Saturday, April 1, 2017

Little Baby Things


I have made very, very few things for the baby. As a maker, I feel a little bit bad about that, but at the same time, I had no space to sew for the majority of my pregnancy (our apartment was little and sucky), and also, I admit that I don't really see the point in sewing baby clothes when they a) spit up and poop on them, then b) grow out of them in about 6 minutes. Two things I did make: a little quilt and an even littler blanket.


I got a charm pack of Moda fabrics in Bismarck, North Dakota when we were there at Christmas. I've never used a charm pack before but it was actually really great. Cutting out pieces for quilts is my least favorite part of quilting, so it was super nice to have that done already. I ordered a bit of white-ish coordinating fabric to go with all those bright colors and made half-square triangles. Then I looked at Pinterest until I liked something, and bam. Baby quilt. It's the perfect size for tummy time or just as a mat on the floor. I'm not sure it's big enough to be used as a napping quilt or anything, but that's ok. I still like it.


I knitted this baby blanket on autopilot. I don't know what my thought process was like, but I must have been pretty mentally worn out when I knitted this because it's tiny. Like... almost unusably tiny. I had more yarn, so that's not the problem. I don't know. Whatever. I'll give it to the baby and we'll see what happens.

The pattern is Umaro by Jared Flood and I've had it in my Ravelry library for years. Probably six years. The yarn is Knit Picks Brava bulky and I got it during the Cyber Monday sale this past year. I'm not sure why. Must have been cheap. I do love the color, but I generally don't knit with 100% acrylic. Ah well. Now it's a tiny baby blanket.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Winner and a baby!

Well, you guessed it, I had the baby. Elaina James Ringelman was born on Wednesday, March 8th at 6:40 am after about 11 hours of really, really hard labor, including an epidural that didn't work. So fun. She's got a full head of hair and is totally adorable. I have no idea which way is up but I'm sure I'll figure it out eventually.

Book winner! Thanks for all the advice, mamas. My random number generator, ie my husband, says that #2 is the winner, so I'll be contacting Lee on Ravelry. Thanks all!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

New Knit Picks Pattern and Giveaway!


Nearly a month ago (oops) I had a new pattern in the Knit Picks collection called Briar Rose. It's nine lovely patterns that are all sort of cottage-y, like something that would be in the living room in a fairy tale house. My pattern is the Ruffled Pillow, and it's pretty easy. It uses seven colors of Palette (which if you're like me, you've totally got that lying around in your stash.) It's a stockinette pillow base worked in the round, and simple ruffles that you knit then sew onto the front of the pillow.


I have an extra copy of the book. Want to win it? Leave me a comment about this pattern, or the collection, or how happy knitting makes you, or give me some advice about having a baby, because this thing is coming out in the next 18 days whether she wants to or not. I'll pick a winner at random on or around March 7th (I say around just in case the baby comes before then) and I'll send off the book so you can knit your own fairy tale living room decor. Please don't forget to leave me a way to contact you if you win!

Quick life update: We are back into our house after the flood last August. We're the only people living on our street so far, which is sort of eerie, but good I guess? But at the same time I feel guilty that we get to live in our house and no one else does. We totally got priority because of my pregnancy, so I shouldn't feel bad at all, but women. We're weird.

My due date is March 11th, so if I go radio silent for awhile that's why. I *fingerscrossed* hope that this baby is easy so that I can still knit, sew, blog, tweet, whatever, but who knows and we'll see. Eeeee!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Ultimate Labor of Love


What started as a silly idea based on a targeted Facebook ad is now reality. I'm so proud of this sweater. I sketched out a basic idea, ordered some yarn that I thought would be the right colors, and pretty much just knitted by the seat of my pants, charting the next section when necessary. I'm pretty sure that my success is due more to blind luck than anything, and I don't think I could pull off something like this again.

But- I did! And I love it! The Star Wars Sweater was my husband's Christmas present, and he loves it too. It's a bottom-up circular-yoked pullover. Not my usual method for constructing sweaters, but I thought it would be the best option given that I was flying blind and had charted nothing before casting on. I started with the sleeves. He said he wanted a section of plain sleeve in the middle, so I thought that the sleeve would be a true gauge swatch- some colorwork, some stockinette. At the bottoms of the sleeves I just did some simple patterning. Up around the biceps I did stormtroopers! I stranded the stormtroopers, then came in with duplicate stitch for the darker parts. Much easier than either stranding with three colors or doing intarsia in the round on a small circumference.


The body was a little more complex. He wanted two things: alternating rebel alliance and imperial symbols, and a tie-fighter/X-wing battle in front of the Deathstar. Ok, no big deal. (Internal panic.)

I learned how to do intarsia in the round for the symbols around the bottom. It's a handy technique to have in your back pocket, but I don't think I'll be making a habit out of doing it. That section took me longer than anything else to knit. So many tiny balls of yarn, constantly getting tangled. I reminded him several times of how lucky he is to have a wife who would tackle such a project.

For the fight scene, I taped together a bunch of graph paper and sketched out what I wanted it to look like, then converted that to stitches, colored everything with colored pencils, and knitted the crap out of that section. I love it. It has perspective, and depth, and it's just cool. Luckily he wanted the back of that section to be just plain, so I got a tiny break. I worked that portion in intarsia in the round, as well.

After all that intarsia the yoke was easy. Simple patterning, stranding with two colors, done. I played a bit of yarn chicken with the navy but I won. Good thing too, because I didn't finish this sweater until we were already at my parents' house for Christmas. Had to do the finishing and blocking two days before Christmas. He really wanted to wear the sweater to go to see the new movie, and of course he wanted to do that before Christmas day, so I had to employ a complex series of fans and drying racks to get it dry before the movie. Also, that navy yarn ran dye like you wouldn't believe. Luckily I had a stack of color-catching laundry sheets, and I think that prevented any bleed onto the white yarn. I would have cried so hard if the whole thing ended up vaguely blue, after all that work.


I'm thinking of writing this up as a pattern. I charted all of those designs myself, and dang it I worked hard on this, so I want other people to be able to knit one, too. Thoughts? I think it will be a LOT of charting, since all of mine are on graph paper still. But I'd really love to see more of these in the world.

Details: I used Cascade 220 for the navy and the lighter blue. It took 4 skeins of navy. The white, light gray, dark gray, red, and green are Knit Picks Wool of the Andes. WotA is slightly thinner than 220, but not enough to make a difference in the finished sweater.

Chest is about 38", so I think this would be a Men's S/M.

Monday, January 2, 2017

New Design in I Like Knitting!

Just popping in quickly to say that I started out 2017 on the right foot with a design published the very first day of the year! My Hearts & Arrows Hat is in the February issue of the digital magazine I Like Knitting.


While this hat does say "let's all celebrate Valentine's Day" a bit to me, you could easily make it less so by using a monochrome palette, or maybe using a variegated sock yarn for the hearts? I think there are a lot of options here. 


It's written for three sizes of adult heads. The pattern is fairly easy to work if you're familiar with stranded colorwork. 

Yarn is Cascade 220 Fingering. The hat uses less than one skein of each color, making it both economical and a great use of leftover fingering from other colorwork projects!

Check it out on Ravelry here