(Not my) knitting.

So, I made myself a rather foolish bargain. Since the one-nap system began there hasn’t been a lot of computer time, so I told myself that I had to take photos and list my stash of Craigslist stuff before I could put up another blog post. That took until, ah, yesterday, and now here I am. (Happily, three things sold right away, although I’m guessing that the rest will linger for quite a while. And since the desk unexpectedly sold immediately I now need a new piece of furniture to put the stereo on. Oops.)

I have some lovely knitting to show you, it just happens to not be mine. These pieces are by the clever and talented Ali Tong.

Sweater by Ali Tong.

My mother-in-law commissioned a new sweater for Camilla, and here it is. (I told Ali not to put buttons on…I like to pick those out myself.)

Who, me? Cute?

In addition to the sweater, she also knit me a cabled had as a swap for some art.

Hat by Ali Tong.

Got to love the way you don’t look pregnant in a head shot.

Naturally it looks better on her.

Camilla loves putting hats on, so I let her try it as well.

Probably shouldn’t have, since of course it looks cuter on her.

Love the cables.

It’s going to be a while before I am confident enough as a knitter to attempt cables, so for now I will just enjoy the fact that I have talented friends.

Here’s hoping that we get one more little cold spell so I can wear this before next fall…

A hat for Eliza.

This is another belated baby gift that I need to send asap since it’s not going to fit for long!

A hat for Eliza.

The pattern is simple newborn hat with a touch of lace, which I found (of course) on Ravelry.

It’s a really pretty little pattern and fairly easy.

Which is why I have no excuse for the amount of trouble it gave me.

I started out on size 3 needles, which ended up being just too big for the yarn. I messed up on the lace pattern once with those and once with 2s, so by the time the third try came around I used a stitch marker after every repeat. Sheesh. I guess I lose count really easily at 10 pm. With the markers everything went okay, although I can see a lot of problems with my tension on the plain old stockinette stitch. Fortunately, the very small recipient is unlikely to care.

Here it is again, modeled by the ever-patient Baby.

It turns out that I have about 3/4 of a skein of the yarn left over, so I’m going to try to eke a small short-sleeved cardigan for Camilla out of it. I had something else lined up, but the spring colors are whispering my name and really, why should I resist?

A hat for Coen.

I finished this little number while we were driving up and down the beach on our glorious Monday holiday. It is really really nice here in northern Florida, people. Like, 75+ degrees nice. Open the windows, go outside whenever you can, soak up the sunshine nice. The only problems with this kind of weather are (a) my feet have started to swell a little and (b) it’s impossible to stop a little part of your brain from constantly calculating: if it’s this warm in February, how hot will it be in June?

But back to the hat. I used the Pixie Hat Debaser pattern on Ravelry. Since I’m knitting quite a few baby hats at the moment, I thought I’d work my way through a couple of simple patterns for variety’s sake.

Coen's pixie hat (modeled by Ezekiel).

I think this one is pretty darn cute, although only marginally big enough — Ezekiel, my kind and sleeping model, is about seven weeks older than Coen. Which is why I’m going to send it, like, tomorrow.

Aww. I’m feeling that baby envy again, which is another reason why it’s good that I’m pregnant.

The reason I wanted to try it on a real live baby is that, when I finished the hat, it didn’t automatically look that cute. See? I also wasn’t confident at all about the size. I started casting off where you see that faint line near the back and then decided it looked too short. Turned out to be a good decision, as it’s only marginally deep enough as-is.

Some other project notes: I cast on 84 stitches of Rowan 4 Ply Soft, which felt lovely on the skein and got great reviews on Ravelry but about which I wasn’t that crazy. For some reason, I found it really easy to both drop stitches and to pick up a stitch by accident because of the ply. I used size 2 bamboo dpns, but when I use the yarn again I will switch to size 3s in metal. I love bamboo needles, but I think they encourage me to knit very tightly. The yarn looks lovely in the end, though. Great stitch definition and a bit of sheen. Which is a good thing, because it was on sale and I still have 1.5 skeins to do something with…

A sweater for Baby.

I worked very hard to finish this last weekend, but then (of course) didn’t get the chance to blog about it until today. Here it is: my first sweater!

Baby's new sweater.

You have no idea what this has done for my knitting confidence. Up till now, I’ve mostly knitted in straight lines and almost never from patterns. You can do a lot of hats and scarves that way, but I wanted a real garment.

I used the Green Zebra Baby Sweater pattern which I found on ravelry. I was just looking for a basic, slightly girly sweater so I let the yarn do the striping all by itself. The stripes on the original are adorable, but I’m thinking about making this again in plain white or cream for the new baby since I like the way it fits.

I made one buttonhole somewhere but since the yarn was so fine it was too small for a decent button and I decided to skip the rest. I might add a loop and a big button at the top to cover the extra seed stitch row I added by mistake. Oops.

It’s pretty obvious when I look at it that this is a first-try sweater. I’ve been toying with knitting as a hobby that, unlike many others, can be carried out here and there and not just crammed into naps or nights. Half a row here, two rows there…something where you don’t have to set aside everything else in your life until you finish. (Sewing and art projects tend to, ah, take over.) The only catch is that it means that I have to pick a pretty easy pattern without a lot of counting. I made a few goofs on this sweater because I was trying to multi-task, so in the future I know to save the top for a time when Camilla is sleeping. (Oh, I also learned that I need to confine my kitchener’s stitch to underarms only, because nobody needs to see how messy it is.)

I had already knit Baby’s hat (and of course you remember the dress), but it bothered me to no end that it was too short. Plus, it kept popping off and I spent a lot of time answering the request to “hep! hep!” put the hat back on. So, I picked up some stitches and added the earflaps.

Baby's improved hat.

Hah hah, Baby — who’s taking your hat off now?

If I was really going to be thorough, I suppose I ought to knit her some little booties as well. But you know what? Baby is only a doll, and her feet don’t really get cold. So I’m going to call it quits with the doll projects for now and finish the baby hat I have on the needles. At last count, I back-owe gifts to at least three babies (I’m thinking hats) plus a hospital hat for my own Junebaby and some sweaters. That ought to keep me busy for a while.