Tag Archives: knitting

Baby surprise jacket (#2) for my surprise baby (#2)

Longtime readers might recall I made the famous Baby Surprise Jacket for my first surprise baby. And I loved making it. Garter stitch, cool construction, magic putting it together. I was so pleased to have a second surprise baby who could wear it, and I thought he deserved his own Baby Surprise Jacket too.

(Sorry the photo is a bit washed out, the colours – and the baby – are more vibrant in real life!)
Pattern: Elizabeth Zimmerman’s famous Baby Surprise Jacket, with thanks also to the great wiki on Ravelry. Such a good resource.
Yarn: I happened to be in a yarn store not too far from here (that I don’t get to very often) and I fell in love with this yarn – I thought it would be perfect for a BSJ. Sadly it doesn’t photograph as well as it looks in real life (probably because I used the iPad for the photos!). Anyway, it is sadly discontinued, as it is a lovely yarn to knit with. Touch Yarns Merino 8ply. I used about 120g, I think.

Sticks: 4.5 mm KnitPro Karbonz – first time using these needles – I really like them. Lucky, since I bought a set. Normally I would use 4mm for this yarn, but I wanted the BSJ to be a bit bigger than newborn size, since Harry would be wearing it between the ages of about 4-7 months.

(Even the close up doesn’t show the colours very well! Much richer in real life)
Time: 3 April – 28 June 2014. I think I actually finished the knitting at the end of May, but (as usual) it takes me a while to get the buttons sewn on. Lucky we had a fairly mild winter until this month!

I sort of wish the sleeves were a little longer – I could add length, I know, but equally I don’t mind them a little shorter, as he is at the stage where he sucks on his hands and fingers a lot, so the shorter sleeve length means he doesn’t also suck on his cardigan. Not a bad thing, really.

Another very satisfying knit for my lovely lovely surprise baby.



Filed under baby, FO2014

Are we there yet?

Four more weeks. Four more weeks. Oh my dog.
Four more weeks!
Lucky I got this finished in time, so Humphrey (not his real name!) will have something to wear home from hospital:

(Do you think it will fit?!)

Pattern: Viggo vest by Drops – a freebie pattern with the detail I was looking for – fingering yarn, stripes (although that’s an easy modification!) and button shoulders. I did convert it to knit in the round to the armholes, and added a purl faux seam on the sides, to hide the colour change:

Even so, I still ended up with 32 ends to sew in – yes, you read right, THIRTY-TWO ends!! How can something so small have so many ends?!

(This photo was taken after I had sewn in some of the ends while waiting at the OB’s office!)

Yarn: As Humphrey will be a summer baby, I have used cotton for the vest rather than the called for alpaca/silk. I used 33g of Rowan 4ply cotton in natural and about 22g of a red hand-dyed Cleckheaton natural cotton that I was given in a yarn swap. A whole garment in only 55g of yarn! Even so, I hope it won’t be a boiling hot day in February when we bring him home from hospital. But I couldn’t not have a hand-knit to dress him in!

Sticks: 3.5mm for the body and 3mm for the ribbing – the pattern uses smaller sticks, but I didn’t want it to be too firm – hopefully it will fit him for more than 5 minutes!

Time: oof, I started this on 18 August 2013!! I have had a few deadline projects in between, heh! Finished yesterday, 18 January 2014.

Four weeks to go. Plenty of time!


Filed under baby, FO2014, stashbuster


I have some big projects on the go at the moment, so not a lot to show for my crafting time, but fortunately I ave a few projects that I finished much earlier in the year that I haven’t blogged about yet, and they are just too nice to o show off just a little bit. So a bit f catch up is in order.

First up is this vest, which I adore:

(No doubt the adorability factor is increased exponentially by the very cute model!)

Pattern: Button Through Vest by Patons Australia, from their pattern book #1307 Kids’ Classics: for children aged 2-10 years – this is a really good book with classic but modern garments for girls and boys. I am sure I will be making more of the patterns from this for the boys as they grow.

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, 2 (or maybe 3?) balls of red (340034) and one of grey (340009). I think. It was a whole ago that I finished, but I’ve tried to be pretty good at keeping details updated in Ravelry, at least! I had the red in stash, but had to buy the grey. So it kind of counts as a stashbuster!

(I thought he’d like the pockets) (my first time doing integrated pockets on a knit garment – it was fun, and much easier than I expected just from reading the instructions – I really have to do something, I can’t “get” it without actually doing it at the same time as reading the instructions).

Time: 3 April – 29 May 2013 – I actually thought I finished it more recently than that! I do know it had over 30 ends to sew in – ugh! That’s the problem with a contrast trim and a garment made in pieces – but I do think it was worth it.


Sticks: 3mm and 3.25mm – I could perhaps have used a size larger, the fabric is fairly firm (even though they are the needles recommended for the yarn). I made the size 4 and it’s really quite snug, even after blocking.. I should have swatched, right?!

Modifications: As always, I made it longer than specified. Connor is a bit tall, but I think many baby and toddler patterns are just too short. And a bit of extra length gives room to grow, especially as kids at his stage tend to grow up not out. I do hope it will still fit him next year, as he didn’t end up wearing it at all this year, for reasons which are not entirely clear to me (even though they should be, since I mostly pick his clothes each day – although he’s already exerting some control in that area, which I mostly go along with).

I also changed the bands around the armholes and around the front from a thin ribbed piece knit separately and sewn on (why, oh why would you do that!) to garter bands knitted on to the garment. The ribbed bands were cute, but I dislike knitting ribbing and sewing quite enough to avoid them! I think I added an extra buttonhole as well, I can’t recall now.

I don’t know how photographers get toddlers and small children to stand still for the purpose of photo shoots! I guess, like me, they take thousands of shots in the hope they get a couple of non-blurry, usable ones, heh!


Filed under FO2013, red


You know how I have this insatiable urge to try ALL the Suzy Hausfrau yarns? Well, this is another result of that:

Pattern: Dustland Hat by Stephen West. This is a great pattern, which comes in 3 sizes. A few people on Ravelry indicated the sizing ran big, so even though my head measures Large, I decided to make the Medium. And it fits perfectly! Really long and slouchy, and fun to knit because of the varying textured patterns.

Yarn: Swans Island Worsted, about 80g of the 100g skein, in Indigo. This yarn, oh my! So soft and squishy. I loved knitting it and I love the fabric it produces. It shows the textured pattern so beautifully! The Swans Island yarn is organic merino and is naturally dyed – the colours containing indigo even come with a separate label warning about colour bleed. I used metal sticks, so no problem there, but I did get colour bleed onto my fingers, which washed off easily (phew!)

Sticks: KnitPicks fixed metal, 4mm for the rib and 4.5mm for the main part of the hat.
Time: 26 May – 2 June 2013 – a week and a day – not bad considering I was knitting other stuff during that week as well.
Modifications: none at all. Knit exactly as per the pattern. Some on Ravelry report on making it less slouchy – it is quite a “long” hat – but it slouches over very nicely, I think.

I’m very pleased with my new hat!


Filed under FO2013


I don’t think I have mentioned that I have recently started help out Suzy Hausfrau Yarn Store. A very exciting opportunity for me in a lovely lovely yarn business.

Of course, I feel obliged to try ALL the lush yarns stocked by Suzy Hausfrau (yes, I am another of those people who spends more than she earns working for a yarn store, heh!). I have a bit of a way to go yet, but I’ve got to tell you about the MINK! The MINK! (Did I mention, it’s MINK!) (heh heh, sorry!) (by the way, I paid for the yarn and am not being paid for this post! You can trust me when I say I’m telling it like it is!)

I wish a picture could convey the softness of this yarn – Jones & Vandermeer Happy Mink – it’s a worsted weight handspun 50/50 mink/cashmere blend – the mink is “guilt-free” – combed from the animals once a year. Oh my. Oh my oh my oh my. Softer than a baby’s bottom. Softer than duck down. Softer than a basket of baby chickens. Softer than a bed of kittens. Softer than the softest soft thing you can think of.

It is soft in the skein, but even softer knitted up. So much so that it fuzzed even as I was knitting it – you can see how the yarn looks on the left of the photo compared to the hat – which has not been worn yet (although has been carried in my bag once or twice!)

Because of this, I would probably only recommend this yarn for a hat or a scarf/cowl – I think it would pill like crazy in a garment, but is perfect for accessories that won’t get too much friction or hard wear.

It’s not a cheap yarn, it definitely qualifies as a luxury one – but one skein will get you a simple hat – I made this hat from the top down (based on a free pattern which is made from the band up), as I figured if I ran out before I got the band done, I could easily use another yarn to do a contrast band. And I made it with this much to spare:

(and that was after I had to undo my too-tight cast off and redo it much more loosely! Phew!). You can see all the details of my hat on Ravelry (I can’t get the linky thing to work, but I’m sure you know where to find me there!).

You can also see the texture of the yarn – it’s a bit thick and thin, so even stocking stitch is given a wee bit of texture. I did find that on a couple of occasions when knitting this hat, I somehow managed to knit 2 stitches together when I wasn’t paying attention (a rookie mistake I don’t usually make, heh!) and I think this was due to the “thin” stitches on the needle sticking together.

It comes in a couple of marled colours as well as solid colours – so if the black/white isn’t your thing, you can choose a solid colour (or stripe the two) (I do love a stripe!).

For a simple hat, it’s a little bit of luxury we all deserve, I reckon!


Since I’m here, I may as well mention that this week (Wednesday 12-Sunday 16th) Suzy Hausfrau yarn store will be at the Sydney Craft and Quilt Fair at the Convention Centre at Darling Harbour. I’ll be working on the stall every day so please drop by and say hello – I will be the pink-hating person wearing a Suzy-pink jumper and apron, heh! We will have the Happy Mink and lots of other lovelies for you to smoosh!

And if you want the chance to knit with the Mink (the MINK!) Suzy Hausfrau is holding a yarn-tasting on Thursday night, 6-8pm – all the details are online here – what a great chance to try some lush and interesting yarns! If I hadn’t already indulged in them all, I would totally be signing up!


Filed under FO2013, Review

Veyla Veyla Veyla!

After Connor was born, I had grand plans of knitting these for my obstetrician. Well, I didn’t quite get there (in fact, I got no further than buying the pattern!) but when I found myself pregnant again, I had the opportunity to rectify my slackness. As you know, the pregnancy wasn’t meant to be, but I still wanted to knit her the intended gift. And so I did.

Pattern: Veyla by Ysolda Teague – a lovely mitt pattern – interesting to knit and pretty to wear. The lace cuff is knit sideways, then stitches picked up along one side and joined to knit in the round, with a neat little leaf detail over the knuckle area. I made the large size, exactly as per pattern.

Yarn: EGMTK sock yarn in emerald green – I had thought I’d use black or some neutral colour, but a chance comment made by my OB about Connor’s cars (he came with me to my first appointment) lead me to choose green, and I was right – her favourite colour (phew!). This yarn was bought at Bendigo Sheep & Wool fair in 2009(!!) so yay for stash busting! Although I still have over half the skein left, as the mitts used less than 50g (even the large size).

Sticks: 3.25 mm KnitPicks Options, magic loop.
Time: 8 March 2013 – 6 May 2013. They really didn’t take that long. The first one was done in a week, and both were finished before the end of March. Except for the buttons – 8 little buttons! Buttons are my nemesis! But I finally sewed them on (the perfect little buttons, I never thought I’d match the yarn colour so well!), in time for my follow up appointment.

A great little project, perfect for gifts or for yourself! Especially when you can get a pair out of a single 50g skein or ball of fingering weight yarn. I might even make another pair for myself. If I can get over my fear of the BUTTONS!


Filed under FO2013