Knitting for Little Creatures

So it seems that there’s a baby cluster happening in my little world. My boy’s awesome cello teacher and his wife just had a daughter, my girl J.’s due date is on Halloween (seeing very cool birthday parties in this kid’s future), my lovely tattoo artist E. is due on Christmas Eve, and then end of February, my sweet friend M. is having her third girl in a row, much sooner than anticipated.

As you can probably imagine, my crafts brain (right next to the lizard brain, it’s there, I’m sure of it!) has been busily thinking about baby stuff, and I’ve been playing with yarn more than I have done for months. It helps that the pup has settled down some, also I’m getting into the groove of the fall season. This year, it began with my knitting a dog sweater. IMG_1370Charlie has this very fine, silky coat, which we all love petting so much. Unlike most other breeds‘, his unfortunately doesn’t come with an undercoat. If I ever made fun of people who put coats on their dogs in the winter in the past, I’m eating my words with a big spoon right now, regretting every pun I ever made, because, lovely people, dog clothing is a thing. I don’t see us not taking walks in the winter because we’re too cold, right? We just wrap up in warm coats, and off we go. Why would I not give my dog that option, seeing that he needs to be outside even more than I do?

On the first day temperatures dropped to around 15 °C, I started looking online, and wasn’t really loving any of the sweaters I found, simply because they’re all made of acrylic yarn. As you know, I’m more into the natural fabrics. So I had a basic idea of the sweater’s construction, more like a vest, really. A long tube with holes for the front legs. I knew it needed to be longer in the back than in the front, given the anatomy of male dogs. You don’t want dog pee on fabric of any kind, hence the front needs to be a crop.

So I started thinking about it, made a little drawing, and went through my yarn stash. Fellow crafters know how it is – there’s always yarn that hasn’t found its true purpose yet. I unearthed this reddish-brown pure new organic wool that matches Charlie’s coat to a t. I immediately knew I wanted to do something with a textured pattern. Then, believe it or not, I actually got out the tape measure. It was my first project like this, and I found I had no idea how long my dog really is, or how wide his shoulders are and stuff. So I measured him, I swatched, and I cast on a test piece – which turned out to be the right size, awesome.

About halfway in I realized I didn’t have enough of the reddish brown yarn, so I went through the options in my stash again, deciding with my friend M. of the impeccable taste’s help that navy would go with it best. So, the finished sweater now has a navy neck and navy details I added later on. It was a three staged process, and now I feel it looks just the way it needs to look, it’s long enough in the back and it seems to be comfortable enough ;-).

As for human baby things to knit, I just mailed these IMG_1479.JPGto the string musicians‘ baby (mom’s a violinist, dad’s the aforementioned cellist), and may her teeny little feetz be warmed as well as look pretty.

Since our future nephew has a mom who also likes to knit, I’m not even going to bother making him socks. Instead, I just bought a lovely handcrafted baby wrap in the most gorgeous shade of coral – in a way, somebody else did the crafting for me :-). I fondly remember using my own baby wrap on a daily basis after my daughter was born – there’s really nothing like having the little ones close to your body the first months. Magic times :-). If you’re wondering, this is the one. Beautiful color, right?

The other two ladies with the bumps are a different matter. One’s my tattoo artist friend E. who is amazing at her craft but doesn’t really do yarn and fabric, no doubt because she’s too busy with managing her thriving business, 2 kids and a cute, energetic Boxer dog dude. E. will hopefully be happy to wrap her baby in what is going to be a multi-color stripy knit blanket, the beginning of which you can see here.

Again, I made a swatch (see bottom left) – and wouldn’t you know, the real piece turned out to be too wide the first time around anyway … still, I’m happy to have seen the way the colors are going to blend into each other. For the correct color sequence, I enlisted my daughter’s help. She knows these things way better than I do, much in the way I just instinctively know what a sauce needs to become its most delicious self. She just throws colors together, and it would take me hours to achieve what she can do in a matter of minutes. Amazing! As a beneficial side-effect, this project will be diminishing my yarn stash very nicely, thank you.

For my friend M. who’s having the February baby, I’m not sure what to make, yet. I did order some gorgeous pastel colored merino yarn that made me think of her, but for now, I’m busy enjoying the stripy project. It’s a very uncomplicated pattern – just knit, knit, knit and knit some more… easy while I’m binging my way through Queer Eye, which I’m enjoying more than I thought I was going to. My sweet niece M. who is also my media guru said it was worth watching, and so I gave it a shot. In the beginning I was watching mostly for Tan the fashion expert (this guy)’s sake, but in the meantime, all five of them have grown on me. And yes, I have shed a tear or two, just like everybody else.

Have a lovely time with this early fall weather. Isn’t it great? Scarves, and hats, and long sleeved clothes, and all the bright autumn-y colors to look forward to. img_7150.jpg

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