Tag Archives: colorwork

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The babies are coming….the babies are coming….

It seems like so many acquaintances are looking forward to the birth of a baby in the near future. Mackenzie just knit up 3 baby sweaters and I knit 2 recently. I absolutely couldn’t wait to knit the first one because it was designed by Mackenzie. I mean, how many times do you get to knit a pattern your own daughter designed? A real, published, actual pattern?

image1I knit it out of Malabrigo Sock Yarn in the Aguas Colorway. I found some awesome unicorn tails by Madelintosh for the contrasting colors. The unicorn tails are crazy amazing because they are small skeins of yarn so you don’t pay an arm and a leg for a large skein, using only a fraction of it for the contrasting colors.

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While I was knitting the pattern I kept telling my husband “Mackenzie is so smart.” Creating a pattern is no easy task: coming up with the design, figuring out the pattern repeat while keeping in mind the gauge of your yarn and having it come out the right size is just the first thing to think about. How big does the neck need to be to go over a head? How do you compensate for colorwork size versus your normal gauge on the body? How do you write it all down so someone else can follow and understand the pattern?  I got the right gauge and ended up with the correct measurements. I am pleased as punch with the end result! At the baby shower the sweater was passed from person to person for closer inspection accompanied by many oohs and aahs. It is a lovely top down raglan  pattern that would be great for beginning color work knitters. I think the best part about this sweater is that it lends itself to either gender and changes appearances greatly depending on the colors chosen.

My second sweater was a bit complicated. It’s called Dragon-skin Wrap by Angela Hahn. I tried to knit this one other time and felt is was too complicated, so put it away. Then 2 weeks ago my sister-in-law contacted me and asked if I would knit a sweater for a girl baby shower. I had some coral colored cotton blend yarn in my stash that I had orignally bought for socks. I saw it and remembered this pattern and decided to give it another try. This time my mind grasped the design and I got it done – along with a hat. The flowers were the funnest part of the whole project.

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So, two babies done and several more to go. The world is exploding with children and joy. I am thankful every day for my children and the people they have turned into. Blessings to all those little ones coming into the world.

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The Mountaintop Pullover

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It’s here! My first published knitting pattern. Part of the incredibly cute Winter 2015 Knittin’ Little collection, the Mountaintop Pullover is alongside some beautifully wearable and beautifully quirky selections for your Littles (I especially dig the skunk scarf).

Can you believe I started thinking about this design, oh, I don’t know, 18 months ago?  In toddler world, that is literally a lifetime. Indulge me while I take you on a tour of all the little details.

I’m a huge fan of stranded colorwork, but I know it looks intimidating to many people. So I chose to put a band of colorwork around the waist, where you won’t have to fuss with increases and decreases at the same time you’re juggling two yarns.

It’s a top-down raglan with a larger neck opening built in for your toddler sizes.

Each repeat of the colorwork motif adds 1″ to the length of the sweater, so it’s super easy to calculate if you want to make the colorwork part longer or shorter.

It’s geometric and unisex (depending on your choice of colors). I initially envisioned it as a pattern I’d be happy to have my son wear, and I have to say it looks super adorable modeled on a little girl for the magazine.

The design started here:

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It hit a little snag here,
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went through a few variations,
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and ended up here!

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You can find the pattern on Knittin’ Little’s website and on Ravelry. Go check out the whole collection, and if you knit my design (well, I’d be thrilled regardless)…  pics or it didn’t happen!

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in my ears

When we moved to Michigan in 2012, for a brief 9-month sojourn, I was going to work hard on my grad school portfolio. To bribe myself to work long hours in the studio, I bought an audio book – Sunshine, by Robin McKinley.

I listened to that book over and over for weeks on end. Not always while creating prints in the studio. I found that my happiest moments were often curled up in a particular chair, knitting industriously while paragraphs and pages unrolled in my ears.

This is the main project I remember making while listening to Sunshine. Colorwork mittens from laceweight yarn held double are NOT a fast knit.
This is the main project I remember making while listening to Sunshine. Colorwork mittens from laceweight yarn held double are NOT a fast knit. I think I got 000 needles for these?

You can’t listen to the same audio book forever, though. So here’s what’s been in my ears lately.

Funny – The Adventure Zone – expletive-filled live-play of Dungeons and Dragons with three brothers and their dad. If you like weird voices, Dungeons and Dragons, or comedic families hamming it up together, you’ll probably dig this one.

EncouragingOne Bad Mother – Their tagline might as well be, “You are nailing it! Good job!” They share their genius and fail moments, talk to other parents, and generally chat about diverse topics that caregivers run into each day (sleep regression, depression, baby fever, time outs, when to cut your kids’ hair, and more). As much as this podcast is about encouraging parents, it’s also got a few cusses, so you might not want to listen with your Littles around.

Creative Inspiration – Longform Podcast – conversations with creative non-fiction writers and storytellers, mostly journalists and essay writers. I’m not even sure what to say about this one – just go listen. You will come away wanting to read a bunch of things as well as look at the world closely and carefully every day.

Knitting - Knit.fm – this now-defunct podcast has a metric crap ton of useful information, ranging from weaving in your ends, to short rows, to stashing, modifying patterns, and more. I’ve listened to the whole catalog a couple of times, and am still gleaning new things.

What about you? Any recommendations for my knitting-time listening?