Saturday, 11 December 2010

Little Sister's Dress

It's finished! And just in time, as the baby's due in 3 days. I promise not to make the baby wear it if it's a boy though!
This is my version of the Little Sister's Dress by the genius Tora Frøseth in the 3-month size.

This dress went much faster than I expected, given the 5ply yarn and small needle.

I'm pleased to say there were no problems to report, just a beautiful and very clever pattern. I have experimented with this purl and knit striping technique in small hats before, and enjoy the effect it gives.
I actually didn't make any modifications at all with this pattern.
I did however use three buttons instead of the recommended two as the flower-shaped mother-of-pearl ones I wanted to use were quite small, and the dress looked better overall with three.

I'm very pleased with the result. I've been meaning to make this ever since coming across the pattern years ago. Now I had the perfect excuse!
Another bonus of this dress is that it starts off as a dress, then grows with the baby, becoming a tunic and then a top: very clever.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Helen's Blanket

I just realised that I never got around to posting about this FO that I made a couple of months ago.
This is my version of the Cuddly Cotton Baby Blanket by Whitney Van Nes from the Purl Soho blog.
My friend Louise wanted a blanket for her Sister Helen who was expecting a baby. Well, the baby girl arrived safely and Louise gave her the blanket, but I hadn't posted because Louise hadn't given Helen the blanket yet and her sisters have been known to read this blog occasionally!

Anyway, knitted in butter-soft Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, this was a quick knit, which would have worked for a boy or girl.
The only modoification I made was to pick up and knit the yellow edging. The pattern had called for knitting one very long snaky piece of fabric that would have to be attached, which I thought unnecessary, and I'm sure it worked out much quicker for me in the end.

Like the Lanesplitter skirt which I had made immediately before this blanket, this was knitted on the diagonal, adding one stitch each row until the half-way point, then decreasing one stitch each row until you finished. It's a lovely way of knitting, and the fabric grows quickly.
I was particularly pleased with the softness of the yarn, which I have used before in other projects; it's perfect for a baby and yet is still washable.

Beautiful Booties

Look: beautiful booties in a lovely Christmassy colour. Lovingly made by Louise's Mum for the baby. Aren't they gorgeous!

Ho ho ho.

Monday, 6 December 2010

A Tale of Two Berets

A little while ago, my friend Louise, my best commissioner by far, asked me for a beret. Had I had more time, I would have come up with a design of my own to reflect her wishes, but given that time was running out before the baby came, I decided to follow a pattern this time, and give her the beret for her Birthday.
Now, I'm afraid I didn't get it finished in time for her Birthday, but it was a belated present. Above is my version of the Soft Linen Lace Beret, by Meg Myers which Louise had found the pattern for and liked. I made it in Rowan Cashsoft DK.

It was an easy and quick project (aren't they the best?!), taking a week. I followed the pattern to the letter, and was pleased with the overall result.
When we had originally been looking for a beret which Louise would like, she emailed me a photo of a cabled one from a shop. I looked around and found a similar pattern, which would do. Ordinarily I would have improvised one of my own to suit the exact item she was looking for, but time wasn't on my side.
Voila, the Grey Beret, my version of the Cabled Beret, by Ashley Elva. I hadn't used the yarn before, Louisa Harding Thistle (aran) and liked the way it knitted up, so may well use it in future.
This one was even quicker. The only modifications I made were to skip a whole cable repeat and reduce the no. decrease rounds at the crown, because it would have ended up being too slouchy (not what Louise wanted in this case).
Again, I'm pleased with this one, a two-day project. And more to the point, Louise likes both.

Meanwhile, back to the Little Sister Dress. I have a feeling I'm going to still be on this one when I'm in labour, but they do recommend doing something to take your mind off the pain!

Friday, 3 December 2010

Happy Christmas, Joyeux Noel, Buon Natale, Frohe Weinachten...

I don't know any more greetings!

Surprise Baby Shower

At Knit Night on Tuesday, everyone surprised me with a Baby Shower! I don't know how they kept it secret, but I really had no idea, and I was so touched.
It was lovely; everyone had made their own knitted presents for the baby. Above is Sian's brilliant dinosaur.
These are Lizzie's adorable green mittens, perfect for this weather.
This is Heather's bunny, which doubles as a blankie: how clever.

Don't you love Jayne's teddy? He came in a little box all of his own, and is quite small so perfect for little hands to grasp.

Toad made this beautiful, soft-as-a-feather alpaca hat. Toad is our expert resident spinner and (forgive me Toad for using the wrong terminology) blended two natural alpaca wools in brown and cream/white, then spun them to create a dreamy graduated effect when she knitted it up.

How clever, and it looks and feels so wonderful!

This is a very sweet little Zebra from Icy.

Really everyone, I was so happy to receive these beautiful and thoughtful gifts, and I know the
baby will be too when it arrives.
It's snowing in London! How exciting; this means Christmas is really on its way.

The tree's up and decorated and when I've taken some photos I'll post them.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Nesting, Part II

All the eensy weensy clothes and bedlinen are washed and put away in lined drawers. We're getting ready here in Brook Green.

My parents came to stay last week which was wonderful. I made Bramble Fool:

We had a great week shopping and gallery-visiting. They are two extremely excited grandparents-to-be!
DH gave me some beautiful pale pink/white roses tinged in green:
The Baby's Room is coming together, with all the furniture built. Toys, baby wipes and bedlinen have not been taken out yet, but all in good time.

In the meantime, I am about 3 rows away from finishing Louise's beret, but have inconveniently run out of yarn (which shouldn't have happened according to the pattern). This means another trip into town just to get one ball, so I'll probably go tomorrow. It's cold here in London and she'll need a good head-warmer ASAP.
The Little Sister Dress is on hold in the meantime. More on that next time.

Sunday, 21 November 2010


Can you guess what this is?

This is going to be a Little Sister Dress, by Tora Froseth. I've been wanting to make one for forever, and now I have an excuse! Of course, we don't know the sex of the baby yet, so if it's a boy I promise I won't force him to wear this!
However, this project will have to go on hold because up next is a beret for Louise in navy.

Meanwhile, having some time on my hands now that I'm on Maternity Leave, I've been doing lots of things around the house.

These are garlic and oregano croutons all safely packed up in the freezer to go with some parsnip and honey soup that I've also frozen (there's enough soup to get us through the next three winters!).

Chilli is next on the menu, and I'll be making extra quantities to freeze for those nights to come when we just don't have the time (or energy) to cook.
My little brother Rory and his girlfriend Rachel came to stay last week for his birthday so I made some blueberry muffins:

Back to the needles now, and I must pack the hospital bag!

Sunday, 31 October 2010


This is my Lanesplitter from Knitty First Fall 2010, which I actually finished a couple of months ago. I've just had it blocked and waiting for me to get round to threading the elastic through the waist band.

Being 8.5 months pregant at the moment, I'm afraid I can't model it for you as the bump wasn't taken into account when making my usual size! Some time after Christmas I should be able to wear it though.

There are lots of other great versions out there, and it was hard choosing the colour(s)! As always with Noro, the thrill is in waiting to see what colour combinations arise. In this pattern, the excitement is increased by alternating two balls at the same time. I know some people carefully chose when are where to start a new ball, and cut out sections they felt didn't work, but I just went with it and watched to see what would happen.

I'm pleased with the result. Above is the seam, which would be impossible to match up colourwise. I can't decide whether to wear the seam at the back or side.

It's basically one long rectangle, which is knit on the diagonal, so you begin by increasing at regular intervals to the mid point, then decreasing down to a point at the other end, all the while alternating every two rows with stocking and garter stitch.

Enjoy the magical Noro colour graduations...