And it begins

Blocked, washed and ready, this little baby sweater (complete with not one, but TWO sleeves, is almost done. I say almost, because the original has a sweet little monogram on the front of the baby’s first initial.  I thought I’d do that too, but I won’t know the name for a little while yet. (Well, probably not until their birthday.)

vivi 2015-05-08

Pattern: V is for Vivi. Size: 3 months. (The pattern doesn’t have a three month size, so I just changed the gauge a smidge, to give me another size between newborn and 6 months.) Needle: 4mm. Yarn: Big Bad Wool Wepaca in “blue eyes” – 2.25 skeins.

Lou’s sibling, our next niece or nephew, is set to land on the planet sometime in July, and as the fog of the last few weeks clears, and I start looking at the calendar, and making my plans, I realize that I need to get a hustle on. This new bundle of sweetness will need more than a sweater- my excitement needs to be writ in wool – with hats and sweaters and soakers and … their blanket. The grand tradition of the baby blanket isn’t something I take lightly. I make one for every special baby in my life, a unique thing for each of them. I use stitches I think reflect where they come from, and what the traditions in their family are. It’s no small undertaking, and in the past, actually, they’ve been no small blankets.

Marlowe’s blanket was um, pretty big.  The blanket I knit for Luis wasn’t small, and things got right out of hand when I made one for Myrie.  (Thank heaven for Martha. I still think about how awesome she was.) Each of those blankets took up to 1700 metres of yarn, and as much as running out of yarn for Myrie’s made for high entertainment, I still like to learn from my mistakes, so this morning I went through the stash to see if I had enough yarn to start this bairn’s blankie, and saw that I had ten skeins of yarn.

tenwontdoit 2015-05-08

Lou’s took eight, and Myrie’s ended up being nine, and since this time I’m planning on having it come in a little smaller, ten is more than enough, I’m hoping to only use seven, but when I got to thinking about it – I decided that I’d like to do a full on, old fashioned layette.  Blanket, sweater, hat and booties – all in the same yarn, and I figure I’ll need two more skeins to add that stuff.  That means that I should have just exactly the right amount of yarn. If the blanket takes seven (and I add a skein for insurance), the sweater and bits take two… that’s ten, that works out perfectly. The stars aligned.

So I ordered four more.

96 thoughts on “And it begins

  1. I wonder how fate will conspire to screw this up for you, having so carefully planned and counted the skeins. I wish you joyful knitting on this layette.

  2. A wise move! The Philosopher asked why I end up with extra yarn on every project. I reminded him that it’s *far* preferable to me running short…

  3. Make sure you put them in a special hiding place that No One Could Ever Lose Them. I specialize in “safe places” that disappear like Brigadoon.

  4. Good move!
    My daughter’s wedding is in July. If I start now, can I have a baby blanket in a year? (Seriously. At my speed nine months might not be enough.) And I love the way your blankets reflect the baby’s family history. That would be great fun – if only I had the knitting know-how to invent patterns as you do!

  5. Good thinking ’99’.

    As for the cute sweater, I’m very glad to see two perfectly aligned sleeves.

  6. Oh my. So glad you bought the extra. (BTW, it looks so lovely and squishy!) I was reading through and getting all jittery – “oooohhhhh… I know she’s really experienced and has really calculated this well, but ooooohhhhhhh….this is making me very nervous.”
    I appreciate a good knitter’s yarn about being rescued by wonderful knitting superheroes as much as the next wool pig. But if disaster was courted so glaringly, I fear you’d be faced with whatever the knitting tragedy equivalent of Romeo and Juliet would be.

  7. If you are knitting a layette, the new baby *needs* a Pepita. They are the most gorgeous little dungarees and so brilliant for babies who are carried in slings (because they don’t ride up and leave cold little calves) are cloth bottomed (extra nappy room) or travel in car seats (they accommodate the straps). Plus they are super cute. I had a similar pair my mum knitted from my gran’s pattern and they were so useful. And adorable. I am starting a pair for my new niece after my own baby’s fifth birthday this week. (They’re really quick, too)

    • Where would one find a pattern and pix of such a great thing. On another thought, I have soakers that my DH wore 75 years ago, and I remember when my Mom could finally get plastic pants, they had a row of snaps up each side. But I don’t think she ever used them at home. In the summer toddlers ran around in diaper and undershirt, or just a diaper. One of my brothers shed his as often as possible and we called him pantless Pat.

      • Pantless Pat… *giggles* Poor guy! Though, given the summer’s we’ve had in my area lately, I can’t blame him. I’d do the same if I had the house to myself.

        • Well it was 1956, and we lived way out in the country and only about 3 cars a day went by, and Patrick was right around a year old. With babies, if you put a cloth diaper on them, it would just slide down, cause babies have no butt to hold it up. I think it was only us sisters and brothers and one neighbor boy about age 15 who called him that. Now that he’s 60 he’s probably out grown it.

  8. This will be the only time, ever, that the blanket comes out the size you think it will and you have 5 skeins left over.

  9. Excellent decision! I am also very good at making careful calculations, comparing to historical results and still running out of yarn!!

  10. I’m sure the knitting fates will look at you and laugh, and come up with some entirely different way to mess with this blanket. That seems to be a tradition too. But carry on and hope that I am wrong! Can’t wait to see the results.

  11. The sweater is perfect.
    The blanket will work out… in the end.
    Obviously lack of yarn won’t be a problem. I wonder what the knitting fates will come up with. 😉

  12. Well, obviously you ordered more. There’s no need to tempt the knitting gods any further by saying you had the correct amount. And any extras can always be used for other small projects 🙂 Of course, there’s a reason I have so many one and two skein extras in my bins…

  13. Just a suggestion: Do the booties, hat and sweater before beginning the blanket. You can adjust accordingly.

  14. Sounds perfectly sensible to me – and then whatever’s left over you can start with a cardie and then a hat and then mittens and booties and just keep going until you run out of yarn – it’s exponential knitting!

  15. All the previous blankets ended up being larger than expected (and even larger still when you block them), especially when you power through the edging section.

    I’d go with the yarn on hand for the blanket only and order fresh yarn altogether for the other items. It’s not like any ‘extra’ yarn won’t get knit to good use. Rather than sounding like the voice of doom, I hope this comes across as realistic and supportive toward lowering stress for deadline knitting, based on reading the sagas of several blankets that each had their own story about meterage challenges..

  16. I bounced back to look at the previous baby blankets. I just adore the shots of the baby toes you shared with your masterpieces! Can’t wait to see the layette. Great to know that you’ve ordered more yarn right away – not because your math is off, but because you’ll think of four more items to add to the layette. Happy Mother’s Day!

  17. I think about Myrie all the time and that crazy day delivering yarn to you in a Canadian Chinese restaurant. I’ll continue to check Twitter to see if I can help out with your next blanket emergency. Congrats on the new niece/nephew. They are very lucky to have you for an aunt – your blankets are epic.

  18. OMG! Luis could have a younger sibling with a megawatt smile as dazzling as his own?!?!? Get the welder’s goggles now to protect your eyesight on the first occasion you see them together!

    More seriously, of course you bought more yarn. What you already have could have an unfortunate meeting with red wine or cherry Kool-Aid. Or a hairball barfed up soon after the cat has gorged herself on certain brands of cat kibble. Can we say “permanently stained?” Besides, any leftover yarn can be put toward additional booties, baby mittens, caps for small people, doll clothes (you will run out halfway through B. doll’s ball gown), or even a scrapghan.

  19. that last line was definitely a snorter! I’d do the same thing….which is why I knit lots of stripey baby sweaters using up the extra skeins…..:-)

  20. Better safe than sorry, I say. You made those wonderful blankets for Luis and all. My nephew and niece-in-law (what do I call her besides Kate?) are expecting their first baby at the end of June. They didn’t seem all that psyched about me knitting, but were ok with it. So after dithering, I finally bought some tosh sock yarn because it is machine washable (on gentle I presume) and I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t want to hand wash something. Still looking a patterns.

  21. So relieved you ordered more! Chance to add more goodies at the end if you calculations are correct. I have only just started to knit but am already obsessed. Have my eye on some great baby knits ready for news of a new arrival!

  22. Now the trick will be to put all of that yarn together in a place that you’ll remember. Do it right now, and then tell The Blog so that when you ask us later we can respond correctly.

  23. A 4-skein insurance policy. Atta girl! You can always do something yummy with left-overs. Can’t wait to see the latest blankie.

  24. Another suggestion I got from a knitting instructor here in Michigan, Amy Tyler. When you have a limited amount of yarn, knit a 10″ x 10″ square in pattern stitch. [Don’t cut the yarn at this stage, you will need to use this again.] Weigh this, and you will know how much yarn is in 100 square inches. Now you can have a really good sense of how much yarn you will need to make, for instance, a blanket which has 1200 square inches – 12 times the weight of a 10″ x 10″ square. This is, of course, only an estimate, and you should probably add another skein anyway!!

  25. Smart woman. I have a brand new great-niece-or-nephew coming in the fall. I am NOT making a blanket. His/Her grandmother has already made 3 and is buying more yarn as we speak. I’m making a couple of heavy little sweaters and wool socks. We live in a very snowy, cold area. Wool socks in various sizes will be perfect. Plus I have this washable sock yarn with cashmere. Ok… and some booties… and probably a couple of hats in various sizes…. maybe a couple of soakers… but NO BLANKETS. At least no knit blankets.

  26. Extra yarn is exactly why EZ invented the baby surprise jacket. But extra of that yarn will simply be more of a good thing. Happy lace swatching. Spell check keeps changing that to searching. Same thing really. Stitchionarys here you come!

  27. My sweater quantity bin suddenly seems tame compared to your stash’s ability to manifest a blanket quantity. I will point this out to my partner in a way that shows I’m absolutely restrained (snort).

    But you haven’t told us: what’s the yarn?! I’m such a sucker for squishy yarn in white/natural.

  28. I screamed at my mobile when I read “exactly the right amount”. AAAAARRRGHHHH! Seriously stressed out for a few seconds. Calmed down when I read “ordered four more”. Phew! ☺

  29. Glad you ordered 4 more. You do realize there are only 9 skeins in the picture? Is there one more off camera?

  30. Forty percent beyond what you think you need–yup, that’s about the right comfort zone for me, too. How wonderful to have a new baby coming into the family!

  31. My newest nephew is due at the start of August and I want to start knitting for him. I’ve got a cardigan picked out and yarn put aside for it. It’s been such a hard pregnancy so far that that I’m scared to cast on. That’s it. I’m scared. I’m scared of having half a cardigan and nobody to finish it for.

    • Oh! So very sorry for the worry. 🙁

      Start in! Good intention and energy can only help. (In my opinion anyway.)

      Take care.

  32. That little sweater is just perfect! I love everything about it. Oh, how I wish we had just one more baby percolating in our family!

  33. Yep, I get it. I made a baby blanket in log cabin that ended up more of an afghan. The Mom later told me that it is the blanket she uses the most because they can both snuggle under it and it is big enough to allow discreet breast feeding when away from home.

  34. I’m so glad you have your yarn insurance. We of the blog are pretty sure now that this won’t be a yarn thing, it seems. However, Stephanie… I am a bit worried, especially since it is not looking to be a yarn thing, that it may become a time thing. 😉 (I say this in the gentlest, nicest way… and with plans myself to start a Norwegian baby sweater as soon as the pattern arrives.) All the best with the baby knitting!!

  35. Phew! I thought for a moment there that you were getting cocky and setting yourself up for a big fall. Then you ordered 4 more skeins. By my reckoning, that means you will only use 8 skeins – leaving 6 left over to lull you into a false sense of security with the next project. Happy knitting!

  36. I love the blankets that you’ve created for your little ones! They are so blessed to have them.
    Would you consider doing a “how to create an heirloom blanket” blog? It would be helpful to hear your step by step plan. I’d love to design and make one but not sure where to begin!
    Thank you,
    Jamie

  37. I actually had that problem with my first baby blanket: I used a discontinued yarn that I had left, but was missing about half a skein. 🙁 So in the end I never really finished it. That’s why I am all for buying enough.

    I love how you just use this white wool for the blankets. It makes the whole thing so innocent and new, doesn’t it?

    Love, Julia

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