Creativity check and finished projects, spring 2022

It's been just about a month and a half since my last creative check in.  A lot has happened in that time, most notably the arrival of our newest family member. In a flurry of last minute nesting, I finished a few projects, and in the wake of postpartum life and Nicholas home on parental leave, I've finished (and modified, more on that below) a couple more items. Completion of things will naturally be slower, of course, since our hands are more full these days, but I wanted to document and share what I've been working on.

Knitting, finished

A pair of socks for my dad. In my last creative check in, I mentioned how I hoped to finish these before the baby's arrival, and I did just that. In fact, I kitchener stitched the toe on the second sock while in early labor(!) Talk about cutting it close. They are knit in a garter rib, using the same numbers and formula as his previous pair, since those fit him well and he has already gotten lots of wear out of them. I used Paton's Kroy, as I have with many pairs of socks previously. This yarn is affordable, readily available (at Michael's or Hobby Lobby), and since most of the colorways border on a heavier fingering weight/sport weight, I can use a larger needle, making it the perfect, durable yarn for men's socks, specifically. This colorway is great with all the neutrals, plus that deep red.

Knitting, modified and officially finished

The knitting on Cooper's Oscar cardigan was officially done when I wrote my last check-in. After that, I blocked the cardigan and sewed on buttons, and realized that this yarn grew a ton when I blocked it, resulting in a sweater that was far too long on Cooper, but also disproportionate. I'm happy to knit something that's a bit large on him for room to grow, but this cardigan was unfortunately far too long and perfect in width. Cooper loved it and wanted to wear it all day long when I tried it on him. But after that, I set it aside to wait for a day when I had the mental capacity to problem solve the length issues. I knew it would sit in a drawer if I didn't take the time to fix it.

Ultimately, I opted to cut into my knitting and remove a segment of the sweater body, amounting to the removal of a few inches and the fourth button. I used this video on YouTube for step-by-step sweater surgery (this is not the first time I've done this to make a knitting garment shorter). It is tedious and not very enjoyable, and the grafting took me far too many nights. However, now the cardigan is the perfect length and Cooper can get some wear on cooler days in the next few weeks, and it should fit him in the fall, as well.

And yes, he as the ridiculous and magical combination of pj top + shorts + bedhead + handknit cardigan ;)

Knitting, works in progress

  • I'm still working on the Towns Sweater by Ozetta, for Nicholas. At last measurement, I have around two inches left to knit on the body of the sweater (it's knit bottom up). I really do want this to fit him well, so there has been lots of deliberation over sizing, and I did reknit the bulk of the 1x1 ribbed hem with larger needles to avoid the bottom rib pulling in too much. The yarn is dreamy to knit with—structured, but very soft and I love a good marled yarn. This is my most truly mindless knit (for a few more inches, anyway) since I can knit on it without looking. It saw a lot of knitting time in the immediate weeks postpartum. I'm not in a huge rush to finish it, but I'd like to make steady progress on it.
  • A pair of Blueberry waffle socks. These have seen trial and error as well. I originally cast on a pair of socks using The Daily Socks pattern. I love the look of that pattern, but since this particular yarn feels very thin (maybe from being caked up for some time?) I needed to use US 0 needles to get a fabric that I liked, and since the stitch pattern is rather inelastic, I made it past the gusset decreases before realizing these would be far too small. So I ripped back, cast on an additional four stitches (68, rather than my more typical 64) and used the same needles, also opting to use the Blueberry waffle sock pattern, a favorite of mine. My row gauge is more condensed, so I'm doing gusset decreases every third round, which may be a mistake resulting in too much fabric in the foot, but I will check the fit again when the decreases are completed soon. The yarn is a fun "Christmas" yarn from Woolberry Fiber Co that was part of a sock set.
  • I've made scant progress on my simple stockinette stitch cowl, since most of my knitting time has been devoted to the sweater or knitting (and re-knitting) a sock. But I anticipate this will become my "mindless/comfort/travel knitting" as I move ahead to other parts of Nicholas' sweater that are less mindless. Every time I pick it up for even a few stitches, I enjoy it.

Knitting, general thoughts

In the last week, I reorganized my yarn stash which was overdue, but also gave me a renewed admiration for and motivation to use yarn from stash. When I want to cast on my next new project, I'll check there first, then find a pattern to suit. As it is, I'm in no hurry to cast on anything new, since three in-progress projects is my max to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Sewing, finished

I wrote about a Cubby tote in my last creative check in. It's been my bag of choice for housing my knitting projects (at least the sweater and a pair of socks in a smaller project bag, tucked inside). I love this bag. A few weeks prior to Finn's arrival, I decided to make one for my mom, since I'm not sure when I will make time to sit at my sewing machine, and I wanted to be able to give it to her in person when they visited to meet Finn. I used some blue fabric from stash, made fabric handles, following her tutorial for that out of linen, and used a navy linen for the lining. I'm so pleased with how it turned out. I think it's likely I'll use this pattern, yet again, in the future.

And that's what I've been working on lately! Obviously my time for creative things looks different these days, but I'm enjoying a little bit of sock knitting while nursing, sweater knitting while Nicholas drives, etc. Pockets of time to fit in a few stitches that bring me joy.

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