Sometimes things don’t go according to plan

Today is my due date and it seems my son is enjoying himself way to much to come on out. If there's one thing I've learned about going into labor is that it can happen anytime, anywhere and "when he's ready." You just have to be open to the options and that things may not be according to "the plan".

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It's a good thing that this kid's mom is a knitter because I'm already open to times when things don't go according to plan. I love the idea of a blanket cardigan – an over-sized sweater that can be thrown on and wrapped all cuddly like. It was one of the knits I was dying to design at the onset of my pregnancy. I knew a sweater like this would be used and abused even through the first months of parenthood. But what may look like a great idea on paper may not totally translate well into a finished piece.

The yarn I used was a bit too bulky for this style of cardigan. The general weight of the finished piece was so great that when I shrugged my shoulders a few times it came falling off with ease.

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I also didn't like how the weight of the front pieces lifted the back and created a weird shape. One dear friend on FB even said it looked like I had a hunchback! (thanks for that David!) But he was right – it just didn't look right and thus needed to be RIPPED*.

While it stung to know that this may be one of the final pieces I got a chance to complete before bebe (and sleep deprevation) I knew I just had to make the modifications needed to make it a successful cardigan.

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I plan on keeping the texture and the shawl collar but will go for a more traditional cardigan route. As for the blanket cardigan – I won't give up on that dream! It will just have to wait for another round of inspiration to strike.

In the meantime I am doing all I can to help this kiddo realize it's time for him to arrive. Spicy foods, hanging curtains, dancing the jig 😉 We are so looking forward to meeting him!

*Rippage side note: I've realized that owning a steamer comes in handy in times like these. The yarn was so kinky after ripping I had to do the slow process of wet blocking the yarn. I attempted to try the kettle trick but that would have been a crazy way to spend a whole day straightening yarn. With the tip from a twitter friend I am now awaiting a new steamer delivery and hope to cast on for it's "cousin" soon!

What to Knit When You’re Expecting – Review & Giveaway!

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I am a bit behind on book reviews but I cannot NOT blog about this particular book before Baby H arrives!

It's Nikki Van De Car's What to knit When You're Expecting.

I got to know Nikki from my time in Hoboken, NJ while working (and playing) at Patricia's Yarns. I was so thrilled for her when she told me about her new book and I'm so happy to share it here.

The book starts out with some great tips on techniques and baby sizing sizing. I really enjoy the sizing part as I know I am trying to knit things that are seasonal and size appropriate. The book is cleverly divided into 3 sections called Trimesters.

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The First Trimester is filled with simple patterns including cute baby mittens, a beautiful honeycomb blanket and these SHORTS (so making those!), it's perfect for those first few months of getting into the pregnancy groove and if you're sick as a dog some simple stockinette is sometimes all you can concentrate with! (not to mention Pregnancy Brain!)

In the 2nd Trimester patterns get a little harder with striping and lace work. My favorites are the Tutu, Ike's Vest and the Autumn Leaves Sweater.

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Finally the 3rd Trimester section is brilliantly filled with quick knits! As you get closer to that due date you never know how much knitting you can get done. 

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The chicadee hat, time flies booties and the above Owl and Monkey pillows are my favorites here.

All in all a great pattern book that is filled with knits for not only your special one but for friends and family who are also expecting! 

I'm happy to offer a copy to one of my fabulous readers! Leave me a comment by Tuesday, Feb 26th.

Happy Knitting!

New Design: Sky Blanket

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My second knit for Baby H is this hexagon crib blanket which I call the Sky Blanket. When I was contemplating making him a blanket I knew I wanted it to be a bit out of the ordinary. After searching a few patterns on Ravelry and seeing some inspiring pins on Pinterest I fell in love with a hexagon style blanket.

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I decided to chose one color palate and have the colors "blend" from dark to light. After the initial sketch and finished blanket I really do love how it came out!

I even like the "wrong side".

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I am so happy to share the blanket love with you all

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Details:

Yarn: Plymouth Encore, 4 balls (one of each color) – I used Natural, Light Grey Blue, Nautical Blue and Navy.
Needles: US 8 (5.0mm)
Notions: Tapestry Needle
Notes: Each hexagon is knitted seperately and then seamed together. The edges are left "raw".

The pattern is sized for a crib blanket but once you get the hang of making the hexagons the size is up to you!  

Queue it up! or

 

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A cardigan for Baby H
New Pattern: Charlie Pullover

FO: Knitted Pouf

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It seems that part of my nesting is knitting things not only for my boy but for his room. I went to Michael's recently to pick up supplies for other crafty persuits and I couldn't help walking though the yarn section. I am a complete yarn snob but it doesn't stop me from looking at all yarns when I can.

That day there was a sale on the Caron Pound of Love. Now, to be being brutally honest I would never knit myself a sweater out of the stuff but a piece of furniture… well that's a completely different story!

I have always been a fan of the knitted pouf ever since I saw the pattern on the Pickles Knititng Blog.

While the pattern is rediculously simple (garter stitch), it is somewhat vauge. It gives you some finished measurements but no gauge. This is where my love of Ravelry comes in (yet again!). I checked out some pouf projects from other knitters and decided to CO 50 sts using 3 strands and US 15s.

I knitted until I ran out of yarn from the skein I pulled two strands from. The finished rectangle was about as long as I am tall – about 5 feet.

I stuffed two standard pillows and two quilt buntings in the pouf which made it pretty firm. 

As for sewing it up, since my gauge was tighter than the original I decided to pick up every 3rd row to cinch close and then pick up some other edges as I tightened. It made the closure not pucker as much as if I picked up every other row.

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Raveled here.

A cardigan for Baby H

Would you be shocked if I told you I have only knitted two things thus far for my darling son to be?

I totally thought I would be churning out knits after knits to the point where the kid would be set until he's 13 and "can't be caught dead in his mother handknits".

Well until then I get to put him in whatever I want. First of which will be this adorable cardigan from Sublime.

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I decided to make the newborn size which I realize he'll probably only get to wear once. He's due in March so time is limited before things get all hot here in New England.

I can't wait to be able to see him in his little mock elbow patches.

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The pattern is from a Sublime booklet #653. The pattern is called Gilbert

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Only a few more weeks to go!

xo

m

Little Leyla Violet

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It is so good to be a year old.  To be able to look this cute and not even realize it.

She loves her ball :-)

To be able to find happiness in a ball and squeel with delight and to be SO adoreable doing it!

I made this dress for a dear friend who helped me tremendously before my wedding.  I never got to photograph it with a model until today when we went out for a little photoshoot with her cutie daughter, Leyla.  She, dear friends, is a natural.  She was so calm and really knew how to work the camera.

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Pattern: Little Liza Jane (Ravelry Link)
Yarn: Rowan Calmer, 3 balls
Needles: US 8 

As for the dress, I used a heavier weight for this pattern but I think we can all agree that Calmer is like the absolute go-to yarn! It's got such great give and it's so soft.  It's really the perfect toddler yarn.

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Leyla enjoyed playing in the park and I enjoyed hanging out with her and her wonderful parents.

Leyla, you sure do know how to work it girl. 😉

You lookin' at my ball?

back to our regularly scheduled programming

First of all, thank you for all the lovely comments! My mom hasn’t stopped blushing.  I told her she truly needs to get back into business (She used to do that type of work for a living back when I was a wee one but went corporate when my bro and I chose to go to private high schools and colleges – another huge Thank You to Mom and Dad)  I keep telling her that she should start it up for her retirement.  We’ll see!! If she does you all will be the first to know.

Now to what you all came here for: knitting!

Striped Baby Vest

(sorry the pic is a bit blurtastic)  I’m working on a baby vest as a sample for the yarn shop in Hoboken.   (speaking of: Patricia’s Yarns has moved to a new street level shop! It’s SO different and such a great move for her.  So if you’re in the Hoboken area, OR in NYC and are doing a yarn crawl, hop over the Hudson and check out this little gem.  She’s got Koigu!)

It’s from Rowan Babies and I’m using several colors of the Rowan Handknit Cotton DK. The vest has many many stripes which I can’t decide whether or not to carry the yarn or simply cut each and every color.  I think the cutting would make a prettier seam but such a pain in the butt.   I’m also trusting that blocking will help out my already shady weavings-in so far.  I hope to finish this for her by the middle of the week.  That way I can guiltlessly work on cherie and taken from a suggestion from some comments… a little something for mama.

The something for mama will remain silent for now (she reads this blog… Hi mom!) but I hope to finish something for her b-day in July.  I’m thinking a lovely shawl from the Victorian Lace Today book…

I’ll leave you all with little something for Easter… I hope everyone has a peaceful day!

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