Apparently I spent this past winter knitting baby/child items that were designed by Purl Soho, because I also decided to knit up a pair of the Arched Gusset Mittens one day, using some fingering-weight yarn that was laying around. Mostly I was looking to learn the construction of the mittens before casting on an adult-sized pair. When the first one was done, it was so cute and had used so little yarn that I made a match.
Looking at them later I simply could not fathom what size child would fit into what I’d made. I just don’t have any concept of the size of children’s hands! But my friend Christy she thought they’d work for her little girl next winter so I happily gave them to her.
This is a story about a Churn Dash quilt whose promise was dashed to hell. All because I got the address wrong and now the quilt is lost to the streets of San Francisco. Read it and weep. (I already have.)
A friend from college had a baby girl in the spring, and I thought Churn Dash blocks, in a variety of bold colors, would be great, as my friend likes bold color combinations. I was slightly unsure about the amount of pink—death to the patriarchy!—but figured it was tempered by the green and the yellow. I liked that it was an old, traditional block done up with fun fabrics, unlike what you’d have gotten in the past.
For the back, I made 1 additional block that coordinated nicely with the simple polka dot print. I quilted it in diagonals, because my luck with quilting is such that if I cross lines, I get puckers. This worked out swimmingly, and after a wash it got nice and puffy and squishy.
Speaking of my issues with quilting, I thought back to when I’ve had success with quilting, and I realized that the times it had gone the best, I’d glue-basted with the sandwich hanging on a wall. But every time I did that, the spray glue distributed itself all over the entire room and EVERYTHING ended up sticky. And seeing as how I’m in a Brooklyn apartment, I only have the bedroom/office (with computer) or the living room (with TV) to choose from, really, and I didn’t want all my screens getting coated in glue. So this time I cleaned my shower and glue-basted in the bathroom! It worked really well, and even though this made the rest of the bathroom sticky, that was a cinch to clean up. Does anyone have a trick for dealing with drifting glue that doesn’t involve a bathroom wall? I can’t figure out how to deal with it otherwise.
I really love the label I made for this one (sigh, whoever took it doesn’t even GET IT). Our alma mater has a tradition of singing songs together, and this line is from one of the songs, called “Good Night.” I have always thought it was such a perfect sentiment to send to new parents and their babies! It’s such a pretty lullaby. (I can’t find an audio of it to link you to, just trust me that it’s super pretty.)
Here’s hoping whoever stole this package out of the foyer of her old building (because yes, I sent it to the wrong address, but she quickly contacted her old landlord, who said there was no box) is using the quilt and didn’t simply discard it when it turned out not to be the pair of shoes the Zappos box might have led them to believe. (Could I have done even more to make this package ripe for disappearing??) I’ve learned a shockingly terrible lesson about mailing my handmade items. But it means I get to make something new and fun and different to give to the little one!
Right before heading to the TNNA summer tradeshow, I finished sewing my first Adelaide Dress from Seamwork Magazine, and I wore it on the first day of the show! I proudly marched over to the Knitter’s Pride booth to show it off, because I purchased this fabric while on the trip to India to see Knitter’s Pride’s factory.
The fabric is a thin lightweight cotton, so this dress was perfect for the 94° day in DC, though it is so thin that I needed to buy a new white slip to wear under. I aligned the pattern so that the same lighter band goes up the very middle of the back, too. The directions for the dress and the sewing of it were incredibly straightforward—not once did I have to run to Google for help with terminology! Could be that I’ve gotten better at this, could just be that the directions were so clear. I cut a size 12 because I wanted some extra room in the bust and waist, and I’m happy with the result because there is no pulling across the bust at all.
Hammering on the snaps was by far my favorite part. I went to Snap Source‘s site and ordered 20 size 14 snaps along with the Snap Setter for that size, and they arrived very quickly. I’d been concerned when reading the website that size 14 snaps (“Suggested uses: Infant wear, doll clothing”) would be flimsy, but that’s what the pattern called for so I didn’t question it. Plus that size has a lot more color options, and if I were committing to the setter in that size I figured it was more versatile. I shouldn’t have been concerned: the snaps are so solid I find it hard to snap and unsnap them! (Luckily I can just pull the dress over my head.) I got white snaps, which you can just barely make out—sorry, no close-ups because Caro, Pam, and I were hot and I was in a rush—and only messed up one of them! I accidentally put the connection piece upside down on one. That snap was ruined in the process but the fabric wasn’t, so it was easy to just affix a new one.
I made the bias binding for inside the neck and armholes from white cotton batiste in my stash, and I made a TON of it so hopefully future garments will go more quickly than this one! The Seamwork estimated time for this is 3 hours. It took me far longer with that long break to make bias binding! But I don’t mind one bit, and I feel certain future versions (there will be future versions) will not take me nearly as long.
Big thanks to Caro for taking these pictures for me.
This was a discouraging post to write, because it marks the last garment I sewed before my sewing machine crapped out on me. It had been fussing at me for a while, giving an error for phantom reasons. I could often clear the glitch with a few hand-cranks and it would work for a short while more before beeping madly at me again. But while topstitching the belt—the longest continuous seam in the entire garment!—it got angrier than ever before, and I honestly doubted I’d be able to get through it without hand-cranking the entire thing. I took the machine into a repair shop, and I was told the day we took these pictures that the motherboard was shot and not worth replacing in my inexpensive machine (the Brother CS-6000i; it was about 6 years old with moderate use). So I’m sewing machine shopping! I have my eye on a few machines but still need to get somewhere to try them out. Suggestions?
Sometimes after I knit something I just immediately cast on for another of it, with whatever yarn is handy. Occasionally I finish those idle repeats—more often they end up unfinished. But after finishing a sweater for myself (that I’ve yet to properly photograph!) in Malabrigo Rastita, I had a decent amount of yarn leftover, and I thought my favorite kiddo needed a new winter hat.
This kid. He’s been taught to call me “Aunt Erin,” but for a while there this winter, he would refer to me only as “Not Aunt Holly.” What a stinker.
But still, I knit him a hat. I gave it to him while we were out at a party, and he refused to put it on while there. Apparently though, later, upon getting home, he put it on and declared “I am Aunt Erin”! I’ll take it!
I don’t have much else to say about the hat, which I really love and I think looks great in this yarn—photos taken by his skilled photographer mom—because I honestly don’t remember. I think I applied many of the same guesses that I did for the red hat I posted about the other day (or did I knit this one first? I swear I do not remember). I’m sure that I employed short rows rather than working garter in the round with purls, because I’m lazy, but I couldn’t tell you my stitch count or needle size. I suppose when I go to knit more before this coming winter I’ll just do the math again!
My backlog of finished things is out of control right now, and I plan to get them documented ASAP! now that we’ve tackled the hacking of the site and corrected the outdated “pointing” information, I think we’re back in business. First up, a combined knitting and sewing gift for a wee one!
When I sent these two hats back in March, I told the mom it was “one for now, one for later.” Because she lives in a cold climate, I figured she’d still get some use out of a knit hat, and the bonnet was sized to be a few months older so that the little one could wear it over the summer. Of course, I know nothing about baby head sizes, and the weather stayed iffy well into late spring this year, so it seems the knit hat got a lot of wear–it wasn’t as small as it had seemed to me! And the bonnet is in full summer rotation already.
The knit hat is the Garter Earflap Hat from Purl Soho. I think this is such a cute pattern, and it knits up very fast. I used Malabrigo Rastita, which is DK weight, so I needed to knit one of the larger sizes in order to end up with a baby-sized hat. I used the final measurements for the baby size and coordinated that with my gauge to determine which size to me. (I now cannot remember the stitch count I used.) I did garter in the round (working a wrap and turn at every end of row) rather than alternating knit and purl rows in order to make it even faster. I ended up knitting a few extra rows because it looked impossibly stumpy to me; after seeing pics of the baby in the hat it seems that was unnecessary!
The sewn bonnet is also from Purl Soho (they design such consistently great basics): the Baby Sunbonnet. A friend had made several for her baby, and I was eager to try the pattern. It was very simple and straightforward and I had no issues, other than picking two fabrics to work together! I used very lightweight interfacing for the brim, because it’s what I had handiest, and two quilting cottons, and I sort of wish I’d had a slightly heavier interfacing to give the brim slightly more body, but it’s fine. It was done in one evening.
And it seems to be well enjoyed by its recipient. I mean look at that face!!