan!

I had some lovely colours in a simple 8ply wool that i knew nett would love so i chose the offset wraplan* pattern and striped away.

(apologies in advance for the indoor flash photo!)

The buttons are probably  not the most practical, but they are SUPER CUTE and finish it so nicely!

Meanwhile, I have managed to move out of Melbourne – most of my yarn is in storage *sniff* but a sufficient amount is in adelaide either to be packed with me, or sent at a later date. My spinning wheel, loom and sewing machine are being looked after and loved by the lovely Ursula, though i believe Mel will eventually take over loom mindership. I’m glad  my crafty things are being put to good use!

I have also finished my Sylvi at last and i LOVE HER. I will endevour to get some better photos, but here’s a sneak preview..

 

 

*rav link

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Avoiding startitis

It was pointed out last night at knitting that i am a terrible blogger. But I have been meaning to post about this!

The awesome Yarn Harlot recently blogged about her annual case of startitis

Which got me thinking… I have a very strong desire to knit ALL THE THINGS, but especially all the WARM things, what with going to London! I’ve got a few projects i desperately want to do before i go, but i also want to finish all my WIPs!

so things i want to knit

Poppy*

I cast these on week before last and should have them done on Thursday. I don’t particularly like the thumb in this pattern, and if i knit them again i would work my regular thumb gusset and work another round or two after the little finger.

Other than this though i love them! I added an extra ruffle and put them a bit closer together because who doesn’t like an extra ruffle.

Handspun Possum and Merino from NZ with Kidsilk Night trim

I feel like these will be awesome for when i need to keep my hands warm but have my fingers available for oyster cards etc.

From the same book i want to knit Chevalier* for when it’s F***ing cold. these are knit in a bulky yarn so should only take me one or two days. I’ve actually had the yarn combo picked out for a while, so will be nice to finally do these!

And i want to knit a cowl or possibly two. I have a few patterns queued for stash yarn so will do one of those. I’ve been told that having a cowl close to the neck and then a scarf is a must for a UK winter.

On counterpoint I have the WIPS…

Sylvi is going great guns and will be finished before i go. I really want to line it, but i think there’s probably a level of CBFedness i can’t quite get past with everything else going on

Gossamer is a project i started in 2010 and i JUST NEED TO FINISH! especially now it’s on the interesting bit. the good news is it’s really light so i could pack it to knit in the UK, but i won’t wear it til summer over there, so would rather finish it and put it in storage til i get back. but i don’t want to put it in storage on the needles (or cable as the case is atm)

This is a bit of an ongoing project that i pick up every now and again. It has the same problems as Gossamer  in that i probably won’t wear it in london much but i hate the idea of putting it in storage unfinished. (even though it’s been about 2 years between working on it at some points!)

The sock yarn leftover blanket is very happy to be popped away and added to when i have sock yarn left overs from the UK!

so that’s kinda the plan, but there’s one other thing to consider… baby knits! Oh yeah… i would really like to try and get one thing done for my bestie before i head off.

but i have finished a present for my darling canadian friend

Petit Facile Pullover from Interweave Knits in Malabrigo worsted in Verdes

*ravelry link

Things I like – babies and yarn!

A few FOs to show off, including some presents, and i want to share my growing wm collection…

I received what will probably be my last wm skein (for the moment) in the post last week. All my yarn has come from destashes and it’s really easy to see what colours i like! I may destash one of these since i’m not in love with is, but all the others are just LOVELY.

L-R: Pinie, Sabrina, Aquarius, Neptun, Stella Polaris, Verzaubert, Der Letzst Versuch, Fleiderbusch, Magnolie (dark) (some of these are WD but not sure which)

I find it really interesting the way WM has taken off. I describe it as being like collector’s cards. You don’t necessarily NEED them for anything, but you kind of want to collect them all, just for the sake of it… For me, there are certain colours I want to see in person and pet and play with and one day knit, but there’s also definitely the desire to COLLECT. however. I’m putting the breaks on – after all – i’m yet to knit with it and i should make sure i like it first!

I went to a Blessingway (as opposed to a baby shower) for a dear friend on saturday afternoon. Her due date is the opening night of our show, so she is the ONLY person I know (in Melbourne) who has a valid excuse for not being there! (remember to let me know when you book!!)

It was lovely to see her and to help her make things for her birthing process, namely prayer flags (very non-traditional) for the room and a contribution to a necklace for her to wear. We also got to do kitchy things, like decorate onesies (BIG PUFF PAINT DUCKIE!) and play games (like baby animal bingo – AWESOME). I’m keeping track of these sorts of things as i’m hoping to be involved in the planning of someone ELSE’s baby shower later in the year.

I got to give S her lovely knitted gifts, which you should know by now is my favourite part of unselfish knitting. she loved everything.

pixie hat, ribbed sideways knit cardi and milo soaker

Two of these patterns came from my vintage knits baby book – the pixie hat and soaker. the other is from a great ACS pattern book, the cocoon baby collection. I’ve talked about the cardi before and the hat and soaker are pretty self explanatory. I was trying to do a slightly upsized version of the hat for baby’s older sister, but am having epic hat knitting fail. She WILL get something, but not just yet!

This is not it on the baby front this year!!! I just found out my second cousin living here in melbourne has had another little boy (only a year after the first who received the blue baby sophisticate coat last year) and two of my bestest friends in the whole world have now officially announced that they are expecting. This is a bit more of an acheivement in their case as a gay couple, but they’ve done it and there will be another tiny person around in January!

So much baby knitting! lucky they’re small!

Almost there…

I am too lazy to take a photo, but Fay* which i have been working on for over a year is sooooo close to completion I can SMELL it! I cast off both sleeves last night and am debating whether to wash block or just steam the pieces before seaming the shoulders. I still need to knit the neck band, which i will start tonight, but it is sewn in, so need to have shoulder seams sewn ready to go. this means i need to block the main body pieces now.

Usually I would just whack it in the sink in lukewarm water, give it a little swish, press the water out, pin and go… BUT! when katie was living with me, she blocked her pear tree Mara in such a fashion and it grew… A Lot. It did shrink back when it dried, but it was significantly larger. Now i know what you sticklers out there are saying “Well well well, serves you right for not washing your swatch!”. At least i DID swatch for this project! And I have just washed and pinned my little swatch to see what it does! This will help decide how to go about things. In the meantime, NECKBAND! 🙂

In the meantime, I finished a pair of socks!

They are Shur’tugal (Dragon Rider) socks in Waikiwi Prints that i picked up in NZ. It’s a really yummy alpaca, possum and merino blend and while it felt a little thin/ropey during the knitting process it softened up beautifully when i washed them. My mum eyed them off while i was knitting them so she scored them for mother’s day 🙂

Speaking of presents, this ADORABLE little jacket (that I knit over easter – super quick!!) is destined for a soon-to-be person! There are a few mothers-to-be reading this so i’ll let you all guess which of the baby knits you’re getting!

Speaking of Babies… The recipient of the little cabled vest* that i blogged about in March has arrived safe and sound. Mum and bub are both doing well, Dad’s proud as punch and the dog is a little put out!

Meet my cousin-once-removed (hey, I don’t get neices and nephews, ok? it’s not my fault it’s a really clumsy name for the relationship), Henry John Thorn. He’s the first boy in the family (Dad’s side) in 41 years! I think this is the only photo i’ve seen with his eyes open. mostly he just frowns, but i’m sure he’ll grow out of it!

* ravelry link

Babies Galore!

So the thing about being 30 is that most of the people i know are either getting married, having babies or planning ways of moving closer to doing one of the above.

This year (so far) has seen three babies on the horizon. My cousin, for whom i knitted the little cabled slip over is due ANY MINUTE NOW! I am planning on making debbie bliss’s bunny to go with the slipover, but will maybe give it to them in person in September since the US apparently don’t want anyone to send them mail ever now.

The other two babies have both had gender determined (though i won’t specifically say what just in case… though you can probably work it out)

I started this little project with one recipient in mind, but changed my mind halfway through. I am now working on matching items.

Sideways ribbed baby jacket in Adorn Silky Cashmerino 4ply

(thanks nett for the awesome photo)

Baby clothes are so much fun to knit – they are super fast and are totally worth luxurious (machine washable) yarns. This was under 2 balls!

I’m working on a DK weight jacket now for the other baby. I started Friday and have already finished the back and fronts. One and a half sleeves to go, then seaming and then bands. I would finish this weekend except that i can’t find a decent sewing up needle here (at my parents) so might have to wait til i get back to Melbourne.

I do have another project with me of course, something for me in ARAN weight because i am totally SICK of 4 ply. between baby clothes, socks and my Fay (in Pear Tree 4 ply) I needed something a bit quicker to work on, so I am doing Emily from Kim Hargreaves in Rowan Alpaca Cotton. Not the combination i originally intended (though I contemplated it) but i just wanted to knit something-not-4ply. I have also bought the Rowan Cocoon to do Stockport from Rowan 46. Yay for a bulky knit !

Still here…

Hi!

I apologise for the month long silence, but things haven’t been great chez Jen. I won’t go into it here, because a) I don’t want this to be a whingy blog b)It’s a bit TMI for some and c)it’s long and complicated, but the short version is I have been having issues with my mental and physical health. I am on a new medication which has made me feel better, but not good, but will stick with it for a few more weeks before trying something new. But the result of this is that sometimes the things i know usually are relaxing and fun haven’t necessarily been. So for example I’ve had the odd panic attack whilst knitting, or have had the wrong energy for sitting down to crafting.

BUT! I have persevered and have a few finished objects to show you!

Firstly My February Socks

Dragonfly socks in Mini Mochi

I really enjoyed this knit. The yarn is a little splitty (not great for dropping down and picking up stitches) but otherwise lovely – so smooooooshy and the pattern is super easy. I worked an eye of patridge heel, because i like them. This yarn is apparently known for not ‘matching up’ but i’m pretty happy with how these turned out. Very similar!

I have also finished March’s socks, though sadly 2 days into April, so too late to enter into the  Sock Knitters Anonymous  competition under the Janneke Maat design category. Pity – first time my random selection and their competition categories had matched up!

Here is a (terrible) photo of the first finished sock as I haven’t taken FO pics yet

Maeve in Ixchel’s BFL bunny sock

I really didn’t enjoy these as much as i thought i would. I don’t know why – maybe the colours were actually too muted for the mood i was in, or perhaps it had nothing to do with the socks, just the mood/energy i was feeling, but they’ve also ended up a smidgeon small, so will probably get gifted. I don’t usually like gifting things that haven’t been specifically knitted for the recipient, but my cousins have small feet, so one of them may like them… I don’t know.

Also, the two socks are slightly different colours.

Now for a very deliberate gift…

Cabled Slipover from Debbie Bliss in Adorn Silky Cashmerino 4ply

This is for the soon-to-be first boy in my family for 31 years (41 on that particular side of my family). My cousins are having a little boy due this month and I couldn’t resist  knitting this (in gorgeous cashmere silk merino). I think it’s super cute that i’m sending my aussie cousin, married to a german, living in the states a cricket vest, but they’ll all think it’s a tennis vest, so it’s not as amusing as i think it is. But it is ADORABLE! (and the neck does stretch out a lot and it’s designed for the newborn)

I also finished spinning a yarn (hee) once i was feeling a bit better last month. It’s wensleydale from Charly in the colourway Sleepy Hollow

(c) Ixchelbunny from flickr

I separated out all the colours into the full colours and the mixes where they blend and then spun in a slow colour gradient. It’s a laceweight or light fingering at most and i’ve got 360m to play with – I’m looking for a nice lace shawl pattern, but might end up designing one!

I love the halo on it! wensleydale has a nice long staple so it’s good for a low twist single. As i was spinning it i thought it wasn’t ‘low’ twist enough, but had a few breaks when winding it onto a niddy noddy, so it obviously IS low twist afterall!

I’m now working on my April socks (and they’re going quite quickly!!) and have been working on my Fay again – a year on! I really love it and want to wear it!! I also have a few more baby knits to work on (so many babies due) but needed to work on some adult things for a while. I’ve also cast on Emily by Kim Hargreaves in Alpaca Cotton, an Aran weight yarn, because i needed to knit something NOT with 4ply!

All my friends are having babies!

Well, only two of them this time, but it’s the third baby in 2 years from my group of friends – and this particular couple’s second!

I love hearing that friends are expecting because it’s means i get to knit cute, tiny, adorable things for them (and they’re quick too!).

 

baby presents!

 

M + G had a little girl almost 2 years ago, but didn’t know or announce the gender, so i got to pick my very first baby outfit from the ‘gender neutral’ range. Luckily i had had my eye on a gorgeous rowan pattern, which was available free on their site for a while – Zoo*. BabyOne was due in January – mid summer here – so I worked it in Naturally Stella, a fingering weight bamboo, in cream and chocolate with a purple elephant.

 

(apologies for WIP photo but it is all i have!)

 

I have it on good authority that it was well loved and worn until it simply would not fit anymore and has been passed on to very good family friends… and so the love continues to go around! BabyOne also received my very first pair of booties – the ever popular Saartje’s Booties* – and the look on her dad’s face when i presented them to him was priceless. As he now knows – yes babies really are THAT tiny!!

M+ G announced the imminent arrival of BabyTwo earlier this year and have stayed constant in not knowing/announcing the gender of their baby. Again the little one is due in summer, so another vest seemed the best option since it was so popular last time round. I wanted to do something with the same kind of whimsy as Zoo and so when i came across the Owl Baby Vest*, it seemed like a great choice – except that it was knitted for a size 9 – 12 month… hmm… solution? knit it in a beautifully soft 4 ply cotton and wool blend of course!

I also made the vest longer than recommended to extend the life expectancy a little bit – after all, babies GROW! The yarn is Heirloom Capri 4ply and it was absolutely delightful! This took me just a sssssmmmmidgeon more than a ball for anyone wanting to make similar mods.

This little BabyTwo is getting a real treat though… remember i mentioned the baby cube at the stitchery weekend? Well, I finished it! I’ve worked it all in bold colours, and sewed and stuffed it today – my first sewing of summer, and indeed in the new apartment!

I kind of love it a lot! The hardest part was actually making sure every face has all 4 coloured tabs on it (which they do). That was some spacial awareness thinking right there! I also HATE blind stitching, but managed to close the turning and stuffing gap without it looking too bad! And it actually rattles! Melly (of melly and me) provided us with a quality jingly bell as part of our kit and so it makes a soft little tinkle – hopefully not enough to annoy mum and dad too much! I’m really pleased with this as a gift, since BabyOne can use it to show of her word and number skills, while BabyTwo can jingle it and nom it like a wild thing.

The other baby i’ve had the pleasure of knitting for is another little girl, who has just celebrated her 1st birthday! yay! Whilst i was unable to attend the celebrations, I did knit an impromptu pair of socks for her when her parents brought her to visit melbourne earlier this year, and of course she received a welcome to the world gift too! There was absolutely no doubt to the gender (there’s an embarrassing ultrasound picture going up on her 21st birthday party photo board!) so i got to think pink and knitted the sweetest little blossom dress* in bamboo and cotton (seriously, someone have sex in spring would ya? I want a winter baby to knit for!).

I embroidered it with dmc floss – some lazy daisies! – and used a plain old ribbon for the ties. Unfortunately it was waaaay too big for her, despite my knitting the smallest size and she only got around to wearing it this winter – over undershirt and leggings, stylin’ little thing that she is!)

SO that’s the babies under control for the moment. I wonder who will be next?

 

*ravelry links.