Tag Archives: yarn

Sweater skirt

For a few weeks now I have had my eye on a pretty little red cable knit sweater skirt at babyGAP that I wanted to get for Bean.

However, there were a few problems with said skirt: a) The price. Maybe I’m just cheap, but $25 is about how much I’d expect to spend on a skirt for myself and even then I’d probably hem and haw about it before bolting towards the sale racks to see if I could find something just as cute for any cheaper. When you only have $100 in your personal monthly budget to cover clothes, eating out and craft supplies, $25 is a lot. b) They didn’t have her size. Every single time I would go into our babyGAP they only had size 0-3 months. It was frustrating. And I didn’t want to order online because that would cause problem “a” to go up even more. c) I am a knitter and baby items are particularly easy and cheap to knit because they use so little yarn and are so small.

I had some yarn in the perfect shade leftover from Christmas knitting so I cast on earlier this week. It took a few rip backs to come up with my pattern, but I came up with one and I totally love it. The yarn I used was a different gauge than what was found in the GAP skirt, so I did have to take that into consideration. Also, while I am perfectly capable of the intricate cabling midway down on the skirt, I decided that I really didn’t want to tackle it or make my skirt EXACTLY the same as theirs.

So here is what I came up with:

Bean now has the perfect Christmas piece. She won’t get to show it off much though which is why I decided some photo documentation was in order:

Oh and nothing really to report on for Baby Watch 2009. I’ve had exactly zero activity since false alarm #5.

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Autumn Sweater

So, yesterday was our photo shoot. Hopefully John doesn’t get mad at me for posting this first proof, but he put it on my Facebook page so I figure it is fair game….

I know it doesn’t show off the wardrobe or my belly or anything like that, but I am in love with this photo. I can’t wait to see more!

I pretty much agonized about what to wear up until the last minute. I actually made a trip to the mall and Target about two hours beforehand and made a couple purchases, one for me and one for Bean. I wound up wearing what I bought for myself and went with the original gameplan for Bean.

Remember how I said I was going to buy the Old Navy sweater? Well I did. It got here and it was huge and hideous and nothing like it looked in the picture online. I tried it on then immediately took it off and went straight to UPS to return it.

So on Wednesday afternoon I decided I was going to knit myself a little cardigan instead. I found some surprisingly soft, bulky wool at JoAnn’s and went home to cast on for this sweater. I got about 3/5 of the way done on Thursday afternoon and since it was knit in one piece from the top down I was able to try it on. It was very apparent that this sweater was not at all designed for someone with my bust size. They aren’t even that huge! I usually wear a small to medium, which is what this pattern said it was for. I was totally bummed and began ripping.

I was very frustrated and was seriously almost going to chicken out of the whole photo thing. I know I have nice clothes and had plenty of options to choose from, but I don’t know. When I’m pregnant it just feels like nothing looks good on me or quite the way I want it to at least.

Anyway, a few hours later I decided another attempt was in order, but this time I decided to design my own sweater so that it would be exactly what I wanted.

I ripped back a few times during the design process, but eventually came up with something I actually liked.

I know, I know… terrible photos. This is what happens when you try to do the photoshoot of your own sweater yourself. You guys will just have to wait not so patiently along with me while John works his magic.

In the meantime, here are the specs and the pattern:

Pattern: Autumn Sweater, by me (below).
Yarn: 5 skeins Lion Brand Alpine Wool in Cinnamon
Needles: US 10 bamboo circs
Size: Medium-ish ?
Made for: Me
Modifications: none
Started: 4 p.m. November 5, 2009
Completed: 1 a.m. November 6, 2009

Body
CO 115 sts
Work in seed stitch until work measures 9 1/4 inches (or desired length, if you make it longer you will need to compensate with more yarn).
Change to garter stitch and knit 6 rows.
Next row (RS): Knit
Next row (WS): K4, purl to last 4 sts, K4
Rep for 3 inches more, ending with a WS row.

Arms
Next row (RS): K27 sts, BO 4 sts, K53 sts, BO 4 sts, K 27 sts.
Next row (WS): K4 sts, p23 sts, CO 29 sts, p53 sts, CO 29 sts, p23sts, K4 sts
Next row (RS) K27 sts, pm, p29 sts, pm, K 53 sts, pm, p29 sts, pm, K to end
Continue working as estabilished, purling all rows between markers for a total of six rows, ending with a WS row.

Shoulders
Next Row (RS): Knit to 3 sts before marker (K2tog, K1, sm, k1, ssk) continue knitting across row repeating decreases at each marker.
Next Row (WS): K4, purl to last four sts, K4
Repeat last two rows 10 more times, for a total of 11 decreases before and after each marker.

Neckband
Next Row (RS): Knit
Next Row (WS): Knit
Next Row (RS): K2, BO2, K to end
Next Row (WS): K until two sts remain, CO 2 sts, K2
Next Row (RS): Knit
Next Row (WS): Knit
Next Row (RS): BO all sts
Weave in ends and attach a button.

Since it rarely gets super chilly here in Southern California, I think this is the perfect sweater for Autumn because of the short sleeves and the open front. Also, the one button at the top means preggos like me can wear it too.

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Darn those buns!

Recently, Megan’s mom, Susan, was completely smitten with the knitted diaper covers featured on this photography blog. She of course had visions of her sweet granddaughter in a girly blush pink knitted diaper cover. So, she asked if it would be possible for me to knit one for little Miss Kate. Seeing as I have not knit anything for Kate yet (I knit Christian a blanket way back when I first started knitting), I was all too happy to oblige her.

I scoured Ravelry for some patterns. I was not too impressed (seriously people choose some really ugly yarns sometimes and it really ruins the whole vision of the project for me), but passed my findings along to Susan to see if something appealed to her or offered to come up with my own design using Bean as a model.

Well Susan really liked a super girly, ruffle-legged diaper cover pattern I found. Despite the weird tie-die blue and green yarn the person chose for it, she was able to do more than me and envision it in a beautiful solid pink hue that would highlight all the right features of the pattern. However, I cast on and discovered that not only would the thing be way too huge, but that it was using up way too much yarn for something so tiny. I scrapped the pattern and came up with my own using some of the ideas from the other pattern and used a pair of fabric bloomers from Bean’s closet to approximate sizing.

Pattern: My own that I did not write down.
Made for: Kate
Needles: US 8 rosewood straights, US 6 bamboo DPNs
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Pure Cotton in Rose, 1 skein
Started: August 26, 2009
Completed: August 26, 2009

It was so quick and fun that I decided to make a second pair that was more like one of the ones featured on the photography blog with some different yarn.

Pattern: My own that I did not write down.
Made for: Kate
Needles: US 8 rosewood straights, US 15 plastic straights
Yarn: Lion Brand Homespun in Boston Rose, less than one skein
Started: August 26, 2009
Completed: August 27, 2009

I love the results and can’t wait to see Miss Kate in them. For now though, I’m satisfied with these photos I got of Bean modeling them prior to shipment:

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By the way, I’ve been absolutely DYING over here waiting to show off these photos and the projects ever since completion. I am seriously horrible at keeping secrets and this was very, very hard for me.

Oh and the title of this post is something Megan used to say all. the. time. I felt it was appropriate. 🙂

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And… another one!

I’ve been wanting to knit the Men’s Zipped Raglan from Last Minute Knitted Gifts for quite some time now. Basically, ever since I bought the book a couple years ago. I have to say that the main thing that attracted me to this pattern was the fact that it is knit in the round with minimal seaming. I hate seaming. Ugh!

However, the yarn called for is a tad on the expensive yarn snob side. It would have cost me a fortune to knit the sweater out of the yarn they used in the book. So I’ve been keeping my eye out for something that would be similar in coloring and weight. I finally spotted it at JoAnn’s of all places. They have this new line of yarns called “Debbie Mumm for JoAnn”. I’m not sure who Debbie Mumm is, but the yarn is pretty cool.

Anyway, finished product:


Stephen thinks he has a gut in this picture. Ummm… whatever.

Now that I’ve knit the thing, I’m honestly not sure how I feel about it.

Pattern: Men’s Zipped Raglan from Last Minute Knitted Gifts
Needles: US 8 Circs
Yarn: Debbie Mumm for JoAnn Traditions in Adirondack
Started: I think May
Completed: August 7, 2009
For: Not quite sure. I think the right indie kid with a cool hair cut and appropriately witty Urban Outfitters tee could pull it off. My husband doesn’t like it, the red zipper is “questionable”. So I am currently mulling over who it would make an appropriate gift for.

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My first FO of 2009

For those of you not in the “know” of the craft world, FO stands for “finished object”. And yes, despite all my crazy craft lady prowess, this is actually the very first one of 2009. I have started plenty of projects, but finishing anything did not happen until now.

So I got to Mammoth with all the good intention of actually finishing the knitting part of the boy blanket I had recently re-started. However, I also brought up two other projects I’ve been working on this year and the bird button sweater just struck my fancy once again. However…

Problem #1: I had been making up my own pattern for this sweater and did not document what the heck I was doing, which is normally fine because I have a fairly decent memory.

Problem #2: Insert pregnancy brain.

Problem #3: Entire body of sweater was done in seed stitch making it really hard to detect the exact pattern of decreases used on the armholes.

Problem #4: The sleeves have to have the same decrease pattern as the armholes on the body in order to fit together properly.

So. I ripped it. Again. For the fourth time. I frantically searched Ravelry for ideas and then I saw it. A pattern I’ve been wanting to knit since last year’s Tour de France/Tour de Fleece: Cherry. Every single finished version of this cardigan looked fantastic and that is important when choosing a knitting pattern. I got super inspired and cast on immediately.

Here are pictures and specs of my Cherry:


The entire finished product. Definitely looks better on someone than just hung up. But even though it was knit in my “normal” size, it definitely isn’t my pregnant size. So no modeling was possible. I did try it on, but I looked like a sausage.


Ribbon and button detail.


Stitch definition and button detail.

All pictures were taken with the new camera, but I’m still trying to figure it all out so definitely not my best work.

Pattern: Cherry by Anna Bella
Needles: US 2 and 5 circs
Yarn: Knit Picks Telemark 100% Peruvian Highland Wool (apparently Peruvian Highland sheep are a cross between cashmere sheep and some sheep that make really warm wool) in the color Fjord Heather.
Started: July 21, 2009 (if you don’t count all the other rips and restarts)
Completed: August 2, 2009 (that would be 12 days total)
For: Originally this was going to be for me. However, I’m pregnant and won’t be able to wear it for another year which with something this cute is just a crying shame. My friend Megan’s birthday is coming up and I decided that this would be perfect for her when it is sweltering in the Bakersfield heat, but 30 below in the newsroom. Now I just need to make it to the post office and get it shipped!

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Bah Humbug!

OK, that’s not totally how I feel, but just a little.

It just seems like nothing Christmas related is going the way I planned at this point.

First is our Christmas lights. We tried to put them up last weekend and they wouldn’t turn on. We couldn’t figure it out. Stephen fiddled and fiddled. We replaced bulbs and tried and tried to get them to work. We spent the whole day on it. Well turns out we had too many strands on the same circuit (you’re only supposed to have 3 strung together, not 11 plus three tree things).

So our Christmas lights are still not coming on at this point. This weekend we’re going to take down a majority of what we put up and go with the simple line with three tree things that we had last year:

Speaking of trees, we’re not getting one this year. Growing up I always had real trees and we’ve had one every year we’ve been married. But we decided last year was the last time we’d have a real tree.

Why? It’s always a pain getting our tree because we have to borrow someone’s truck to go get it and then borrow someone’s truck to take it away. It gets needles everywhere. You have to water it every day. AND last year after we got our tree home we realized that it reeked of feline pee. Our house stunk for a whole week. I went through two cans of Febreeze air stuff trying to make the smell go away. Our theory is that some large cat species (Mountain Lion, Cougar, Bob Cat, etc.) got it. Also we decided that they are just too expensive to buy year after year.

The plan was to get a very nice fake tree this year, something that would be a good investment to use for many years to come. Well, I’m of the mindset that if I am going to have a fake tree it better be something I want to look at year after year. The trees that fulfill that for me are WAY too expensive. So we’re not getting a tree this year. We’ll put the presents by the fireplace that never gets used.

I can see my dad cringing as he reads this.

Another bah humbug thing? My Christmas knitting projects. I have been working on sweater #1 FOR.EV.ER. There is no way it is going to be done in time for Christmas, let alone the other two that I had planned on making.

I think I’m losing my knitting mojo, y’all. Seriously.

I was working 9-6pm last year at this time (during which I did no knitting) and I still managed to complete quite the long list of knitted items. I’m home all the time now. I knit when she’s nursing, sleeping, playing etc. I feel like I am knitting all.the.time. Yet progress remains slow.

Plus Sweater #1 is too big. It isn’t actually bigger than the size it is intended to be, I just know that the recipient of this sweater and the others like to wear tight clothing and this isn’t going to jive with that style. The sweaters will be lovely when they are done, just not something they would wear.

So I’m keeping them for myself and the $72 I spent on yarn for them will now come out of my clothing budget. Which is OK, but I actually wanted to spend my clothing budget on pants not tops. Oh well.

Anyway, I’m now left trying to come up with new present ideas for these peeps. I’ve got two of them figured out, I think. I hope. I’m finally allowed to go Christmas shopping next week (budgetary constraints prevented earlier shopping).

And yes, shopping this late is definitely something I am NOT looking forward to. At all. Not one bit. I hate crowds. I hate lines. And this year I have a baby to add into the mix of shopping craziness. I’m getting stressed out just thinking about it.

So anyway that pretty much sums up why I say bah humbug! Thanksgiving is just so much more fun and easier. Way less pressure. Just cooking, eating and hanging out with the fam. That is MY kind of holiday.

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