a stitch in lime

stumbling into creativity

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Pillowcase dress for a new little friend

My lovely friend A had her baby girl, Z, in early June, and I decided to head straight into On The Ball mode and make her daughter a shower gift (she was having a post-birth shower so we had the advent of knowing the gender). So I made her this pillowcase dress from that same vintage pillowcase I’d used for the baby doll smock misadventure. It’s the same Prudent Baby pattern that I used to make my original (and still lovely, though not from an actual pillowcase) baby dress. Which, since I had a boy —

INTERJECTION!!  I haven’t mentioned the baby on here yet!  We had our lovely baby boy, A, at home on July 24th. He is perfect and the chubbiest. We are so in love. He is 9 weeks old now and can lift his head like it’s nobody’s business. He rolled over just the other day. He is about 15 pounds already. He is wonderful. Interjection over.

— since I had a boy, I will be saving in my stash of girly clothes for a potential future daughter. I can’t part with it just yet.

Forgive the lack of ironing in the above photo. I had to snatch it back from my friend A after giving it to her in order to snap this shot of it on her living room floor when I went to visit. I was not feeling bloggily inclined as I finished off this project and I hastily wrapped it up, proud of my impressive On The Ballness, having put together a complete gift (with a card and everything) ready for her shower well in advance. Like, the day before. That’s well in advance for me anyway. I was On The Ball! Also, I had a newborn myself, so really, to have sewn anything was pretty good form.

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Hilarious misadventures in sewing random stuff from the internet

Front of the “dress” (aka belly shirt?)

So, a long time ago I bookmarked this cute little reversible “nakey baby” dress from over at The Blueberry Moon, not realizing that it was intended for the doll that was modeling the finished product! Oh dear me. Well the other day I felt compelled to make a couple of them finally, and as I cut out my teeny tiny pattern, my suspicions began to grow… surely this was going to be too small for a full-term baby. But I carried on anyhow. I’m not sure why. It looked like it might work as a tiny newborn smock shirt, so perhaps it could be useful for a wee baby after all? I’m probably deluding myself, but dang this fabric was cute stuff and I wanted a quick and satisfying sewing project under my belt, dangnabbit.

View from the back. Totes presh, amirite?

In the end, they turned out pretty cute, no matter what they end up being used (or not used?) for. I was planning on giving one to my lovely friend Alyson, who just had a baby girl in early June, but I fear it might even be too small for a several-week-old baby. Hilarious misadventures in sewing for the fail! (In my defense, the blog post I was referencing did not mention anywhere that it was for a doll… unless you read some of the comments. Which I did not do before attempting this, clearly.)

The lovely Manuel, modeling his dress. It fits him because he’s about half the size of a real baby!

On the bright side, I’ve got plenty of both fabrics left over if I feel so compelled as to try again, adjusting the size to be bigger. Do you love the flower pattern? Fun fact: It’s from a vintage thrifted pillowcase! Look at me, all thrifty and vintage-loving. You’d swear I was much cooler than I actually am.

Better luck next time, self.


Lazy knitter’s greenish round-up

How long ago was St. Patrick’s Day? This would have been a good post for that day, I tellya. Everything is green(ish)!

I’ve been a lazy knitter lately, and an even lazier blogger. So this post is an accumulation of the last three projects I’ve (slowly) finished off, and don’t they all go together kind of well? That was a happy coincidence.

First up: yet another soaker using the Punk Knitters pattern. This one was done in the newborn size (the others I’ve made have been small). Not a whole lot of news to report there.

Next: in an exciting twist, I made a whole different kind of soaker. This one was the Curly Purly Soaker pattern (free pdf download). I knitted this one up with some beautifully soft 100purewool, and it isn’t even the tiniest bit scratchy despite being 100% wool. I love it!  Also I got to learn how to make that pleated waistband. Neat, right?

Lastly, I knit up an Apple Hat in the remainder of the supercool variegated yarn I had left from making the tiniest booties in the world. I find myself in need of a balloon or something else sufficiently round and small on which to model baby hats, as I couldn’t for the life of me get a good picture of this thing. It was either totally squashed…

Or pitifully and poorly rounded-out on my hand!  Honestly. I searched and searched my house for something to use but everything looked so awful and misshapen since the hat was quite stretchy!  So you’ll just have to use your imagination.

My next knitting project is going to be a gift for a surprise package I’m sending to a fellow preggie down in the US. Stay tuned!


Taking a gamble on a baby dress

We don’t know the gender of our baby yet (and won’t be finding out until The Big Day), but I was having a hankering to try my hand at the Oriental Lily dress, so I gave myself permission to do so. I was feeling like I’d been making very gender-neutral slash boyish stuff for a long time, so decided that it couldn’t hurt to even out my stash of hand-knits with at least one girly item. If we don’t have a girl this time, we might next time. Or I might give this as a gift to a pal who does have a little girl. No matter what happens, I’m sure it won’t be a wasted effort by any means. Plus, it was fun to knit!

So here it is! I knit it up with Diamond Luxury Collection Alpaca Mélange (the band is some red Sirdar Snuggly DK I had left over from Anya’s Wakefield scarf), which was a lovely birthday gift from my sister-in-law back in January. It’s hard to see in this picture, but the blue yarn does have some red fibres in it, hence my choice of using a red contrast band.

I knit most of this at my sister-in-law’s craft night and at my lunchtime knit club at work. But a nice highlight was working on the first sleeve while my husband and I were on our much belated honeymoon last weekend — we went to a rustic and secluded cabin resort not too far out of town, where we had no internet, no TV, and no cell access. We did have a nice wood-burning fireplace, though, so we spent a good amount of time sitting in front of the fire reading and relaxing. Perfect knitting opportunity for me! So I will always remember knitting this little wee dress in the lovely (and sleepy) comfort of our honeymoon zen space.


Split-crotch baby pants

So remember a while back I was talking all about Elimination Communication (EC)? As a short refresher, EC involves giving your baby lots of opportunities to eliminate over the toilet (or other appropriate receptacle), and so clothing that gives quick access to the necessary anatomy for these practices is very useful. Enter split-crotch pants.

Well, I happened upon a relatively new pattern on Ravelry for some knit split-crotch longies and marveled at how they were basically exact replicas of the sewn patterns I had seen (and coveted, and had actually cut out and pinned but not yet sewn) before. And in fact, they were exactly the same kind of pattern I was planning on designing myself (since the only other knit split-crotch baby pants pattern I could find before this one popped up was basically a belt with some legs, not unlike chaps, which left a lot of the baby’s sensitive area completely exposed!). Anyhow, when I saw this new one, I was stoked.

And so I knit them. Here’s what resulted:

Front view

Back view (you can see a bit of a pull where the overlapping sections were joined, just underneath the short rows. I think that this will not be so visible when they’re worn, but that could just be wishful thinking.)

I’m pretty pleased with the outcome. This is the first pair of pants I’ve knit from the bottom-up on double-pointed needles, and I noticed that the cast-on edge of the cuffs is a bit stretched out. Coincidence? I’ve never experienced a stretched-out cast-on edge before… and they tend to roll up a bit. I should probably attempt to block them to fix this (surely this is what blocking is for), but oh god I’m so LAZY when it comes to blocking!  Even though I know in my brains that you should always just frigging get on with it when it comes to blocking, because it’s worth it.

As for the colour choice here, I had some brown wool hanging around. The end. (Also, we have inherited a veritable crap-ton of girly clothing from a friend, so I am aiming to even out the balance with making some more boy-oriented baby things lately.)


Sweater weather

Evidently working my way through Jane Richmond‘s entire catalogue of patterns, here is my latest finished piece — the Oatmeal Pullover. I began my venture by trying my best to find the beautiful yarn called for in the pattern (Lion Brand’s Wool-Ease Chunky in Wheat) but had a couple mishaps. First, I accidentally bought the right colourway in the wrong weight (super bulky instead of regular bulky), then after realizing my mistake, upon returning to the store, realized they didn’t carry the bulky weight version at all. So I settled on this yarn (Bernat’s Softee Chunky Twists in Grey Ragg). The girl who rang me through was like “why are you exchanging this?  The first one you bought is soooo much better!”… Way to rub it in!

Onto the knitting part. I knit up a gauge swatch and was way, way (I mean way) off. Read up on Ravelry that most other knitters had had the same problem and gotten gauge with a larger needle. Realized I didn’t have the larger sized needle. So I raced to the local yarn store after work and bought the right size. Went to craft night to begin my project and quickly discovered that one of the screws on my new interchangeable Knit Picks needles was stripped (to the point where it wouldn’t even tighten at all, so I couldn’t even fake it for the one night). Returned to the local yarn store the next day to exchange the needle. They didn’t have another nickel-plated 8mm in stock, so I bought the wood ones (more expensive, less to my tastes, but oh well — desperation was starting to set in). Finally began knitting the neck ribbing, then dropped a stitch, got turned around and totally messed it up. Unripped all of it. Started over. This was not a good start.

But fear not, for once I started over and got going on the endless stockinette stitch of the body, I was off to the races. And what short races they were!  I finished the body in just a few days!  People online weren’t lying when they said this sweater just flies off the needles (ah, the joys of big needles and chunky yarn).  And I’m loving how it turned out!

Ta da!  I’m gonna wear this puppy to work tomorrow for sure. I’ll be so warm at my desk!

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Smushy baby sweater

Is the sweater smushy or is it for a smushy baby?  The answer is both. (Because all babies are smushy.)

The pattern is Manda Ruth, yet another of Jane Richmond‘s adorable designs. The yarn, pattern, and buttons for this project were all part of my lovely bridal shower gift from my girlfriends, and I felt so lucky to have them all picked out for me in advance. It’s such a treat just being able to grab something and get going, rather than have to trek to the yarn store for supplies before you can eve get started. I’m big on instant gratification, so grab-and-go knitting is right up my alley. Once again, huge thanks to my girlfriends for this gift! It really is the gift that keeps on giving!

This pattern was very straightforward once I got past the couple of stumbling blocks I had… almost all of which were ‘duh’ moments so I won’t yap about them here. I knit the pattern almost entirely as written, but I did modify the buttonholes. I tried doing them as written but they looked a mess and were way too small for the buttons I had for this project. So instead of working 2 rows of ribbing, then making the buttonholes over 2 rows and working another 3 rows in the rib, here’s what I did:

  • Worked 3 rows in rib
  • Decided that each buttonhole would require 3 sts bound off for them to fit through
  • Did the math to figure out how to evenly space 5 of them along the button band
  • Worked 5x the one-row buttonhole outlined here: http://knittingonthenet.com/learn/bh5.htm, working the sts in between in the 2×2 rib
  • Worked another 3 rows in rib

Another reason I changed them up was that the buttonhole instructions as written just did not make sense to me. I could not get the math to work out. Maybe it was an I’m-being-dense-at-math thing, but honestly the numbers just did not add up to the number of sts I had on my needles. I farted around with the damn things forever before giving up and doing them the way I knew how (as I outlined above).

So, this little sweater turned out great! Can’t wait to see how it fits on a wee one. I’ve showed it to a few people so far and they’ve pretty unanimously made some noises that essentially sound like “squeeeee!”, so I’ll take that as a good sign that it’s pretty damn cute. 🙂

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Skinnified pants!

So being that I’m now working five days a week in an office, I had to dust off my business casual wardrobe and see what’s what! Turns out most of my stuff is several years old and doesn’t fit anymore. Or if it fits, the style may not be exactly what I’d be going for these days. Case in point: my wide-leg dress pants. These were my favourite pair of work pants (they actually fit properly in the butt and didn’t stretch out and sag in an unflattering way) but they always kinda struck me as too billowy or too belled in the legs. The fabric is quite lightweight so when I walked the pant legs would just whip around my ankles and I thought it looked a bit funny.

So the other day, I decided to change ’em up!

Revamping existing clothes has always been a scary endeavour for me — I have been perpetually convinced that I would ruin whatever I was trying to work on, rendering a perfectly useful scraptacular. But I had to push past that fear and just bite the bullet on this one — and I think my pants turned out great!

What I did for these pants first was use a seam-ripper to unpick the bottom hem of each leg. I then basted new side seams and inseams on my machine (by using the longest stitch available) without cutting any of the fabric off, then tried them on and see how they fit with the adjustment. I ended up basting a second (skinnier) set of seams (still no cutting) after the first attempt was still too wide in the leg. I then made a couple more minor adjustments to the fit and marked a line down both seams with a generous line of pins, then serged down that line. It involved quite a bit of eyeballing, as I didn’t have a fabric pen or chalk that would show up on this fabric.

I did all these steps for one leg, then after serging off the excess, I used the cut-off pieces of fabric from the first leg to mark exactly where to serge the other leg, so they’d be even. Once I was done taking both legs in, I re-hemmed the bottom edges.

All in all, this was pretty easy. The only tricky part was deciding how much to cut off! That, and repeatedly climbing onto and off of the chair I put in the bathroom so I could see what they looked like in the mirror. 🙂


In progress: Manda Ruth baby sweater

Continuing on my mission to knit everything Jane Richmond has ever designed (I’m moooostly kidding), I’m now endeavouring to knit this adorable seed stitch baby sweater called Manda Ruth!

This is what I’ve got so far, friends:

I’m busy finishing up the raglan increases (so what you see here is the neck and yoke, with the mushed up bits being roughly in shoulder country. Make sense?). Seed stitch (that’s knit one, purl one, repeat forever) is sloooow going, but the look is lovely and smushy and soft, so I’m sticking it out.

I also think this is a great colour that could work for a boy or a girl, and would bring out those deep blue eyes babies have. Lovely!