Friday, February 13, 2015

Sardines on toast

First of all, news: my sister is having a baby.  There's a petit nugget proofing inside her as I type this, and my future niece/nephew is going to get ALL of the knitted things.  I already spoke of this in my previous post, but there were no names named.  Well, now there are.  Tam Tam, you have been called out as someone who is slow-roasting a person inside of her.  The news hit facebook officially this week, so now I can share with whomever I please. 

Back to the knits.  I took my double knitting striped set idea and made it into a thing, but I'm not entirely happy with how it turned out. 

I bought yarn at Shall We Knit? in January, and I was pleased as punch to find clearance baby yarn in exactly the colours I was looking for.  Mega score!  When I took my purchases to the counter, I was informed that the yarns were on clearance because some people experienced bleeding in the dyes after washing.  I took the chance, and I was diligent about making a swatch and test washing it.  I had no bleeding colours at all, and I set out on my adventure to make the pieces. 

I started with the little baby mitts, following some rough pattern guidelines from a few different patterns.  I cast on 24 stitches, worked ribbing for 8 rows, and then began my double knitting.  The mitts were quick. and I worked a simple heart chart into the mix beginning in the second stripe.

The hat was a similar story, where I followed a basic baby hat pattern and adjusted for my double knitting gauge (which is a whole lot looser than my usual gauge).  I used the same heart chart and also started the chart in the second stripe of colour to keep it consistent with the mitts.

After finishing both of those, I had a ton of yarn leftover, but not enough for the blanket I first envisioned as part of the set.  I went with a striped sweater instead, not double knitted, and added a heart detail later with duplicate stitch.  The pattern I followed for the sweater was DROPS Design "Rubin", which had a sweet stranded colourwork thing going on that I chose to completely ignore.  I liked the shape and construction of the sweater, and I followed the general knitting directions without following any of the charts, I just did mine with stripes. 

Behold!  The finished set, modeled by Ms. Bear:

They look lovely!  From a distance...

The red lining the inside of the double knitting heart bled like crazy.  So much for swatching and testing.  I'm really not happy with it, so I will re-knit the hat and do the heart in duplicate stitch like the sweater.  There was no bleeding on the sweater at all, and just the tiniest bit on the mitts, but not enough to care.  It's for a baby after all, he/she doesn't care and won't notice.

I have also produced some newborn baby hats and the teeniest tiniest little baby booties you ever did see.

A simple, uncomplicated baby hat, knit in some baby yarn I bought YEARS ago.  These were some of the first yarns I wound when I got my ball winder too, and of course I didn't keep the ball bands, so I have no idea what yarn this is.

Same goes for hat number two, which I'm quite certain is made from the same yarn in a different colour.  This is a basic ribbed baby hat.  Ooooo, the variety!

And a pair of chaussons mignons:

The little slipper/booties will only be appropriate for, like, a day, when the baby is first born.  Anything older than the newest of newborns won't fit into them.  These are made from Estelle 100% silk, which I bought at the same time as the other yarns and wound without keeping the ball band, except I remembered what the yarn was. 

I also made a baby coat.  This is Latte Baby Coat in Cascade Ecological Wool (these pictures are before I blocked it):


This one features a delightful basketweave button band, and can be made with or without the hood.  I have yet to buy buttons for it, and I'm still deciding if I want to add the optional pockets to the front.

I will also use this opportunity to share my fun with my new yarn salad spinner.  Yes, that's right. The box says so.

No longer do I need to squeeze excess water of my blocked knits by hand!  I can spin them dry!  I added this to my listed of knitting wants late last year, and on a birthday shopping outing with my mom, came across one and remembered I wanted to get one of those.  I got an OXO brand salad spinner with spinning top/pump action, rather than the handle you have to turn.  The handle pops out when slide the little black latch on the right.

I soaked my little coat in the sink, drained the water, and squeezed out some by hand, so it wasn't dripping anymore.  I moved the coat into the spinner and arranged it carefully in the colander portion. 

 Let the spinning begin!

This was an action shot, but even if you can't see that, appreciate all the water pouring out of that sweater!

I spun it three times, and got about this much water out of it each time before it was dry enough to take out. 

 I highly recommend it for your blocking, or even just to speed up your weekly hand washing of knitted socks. 

And one more quick one while I have your attention.  I finished my Hermione socks and tried them on today.  Oscar approves.   

I'm diving into the work of knitted diaper covers/soakers next.  And also maybe knitted baby pants?