Ok, so I’m willing to admit that whatzitknitz may have had a point when she said do I sense a love of fiddly toys starting ; ) two in a row is all I am saying. Though I still maintain that it is due to the fact that after the Fiddliest Fiddling Octopus, nothing can match the level of fiddliness, and thus many other toys seem super easy to make now.
And by many other, I mean, three in a row.
Yes, there may be something to it after all…
(In case anyone is wondering, it’s Mousie.)
A flamingo, of course!
This baby flamingo has just hatched. He is still lacking feathers and is having some trouble with balance, but nothing out of the ordinary for a newborn.
In the meantime, the octopus has finally got all its legs and is having a swim at the deep end of the blocking pool.
…but I got down to it last night and afterwards thought to myself contentedly: “Aaaah, now it’s at least done!” And then this morning I got up and saw this.
The knitting is fine. The button placement is not. ALL three will have to go out and in again (I’ve checked, moving just one won’t do it). Well, at least it’s ONLY three. Or so I keep telling myself. But it’s definitely not DONE.
p.s. Have a good week, everyone!
…and I have already made five and a half vows that I will never ever ever knit this again.
And don’t even start with that “But it’s sooo cuuuuuteeee’ stuff like everyone else. Let me just explain to you that this involves making 8 tiny little heel turns, with short rows and picking up wraps and everything. Knitted in the round on 8 stitches. And changing colours too.
And yes, it has occurred to me that a rainbow octopus would be super cool. But no way. No. Someone else can do it. Shush now.
Choosing the right buttons can be quite a challenge, and I often feel quite insecure about it.
This time as well I felt completely at a loss, but I had some help, and I am very happy with the solution we came up with together!
I’ll have a lot to say about this piece when it’s finished… For now, here’s just a quick photo from the blocking board.
For the buttons, I was struggling for ideas… until someone mentioned wood. Yes, I think nice natural real-wood buttons would actually fit perfectly here, don’t you agree?
This was not in my knitting plans at all. One day, I simply found myself picking up the gray and yellow yarn, thinking that they go well together, and from there onwards there was no stopping me. I guess that’s what photos of cute babies do to one.
The duo was initially meant to be a trio, including a pair of gray booties. But to my great distress I had discovered that my favourite bootie pattern has in the meantime been taken off Ravelry, which led to trying out another one and failing miserably several times. I kept ending up with two different-sized booties, no matter how many times I ripped and re-tried. Yes, baby knits are great because they involve few stitches and are thus quick. But the fact that they involve few stitches also means that a difference of 3 or 4 stitches in a row makes a huge difference in the size of the finished object. And thus I decided in the end that an elephant trio would be too matchy-matchy anyway and that no self-respecting baby boy would match more than two items of clothing like ever. And therefore it actually would have been totally silly to give him booties as well, right? Right.
The hat pattern is Gooseberry, which I love for its simple elegance and stretchy practicality. My only objection was the lack of specificity about the size. The pattern simply indicated it was a “baby size”, which in my book is anything between 0 and 12 months, and therefore not terribly helpful if you’re aiming for anything more specific than that and do not have the intended recipient on hand to estimate as you go along. As a result I ended up playing around with the numbers and hoping it fits. I’ll let you know when I find out.
The vest is Milo, which is just a godsend blank canvas for an adorable baby gift. There are so many lovely versions available to draw inspiration from, ranging from cables to colourwork to rainbow striping… I could spend hours just looking at all the different ideas on Ravelry and planning dozens of different Milos to knit up some day. The only thing I didn’t like about the colourwork here was that, done in merino yarn, it looks pixelated rather than with nice round edges. This led to people not always recognising what the pattern was supposed to be (“Such cute piglets!”, my mother exclaimed upon seeing it, for instance). But I still did not yet dare knit something wooly for new parents, the last thing they want to be doing is worrying if the wool is chafing their baby’s cheeks and the last thing I want to be doing is wondering if the baby drool is going to make the vest felt (let’s not even talk about handwashing, I dare not utter that word in their company… ;)
I’m busy busy busy with my Xmas knitting, and I’m enjoying it too! This evening I decided to take a break from life to do things that refill my batteries instead, and used the time gained to photograph some of the things I have in progress (albeit in crappy artificial light). I was a bit surprised to discover that all of them contained at least a little bit of gray! It seems to be my colour of choice for knits this season! Here’s the proof…
You’ve already seen Millwater (which, in the meantime, has been finished). Then there’s another completely gray item.
And after that there’s all sorts of gray combos.
Medium gray and dark red.
Baby gray and baby yellow.
Dark grey and dark purple.
You’re getting detail shots only on purpose. All of these are gifts, so more to be revealed in a few weeks… But considering the amount of gits I’m knitting, this is going to be one busy blog after xmas day!
Have you noticed any patterns in your colour choices this season?
As mentioned in my last post, after I finished the baby blanket I couldn’t resist using the leftover yarn to make something teeny tiny to go with it. I settled for a baby hat, as I figured those are always useful!
There isn’t much to be said about this project. It was quick and simple (free pattern here). I improvised the stripes, and was going to continue them all the way to the end, but then I ran out of the white yarn, so I played around a bit.
The mama tells me it’s still huuuuge on the baby, but she’s expecting him to grow into it very soon, cause, well, that’s what babies do. :)
Phew, I think that’s the last of baby knitting that I have to show you for now! I’ll be back soon with a few adult thingies, for a change. Have a nice week! :)
There is a lot of time to think when you are knitting a blanket with 700-stitch rounds of nothing but knits or purls. So I got to thinking – surely it would be easy to calculate the exact number of stitches in this blanket with a little help from a spreadsheet. And so I did.
Yup, you read that right. In retrospect, perhaps I shouldn’t have calculated after all… Some things are better left unknown. But let’s just say that this is, by far, conclusively, my greatest knitting feat to date. And it was worth it. OpArt was one of the first patterns I found when I discovered the wonderful world of online knitters. I knew immediately that I’d make it some day for my best friend’s baby. She and her husband are architects with a very distinguished style, a love for clean lines and classical colours. The moment I set my eyes on this pattern, I knew it would be for them. So when, several years later, they told me they were pregnant, there wasn’t much thinking left to be done. I dug out the pattern from my collection, bought the yarn and got started.
The pattern is a free one, from Knitty, and it was a delight. It is incredibly simple, and surprisingly much less tedious than you would imagine. The beginning is really exciting, as the shapes start appearing in front of you, you just want to keep going and seeing what it will look like after 10 more rounds. Later, when the rounds get longer, this becomes perfect zen knitting. And for such an epic project, it was finished surprisingly quickly – in less than a month and a half (it did then take me another few months to weave in all the ends, but let’s not mention that). I also love the pattern’s background story: designing it in the style of Optical Art paintings, while at the same time thinking of the development of baby eyesight (which is really bad when they’re born, so they are drawn to strong contrasts).
The yarn, of course, superwash and merino. Best combo for babies, I’m told. It is Garnstudio DROPS Baby Merino, and I am super happy with it, I’ll definitely be resorting to it for more baby knits. I chose the colour combo – white and navy – because the projects I liked the most on Ravelry were the ones with strong contrasts, and I think it works super well. And I used the teeny tiny leftovers to make a teeny tiny something to accompany the blanket. To be continued… :)