Newborn Cocoon and Knotted Pixie Hat

I just love knitting for newborns!  There’s just something sweet about making something new for a little one.  It doesn’t hurt that knitting for a newborn doesn’t take much time or a lot of yarn.  A few stitches here and there, and before you know it, the project is done!

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I also like the creativity that comes with knitting.  I truly enjoy coming up with ideas, doing a little math, and having my vision become tangible.  I do a lot of mental processing before I jot down my notes and it can take a few days or weeks before I actually cast on.  Once the project is finally cast on, I usually have to do a little tinkering, especially if my model has grown since I took initial measurements. Continue reading

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Newborn Leg warmers and Hat

We’re adjusting to the newest family member, Chickadee.  She’s a pretty opinionated little lady who likes to wake up and stay up around 2:00 am.  As parents, Okey and I are pretty much relaxed as we have done this before.  The only major difference is it’s harder to follow the advice of “sleep when the baby sleeps.”

Wren goes down for one long nap right after lunch.  Ideally, Chickadee should nap during this time period.  She does not like this idea very much.  On the rare occasion that she does sleep, like now, I find myself unable to nap due to the copious amounts of caffeine I’ve had to inject digest to keep up with the most mundane of daily tasks.

I’m not complaining as now I’ve found time to return to the blog after a three week hiatus, but what can I write about?  The first two paragraphs pretty much cover it all.

Hmm, knitting?  Yes, of course I’ve been knitting. Continue reading

More Adventures in Knitting: Leg Warmers

This past winter, I felt that my little girl needed a little something warm to add to her wardrobe:  leg warmers!  Our Spring mornings here have been very cool, so I still have her wear them with her shorts or a dress.  These warmers easily come off once the sun comes out.

Leg Warmers

She likes them!

I have to toot my own horn here.  At the Gap Kids, I was asked where I bought them… 🙂

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For my future reference, and in case you want to make a pair as well, here how I made the leg warmers with circles and stripes:

Yarn:  Washable Ewe (worsted/sport weight) — Sadly Discontinued

Main Color:  Cottontail

Second Color:  Lilac

Needles:  Size 4, double pointed

Cast on 48 stitches in main color.

Rows 1 – 6:  K2P2 ribbing.

Rows 7 & 8:  Knit stockinette stitch for two rows.

Rows 9:  K2 in main color, K2 in second color . ( K4 in main color, K2 in second color. ) * K2 in main color.

Rows 10 – 12:  K1 in main color, K4 in second color.  ( K2 in main color, K4 in second color. ) * K1 in main color.

Row 13:  Repeat Row 9.

Rows 14 & 15:  Knit stockinette stitch for two rows.

Rows 16 & 17:   Switch to second color, knit stockinette stitch for two rows.

Rows 18 & 19:  Switch to main color, knit stockinette stitch for two rows.

Repeat Rows 16 – 19 twice.

Rows 24 & 25:  Switch to second color, knit stockinette stitch for two rows.

Row 26:  K2 in second color, K2 in main color.  (K4 in second color, K2 in main color.)  * K2 in second color.

Rows 27 -29:  K1 in second color, K4 in main color.  (K2 in second color, K4 in main color.) * K1 in second color.

Row 30:  Repeat Row 26.

Rows 31 & 32:  Knit stockinette stitch for two rows.

Rows 33 – 38:  K2P2 ribbing.

Bind off.

I attempted to chart the colorwork here.  You can click on the image to enlarge it.  The charting begins starts at Row 7, right after the ribbing:

chart for leg warmers

Burp Cloths

An acquaintance I know through several people was expecting a little girl, and I asked if there was anything she still needed.  Her answer was burp cloths as she hadn’t been able to find any.  I searched for heavy duty cloth diapers which work as burp cloths as well, and likewise, I was unsuccessful.  I decided that I could make her a set of burp cloths, so I picked up my knitting needles.  When I got word that she had already given birth, I put down the needles and took out the sewing machine.

I settled on this pattern by Made by Rae which didn’t look fancy or difficult.  Very quickly, I made three beautiful burp cloths.

I just bound off the knitted burp cloth today, and the completed set is on its way to the new mom and her daughter.  I followed the pattern for a chevron baby blanket found on the Purl Bee.  Of course, I used much smaller cotton yarn and size 7 needles.  It was a fun little project overall.

For my future reference, here is what I did:

Cast on 46 via a knitted cast on.  (14 stitches per section, plus 2 at the beginning and 2 at the end)

Knit 14 rows of yellow,

(4 rows of white, 4 rows of yellow) repeat once,

30 rows of variegated yarn,

(4 rows of yellow, 4 rows of white) repeat once,

Knit 13 rows of yellow and bind off on wrong side using method found on blanket link.

Handmade Burp Cloths

(The sewn burp cloths measure 17.5″ x 11.5″ – to be folded lengthwise when used.  I forgot to block/measure the knitted one, but it was a good size to drape over the shoulder.)

Road Trip

This afternoon, Wren and I left for Chicago, Illinois, via Martinsburg, West Virginia. We made the first leg of the journey without a hitch, and we even stopped along the way at Hunt Country Yarns for the first time. I picked up a couple of Cascade 220 skeins (which were kindly turned into balls before I left the shop). Will I be able to turn them into a scarf before we leave on Monday morning? We have only a few adventures planned so we’ll see.

Interview with a Knitter: Sarah

Just over ten years ago, my roommate and I snuck an upright grand piano into our dorm room. We had spent our Saturday driving throughout the mountains south of Morgantown looking for the right piano. It had to have a pretty sound, be priced reasonably, and fit into my future brother-in-law’s truck as well as the dorm elevator. Like the music that piano produced at the hands of my skilled roommate, our amity has been harmonious.

I have enjoyed my friendship with Sarah.  Together we have experimented with recipes, exchanged stories, and experienced motherhood.  She has also shared her enthusiasm of fiber art with me as we learned to spin yarn together a couple of years ago.

Sarah is also a fantastic knitter. She is able to create beautiful hats and lacy scarves from wool yarn.  She recently allowed me to ask her some questions about her hobby, and below is that interview.

I know that you have been knitting for many years. How many has it been? Who taught you to knit? Have you always knitted or did you quit only to take it back up again as an adult?

I learned to knit around the start of high school. So maybe almost 20 years. My Nana was an avid knitter but my mother is the one who patiently cast on the start of each project and picked up my dropped stitches for me until I learned to do it myself. I used to get the urge to start a project and I’d walk over to my Nana’s house where she would help me look through our pattern books. She often had some wool in her stash that would be just right. In college my knitting slowed down a lot. There was a pink vest I was always knitting on… the never-ending project. Maybe it was too soon to start a large project like that when I had only knitted one scarf and a few hats. Anyway, there came a time I couldn’t face it anymore and I put away my needles. Later my mom found the half finished vest in a closet and tried to complete it for me but it seems that moths had found it first. Maybe it’s for the best–it might not have fit anyway since I had not yet discovered the importance of gauge. When my life changed again I started my “career” and I had some time on my hands again. I found knitting to be a meditative and pleasant way to spend a winter evening or even to keep my hands occupied while I watched a movie or listened to books on tape.

Continue reading

Knitting Pattern: Headband

What I’ve learned, but don’t yet understand why, is that children’s clothing is expensive. A cute dress can cost just as much as something I would buy myself even though its made with considerably less yardage. The same goes for accessories.

I have been trying to be frugal so I have been making little things here and there. Several months ago, I knit up this headband for my daughter using some scrap yarn. It’s so simple I wanted to share how I did it.

  1. Using the largest recommended needle for the yarn’s weight, cast on 8 stitches.
  2. Knit until you are about an inch less than the child’s head circumference. Cast off.
  3. Sew ends together.

La voilà!

(If you are particularly good at knitting, you could use a provisional cast on. Then you could graft the end with the cast on for a seamless join.)

My friend Enna gave me a lot of crocheted flowers from her swatch pile that I tie into the seam on the headband. Because she left long tails, I can easily untie and attach a different flower. You could use a large button or attach a bow.

These crafty accessories are so my style. They look earthy and classic. Because the garter stich is being stretched vertically, it is very elastic and fits for a long time. It serves the same purpose as a ribbing stitch, but it is also so much simpler.

I hope that this inspires you to make something that hasn’t been patterned.