Category Archives: Knitting
I made this sundress for Genna last year, with just the orange and yellow. It was sooo cute, but when I pulled it out this year, it was soooo short, but still fit her around. So, I added the red stripe, after much gnashing of teeth and advice from my knitting group.
This project took me approx 2 months of middle of the night pumping sessions. I kept nodding off, lol.
OK, staying out of my office is really hard for me. I enjoy what I do. I like making awesome products for your families. I don’t like not making awesome products for your families. It’s frustrating to not be working.
Actually, what I need to do is take down my Planning Board, because it’s still got my plans through mid December on it, and it yells at me every time I see it, “You’re behind!! You were supposed to restock Cycle Pads last week!!” (And I’m currently plotting to see if I can’t get enough sneak to the office time to get them restocked anyway… shhhhhh.)
It’s not like I’m on bedrest or anything; I’m not. I’m just not supposed to be doing as much work, and I’m supposed to be resting more, and there’s the ever-dangling-over-my-head threat of You Might Need To Have A Baby Right Now.
But I have been sneaking down to my office every now and again to continue plodding along on Christmas presents. As I posted on Facebook recently, knowing that family won’t appreciate their planned handmade gifts doesn’t give me the money to buy them Big Box Store-ish presents like they actually want. Plus, I really do think that one of these years, I just might wear them down and they will suddenly appreciate the thought, time, and effort that goes into their gifts.
(please note: if you believe you are one of these people who might be getting a gift from me this Christmas, I recommend stopping here.)
Over the last two weeks, I was able to quickly bust out quite a few simple gifts. Actually, these gifts started a few months ago, when I happened across a clearance sale at Hanes.com. (No, I don’t normally shop there, I think I saw a post about it at Want Not.) Zip front hoodies were on clearance for far less than I’ve ever seen plain hoodies ever, even at Target on clearance, and these were the nice Hanes ones. Score! So I bought a hoodie for all the kids on my list, and one for me (I wear a boy’s large, lol), and then some adult size ones for a few adults on my list, too.
I was planning to do some screenprinting, but the process of screenprinting, while not difficult, is somewhat labor-intense for what was going to be REALLY small runs. I ended up switching to Wax Paper Stencils and Appliques instead of screenprinting. As a bonus, this allowed me to work in short bursts, whereas the nature of screenprinting pretty much requires the whole process to be done at one time.
This guitar sweatshirt is for my 16 year old nephew (who plays the guitar) and I also made one for Wally (who also plays the guitar). It’s a reverse applique, so the flames fleece was pinned underneath the sweatshirt before I stitched the outline of the guitar and then trimmed away the sweatshirt fabric from the inside of the shape. Super easy, but somehow seems “cooler” than an actual applique. The butterflies and the flowers are also reverse appliques, and are for a friend’s daughter, and my Miss G. (Genna’s flower sweatshirt also has a more traditional applique on the pocket.) I AM aware that these are really bad pictures.
These two sweatshirts are freezer paper stencil. The rocket for a friend’s 4 year old son, and the Jeep for her husband, who is the proud owner of a new-to-him Jeep Wrangler. (A Christmas present AND a gift to welcome him to the Wrangler club.) On the right is a set of four White Sox luggage tags. They, along with a White Sox travel shoe bag that’s not pictured, are for my Father in Law, who travels a lot and loves the Sox.
And I finished these socks for Miss Genna and the Spider Socks for Mr Wally. (Genna’s socks took about a week. Wally’s? The entire month of October.)
And these four little pairs of socks for the new baby, and for a friend’s baby for Christmas.
I’m NOT posting the details of what I made for a friend who I KNOW reads this blog, lol. So I’m all done with the sewn items. Now I need to learn how to make paracord survival bracelets! I’ve still got some knitting that I’m working on, as well - a sweater for the baby, a pair of socks for my doula (just the toe of one sock remaining), and possibly one for whoever shows up to watch the older kids while I’m busy having a baby. Um, and because some idiot (*ahem* me) made needlepoint Christmas stockings for everyone else in the family, I have to track down a nonugly needlepoint Christmas stocking kit that does not feature Santa and get that done, too. Fortunately, the baby won’t know if he or she doesn’t have a stocking for Christmas this year, but I don’t see me having MORE time to do needlepoint once he or she is born, so I’d really rather do it now.
Remaining giftless are all of my brothers in law, who are all really hard to decide about. I have trouble with men’s gifts in general, I’ll be honest. DH is not helping at all with ideas, and since they’re boys and he’s a boy (and two out of the three are from his side of the family), I’ve generally put him in charge. This means that they usually get Best Buy gift cards, and thus the most expensive gifts out of any. We’ll also purchase some sort of small toy for my 5 year old niece, and I’m kicking myself that I wasn’t focused on this need when I hit the clearance aisle at our local Giant Store to find a few small goodies for my own kids (foam bath letters and a suction cup bath mirror for $5!).
Even with all the other fancy-pants knit wool soaker patterns out there, one of my all-time favorites remains the 1932 wool soaker. This simple ribbed soaker is easy as pie to make – the biggest hurdle is boredom from all of that ribbing! I wrote about it first a while back when I made my first soaker with the pattern.
The pattern itself has been adapted by a kind lady on her blog from an old pattern printed by Lux soap company – she adapted it for modern yarns and needles.
About 3 years ago, I decided to make another adaptation of this pattern – into knitting in the round. It makes it seem to go a bit faster, though of course, it’s the same amount of knitting. For the soaker pictured, I used Peace Fleece in worsted weight along with some solid pink worsted weight from my stash (unlabeled!).
So here goes, my first published knitting pattern.
1932 Soaker Adapted for Knitting in the Round
#5 circular needles
Worsted weight yarn, 1 skein
gauge: 5 st./inch in k2p2 ribbing
CO 104 stitches
Join to knit in the round, being careful not to twist stitches. Place marker to mark start of round.
Complete 8 rounds in K2P2 ribbing
Make one Eyelet round: *k2 yo p2tog* repeat to end of round.
Continue in K2P2 ribbing until piece measures 6 or so inches total
Slip 52 stitches onto a stitch holder or waste yarn.
Knit remaining 52 stitches back and forth (flat), continuing in K2P2 pattern, for another 8 inches.
Graft the stitches on your needles with the stitches on the stitch holder using kitchener stitch. Or, for a decorative line across the back of your soaker, knit the two rows together, then bind off in pattern. Honestly, I find grafting in ribbing to be such a hassle, that I went for the second method. I like the way it looks, though you may not.
Pick up 52 stitches around one leg hole using DPNs. Knit 10 rounds in K2P2 ribbing, bind off loosely. Repeat for other leg hole.
Make an I-cord to thread thru eyelet holes.
And that’s all there is to it.
I started these little dollies at Knitting Night on Monday, and have continued working on them in bits and spurts this week. I was able to really spend some time getting them done on Friday when I needed some preggo mama rest time, and then in the car while running errands and doing other things this weekend. Two of these will be attached to oiled wooden rings as toys for the new baby; the others will be birthday presents or stocking stuffers for Miss Genna.
She’s seen me working on them, but I’ve made them disappear without her giving it much thought. She picked one up and said, “Oh! My dolly! Oh, mommy, so sweet….” Yeah, her adorable moments help balance out her orneriness.
Patterns are all in my Ravelry queue, if I have a pattern chosen. (link is to the right, under Sarah’s Links.) I own the yarn for all except the puppets.
These are all projects I need to finish up by Christmas.
Jack Skellington hat and/or stuffed doll for Wally for Christmas
Puppets for Genna for Christmas
Dollies from scrap yarn for Genna for Christmas, and for new baby
Winter hat for Genna (no pattern)
Longies for new baby
One more sweater for new baby
Socks for midwife thank you gift
One thing that sick kids are good for, and that’s lots of knitting time, usually. I was planning to restock fitted diapers again this week, but all I ended up doing in my office was the bare minimum of shipping out a few orders. Instead, I sat in the bedroom with two sick kids, first with high fevers (104/105) and then with what appears to be an upper respiratory cold. Sounds like pretty much all the other little kids I know in town have had the same thing. We’ve been laying pretty low all week. Wally’s spent most of his days laying in bed watching movies, and Genna’s spent most of her days sitting in the chair, either alone and looking sad and pathetic but refusing comfort, or snuggling up with me. Sometimes they snuggled together in the bed, but with both feeling unwell, that often did not go well.
So, very little sewing, but quite a bit of knitting.
I finished up the Jules Verne socks that I’ve been puttering with for a while. I usually make a pair of socks for every “major” book or series that I read. (classics, or good series, or really super excellent single book.) I read two Jules Verne books recently – well, listened to on audio to be truthful. I had planned to read/listen to more, but after Around the World in 80 Days and Journey to the Center of the Earth, I decided that I didn’t really care for Jules Verne’s writing. It’s very flat, his characters lack any real dimension, and they’re just not too engaging. Nonetheless, his books are classics and I’m glad I finally got around to reading (listening to) them. (I listen to audiobooks when I sew on my Work Nights when I don’t have the kids with me.)
So, here they are. The pattern was chosen because it’s kind of a winding path as in Around the World in 80 Days, and because it’s also mountainous as in Journey to the Center of the Earth. The yarn is Unique Sheep Sushi Socks, which I bought for my yet-to-be-knitted Lord of the Rings Socks, because the picture on their website was much, much darker. It’s far too light to be suitable for the LOTR socks, but seemed just right for Jules Verne. It was delightful to knit with, and the skein was huge. They’re a treat to wear, too, and might be my new favorite socks.
I also started and finished the shawl I need to go with some fancy pants dresses I’ve borrowed for an upcoming event. I have certainly felt like an old lady knitting this, lol. There are certainly fancier shawls out there, and I might have preferred one made with a finer yarn, but I needed something simple and fast, and this fit the bill.
The yarn is KnitPicks Shine Sport, which was nice to work with. I bought 5 skeins based on the pattern recommendations, and though I started to panic a bit at the end, I ended up with just under a yard remaining. That’s my kind of project! The pattern was simple and easy to follow, and is based on a 1930s shawl.
This year, Wally and I got new hats and mittens.
This yarn, Mirasol, is my new favorite. Wally picked his out at a yarn store in Phoenix when we were there in March, and asked for a hat (and then, later, for matching mittens, necessitating my finding people on Ravelry with some to sell). I think I picked mine out at the same time, actually, and later I bought a bit more in Decorah to make socks for a friend’s husband.
I’m also knitting myself a hood, which will enable me to keep my noggin warm, but still wear a headcovering. I will probably end up lining both my hat and my hood with microfleece, like Wally’s hat is.
Wally’s new winter hat. I started with a hat pattern, but pretty much rewrote it. That said, this is a really really simple hat pattern. Then I lined it with microfleece to make it nice and toasty. I love it, and he will wear it, so we’re all happy.
An apron for me. I couldn’t resist this fabric with the chickens, but I wasn’t really sure what to make from it. I mean, it’s not exactly skirt or blouse material… so I made an apron.
These socks were for-hire, for a Christmas present. I hate to give more details because I’m afraid the recipient might read this blog. The request was for a crazy combination of colors, and I had a REALLY hard time finding yarn that fit the bill – at least that was within the budget. So I settled on this yarn, Mirasol, which is really nice to knit with and I think incorporates enough of the requested colors that they’ll be happy with them. The yarn is nice and squooshy, and is a DK weight, which made these giant socks go pretty fast.