Whoosh, that’s the sound that the last week made as it blew right by me. I’ve been so determined to enjoy what’s left of the summer, before everyone gets all the way back to work, and the weather turns. There’s only a little time left for sailing and bike riding, and going outside without layers on, and I haven’t wanted to miss a minute of it – so that’s where I’ve been, making hay while the sun shines.  A very busy September looms right around the corner (I’ll be in Lethbridge, and Calgary, and Downsville, Wisconsin, and there’s another one I’m just about to add in Boston) and that month will be all hotels and airplanes and knitting and writing. Since I saw you last I’ve snuggled Frankie, and read a story to Luis, been for a very long and lovely bike ride (I can’t believe I just typed that about a ride that was 110km long. I don’t even know myself anymore) and ate peaches in the sunshine, and been to about 4 meetings, and worked (almost) every day and KNIT and SPUN.  Yay verily, the time of the big yarning is upon me, and I can barely stand to put down the needles or step away from the wheel.  It feels fantastic. I had a big attack of startitis last week, and managed to rein it in enough that I only started one thing.

babydress 2015-08-24

I know. It doesn’t look very exciting, but it is.  It’s the little dress on the cover of this book, and it’s miles and miles of tiny knitting that culminates in a ton of – wait for it… crochet.  I know, I know. I’ve said I don’t like it, and I meant that, but this little dress is worth it, and crochet is the perfect thing here and, well. We’ll see how I feel about it when I get there. I saw this dress all knit up the last time I was at StevenBe, (I bet they still have all the parts, if you were to ring them) and I think it’s just about the most charming thing. I feel like this dress is the whole reason that I have a little niece, and wing of moth, she will own it, no amount of crochet can stop me. (Again, let’s note the date and time I said that, and correlate it with the actual action of crocheting, and its attendant swearing later on.) For now, it is miles and miles of plain stockinette, and that leads me to what I needed to do to break that up a bit.

I’d gone into the spinning stash with every intention of coming out with another two rovings so I could try the gradient experiment again, and inexplicably came down with this braid of roving instead. It’s a gorgeous bit of business from Western Sky Knits, and I’d forgotten it was even in there.  What happened after that was so fast that I barely noticed what was happening.

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In the blink of an eye I had a full bobbin…

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I blinked again and there was two…

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Then a skein…

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Which I tried to put away…

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Somehow while I was putting it away I wound it.

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And now it’s becoming a Hudson Lace Cowl.

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Actually, that last picture is a lie.  I’ve ripped it back since then and started again. As is so often the case with handspun, I wasn’t getting anything that was remotely like gauge, but I liked my fabric, so ripped back, added another repeat, and went for the do-over. I’m in love, and I don’t know why. The colours aren’t me – but I loved it when I bought the roving, and I freakin’ love it now. Every once in a while there’s just no explaining that kind of thing, and I’m just going to roll with it. (I may rip it back again. I still think it could be bigger.)

Finally, in between all the knitting and spinning and fun I’ve been having, I got a pattern finished.  When I knew that Frankie was coming, and that he would be born in hospital, I decided he should have a very special outfit to wear home. I wanted something perfectly sweet, and unisex, and simple, but charming.  I designed what to me, is the perfect layette.

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A sweet little top-down, seamless sweater, with a matching bonnet and bootees, and trimmed with plain, good ribbon and four perfect little buttons.

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It’s mostly plain, with the bonnet, bootees and sweater all adorned with an old favourite of mine, Bee Stitch.  Bee stitch is a “knit one below” stitch pattern. Instead of knitting the stitch on the left needle, you knit into its mother, below. It collapses the stitches atop each other, and makes it extra cozy and sculptural.  I love it for so many things. (I used it on Luis’ blanket, and I use it for washcloths all the time.)

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I made the neck big (because of the way that babies sort of don’t have a neck) and the sleeves a little short, so they don’t fall over their tiny hands and get chewed on, and the sleeves and armholes are nice and wide, so that it’s easy to get on and off.

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When I was done knitting it, it was everything I’d hoped for – to my way of thinking, the perfect newborn layette.  I wrote it up, waited for Frankie to be born so he could model it, and voila.

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Nouveau-né, that’s French for newborn, and it’s the name of the design.  I hope it warms many a wee one.

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I think Frankie liked his.