Thursday, September 17, 2009

A warm blankie for the newt

It didn't take long to finish the newt's blanket and, since I finished it on a sunny day, I dunked it in the sink and spread it out on the patio to block in the sun. It was dry and ready to photograph in no time.
yip016 - the newt's blanket
Pattern: Baby Chalice Blanket by Lykkefanten
Materials: 3 skeins of Green Label Tanis Fiber Arts in Spearmint
Needles: US 10.5/6.5 mm
Started: August 29, 2009
Finished: September 16, 2009
Raveled here

Mods: I cast on an extra 20 stitches for two more pattern repeats after reading that the blanket is rather narrow. I wanted to end up with a square blanket and I accomplished that.
The newt's blanket
I really like the way this turned out. It's really soft and squishy and will be nice and warm this winter. The lace pattern is pretty and simple, and the colour! I'm a fan of turquoise.

And I seem to be forcing my colour preference onto the unborn. I whipped up a little snuggly swaddler for the newt on Sunday from a turquoise Echino damask and white flannel. The pattern is from Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing for Baby. Very smart design -- you stick the baby's feet in the bottom pocket and wrap the two velcro-ed flaps around the baby. I hope it works!
Baby Burrito
I learned an important lesson whilst sewing this. Now that my body is changing, I need to stop cutting my fabric on the floor and move to a table. I had an awful backache after spending an hour or so plunked down on the floor and bent over my cutting mat. Ouch!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The newt will not be short on handknits

The parade of baby knits continues chez words starting with "p." In a fit of nesting, I've been churning out the handknits at a steady clip.

First up, the cardigan that every baby born to a knitting mama is required to have: the BSJ.
Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann
Source: The Opinionated Knitter
Materials: less than one skein of Fleece Artist Trail Socks
Needles: US 4/3.5mm
Started: August 5, 2009
Finished: August 12, 2009
Raveled here

No mods. Brilliant design. What more can I say?

I had some yarn left over, so I knit some booties (which I've somehow neglected to photograph) and an elf hat.
Stella Pixie Hat
Pattern: Stella Pixie Hat by Kristen Rengren
Source: Vintage Baby Knits
Materials: bits of Fleece Artist Trail Socks and Koigu KPM
Needles: US 4/3.5mm and US 3/3.25 mm
Started: August 24, 2009
Finished: August 29, 2009
Raveled here

The only problem is that the newt will never be able to wear the matching set at the same time . . . unless he/she has a really, really humongous head and a wee little body. I realize babies have big heads, but I hope (for my own sake) that the newt has a normal-sized cranium.

Since I'm having a winter baby, a woolly hooded sleeping bag would be nice, no?
yip011 - Thank you Gramie!
Pattern: Hooded Carrying Bag by Debbie Bliss
Source: Essential Baby
Materials: a little more than 4 skeins of Wool Gatto by Lana Gatto in Brick
Needles: US 7/4.5 mm
Started: June 30, 2009
Finished: September 7, 2009
Raveled here

I finished knitting this long before September 7, but it languished in the knitting basket for a while whilst I contemplated sewing in a zipper. I knew I wouldn't be able to do it on the sewing machine because garter stitch is so stretchy and my sewing machine is a little too "basic," and my hand sewing skills leave a little to be desired. My Gramie, however, is a very talented and well-rounded crafter. I figured she might even want to put a zipper in the bunting since it's for her first great-grandchild. She happily took on the project until she, ahem, realized that it was probably the most frustrating sewing task she's even undertaken. I'm so sorry, Gramie! But I'm really glad I didn't try to do it because she did a flawless job. The newt thanks you.

Jesse and I were at The Loop a few weeks ago and, while ogling some yarn, I asked, "Will our baby need a handknit blanket?" He said, "Of course." I bought some delicious, squishy merino. I have the best husband ever.
yip012 - knitting in bed
I have about seven rows left on the blanket and then I have to figure out where I'm going to block the darn thing. Oh Annie. Why did you have to move away and leave me without a decent blocking space?