Thursday, May 23, 2013

Little Coffee Bean Sweater: For Grant's Baby Boy

Not too long ago, a guy at work (Grant) saw me giving my friend, DeeDee, a hat for her little girl, Emma.  It was a small version of my Alternating Cables Cap in Berroco Comfort DK in "rosebud". Sweet!

Grant looked at me sort of longingly and said... "You know, I have a little girl too and my wife and I are having a baby boy in May..."

So I made this sweet little cardigan for Grant's baby boy.  I already have a hat made for Grant's little girl, who I understand is about 3 years old. 

The pattern I used for Grant's baby boy is "Little Coffee Bean"; a FREE pattern I have been wanting to make for quite some time.  It's a bit more work than some of the other "knit from the top down" baby sweaters I've made, yet it's knitting up rather quickly since the pattern calls for worsted weight yarn. 

I am used Berroco Comfort in tan and blue.  I love this cozy color combination. 

This pattern can be made for a boy or a girl.... with or without stripes. Endless possibilities really.  There are over 2,000 Little Coffee Bean sweaters on Ravelry... so many cute sweaters!  I love the inspiration I get from Ravely.

The pattern can be found HERE on Ravelry.  I like a lot of designs by this young designer, Elizabeth Smith.  Her design shop is called "The Brown Stitch Designs".  Here's a LINK to all of her patterns on Ravelry.  

Friday, May 17, 2013

What's Knitting: Chili Socks?

I went to JoAnn's Fabric and Craft Store a few weeks back for some buttons for some baby sweaters nearing completion.  

Of course... while I was there, I HAD to look at the yarn.
I found some yarn I'd not seen before... Serenity Sock Weight Yarn by Premier Yarns.

Well, I guess I had seen this yarn before... the socks I made for my mom for Christmas were made in this yarn in the colorway called "Indigo". 

But I had never seen the "Chili" colorway before...
And I had never seen the "Harlequin" colorway before...

So... of course... I HAD to buy it all.

So I am knitting along, admiring the beautiful soft colors in the yarn called "Chili" and, as I knit, I keep asking myself... "Why on Earth are they calling this yarn 'Chili'????" 

Seriously, it's driving me crazy.  Just a little bit.

Soft faded denim-like shades...
...Purple... no, magenta!
...Blue, really periwinkle.
...A pretty sage green both light and dark.
...and a pinky-peachy shade of off-white.

Lovely really... but "CHILI"?

I went to look at the Premier Yarns website to try to wrap my brain around this yarn naming madness.  I found other colorways in this line of yarn... Paprika, Saffron, Mint... I see a theme developing here and I like it.  The colorways called Purple Spice and Pink Sugar kind of went "off theme" but I see the connection.  The colors in the yarn and the yarn name resemble make sense.

But "Chili" for this yarn... I just don't get it.  I am not upset or ranting here, but these are the things that rattle around in my brain as I knit, knit, knit away.  If anyone can explain the connection here, please let me know. I'll try to not lose any sleep in the meantime.

As I knit, I am thinking names such as... 

Desert Flowers...
Springtime Desert Flowers...
Faded Washed Denim...

Of... perhaps "Water Lilies"...

I know... Moab!

 Or BETTER yet... Moab at Dusk.

 Yes, Moab at Dusk is now what I am thinking as I knit these socks.

So these lizard statues have nothing to do with yarn, knitting, Chili, or socks... but they sure are cute! I took these lizard photos in Moab.

Oh, one more thing.  I like how this yarn wrapper has both a pattern AND a ruler printed on the inside.  I guess I can forgive Premier Yarns for giving this yarn a odd name!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Puerperium #2

Not too terribly long ago, I ventured into the store called Tuesday Morning.  I go in there because I know... sometimes... they have yarn.  Seriously, this place is a train wreck and it has the most random assortment to "stuff" all over the store and you never quite know what you'll find... pots and pans, cosmetics, luggage, small appliances, clothing, yarn... no rhyme or reason... just "stuff".  "Stuff" at discounted prices I guess...

But... like I said... I go in there to see if they have yarn and because, if they have yarn, the prices are good.

I found a shelf or two with yarn and the balls and skeins were sort of unraveling all over the place, but over an aisle or two... mixed in with some dog toys (seriously!)... I found a shopping cart with some yarn.  Araucania yarn... not sure if I had heard of it before or not.  Two skeins of colorful variegated cotton, two skeins of a greenish-jade-emerald-sort-of-color of fingering weight yarn, and one skein of fingering weight yarn in a colorway I am calling "tennis ball yellowish-green".  I bought it all plus a ball of yarn from two aisles over in a colorway called "Seattle". Yep, I like Seattle a LOT and the colors in the yarn did remind me of Seattle... so there you go. 

One of the variegated cotton skeins was knit up into a baby sweater called "Puerperium".  I made a long- sleeved version and nearly ran out of yarn. This week I made a sort-sleeved version.  Isn't it sweet? I may have enough yarn to make some baby booties, but I've not gotten around to that yet.

The Puerperium pattern is free on Ravelry. The link is HERE.
A larger version of the pattern (not free) is available HERE.
Both are very popular patterns.
I can see myself knitting this pattern a lot in the future.  It's such a great baby shower gift!

I still don't know how to pronounce Puerperium but my curiousity got the best of me;
I had to "Google" the definition.  Now I know.

1. The state of a woman during childbirth or immediately thereafter.
2. The approximate six-week period lasting from childbirth to the return of normal uterine size.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Lavender Leaves: A sweet sweater for Baby Grace Anne

I bought enough of this lovely lavender yarn (Cascade 220 Superwash) to make a sweater for myself a few years back but I am not much of a sweater knitter. I actually started to make a sweater called Pismo but frogged it. The shaping made me fret and the notion of sewing all the pieces together in the end made me sweat... and knitting is supposed to be FUN... so I am using this pretty yarn for other smaller projects.

I have been eyeing this pretty baby girl sweater pattern called "Autumn Leaves" for awhile now.  The pattern can be found HERE on a blog called What to Knit When You're Expecting.  I was about to cast it on the other day but found another version which was a modified version of the original.  The modified version can be found HERE on a blog called Natural State Knitting.  I liked the modified version just a tad better for a few reasons.

  • I liked that the modified version called for only two buttons at the neck of the sweater instead of a long row of buttons all the way down the the waist area of the sweater.  Sweaters knit from the top down tend to want to swing open at the bottom and if you put buttons all the way down, sometimes it just tugs and looks unattractive.  I think three buttons would also be very nice; I kind of wish my sweater had a third button. 
  • With the original version, I saw a number of comments (on Ravelry) about folks feeling the need to alter the sleeves (perhaps there were not enough stitches?) and from what I could tell, the lady at Natural State Knitting had altered the sleeves a bit which took the guess work out for me.
  • Also, the modified version eliminates some of the seed or purl stitches around the tips of the leaves and I think the modified version has a nice, clean, crisp look as a result.

I am very glad I tried the modified version.  I think it's a very sweet looking sweater.  I actually made this sweater because I found a cute hat pattern with a leaf/flower petal motif and I wanted to make a sweater to match the hat!  Now... I just need to make the hat... (see pattern HERE).