Monday, 31 December 2012

The Little Vintage Gansey

One of the most satisfying experiences as a knitter is seeing a garment you have made (and sometimes sweated blood, sweat and tears over!) not only being worn but really suiting the recipient. And this is exactly what happened when I made J a Little Vintage Gansey. The design is by Sublime yarns, and can be found in this book, which is full of gorgeous baby patterns so well worth a look if you have any little people to knit for.

There were a few patterns that I liked the look of, but the Little Vintage Gansey caught my eye for its simple but effective patterning, all produced through a simple combination of knit and purl stitches. I loved the colour used in the book, so decided to use the same for my version - Sublime Baby Cashmerino 4ply in Button. Because it is a 4ply, it takes only a couple of skeins to create a garment, so you can justify the expense of a luxury yarn. And I was more than pleased with the result:

The jumper knit up so quickly considering I had a newborn to contend with and very little time to myself. It is an easy enough pattern for beginners, but looks more complicated than it really is - always the best type of knit!

Here is the garment being modelled by my willing volunteer, and very smart he looks too. On a side note, he never fails to dribble on or be sick down this, and it washes up beautifully. Always a consideration for the mummy knitters out there!

Friday, 28 December 2012

The Lopi-Along

One of the things I have been getting up to on maternity leave is a fair bit of knitting. With J in the house I don't have the room to get out my scrap supplies as often as I would like, but that hasn't stopped me from accumulating a fair bit of yarn which is mainly housed under the bed. So I really should be trying to put a dent in that pile. But instead, I caught sight of a knit along about to begin on Ravelry, using Lopi Icelandic yarn. And of course, I couldn't resist, duly buying the required amounts of yarn in ash and dark grey heather.

The pattern we were knitting was this short cardigan. Now this would prove a bit of a challenge to me because I have never knit fair isle, or attempted (gulp!) steeking. But in for a penny, in for a pound - I decided to try both techniques in the same garment.

The cardigan knit up really quickly (after the rather irritating moss stitch border) - the yarn is a little tough on the fingers but after a while you get accustomed to it. I had to go up a needle size to achieve the correct tension but this is standard for me, a tight knitter. I decided to add a few rounds to the length, I know it's meant to be a short cardigan but I didn't want it riding up under my armpits! However I pretty soon realised I would need more yarn, and true enough, knitting had to go on hold while I waited for another skein to arrive. Very irritating!

Once I got onto the fair isle section I realised quite how addictive this style of knitting is! Being in chunky yarn, the pattern built up quickly which was satisfying.

I used the excellent Cotton and Cloud video tutorials to teach myself the basics of two strand knitting, including the continental style knit stitch which I gained confidence in as I went.

Very soon, I had completed all the knitting on my cardigan - if I hadn't run out of yarn it would have taken less than a week, which is impressive for a full size garment.

So now I just have to cut the steek, but that's another story...

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Five months

So what have I been getting up to in the five months since my little man came into my life?

Mainly enjoying the wonder that is watching him grow up; so, so fast! Seriously, everyone told me that I had to enjoy every minute, or I'd blink and miss it, but I didn't realise quite how truthful they were being. Every now and then I catch myself feeling sad and shed a tear because my tiny baby has disappeared. And this may be the only time I experience such complete and utter fragility and vulnerability. But mostly I am amazed about the little personality my boy has become.

I don't want to put too much of Jake out there on my blog. Life being what it is, you can't afford to be too open.

But a part of me wants to share just a few things. Like his favourite toy, little blue donkey. The way he giggles without fail when Ed clicks his tongue at him. The way he watches me so intently when I sing Wheels on the Bus or Five Little Ducks. The extremely angry cry should I dare to try and put a vest on over his head!

These are all the little things that are so everyday at the moment, but will probably be forgotten in time. So instead I'll record them here.

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