Finally Trying out the 9″Circular

Having a child has certainly taken a toll on my crafting and blogging! Two years on now and we’re still not getting adequate sleep.  I’m sure there is time there but when I get it the thought of picking up needles or a hook is furthest from my mind.  Staring at the wall or trying to catch a nap is about the only thing I can manage!

In February of this year though I found myself with the crafting itch and some available head space.  I also had some 9″ circular needles that had yet to be opened and decided it was high time tried them out.

So this happened during nap time.

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It was fiddly to cast on and not as easy as with double-pointed needles; but perhaps that was me being rusty and also first time using these needles.  I tried to knit the English way I was taught; logic being that I was new to Continental knitting and didn’t want to overload myself with using too many new skills at once.  But in the end I switched to Continental.  With needles this small, holding the yarn in my left-hand worked was so much easier.

Not wanting to make things too difficult for myself I decided on a basic sock with nothing fancy. Just a bit of ribbing at the top and then plain knitting the whole way through.  That way I knew I could just pick it up at any time and knit without having to think or concentrate too hard.

As it was February, I really thought I’d have it done for winter.  However life seems to get in the way of my best laid plans more now that I have a little one running around the house.  And that’s how I found myself in November before they were finally completed.

I’ve made a few socks before and have a pretty good idea of how their constructed.  Luckily I was foresighted enough to keep track of my stitch counts. I’ve made the mistake of assuming I would “remember”in the past. So even though months passed between finishing the first sock and starting on the other, I knew exactly what to do rather than trying to reconstruct.

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Better late than never right? Not in time for winter, but they’ll be ready for when it gets cold again next year.

Verdict on the 9″circulars? For plain patterns I’ll definitely use them again.  Not sure whether I’d use them for anything lacy or with a complex design; but I’m willing to give it a go.

Few general notes:

  • I needed to use stitch markers; I don’t use them when knitting in DPN as I usually arrange my stitches so that the end of a needle is the marker.
  • Still needed to switch to DPN to finish off the toes.

 

Audrey’s Little Man

This little guy started out his life while I was pregnant. It was early in the pregnancy too as I recall needing something dumb and basic to work on whilst feeling nauseous. 

During my first trimester I was so sick and tired I wondered why anyone would want to go through that more than once. I also remember not being able to wait until it was all over. Little did I know! 

I love my son and I wouldn’t give him up for the world. But at least when I was pregnant I could lie about feeling sorry for myself without having another human being needing me to keep them alive! I’m certainly not getting all the knitting done that I thought I would. 

Anyway back to the knitting.  A very good friend had a baby girl about six weeks ago. Yes, another friend had a baby!! 

This friend is a fellow knitter and she gave my son a beautiful hand-knit blanket which she somehow managed to finish while she was pregnant herself.  As you can see it was essential I have something handmade for her bubba too. 

There was no way I could start and complete a project in our current sleep deprived state.  My son regressed with his sleep again and lately it’s been as bad if not worse than when he was born (I thought things were supposed to get better with sleep by nine months?). 

Thankfully I remembered this UFO! It was fully knitted, all it needed was sewing up and a bit of stuffing in the head. 

Well last week bubs decided to be kind and we had a few nights were we managed 5 or 6 hours sleep. I felt like a new woman and finishing off this little man for Audrey helped me to feel a bit like my old self again. 

  

I love making toys. No need to worry about sizing or whether someone will grow out of it. And hopefully it’ll get loved and sucked on and carried around for many years to come!

You Can Have Your Baby Girl Now

When I was about seven months pregnant one of my besties fell pregnant too.  When she told me, I cried.  See I fell pregnant well after all of my sisters and in-laws; and none of my friends had children.  I have two step-kids who are amazing but are ten and thirteen.  So bubs would be many years younger than his siblings and all his cousins.  I was a sad that there would be such a big age gap there as I have such great memories growing up with all the kids in my family.

It’s hard to describe how happy I was that there was going to be another baby in my close circle who would grow up close in age to bubs.  And then after he was born two more very close friends fell pregnant.  How did I get to be so lucky that three of my besties would have babies within a year of mine?  It’s something I’m incredibly grateful for each day.

Well of course I needed to make something for my future daughter-in-law (yes we arranged our babies marriage as soon as we found out her gender).  And as these things happen sometimes, this pattern appeared in my newsfeed at just the right time.  

I completed the first one a few weeks ago but lost motivation for the second (who’d have thought there’d be a “second booty syndrome”?).  But when mum went into hospital I picked up the second and somehow got it into my head that baby couldn’t be born until they were complete.  Each time I put them down I felt like I was prolonging the agony.  When I went to bed at night with them incomplete it felt like my fault that another day had passed without baby girl making an entrance into this world. 

After day two the booty was complete and I sighed with relief.  It was like a huge weight had been lifted! Unfortunately there really was no link between my unfinished project and this baby’s entrance to the world.  It was another whole day before she arrived and thank goodness mum and daughter are both safe and sound.  

  

Apologies for the photo. Bubs and I were both sick with a nasty cold for a week and it left me with a “that’s good enough” attitude toward documenting the finished product. I’m definitely not complaining though. I’ll take that cold over three days of labour any day!

Finished Objects Friday – Owlie Socks for Ang

Well its been over a year since my last post. 2014 was a big year for me; I found out I was pregnant in February and at almost exactly the same time I completely lost my crafting and blogging motivation.  I was so tired and sick in the first trimester that all my energy was put into my full time work and all hobbies took a backseat.

Things got better after the first trimester but I had lost momentum I guess.  Not to say I didn’t finish anything last year.  There were a few objects that I managed to complete through sheer stubbornness and necessity.  I’ll post a few images at the bottom of this post just to prove it!  But they were few and far between.

My son is now five months old and I think the crafting spark is starting to return.  Being at home on maternity leave doesn’t quite give me the time I’d hoped it would (usually when I get a spare moment I’m trying to catch up on sleep myself!), but I’m finding that taking a bit of time each day to spend knitting or crocheting is helping me to reconnect with the person I was before I became a mother.

Anyway on to the Finished Object! I started these Owlie Socks in January 2014 for a girlfriend who’s birthday is at the end of February.  There should have been no problem getting them done in time!  I completed the first sock by July 2014 and was quite proud of myself despite missing the original birthday.  I didn’t even start on the second sock until January 2015 where once again, I convinced myself that having them done by the next birthday shouldn’t be a problem!

Here we are in March and they’re finally done.  They’re probably the most intricate project I’ve done to date, but so long as you’re OK with double pointed needles, have knitted a sock before, and are familiar with cabling, you shouldn’t have any trouble.  I had never used beads in my knitting before but the pattern gives a link showing how to add them with a crochet hook.  It’s super easy and not something to be daunted by.

It does require concentration so it’s not the sort of thing you want to attempt when you’re tired or distracted or have to put it down constantly (i.e. if you are pregnant or have a newborn!) but the techniques themselves are not difficult.

The result, however, is pretty fabulous and garners lots of very satisfying “Oooo”s when you show people.

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The owls close up.

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There are plenty of mistakes of course; don’t think I’ve managed a project yet without errors! But that’s the charm of something handmade right? If we wanted perfect then it would be much easier, quicker and cheaper to buy these things from a shop.

Now I need to decide whether it’s time to start something new or go back and finish one of my other works in progress.  Perhaps Lempster seeing as how I will now fit into it for this winter?  Or perhaps my Boat Socks?  Or maybe I’ll spend a bit of time reacquainting myself with Ravelry.  Endless possibilities!

Check out other Finished Objects on Tami’s Blog.

And check out a few of the things I did manage to finish last year.

A lovely Beanis, which was a gift for one of my besties for her Hens party.

Beanis

And a couple of Halloween Dishclothes, which were a gift for another bestie who moved to Thailand last year.  Actually I made another of these for myself as my first project after my baby was born.  I needed something simple, but also used it to practice some continental knitting.  That might be the subject of another post!

Halloween Dishclothes

WIP Wednesday – Lempster Progress

What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger right?  Or at least it gives you numb fingertips.

Progress on the Lempster is slow but seeing the pattern reveal itself is rewarding.  Less rewarding is that every time I pick it up I manage to make yet another mistake.  However I did convince myself that I’ll wear this jumper with all its mistakes with pride.

Unfortunately I now have to contend with the following:

1. Yarn shortage

Negative – despite knitting a swatch, doing the maths up front, I am running out of yarn.  I might be OK to wear a jumper with mistakes, but would I be OK to wear a jumper with a noticeable difference in the colour lots? It’s also $12 per ball, buying enough to finish may bankrupt me.

Positive – there is yarn left and available to purchase.  I’m preying to the knitting gods that there isn’t too much difference in the colours.  If there was no yarn left to purchase the situation would be much more dire!

2. Sizing

Negative – did I mention that I did a swatch? Right up front I knew that this would be a mammoth effort so I did the necessary boring pre-work.  The resulting sizing should have been a jumper with 2 inches of negative ease.  I’m now concerned this will end up tight fitting; usually not a problem except that there has been some fud on Ravelry that the cable design looks like a vagina.  Now that it’s out there, it’s all I can see.  Will I be happy wearing a big, stretched vagina on my chest? Feminist in me says “Yes! You go girl!”.  Introvert in me is a little more… well… introverted.

Positive – the swatch did get bigger when I blocked it so there’s a possibility it’ll fit OK.  The feminist in me wants to list the cable design looking like a vagina as a positive too.  Vaginas are awesome after all.

photo (4)I guess the fact that I’m already thinking about knitting another with no mistakes in a brighter colour means I’m enjoying this right?

Check out other WIPs on Tami’s blog.

WIP Wednesday – Lempster for me!

Wow what an end to the year.  Since my last post I completed Kaitlin’s Elephant and another Unicorn for Theo.  Unfortunately in the Christmas rush I had everything wrapped up and ready to go before I realised I hadn’t taken any photos for the blog.  I was so keen to get the last of the amigurumi completed and start on some massive knit project that the motivation to post about them was just not there.

Maybe I’ll go back and post about them later.  Meanwhile I’m more interested in what’s on my needles right now.  The pattern is from the latest Knitty and seemed to come at exactly the right time.  It has the perfect amount of cabling and I fell in love with the fit.  I think Lempster is possibly the most perfect sweater I’ve found so far!

Being Christmas I didn’t feel I should be going and spending money on a bunch of new yarn so I pulled out some Jo Sharp Silk Road Ultra that I bought way back for a different sweater that I’ve fallen out of love with.  It’s completely the wrong weight but I went with 5″ needles to try to make up for it.  Even did a swatch to check! Not exact but close enough.

It’s a testament to how much I love this pattern that I ripped out the shoulders no less than five times before finally getting it right.  I even managed to twist it when I joined in the round.  It certainly prompted a few comments from my husband such as “I don’t know why you do something that makes you so angry”, or “I thought knitting was supposed to be a relaxing hobby?”.  I don’t think he’s heard me swear so much while knitting since I took up the hobby again a few years ago.

It never occurred to me to give up though (have you seen this pattern? go take a look and you’ll understand why!). Thank goodness for the Ravelry community and the fantastic comments and pictures from other knitters. They kept me on the right path and are the only reason I have gotten as far as I have.

Which is that I’ve just separated the arms and about to continue down the body!

photo (3)Please don’t look too closely.  There are too many mistakes to count; but this jumper is for me and when I wear it I’ll remember all the blood sweat and tears that went into it.

I’ll also remember that this was the Christmas we spent two weeks with my in-laws and we all came down with the worst gastro ever.  The same Christmas that saw a trip to hospital for my poor step-son who was vomiting for so long that he needed a drip to re-hydrate.  The Christmas my step-daughter got an ear infection on top of the gastro that saw her having to take antibiotics, which were worse than the infection itself.

But also the Christmas that brought me closer to my in-laws than ever before; and the Christmas that saw the end of renovations that took three years to plan, seven months of living in a construction site covered in dust and three months of no kitchen.

What’s a few mistakes in my first top-down, cable-knit jumper against all of that?

Bring on 2014!

Check out other WIPs on Tami’s blog.

WIP Wednesday – Kaitlin’s Elephant

This week’s amigurumi is brought to you again by Adriana Aguirre and it’s Emilia the Elephant.  Using the rest of the yarn from Nicko’s Wolf, which is Cosy Wool from Lincraft.  It’s quite rough and I think I’m developing a callous where I tension the yarn on my finger.  But crafting can be a dangerous hobby as well all know.

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Head, legs done and started the body.  Won’t be done for this Friday but maybe the next!

Check out other WIPs on Tami’s blog.