After a long hiatus of two years (in which I almost never picked up knitting needles), my knitting mojo is back with a bang. I should thank my soon-to-be-born grandchild for that. You read that right, I did say grandchild. My niece is expecting and is going to pop any day now and I will be elevated to the much coveted grandmom (okay, grandaunt) position.
Sweater pattern: Little Coffee Bean Cardigan by Elizabeth Smith
Socks: Rye by tincanknits
Hat: Garter Ear Flap Hat by Purl Soho
My niece wanted a sweater in gender neutral color, so most of my baby colors in my stash were ruled out. After much consideration, I zeroed in on the Knit Picks Shine Worsted in Platinum and Willow.
While the cardigan pattern is written to knit in stripes, I had to modify the socks and hat pattern to follow that. For socks, I changed the color every two rows, but stuck with MC for the heel flap until I joined to knit in round again. For the hat, I knit the ear flaps in MC color and when I knit a plain round, I changed colors every two rows.
I noticed that things move fast when I knit in stripes. Is that true or is my mind playing tricks on me!
Purvi translates to “from the east” and is also the name of a popular Hindustani raga in Indian classical music. Purvi is sung during dusk – just when the sun goes down and the breeze from the east brings the temperature down a notch – the time when Purvi shawl can keep your shoulders warm and add to the beauty of the evening.
Purvi is knit from the top down, starting with a garter stitch tab. The body of the shawl features a pretty leaf lace pattern which seamlessly evolves into a bigger leaf pattern. Charts and written instructions are provided for the lace stitch patterns. Adventurous knitters can optionally place beads on the pointy edges.
The sample is knit using Malabrigo Sock in Lettuce colorway. The shawl can be made using lace yarn, but the gauge and finished size will vary.
Purvi is available at a promotional price of $3 until May 10, after which it will be listed at its full price of $5.
Ravelry Pattern: Purvi
Yarn Suggested: Malabrigo Sock
Needle Size: US #10 6 mm for the body
After I made the pretty, little sweater and was still left with a good half ball of yarn, I decided to make a hat to go with the sweater. I wanted one which would go with the sweater – with similar cables. Luckily, I found just the right pattern: Cable Baby Hat. I tried looking for a pattern with earflaps, but when my search didn’t turn up a good one (with cables similar to the one in Sunnyside cardigan), I gave up and settled for this one. I could have used a plain, earflap hat pattern and added this cable myself, but that wouldn’t be mindless knitting, would it?
The hat was a quick and easy knit. I liked how the designer blended in the decreases with the cables. By the look of it, I feel the hat is too long, but that should be okay. Long hats can be worn with folded brims, short ones are a problem.
Like the sweater, the hat is warm and soft. Cables are much better on the hat, but still not sharp enough for my liking. That cute little pom-pom is husband’s contribution. He is the resident pom-pom expert.
Next came the booties. I didn’t bother searching for a pattern for booties with cables, because I knew what pattern I would follow. I have made Ruth’s Perfect Baby Booties atleast a dozen times now and they have never failed me.
They are seamed, which I can live with, but what I love about these booties are they stay on little baby feet. I made 3-4 pairs for my own baby and never once have I seen the booties slide down.
I did think of incorporating cables into the booties, but dropped the idea as I was aiming for mindless knitting.
With the booties done, the set is now complete.
My hands are itching to cast on for a baby blanket, but my mind likes to remind them that there is no way I can knit up a baby blanket in two month’s time. Not with all the things going around right now.
Change is the only constant thing, said a wise man once. Some are welcome changes, some not so much. One change which always is welcome is the addition to a family, i.e. arrival of a baby. Don’t try to read something between the lines which doesn’t exist because I am talking about a friend. I have known him for over a decade now. I met him at my very first job, as part of a cultural event. We both are book lovers, so we naturally went onto become friends. Long after I quit that job and hopped onto a few more, we kept in touch, even if it is just for talking about books. He would buy gifts and books for my son, which was very heartwarming. Our friendship strengthened when he went on to marry a friend of mine. Two strong, independent persons coming together to start a new relationship, of which I was somehow part of. My joy knew no bounds. And when the couple called to tell me they are expecting, the first thing that came to my mind (even before I yelled Congratulations!) was what am I going to knit for the baby. I wanted to translate the warm relationship I share with the couple to the knitted items. I didn’t know how, but the knitted items needed to represent the relationships.
A quick dive through my stash turned up this yarn. The softest yarn in the most pleasant colors. I had picked this up on my visit to Singapore and was saving it for a baby to come by and claim it. I wanted this to be a relaxed knit, so my own design was out of the question. Sunnyside pattern seemed like a good choice. I see the twisting cables as the way our lives are twisted together, not in a messy, knotty kind of way, but in a way that looks beautiful and feels warm.
The stockinette part of Sunnyside is easy, and the cables keep it from becoming boring. Top-down, raglan construction with cozy, garter bands on the neckline, sleeve cuffs and the buttonbands.
As much as I love this yarn and can’t get enough of its softness, I did not like it for this pattern. The yarn is loosely plied, to an extent that it is splitty and the cables don’t stand out enough. I still like the end result. It may not be dense and sharp as I like my sweaters to be, but it is soft and warm, which I think babies will prefer.
I still have about half the ball of yarn left, so there will be a hat and may be booties in the near future.
Ravelry Project Page
Yarn: Patons Australia Big Baby 4 Ply
Just in time before the spring arrives, here is another pattern release from my side. Felber is a circular yoke sweater with asymmetric cable on the yoke. The name Felber means bent, twisted to indicate the suppleness and I find it apt for the cables used in this sweater. It is worked top-down in the round, so no pesky seams to stitch up.
I used a new yarn (new to me) Jill Drape Makes Stuff Hudson – Made in USA. The yarn is soft and yummy and oh the colors are so rich and vibrant. I requested for a brown color which will suit a boy’s sweater. Jill picked out this one and I must say, I couldn’t have picked anything better. The yarn is so well plied, the cables just pop.
Felber is available at a promotional price of $3 until Mar 10, after which it will be listed at its full price of $5.
Ravelry Pattern: Felber by Anjali M.
Yarn Suggested: Jill Draper Makes Stuff; Hudson – Made in USA
Needle Size: US #6 4 mm for the body
Every boy goes through a phase where he admires soldiers and warriors and aspires to be one. My son is in one such phase and naturally, he requested me to make a chest armor for him. I play with yarn, not metal, so I convinced him to settle for a “sweater chest armor”.
The dense, textured body of the sweater protects your little one from cold and wind. Sleeves are plain stockinette and the elbow patch using the same textured stitch adds a bit of style and interest. The sweater is worked from the top down, using raglan sleeves. Body and sleeves are worked in the round. The texture stitch is a easy to memorize and knit. The aran weight yarn makes the sweater cozy and quick to knit.
Warrior Sweater is available at a promotional price of $3 until Feb 10, after which it will be listed at its full price of $5.
Ravelry Pattern: Warrior Sweater by Anjali M.
Yarn Suggested: Cascade Eco+
Needle Size: US #9 5.5 mm for the body