Archives for category: Baby

One of my favorite things to do is watch the number of Baby Surprise Jackets crawl higher and higher into the thousands over on Ravelry. It stands as a testament to the timelessness and genius of this pattern. Whenever I’m finishing one, that annoying Lays Potato Chip slogan always comes into my mind, you know it – betcha can’t eat just one? Yeah. Now that I’ve defiled the glory of EZ by comparing her to greasy snack food, I think we should move onto the knitting.

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Today is a two for one – two handspunBSJ’s – and represents a few things: my new found knitting time with the official end of my semester (glory!), spring cleaning and the finishing of way too many WIPS (I’m taking them down all around me), and what may serve as a good segue back to knitting from all that spinning talk.

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There’s not much to say about the pattern that hasn’t already been said hundreds of times. If you’ve knit one, you know. If you haven’t, you should. The pattern can be found in Knitting Workshop and The Opinionated Knitter, and is also available as a stand-alone pattern from Schoolhouse Press as well as a DVD walkthrough with Meg Swansen.

BSJ II (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

These are BSJ #2 and #3 for me (Fall Version and Spring Version seem more appropriate titles). The first was made last year in early summer, and happened to be the first time I ever officially knit with handspun. Domino effect?

BSJ III (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

I think this pattern is a great match for handspun yarn – the self-striping nature of handspun accentuates the shaping of the garment and the slightly irregular texture suits garter stitch wonderfully. Not to mention you can knit a whole one using between 4-5 oz of yarn, and spinners usually have a lot of small batches of handspun lying around. They’re also great at classing up all your scraps. Very versatile.

BSJ II (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

The Autumn (Red/Orange) Version was knit with merino fibers dyed at Spunky Eclectic. The colorway is Burning Bush and came out fantastic – it was a pleasure to both spin and knit. [Solo yarn shot here.] I actually knit this about 9 months ago. I remember because it was my portable knitting during that hellish move in September. I also remember channeling all my desperation for the onset of Fall into it. But alas, it sat completed and without buttons all of these months, until the other one came along and prompted me to get over to the button shop.

BSJ III (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

The spring version is fine shetland dyed by Krista atPigeonroof Studios. I actually ran out of yarn right at the buttonband and subbed in some leftover merino from a previous spin, which also turned out to be Pigeonroof. [Both yarns here and here].

BSJ II (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

Buttons were purchased at B.E. Yarn in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Everything was sewn up and photographed a couple of weeks ago. And I think that about exhausts these two for things that I can blather on about. Are you still with me?

BSJ III (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

As I said before, my schedule has taken a dramatic change this week, in favor of my knitting. I should have a normal life for a while, which means I can actually check e-mail (crazy, right?), read blogs, and best of all knit. I have a lot of catch-up to do, but things are looking up. Thanks to all of you for sticking with me through this sadly sparse year. Onward and upward.
 

Hey everybody! I’m just peeking my head around from a huge pile of boxes for a quick update. We’ve spent the last week moving from one Brooklyn walk-up to another, in the late August heat. Oy, what a week. I’m happy to report, though, that everything (including every last bit of wool) has made the journey safely – now there’s just the matter of unpacking, which is actually the fun part.

Knitting has been almost non-existent for obvious reasons, but I did grab a skein of my handspun to cast on for a small project to keep around for sanity’s sake.

Burning Bush Cake

This is 4 oz of pure merino from Amy over at Spunky Eclecticthat I spun up to be a worsted weight 2-ply. I prepared the fibers so that it would be self-striping. I love how the colors go together.

I'm so weak

I’ve really had BSJ on the brain and when the finished yarn came off the wheel I knew these two were destined for each other. I’m hoping I can squeeze one full baby surprise out of this skein. We’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, I’m enjoying every stitch. Limited couch space and all.

These Things Knit Themselves

In other BT-related news, a knit-a-long has been started up for the Hemlock Ring Blanket. I’ve been absolutely overwhelmed at the response to this project, I’m glad to see so many wool flowers blooming all over the world already. If you’d like to join the KAL, visit the start page here and sign up. If you’ve been thinking about starting one of your own, I’m sure this will give you just inspiration (temptation) you need.

Sorry to drop by for such a short time – I hope to be back to regularly scheduled programming very soon. Enjoy the long weekend!

The Big Garter-Stitch Baby Wave is coming to pass… but not before these hot little booties get some blog action! Here’s a quick pattern that’s so cute it’ll get just about anyone’s biological clock ticking!

Saartje Booties III
 

Pattern: ‘Saartje’s Bootees‘ [PDF] (or via Ravelry)
Source: Saartje Knits
Materials: RYC Cashsoft 4-ply in ‘Spa’ (one partial skein)
Needles: US1/2.25mm
Buttons: 4 teensy iridescent ones cut from mussel shells

Started and Completed: June 2007

 

Saartje Booties II

No modifications on this pattern. This is a quick knit and the booties are TINY. From my virtually non-existent experience with babies, I’d say these are fit for an average newborn, although I made the larger size of the two listed in the pattern. The great news is that you could work these in just about any weight of yarn to fit babies of all sizes, colors and creeds! I sort of have an impulse to cast on in a super tweedy dk wool… but I think I should wait. It’s probably time to return to the world of adult knitting for a time, don’t you agree?

Saartje Booties I

And speaking of adult knitting (and more garter stitch), the Adult Tomten Jacket is DONE and let me tell you, it is a piece of work. I will do my best to serve it up this week sometime. I love it so much that I’ve already worn it several times, despite the summer heat and general ridiculous-ness of wearing a chunky garter-stitch sweater in July. In New York.

Thanks for all your vacation e-mails and comments. Oregon was, as usual, amazing and I’m sort of bummed about being home. We were stranded in Dallas for 30 hours coming home which was an absolute nightmare and also accounts for a very long and silent homecoming recovery. Things are pretty much back to normal now, so I should be hanging out around the ‘Tweed a bit more. Hope you all had a happy 4th of July!

Among the numerous and frequent moments of epiphany, gratitude and sheer awe inspired in each knitter by Elizabeth Zimmermann, none, I believe, is as poignant as the one experienced when you fold together your first BSJ.

Baby Surprise Jacket
 

Pattern: (the infamous) Baby Surprise Jacket
Author: Elizabeth Zimmermann
Source: The Opinionated Knitter, Knitting Workshop
Gauge: 5 sts per inch
Materials: Hello Yarn Handspun 2-Ply
Colors: “Trodden” and “Hunkered
Amount: 5.3 ounces/306 yds
Buttons: 5 Iridescent Shell buttons from M&J Trimming in midtown Manhattan; Five

 

Finished Measurements: 18.5″ Chest (Buttoned), 19″ from cuff to cuff, 11.5″ Height

Started: 7 June 2007
Finished: 9 June 2007
(Buttons Added 17 June 2007)

 

Baby Surprise Jacket (Back Detail)

I did this one pretty much exactly by the book – no modifications. I familiarized myself as best I could with just exactly what is going on with this pattern, and while I felt I was able to grasp the concept well enough – you really don’t get it until you do it. And do it again. This one is addictive!

Baby Surprise Jacket

Aside from the inspired pattern, joining it with such a special yarn really made this experience priceless. I knit this on the train ride up to Rhinebeck a few weekends ago. With the Hudson gliding by outside my window, I had one of those elevated knitting moments where everything comes together a little too well.

Baby Surprise Jacket (Button Detail)

The buttons were a perfect match – they’re shell buttons that reflect all the blues and purples of Adrian’s handspun. I originally planned on something a little more earthy, but when I saw these I changed my mind. I default to wood buttons too often anyway.

Baby Surprise Jacket

I’m stating the obvious, but this one gets a big, fat stamp of approval from me. I’ve already started scheming future versions from some of my more exciting stash bits.

We’re headed out to the Oregon Coast to camp for the next few days (!!!) so I’ll be away from e-mail. Despite being on vacation, I did recognize that this morning is Monday, which is usually not fun at all – I hope this little BSJ Offering rounds out the edges of the week jolting you back into reality. Happy Knitting!

Coming to you live from Portland with the first of two miniature EZ garments. There has been a whole lotta crazy surrounding this project – I had to dig into my archives to review its evolution from skein to sweater. Who knew something so tiny could brew for so long?

February Baby Sweater
 

Pattern: February Baby Sweater, aka Baby Sweater on 2 Needles
Source: Knitter’s Almanac by Elizabeth Zimmermann
Yarn: Sundara Yarn Worsted Merino Semi-Solid
Color: Pine over Yellow
Amount: 137g/240 yards worsted weight
Needles: US 8/5mm Addi Turbos
Buttons: marbled plastic, 5 purchased from M&J Trimming in midtown

 

Buttons!

I started the first version of this sweater last Fall but ran out of yarn sometime in October. Sundara gave me a generous fill-up in December, and I chose to restart the project on bigger needles (I was using US 6′s) in the new, slightly different dye lot. (There was a little snafu on the skein winder at this point) By February, I had two of these little things on my needles (fitting month for this, no?) and was on my way. I ended up finishing the knitting in March, showing you the almost finished item in May and finally got around to buying buttons and sewing them on last week. How’s that for long winded?

February Baby Sweater/Baby Sweater on 2 Needles (EZ)

Mods: I modified the ‘virtually seamless’ pattern into a completely seamless pattern using circular needles (rather than the suggested straights) thusly: Once you’ve reached the divide for the armholes, work the sleeves first from the top down, casting on underarm stitches and joining sleeves into the round (EZ has you work them flat). After sleeve knitting, begin again working the body from where you left it, picking up underarm stitches from the sleeve tubes when you get to them (rather than casting on underarm stitches on the body). No seams in the end (not even the tiny little underarm openings)! Other than that, everything was by the book.

Add this one to the ever-growing ranks of this wonderful pattern. I never tire seeing this little number popping up all over our knitting blog landscape.

Some Baby Things

Another EZ sweater is comin’ atcha in a couple of days. For now, it’s back to coffee and the dog on this beautiful summery day in PDX.

As knitters I think we’re constantly in a state of transience between our sense of inspiration (impulse) and our sense of duty. We swing back and forth, sometimes violently, between casting on for the next project which is sure to be absolutely perfect… ahem.. and that ne’er empty basket (or closetfull?) of half-finished projects whose days of divine inspiration have long since passed.

Well, I’ve spent the last week or two at the bottom of the barrel with my Works-In-Progress and, while I may have nothing terribly substantial to show for it, at least I feel like I’ve chipped away a bit at that compressed mass of wool that I so often try to ignore.

Most importantly, The Swisher has gotten some play. I was expecting to get more done on this in the last few days, but I picked up some last minute photo gigs that kept me in the city late into almost every evening last week. I did get some work done on it this weekend however.

A Sleeve Grows in Brooklyn
A sleeve grows in Brooklyn.

The body is complete (the fit is spot on!) and I’m almost finished with sleeve #1. Since I’m working top-down I’ve been able to try it on as I go. This sure takes a lot of stress out of the process. Not only is checking fit a more fluid process, you can really nail your length measurements. A perfect sleeve length is one of those things that really makes one sweater stand out above the others for me.

And at long last, the February Baby Sweater saga is coming to a close. I’ve finished the knitting and now just need to retrieve necessarily charming buttons for this one. You’ll get a full post with more photos and all the juicy details in the near future.

Needs Buttons and Blocking
Once again a down comforter works as an amazing stand in for baby.

I’m right on the brink of a wave of new projects that I’m itching to start. While I wait for new yarns to arrive in my mailbox, I’ll continue answering the call of duty with these old favorites. If nothing else to minimize guilt in starting what can only be called the Great Garter Wave of 2007. Stay tuned.

You all recall the little honeymoon phase I had with the February Baby Sweater from Knitter’s Almanac over the summer, right? And then the running-out-of-a-dyelotless-yarn moment when that honeymoon abruptly ended?

Well, Sundara hooked me up with a fill-up in December and this weekend I finally picked up this project again.

Twins

Yes there are two and no these are not for twins.

I debated on whether or not to just continue with the old sweater, striping in the new color with the old, despite a noticeable difference in ‘dyelots’. I knew I’d be bothered by that in the end. Especially since I now have enough of the new yarn to make a bigger, better version (I went up 2 needle sizes also, to play up the lace and to accommodate the baby’s current age. ehhhh…). Yes that’s right – I took the high road.

Twins

V1, pictured on the left, is how much you can get out of one 100g skein of worsted on US6′s. V2 on the right is using 200g on size 8′s and will have more than enough yarn. And now that my guilty conscience has been quelled, I can rip V1 and make a hat for myself with that beautiful yarn, being the selfish knitter that I am. (To be more truthful, the ripping occured late last night in a fit of inspiration.)

In case you’re wondering, I’m not only knitting for babies right now. I’m finishing up a couple things and then I’m setting my sights towards reinjecting some of my deflated Work-In-Progress sweaters with a renewed wintry vigor.

And because sometimes I can’t help myself:

Green Cake

Happy Monday, all.

Backed dangerously between multiple deadlines, some of which are knitting related, stress has begun to play its tricky little games on my well being. The moment I felt knitting becoming an obligatory task this week, and no longer my stress-free haven, I knew something had to be done.

Heedless of the limited number of hours remaining in the weekend, I dropped the complicated sweater project, brewed some coffee and scoured the stash in hopes of getting a yarn hit that would ease my mind. Turning to an old standby I grabbed two skeins of sock yarn, printed a certain free pattern (that I’ve had on the brain for a few weeks) and zoned out for a couple of hours in simpleton-knitter’s bliss.

Hello Bonnet
 

Project: Hello Bonnet
Pattern: Top-Down Bonnet by Adrian() at HelloYarn in the “Baby” size (16″) (Also available in Newborn, Child and Adult)
Materials: Sundara Sock in Shade 012 and “Chimney”, double stranded. Less than 1/2 skein of each. See a photo of both here
Needles: US 4/3.5mm aluminum Double Pointed Needles
Start and Finish: 10 February 2007

Modifications: None really, other than omitting the ears (although I was tempted) and the crocheted Totoro face.


Hello Tassels

Do you recognize the yarn? I used some of my leftover yarn from the Chimney Socks. In a sad attempt to look like handspun, I held together one strand of solid and one strand of hand-dyed. It looks nothing like the beautiful handspun creations over at Hello, but I’m pretty happy with the result.

Hello Bonnet
With no baby present to model, stuffing the bonnet with my down comforter seemed to work

This is a wonderful little project and a smart pattern. I loved it, and not coincidentally because it is so Zimmermann-esque. Adrian knows where it’s at. Worked top-down, it’s basically like working a larger version of a top-down toe. Do you have any leftover sock yarn? ‘Cause this one comes highly recommended.

Not a whole lot going on around here, other than this huge, red, seething pile of wool.

Pile o' Wool

I also got a Sundara fill-up last week, meaning the baby sweater that had been temporarily paralyzed is now free to be finished. Unfortunately, I probably won’t touch it for a couple of weeks (at least) (yes, I’m blatantly ignoring the fact that the baby was born 2 weeks ago). Although having the yarn around isn’t such a bad thing – my eyes are happy about it.

Sundara Fill-Up

Damn I love this stuff. I’ll definitely be making a sweater out of Sundara’s worsted sometime in the coming year. I’m predicting it to be one of those that you rarely take off.

It is now the weekend before Christmas (how?) – I know many a finger will be sacrificed in the name of gift knitting during the coming days. Please, don’t kill yourselves. Late hand-knitted gifts are way better than on-time ‘regular’ gifts after all.

I’m happily reveling in the cold weather. It seemed like such a long time coming and I’m glad to be wearing handknits in some way, shape, or form on most days. Since it seems like a big month for socks… and I know realistically I wont be knitting any this month (surprise surprise), I thought I’d at least let you know that I’ve actually been wearing my whopping one pair from the past year

Log Cabin Socks
log cabin socks from ‘handknit holidays’ in rowan cork
I hadn’t really been all that excited about these before. It turns out I’m not a big fan of thick wool socks (or thick-wool-anything for that matter. This statement is only 90% true). BUT, these have been great to wear around the apartment, especially when the barefeet hit that cold hardwood floor in the morning. I’ve even thrown them on with the birk clogs for work on some of the colder days. Scandalous!

Also, you may have noticed an air of silence shrouding the whole EZ baby sweater issue? Well, that’s because I’ve run out of yarn before finishing. I’ve run out of a dye-lot-less, hand-dyed yarn. And I like the project too much to tear it out and use another one. I knew I didn’t have enough from the start. I knew I’d run out… but I knit it anyway. So I can’t complain… but I’m weighing my options. I’ll be seeing Sundara in a week and a half when I go home to Seattle, so maybe we’ll figure something out together. If not, I’ll just use a contrasting color for the garter cuffs, and make a short sleeve sweater. It’ll drive me crazy that the garter yoke and cuffs will be different colors, but hey, I’m sure the baby will be a bit less judgmental. Here’s the most recent shot, although I’ve added about 4 or 5 more inches to the body since.

February Baby Jacket Progress

What will be the fate of you, little one? We’ll have to wait and see. Baby is due mid November, so I have some time to flounder. And it’ll take me all of 3 hours to finish once I get some yarn that works.