Tag Archives: gift knitting

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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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Chocolate Chai

While Mackenzie is using her acute night vision to work on her lace and bead shawl, I have created a new beverage – well it may not be new but it’s new to me and I thought it up this morning when I got out of bed: Chocolate Chai.

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I bought some Bengal Spice Chai tea and found that if I heat up milk in the microwave and steep a chai tea bag I have chai tea made easy.  When I woke up this morning, I thought “why not add chocolate to the chai tea?”  So I mixed up some powdered sugar with a little cocoa powder and added it to the steeped chai tea.  Voila!  My tummy was very happy this morning.

My brain is always thinking of ways to change something.  I never follow a recipe, I try recipes never tried before on company (they are, of course, improvised out of the gate). This also holds true for my knitting.

One example is this Color Affection scarf I knit for Mackenzie.

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Color Affection by Veera Valimaki in sock weight yarn

The pattern called for changing the colors every other row, but I found that my colors were similar enough that they blended too well and the striping effect was lost. I knitted 4 rows for each color before changing to make the stripes more distinct. It was a small change that made a big difference.

Flexibility and learning skills that help the execution of my ideas are my latest goal. I just finished watching a Craftsy class that was fabulous: Sweater Surgery. I feel so excited to think that the sweater that I have almost completed for my son Aaron will fit him in the end – regardless of how it fits him initially.

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The problem with knitting for others is the fit issue. I took measurements prior to starting the project, but failed to obtain all the ones I needed – part of the learning process. Because of this class, I now know how to lengthen or shorten, widen or narrow an item after it has been completed. When I finish assembling this sweater, I will post the pictures of how it fit initially and then keep you posted on the adjusting event. Now I can look forward to Christmas, and the anxiety cloud that follow me wherever I go is much smaller. I think another cup of chocolate chai is in order.