in anticipation

I hate blog posts that start with an apology for not posting. So I won't apologize for not posting since the beginning of December. I will tell you that life has been busy and full and I have lots to show you and ideas I'm pondering, and it's hard to know where to start! I have knitting, plus some sewing projects, a round-up of things I've learned in the last year, sewing/knitting/making stuff with kids, and thoughts about how to approach 2016. I think it's best to break all that up into different posts to make it manageable for you and me.

Let's start with the exciting news first: I'm going to be an aunt!!

That's right! My brother and his wife are expecting a baby this spring. Of course we are all totally thrilled. When we first got the news, I had to start a sweater right away. I tried to hold out until they told us the gender of the baby, but I just couldn't help myself.

You can likely deduce from the buttons that we'll be welcoming a new niece in March.

The pattern is Ysolda Teague's brilliant Wee Envelope Sweater, and the yarn is some Dale of Norway Lerke, a DK weight 50/50 wool/cotton blend that I have been using up on baby projects since Anya was born. I love how Lerke looks and feels when it knits up, smooth and buttery and as a bonus, it's washable too. But Lerke is a tricky, splitty yarn with many plies and the cotton content makes it slippery and hard to hold. I didn't think I had so much in my stash, but I've made at least a half dozen baby sweaters out of the modest pile I had, and I bet I could eke out at least one more if I striped it. I'm ready to use it up and move on.

The brown alone seemed dull, so I added color blocking on the sleeve cuffs and bottom of the body. Since the baby is a girl, I chose flower buttons and added a row of bright red cross stitch on the front where I changed the color to cream. I made the newborn size, so the sweater will probably fit for about five minutes, and should it be passed along to a baby boy, someone could easily change out the buttons. I'm a practical thinker that way, yes?

I knew we would see Joe and MJ over Christmas, and I wanted to give them some gifts in person. One little sweater seemed kind of puny, so I made a blanket, too. You can never have too many blankets for a baby. 

The pattern is Tweed Baby Blanket by Jared Flood. I used about 7 balls of Rowan Pure Wool DK from deep stash (I'm pretty sure I bought this yarn from in a postpartum haze after Daniel was born) for the main part, plus a skein of Berocco Vintage DK in white for the contrast color on the edging. There are a lot of stitches on that edging, and the i-cord bind-off takes a lot of both time and yarn.

The result is so worth it. Don't you agree?

I do love the look of that i-cord bind-off. This is the second time I've knit this blanket and the finishing is no less magical than the first time. You've got what feels like 6,000 stitches scrunched up on a circular needle, and it takes what feels like an eternity to get them all properly i-corded (is that a verb? It is now!) and then you soak it and block it and suddenly the whole thing opens up into a beautiful, drapey, elegant piece of fabric perfect for wrapping around a snuggly baby. I love it.

I've got just one more baby thing to show you.

This started out as a very small quilt. I pieced the top in a whirl of inspiration more than ten years ago and then set it aside because I wasn't sure what to do with it next. It's really quite small, perhaps not even as big as those flannel receiving blankets you get by the dozen at baby showers. I didn't have enough fabric to add a bigger border; I'm sure it was originally a pack of fat eighths, and I had nearly used it up. About a year ago, or maybe two, I had the brilliant notion to back this little quilt top with terry cloth and make it into a little changing pad. So I did that. But I didn't have anyone to give it to, so I put it back in the closet with the rest of my fabric and sewing stuff. 

Last week as I was finishing up making the Christmas gifts and moving everything around to make room for drywall work, I found this little quilt. I decided to give it to my brother and SIL, and thought to add elastic straps to the quilted changing pad to make it more portable. When Daniel was born, a friend of mine made a small cotton changing pad backed with terry cloth that rolled up nice and neat with elastic straps and I used it all the time. I popped it right in the diaper bag and if it got dirty or wet, it was easy to throw in a load of laundry. 

That's all for now. It's already taken me far too long to write this post. I do promise I'll be back soon!


Kate Babbitt said…
Longtime lurker here coming out of the woodwork to say how much I enjoy your blog, especially your loyalty to knitting content. So many knitting blogs have morphed into online diaries with almost no knitting content! Your work is always superb. That baby blanket is outstanding in every way--color sensibility, workwomanship, marriage of pattern with yarn. Really lovely work. Also enjoy watching your kids grow up!

Kate (comfreyqueen1 on rav and IG)
Julie Crawford said…
congrats on your impending aunt-dom! that baby sweet is so sweet, i love the buttons you chose, and totally respect the non-pink colour choice- I love neutrals for babies! And that shawl is lovely, too- such rich texture.

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