Archive for the “booties” Category

Angie’s baby shower was last weekend, so I finally got to give her the pointy hat and booties. She and her husband absolutely loved them, and I am looking forward to seeing pictures of the baby wearing them in just a few more months.

This Baby Surprise Jacket that I knit three years ago was passed along for the new baby, too. It’s wonderful to see handknits being treasured, kept, and worn again by the next baby to come along – it makes me feel so good to know that my work is valued by the people I knit for. Well, the babies don’t realize it, but their parents do, and that’s what matters, right? Maybe in a quarter-century or so, my friends’ babies will be dressing their own babies in that very sweater, and so on down the line. It’s a happy thought indeed.

On Tuesday I had to bring my car in for an oil change, and I made sure that I had Mom’s sock-in-progress with me. I don’t go to any of those “quick lube job” places where they have you in and out in ten minutes, but rather to the Mazda dealership… so I knew I’d be waiting there for an hour. They do have a very comfortable waiting area, with comfy chairs, a big television, free tea and coffee, not to mention a PlayStation with Gran Turismo and steering wheels for two players. But instead of playing video games, I knit (and took this blurry picture with the phone’s camera). I was able to finish the foot section while I waited, and decided to save knitting the toe for when I got home.

When I got home, though, I didn’t knit the sock toe. Instead, I wrote up the pattern for the socks and got it ready for publication. It’s simple, and it’s much like the Sibling Socks, but I think there’s enough difference to make it worth releasing as a separate pattern. It’s exciting to have three patterns out now. I’m starting to feel like a Real Designer! A couple of people have asked me if there’s a toe-up version of the Cakewalk Socks available. Unfortunately, there isn’t – I find that socks with flap heels and gussets fit my foot best, and that’s what Mom requested for her socks as well. I know that there are patterns for toe-up socks with gussets and flap heels, but since I haven’t knit one yet, I don’t feel confident designing one. It’s on my list of things to do, that’s for sure! I like toe-up socks when I want to use every last yard of yarn, or if I don’t know how far my yarn will go.

Here’s a “montage of some of today’s most-visited pattern pages” (which is actually from yesterday, now) on Ravelry. My Cakewalks are right up there near the top! How awesome is that?

On Wednesday evening I finished up the toe and grafted it together. One more project down! It’s almost time to start thinking about that Jacob hat for myself. I’ll need to swatch, of course, and then pick a pattern. I’ve a few in mind already. I haven’t yet decided if I’m going to line it with polarfleece. The wool might be too itchy to wear against my skin, and fleece would certainly make for an even warmer hat. Given that this is a hat meant for Canada in February, warmer might be better…

Due Date …… Project
10/3 ………… Angie’s gifts
11/1 ………… Second Fleep, hand section
12/1 ………… Mom’s sock #2
12/1 ………… Dad’s hat
1/1 ….………. Gift for Janis’s baby boy
2/1 ………….. Mitten tops and thumb caps on Fleeps
2/1 ………….. Jacob Hat
3/1 ………….. Twins’ sweaters

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I wanted to make matching booties to go along with the Gnome Hat for Angie’s baby, and I knew that I’d have plenty of yarn left over for them. The Oh! Baby Baby Booties pattern was perfect, since it would let me use both the variegated and the solid colour to make a perfect match for the hat. Angie’s recently announced that she’s having a little girl, but I had already picked the red-and-rainbow combination well before she broke the news. The usual pastel baby colours are so boring, and red-and-rainbow works for both boys and girls.

As usual, before I commit to a pattern, I look at the projects that have already been made. I check for notes on difficulty, look at what colours people have used, and hunt for interesting modifications to the original. This version of the booties, knit up by Babylee, caught my attention. First, because she’d changed the foot from garter stitch to stockinette… and second, because she’d come up with modifications to knit them in one piece, without all the yarn-cutting that’s in the original pattern.

It was easy to decide that the variegated yarn should be used for the cuff, and the solid red for the foot, to keep it from looking too busy. The stitch count of the cuff worked out well with the multi-coloured yarn to create rainbow-y vertical stripes. I don’t think it would have looked nearly as good if I’d done the whole bootie in rainbows.

Just like with the hat, I had trouble keeping an even tension with the Cascade Fixation. Although it’s a good yarn for baby knits, I don’t think I’ll be using it again. I don’t mind a little unevenness in my finished objects, but gaping holes that I have to go back and tighten up sort of annoy me. Because of the elasticity, I’m not sure the yarn-ends will stay woven in where they’re supposed to. I wove them in much more than usual but I’m still a little worried that they’ll work free. Ah well, it’s just a baby bootie, not a hard-wearing long-lasting piece of knitwear.

Here’s a picture of a bootie with the cuff unfolded, so you can better see how it’s made. The cuff is knit first, then stitches are picked up along the long edge and knit down. A flap is knit outwards, then stitches are picked up along the sides of it to form the foot. It’s really quite a clever construction and I can definitely see myself making more booties for future babies – especially because I can crank out a pair in a few days. Knitting for babies is great that way. The projects are tiny and adorable, provide instant gratification, and while the babies might not have any appreciation for the effort, their parents sure do. (At least, anyone I’d knit for is someone who will appreciate it. Some people get handknits; some people get gifts from Babies ‘R Us.)

Happy to cross another project off my list!

Due Date …… Project
10/3 ………… Angie’s gifts
11/1 ………… Second Fleep, hand section
12/1 ………… Mom’s sock #2
1/1 ….………. Gift for Janis
2/1 ………….. Twins’ sweaters
2/1 ………….. Mitten tops and thumb caps on Fleeps
2/1 ………….. Jacob Hat

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Before the rain came through on Sunday, I was able to get outside to take some pictures. This is the merino top from Baba Black Sheep that I picked up at Maker Faire last weekend. It’s just under 4.5 ounces. I bought the fibre without having any plans for it. The way it spins up will help to determine what the knitting project will be. The deep blues and greens might be good as the background in some colourwork with a cream yarn for the contrast. Maybe some of the alpaca I have lying around would work for that. It was quite difficult to get the true colours of this fibre to show in the picture. The camera kept veering too light or too dark or too washed-out. Maybe it’s time to think about setting up a lightbox or even getting a new, better camera…

I finished the pointy hat for Angie’s baby on Friday night. It is adorable, and I’m sure she’s going to love it! Cascade Fixation was a good choice. The knitted fabric is firm enough that the hat doesn’t flop over at all, and the elastic will help keep it on. I’ve gotten started on the matching booties, and made myself go to bed at bedtime last night, even though I was so close to finishing the second bootie. Ah well, I can finish it up tonight and cross another project off my list. That’ll be a good feeling.

While I had the camera out, I got a picture of Mom’s first sock. The blocker that I made in two minutes from a wire hanger seems to be working well. The pattern is pretty simple, and very similar to the Sibling Socks, but I’m considering writing it up for publication anyway. Why not? There are a couple of things about it that are different from many of the ribbed patterns I’ve seen: first, the ribbing goes all the way down the heel, and second, I really like the way there’s no break in the purl ‘gutter’ between the leg of the sock and the foot. I’ve got the numbers written up for two sizes already. Might as well share, right? What do you think?

Speaking of design, I’ve got another pattern in the works. I’ve written most of it up, but the final version will have to wait until I can knit one up as a sample, to make sure I’ve got the numbers right. Then I’ll release it as another free, Creative-Commons licensed pattern.

Aubrey the Adorable. (Floyd is also adorable, but being both squirmy and dark-furred, he’s much more difficult to photograph.) I got this picture of her the other day just as she was just waking up from her afternoon nap. It’s amazing how empty the house seems without the kittens – they’ve spent the weekend at the vet’s for their spay/neuter surgeries. I’ll be picking them up after work today. Hopefully they haven’t felt too lonely and abandoned, and hopefully their recovery will be quick and easy!

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I have a confession to make: I love lists. I love writing lists. I especially love writing lists on paper, putting line-items in order, and then re-writing the list in my neatest handwriting on a fresh sheet of paper. It makes me feel better about everything I have to do, helps me to see that my queue isn’t life-threatening. And it really isn’t! I’m feeling a lot better now, though I know I’ll have to be fairly disciplined in order to get everything done on time.

The cats are headed to the vet on Saturday to be spayed and neutered, and due to a bloodwork requirement we won’t get them back until Monday. The boarding is free, at least, but I feel a little bad about leaving them all weekend. On the other hand, that totally frees up two whole days for knitting without kitten assistance. (And cleaning the house, I suppose. These things have to be done.)

This weekend I can finish up Angie’s baby shower gifts and get started on the one for Janis. (Hey Janis, do you want it to be a surprise, or shall I blog about it as I go?) If I am vigilant about knitting some every day, and if I account for the usual life-craziness and procrastination, I can expect it to take about a month.

That leaves me with one sock for Mom, which I can’t start until she tries on the first sock, and the glove part of the second Fleep for Michael. If I can get all of that done by Thanksgiving, I can spend December on the twins’ sweaters – but I can’t even buy yarn for them until I know if they’re boys, girls, or one of each, so I’m just not going to think about it until I get that piece of news. And then I can spend January on the colourwork hat of the Jacob yarn I spun, and putting mitten-tops on the Fleeps.

So, for my own records and your amusement, here is my list of projects and their deadlines. I will probably certainly without a doubt look back on this list and laugh, next year…

Due Date …… Project
10/3 ………… Angie’s gifts
11/1 ………… Second Fleep, hand section
12/1 ………… Mom’s sock #2
1/1 ……….…. Gift for Janis
2/1 ………….. Twins’ sweaters
2/1 ………….. Mitten tops and thumb caps on Fleeps
2/1 ………….. Jacob Hat

Is that realistic? Am I crazy?

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After yesterday’s post I was linked to two more baby sweater patterns that have made the list of potentials!

The first is Five Fruits (Ravelry link). This is an adorable striped sweater in colours that remind me of my 1980s childhood: a Lifesavers rainbow. For anyone who doesn’t have a Ravelry account, you can see a picture of the sweater here. It has buttons running along one shoulder, to make it easy to get over a baby’s gigantic noggin without having a giant saggy neckline. And it’s knit from the top down in one piece, which means no seaming!

And the second, which might now be at the top of the running, is the Presto Chango sweater. This clever construction for a baby sweater has interchangeable front panels. When it’s all buttoned up, it looks like a pullover – but when there’s the inevitable baby mess, only the front panel needs to be changed out. And, I could try out different stitch patterns on the front panels! Two sweaters and four front panels would be come out to about eight or nine skeins of Swish Worsted, the yarn I plan to use regardless of what sweater I end up knitting.

In other news of knitting for babies, friend Angie is having her baby shower in mid-October, so it’s time to get started on her gifts! Perhaps I can crank them out on the eight hours of trainride that I have scheduled for this weekend. I’m going to the Maker Faire in New York, and I am so excited about it! Anna Hrachovec will be doing a demo there from her book of patterns for adorable knitted toys. Most cute little toys, called amigurumi, are crocheted, but she’s one of the few designers who makes patterns for knitted amigurumi.

In the world of non-baby knits, I’ve gotten a few fingers done on the first of Michael’s Fleep-Tops. Tonight I’ll finish the rest of the fingers and then this weekend he can try the glove on, without the mitten top, to be sure it fits. I’ll mark the placement of the mitten while it’s on his hand. The second glove should go a lot faster once I know my measurements and row counts are correct.

Lots of knitting for other people going on lately – the Fleeps, gifts for four separate babies, and Mom’s socks. Once these are all done, I can get back to knitting for myself! Fortunately, I know that everyone who’s getting a knitted gift from me will thoroughly appreciate the work that goes into them. Otherwise, I’d just be ordering gifts for them all, and be done with it.

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