baby, sweaters

Two Nautty

TwoNauttyAnother baby sweater is off the needles.  It’s a miniature of the first one which I named Nautty after my nephew, Nautas.   The two shown above are in size 18 mos and 3 mos. Both are knitted with backyard hand-painted yarns which makes them extra special to me and hopefully to the recipients (my brother and sister).

NauttyTwo1Missy’s Crafty Mess has kindly volunteered to test knit this new pattern and I’m planning on offering it up for sale on Ravelry in a few days.  It’s my first for-profit design and I’m interested to see how it goes.

There is another large (to me) shipment of bare worsted-weight yarn on its way to my house.  My daughter and I have been bitten by the hand-painting bug.  I’m pretty sure it’s a disease.  🙂  Since we cannot use the amount of yarn that we are painting but we don’t want to put a damper on our fun, we’ve opened up a tiny Etsy store.  There are only 7 hanks listed there currently, but there will be plenty more in the next week.  I’ve also ordered dye from a different company to see how it compares to the Greener Shades we’ve been using.  Let’s hope for some warmer weather here in Virginia since we do the majority of the dyeing on the back porch.allyarns

I’m not sure what’s up next on the needles.  Earlier this year I spent months knitting fingering-weight, color-stranded, adult-sized sweaters so I’m really enjoying these smaller, quicker knits.  Maybe I’ll knit some baby booties with the leftovers from the baby sweaters.  But it’s been a while since I’ve knit any colors-stranded projects.  Hmmm…

baby, sweaters

Nautty Boy is Off the Needles

NauttyBoy2I wish I had a baby around to model my newest project.  The intended recipient, my nephew, Nautas, lives over a thousand miles away in Texas.  I’m going to have to wait until after Christmas to post pics with a baby inside this sweater.  :/

This was created with worsted-weight, hand-dyed yarn on size 5 needles from the top-down in one piece.  It’s knit back and forth until the end of the button band and then joined in the round and knit down to the bottom.  Sand stitch was used on the front and back and the sleeves are  in stockinette.  Fortunately, I had these beautiful wooden buttons already in my stash so I didn’t have to make an emergency run to the craft store to finish this thing.

Usually, I post a free pattern of my project but I’m playing with idea of offering this one for sale on ravelry.  A considerable amount of work goes into the math and pattern writing.  I’m always happy to share with others but I’m curious to find out if I can raise a few dollars to put back into my little blog and fund my hobby.

NauttyBoy5My other sibling just found out he’s expecting his first child so I’ve cast on for another one of these in a *hopefully* gender-neutral colorway since we won’t know if it’s a boy or a girl until after Christmas.  It’s in another hand-dyed yarn from my recent dying adventures.  This colorway is one of my favorites even though it wasn’t exactly what I was going for at the time.  The dye and yarn seem to do what they want without my permission and the results are surprising.  I cannot wait to dye yarn again!

NauttyBoyNauttyBoy4NauttyBoy3

baby, design, sweaters

Nautty Sweater

nautty2Hopefully my sister isn’t reading my blog because my latest project is a Christmas sweater for her son, Nautas.  I’m using yarn hand-painted by my daughter in this top-down raglan.  To add some texture, I’m using sand stitch on the body and stockinette stitch on the sleeves.Book1

I’ve got a slit for the neck where I’m planning on picking up stitches and placing a button band.  To figure out the initial cast on stitches, I’ve started with the chest measurement (plus ease) and reduced down with the number of required raglan decreases (determined by armhole depth).  Ditto with the sleeve stitches.  Between the initial sleeve stitches and the front and back stitches, I’ve got a neck circumference of 12 inches which should be plenty big enough.  But, I cannot seem to find baby neck sizes anywhere to double-check my sizing.  The craft council measurement charts don’t include this important measurement.  :/

nautty3I’ve ended up with the neck slit on the left side of the sweater without giving it any thought.  But, I’m noticing that most commercially-produced baby clothes have the slit on the other shoulder.  Hmmm…  I wonder if anyone will notice or if it even matters?

I’ve also knitted this worsted-weight yarn on size-5 needles to produce a denser fabric to keep my nephew warm.  The fabric still has a nice drape and I like the way it looks knitted a little tighter.  And, it looks like my 2 balls of yarn will be enough for this 12-18 month sized sweater.  Yay for that!

baby, stash

Meet Edward- He once lived in my stash

Edward1The butt monster pants have been completed and my sister has named them Edward.  They were made from a free pattern on ravelry.  The link:  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/monsterbukse-2.

It turnsNautas out that when I knit, I prefer to have only a basic plan and make things up as I go.  It keeps things interesting.  When I have to follow a pattern that includes miles of fingering-weight stockinette, it’s BORING.  However, Edward did consume some random leftovers of superwash wool that I had tucked away in my stash.  He’s a great stash buster.  And, he is kinda cute.  I can’t wait to get pics of a baby actually wearing him.   Last night, I received a pic of my nephew in the Baby Bad Ass sweater I sent.  So darned cute!  I wish he lived closer so I could spoil him rotten.

Speaking of stashes, I have recently sorted and cleared mine out.  I had yarn that I bought because it was on super clearance that I just didn’t like.  I had lone balls of yarn that I couldn’t figure out what to do with.  I had yarn that was from frogged sweaters that was looking rough.  Recently, a fellow knitter/crocheter crossed my path and she was happy to take the yarn of my hands.  It’s a good feeling to know that the yarn will not go to waste and I no longer have to figure out where to stuff it away.

yarn stashMy entire stash now fits into a cabinet at the end of the hall.  I’ve put paper on the windows so no one has to know about my obsessive purchases when the doors are closed.  And, now that it’s organized and it all fits in one place, I feel like its safe to share a pic.  There are so many possibilities tucked away in there!

baby, color stranded, sweaters

The Bad Ass is Blocked

blockedWhile this sweater turned out larger than intended, it still came together in the end.  It’s wearable.  But, it’s more like a 4T instead of a size 12 mo.  At least the tyke should get some wear out of it eventually.  Maybe next year.  Or, the year after that. 

Black buttons are sitting on my counter waiting to be attached.  I found some cute black skull buttons but I was afraid it would be overkill on the theme.  Plain black circles seemed to detract less from the color work.

The huge lesson learned from this undertaking is that bottom-up baby sweaters are a huge no-no.  It’s too darned hard to join them together because of the flattening of the tiny arms.  Next time, I’m starting from the top and taking it down.

skullchartHere’s a rough copy of the color work chart if you are interested in producing some rebel hand-knits for yourself.  I think I may use these skulls again in some mittens or maybe a double-knitted scarf.  Since I would never re-knit this sweater, I decided it wasn’t worth the trouble of putting together a sweater pattern to share.   They can’t all be winners, so I’ve heard.

blockingFor my next project, I’ve been researching different fair isle motifs.  Loads of fingering-weight wool in various colors are currently in transit heading towards my house.  It’s tough to decide whether to commit to an adult-sized color-stranded sweater or to stick with more manageable projects like mittens and baby sweaters.  I’m just waiting for inspiration to strike.  🙂

baby, color stranded, design, sweaters

I Hate Bottom Up Baby Sweaters

JoiningJoining the two tiny sleeves to the body and knitting around sounds easy enough.  However, taking a tiny circular tube (baby sleeve) and flattening all the stitches out onto a needle and stitching across them makes for some seriously tight knitting.  The poor little underarm stitches are all stretched out while I’m trying to make it work.  It’s miserable and not Zen-like AT ALL.

I’ve invested too much time to bail on the project at this point.  But, I will not be doing a bottom-up baby sweater ever again.  Adult sized bottom up sweaters haven’t ever given me this much trouble.  In this baby sweater, there just aren’t enough stitches to make it work.  join2All the sleeve stitches are stretched flat across the needle and my underarm stitches are stretched to the max when I go to knit across.  I’m going to have to do some serious blocking at the end to reshape the underarm areas.

Lesson learned- no bottom up baby sweaters for me!  However, I still think this will be wearable in the end.  I hope my sister will never even notice the wonky underarm area and proudly don her baby in my creation.  🙂

Side note- I couldn’t help myself and ordered a hefty amount of yarn during the Knit Picks summer sale.  I haven’t tried their Palette yarn yet and I couldn’t figure out how much I might need to just try out the yarn so I added way too much to my cart with needles and books.  I’m going to be stalking my mail carrier until they arrive.

baby, color stranded, design, sweaters

Bad Ass Sleeves

BBASleeveMaybe I shouldn’t be using cuss words to name this new sweater for my nephew but I can’t seem to help myself.  The skulls and cross bones just seem to be screaming out for it.  Any alternative naming ideas are welcome because I am coming up empty handed.  Bad Ass sweater is just what keeps coming out of my mouth when I refer to my tiny project.

I’ve made it to the first sleeve.  It was a bit of a chore figuring out what row in the pattern to start the sleeve out with because I want the skulls to line up neatly when I join the sleeves to the body.  Hopefully my measurements were accurate.  And, I’m trying to figure out what sort of neckline I will use.  Babies have giant heads so I need either a V-neck to ensure it can get over his head or I need some buttons up top.  pattern

I’m thinking this is going to be a raglan with buttons in the center front or off-center along the raglan decreases.  Off-center may be more interesting with a green button band and a green collar.

I’m also thinking of writing this up as a pattern for ravelry but I have very little experience in baby-sizing.  There’s this handy sizing chart online http://www.craftyarncouncil.com/babysize.html that I’m thinking of using.

Since I have spent half of my morning on reading knitting blogs instead of knitting I don’t know how quickly this sweater is going to be completed but I’ve gotten inspiration for future projects.  🙂  I’m just going to have to muster up the discipline to finish this thing before I plunge ahead onto something new.

baby, color stranded, sweaters, videos

Baby Bad Ass

Baby Bad Ass
Baby Bad Ass

It’s been well over a year since my last post.  Lots of things have happened – we moved (twice), I have a new nephew, and I’ve battled some anxiety and depression.  And, yes, some knitting also happened that was not recorded here or on ravelry.  I apologize for any unanswered questions or messages.  But, I’m ready to rejoin the world.  🙂

My latest project is for my teeny little nephew that resides over a thousand miles away.  His momma is a rebel and a sweetheart.  I couldn’t just give her a sweet baby bear sweater for her new bundle of joy.  Nope.  Skulls and cross bones are in order.

I’m aiming for a size 12 months.  If you’d like to follow along, I cast on 176 stitches in a contrasting yarn (fingering weight) using a size 1 circular needle.  Rib in K2, P2 for an 1 1/2 inches or so.  K around while decreasing (k2tog) every 10 stitches to reduce to 160 sts total.  Begin chart using black and white yarn.

Update:  And just for fun, a video of my color stranded knitting technique which was kindly edited by my wonderful daughter.  (Thanks babe!)