Confidence bolstered by the octopus, I decided to go for something a bit more challenging and knit a Vera teddy bear for my future baby. I went to ImagiKnit picked out a beautiful purple yarn from Malabrigo called Rios (872 Purpuras colorway).
This pattern is nuts. It’s also flawless. It has a nonstandard way of communicating what to do, but once you figure it out it’s pretty easy. You just have to carefully follow each step and after a while a bear takes shape. I loved the details like purl stitches to mark where ears, eyes, and nose go (and make it easier to pick up stitches to attach those features).
Starting the head
Head completed, minus ears, eyes, and nose
Mildly creepy stage
Now, three months later, posing with baby Maya
Once I finished the sweater, I decided it was time to move on to stuffed animals. “Dandy Sir Cephalopod” seemed like the perfect little toy for a baby: lots of legs to grab, and the right size to hold onto. I left off the “dandy” details (top hat, monocle, and moustache) because they didn’t seem baby appropriate. I used some soft blue yarn leftovers that I got from Alice.
The legs were a little fiddly to start, but ultimately this guy went together quickly and without issue. Very satisfying project!
Attaching the legs to the body
She likes it!
Still couch-ridden in my 9th month of pregnancy, I decided to knit a baby cardigan out of the gorgeous skein of rainbow handspun yarn my aunt Erika made for me.
The pattern I picked was “In Threes”, by Kelly Herdrich on Ravelry.
I’d never knit a sweater before — I’d always lost interest before I got very far — but I had confidence that this one would be different because it was so small and the yarn was so special. Plus I had a very firm deadline and I wasn’t sure when it would arrive! Talk about motivation.
I ended up finishing the sweater in about a day and a half. (I’m a pretty slow knitter, truth be told.)
Turns out I didn’t have quite enough yarn, so I had to pick another yarn to finish the last few rows with. I ended up choosing the fucshia-purple on the left in the photo above.
I finished it off with three mother-of-pearl buttons — it was the only thing I could think of that would truly match the yarn!
It’s still pretty big on my baby but she’ll grow into it soon. I can’t wait!
Toward the end of my pregnancy, I really couldn’t do anything other than lie on the couch, so I began knitting obsessively. The first thing I made was a pair of baby booties and mitts. I made them out of the remains of a buttery soft skein of yarn that my aunt Erika had used to knit a gorgeous blanket for my baby: Crystal Palace Mochi Plus in the “Tapestry Rainbow” colorway.
For the booties, I used the “Dreamy Baby Booties” pattern by Veronica Van on Ravelry. I find that they stay on my baby pretty well, especially if I don’t roll down the cuffs.
I used this “Baby Mitts” pattern from Susan B. Anderson on Ravelry for the mitts. They’re pretty cute but honestly I haven’t really used them on our baby because it’s been so warm and my baby doesn’t like her hands being covered.
One of my first baby projects was a cable knit hat. I used the “Otis” hat pattern from Joy Boath on Ravelry. It’s a nice simple little pattern. If you’ve never knit cables it’s a good one to cut your teeth on.
The first version I knit out of some super soft blue acrylic that I received as a hand me down from a friend who quit knitting.
I gave this to Jen and Mike for their baby Eris.
For the second version, I modified the pattern a little to make the brim a k3p3 rib instead of straight garter stitch. I used the last bits of a skein of green super soft cotton yarn that Alice gave me. I love the yarn, but it’s pretty heavy so the hat ended up quite large. It’s still too big for my 3 month old, but I suspect it’ll come in useful for those foggy summer San Francisco days.
Update: Here’s a picture of my baby, now 4.5 months old, wearing the green hat. It fits her great and is sooooooo cute!
About four and a half years ago, I started working on a pair of fingerless gloves. Last month, I finally finished them.
No one’s ever accused me of being good at follow-through.
I began this project during a sweltering road trip through the Southwest. What inspired me to get elbow deep in wool in 100F+ temps is beyond me. I had a vision! And I was right. I love them! They’re made with my favorite yarn, Berroco Jasper, a delicious single-ply merino that used to come in some amazing colors. It’s self-striping yarn, and I picked a deep teal/ocean blue and a raspberry to work with. I decided to use the pattern “Knucks“, from Knitty. I wanted the fingers and cuff to be a little longer than the pattern called for. I like the result, though I wish I’d made the pinkies slightly shorter.
Overall I found the pattern solid and easy to work with, but it required quite a bit of tweaking to work with the gauge that resulted from the yarn/needle combination that I’d chosen. I made the child-sized gloves (and admittedly my hands are tiny) and they were still baggy. I tweaked the thumb gusset to be more severe and voila! A perfectly fitting glove.
So why did it take me nearly 5 years to finish them? Well, the thought of frogging the first sad, saggy glove was just too daunting for some reason. So it sat, and sat, and sat, and moved with me from one apartment to the next, to the next, and still another. Then finally last September some friends offered to host a craft party and I decided, this was it. Today was the day. I would finish these damn gloves for once and for all.
Keeping with the theme of these gloves, it happened to be an unbearably hot Sunday afternoon, but the mimosa kept me cool enough to finish knitting the glove. After all that, it only ended up taking me about 2 hours to finish! But I still had the ends to weave in. It took me another 3 months to finally get around to completing that dreaded task. But now it’s done, done, done and I can brag about it on the internet!
Because I loved how my Berroco Jasper/Karabella hat turned out, I made one for (my then-boyfriend, now-husband) Ed. He is fond of blacks and dark greys so the charcoal color I picked out was perfect for him.
I decided to make matching fingerless gloves for him, since he spends a lot of time outside and is always cold.
The pattern I went with was Dashing from Knitty (by Cheryl Niamath) and the yarn is Berroco Jasper again. It knitted up a little larger than expected. I started making the “larger” size but it was too big so I decreased to the “smaller” size. The finished size came out somewhere between the pattern’s “smaller” and “larger” sizes. They’re maybe a touch big on me, which is perfect for Ed. If I ever make these for myself, I’ll be using the same yarn but smaller needles.
Browsing the mounds of gorgeous yarn at Article Pract, I fell in love with Berroco Jasper, a luxuriously soft single ply merino that came in deliciously rich jewel tones (sadly, many of which have been discontinued). I bought it in raspberry, ocean blue, and a deep warm grey.
With the raspberry, I decided to make myself a cozy winter hat. The pattern I chose was Karabella Rib Hat and Scarf, having seen an internet friend knit the same pattern and really liking the results.
Though I knit this hat nearly 5 years ago, I still find myself going to it first for cold outdoor activities. It’s super warm (even when wet), a fantastic color, and — being a natural fiber — is safe around fiery activities (a concern for a burner like me). My only gripe is that my head is slightly too big for it, so it ends up sliding up my head and looking pointed on top, like a kewpie doll.
My favorite part of this pattern is the way the decreases make a spiral star pattern to the top of the head.
When my husband and I started dating, one of my first gifts to him was a hand-knit hat.
I made it out of a super-soft alpaca/merino blend yarn from Lang Yarns called “Naima”. I got it at Article Pract in Oakland. If you’ve never been to Article Pract, I highly recommend it: their staff is wonderful and their yarns are luxurious.
The pattern is called “Hot Head”, from Stitch ‘n’ Bitch. I made a few modifications to account for gauge difference.
Here’s me, taking it for a spin:
The final product is very light as it has a fairly loose knit, but because it’s alpaca/merino it’s still incredibly warm.
Do you like sea creatures? Does the golden ratio appeal to you? Do you place a high importance on the cuteness of the objects around you? If you’re anything like me, these statements will apply to you. What better way to pay tribute to the beauty of nature than by knitting an adorable nautilus! When I saw the Nautie pattern on knitty.com I knew immediately that I had to make it.
Nautie was surprisingly easy to knit, despite a “tangy” rating. It was extremely satisfying watching a spiral tube form, like magic.
I named him Rodrigo. Rodrigo is a little cock-eyed.