A November Miracle

Yesterday we all ventured out into the backyard during a now rare dry afternoon. I wanted to check on the orangeness of my sugar pumpkins (not much improvement) and snap some photos of PB in her new beret. Imagine our surprise and delight to discover these jewels:

This is the Petite Beret from Vintage Knits for Modern Babies. I have made a few things from this book, and have enjoyed them all; well worth a flip through if you have a babe in your life. This one just fits, and I am hoping it will last through the winter. Of course, there are a ton more cute kid’s hat patterns out there to try out if it doesn’t.

I knit this out of the rather luxurious Panda Silk DK that I got in a stash swap several months ago. The color reminds me of fall; tart cranberries (or raspberries as the case may be) and deep purple leaves. Turns out I didn’t put this in Ravelry, and it’s been finished for a few weeks, so not sure on the details. It took less than a ball, and I may have added the little icord topper. How’s that for detailed?!

I’ve got that what-to-knit next twitch now, and am flailing around my personal stash looking for ideas and inspiration.  I want to make some toddler vests, a sweater for myself, a hat and mitt set, and perhaps even a new neckwarmer.  How do you harness your creative energy and decide on a project? Do you just cast on with wild abandon? Help!
Hope your week has you discovering some colorful surprises and other good things, too.

Off the Needles

I am woefully behind on sharing my most recent finished objects.  You know they aren’t really finished until someone wears or takes a photo of them, right?

One morning this week before opening, I did a little photo shoot inside Stash.  I can only imagine what people thought as they walked by the window and saw me laying back on the sofa taking photos of my feet.  Oh well; knittas be crazy.

Then I played around taking photos of my reflection in all the mirrors in the shop.  Also crazy fun!

This was a really fun project, and it has sort of started me on a hat kick.  I’m thinking Slable next.

Hope you’re having a fun weekend, perhaps even finishing up a project of your own!

Yarn Along :: Of Wishes

If wishes were stitches, or fruit in a jar, I’d have a finished hat and a pantry full of preserves.  Alas, I have neither, but the hope remains that one day soon I will.  The hat is a few rows away from being bound off; after that’s it’s just a matter of whipping up an i-cord or choosing a ribbon for the accent.  This is a sweet beret from the lovely Vintage Knits for Modern Babies and has been going along smoothly, if a little slowly due to my lack of dedication to the project.

I picked up these books in the recent going out of business sale at Borders, and keep daydreaming about jubilant jams and decadant cupcakes.  This weekend I’m going to try one of the cupcake recipes, likely the coconut lime or chocolate cherry creme, depending on my mood.  And our freezer is full of hand-picked blueberries and raspberries, just waiting for the right time to be put up into a batch of jam.

How is your stitching and preserving coming along?

Yarn Along is inspired by Ginny at Small Things who says: Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  Glad to be playing along this week!

Strawberry Apron Dress

Turns out Peaceful Baby is a strawberry blonde.  Took me a while to see it, but now that I do I am loving it!  So here is my little Strawberry Shortcake in her new apron dress.

  • Pattern: Apron Dress from Vintage Knits for Modern Babies (Ravelled here), 6-12 month size
  • Yarn: Cascade Sierra Quatro, about 345 yards
  • Needles: US size 7/ 4.5mm
  • Mods: The big one is that I knit this in the round.  I saw no reason such a simple garment needed to be pieced together.  So I knit it in one piece up to the arm/neck shaping, then worked back and forth to make the back and then the front.

I forget what inspired me to make this dress in the first place.  I do remember it was one of the patterns I loved from the book; the yarn was something I scored in a stash swap last year.  Somehow the two came together in my mind and I had to get started knitting right away.  I loved working with this yarn.  Sierra Quatro is a lovely blend of 80% cotton and 20% wool.  This means it is soft and a bit stretchy, with the benefits of cotton.  And the color is a true and perfect red.  So cheery!  I knit the 6-12 months size, figuring there would be plenty of room to grow.  Turns out, it fits PB now as a roomy layering item.  I can see it over a longer dress or leggings for months to come.

This project went quickly until I got to the shaping for the arms and neckline on the back.  The directions said to decrease one stitch at each end, but I kept reading it as decrease one stitch each row.  I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how this would work in the number of rows called for!  Thanks to a strong latte and the help of a friend, I was set straight.  The directions are fairly clear, although they don’t specify the types of decreases to use.  I could handle this now that I know where to throw in a ssk versus a k2tog, but a couple of years ago as a new knitter this would have really stumped me.  Is it so hard to be a little more specific in a pattern?

Another minor complaint about the pattern are the button holes.  They are created with one yarn-over and a decrease just before you bind off, leaving a miniscule and shallow button-hole.  Had I been a little more alert while knitting them, I would have made them wider so I could use better buttons.


Another modification I made was to sew the pocket separately and sew it on after blocking.  This is mainly because I forgot to integrate the pocket as I was knitting as per the instructions.  But I’m happy I did so because it made the bulk of the knitting simple and super speedy.  The pocket almost got nixed when I realized I forgot it, but I’m glad I decided to make it.  Don’t you think it would look great with a duplicate stitch design of some sort on it?  I may have to play with this some more…

Even though aspects of this pattern were irritating, and my first impression after binding off  was a firm “blah”, it is pretty cute.  Or maybe it’s the model… Either way, I’m glad I made it, and I’m glad it’s finished!  Plus, I thing PB likes it too.

Day 28

You may recall I mentioned getting a goody bag at the Ravelry party last weekend.  Inside were some great samples, including an entire skein of Knit Picks Gloss. Striped Socks and I promptly traded skeins, as we each had a color better suited to the other.  something about this deep purple yarn told me that it wanted to be a baby hat immediately, and so I obliged.

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  • Pattern: Modern Baby Hat from Vintage Knits for Modern Babies, 3-6 month size (Ravelled here)
  • Yarn: Knit Picks Gloss DK in Admiral, about 90 yards
  • Needles: US 6/ 4mm
  • Mods: I knit an extra row or two after making the button hole.

This was a fun, fast project to knit.  Once the knitting was done, there was a little bit of seaming to do which is usually a little less fun for me.  This is such a small project though, it was done in no time.

Fortunately for me, I happen to have a real life babe in staying in the house this week.  I’m used to taking pictures of my knitting on a table or draped across something immobile.  It is a whole lot more challenging to take a good picture of your knits when in motion!  Hence the blur…

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Something about seeing this hat on my nephew elicited laughter.  Some say he looks like a peasant baby, a young extra on Star Trek, or perhaps a synchronized swimmer.  My sister just kept saying “I bet it will be cute on your baby…”

I think it’s cute now, dang it, not to mention intensely practical.  There’s no wind or chilly air getting to those ears or head!

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The pattern came from a new book I just picked up, Vintage Knits for Modern Babies.  This is a very pretty book that takes inspiration from vintage patterns and updates them for use with today’s yarn and aesthetic in mind.  There are a couple more projects from this book I have in mind to make, but they’re both distinctly feminine.  Guess I’ll have to wait and see….  In the meantime, maybe I’ll make another wool swim cap bonnet in the next size up.

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