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Posts Tagged ‘Baby Clothes’

Just a little Dress

A couple of months ago, I left you with a little teaser.  Do you remember?

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The yarn and pattern was given to me by a dear friend.  Now, being who I am, I hardly ever follow a pattern to the letter, especially if I appear to run into some challenges.  What pattern you ask?  It has a name that is a little hard to remember or pronounce.  It is called UKHKA 73 (yes, all in caps…), it was published by the UK Hand Knitting Association, and was designed by Audrey Wilson.  I have had the most delightful contact with the UK Hand Knitting Association.  I was looking for Errata for the pattern (something I always do before I start, it often saves headaches later on), and had to contact them.  I had the most wonderful exchange with one of their reps, who happily send me the errata very quickly.  As it turns out, the pattern I had already had the errata corrected in it, so I was good to go.  Of course that usually takes me a while…  I had sweaters and shawls to knit (as in they were on the needles before this project… 🙂 )  So while I made a little progress, it ended up sitting next to my chair like this for a month or 2:

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I wanted to make some adjustments to the original pattern.  First, the yarn (which was sold to my friend as a package deal, and should therefore work well with the pattern) was really a little thick for the stated gauge.  The yarn is very soft, (It is Cascade Yarns, Pacific) and knits beautifully at about 18 stitches per 4 inches (10 cm).  However, the pattern was written at 22 stitches per 4 inch, which makes the resulting material a bit stiff and dense.  So, I decided to change the gauge of the pattern (yes, the calculator was my biggest friend), and cast on what you see above.  The markers were purely there so I could keep count.  Counting about 180 stitches with 2 little girls around is a challenge to say the least… 😀

Now, the yarn, as I said is lovely soft, easy to use, except for a large number of knots in almost every skein.  Often it is just 1 ply that is knotted with a awful, hard to undo knot, but several times the whole thread was disconnected and knotted together.  I seriously dislike knots in my work, but I have not been able to undo the 1-ply knots.  I have cut out the whole thread knots, which hopefully means the dress will not get holes due to bad knots.  The color is good though, and it knits very nicely, not much splitting, even when I was trying to knit with 4 skeins attached to my work.  There is a little fuzzing going on, which probably means I need to watch how I was it, but I do that with everything I knit, I do not think it will be a problem.  The fuzzing is undoubtably created because it actually is a 40% Merino, 60% Acrylic blend.  According to the Cascade website it can be washed on warm, and dried in a cool/low temp dryer.  It comes in a huge number of wonderful colors.  And yet, because of all the knots, and not just in one skein, I do not think I would choose it again easily. Alright, the last bit of info on the yarn, it is put up in nice large skeins of 100 grams (3.5 oz), 213 yds (195 meters).  Suggested needle size is US 7-8 (4,5 – 5 mm).

But, back to the adjustments that I made to the pattern.  The whole dress was 15 inches tall/long.  (Oh, I am making the biggest size, size 3/4) My daughter, when I measure her from the back of the neck (where a T-shirt starts) is 11 inches to her waist, and she is a size 2.  Therefore, I wanted to make the dress longer, preferably with the amount of yarn I already have.  I also discovered that the bodice part is only 7 and a half inches long,  which seems a little short, definitely for what I am envisioning.  I will be making both the skirt and the bodice longer.  And I think I can do it with the amount of yarn that was included in the kit.  😀  I would show you pictures of where I am at at this point, but my camera card is full, and I have not had a chance to do the things I like to do before I empty it.  You will have to wait until next time!  😀

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Presents galore

Ik know, I have not been around much this summer.  My oldest son (now 7!) was home all summer, and between the 4 kids, I had my hands full.  Fortunately I did get to do some knitting, but it definitely took up most of my other times.  I want to start out with showing some projects that I could not show you until now, because they were presents for a very dear friend.  I was part of 2 different forums with her.  So I made her two presents.  The first one was:

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The pattern is called Jean Jacket Sets.  I only made the jacket, and I LOVE it.  The pattern was not the easiest/best, and at one point I had 9 different, separate pieces that somehow were supposed to come together into one jacket.  But I managed it.  I think the little pocket flaps, and the white stitching just were the cherry on top, and made it all of a sudden into a real jeans jacket.  Without that, it is more of a regular cardigan.  I used Cotlin from KnitPicks.  It is made up of 70% cotton and 30% linen, and I love it.  It is machine washable, and dry-able, and I have tried that with a gauge swatch.  It has gone through hot loads, jeans loads, and any other abuse I could think of, and it held up amazingly well.  The yarn is a little loosely twisted, so one needs to watch that one does pick up all the plies, but that is not a problem, most of the time.  It gets even softer with washing, which is amazing, as it is incredibly soft to begin with.

For the second present I made her this:

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It is a playsuit, no sleeves.  I loved having these kind of suits for my kids, and just put a little shirt underneath to finish off the ensemble.  I think they look better then the sleep and play one piece suits we see in many stores.  Some of those are okay, but I liked this style.   I got the pattern from an old magazine (about 7 years old now) and finally got around to actually making it.  I used Patons Beehive Baby Sport, a 70% acrylic, 30% nylon yarn, also quite soft.  I did alter the pattern some.  I liked being able to change diapers without having to take off  the entire suit, so I added snaps between the legs:

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and a close-up of how I did that exactly:

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You want more close-up?  Alright!  I added a little owl on the front.  The original pattern has a rattle, but I knew the new mother liked owls, so out goes the rattle, and in came a little owl:

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The booties are knitted onto the legs after you finish most of the rest:

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And the armholes are just hemmed:

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As is the snap closure on the back:

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I hope the pictures do not take to long to load, if they do, let me know and I will think of some other way to do this.  I hope my friend and her new baby will enjoy these gifts, in good health and happily.  Happy birthday, little one!

 

 

 

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Time to show off

The top I made for my daughter.  I don’t know if you remember, at Christmas I received a couple of skeins of sock yarn.  I had decided it was the perfect color to make a cute summer top for my 2 year old daughter.  Well, several weeks worth of knitting later (remember, I have 4 little kids, a week worth of knitting is often not much… 😉 ), this is the result:

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And some close-ups?  Sure, why not.   The shoulder/neckline.

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I chose the rounded neckline with the lace shoulder straps, and an Icord edging.  The pattern actually has several options you can chose from.

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After a stockinette top, it has the cutest eyelet row (you could put a ribbon through this, I chose not to) and continues with a lace part.

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A slightly better look at the lace part.

And a good look at the lace edging on the bottom:

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The pattern is called Clara, by Amber Bertram.  The pattern is good, though the ending chart for the lace is wrong.  The written part is correct.  I wrote the designer, but have not heard anything back from her.  The pattern contains the sizes 3 months to 10 years.  The yarn I used is Merino Nylon Sock by Atomic City Fibers.  Unfortunately I don’t seem to be able to find anything better then this Ravelry link for the yarn.  It seems you have to go to the Clinch River Yarn Company to buy it.  The yarn is good, and very nicely dyed.  I am happy with the top, and more importantly, my daughter is in love with it.  She has worn it several times already, with or without a long-sleeve shirt underneath it for warmth.

Now, on to the next thing…. My son wants a sweater for his birthday….

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I can finally tell you about a lovely little sweater I made.  The thing is, a group I belong to made a present for a member who was pregnant.  It was sort of similar to a baby-shower, and everything was handmade.  It was collected by a wonderful member who then sent it on when the baby was born.  But, I did not want to show off what I made, until the new parents received it.  You might have noticed that I am silly that way…. 🙂

Last week we received the message that the brand new mom received our goodies, and loved them.  What did I make?  Well, see for your self:

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A little Raglan, about a 6 month size, though I made the body a little longer, and the sleeves as well.  I like it when a sweater can grow a little with the child.  You want to see the top a little more closely?  Here you go.  I found the most darling heart shaped buttons, that I thought would go wonderfully.

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The idea for the sweater came from the Yarn Harlot.  Other then that, I just made it up as I went.  It’s a top down, basic, raglan, with some ribbing at the neck, wrists and bottom.  Also a little opening at the neck, so it is easy to get the baby’s head through, with the afore mentioned heart-shaped buttons to close it up.  The buttons came from Joann Fabric.  The yarn is Debbie Bliss’ Prima, and I used just over 2 and a half skeins.  It’s color 35706 (you have to love it when they number, not name the colors! :D), a gorgeous, deep red.  The yarn is composed of 80% bamboo, 20% merino, and is lovely soft to the touch.  Most importantly, it is machine washable!  (Flat dry though)  Knitting it was quite comfortable as well, it didn’t split, at least not enough for me to be bothered by it.  I used US 6 (4 mm) needles for most of the sweater and went down to a US 4 (3.5 mm) for the ribbing.

It was a quick and easy project, that worked out very well, if I do say so myself.

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I promised I would not stay away for very long…  😀  I have of course some more projects to show.  For school, my oldest needed a donation to be added to a basket that his class put together that was going to be raffled off as a fundraiser.  The theme was dinner and a movie.  Of course being who I am, I decided to make something, rather then just buy something.  Dinner and a movie sounded to me like a date, and dates require some dress-up!  I have been wanting to try this yarn my friends had been showing me, yarn that seems to be quite popular at this point in time.  It is called ‘Starbella Flash‘, though there are other brands that have very similar yarns.  This happened to be what I found at our local craft superstore…  It is a yarn that I can best describe as netting.  It looks like netting with a glitter edging.  Another friend of mine has made really cool collars with it for christmas, but I was working with this in October, so I just followed the pattern for the scarf.  Basically you add the loops on your needle, needle size doesn’t matter, because the size of the loops are predetermined by our yarn.  And then you keep hooking  the loops from on your needle over the new loops that are supplied by the yarn.  You know what?  Here is a video, which is a little slow, but does show the technique I used pretty clearly.   The yarn is made by Premier Yarns, and put up in skeins of 3.5 oz, 33 yards, made from 86% Acrylic, and 14% Glitter.  This is the result of casting on 8 stitches, and knitting until it was 4 feet long:

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I believe it was pretty well received, I got several compliments about it.  While the techniek is more fiddely then ‘normal’, it was not entirely unpleasant.  Which is why I also decided to make our nieces each one for Christmas:

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These are all made using a cast on of 8, and continuing until the skein ran out.  Which made them all just over 4 feet long.  I was a little disappointed, out of the 4 skeins I bought to make these scarfs, there were 3 that had a break in the yarn.  Because the yarn ruffles so overwhelmingly any discontinuation was easily hidden, but it was still a bit disappointing.  I was actually surprised when my last skein (of course) had no break in it!  My 1 year old daughter also loved this yarn, and proceeded to unwind at least 3 of the skeins while I was knitting, which of course meant I had to re-assemble something along the lines of a ball out of the mess.  This definitely brought home how slippery this yarn actually was.  I ended up using metal circular needles to knit these scarfs (my bamboo ones were in use or I would have chosen them), because that turned out to be the only way I didn’t have my work fall off the needles every 5 seconds.  But she was completely drawn to the yarn, going after it every chance she got.  I actually ended up using the leftovers of the 1st skein to make my daughter a itty bitty scarf (remember, I only knit it to 4 feet long?)  I cast on 4 stitches, and it turned into a very cute 2 foot long scarf for her.

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She absolutely loves it.

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Speaking of my daughter, I also made her a poncho in November.  Since I could not find a pattern I wanted, I made my own:

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The pattern will be written up, but I have to admit I don’t know when.  I used Bernat’s Alpaca Natural Blends, a Bulky yarn that is 70% acrylic and 30 % alpaca.  The skeins are 120 yards, 100 grams, and the yarn is very soft and very warm.  I walk to school some of the mornings, and even at near freezing temperatures she stays wonderfully warm.  At least the parts of her that she keeps under the poncho…  LOL  When I told my husband that I wanted to knit her a poncho out of the alpaca yarn I had, he asked whether I really wanted to use expensive yarn like that on an item that she would only be able to use for a couple of months. (He really does have a good understanding about what fibers are expensive, and which ones are less so.)  But he had not really understood what yarn I wanted to use, as this yarn is not all that expensive, and frugal as I am, I bought every single skein with a coupon… 😀  Once I showed him the yarn, he understood, and wholeheartedly agreed.  With a little bit of luck, she might still fit the poncho next year, but we will see.

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Catching up

It has been quite a while.  Dare I say it?  Daily life kind of got in the way.  As some of you may know or remember, I now have a 1 year old and a 3 year old (almost 4) who keep me quite busy most of the time, as well as a 6 year old who is now going to kindergarten.  This kindergarten thing required a lot of adjusting of our schedules and such all of it’s own.  Life as parent of school age kids is quite something different then life as ‘just’ a stay at home mom.  Yesterday, however, my husband informed me that a friend of his wanted to look at my blog.  Not a big deal, but I started thinking about it again.  I really have not been as quiet on the knitting front as the blog made me seem.  It was more one of these things where I could either write a blog post, OR relax with some knitting.  And at times it really is true what they say:  I knit so I don’t kill people… 😀

But I thought I would start with trying to catch you up with what I have been working on.  First of, back in September of last year, I finished Hippo Gnu Deer, a gorgeous shawl that was designed by Mmario.  I am utterly and completely in love with it:

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I was the first one who knit the whole pattern, and I loved being able to find the mistakes, and sometimes figure out the best way to solve them.  I  think Mmario is a wonderful (and prolific) designer, and always very helpful if you have any questions.  I used KnitPicks Pallette yarn in the color Silver; a fingering weight, 100% Peruvian Highland wool yarn, which is available in 231 yards, 50 gram skeins.  It is not necessarily a luxury yarn, some would probably call it a little scratchy.  But I really enjoyed working with it, and even though I had a little bit of an issue with 2 skeins that looked like they might have been attacked with a box cutter, an issue KnitPicks very quickly took care of by sending me new skeins, I would highly recommend this yarn for something like a shawl.  I started off the pattern, which is knit from the center out, with US 5 (3,75 mm) needles, and changed the size up every couple of rows until I had US 8 (5 mm) needles.  This keeps the center just a little more tight, and I think that looks better.

Next I finished a lovely cardigan:

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This I made for a friend from the Netherlands who was expecting a baby. (That was back in October, the baby was born healthy and well in November, and is now almost 2 months old!)  It is a pattern from ‘The Little Box of Baby Knits‘, by Sandy Scoville.  The pattern was called ‘Tie-on Sacque’.  I made it using Paton’s Silk Bamboo yarn, a DK weight yarn made up of 70 % of rayon from bamboo, and 30 % silk.  The colors used were Orchid and Stone.  I love the softness of the yarn, but it is also incredibly slippery.  It really needed a bit of a hand wash to even out the stitching. And my daughter loved taking the units apart.  (I am not sure what else to call the units the yarn comes in.  The yarn is wound over a 3″ cardboard core, but I would not call it a cone, it looks more like a ball…)  I love the pattern though.  The cable that runs over the sleeve is just adorable.  I love the way the second color pops the left front and the cables on the sleeve, though you could just as easily use a single color.  It just would make the pattern speak a little less loudly.  The ties on the front are really a nice touch, though I think next time I might use an I-cord edging, it just provides a little neater finish.

I have plenty more to show, but I am going to stop here for now.  This post is long enough, or so I would think.  It is my sincerest hope not to wait another 4 months or so before I bring you the next installment, though I do have a gorgeous shawl that keeps calling my name… (and might well distract me…)  More about that gem later though.

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It’s cold out there

It is about 30 degrees out there. For most of you out there that would not be terribly cold. Having lived in PA in the recent past, I KNOW that it is not cold. But here in Texas, it is cold. The worst thing is that a couple of days ago it was closer to 70 degrees! It is these temperature changes that drive me up the wall. And also get my ability to withstand a few germs waayy down. Which is probably one of the reasons first my son and now I have a cold. I think DH is also is coming down with.  It has just made the last couple of days a bit difficult. I have not gotten much done, just a little bit of knitting. But curling up on the couch with a blanket, and my knitting needles is just not exactly comfortable with this 7 month pregnant belly of mine. 😦 Oh well.  Of course Dear 2 year old Son, who has gotten over his cold by now, is also not exactly pleased with the idea of me just hanging out on the couch, knitting.  

On that account, I realized I have not told you about my project to design a baby cardigan. I started with the Quick or 5 Hour Baby sweater, but I took out all the lace. I just made it as basic as basic could be, but including the button band, as I wanted to have buttons on the cardigan. Here is the result:

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I used “I love this Cotton” from Hobby Lobby, and it does do it’s name justice. I think the color I used is either this aqua, or this teal.  I don’t have the label handy.  Neither color looks right, but they are the closest among the set listed there.  The picture is a little bit bluer then the real color, but not much.  Definitely a better sample of the color then the pictures on the website.  I like the cotton, it holds up reasonably well to being tossed in the washer so far, comes out softer then it went in.  A few of my tails did work their way out, but I think that was my fault for not weaving them in well enough.  Cotton just doesn’t hold onto itself as well as other yarns like wool!  😀

I like the result, but was thinking of adding some cables down the front panels.  I am working on that at this time.  This time it will be made in a yellow cotton yarn named Online Linie 165 Sande.  I don’t think this yarn is available in the United States, I received it from my mother who visited me from The Netherlands.  It is not quite as soft as the “I love this Cotton”, but it is very nice as well.  And the color is very bright, just what I hoped for.  But, I have been running into some issues with this one.  I went from a worsted weight cotton to a sock weight, and apparently my math skills were not working too well.  The first try had me increasing the yoke twice as fast as necessary!  So I frogged it, and am trying again.  I will show pictures when I have enough on the needles that it actually looks like something decent.  🙂

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