Woollen offerings

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As promised, here are some pictures of recent post-blocking knitting triumphs. And a re-knit.

So, baby number 1 was born in July, and another is on the way at the beginning of November.  I’m generally quite a quick knitter when I get down to it, but I rarely have time to sit and knit (although I’ve been making time to sit down in front of Downton Abbey recently…) So I decided for the first baby it would probably be best to make something for a 6-9 month baby, in case I really didn’t find the time. As it happened I did find the time, so the parents were presented with something she’d just have to grow into (hey, it’s better than something she’d just grown out of!)

Taken from this pattern by Sam Lamb, I love the simplicity of this. It’s good to put on top of a long-sleeved shirt for extra warmth, and the buttons make it easy to put on and remove (at least, I’d imagine they do, not having any immediate experience baby matters.)

I knitted it with “Lang Yarn” (I love this brand, although I don’t think it’s available in England,) in their “Seta Tweed” range. 75% silk, 25% cotton, the colour is listed as red, but it’s definitely on the dark-pinkish side of red. Normally I don’t like pink that much, particularly the stereotype that “pink is for girls, blue is for boys.” But I had decided on red, and it was the nicest colour I could find at short notice. Actually I was quite happy with the out-come, it’s not mind-numbingly pink like some little girls’ clothes that are on the market.

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I had more time for the other baby, I’ve known that it’s coming for a long time, so I’ve had plenty of time to get my needles going.

I started this cardi a long time ago, and apart from some mothy problems with one sleeve, it’s turned out pretty well. I haven’t decided on buttons yet, it’s quite pretty, but with the right buttons it could do for a boy as well. Which is lucky, because the parents aren’t letting on as to what flavour the little one is. It was a pretty simple knit, no seams to worry about as it’s knitted with a raglan construction, so the sleeves just come straight out of the body, rather than knitting them separately and having to sew them on later. I used “Sublime Yarns” in “Extra Fine Merino DK” I really liked the colour in the original picture on the ravelry pattern, and this was the closest I could find to that.

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The second item is similar to the first baby vest top, with a nice little ribbed detail and stripes on the body, (and knitted in new-born size.) It has the same idea with the buttoned shoulder which makes it easier to remove, and adds a nice detail. I used the “Merino S120” from Lang Yarns, in a lovely dark autumnal orange as the main colour with dark grey for the stripes.

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And the last thing was a bit of an impulse-knit. Sometimes you just want a quick project for some wool you’ve found and impulse-bought. This is Griginasco wool “Australia”. The little elfy-hat comes from this pattern, and I like the defined decreases, which give the simple shape of the hat a bit of interest without making it complicated. I also like the detail of the brim, which is knitted in reverse so that it stands out from the stockinette stitch. It had a tendency to roll up though, so I had to block it twice to get it to stay flat.

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So, apart from Baby clothes (which are so fun to knit, nice and quick so you can see the results of your work without having to wait too long.)I’m also knitting a super-simple scarf in plain old garter stitch (so I don’t have to think too much,) with lovely autumn colours in the same wool as the orange and grey baby vest. I went into a lot of wool shops looking for colours for the scarf, which based on some of these lovely creations by sandra juto. I’m knitting it on pretty big needles, so it’s not very thick. The ones that she makes go around the neck twice, but I think for the sake of warmth, and on account of the impending Swiss Winter, three time around would be more prudent. Besides, it means I can play with colour combinations for longer :)

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And the last on my list of knitted treasure tonight is a hat that I made this time last year. I’d made the same hat in bright red, from this pattern, 3 times in previous years, and lost them all. So when I lost the most recent one (I think it was on a plane back from Denmark,) I decided it was time for a change, and I went for this lovely simple pattern, which my college friend had made. It’s very simple, knit in the round in garter stitch, which means you have to swap from knit to purl or vice versa every round. And this leaves a nice little “seam” up the side (or back, or front, depending on where you want to position it on your head.) The difference between the brim and the “body” of the hat is just a change in needle sizes, so that the brim of the hat sits snug around your ears and keeps them nice and warm :)

So I knitted this hat, following the pattern like a good knitter. But it seemed to be getting very big. I proceeded heedless, and ended up with a hat I loved, but that was very floppy. My father said it looked like a Snap Crackle and Pop hat. As modelled here:

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Later, I made a smaller one in grey-blue that was also smaller in diameter so that I could wear it climbing without it falling off my head every time I looked up to see how close to the top I was.
And then my sister asked me to make her one. (What an honour! My fashion-conscious sister wants to wear one of my hats!) I made this one a cross between my two hats. Not too tight around the ears, but not so long that it was really floppy.
Typical. The perfectly-proportioned one went to my sister, while I was left with the two that sit just either side of those perfect proportions.
In the spring I promised myself that, in the summer, when I didn’t need it, I would un-knit the top half and re-knit it shorter. A good six months later I realised that autumn was well under-way and the hat remained floppy.
So, last night, in a burst of motivation, and to put off doing anything useful, (like negotiating the Swiss Post bank site to pay some bills,) I sat down with the episode of Downton that I’d been putting off for a while (because I knew what was going to happen, and that it would make me cry) and ripped out the top half of the hat, put it back onto needles and knitted until the tendon of my left ring finger hurt.

So, here is the new, freshly-shortened version. In Patons “Washed Haze” in teal. (This is discontinued, more’s the pity, because I love it. I used the same in “spice” which is an orangey-red to make a jumper a few years ago, which turned out huuuuge. I still wear it though. At home. :) )

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And now, those bills won’t pay themselves!

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