Audrey Hoodie: Finished, barely in time

Considering I started this project before this little guy was born, it’s pretty sad that by the time I finished it he’s almost grown out of it. 

I think we managed to get a photo of Baby H in it, and that’s it.  I made the 6-12 month size and he was only 7 1/2 months at the time of this photo.  I think it’s a combination of the pattern (possibly) running small and Baby H (most definitely) running big.  I didn’t bother with the crochet edging on this–I knew that there just wasn’t time for such details!  It was a fun, straightforward pattern to do.  Using this yarn, which is a solid with slight variegations, gave it a bit more depth and made it more interesting than your standard moss stitch.

Pattern:  Audrey Hoodie from Vintage Baby Knits, size 6-12 months.

Yarn:  Sundara Yarn Sport Merino  in Sandstone over Shell

Ribbon-Tied Vest from Simple Knits for Cherished Babies

When you are as behind in your knitting as I am and little H grows as fast as he does, it’s anyone’s guess as to whether a particular project will be finished in time for the intended recipient to wear!

The good news is, it fits; the bad news is, it’s unclear for how long.  The further bad news is, I have another sweater that is still not done…

The pattern is Ribbon-Tied Vest from Simple Knits for Cherished Babies by Erica Knight (no ribbon for obvious reasons–the boy needs to wear it now!)  White cotton yarn leftover from this project; blue wool sock yarn remnants for trim.

Knitting project updates

First, the Venezia Pullover.  We haven’t seen this in a while.  Sometime last summer I started working on other items, and this disappeared.  For some reason (being deep into winter?) about a month ago I was inspired to pick this up again.  I can’t say why–there’s no chance of me being able to wear this until the end of the year if I’m lucky, and shouldn’t I be busily knitting away on petite socks, tiny hats, and chubby baby sweaters?

Maybe, but when I felt moved to tackle this again, I figured I should listen.  If not, this could be one of those projects that lingers for years and years…

And while I’m far from done, I’ve hit some major milestones–namely, finishing knitting the body, meaning it was time to get out the scissors and start snipping into all that yarn I spent so many hours twisting and looping together.  (Essentially, steeking means I knit a tube with no armholes or even much of a neckhole.  This allows for faster knitting).

Pre-steek–or a version for a shrunken head:

Pre-steek close-up:  does your head hurt?  Can you see why I said that if I was feeling motivated to work on this ghastly thing, I shouldn’t fight it?  Here we have two sets of neck steeks and two sets of armhole steeks.  And not enough stitch holders (those would be what look like monster diaper pins).

Cut (ha ha) to a week later:  we’re looking much better.  Neckline done.  Armholes are snipped open and still raw, exposed, and threatening to ravel at any time.  (I’m not too worried.  Not only am I no longer a steeking novice (in fact, I didn’t even secure the stitches before cutting to be extra safe!), this type of yarn–shetland–lends itself perfectly to steeking.  It’s that itchier type of wool that’s not so popular–no supersoft merino here–but that same quality makes the knits and purls “stickier” and less likely to result in knitting disasters, tearing out your hair, gnashing of teeth, etc.

And:  I have started the left arm!

But I haven’t been entirely selfish–here’s my progress so far on what I am calling the “Manly” Audrey Hoodie from Vintage Baby Knits.  I am making the 6-9 months size out of Sundara yarn (Sandstone over Shell) that I bought to make a project for little E.  So, I’d really better make sure to get it done this time around.  Luckily baby knits are quick, but I fear I may be relying a bit too much on that fact as an excuse for procrastination…

Arachne’s Tears Scarf Pattern

Way back in May while visiting my parents in Seattle, Sara and I ventured into the Yarn Gallery.  Sara convinced me it was high time to use my basic crochet skills to follow a pattern.  I picked out modern little number — a two-tone handbag, similar to the Sak designs.  I bought the yarn — Sara’s a self-professed fiber snob, so it wasn’t the Michael’s synthetic variety, but I made it back to Medford with a very expensive, soon to fail project.  Actually, I never started it a better read of the pattern was too daunting.  I packed it away for the summer and fall, choosing to focus on sewing or not crafting at all (recall the dearth of posts from kclever from July to October?).

I decided a few weeks ago that it might be a good idea to give it another try, this time with a simpler pattern.  The inital handbag design came from the 2008 Spring inssue of Interweave Crochet.  It was an “intermediate” difficulty level, so I turned to the front of the magazine this time and selected “Beginner.”

The pattern consists of 7 different rows, repeated about 25 times.  I tore out the first attempt at rows 1-7 before I finally gave up and sought help from the experts.  Fortunately for me, and any crochet gift recipients, Middleford Yarn and Stitchery in Medford, Oregon, is open for business.  The staff was very pleasant and helped me figure out the small little error I had made in reading the pattern.  I felt a little guilty for using their knowledge but not providing any monetary support.  I have so much yarn, and I wanted to prove that I could actually FINISH a crochet project again, that I would not allow myself to buy any more yarn.  Maybe next time…

The third time was the charm for this one.  Once I tackled the first seven rows I was able to stitch away, while watching my favorite mind-numbing reality tv shows.  At this point, I’ve nearly memorized the pattern.

Because it was so quick once I got the hang of it, I decided to make one in PINK for my co-worker.  It also calls for a little embelishment with beads.  I don’t normally work with beads, so I didn’t exactly have the best tools on hand.  Nevertheless, I patched something together with regular thread and needle, reinforcing, of course.

And, because Jill sneaked out so she didn’t have to formally say goodbye today, I’m making her a model:

Provence Baby Cardigan

Apparently, I have just been sitting around and sewing buttons on/weaving ends into knitted baby items (actually, not just knitted items, but more on that later).  This is making me look really productive, but in fact think about how few knitting projects have appeared on here lately and you get an idea of how much time these have been buried in one of my bags beside the couch).

This pattern is the Provence Baby Cardigan (from the Classic Elite people in nearby Lowell MA), and the yarn is Berroco Comfort DK (yes, a synthetic yarn!  Horrors!  And what’s more, I actually liked it!) in #2723, that I picked up last year in Seattle at this store.  I liked this cardigan as it reminded me of Kate Gilbert’s Pea Pod Cardigan, which I made for little E pre-blog but which is sadly no longer available.  Pink is beacuse I planned to make it for a friend’s baby (who I then realized may not be a girl and who got this instead, and who is now too big for this sweater anyway).  In other words, pink is not for “my” bun in the oven–the male female balance is expected to tip even more out of my favor.  (Three clever sisters not to be repeated for this little branch of the family tree).

No immediate plans for this little sweater, therefore, but at least I can mark it off the “to be completed” list.

Stella Pixie Hat

Another Vintage Baby Knits finished project!  This sweet little hat was essentially done a while ago, but for adding on the buttons and sewing in the loose ends.  As usual, for me those last little details are the ones that take the longest.  You would think that after all the work that goes into a project, this little bit extra would not be an obstacle to completion…but it is.

This hat was started and (mostly) finished a while ago for baby marburyvmad (aka Kathryn’s new little boy, expected any day now).  It wasn’t too difficult to make, or, it shouldn’t be too difficult for anyone to make, though it took me quite a bit of extra time as I misread the pattern and had to rip nearly the whole thing out.  At least it was a baby hat, not a sweater for an adult.

I don’t remember what this yarn is called, but it’s some sort of washable sock yarn and it’s quite nice to work with–soft, even stitches, no splitting.  I have a good amount left over and can certainly get at least another hat out of it.

Despite the fact that it was the finishing touches that kept this in the unfinished pile so long, at the end of the day I am fairly taken with them–the yellow jellybean button and the first use of my personalized tags!