The Unbearable Cuteness of Baby Knits

Tiny shawl collar cardigans, wee work socks, miniature sweater vests. Yup – super cutey cute cuteness. There’s no denying it. I’m as guilty as anyone of scrolling through a highway of Pinterest posts, saving, queuing, liking, and cooing over dozens and dozens of sweet little baby knitted stuffs.

AND I now have two, not one, but TWO, precious little grandchildren…cute as bugs in a rug, tugging at my heart strings (especially the ones attached to my internal knitting needles).

So why oh why do I hesitate to knit baby stuff?

I know. You are at this very moment emphatically telling my blog post that I HAVE knit baby things. In fact, more than a few. But really, the honest truth is that I could have knit waaaaaay more than I have. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more.

Despite all the purchased and queued patterns, despite the pretty stacks of woolly skeins, something thwarts my motivation to actually cast on and knit. However, after writing and rewriting this post, and a smidge of self analysis, I may have sussed it out. I think, maybe, possibly, perhaps, I don’t, way down deep in my heart, believe that knitting baby things is really worthy of my time. There, I said it. (I’m going to get mail over this)

Here’s my (admittedly lame) argument. While baby things are cute, take small amounts of yarn, and are mostly reasonably quick knits, how practical are they really?

Babies grow fast. Unfreakingbelieveably fast.  Even if I make stuff a size or two bigger than the current size of the baby, realistically the baby will only wear the item a handful of times before it can’t anymore. And, I also have a sneaking suspicion that the adult recipients of the baby knits I gift are reluctant to even let the little drooly, spit-uppy nibbling wear the semi-precious hand knit – despite my insistence that it’s at least, in part, machine washable.

I don’t know. My pragmatic side just can’t get onside with using up all that precious knitting time for something that, while appreciated, is so briefly useful. Ya hear me?

However, having said all that, there is the unbearable cuteness factor. Watch how perfectly decent knitting is transformed when wrapped around a bouncing bundle of joy:

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Purl Soho’s Clean + Simple Baby Dress and the Meredith Baby Cardigan. Nice, yes?

Now, hold my martini and watch this:

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Infinitely more cute, right? And besides, so maybe it only gets worn once or twice…

I’ll have these photos forever.

Cheers,

Knicoleknits

Good Things Come to Those Who Finish

I’m back.

I apologize for being gone so long. Mental block…no worries, I smashed the block with a hammer. Smile

Further to my last post…somehow, despite all the starting, I did manage to “un-needle” a thing or two. (and, of course, “needle” and finish a few more…posts to follow)

At the very very VERY end of August, I finished my delightful Ravi:

Ravi hero shotRavi backRavi neckline

I thought – HA! – because after the lace yoke, it was nothing but easy peasy garter stitch from here on in – double HA! – that it would be quick quick quick to knit up the rest.
Pfffft…it was exactly the opposite. It felt like I was knitting FOREVER (I know, I said that last time, but it needed to be said again).  And THEN, there were sleeves!!! TWO of them!!!!

Don’t let yourself be fooled by the one-move single-stichedness of garter. You may be doing nothing but knit stitch, BUT (and it’s a big but) what one needs to remember is that garter ridges like to snuggle together, essentially causing the row between the ridges to vanish (ooooo…magic…or is it voodoo???) What this means is that it takes almost twice as much knitting to get to your goal length. I would knit for, like, hours, then measure to find a mere inch or two gained, if that…grrrr….whimper…sigh…resignation, and knitting would resume. It’s like that. And knitting garter with teeny weeny fingering weight yarn only compounds the issue. Just sayin’

Fortunately, I had incentive. Carol Feller (the pattern’s oh-very-talented designer) offered the chance to win a prize if one’s finished Ravi was posted on the Ravelry group forum by midnight August 31, 2012.  I made with deadline with about 30 minutes to spare, but, sadly, I didn’t win (snivel, weep)  However, I did have my lovely Ravi to wear for the rest of summer and fall…and wear it I did…and the compliments were plentiful. Happiness. Smile

Note: my one mod (that’s modification for those who aren’t up on their knitter’s jargon) was to duplicate stitch with dark turquoise over the light turquoise I-cord edging around the neckline. Excellent way to make the contrast yoke look more on purpose and less like I ran out of yarn.

Here’s a link to the pattern on Carol Feller’s page:  Carol Feller’s Ravi

Here’s a link to my Ravi on Ravelry: NicoleKneedles’ Ravi

Next item off the needles, Shaken Not Stirred Scarf:

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Once Ravi was done, I picked up the Shaken Not Stirred scarf and began to knit that in earnest. Again, I had a deadline to meet…my de facto Mother-in-Law’s 90th birthday (as noted in previous post, she and I have shared many a martini over the years). I had just over a month between finishing Ravi and the delivery date in early October.

Now, what possessed me to knit TWO projects in a row with fingering weight yarn, I will never know. Regardless, I did knit and knit and knit this little number until my muscles were raw, and managed to get ‘er done in time.

Throughout the process, I remained concerned about where-o-where I was going find a good olive-like button or bead to place inside the sweet lace martini “glass.” I searched high and low and even hither and yon before realizing that such an animal did not exist (I know what you’re thinking, but by the time I started searching, it was too late to hunt and shop the Interwebs).

Eventually, in abject desperation, I forced my brain to think outside the proverbial box. As I stood confounded in a bead store with no olive bead in sight, it occurred to me that somehow perhaps I could fashion what I wanted out of two or more different beads.

Et voila! Not even a minute later, I had the following beads in my hot little hand:

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Do these beads not simply scream olive with pimento to you? Exactly! I knew they would. Here they are in place on their knitted pick:

Martini Scarf

Again, one mod (there’s that word again) – I added a few extra “olives” in the center of the scarf to give it a bit more length. This scarf is knit in two sections from the ends to the center and then grafted together.

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Because I added the extra length on the fly, with no advance planning, I ended up with a few extra rows between the edge “olives” where it’s grafted. Now that I’ve brought it to your attention, you will see where the gap is on the edge at the graft point. Now forget you saw it. Thank you.

The birthday arrived in early October and the finished item was received (on time) by my de facto mother-in-law with much glee and raving (seriously…much raving…it continues to this day with every phone call).

Warning: This scarf is not for the faint of chart (yes, that was on purpose), as one must follow two lace charts, the edges and the center motifs, simultaneously. There was much ripping back and delay as I am a chronic multi-tasker while knitting and inevitably, errors ensue.

Here is a link to the pattern on Knitters Brewing Company: Shaken Not Stirred Scarf

Here is a link to my project page on Ravelry: NicoleKneedles Shaken Not Stirred Scarf

There’s lot more catching up to do, but I’ll dole it out in several posts instead of posting myself blind.

Don’t forget to knit – it’s good for you. Smile  And knitting opportunities are everywhere:

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Cheers, Nicole

Hiya Knitters!

Hello, my name is Nicole and, yes, this is yet another knitting blog. (That’s Charlie above, in her “hounds”tooth coat 🙂

I really hesitated to create my own blog after realizing that every knitter and her dog (or cat) has a blog these days, but as it turns out, I couldn’t resist.

Here’s why:

  1. I love to knit. Seriously…love it.
  2. I can knit any pattern I chose, fearlessly (the harder, the better).
  3. I want to be a knitting pattern designer, writer, and teacher.
  4. I’ve known how to knit since I was a child and have been knitting garments for 25 years.
  5. I used to teach sewing classes for adults – everything from absolute beginners to advanced tailoring.
  6. I used to design and sew custom wedding gowns, quilted wall art, home decor, Xmas decorations, and more.
  7. I am an excellent writer (and also very modest).
  8. In conclusion… I knit, I create, I teach, I write…therefore, I blog.

It’s time to insert an interesting photo in my new blog, so here’s one of a lovely shrug I knit last year called Eve’s Ribs, designed by Carol Sunday of Sunday Knits.

  Here’s some more detail:

Pretty nice, eh?  (Yup, I’m Canadian – good work spotting the accent 🙂

If you’re interested, you can find out more about Eve’s Ribs here: Sunday Knits – Eve’s Ribs  (when you see words in pretty colours on my blog, it’s a link to a cool place)

Okay, how am I doing with this blog stuff so far?

Introduction? Check!

Pretty photo? Check!

Link to another site? Check!

So far so good, let’s continue.

How about one more picture before I finish my very first post – this is the Rill Scarf, designed by Miriam L. Felton. I knit it in the fall last year and I wear it every day. Every. Day.

   Isn’t the yarn spectacular?  I bought it at the Button and Needlework Boutique.

My next post will include photos of my many (or my favorite, if the many is too many) works in progress.  Also in the next post or two, I will talk about my favorite designers, and how I plan to learn pattern design.

If you’re a Raveler, I’m NicoleKneedles there.  Please look me up and say hello.  If you’re not a Raveler – be one: Ravelry.com

There’s one of those RSS feeds up there somewhere, so you don’t miss anything.

Thanks for visiting, and I hope you’ll be back!

And…Knit! It’s good for you.

Cheers, Nicole