Saturday, January 25, 2014

Baby stuff goes so fast!

Since last time I've knit a lot, as I've discovered that baby clothes makes for very fast knitting. I started, and finished, an Abernathy cardigan, in Dream in Color Everlasting yarn (100 % superwash merino, 384 m/100 g) in the colourway Violet Hour, and Sanguine Gryphon Bugga! (70 % superwash merino/20 % cashmere/10 % nylon, 377 m/113 g) in the colourway Oleander Nymph:

The Dream in Color yarn I got from last year's Cookie A sock club, and the Bugga! was leftovers from a pair of socks I made in 2012 I think. I made the 3 months old size, and I opted not to make the button bands with intarsia and picked up for them once the rst of the body was finished instead. It was a fun, quick knit, but I have to admit that the Dream in Color wasn't the nicest yarn to work with. It's soft to the touch, but it feels a little bit stiff when working with it, and it is very loosely plied. I wouldn't trust it to make for durable socks! I have ordered some buttons from Etsy, but they haven't arrived yet so I'll show them once they get here.

I also made the matching Abernathy Cap, which took about two days to make, with the same yarn:

Some people seem to think that the purple is a bit girly, but we still don't know what gender our baby will have. I think that purple will work for both a girl and a boy, and fortunately it will be too small to contradict me!

Unfortunately, this last part of the pregnancy (only about 1.5 months left now!) includes lots of hormones, and my stomach does not react well to those so I've been home sick a lot. On Thursday I went to my doctor, and now I'm on sick leave until the baby comes. It feels good to not have to work any more, because I've been so exhausted, but I get a bit bored just being home. But at least that gives me lots and lots of knitting time! 

In between all the stomach issues I've worked a lot on my Mandala II shawl, as I would really love to have it finished before the baby arrives. I doubt I'll get lots of uninterrupted knitting time with an infant to take care of! I haven't gotten any new photos of that one though, as it is still so scrunched up on the needles. The sad part is that yesterday I ran out of yarn! I've now used up two whole skeins of Madelinetosh Tosh Lace yarn, which makes for over 1700 m! I have about 20 rows left on the last chart, plus the edging, so I've ordered one more skein from Eat.Sleep.Knit (I know that I'm not supposed to buy any more yarn, but the exception will have to be when I run out before I finish a project). I think it will take a few weeks to arrive though, so I don't know if I'll finish it in time. It's a fun knit, and I've really enjoyed knitting a bit of lace, but I don't think I should start a new shawl before this one is done. We'll see how long that resolve lasts!

The past couple of days I've been knitting on my socks instead, as I find that three pairs going at the same time might be a little bit much. I'm done with the first of the Zauberball Vanilla socks, and about halfway through the second one:

I thought that Zauberball was a striping yarn, but it is more of a gradient I guess. I don't think they will count in the stripey KAL challenge, but I don't mind that too much. The colours are pretty, and they've flown off the needles. 

Yesterday I picked up my Watermelon Slice socks instead, and finished the first one:

This is The Knitters Brewing Company sock yarn, and it isn't the softest, but I think they will make for almost everlasting socks! They feel nice on the foot, and they are so much fun! I've started the second one today, and as I'm spending so much time at home right now it should be done in a couple of days. 

Other than that I've gotten two yarn shipments in the mail since I wrote last, which were the last of the Christmas shopping. First, I managed to snag two half-skeins of sock yarn from Fibrofibers, in the Nightfall Fingering Sock base:

The colourway is called Deep Purple, and the yarn is 100 % superwash wool, 448 m/114 g. The way that it is dyed is that each skein is a single gradient from pure purple into black, which will make for two identical socks. I love this idea, and I've been stalking the updates for a while without getting any. This time I got one skein though, and I wasn't going to let such a boring thing as saving money stop me from getting it!

I also got three skeins of Chili Gredelin Madame lace yarn (55 % silk/45 % cashmere, 366 m/55 g), in the colourway A Blanket and Two Beagles:

I think that Madame might be my very favourite lace yarn, and I'm so happy that Kia has started up the business again. I won't be buying much from her this coming year though, but I was very happy that I had some Christmas money to spend on this. 

The last thing I have on my needles is the Stricken socks, but as I haven't touched them since I wrote last I have no new photos. I'll pick these up again soon, but I think I want to finish either the vanilla socks or the Watermelon socks first.

And I think that's it for this time. We're starting to prepare the house for the arrival of the baby, but I'll not go into that here. Let's just say that a baby needs so much stuff! We've been buying most stuff second hand, which is good for both our economy and the environment, and it's been a lot of fun looking for stuff online. At least that gives me a shopping outlet now that I'm not buying any more yarn!

/ Jenny

Monday, January 06, 2014

March is approaching...

So, it's a new year! Due to all the holiday days that we have off from work, I've only worked three days so far this year, which has been very nice. We spent New Year's Eve with a couple of friends and their 7 month old baby, Arvid, so we got a little practice for the future. It was very nice, we had some very good food and played a board game, and even though Arvid did NOT want to sleep, he was very cheerful and happy the whole evening.

A few days before New Year's I finished my Gnarled Oak cardigan, so I got to wear it to the dinner. It actually fits me very well right now, I can even button it if I strain it a little, so that makes me wonder how big it will be once the baby has arrived...

I really like it though, and I don't think I'll mind a bit of an over-sized cardigan anyway. It's made with Wollmeise DK yarn, so it's very nice and soft, and it was a fun knit too.

That left me with one single project on the needle, which is the Mandala II shawl. I've finished more than half of the last chart before the edging, but it has actually been resting for a couple of days now. You see, I've realized that March (and, hence, the baby) is coming soon, so I've started making baby stuff. These past few days I've finished a hat, a pair of booties and a pair of mittens...

These are the Kid at Any Age hat, the Dreamy Baby booties and the Easy Knit Baby mittens (although I changed that pattern quite a bit). I used the same yarn for all three projects, my skein of Tanis Fiber Arts Purple Label Cashmere Sock yarn that I got as the December shipment in the Cookie A sock club, and it really is super soft. All of these projects went super fast, as they are so small! Next up is probably some kind of baby cardigan, I just have to decide which yarn to use.

Once all those projects were going I also needed some projects for myself, so these past few days I've cast on for three different socks for myself. Maybe I went a little overboard... The first pair is a pair of Stricken socks, by Cookie A:

I'm using a skein of The Knitting Goddess sock yarn that I got in the 7 Degrees of Kevin Bacon sock club last year (I don't remember which month), in the colourway Where the Sun Doesn't Shine (which is from the Dark Shadows movie. I think it might be a little on the dark side for this pattern, but I'm still enjoying making them so I don't mind. It's nice to have a pair of semi-solid socks going again!

Next up are the Watermelon Slice socks that I got both pattern and yarn as a kit from The Knitters Brewing Company at the start of the summer. I decided not to use the beads that came with it, because I find beaded socks a bit uncomfortable to wear.

I'm enjoying these too, the pattern is pretty easy so I plan on using these as my coffee break knitting. The yarn is The Knitters Brewing Company Sock-aholic, in the colourways Watermelon Fizz, Sour Apple Twist and Heavy Cream. The yarn isn't the softest, but it should be very durable.

Finally today I started a plain vanilla pair of socks, in some self-striping Crazy Zauberball yarn that has been in my stash for a while, in the colourway Charisma:

I wasn't certain that I'd be able to remember the pattern for the Watermelon Slice socks at work, and I don't want to bring the pattern (I haven't printed it, it's only on my iPad), so I needed something really easy. I'm making them toe-up, so I can use up most of the yarn, and as the Stockinette Zombies are continuing the Stripy KAL for another year, these will probably be my January entry. I don't have twelve skeins of self-striping in my stash any more, and as I plan on not buying any more yarn for a while I don't think I'll be able to finish twelve striping projects this year too. But I'll make some and enter them as they are finished.

Oh, and speaking of yarn. I actually decided to spend a little bit of my Christmas money on yarn, as I found out that one of my favourite dyers, Chili Gredelin, has opened her store again! So first I ordered a skein of sock yarn, Cassiopeia (75 % superwash merino/20 % nylon/5 % stellina), in the colourway It's Oh So Quiet:

Then she did another update, and I got three skeins of her lace yarn Madame (55 % silk/45 % cashmere), but that hasn't arrived yet so I'll show it to you once it does. I think that my next lace project, once the giant shawl is done, will be in some Madame.

Ok, I think that's it for today. Lots and lots of knitting! I'll try to be back soon, but it's all depending on how well I feel. But now it's only two more months, then the baby will be here!

/ Jenny