Nov 162015

I cannot believe that it has been 12 weeks since I last posted… 12 weeks since baby Milo was born.  12 weeks of maternity leave.  And 12 weeks since I cast on for this sweater.


I was working on the colorwork chart for this sweater during the last days of my pregnancy, something to keep me occupied while I restlessly waited for baby’s arrival. After the birth, which didn’t go at all as planned, I found comfort in casting on for this project – – my fingers ticking away, in a manner most familiar, while I navigated the unfamiliar and sometimes stormy experience of adjusting to motherhood.  And even though I grieved over the birth experience, I was so grateful for modern medicine and so grateful that baby and I were well. Even though I grieved over the birth experience, I realized that I had so much to be grateful for and this sweater became my gratitude project, with each stitch reminding me of the goodness, beauty, and love in my life.


The fit of this sweater is a bit off from what I had intended.  I knat this according to my pre-pregnancy measurements but my body is  different now.  I gained 45 pounds during my pregnancy (arguably, a bit more than is recommended) and since welcoming my large baby boy, my shape and size are different.  I’ve actually read that breastfeeding hormones encourage a woman’s body to increase her fat reserves to ensure that baby may receive plenty of nutritious milk.  As a result, this sweater is tight across my belly and bust but fortunately is stretchy enough to accommodate my form.


The yarn is Knit Picks Capretta (in cream) and Chroma (in Fossil) and I do intend to write up the pattern, though I cannot speak to when that might happen – – as my capacity for writing patterns revolves around baby’s naptimes, during which I also dash to complete other projects (such as laundry).


I return to work tomorrow, after 12 weeks of maternity leave.  While I am excited to resume some of my ‘old life’ of talking with colleagues and the projects of my Day Job, I know that it will be hard for me to leave my baby at day care. I hope that he has fun with his new baby friends and I hope that our time together becomes even more special.


Aug 152015

In my last post, I wrote that I probably wouldn’t have another project to show you until after baby arrived… but that was incorrect.  In the last week, I saw this pattern on Ravlery, bought it, cast on, and finished knitting it.


PatternRiemu by Suvi Simola

Yarn UsedNew Hue Handspuns BamHuey & Knit Picks Palette

Ravelry Project Page


Garter stitch and stripes.

Seriously, there was something about these last weeks of pregnancy when garter stitch and stripes were exactly what I needed to whittle away the time.


The Bam Huey yarn is something I picked up in 2011 at the Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival.  I’ve been so in love with the yarn that I have hesitated to knit with it, because the skein was so pretty.  This was a good project to showcase the yarn.


I still have almost half a skein left of that yarn, so I’m thinking of making a stripey baby sweater

Speaking of baby, yesterday was my due date and I am waiting patiently for baby to arrive.  This is me as of this morning, waiting patiently.  Waiting patiently….



Jul 032015

I recently finished knitting several soakers for baby using some stashed Cascade 220.  This is the Curly Purly Soaker pattern and it comes highly recommended by many a soaker-using mama.  I knat 3 soakers in size small and 3 soakers in the size medium.  Oscar the Bear is modeling one of the small sizes, along with a prefold.  What with having never so much as changed a diaper on a baby, I did a bit of practice on Oscar to try and get the geometry figured out.  Obviously, I assume that it will be a bit different on a wiggly baby.


Pattern:Curly Purly Soaker

Yarn: Cascade 220 (2 skeins teal, 1 skein fuscha, 0.5 skein pink)

Ravelry Project Page

All in all, these were very nice to knit.  Simple and straightforward knitting, which is perfect for an 8 month pregnant lady such as myself.


Here I am two weeks ago.  Baby is in the process of “dropping” and it’s becoming more and more uncomfortable to sit down.  Also, I’m trying to stay active but we’re having a heat wave out West and if I don’t get outside in the morning, before the heat hits, I don’t get out.  The heat is really making me feel like I’m going to pass out and die, so I stay inside most of the day, which is giving me a bit of cabin fever.


May 152015

For the past month, I’ve been enjoying some pure comfort knitting.  A simple pattern with beautiful yarn.


This is a cardigan that I designed specifically to accommodate my growing belly but should also be nice when my belly returns to size.


A-line shaping and pockets for a comfortable feel.


An undulating leaf and vine motif to symbolize growth and thriving.


It was a joy to knit and is a joy to wear.


Even though I feel huge, this sweater makes me feel beautiful.


Mar 042015

I recently finished knitting a “maternity capable” Lanesplitter for myself.  I have previously knit a Lanesplitter and LOVE it.  With my growing belly, however, I’m finding it increasingly more difficult to  dress myself in a stylish manner and still be comfortable.  My old and trusty Lanesplitter has recently become something that is simply too tight around around my belly to wear anymore.

So, I made a new version of the Lanesplitter, with the same yarn (because I love the colors!).  This version is quite a bit larger around and I added a folded hem waistband that I can cinch tighter (as needed) with an icord drawstring.  Additionally, while I am rarely someone who adds seams to my knitting, I actually knat this skirt in two main pieces that I sewed together at the sides, hoping for a bit more structure.


All in all, I am delighted with how it turned out.  The icord drawstring does add some more bulk around the waist, which I am not the most fond of with the already added bulk, but soon I anticipate filling out the skirt more completely to not even need to cinch the waistband tight at all.


I really want to knit more skirts.  I had always thought that knit skirts would sag and droop over time, but my old Lanesplitter still hangs very nicely, even after almost three years.  If you haven’t made yourself a Lanesplitter, I suggest that you do.  The pattern is a joy to knit and it’s great fun playing with a variegated or self-striping yarn.


Anyway, my 16 week appointment went very well earlier this week.  We were able to hear baby’s heartbeat loud and clear, and right on target.  Even though I don’t look big, I feel HUGE.  I only gained about 4 pounds during the first trimester but have gained another 4 pounds in the last month, all in my belly.  And I swear, half of that has just been in the last week!  These days, I’ll wake up in the morning and my belly will feel noticeably larger than when I went to bed.  Apparently, I’m at the time when baby is experiencing a big growth spurt and will double in size over a short period of time.


Mar 012015

Until recently, I had no idea that knitting for a baby would be such a joyous experience.  Everything is so cute and wee…oh my.


I just finished knitting several garter stitch baby cardigans.  Two of them have detaching front panels that you can change out and wash without having to change the entire sweater (I got this idea from the Presto Chango pattern) and the other is just a basic cardigan.  The smallest one is a 0-3 months size and the other two are 3-6 months, based off the baby sizing measurements of the Craft Yarn Council Standards.  They are all very basic, bottom-up, seamless, dolman sleeved cardigans.


Another great aspect of baby knitting is the opportunity for stashbusting.  I’ve had several skeins of Knit Picks Comfy (which is a very soft cotton blend yarn) in my stash for years… Unfortunately, when knitting for myself, I prefer wool.  But soft cotton seems like it would be absolutely perfect for baby! The yellow colorway is Crème Brulee and the orange is Sweet Potato (though, I think that color has been discontinued, but the colorway Carrot looks pretty similar).  I kept knitting with the Comfy until there was none left – – on the sweater below, I had to finish up the back with a different yarn, but I don’t think baby will mind.


Obviously, I went a little bananas with the stripes, but hey, I love stripes.

Actually, the other day ago, Josh and I went to one of the local baby consignment stores (mainly to satisfy our curiosity, not that we were planning on buying anything) and I ended up buying baby’s first onesie, which has some very stylish stripes.  Clearly, our baby is going to be very stylish and well-coordinated!


I also recently finished knitting a maternity-capable skirt for myself, which I hope to photograph and show you soon, but I’m wondering what my next project will be.  I think maybe I should cool it on the baby knitting but it’s so satisfying and addictive.  I recently scored a couple of beautiful skeins of the Knit Picks Hawthorne (which is a handpainted superwash wool blend) and I feel an overwhelming desire to knit baby a colorwork cardigan.  Even though it’s in Norwegian, the Bergen Baby pattern is really calling to me!


Tomorrow morning is our 16 week appointment and I am looking forward to finding out if everything is going as it should.  My instinct is that it is, but there is always a small part of me that worries about stuff I cannot control.

Feb 022015

For my New Year’s post, I indicated that Josh and I are embarking on a new adventure this year.  To accompany our new adventure, I’ve knit up some cute items for our little kumquat.  Actually, I am officially 12.5 weeks along and the little kumquat has grown to the size of a lime.  I had an appointment this morning, and we were able to see a very active acrobat for a baby, along with a heartbeat, and I’m now ready to officially announce!


I started my knitting for baby in November with some booties. The pattern is Closeknit’s Striped Baby Bootie pattern.  A few years ago, I made several booties from this pattern for a friend’s baby, and she said that my booties were the only ones to stay on baby’s feet.  I made several pairs in a variety of sizes, using scrap sock yarn.


And here are some wee mittens for baby.  The pattern is Fingering Weight Baby Mittens and I think it’s a nice, simple design.


Oh yes, and baby needs a few knit hats!  Pattern is the Norwegian Sweet Baby Hat, modified to be in garter stitch because babies deserve garter stitch.  Even though one of these hats contains pink and some of the booties contain blue, right now we’re not planning on finding out the sex of baby and, regardless, I think that a boy baby can wear a pink hat and a girl baby can wear blue booties.


These were all great patterns for me to work on the past three months (I actually cast on for the booties the day that I got my positive test result!) because I have had so little energy and mental focus.  They were so easy to just pick up and knit a bit, without having to do any thinking or paying attention to what I was doing.  And each one knat up so quickly that it felt satisfying to get so many cute little FOs.

I have to say, the first trimester was pretty rough.  Anxiety, exhaustion, bloating, exhaustion, constipation, exhaustion, nausea, as well as complete and utter exhaustion.  It wasn’t until 7 weeks when I finally realized that my body just needed to sleep for 10-12 hours every night and have 40 naps every day, so I just let my body rest as much as it felt like and refused to feel bad about what a blob I felt like.  Though, I should get a prize, because despite the sheer exhaustion, I was able to exercise almost every single day of my first trimester.  Of course, most days all I could manage was a hike and some yoga, but I did a bit of running when my tummy felt up to it and I rode my stationary bike a few times each week.

And, OMG, I’ve been so bloated!  At 9 weeks, some person I didn’t know actually came over and touched my bloated belly and commented on my “baby bump,” which at that time was just gas.  Really really bad gas.  Awkward!

But then I hit 10 weeks, and instantly felt better.  I no longer needed a ridiculous amount of sleep and rest everyday – – I felt energetic and could function for an entire day without needing 500 naps.  The nausea completely went away and the bloating became more reasonable.

Baby is due in the middle of August and I am concerned about being 7-9 months pregnant during the heat of summer, when we can get temps around 110 F (and we don’t have air conditioning at our house).  However, I am very excited to have a summer baby!

Anyway, you should expect to see a lot of knitting and sewing baby related projects coming through over the next many months.  And if you’re at all interested in pregnancy details, I may or may not post about that from time to time over on my personal adventure blog.

Nov 132014

With an “Arctic Blast” happening around my home right now, I am suddenly reminded that winter is approaching fast and, with it, opportunities for my loved ones to appreciate my knitting hobby, in the form of handknit gifts.  Some of you may remember last year’s Indie Designer Gift-A-Long and may be excited that it is happening again this year!


The Gift-A-Long  (click on the above logo for more details!) starts tonight (Nov. 13th) at 8pm EST and kicks off with a pattern sale and a knit or crochet gift-a-long.  And there are TONS of prizes.

The pattern sale starts tonight at 8pm EST and goes through the 21st.  Participating designers are offering a selection of their patterns at 25% discount using the promotional code “giftalong2014″ when checking out on Ravelry.  For a list of participating designers, click here.  Even though most of my patterns aren’t very “gifty,” I do have a bundle of things on sale – – click here to see my sale bundle.


I’m planning on casting on for several gifts and participating in the A-Long!  I’ve so far managed to whittle my wish list down to about 400 patterns, so I need to spend a bit more time making my list a bit more achievable.  Cast on starts at 8pm tonight, so I still have several hours to decide on what pattern to start with and select my yarn…  And to be clear, the pattern sale ends on the 21st, but the A-Long goes until the end of the year.  So, plenty of time to make gifts, win prizes, and have fun with the chatting and various games being offered!


Oct 292014

My obsession with socks has recently rekindled, not coincidentally with the arrival of cooler weather and the need to warm up my feet.

A new pattern for me but with over 10,000 projects on Ravelry, I figured there must be a reason that this Jaywalker pattern is so popular.


And now I know.  If you are like me and you enjoy patterns that are fun to work and result in socks that are well-fitted but easy to don and doff, with possibilities for fun and exciting details, then this pattern is for you!


I modified these to be toe-up - notes on Ravelry.  And I intend to make one hundred million more pairs.



Jul 022014

I finished the second knitting of my Almond Pullover this weekend and I love it!  What a difference knitting the correct size made.  (As a reminder, I originally knit this in the wrong size.)

Pattern: Almond Pullover by atelier alfa
Yarn: Knit Picks Gloss and Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball
Needles: US 6
Modifications: Stripes along the yoke and one sleeve, turned hems instead of garter stitch, circular neckband (with turned hem) instead of buttonband and garter stitch
Ravelry Page: Link!

This is an awesome pattern and the sweater was so much fun to knit!  The sweater is knit from the top-down, starting at the sleeves, and then there are a lot of increases to form the yoke.  The pattern designer is a graphic designer in real life and has included a lot of diagrams to help clarify the unique construction of this sweater.  I saw that some of the test knitters for this pattern worked the yoke in stripes and I felt the stripes nicely showcased the  construction.  My contrast yarn was a fingering weight, so I held it double to achieve gauge.  I only had enough of the contrast yarn to work the yoke and one sleeve in stripes, but I love the way it turned out!

The way that this sweater is constructed, each shoulder is similar to the toe of a sock when worked from the toe-up.  As a result, there is a bit of a pucker along the cast on (I used Judy’s Magic CO rather than the recommended Turkish CO, so that may have made a difference).  Also, my finished sweater is narrow in the shoulders.  I have narrow shoulders so this works out for me (though, I did give the sweater a severe blocking to try and widen them), but I’m not sure this sweater style would fit well on someone with wide shoulders.

Overall, I’m delighted with how this sweater turned out.  I’m still not sure how I managed to knit the wrong size the first time but I’m glad that I decided to frog the first finished sweater and knit it again, in the correct size (the first time I knat this, I knat a smaller size, which was 3″ smaller in circumference around the bust!)

I also love my yarn combination!  The two yarns compliment each other nicely and I like how the contrasting yarn is a self-striping yarn, giving my stripes added interest.  I also like that this was a good stashbusting project for me, as I had had these yarns in my stash for YEARS.