Baby Evelyn Mae’s Hat

Evelyn Mae Hickey

I got to be at another birth and it was an awfully special one, especially close to my heart. This little nugget joined our family almost a week ago and I was present for her first breath of Montana air. She was born right in her Mama and Papa’s peaceful bedroom, and she’s my niece Evelyn Mae. I am working on a blanket similar to the one I made for Baby Bill Jeff but with a different color scheme. I knit a bit during the labor, but I wasn’t working on the hat, that was complete and I had gifted it to Sarah that night, at our house, right after her water broke at our kitchen counter. We were having a bit of a surprise party for her because her birthday was only a few days later and we figured the weekend would be the best time. We were about an hour into the party when ~ “blammo” drenched drawers. We surprised her baby out! Or maybe Evelyn thought the party was for her.

We headed to her house, and I went along for the ride, as I’d planned to be her birth doula. Her midwife visited just to check heart rate, blood pressure and dilation. All looked well. Contractions hadn’t started just yet, so I headed back home for an hour, when Bryan texted me things were getting more serious. That didn’t take long.

Sarah and Sandhano

Sarah labored through the night with mighty gusto. Bryan was by her side the entire time and things went perfectly. Mama might still beg to differ, but I’m sure not for long. Sandhano (her midwife (and mine 4.5 years ago)) came back around 5:30 AM and Sarah was ready to push. 1.5 hours later she pushed her sweet baby out right before the light of the morn on October 22nd.

Start of Hat

Not sure how many stitches I cast on but I know that I just looked back at another ribbed hat for a babe I’d made before. I suppose I probably did somewhere near 60, of course some multiple of 4 as that is a requirement to make this pattern work. k2, p2 all the way around using size 6 circular needles. The variegated yarn I used was wool from Skyline Yarns purchased a couple of years ago, her Etsy shop has been empty for a while now, but I save it (hoard it) for special occasions…such as this one. I am promised the yarn shop will be back someday. The yarn pictured is sock yarn (fingering yarn) but just because it is “sock yarn” doesn’t mean it has to be used for socks only. In fact I’ve never completed a pair of socks…but I’m always on the lookout for pretty sock yarn.

Baby Hat  Baby Hat Again

This little hat is so tiny that I was asked if it was made for a hamster. Uncool. Hamsters don’t even wear hats.

I promise to share more photos and love just as soon as I complete the blanket. I’m 1/2 way there. Here is a snip of what it looks like (a bit before the 1/2 way mark) and Thanksgiving felt project my sister (Sloane’s Mama) and I are working on.

Ev's Blanket

Welcome to the world sweet Evelyn. We all adore you!

 

Edie’s Birthday Hat

Edie

I have another special special person in my life that was the recipient of a knit birthday hat, and don’t you worry I stuck to that ‘oh so familiar ribbed pattern’ that I so do love. I couldn’t ever tell you the exactness of it, I pretty much wing it every time, but I find myself looking back on this here blog to remember how many stitches to cast on. This time for a 4 year old I cast on 60 stitches. The requirement is that the number of stitches be a multiple of 4 for the pattern to work. I’ve finally come to this conclusion after a year 1/2 of knitting pretty much the same hat 25 times.

Pretty Yarn

I decided tiny Beeser needed a pom pom atop the knit goodness. This is the perfect way to use up the last little bit of your skein of yarn. Sometimes these particular hats are hard for me to give away, but it is usually just because of the yarn I use and how cozy it is. I just want to wear it, I probably ought to make one for myself. Edie chose this yarn out of my stash a year ago, and it is right at the very top of my list. I heart it! I could make this hat a billion times and never get tired of making it, especially with a good movie in my face, or this time – an airplane ride to New Orleans from Montana. I finished it up by the time we arrived, with the exception of the finishing work because I didn’t have a needle or a crochet hook to hide my ends.

I used Sheep Shop Yarn (100% wool) which I need to stock up on because I LOVE it. Another thing I was without was a pair of scissors. Anyone have tips for that on the plane? Here is what I did, and do fairly frequently…

Frayed yarn

I just fray the yarn until I can snap it off. It doesn’t make for very pretty pieces hanging off but it gets the job done. You hide those pieces anyway…so what difference does it make. My husband suggested on our last flight that I use the seatbelt – he’s so smart.

Lap Knitting

One thing that did surprise me about knitting on a plane is you can bring whatever knitting needles you want to – no problem. I was surprised when I brought my gigantic size 13 metal needles, no probs. Just in case I tend to bring the whole lot of them. Thanks to my sister I have a handy place to keep them all and roll them up for transport.

Edie's Hat

Here is one more sweet photo of Edie that I took only a couple of weeks ago – she is my littlest son’s bestest friend. Two peas they are.

Edie

Her Mama promised me photos of her wearing her new hat so just as soon as I get my mitts on those I will put them up on our facebook page.

 

 

Hi Knitting Blog

I’ve been away from you, but definitely not away from my knitting. I’ve got a handful of projects for new babes coming into the world and for sweet babes already in the world. I have my sweater in a good place, just awaiting the assistance of the Knitting Jedi to finish up the hood. She is this woman that is probably in her 60s and she’s been knitting since she was 3 years old. I’m pretty sure she might know every single thing there is to know about knitting. My sweater has sleeves now though…I could conceivably wear it without the hood…but I kind of had my heart set on a hood.

Sleeve

Soon soon – the air is chilling – it is harder and harder to get out of my nice warm bed every morning. Pretty soon I’ll be all snuggled up in a nice warm sweater of my own creation.

I had a fun and very full summer. Each of the places I visit, in addition to checking out the local toy store, I’ve now found I need to find the local yarn shop. I made it back to the midwest for a visit and my sister and I had a couple of days sans our kiddos while Grandma and Grandpa spent some quality time with them. We found a couple of magical yarn shops that I hadn’t ever been to.

My Sister

Blankie Yarns

The first was Crafty Planet in Minneapolis. We decided since we had time we’d find the yarn I would use to make her baby a blanket and hat. Both will be featured in future posts. The blanket yarns are upon her shrinking lap (courtesy of Spud & Chloe). They had several yarns to choose from so it was pretty fun to look without distractions, they also had some pretty great fabric so we spent a LOT of time at Crafty Planet.

Then we got hungry and there was a tiny little restaurant that happened to be right around the corner. We actually did a GPS search for restaurants (pulled over on the side of the street) and we decided on our destination and we were about 20 feet from the parking lot. Probably didn’t really need the GPS to help us get there, actually, who am I kidding?, we did. This was my delicious lunch at Chimborazo.

Hungry

Now back to the yarn. The next stop was pretty much my dream come true. The only bad part about this entire place was the temperature and that was simply because it was 100+ degrees outside in the muggy muggy midwest. Borealis was the shop we sought out in St. Paul, MN. This was outside the front door and I think it ought to be their home page photo…just sayin’.

Borealis

I’m pretty into the idea of tagging things these days. My tags will unfortunately never be this awesome.

Rad

Street Corner

Heart

Now for the yummy inside of the store. I will mention this place is HUGE, it has 3 separate yarn rooms – an entire room for just sock yarn. If sock yarn is your ‘thing’ you will probably want to put it on your list of places to visit before you run out of yarn. Which poses the question does any knitter/crocheter ever run out of yarn? I recently told Jan that I hope I live long enough to use up all of my fabric and my yarn. She told me I would just buy more, so that was probably impossible.

 Chunky Worsted Weight Yarn Yummy

There is something about cubes full of yarn that makes my heart sing. I’m so happy they didn’t care that I was taking photos.

Wool Sock Yarn Green, Yellow, Cream

Don’t you just want to stick your entire arm right in the middle of this rainbow?

Blues Pinky Purps

KNIT

Just do it!

 

 

 

 

New Sweater – Knit in the Round

New Sweater

I’m starting another sweater, I tore out the sweater for my sweet husband – that will be a project for later…

I started my sweater a few days ago and pulled the entire thing out last night. I decided on a hoodie of sorts. I didn’t want to deal with a zipper though, so I’m knitting a pullover hoodie. The pattern I picked I found on Ravelry. The sweater is called the Weekend Hoodie, unfortunately not a free pattern, but one that looked pretty much spot on. I love having a hood on my sweaters, it is a definite bonus on windy/chilly spring days. I decided to start with a sweater for myself, maybe that is  selfish, but I haven’t made a single thing for myself yet so I suppose it is high time!

I ran into problems right from the get-go, you’d think after all of the knitting in the round I do, I would have it figured out, but I definitely didn’t! The second row was the reason for pulling my entire sweater apart. When I say entire sweater – I was on row 12 ish…so not really that far, but when you cast on 220 stitches it feels like a LOT. I started over after figuring this out….

Flat Knitting:

  • garter: knit every row
  • stockinette: knit 1 row, purl 1 row
  • reverse stockinette: purl 1 row, knit 1 row

Round Knitting:

  • garter: knit 1 round, purl 1 round – this is where I went wrong. I was just knitting, knitting, knitting…not making a very appealing bottom to my sweater.
  • stockinette: knit knit knit every row
  • reverse stockinette: purl purl purl

I mean, it makes perfect sense when you think really hard about it, problem is I wasn’t thinking very hard about it.

Before I sign off I should tell you about my delicious yarn choice. I keep going back and forth between whether or not I like it enough to wear that sweater as much as I ought to once it is complete. I think today I’m pretty into it. It is a Cascade Yarn – Lana Bambu. It is 79% Wool and 21% Viscose from Bamboo.

I’m taking a sweater class to complete this project. I cast on 220 stitches on my brand spankin’ new Addi needles (size 6) and I’ve moved onto the Addi lace needles (sharper points) in size 7 and I’m going for it. The pattern is knit rows 1-3, p3, k1 on row 4 and start over knitting again. I think the pattern will be pretty fun when it gets taller, I’ll keep you posted.

Oh and I’m going to make a video of how to switch to a new ball of yarn as soon as I need to do so. If you missed the ball winder and swift video and you feel like throwing up, you should check it out.

Happy Knitting!

Sock Monkey Love

Sock Monkey Love

Everyone loves a sock monkey right? Well I’ve been working on one, since about a week before Christmas. This is a kit that I actually sell at my toy store that is for children ages 8-12. I’m 33. To be completely frank, it wasn’t the most simple project I’ve ever conquered, but with some help and some previous knitting experience I definitely think a 12 year old could knit this sweet monkey. I am happy to just “own” the pattern now. Usually in kits you get a whole mess of acrylic yarn and boy did I ever. I’m anxious to sub my wool delights to create a new and improved sock monkey, maybe striped? I’m a sucker for stripes. I’m no master knitter, in fact I still consider myself a beginner, but I’ve been knitting over a year now, in fact today is the 1st birthday of this blog, I’ve come a long way! Thanks for hanging in there with me.

I think I’ve decided this will be for one of my little Valentines. The monkey comes with a heart that can be stitched somewhere…and I think I’ll put it right on the chest. I love knitting toys for my kids.

Sock Monkey Kit The Kit A leg Body, Legs, Tail

One thing that did happen while my monkey was under construction is I ran out of the main color yarn. You’d think in a kit like this they’d give you ample yarn to complete your project. Don’t skimp people, it is acrylic and costs next to nothing. The place where I had to make some compromises will be obvious soon.

Sock Monkey

The construction of the body was simple and fairly quick. I was pleased the opportunity finally arose for me to use my counter. Knitting row upon row of ‘monkey leg’ takes some counting.

Body Empty Body

Monkey Face The Ears

So it was the ears – I ran out of yarn to complete the ears and had to use leftover scarf yarn. Colored ears on a sock monkey is nothing to turn your nose up at. A mass of acrylic yarn it might be, but that is one cute sock monkey (patting self on back).

Hangin Out Little Socky

Just chillin’ on the couch.

Signing off so I can get some sleep on my blog birthday! Happy Knitting!

Night Monkey

New Year Knits

Colored Shepard's Wool

Happy morn of 2011 – I’m still working on some of the same projects into our brand spankin’ new year. That baby blanket isn’t quite complete – but that baby isn’t either – still waiting on her arrival. Grandpa Jeff loved his new Packers Christmas hat & from the photos it looks like I could have made it a bit bigger/longer. Looks like you need to plan a trip to Lambeau.

Grandpa's Knit Hat Grandpa's Profile

We had/have a houseful of family and friends and all that love I keep talking about. We had a wonderful Christmas and we’ve had a pretty relaxing week…playing with our new treasures and knitting. My boys scored with Santa – man that guy is gracious, not to mention a whole mess of gifts from other family members and full stockings! Shane got me that amazing game I’d discovered about a month ago and although everyone poo pooed the idea of playing it on Christmas day we had everyone in the vicinity entertained after we powered the Wii up. The whole room full of Aunties, Uncles, Grandpas and Grandmas were passing Wii remotes between one another, sometimes arguing about whose turn it was.

Yarn Kirby

Every character in the game is made from yarn (grossly adorable) and all of the scenery is made from pieces of fabric that you can go behind, between and pull buttons to gather. It is seriously RIGHT up my video game alley!

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Even though you all might be tired of my hats…I’ve got another ribbed hat I’ve been working on…and I think it might be my favorite. I started it only a few nights ago, and have made progress amongst our company. In fact the knitting seems to be contagious around here. Grandma Melinda (my mother in law) has been knitting since Christmas night, my sister in law (waiting for the newest babe) has been crocheting, and on Christmas night I had the privilege to teach my sister in law Sarah how to cast on and do the knit stitch.

Auntie Sarah Christmas Knitting

Back to that hat – I also drew my little sister’s (Melissa’s) name for Christmas and she put in an order for a hat to match these mittens. (That I did not knit – but I wish I could say that I had.)

rainbow mittens

In the past I’ve used size 8 16″ circular needles to knit my famous ribbed hat. With this particular hat I cast on 88 and k2, p2 the entire way around until I reached the decreasing zone.

Cozy Stripes

I decided this time I’d like to switch up the top a bit, and make it a little bit more fun. I’m definitely going to do a pom pom again (because I love rainbows more than most things on earth) and I think a rainbow pom pom will be incredible eye candy. I hope my sister doesn’t think she looks like Rainbow freakin’ Bright when this arrives in her mailbox. As the decrease began I kept my work on my circular needles and k2, p2, k2, p2tog the whole way around.

Double Pointed Needles Place Marker Pretty Colorful

I put a place markers when the first round was complete and then I transitioned to double pointed size 8 needles while I k2tog, p2, k2tog,  p1 (the second time around). The third time around I just knit the knits and purled the purls. The next round I k1, p1, k1, and p2tog (the two purls that weren’t already purled together). The next time around I k2tog, p2tog. Then I knit the knits and purled the purls over and over again until I thought the hat was looking elf-tastic.

Elf Model Elf Gus

I finished it off by just k2tog until I only had a few stitches remaining and then I pulled the remaining yarn through. I hid all of the yarn I’d tied together from changing colors so many times. I always just use a crochet hook to weave it all in. No sign of the transitions and I love the way it turned out.

Mama Elf

I used my favorite yarn since I already had such a selection of colors. I only had to add three more colors to the mix to complete this project and now I want to make 10 more of these. The yarn is from Joseph’s Coat and it is called Shepard’s Wool. It is not superwash wool, but it is so incredibly soft and warm. * Hand wash only Mrs. gift recipient. * Since I ended up adding several inches to the top before closing it off, I got a little bit nervous about the appearance of the top of the hat. Not to be crass but it looked a bit like a striped wool condom attached to a beanie. Nobody wants to walk around with a phallic looking woolen good atop their noggin. Cindy Lou Who might be cool with it I guess, or any of the Whos for that matter. The pom pom addition really sealed the deal for me! I made the pom pom with a houseful of friends last night and a glass of wine nearby.

Elf Simon Simon Elf

So we happily ring in another beautiful year, and I’m grateful for the 2 degree weather today. I can knit all day, play games in our cozy house, and watch Return of the Jedi without an ounce of guilt creeping in. Happy Peaceful New Year to all! Ooh and I can’t wait to show off my next project! I’ll give you a little hint – it has a tail!

Transition

New Baby Blanket

Baby Belly

I went into Joseph’s Coat, in search of some washable wool – soft enough to be a baby blanket. I had a pattern in mind. I’m not following it exactly, just loosely.  I am knitting every row, to get a beautifully simple garter stitch, and I love how the blanket is turning out. I just visited the Purl Bee and strangely enough this very pattern (in a kit) is featured right now. I wish I could afford one of these kits, but I had to write my own adventure. I bet that Alchemy yarn is completely amazing! I chose something washable (for Mama Lexie’s sake) and still soft enough for snuggles and wool for warmth and because I simply love wool. I have always been drawn to natural fibers, but after only a year of knitting I definitely prefer wool over any other fiber. There are some amazing bamboo yarns I’ve worked with and some blends that I like but if I can get wool, that’s what I’m gettin’.

Blue Cascade Yarn

The yarn I chose is just a simple 100% Superwash wool made by Cascade Yarns. In one delightful ball you get 100 grams/3.5 oz. The suggested needle size is a 7. I’ve been using my dice needles that I got on our incredible beach vacation this past summer, they are actually a size 8. The yarn is made in Peru and really easy/pleasing to work with. I am loving how the blanket is turning out. I don’t want to post too many photos of it, as I’d like to reveal the finished product when I’m completely done, with a sweet baby girl wrapped in it. Could be any day now, and that blanket is far from finished! Mama’s got her work cut out for her. Somehow I’ll squeeze it in with all of the other projects in my pot.

Dice Needles Pumpkin Color

Happy Holidays! Happy Knitting!

Baby Hats

Baker Yarn

I loved the way this handful of things all matched. Yarn-corn nuts-knitting bag from my sweet friend-cozy couch – ahhh! I’m making yet another hat for a doula client and I’m using some more of the yarn I got from Skyline Yarns . The doula client is less of a “client” and more of a friend so I wanted to make sure to use something special. This is a worsted weight superwash 100% wool yarn. Machine washable wool is the best! It says to knit with size 7-9 needles and I am using size 8 circular needles. I cast on 68 stitches to start this sweet little baby hat. Knit 2 Purl 2 round and round we go! It is still under construction as I type. This yarn makes a pretty amazing pattern, look at that beautiful stripe.

Variegated Yarn

I’m of course doing my favorite pattern – the good old ribbed hat. I love how stretchy they are and it just seems like a little person can get a little bit extra use out of a hat like this – it will fit for longer. I wonder what Karen used to dye this yarn, she dyes her yarns with all natural dyes – maybe carrots? Whatever it was – it looks delicious!

The second hat I wanted to make mention of, I whipped up in a couple of nights. It was for my last doula client and her sweet baby – Claira Rain – she was born a month ago (with the rain on April 30th) and I actually used the same yarn I used for the other Clara’s hat. It is special Skyline Yarn again but a bit lighter weight, sock yarn, fingering yarn.

Skyline Yarn Hat

This yarn called for size 3-5 needles. I used size 6 circular needles to knit this up. Same pattern knit 2, purl 2. I think I got a little bit slack when I decreased and closed up the top, I’ll have to look back at my old patterns when I close the hat I’m currently working on. It still looks pretty sweet on baby Claira’s head.

Claira and Ilsa Baby Claira

Look at that sweet little newbie and her pretty Mama. Knitting hats for new babies is quick and easy and so fun. I remember when my midwife knit a hat for Gussy while I was in labor, and it is one of my most favorite sentimental keepsakes ever. It goes on the top of our Christmas tree every year. Here is a photo of Gus in his baby hat 3 + years ago. Maybe some of the hats I knit will end as tree toppers? Who knows, what I do know is those babies will have warm little heads.

Gus Hat

Happy Knitting!

Weekend of Inspiration

Great Aunt Jean

We spent our weekend in Coeur D’Alene, ID with my sweet Great Aunt and Uncle. Now here is a master knitter! She’s 86 years old so doesn’t really do much knitting anymore, it makes her fingers go numb, but she’s got a lot of experience under her belt so during our visit I asked questions and wished the entire time that she lived closer (not just for knitting assistance of course). Our visit was sweet, my little boys got to spend some time with who they called Grandpa and Grandma. “I want to go back to Grandpa and Grandma’s house.” I mean they are Grandma and Grandpa after all, just not ours…but we like to take as many as we can get our hands on.

So I’ve got a few different projects in my bag these days, Aunt Jean is holding one of them above. She was teaching me how to increase and yo (yarn over). I don’t know how to do either of them and I wish I’d had a video camera…maybe I’ll have to take a trip back soon for another “lesson.” The project above is something – not sure what yet – I’m thinking a baby blanket. That is just a side project though, nothing too challenging just something to keep my hands busy when I want to turn my brain off.

sock start

This is the real project right now. I am attempting some socks for the first time. So here is the start on size 2 dpns (double pointed needles – look at that lingo!) or as Grandma refers to them “toothpicks”. This sock yarn is so pretty though. Thanks Jan! It is Premier Yarns, Deborah Norville Collection, Serenity Sock Weight. 50% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Bamboo, and 25% Nylon and so soft.  The color on the label is Indigo and I’m just following the pattern inside the sock yarn label. I’ll share when I’m done. It is just a tiny taste of my birthday present that I mentioned previously (40 ish skeins of yarn coming in about 3 weeks).

I wished I’d been to the heel so I could get some assistance, but this is about all the further I made it while we were visiting.  According to Great Aunt Jean the hardest part is the heel, that reinforcement. Hopefully I actually finish this pair of socks, I know now why people buy their socks, and don’t knit them.

my first sock

Oh and I knit inside out for some reason? I don’t know what the deal is? So the reverse of this sock looks much better, but I didn’t take a photo of it for some reason? I’ll flip it when I’m ready to do the heel. I’m hoping one day I’ll have something that somewhat resembles Great Aunt Jean’s socks.

GA Jean's Socks

These are some socks she knitted herself (just one pair of about a million) using variegated yarn. She’s made argyles and all different kinds, she had a few examples to show me, along with probably 20 sweaters that she made for her grandchildren years ago (all of them amazingly beautiful)! So we had a really sweet visit and I was definitely inspired.

Oh and we stopped at several thrift shops, and at one hit the jackpot, tons of old knitting pattern books, 25 cents a piece! I am making a sweater next. Aunt Jean told me I should have probably started with a sweater…she thinks that would’ve been easier than socks.

Sock Close

Hopefully I’ll have a photo like this, of a sock I’ve knitted myself, very soon! Wish me luck!

Happy Knitting!

Gussy’s Hat Take 2

So I actually started another project before this one, but it isn’t completed yet…since I was waiting for some double pointed needles to arrive in the mail. So you’ll get to see two ribbed hats in the next couple of days.

Since August’s first hat was a bit large, I decided I’d make him a hat just like Simon’s only I let him choose his own colors. So he pretty much chose the same colors – just a darker blue than Simon. We used the same wool – because it is pretty near perfect. And we actually got some for a friend for her birthday because it is just so great to work with and soft and yummy. Gussy's Hat Start

So here we are in the very beginning phase. I used the same size needles – size 8 circular needles. And of course switched to double pointed needles at the end (also size 8). I knitted two colors together (as one) again, just like I did with Simon’s hat. I just love the way Simon’s hat turned out, I know it is warm and cozy and covers his little ears and I wanted the same for Gussy. So – why mess with success right? The wool I used was Shepherd’s Wool Yarn made in Michigan. The colors Mr. August chose were Christmas Red (just like his big brother) and Cobalt Blue. Same pattern – knit 2, purl 2 all the way around. I cast on 80 stitches and the decreasing at the top was done the same way – I think? I knit 2 purled 2 until I had about 7 inches worth of hat then I decided to start decreasing. I decreased by purling my 2 purls together first and from then on just knit 2 together. I may have decreased more rapidly than I did with the first hat but it still turned out nice and tight at the top. I was debating putting a pom pom on top – but then maybe he wouldn’t love his hat until the end of time.

Gussy's 2nd Hat

He told me “Kank you so much for my hat Mama” this morning at the breakfast table. Such a sweet little peach. I could eat him right up. He’s been snuggling with it all day long.

Back View Ribbed Hat

Here is my sweet little peach’s hat from behind. So you can sort of see the decreasing.

And just a couple more shots because I figured you couldn’t get enough of what a cutie cakes he is!

August Ribbed HatAnother August

And finally I wanted to give you a taste of where my stash is at these days. Purl Soho had a sale so I got myself some new yarn, fun!

My Stash

Happy Knitting!