Wednesday, June 1, 2011

How long does it take to knit a "5 hour" baby sweater?

I hope this post finds you doing well!  I don't know what it is like in your neck of the woods, but here in Alabama, it already feels like summer (upper 90's).  For someone who is going to be pregnant into August, this is not good.  I need spring to feel like spring!  :)  I can see that there is a lot of air conditioning, ice cold drinks, and swimming in my future.  Oh! and don't forget my favorite fat-free ice cream!  : d

Local Yarn Store Sale Finds  

As for knitting, I have a brand new project to share with you!  I just got the yarn  yesterday.  My local yarn store, Yarn Expressions, is having a stash sale, as well as a store sale.  The stash sale includes lots of yarn that customers have donated for charity, and the price per skein is usually $2-$4, though there are a few luxury yarns that are a little more.  Also, there are a lot of yarns in the regular store that are on sale for 40% off!  Well, yesterday I took advantage of both sales!  I got three skeins of sock yarn for $3 a skein (cotton, wool, and elastic nylon), which I intend on using for baby bootees.  (I am hoping the elasticity will help them stay on baby feet.)  I also got three skeins of Cascade Baby Alpaca (usually $12.50) for $7.50 a skein.  I am so excited about my finds!

Cascade Baby Alpaca:  Luxury in a Skein of Yarn

I do believe the Cascade Baby Alpaca is the softest yarn I have ever felt, and I know it is the softest yarn I have ever knitted with.  I was originally going to knit another baby cocoon, but after seeing one of the color ways, quickly decided that I needed to knit a baby sweater for my new little boy coming in August.  I have to check my gauge, but I am hoping it will fit him this winter.

Last night my husband helped me wind one of the skeins into a ball (not fun for either of us.  How I look forward to the day when I can get a swift!).  I also looked through my baby patterns.  I decided to start the 5 hour baby boy sweater.  Today I finished the yoke, only to realize that the pattern doesn't give directions for buttonholes at any point.  So, I may be starting over with the directions I found online.  (I am pretty set on buttons and don't understand the concept of a sweater that you cannot close in anyway, especially on a wiggly baby.)

Yarn and Baby Sweater Yoke

The yarn is heavenly!  It is very soft, and the color knits up beautifully.  I have to admit that sometimes I see a multi-color yarn that I love, but then when I knit it up, it is very disappointing to me.  That is not so with this yarn.  It looks wonderful!  It also looks modern.  I like it a lot better than the usual acrylic baby yarn.  Plus, it is alpaca!!!!  Yes, my baby boy deserves it, even if I do have to be fussy with the washing!  :)

The 5 Hour Baby Sweater Challenge

Now, for the fun part...I have decided to see just how long it actually takes me to knit the "5 hour" baby boy sweater.  Will it take 5 hours, or will I be able to get it done more quickly?  Maybe it will take me a lot longer than 5 hours.  We'll see.  My prediction is that it will take me longer than 5 hours.  I will be logging my time and will reveal the details when I finish.  Come back soon and find out!

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Knitting Renaissance

I'm back! And I'm so glad to say that I have been knitting away!  As you already know, I have been sick for quite a while with morning sickness.  It was about 2 1/2 months of feeling nauseated all day, everyday.  Thankfully, that passed.  Unfortunately, though, we started getting virus after virus in our house.  One time I even got bronchitis.  Well, we are all well now and are greatly anticipating the arrival of our new baby boy in August!  We can hardly wait!

I have been doing tons of things around the house to get organized for our new baby.  We have the crib set up and I have been doing a LOT of reorganization and work around the house.  Nesting at its finest.  Now I am at a point where I can just gradually finish things up over the next couple of months.  This week is a recoup week for me from all the work.  And I have been knitting,  knitting,  knitting!  It has been like a knitting renaissance for me and I am loving it!  It's not that I have been spending tons of time knitting, but I have been able to add it in here and there and even finish some projects.  I can't wait to share all my finished objects as well as new projects with you!

Cosette's Sweater

Last month I finally finished Cosette's sweater, which is the "embroidered jacket" by Debbie Bliss!  I am so glad that I have one of Debbie Bliss's books to learn from.  She gave wonderful instructions for finishing her knitted garments.  Now I am happy to reveal it to you!  Tada!

I was so glad that I found the Peter Rabbit buttons at Hancock fabric.  They are really the perfect buttons for this sweater.  I think that my little boy may even be able to wear this when he gets big enough.

I learned a lot while knitting this sweater:  
1. Moss stitch is beautiful, but takes a long time to complete.  
2. Wool yarn is wonderful!
3. How to knit and sew together a sweater (this is my first!).
4. How to wash a wool sweater, and block it (though all the pictures above were taken before I blocked it, except the one of my daughter wearing the sweater).
5. If you have to sew something up, just bite the bullet and do it and it will go quickly.  It is actually fun, too.

The biggest mistake I made was forgetting to add a buttonhole at the very top.  I think it worked out okay, though, and I still like the way it looks.

Baby Bib and Baby Blanket

I knitted a little baby bib, which I have knitted before.  It went more quickly this time, and was pretty easy.  It is the "modern cabled baby bib" by Andrea Pomerantz and is available for free on Ravelry.

(Picture coming soon.)

Next, I decided I wanted to make a rainbow baby blanket.  I found a super easy garter stitch pattern on Ravelry called, "Super Easy Baby Blanket," by Purl Soho.  I pulled different types and brands of yarn from my stash in all the rainbow colors, and bought the yellow specifically for this project.  Since they are all different brands and blends of wool,  I decided to knit a swatch first to see how they would all knit together and wash up.  The swatch contains all the colors, and I knitted it big enough so that it could be a baby doll blanket for my daughter.  I am very pleased with how it came out, and I plan on starting the actual baby blanket soon.  If you are interested in the pattern, which really is super easy, it is available for free here:

Baby Cocoon

The last project I finished recently I actually started and finished in the same day.  It is the, "Laurel Love Cocoon," by Melissa Riley.  It is adorable!!!  It is basically a little knitted sack for newborns to snuggle and sleep in.   I used some of the thick and thin Cherry Treehill yarn that I bought at Stitches South.  It is a wool and silk blend yarn and the color is called, "mint."  Since it is a thick and thin yarn, it looks a little different than the original.  I knitted it on size 13 double pointed needles (instead of using the magic loop method that the pattern calls for).  I actually knit the whole thing in 4 hours!  I could hardly believe it!  I have never knit anything so quickly.  (It was my first time to knit with bulky yarn on such a large sized needles.)  I will definitely be making more of these!

You can find the pattern here: of the neat things about this pattern is that the designer will allow people to sell their finished object for charity or for WAHM use (WAHM=Work at Home Mom). How wonderful!


I have also started knitting Jean Grennhowe's topsy turvy Cinderella doll for my daughter.  She is really into Cinderella right now, and I am in such a mood to knit toys.  I will put up pictures when it is finished.  Who knows, at the rate I'm going, that could be really soon!

I hope you all have a wonderful week and a very Happy Easter!  Praise the Lord that He died for us that we might live!!!!

Remembering His Sacrifice,

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Feeling Sick for a Good Reason ; )

Well, I wish that I could say that I have been knitting away!  Alas, I have been feeling very sick and haven't been up to it.  But, at least it is good news!  We are having another baby!  I have been feeling sick since right before Christmas, and can hardly wait until I feel better.  Then I will have energy again and will be knitting away!!!

I have almost finished the sweater for Cosette.  The knitting is done, but I have to finish sewing it together.  (I hope I don't end up being one of the people that knit things, but never sew them together.)  As soon as I feel a little better, I am going to finish that up.  One thing that I have learned from this sweater:  Moss stitch takes forever!  It does look good, though.

I have started on a  baby sweater, but like I said, haven't felt up to moving forward on it.  As soon as the naseau goes away, I will be working on the baby sweater, getting some baby yarn, and working on designing some more patterns.

My pattern on Knitpicks is doing well, by the way.  They reknit it and put some new pictures into their New Year catalogue.  Sales are going great, and this has become a great blessing to us.  Check out the new pics here:  The Warmth of Love Neck Warmer.  I have two more ideas that I will submit soon.  They are also neck warmers.  Can't wait!

Enjoy knitting!!!!