I completed a whopping twenty projects this year! A lot of them were quick one- or two-day projects, but there were still 4 sweaters, 2 dresses, and a blanket for Cleo, plus a shawl for me. My last FO of the year is the brown crossover sweater pictured in the middle of the second photo collage above. It’s the Harvey Kimono from Natural Knits for Babies and Moms, by Louisa Harding. The yarn is Knit Picks Swish DK in Camel Heather. Here’s a closer look:
I knitted this pattern once before, back in 2008, but I wasn’t happy with how it turned out. This time I was a little more careful about picking up the stitches for the neck trim (and I didn’t mess up the 3-needle bind-off on the shoulders), and I’m so much happier with it. Cleo loves it too!
Looking forward to 2017, I want to knit more for myself. I just started the Alaria shawl, after receiving three skeins of Quince & Co. Tern for Christmas. I’ve also got yarn for a pair of Sedge mitts, a Francine headband, the Throstle shawl from the latest issue of Making, and a pair of Southern Fiords socks. I’d like to knit a couple pairs of socks for my husband, and I’ve queued up a couple of sweaters for Cleo for next fall/winter.
We’re all ready for Cleo’s first Christmas! All of the presents are wrapped and under the tree (yes, even the ones from Santa — I figured I’d make it easier on myself while she’s still too little to notice). Last weekend we had a big snow, but it was way too cold to take Cleo outside, so I made her a little snowman that she could look at from the kitchen window. She wasn’t too impressed with my little Frosty, though. She’ll probably feel the same way about opening presents, but I had so much fun picking things out for her and wrapping them up. I know she won’t remember any of this, but I can’t wait to tell her all about her first Christmas someday.
I have always loved making gifts for people at Christmas, and having a baby hasn’t slowed me down at all. Okay, maybe fewer gifts are coming out of my kitchen this year, but my productivity as a knitter has easily doubled! I made hats for my niece and nephew, but everything else is for my little darling.
I started knitting these stitch-sampler baby blocks shortly after I found out I was pregnant. It didn’t take long to knit the squares, but I ran out of steam after stitching the first three blocks together. I finally finished stitching together the remaining three blocks earlier this month. The pattern is from the book Knitting for Baby, by Melanie Falick & Kristin Nicholas, and I used Knit Picks Comfy Worsted in Rosehip, Carrot, Peapod, Marina, Celestial, and Lady Slipper.
Have you seen the Top This! yarn by DMC? I first saw it when an Instagram friend posted a picture of the kitty hat she made for her daughter. This butterfly hat (which has metallic thread running through the dark purple section on top!) is for my 4 1/2-year old niece, and the bear hat is for my almost-2-year old nephew. I had to add a couple of red stripes in there to make it a Chicago Cubs hat — my brother has been a huge fan since he was a kid, and what better way to start instilling that love in his son? 😉
These sweet sisters are reversible! This was a last-minute gift for Cleo. I’d finished all of my other knitting projects and wanted something else to work on. At first I wasn’t sure if I could finish it before Christmas, but then I ended up finishing it in just three days. I’m really in love with how it turned out…might be my favorite thing I knitted for Christmas! The pattern is from the book Itty Bitty Toys, by Susan B. Anderson, and I used scraps of Plymouth Encore Worsted in Regal Red, Periwinkle Heather, Off White, Dark Brown Heather, and Golden Glow.
And finally, a winter set for Cleo’s stocking. Another Top This! hat, in the Kitten colorway, and mittens from the book Natural Knits for Babies & Moms, by Louisa Harding, in Sublime Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK in Pinkaboo.
Now I’m working on the Harvey Kimono (also from Natural Knits for Babies & Moms) with some Knit Picks Swish DK. I’m not expecting to finish it before Christmas, although I would like to have it done shortly thereafter. I spy some yarn under the tree, and I can’t wait to start knitting a few things for myself in the new year! 🙂
Christmas with a baby is so much fun! It seems like we’ve done something festive almost every weekend for the past month. We’ve had our tree up since mid-November. Two weekends ago we were in Wichita, celebrating Thanksgiving with my family. We visited my grandparents, watched a couple of cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies with my mom, and spent lots of quality time with my brother & his family. Last weekend we took Cleo to our town’s old-fashioned Christmas horse parade, but of course she slept through the whole thing. I was so excited for her to see her first horse, and Santa, but oh well. Next year. We had our first snow on Wednesday — it was so beautiful, and Cleo’s face lit up when she saw it! That felt pretty special, and it made up for her lack of interest in the parade.
During the week, I’ve been busy getting everything ready for Christmas day. Wrapping presents, planning the feast, mailing out Christmas cards, finishing up knitted gifts. Everything is just about done, so this week I’ll be resting up for the busy week leading up to Christmas. Well, “resting up” as much as Cleo will allow! I think I’ve taken exactly one nap since she was born.
Pattern: Terra, by Jared Flood
Yarn: Knit Picks Gloss DK in Fairy Tale
Yesterday I finished knitting my first ever shawl! When Brooklyn Tweed recently released their Arbor collection, I fell in love with the beautiful emerald green Terra shawl. I especially loved the photo of the model wearing the shawl as a scarf. I knew immediately that I wanted to make one for myself, but the Arbor yarn was just too expensive. And then Julie wrote her awesome post about not participating in Slow Fashion October, and I was inspired to look for an alternate yarn that fit my budget. Knit Picks Gloss DK turned out to be a perfect choice. It’s a blend of Merino wool and silk and comes in a palette of beautifully saturated colors, similar to Arbor. I chose the color Fairy Tale, a lovely raspberry shade. I wore the finished shawl for the first time this morning, when we took Cleo to the library for Russian story time and a little walk around downtown. It was super cozy!
Cleo is almost 2 months old now, and we’re starting to find a rhythm to our days. So far I’ve managed to get a shower in every day, believe it or not. I also cook dinner most nights (nothing crazy — the way I cook has definitely changed, but that’s a post for another time). We try to go for a walk every day, either downtown or just around the neighborhood. Walking around with her in the Ergo is sometimes the only thing that calms her down when she’s overtired and needs to take a nap. It seemed counterintuitive to me when I first read this, but it’s absolutely true that the more she sleeps during the day, the better she sleeps at night.
Cleo loves music, and we listen to a little bit of everything — classical on NPR, lullaby CDs from the children’s section at the library (Tumble Bee by Laura Veirs has been a favorite), the 1960s station on Amazon Prime Music, a Louis Armstrong album of Disney songs. She’s not a big fan of books (yet!), but we’re working on it. I’ve been reading Winnie the Pooh to her, and we look at lots of board books. We also work on tummy time — she’s a pro at holding up her head, and she’s even started rolling over from her tummy to her back! And when Cleo naps, I wash dishes, do laundry, try to keep up with the housework, and occasionally manage to sneak in a bit of knitting. I finally finished the little dress I was working on while I was in labor, and now I’m working on my first ever shawl.
Being a stay-at-home-mom is a dream come true for me, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard. Some days I feel like I’m barely keeping my head above water, but overall I think I’m adjusting well. I’ve found stores of energy that I never knew I had. And so far, every day has been different — something I try to keep in mind when I’m having a rough day. Tomorrow will be better; tomorrow I can be better — more fun, more patient, more gentle with myself — but at the end of the day, if she’s fed and safe and happy, that’s all that matters.