She Knits: Squirt’s Vest

This was a fun knit, and I found a new designer to “follow”.

Progression Info
Started – December 8, 2017
Completed – January 10
Duration – 33 days = 4.7 weeks

I put this down for several days at a time.

Pattern Info
Sigga by Sanne Bjerregaard

This is a lovely (free!) pattern by a Danish baby knitwear designer. She has become a new favorite of mine — I want to knit so many of her designs! This one incorporates an interesting ribbing with faux-cabling that looks like little bubbles. It was easy and fun to make.

I knit the 6-9 month size hoping this will fit Squirt next fall and winter. It is very, very stretchy — I think she would outgrow the length before the width!

Yarn Info
Valley Yarns Huntington
75% superwash merino wool, 25% nylon
Colorway – arctic
1.44 skeins = 313.9 yds used

This yarn was left from my Garland Socks. It is a machine-washable sock blend, perfect for baby things.



A Year of Crafting: 2017

This year has been busy for us. Nate took a new job, we were temporarily apart during weekdays for 6 weeks, we moved our home contents into temporary storage, we stayed with my parents-in-law for 6 weeks, and we moved into our new house. Oh, and since about July, I’ve been growing another human. 🙂 It’s been a busy year.

That means I did not finish as many projects in 2017 as I did in 2016. Less than half as many, actually!

Project Totals

Projects: 19
crochet: 2 (11%)
cross-stitch: 1 (5%)
embroidery: 0
knit: 16 (84%)
quilting: 0
sewing: 0

gifted: 8 (42%)
designed: 0

I made 20 fewer projects than last year. I knit a greater percentage of my projects this year (49% last year). I kept only my knitting and crochet supplies unpacked during the move. My sewing machine is still in its box, in fact!

Knitting has become my default hobby, I would say. I feel most competent with it, it is portable, and I can do most knitting with the kids around.

I also relied completely on patterns this year! No designing/improvising at all. Well, I did alter a couple of patterns, but I just did not have the energy to start a project completely from scratch!

Yarn Totals

Total Yardage: 5,912.52 yards (That’s 3.36 miles of yarn!)
acrylic: 1,550.72 yds (26%)
cotton: 278.42 yds (5%)
nylon: 144.09 yds (2%)
wool: 3,939.29 yds (67%)

Even though I made fewer projects, I used more yarn this year than last (about 600 yards more). I used much more acrylic and wool this year, but used less variety overall (6 different fiber categories last year versus only 4 this year).

I have actually begun working with a fiber I’ve never used before — linen. But that project isn’t factored in here because it isn’t finished yet!

Plans for Next Year

My crafting goals for 2018 are centered around the new baby girl, Squirt, who should join our family at the start of spring. Since I don’t know what life will be like with 3 kids (age 4 years and younger!), I haven’t set any year-long goals.

WIP Finishing

I want to finish my Asagi blouse before summer. I am working on the second front yoke, then will begin knitting the body from the chest downward. I will be modifying the pattern, so there may be some trial and error happening on that. This is proving to be a good background project to work on during quieter moments.

Before beginning any new projects, I want to finish the vest I started for Squirt.

New Projects

To go with the bubbly vest, I want to knit a coordinating hat using that same rib pattern, but in a gray color. And, if there is enough gray or blue yarn left, I’ll knit baby socks, too, and make it a full set!

I want to knit or crochet 2 newborn-sized hats for Squirt, plus 1 or 2 more newborn hats as a gift for an expectant friend.

If there is linen yarn left from my Asagi, I want to knit or crochet a summer baby dress or blouse for Squirt with the leftover yarn. We could match!

I want to sew a baby quilt for her, too. (I need to finish getting my sewing space in order!)

Lastly, I want to knit a baby dress or cardigan as a gift for that same expectant friend.

Overall, 2017 was a busy, but very good, year. What’s not to love about a new house, new friends, and expectations of a new baby. 🙂

She Knits: Pennyroyal—esque Mitts

I had yarn left from my Pennyroyal Hat, so I set out to make matching mittens.

Progression Info
Started – November 21
Completed – December 6
Duration – 15 days = 2.1 weeks

Pattern Info
Basic Mitten Pattern by Ann Budd
The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns

I love this book of patterns. It gives instructions for a variety of gauges and sizes. So you choose your stitch gauge (in this case, I had 5 stitches per inch) and the size you want to make (I made woman’s medium), and all the numbers for casting on and increasing/decreasing are all worked out for you! It’s quite handy, really. 🙂

Another bonus is that the patterns are basic with no stitch design in them — which makes them perfect for adding your own! I took the little chevron pattern from the Pennyroyal Hat I made, and added it to the back of the hand of each mitt.

I did run into some trouble. First, for some reason, I ended up with 1 less stitch than I ought to on the hand of the first mitt. I simply omitted a decrease, then mimicked my mistake on the second mitt. No big deal. I knit the entire first mitt, except grafting the top closed, so that if I ran out of yarn, I could go back and shorten it. I did run out of yarn, so had to make topless mitts. But I wasn’t thinking when I finished the first mitt — I had already knit and finished off the thumb! Taking that out to shorten it was somewhat of a pain, but I managed.

I used the tubular cast-on for the first time, to start the mitts. I love how it looks and will use it again. However, when I tried to use the matching tubular bind off at the top of the topless mitt… it didn’t work out so well. It was very fiddly and difficult to do, and did not look nice at all. So I removed that and did a basic stretchy bind off, instead.

Besides making them topless and adding the little chevron eyelet design, I did take Ann’s advice to achieve a tighter cuff by reducing the cast on number by 10%.

Yarn Info
Malabrigo Yarn Rios
100% merino wool
Colorway – purple mystery
0.43 skeins = 90.3 yds used

I had exactly half a skein going into this, so about 105 yards. I was able to get to the middle of the hand decreases on the second mitt before running out. So, only about 20 yards or so shy! These are still comfortable, though. This yarn is incredibly soft and squishy, and the color is beautiful.


WIP Wednesday: International Knits

I haven’t posted one of these in a long time. Here is what I’m working on…

First is this pink linen blouse I started in the middle of November. The pattern is called Asagi by Bristol Ivy. I’m using a lovely rose pink linen Polish yarn a friend sent me. It looks scruffy on the needles, but the stitches should even out in the first wash.

I have what feels like miles and miles of stockinette to go. That’s why I also started…

… this vest for the new baby, Squirt. It is called Sigga by Sanne Bjerregaard, a Danish designer. I recently discovered her and love so many of her designs. It features an all-over mock-cable ribbing. The “cabling” is resembles bubbles, to me. So I’m hoping to find some cute turtle or fish buttons for the front. The buttons are only decorative, so can be cutesy and won’t make trouble fitting through a buttonhole!

I’m using the blue yarn left from the Garland Socks I knit. It is very soft and wonderful to work. With the leftover gray, I might make an accompanying hat using the mock-cable rib. Squirt will have something nice to wear next fall/winter.

Those are the knits I’ve been working on lately.

She Knits: Garland Socks

I have wanted to knit color work socks for a long time. After tackling various other stranded projects (the Clayoquot set for JB, for example), I decided it was time to try socks.

Progression Info
Started – October 2
Completed – November 14
Duration – 43 days = 6.1 weeks

Pattern Info
Garland Socks by Lesley Melliship

I had this pattern in my favorites for a long time. I made a few modifications.

I knit one plain round before starting the ribbing I like how the edge looks even done this way. I knit 1×1 twisted rib instead of the 2×2 plain ribbing instructed. I made the toe more rounded by doing the first 20 decreases as described, but then the last 10 by decreasing every round.

The second sock accidentally finished bigger than the first. I think I just knit the foot more loosely the second time. I was more comfortable with the pattern and working with two colors by that point. The socks don’t have a snug fit anyway and will be cozy cuddle-up-by-the-fire socks, so I’m not worried enough about the difference to fix it.

Yarn Info
Valley Yarns Huntington
75% merino wool, 25% nylon
Colorways – light grey heather, arctic
1.74 skeins = 379.32 yds used

These colors do not have as high of contrast as is usually found in stranded color work. I did this on purpose, for two reasons. First, lower contrast between the colors hides mistakes. Second, I am not one to wear very bright colors or patterns, and low contrast makes a more subtle color work design.