Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My Little God-monster

My godson is a good eater, and it shows in his size. At two months old, he is in the 100th percentile for his length and is 13 pounds.

I made these for him just after he was born (April 2010).

I LOVE the yarn I used - Fleece Artist, Peter Rabbit - it's so soft and beautiful! 70% angora, 20% nylon, and 10% wool. I purchased it at Urban Yarns in Vancouver. It's a bit more pricey than some yarns but you can get at least 3 pairs of booties out of it (probably more!). I had it wound into two balls and held it double to achieve the correct gauge (US 7 - 4.5mm needles).

It seemed like they would be easy for a baby to kick off so I added a crocheted chain as a tie (I don't know how to crochet but it's easy to do, just search youtube for directions). Jenny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off was perfect for this pattern (I would definitely recommend this bind off for any bootie, sweater, or project that might need some extra stretch at the edge).

I wanted them to come up slightly higher on the baby's leg than the pattern called for so I added some extra rows of ribbing (I did 10 instead of 6 rows).

Youtube was definitely helpful when it came time to make the french knot toes! Check out this video if you are looking for instructions. This video was also helpful. The french knots were my least favorite part of this project (but totally necessary!) - it took me a few times to get them looking half-decent and to not pull them through to the wrong side of my knitting! Weaving the ends in was another many ends, so little room to weave them in. I ended up mostly tying tight knots in the yarn of the french knots on the wrong side of the project. I wonder what an experienced knitter would have done? Oh well, it was NOT pretty but it worked!

I was so excited to make these monster booties for him, they are too cute! Unfortunately, they barely fit him. The pattern is for a newborn but his feet were too big even though he was only 3 weeks old when I gave them to him! Good thing they are planning on having more children :) I think they would fit a 'normal-size' newborn. I may end up making him another pair and adding a bit to the length (which would mean adjusting the pattern slightly - another new adventure!).

Here they are on his feet, since they were too small, it was easy for him to kick them off. They are stretched to the max lengthwise.

I ended up making another pair for a friend who was expecting. These make great gifts and I will definitely be making more!

This was a free pattern I found on Ravelry by Shana Kreikemeier - here is the link to the pattern on Monster Booties.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Just What I Needed, Another Hobby!

I began knitting in September 2008 when I found out someone very close to me was pregnant. I can’t remember why, but I decided I should learn to knit! With all my spare time, another hobby is JUST what I needed! (note: sarcasm; I barely had time to shower and sleep with my schedule). I was lucky enough to have two coworkers who were very talented knitters and great teachers! They gracefully spent one lunch hour per week teaching me to knit. I knew I was gaining a new hobby, but had no idea I was slipping into an addiction.

My first project was a pair of baby legwarmers knit on 4 double-pointed needles. One of my friends suggested it was not a good project for a beginner (the small dpns, the fine yarn, etc.) and that I should probably start out with a scarf. Ha! She apparently didn’t know me THAT well as I don’t like to take the time to learn and start slow…I find something I want to create and jump right in! Too bad it didn’t work as well with painting as it did with knitting for me. Plus, I only had 9 months to knit a box of beautiful things for this special baby and surely he or she would not put a scarf to good use, especially being due in May! (I would like to point out that I have since knit a scarf, for an adult, which I will post in a later blog.)

With the success of my legwarmers (which I knit in anticipation of a boy), I continued on to a pair of replica suede “Ugg” booties and a hat and just kept going from there! My niece Lucy (I had to knit another pair of leg warmers in pink and brown after her arrival!) has been the recipient of many of my ‘first knits’.

People have said to me “why don’t you knit something for yourself”? Really, at this point, I have no interest. First of all, part of the pleasure in knitting for me is that I’m knitting a special gift for someone else. Secondly, other people aren’t as likely to notice a mistake (and, there are bound to be a few!) where that mistake would probably really bug me on anything I knit for myself!

I choose to stick mostly to baby knits for the following reasons:

1. They tend to be quick knits - great for my lack of patience (as shown by my tendency to 'just jump in') and my satisfaction of actually finishing something I start.
2. Fit does not matter as much with babies - if my knitting is anything like my sewing, after hours of concentration, the finished product will not fit the variable bodies of adults.
3. Babies aren't critical of my work so they are more likely to wear my creations! (Ok, I guess what a baby wears is mostly (fully) up to the parents so maybe this isn't such a great point.)
4. Baby knits are adorable and there is no lack of people in my life that are having kids!

So, that is how it all started. I will start to post all of my finished projects and then begin to blog my works in progress!