Monday, August 01, 2016

Shifting priorities

When I was pregnant, I obsessed over knitting with machine washable yarn for baby things. Babies are messy, I reasoned, and life is too short to hand wash pee and puke out of things frequently. I was not wrong.

As it turns out, though, I neglected to think of my own clothes. I thought I would go back to knitting the sweaters from my queue once I regained some semblance of non-preggo shape, but I didn't consider that most of the yarn I have lined up for said queue is not machine washable. And I find myself covered in bodily fluids that are not my own sometimes multiple times a day.

DUH! I hear you shout. Of course the baby's mess is not confined to his own clothes! And yet I totally didn't consider this before the baby arrived for some reason.
Anyway. My priorities for my own making are shifting. I foresee much super wash in my future. On that note, I started knitting Cattails in some Rowan Creative Linen, which is a 50% cotton 50% linen blend. It's not advertised as machine washable, but washing and drying my swatch produced no ill effects, so I'm going with it. Bonus: lots of stockinette means that I can knit a few stitches and put it down without losing my place - necessary in these days of uncertain naps.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

FO: Elijah

I finished the elephant!
Pattern: Elijah by Ysolda Teague

Yarn: Katia Cotton 100%

Notes:
All in all a pretty fun knit. I like that it was totally seamless. Picking up stitches from already-stuffed body parts is fiddly, but worth it in the end. Baby Bean isn't really interested in it yet, but I hope he'll find it fun once he is.

The yarn is soft yet sturdy, and washable, so I think it would be great for other baby knits. I will keep it in mind once I run through my current colourful cotton stash, which is mostly made up of Rico Design Essentials Cotton DK. (Also a nice soft cotton, but quite shiny, so it would be nice to have some matte cotton in the arsenal.)

Monday, July 11, 2016

Level up

So this happened the other day. Achievement unlocked!

Thursday, July 07, 2016

I made a thing

I managed to make a thing! It feels good to finish something.


Pattern: Just Hatched Baby Leggings by Rae Hoekstra of Made by Rae

I made these out of an old polo shirt of my husband's, so they aren't a super fun exciting print. Rae suggests using old tshirts for the fabric, and this is brilliant because if you line it up correctly you don't have to hem the bottoms. Win! They took me several naptimes to complete, though they would be a quick project if you have half an hour of uninterrupted time. The elastic casing is a bit wonky due to rushing and also not being super experienced at sewing knits. I've bought a few large stretchy tops from a charity shop to make a few more pairs, since stretchy trousers / leggings are turning out to be super useful for us. You can see they fit over his giant cloth nappy, which is awesome. I am going to try to adapt the pattern to make them a bit bigger so he'll have some to grow into.

Friday, July 01, 2016

Interesting times ; queueing as coping mechanism

The last week here in the UK has exemplified that old chestnut "cursed to live in interesting times." It is like watching a car crash - can't look away but watch in horror as normality implodes. I am angered and saddened by the way racism and xenophobia have been legitimised. I fear for my friends and neighbours who come from around the world. I fear for my friends and neighbours who were born here but still find themselves open to abuse due to colour or religion.

Attacks on immigrants hit close to home. I am an immigrant. I am a foreigner here, but I enjoy privilege being white, Western and with English as my first language. I am a so-called "good immigrant," so I don't fear for my safety. The fact that people make this distinction makes me sick.

I would normally try to do something crafty to regain control of my world even in a superficial way, but productivity is limited at present since all I do is feed, change, and jiggle the baby, spending far too long watching the world burn via social media on my phone during feeding sessions.

My ravelry favourites list grows ever longer, though, as I dream of all the beautiful new projects I wish I could start. That's my version of escapism these days.

If you want to escape into some particularly beautiful things, I urge you to check out the designs of Lucy Hague. I swear that each design she produces is even more stunning than the last. At the moment I am obsessed with Uncia and Iona. One day, maybe!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The delicate art

How does the most common piece of unsolicited parenting advice go? "Knit while the baby sleeps." (Wait, that's not the advice you remember?)


Easier said than done. When the baby is sleeping I'm usually trying to eat or shower or sleep or do mundane household tasks. Or we're on the way from point A to point B - he often sleeps in the pram. Needless to say I haven't done a huge amount of knitting in baby Bean's* first month of life.

*Not his real name.

I hear some people manage to knit while nursing. I'm not sure I'm coordinated enough, but next time I'm using circular needles, I'll give it a try. At the moment my only active project is Elijah on DPNs, and I'm nervous about dropping a DPN point-first into an ear or something. (See aforementioned uncoordinated nature.) I'm onto the second arm, though, so the end is in sight. A small circumference means that even if I only do a few stitches at a time I make noticeable progress.

So that's where I'm at with my knitting. I do browse Ravelry a huge amount during 3 am feeds (and 4, 5, and 6 am etc), queuing and favouriting things I won't have time to make for the next 10 years, but hey!

Monday, May 23, 2016

FO: Torrent Socks

I did manage to finish something for myself during all the baby knits. Just in time for warm(ish) weather I have a new pair of woolly socks.

Pattern: Torrent socks by Tin Can Knits



Yarn: Yarn Yard Cairn

Notes: I started this with the medium size, realized it was way too big, decreased to the small size and kept going. I really enjoyed knitting these, partly because the back half of the socks is stockinette stitch - really interesting lace on the front, a nice break on the back, never boring. I may seek out patterns like this in the future.

They fit well, but the yarn is not that hard-wearing. After a few washes, it's gone a bit fuzzy. Even with nylon content I don't think it is great for socks. Oh well. It's soft and pretty and if I use it again I'll make a shawl or something instead.

It's taken me three days to write this post because this is my new reality:



Our baby boy was born 8 May, so he's already two weeks old and we're still not sure what hit us!