Archive for the ‘baby sewing’ Category

In need of finishing time

To think, just two months ago, I worried aloud medical school would rob me of every last bit of knitting time! On the contrary, I have far more time to knit now, but no time to think about my knitting: a fatal combination for a perfectionist knitter.

There’s even an almost finished sweater for me in that pile, probably buried near the bottom as it stews in Time Out – I am too annoyed to even discuss that one yet. Although I have plenty of time to knit while studying and sitting in lectures, I have little time to use my brain for things that do not relate to human anatomy (and I’m pretty sure fitting a sweater to a human form does not count in this respect). As you might expect, there have not been many successful projects around here: the three sweaters I swatched last week need different yarns, I have a stack of projects in need of button bands, buttons, or zippers, there’s a hat needing a lining, a baby sweater needing a fix involving a sewing machine and scissors, and several projects waiting on more yarn from the US Postal Service. Things will improve, but until they do, I will show you other people’s knitting, not mine.

Grumperina kindly sent one of her original Budgies to Odysseus, who, shall we say, fills things out quite nicely these days. I pulled it out of the drawer yesterday morning for him to wear on a walk, now that it’s cool in the mornings. Bonus? There are no buttons for him to attempt to eat. Odysseus is a big fan of grumperina knits! Thanks so much, Kathy!

Two of the striped sweaters in my unfinished knits pile are Budgies – it is such a perfect pattern for little ones who tug and pull buttons. I’m making two to use up some cotton stash and to knit for some new babies in my family. Only the zipper installations remain to be done. (Of course.)

O’s new Budgie conveniently matches his new Thorpe! Danielle spun and knitted both of my kids Thorpes for the winter. I think the hats are the same size, which is good, because O’s head is as big as his sister’s. Plus, he has long since outgrown the hat she made him last winter!

What I love about these hats is that they seem to come from so many knitterly people at once: the wool for the hat on the left is from Adrian (HelloYarn), the wool for the hat on the right is from Amy (SpunkyEclectic), the pattern is by Kirsten (Through The Loops), and the spinning and knitting by Danielle (aswiminknits).

Lastly, much to my surprise, a beautiful baby quilt arrived on my doorstep last week, sewed and quilted by my KBC friends.

The little boat on the back is embroidered with “S.S. OEB”, such a sweet personal touch for a little man named for a big sailor, don’t you think?

His chubbiness is lucky to know so many generous and talented crafters! As am I! Thanks so much, everyone!

Tying up loose ends

Thanks for your sweet comments about my remaining five weeks of dread MCAT preparation. I’ll let you know how it goes! Until then, there will be little in the way of knitting, sadly.

We celebrated my grandfather’s 90th birthday in Cincinnati last weekend and rather than take the increasingly heavy aran sweater in progress, I decided to finally finish the Drunken Bee socks that Stella started for me so many months ago. No wonder we travel with socks – they’re so portable! I finished the second sock on the way there!

Finished Drunken Bees from SSLM
Pattern: Drunken Bees
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock in “Pondscum”
Needles: US 1.5 and 2
While this was a relatively clear pattern, I must say that I loathed knitting the honeycombs. I could not keep track of the twisted stitch rows. I think this is the most intricate pair of socks I’ve ever knit (by “intricate” I mean, of course, there was no ‘knit every other row’ business). Since socks are usually my mindless projects, it took me a while to devote the time to finishing these.

The beautiful pattern/yarn combination was what kept me going through all that honeycombing! I had never used STR before and now I understand the hype! It’s just marvelous to knit! We’ll see how it holds up to regular wear!

Next up is some baby sewing I’ve been promising for too long. This is one last version of the Butterick B4712 pattern. I say last because I hate working with this pattern. The layouts don’t work at all with one-way prints, the armholes are too shallow in every size and the interfacing does not fit inside the dress in any of the sizes. After the first few versions of this, I just traced out my own interfacing.

Cherry Sundress, Butterick 4712
Pattern: Butterick B4712

Overall, I’m pleased with the result but I most certainly would not recommend the pattern to anyone. Baby tank dress patterns are so easy to find – you should look for a better one than this!

Welcome, summer!

Thanks for your sweet comments about my new cowl pattern. You should see some of the others too: Nova’s Birthday Cowl, Caro’s Philly Cowl and I’m certain that Ashley and Minty are working up their patterns as I type! Look for them in the coming weeks because nothing says summer like cowl knitting.

While mowing last week, Aaron found a rabbit nest a mere five feet from our tomato garden. I had already noticed some leaves nibbled down to stumps. Sadly, this could not remain. The rabbits can have any plants but tomatoes! Lawanna told me how to move the burrow and so that’s what we did this weekend.

Moving a rabbit nest

Between this and a trip to a nearby farm with chickens, geese, turkeys, ducks, peacocks and ponies, Beatrix squeezed a whole childhood’s worth of Nature into two days. She was delighted, terrified and, most importantly, exhausted.

What's in the bucket?

And as for the bunnies, there were five of them and all five are still alive and settling nicely into the new burrow. I feel terribly guilty about uprooting helpless babies so I’ve been checking in on them every day.

I took some time this weekend to work on a few sewing projects. Here is the latest addition to the toddler wardrobe.

Blue daisy dress

Pattern: Butterick 3782

Fabric: Feedsack III Daisies – Blue by Windham Fabrics

I bought three yards of this on eBay last winter so you will certainly see more of it in the future. I used about a yard of it and made the size 2 dress, which is a little big (wide) but otherwise fits well. These tank dresses make diaper changes a breeze and allow lots of room to grow. I also like the idea of dressing my daughter in something that is not bubblegum pink from Target.

It's not my best zipper

While my zippering skills have improved, I admit that I ripped out two zippers this weekend. I am surprised and relieved that this zipper looks clean (there was a great deal of cursing setting it in).

Pleat

The pleats were supposed to be basted in place until the bodice and skirt were sewn together. However, I rather liked how the stitching looked so I left it in place.

She thinks it's OK.

Lastly, I keep meaning to blog the lovely socks I knit in transit to Philadelphia last weekend. As I was catching up on blog reads this morning, I saw that Tiennie practically wrote my post for me! As it turns out, we both started a pair of socks with some Sundara yarn on the way to Philadelphia, we traveled to the same yarn shops and we finished our socks on the way home. The travesty is that we missed each other by mere days!! I suppose this means I should be looking for excuses to travel to Seattle!

Fancy Silk Socks

Pattern: Fancy Silk Socks for a Child of 5 or 6 Years from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush

Yarn: Sundara Sock in “Dahlia” from Nova

Modifications: I separated the cuff and the leg with two rows of purl. Also, I did not knit the lacy cables down the stockinette ribs because I thought it looked like overkill in the book. As it turns out, I should have waited a day or two for Terhi’s magnificent version. I might need to give these another try. Katy also just started a pair. See? All the cool kids are doing it. You need a pair.

Fancy Silk Socks

As it turns out, I missed a glaring error with the one sock until it came time to take the FO pictures: one of my lace panels abruptly stops on its way to the heel flap. I would never frog a sock back to the heel once the pair is deemed finished so I will live with a little imperfection. Pam sealed the deal by pointing out that less lace will make the heel more sturdy in shoes.

See how that lace pattern doesn't continue? Oops.

In the end, a 72-hour pair of socks? What a deal. I wonder if this is what it would be like to be unemployed and kid-free (or, in college) as a knitter. I could knit the world socks! Stay tuned for more sewing and a mad rash of startitis!

Knitting and Sewing for Toddlers

Lately, knitting and blogging have taken a back seat to other stupid mindless time wasters hobbies like crossword puzzles, Scrabble and Boggle. Is it knitting-related to play Scrabulous and Scramble with other knit bloggers on Facebook? In any case, I have been terrible about checking in with all of you so I hope to get back on track this week.

In the meantime, I have been knitting and sewing a few projects for Beatrix, as I mentioned in my last post. I promise not to turn this into a baby clothing circus blog – that is, sock knitting will return next time – but the kid needs some sweaters and sun dresses make summer diapering and swimming so much easier that I can’t resist the temptation.

Pull, Tricotez Calin (No 470)

Pattern: No. 23 Pull in 24 mos. size, Phildar Tricotez Calin (No. 470) from Spring/Summer 2007

Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers in Blue Denim

Needles: US 7

This expression is Beatrix for “ICK! WOOL IN SPRINGTIME! TAKE IT OFF NOW!” She was particularly uncooperative so this is the only picture you get. I will probably try again next winter when it fits her (and also when it’s not so hot out). As with all Phildar baby patterns, this was super easy and the seaming took nearly as long as the knitting. I made the usual modification of picking up stitches for the neck and button bands instead of knitting them separately.

Last week, I made some progress on the little cardigan but I need to rip and re-knit one of the fronts so we are not on such great terms right now.

Classic Elite Cotton Bam Boo

The yarn in Classic Elite Cotton Bam Boo, which has great stitch definition but could probably pass for Knit Picks Shine Sport. While I like this yarn for a baby sweater, I cannot imagine knitting one for me with it – I would expect an adult sweater to lose its shape quite quickly.

Finally, have a peek at the toddler sewing projects! I am making several dresses for B, all from the same, very simple pattern (Butterick B4712). Here is the first one.

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I am using extra wide, double-sided bias tape for the neck and armholes because my seaming is pretty ugly there. Fortunately, bias tape hides everything. Not until I uploaded this photo to Flickr did I see the near perfect stitching here. Please believe the rest of the garment looks like that! No? Would you believe most of it? OK, some of it and we’ll leave it at that.

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Finally, this is the next one in the queue, all cut and pieced but missing a zipper and some top-stitching.

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That’s it for this edition of the baby blog. Tune in next time for some finished Latvian socks!

FO: A Sun Dress for Celeste

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Pattern: New Look #6688

Fabric: Chocolate Lollipop in the “Tan Sweet Swirls” print

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One of B’s little friends just marked her first birthday. Since I don’t know how to do sleeves yet, winter apparel was, sadly, not an option. Instead, I made her a sweet little sun dress for next summer. She has the most darling chestnut hair and dark eyes so I went looking for a pretty brown print that would complement them. Brown isn’t a color one typically sees on babies so I thought it would be especially interesting in a very twirly little dress. I absolutely adore this pattern but it would be overkill in a traditionally girly print. I hope her parents will agree.

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I was initially intimidated by the lining but actually, lining this made the edges so much cleaner. I will be lining everything from now on! More pictures over at Flickr.