. Baby Sweater In Progress

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Baby Sweater In Progress

Category: Tin Can Knits

Back in August, I was agonizing over what to make for a friend’s baby, and I just wanted to let you all know that I finally decided! (Yes, the baby has also already arrived, but I’m making a 1-2 year size, so it’ll be fine.)

I picked Goldfish by Alexa Ludeman of Tin Can Knits, and I’m using Berroco Vintage DK in Bird’s Egg #2136 for the main color, and Fuchsia #21176 for the fishies! The needles are Knitter’s Pride Dreamz, my favorites. So far, all I have is the collar edge, but I’m already loving it, and can’t wait to get to the colorwork section.

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The most exciting part about this project is that my amazing partner is knitting it with me. (Honestly, I never get tired of talking about how great he is — but tell me if you’re getting sick of hearing it.) He knew how to crochet when we met, and quickly learned to knit so he could make a great scarf for his mom. It seems that we knit to about the same gauge, so we’ve been taking turns with the project. If there’s enough yarn left at the end, I’ll translate the goldfish motif into a matching baby hat for winter!

 

In Search of Inspiration for Baby Projects

Category: Tin Can Knits

I have a printed copy of an internet meme hanging on my whiteboard above my desk at work, and another copy stuck to my fridge at home. On days when I’m struggling with procrastination, or mornings when I’m feeling sluggish and uninspired, it gives me a boost. What is this magical motivational poster, you ask? Well, it looks like this:

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Now you know what gets me moving. It came from the internet. The fact that the shark hat is crocheted makes it even better, because I know that someone out there took the time to make a shark hat for their kitty (or sure, for a baby, but let’s be honest, cats in hats are pretty amazing).

This weekend, I definitely felt like a powerful Great White Shark — I finally finished repairing Brooks’ dad’s sweater! I wound in the final ends, checked everything over, and packaged it up. Success! An item checked off the knit list! Fellow crafters, you know the satisfaction I felt when I officially declared it done. Is there any better feeling?

Now I get to cast on my capelet figure out what to make for a baby that is due in early September. I want it to be something fun but also practical, because this is a Maine baby. With that in mind, this is one of the potential items:

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© Pam Allen

 

Is this not one of the cutest things you’ve ever seen? Possibly even cuter than a cat wearing a shark hat? This is the Baby Duck Booties pattern from Quince & Co., and it makes me want to just squeal with delight. The toddler size (which I would have to make, because I knit slowly and babies grow so quickly) uses Chickadee, a sport weight yarn. I think I’d change up the color of the sole, because white would get dirty really quickly, but we’ve got plenty of colors to choose from in the store. I have also pondered trying to size this up to make a cozy pair of slippers for myself, perhaps using plushy, aran weight Osprey. (Non-slip paint or a suede sole would be a necessary safety feature.)

 

 

 

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© Espace Tricot

I’ve also considered a blanket for the heirloom factor, and because the sizing is less crucial (ditto for the gauge — score!). But there are so. many. baby blankets out there. Ravelry offered me 168 PAGES of knitted blanket patterns when I searched. After enjoying working on the ZickZack Scarf, I’m tempted to tackle the Chevron Baby Blanket by Espace Tricot, though probably in Berroco Vintage instead of cotton, because this is a fall/winter baby. However, if I continue procrastinating on this project, I may end up needing to choose Softcotton Chunky for a quick knit summer blankie!

 

 

 

 

Of course, there’s always the sweater option. I think I’ve already mentioned that I love designs by Tin Can Knits, and they don’t make it easy to choose. I’m torn between two patterns: Old Growth and Goldfish. Which one do you prefer?

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© Tin Can Knits

 

This is Old Growth, and I love the off-center buttons and fun tree motif. It’s classic, elegant, and seamless!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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© Tin Can Knits

 

And this is Goldfish — adorable, fun, quirky, and also seamless. With a slightly tonal yarn for the main color… this could be the one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do you think, readers? Booties, blanket, or sweater? What’s your go-to item to knit when someone is expecting? As soon as I have a pattern, I’ve got to channel my inner shark and attack the project!

 

 

 

 

My Top 3 Knitwear Designers

Category: Tin Can Knits

I’ve already confessed to spending too much time on Ravelry, and not enough time knitting. Part of the problem is that there are Just. Too. Many. Patterns. out there, and more are being designed every day. While I love discovering new designers, I have a handful of favorites who keep me coming back, every time. Behold, the list of my Top 3 Knitwear Designers:

Eased (Bulky version) ©Aliciaplum

Eased (Bulky version) ©Aliciaplum

3. Alicia Plummer. For starters, she lives in Maine, so we already know she’s awesome. Her patterns are beautifully textured, and they all look wonderfully wearable. Alicia’s designs make me want to go camping, or curl up in front of a fire with a good book. She loaned us some of her sample garments once, and I got to wear Eased. I have to tell you, I almost didn’t give it back, it was that cozy (and it was my color, too). Even though it’s summer (at last!), I’ve got this urge to knit with Mirasol Ushya, a luscious super bulky on our shelves — and it’s all Alicia’s fault! She has designed a cowl called Au Courant that absolutely must be around my neck by the time the first snow flies: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/au-courant. The only question is which color to choose (which I will agonize over for an inordinate amount of time).

 

 

 

© Tin Can Knits

Snowflake © Tin Can Knits

2. Tin Can Knits. This designing partnership of Alexa Ludeman and Emily Wessel is my go-to when I’m knitting for young’uns. The Gramps Cardigan for my favorite toddler came from them, and they’ve got a whole collection of adorable, pint-sized patterns. One of the best things about Tin Can Knits is the way they size their patterns: almost every pattern is sized from Newborn to 4XL. Yes, you read that right. No more envy of those stylish babies, no more wondering whether you could figure out the math to size it up for yourself. Alexa and Emily have got you covered. My guy even requested a matching Gramps Cardigan so he and his young buddy can be twins. (So far, I’ve resisted — the cuteness might be too much for the world to handle.) Many Tin Can Knits patterns also come with ultra-helpful tutorials, just at the points where you find yourself wondering, “Am I doing this right?” The gorgeous sweater pictured here is Snowflake: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/snowflake-123, and is one of several Tin Can Knits items on my to-knit list.

 

 

Venus © Rowan Yarns, 2011

Venus © Rowan Yarns, 2011

1. Martin Storey. My long-time knitwear designer crush, Martin Storey, is in a league of his own. He has over 30 pages of patterns listed on Ravelry. He designs for Rowan. The men who model his designs are ruggedly handsome and look like they should be striding across the heath or else helping you aboard their yacht. The women all look like they own homes in the English countryside yet are completely approachable, and might invite you to join them for a glass of wine in the garden, which of course you would say yes to, and then the two of you would become inseparable friends, and she might convince Martin to design a sweater for you, too. I am clearly insane in love with the world that Martin Storey has created with his knit designs. His patterns for children are equally lovely and classic. You really can’t go wrong. My current favorite is Venus, pictured here. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/venus-9.

Who are some of your favorite designers?