Tuesday, April 21, 2020

A Welcome Diversion

I know I've mentioned recently, perhaps more than once, that my knitting mojo has dropped since we started staying at home. I'm not sure why, as knitting has always brought me such comfort in the past (in fact, the only time I can remember not wanting to knit before was when my appendix decided it needed to come out). I've been doing a lot of crochet and spinning, but I missed my love of knitting -- I just didn't feel like me without my needles in my hands every day.

So when I realized I really needed to knit a baby gift, it was just the kick in the pants I needed. A dear friend of mine had a baby late last week, and as this friend is also a knitter, I could not let the occasion pass without making her something. Though I usually make larger projects for new babies so that they'll be able to be used longer, in the interest of time, I decided to go with newborn-sized items that could be used right away. If these look familiar, it's because I knit them as a set for another last fall.

Pattern: Newborn Vertebrae by Kelly van Niekerk
Yarn: Fibernymph Dye Works Bounce (80% superwash merino/20% nylon) in That's Not Even a Word!, 0.6 skeins/240 yards
Needles: US 2 (2.75 mm) and US 3 (3.25 mm)
Started/Completed: April 8/April 17
Mods: cast on/picked up additional stitches under the arms

This is a very popular pattern, and with good reason, because it's adorable, quick to knit, and easy to execute. My only modification was done to make things a little easier for me. The pattern does not call for casting on any stitches under the arm when you split off the sleeve stitches, but I cast on two stitches under each arm because I've found that not doing so stresses that point a bit too much for my taste. So I added those two stitches under each arm and then then did two decreases to get rid of them on the next right-side row. Similarly, instead of picking up one stitch under each arm when I started the sleeves, I picked up five and then did two sets of decreases on following rounds. This helped to close up holes at the underarm a bit. And yes, I did wind off the yarn when I started the sleeves to get them to (more or less) match. I was about a round off, but I'm not sweating that too much.

Of course, I had to make the hat to go with the sweater.

Pattern: From Where You Were Plucked by Corrie Willard
Yarn: FDW Bounce in That's Not Even a Word!, 0.24 skeins/96 yards
Needles: US 1.5 (2.5 mm)
Started/Completed: April 17/April 19
Mods: none

The last time I knit this pattern, I kept making stupid mistakes -- through no fault of the pattern; it was just me being overconfident I knew what I was doing and not actually reading the instruction. This time, I made sure to read and follow the instructions and had no issues (well, I did miss one decrease in the final decrease section, but that's because I was knitting while drowsy, and it wasn't a big deal). I've been known to refer to this pattern as the rude baby hat because when you finish knitting it, the long tube that forms the topknot looks a little like, well, um, genitalia. (Sorry. Once I saw it, I couldn't unsee it.) It's extremely cute when it's tied up, though, so try not to worry about that.

These items are now ready to be dropped off for my friend's sweet baby girl to use, and as we can't meet her in person, I'm thinking of them as a virtual hug for this little one.

I've been continuing to work on Rainbow's crochet blanket as part of the 100 Day Project for at least 15 minutes every day, and I'm getting close to finishing up the first skein of Felici. She is delighted with how it's working up, and I'm enchanted with how the self-striping is working up.

Now that the baby knits are off the needles, I have decided to hunker down and finish up my new design sample. I was really excited about this idea when I first got it, and I can only blame COVID-19 anxiety for diminishing that.

There's no excuse for it being on the needles as long as it has, so I am hereby committing to getting this done ASAP -- hold me to it!


  1. That baby sweater is adorable! And, I am also fascinated by how that self striping yarn is working up! It is giving me ideas - I have a skein of handdyed yarn that I can't knit up without horrible pooling, perhaps crochet is the answer! :)

  2. I love your Newborn Vertebrae and hat! I'm especially glad because I recently found out that there will be a new baby in the family to knit for in September, so I may need to order some FDW self-striping yarn. That shawl design is intriguing, especially in those colors, so keep knitting (of course, while not neglecting Rainbow's blanket)!

  3. Awww, the baby things look so cute! I love the colours, they remind me a little of bonbons. Welcome to the baby girl!

    The colours of the blanket look great, too - Rainbow picked beautiful colourways! (One day, I will have to try and get my hands on some knit picks Felici yarn).

    AND I am very much looking forward to seeing your new design coming to life! I hope your mojo stays and you can find more comfort in knitting.

  4. The newborn vertebrae is perfect! Your friend is going to be so pleased!

  5. Oh I do love that baby set (and still smiling about the hat's finish. I'm used to a little i-cord bindoff and that is just a belly button). I bought yarn to make the Lilly Rose dress for my friend's new granddaughter. and I'm going to try PetiteKnit's Sigge's Bib ( to match. Looks cute. and would for sure be useful.

  6. p.s. LOVE the way Rainbow's blanket is working up ... and that's just one skein? wow! very cool color combo!

  7. Loving the color combo on that sample! Isn't it funny how there are some people you just HAVE to gift with a handknit, no questions? I'll bet that mama is so appreciative, to feel all that love at a time when it all has to be so distant. xo

  8. That is a darling baby gift. So bright and cheerful. I bet your friend will love that virtual hug. Rainbow's blanket is such fun. Once I knit a pair of socks from Felici and they washed and wore very well. At the time the yarn was very soft.

  9. Lovely knitting all around, Sarah! I think there is probably "something" about the formerly-beloved things we've (probably temporarily) lost our mojo for as the pandemic barges into our lives. Me? I haven't picked up my paintbrush since the whole thing began! I'm hoping to work past that soon. . . but for now? I'm just not painting. Here's to a return to all the mojo! XO