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Professor Jack

Andrea went through her stash a while back and gave me some great leftover yarn. I used it to make her little guy the Trellis baby sweater (pattern by Britta Stolfus Rueschhoff).

I had enough left over to improvise a little hat for him.

Such a little intellectual, and only two months old!

New Baby

Jack Nathaniel, born 5/16/2011

Jack Nathaniel

There’s nothing to compare with grandchildren! Here’s his first knitted baby gift from grandma,

Knitted pig

presented to him by his big sister during introductions at the hospital.

Jack Nathaniel

Group hug at home,

Jack Nathaniel

and a sweet kiss from Mom.

Jack Nathaniel

Don’t look now, Andrea finished a project!

Hello,  Andrea here for once! I bet you thought I’d never post here again. Nah, I like to surprise people now and then by doing something out of character. Besides, I actually have a finished knitting project to share, so I couldn’t not post something! Here is my version of the Cub Cuddler (sorry, this is a Ravelry link but there isn’t really a dedicated non-Rav web page for the pattern). I modified it by tapering the ending of it more gradually and ending it in an icord that I tied in a knot. Just because I thought it would be cute.

Finished knitting project for the new baby

It’s kind of a relief to have finished knitting something for the new baby. It just seemed wrong, somehow, to be having a baby and to not have anything knitted for him. But between work, and taking care of a two-year-old, and pregnancy tiredness, and trying to get ready for the baby… well, I haven’t had a lot of energy for knitting. Now I’m at 32 weeks, which means I have about two months left, give or take, and I’m starting to feel like things are a little more under control, thankfully.

So, if you’re looking for a good baby shower gift idea, I definitely recommend this pattern. It was very easy and quick, and the short row shaping made it interesting to knit. It’s probably not the most practical item ever, but I’m hoping it will make for some cute baby pictures! Baby pictures that I will definitely be posting here in a few months’ time.

I’m not adorable

I usually don’t post videos of my grandchild … but really, this is too much.


(Video by Andrea)

And Hello 2011

It’s hard to believe we’re already three weeks into 2011.  I’ve been sort of down and out for the last two weeks with cold-gone-to-pneumonia.  I’m feeling much better now, and even did a little updating of things in Ravelry yesterday. 

I have nothing at all on needles at the moment (not sure how that happened).  Must-do projects include something for grandson-on-the-way, and finishing my Shapeshifter pattern.  And the earflap cap pattern. 

I gave Eva her skirt and knee-highs outfit for her birthday last Sunday. The outfit included a Hello Kitty jean jacket, with jeweled buttons and Hello Kitty herself on the back done in jewels.  She loved it and it through the remainder of the gift-opening.  She’s a real princess, a girly-girl. 

Outfit, including Hello Kitty jean jacket

But she was also thrilled with Thomas the Train add-ons to her Christmas gift from her uncle.  So maybe she’s not 100% girly-girl after all!

4! Oz! Challenge

A Ravelry group was started two months ago called 4! Ounce! Challenge! The challenge was to spin up 4 oz. of handpainted roving from one of three participating merchants (Spunky Eclectic, Hello Yarn and Southern Cross Fibre), write an original pattern, knit and publish the pattern, and submit it to the Challenge to win, what else, some roving! And to complete the task before September 30th.

I’m not an expert spinner by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, much of what I’ve spun over the years would fall under the tongue-in-cheek moniker “designer yarn” (wink, wink). But I thought, “Well, why not? Sounds fun.”
My 4 ounces of roving …


… spun up to around 240 yards of thick-and-thin singles. As you can see, I spin a little on the tight side.


To release some of the spin and get a softer, warmer, more neutral single, I sent it back through the wheel in a Z-twist, sort of massaging it into a nice soft thick-and thin yarn.


I don’t have a “real” gauge to measure wraps/inch, and even if I did, I’m not sure how to get a meaningful estimate on a thick-and-thin yarn. I had a couple people give me their counts, and they came up with different numbers. So I tried to find a sort of uniformly spun bit, and going off that I’d say it’s about 10 wpi. You can judge for yourself.


Also, to be able to suggest a commercial equivalent, I knitted the stitch pattern of the poncho in Noro Aya. I used the same needles for both. I’m not sure that tells us anything terribly useful, but in picking a commercial yarn, something like the Noro Aya should be pretty close. Aya is given a weight of worsted with 9 wpi, and knits 20 stitches/4 inches on US No. 8 needles, according to the ball band.
Side-by-side of handspun and Noro Aya
I just love the long color runs in the Noro yarn which also happens to pool in a way similar to the handspun I made, which is another reason to like the Noro as a commercial option.
Well, there you have it. Yes, I know all these photos are over-kill but I couldn’t decide on just one … she’s so c-u-t-e!

If you’re a Ravelry member, check out all the cool patterns and yarn people did in response to this challenge by searching Projects for the tag 4ozchallenge.

Finished a project!

I tied a pink bow around her neck and made a baby shower gift of her. (Does that sound like the first line of a really cheesy book?)
Brown bear
This is an adaptation of Harry Bear by Berroco Design. I rewrote it to knit in the round, though the original pattern was made in two pieces, then sewn together. Yes, I really do dislike sewing pieces together that much. It worked surprisingly well, and without seams (except as needed to close things up), it was even softer than the white one I made for Eva using the same yarn (Sensations Beautiful).
And most important, the expectant mom seemed to like it.

Happy Birthday, Eva!

A year old already. The time has just flown by, and yet I can’t imagine a time without her.
For her birthday I made her the “You Kiss a Hundred Frogs Purse” designed by Laura Rintala (on Ravelry) and published in Interweave Knits, Holiday Gifts 2009. What a fun project!

Frog toy bag for Eva

The pattern calls for Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted but I used Cascade 220 and it worked just fine. I decided to use Cascade 220 because I had leftover colors from Eva’s Christmas stocking, and thought it would be safest to use all the same yarn since it was going to be felted.
While I was knitting it I thought, “huh, I don’t get it … how’s that going to work, shouldn’t that be attached to something … oh, angsty, angsty!” But I followed the pattern in spite of my doubts, and tossed in the washing machine with my fingers crossed. It felted in no time, and like magic it turned into a … a frog!
With a kiss, will it turn into a handsome prince? Now that would be magic!

A quickie baby gift

I needed a little something for a colleague’s little one, expected early February, shower last week, gender unknown.


This took two sittings to complete, no big deal. But I think it’s kinda cute.

Aw, fer cute!

(That’s a touch of local dialect … and a very cute baby.)

This Whirligig Shrug is so cute. If you make it, you can very easily use the basics of the pattern to improvise a little matching hat.

Whirligig Shrug Hat based on Whirligig Shrug

I made the shrug using Merino 5 Superwash by Crystal Palace Yarns. I bought three 50-gram skeins (110 yds/skein) and had most of one left over so I was able to just use that. I used the same size needles I used for the shrug. And I chose to approach it as a top-down construction so the U-cable for the hatband wouldn’t be upside-down compared to the waistband of the shrug.

I started by casting on 7 stitches in a circle. (Tip: After a round or two you’ll want to place stitch markers to divide the piece into 7 sections. Then make your increases in the stitch before (or after) each stitch marker. Just be consistent in where you add them.) Working in stockinette stitch, I added 7 stitches per round until I had 28 stitches. Then I added 7 stitches every other round until I had 77 stitches. I worked those 77 in stockinette stitch to the length I wanted (about 3-1/2 to 4″). (I cook that way, too: “Oh, I don’t know … you just wanna add ‘some’.”)

Just before starting the U-cable section, I added 3 additional stitches to bring the count to 80. You bring the stitch count to 80 because you need multiples of 8 to duplicate in the hatband the U-cable stitch pattern of the shrug.

After finishing the U-cable “band”, I made a ruffly brim by adding stitches in the same manner as they were added to form the ruffle of the shrug. The brim is maybe 8 rows of seed stitch.
Voila! That’s all there is to it.

Whirligig Shrug and Hat set for Eva