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.

westernskyroving 2015-08-24

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

westernskybobbin 2015-08-24

I blinked again and there was two…

westernskybobbinstwo 2015-08-24

Then a skein…

westernskyskein 2015-08-24

Which I tried to put away…

westernskyskeintwo 2015-08-24

Somehow while I was putting it away I wound it.

westernskyball 2015-08-24

And now it’s becoming a Hudson Lace Cowl.

westernskycowlnot 2015-08-24

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.

frankiewhole 2015-08-24

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

nouveaunewhole 2015-08-24

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.)

frankiefeet 2015-08-24

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.

nouveaunesweater 2015-08-24

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.

nouveaunebootees 2015-08-24

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

frankieface 2015-08-24

I think Frankie liked his.

94 thoughts on “Whoosh

  1. Those colors in the yarn will be fantastic in March when it’s suppose to be Spring, but everything is still gray. And the layette is so adorable. Can’t wait to knit it up.

  2. Just bought the pattern–how I wish I had a newborn to put it on… (Not one of my own, you understand. Somebody else’s. I’m fanatical, but I’m not crazy.)

    • Careful what you wish for – last time I said that out loud, 3 co-workers/friends were suddenly pregnant with their 1st babies all at once (all three born within a month of each other)! I’ve never knit baby blankets so fast in my entire life! 😀

  3. Lovely outfit, even lovelier baby. I have a new grandson scheduled to arrive in October, so please excuse me while I hop over to Ravelry to conduct some business….

  4. So much to love all in one post! The little dress is starting off great (I’m with you on the crochet – we just don’t get along)… that roving is AMAZING & so is the yarn you spun from it… and the new pattern is ALMOST as adorable as Frankie!

  5. Lovely to hear you are enjoyable not the last of Toronto summer! Very excited about the layette pattern. Have a baby due in my tribe and thrilled to have a set to make for her! Enjoy the cowl knitting. 🙂

    • Sigh: one day autocorrect and I are going to have it out. Was trying to say I’m glad you are enjoying the last of Toronto’s summer. Cheers!

      • Elizabeth: That’s so funny! As soon as I read “…you are enjoyable…” I read the rest of it with a Canadienne accent! You can take the girl out of Montreal, but…. ;-D

  6. I said I was going to stop knitting baby things, and then I saw this post and realized that was a dirty, dirty lie. I hope the winter’s cold enough to justify knitting a new baby ten sweaters.

  7. What about knitting the new pattern in a fingering weight cotton? I cannot knit animal fibers without eczema outbreaks. I also don’t know what baby’s sensitivities will be.

    Being born in the southern U.S., baby won’t need to be insulated quite as well as a squishy merino would provide, either.

    • No reason it wouldn’t work Maria, I’d take care to get gauge (or maybe even a little tighter) to help it keep its shape.

  8. It’s the little details that make the jacket. I would never have remembered to make the sleeves shorter to stop the bubs from gnawing on them.

    I think I see a future layette for my soon to be born great niece/nephew.

    (I’m 40, how the fratz do I have a great niece/nephew coming?!?)

  9. I so wish this would fit my upcoming little one. Too bad I/my family have a propensity for giant babies. Fitting for the ‘first 10 weeks’ as the Ralvery page notes equates to maybe fitting at birth!

  10. I bought this pattern before I even finished reading the post. I have a new niece scheduled to arrive in early October and have been looking for the perfect layette. Thank you! Now, back to read the rest.

  11. I was so excited to open the link and to see what this dress is like…. just to see that it was the exact same one that I found in a Finnish knitting magazine today and which I considered to knit for my first goddaughter.

    Lovely lovely newborn outfit! I definitely agree, babies need a knitted outfit to come home in. Mine just wore the puerperium cardigan when we brought him home in May.

  12. The baby knits are adorable, modeled perfectly! Sooo sweet. The hand spun is beautiful too, makes me want to get my wheel and give it a go.

  13. I, too, love your skein. I look at such experiences as you might look at a summer romance… there’s something in the air, an attitude, a coming together of circumstances that make something totally “not you” seem perfect. I know you will wear your cowl and sigh, thinking of warm summer days, a different you and smile.

  14. Well…no babies in the current family/friends forecast, but I think I’ll toodle on over to Ravelry and get this. Just in case.

  15. I’m so happy you published this pattern. I’ve admired it since you knit the same/similar layette for Myrie (I think). I’ve purchased it and will be knitting as soon as I get the word of a new baby on the way!

  16. Frankie is darling. The layette makes me smile. I love bee stitch. It’s all knit stitches, both sides look nice, and it makes a beautiful fabric. Magic from sticks and string. 🙂

  17. I love that picture of Frankie. He looks so blissful. Good job on the layette, Tia.

    As for your yarn you spun…I don’t like novelty yarns. they occasionally have their place like a bit of fluff around the cuffs/edging of a baby sweater, or maybe a merino yarn with a bit of sparkle for a nice shawl. But on the whole, I don’t have a whole lot of novelty yarns.

    So imagine my surprise when I came home with 2 skeins of a yarn that is made up of almost nothing BUT novelty yarn. Everyone stared at me like I was crazy. And I kind of was. But as soon as I saw it I knew EXACTLY what to do with it. I cast on 20 stitches, did a few rows of garter and then did the rest of the scarf in stockinette until the last few rows of garter.


    My mom, who was the most skeptical of this because she knew me best, ended up loving it so much she kept borrowing it and would “forget” to give it back. LOL. All my coworkers tried to steal it at one time or another. It’s actually one of my favorite scarves to wear. I don’t know how warm it would be, but I live in Los Angeles. Doesn’t really need to be warm. But at the office it was a great boa to wear.

    Sometimes there’s just no explaining the love. LOL

    And I’d mention my obsession with rainbow striped yarn, but come on. I was a pre-teen/teen in the 80s. That’s totally normal.

  18. Love the pattern. Bought the pattern. Can’t wait to make the pattern!

    (Looks like part of one line on the first page is missing–the directions on making “knit one below.”)

  19. I think he liked his little outfit. I made a Greyson sweater for Stormageddon when he came out (he’ll be a year old next week!)….it fit him for all of two seconds. ::sigh:: It was such a perfect little sweater, though.

    And I’m jealous you’re going to be in Downsville. That’s where the majority of my grandmother’s family were from and, consequently, are buried. I haven’t been there in probably a decade 🙁

  20. Thank you for taking the time to write up this adorable layette. It is perfect, and a perfect gift (as is the adorable Frankie!).

  21. That Frankie is the best model! I imagine he’ll really enjoy it when the weather turns! And such pretty handspan! This post is full of goodness 🙂

  22. How have I never noticed that stitch pattern before? It’s genius! It is a lovely layette-thanks for publishing it. Enjoy the rest of your warm days!

    • Nope, I just spun the first half onto one bobbin, and the second onto another, you’re right though,it was darker.

  23. I spent the weekend looking over ravelry for a pair of booties or a traditional and simple baby bonnet and came up empty handed only for you to publish the perfect ones (with a sweater!) today. Thanks for sharing your lovely pattern.

  24. Thank you ! I love it. Going to knit it for my yet-to-be-conceived ( please don’t let this happen too soon !) grandchildren.

  25. Ooooooh. That is just perfect. So perfect that I just got a strong urge to become a grandma, so I can adorn a wee one in such a perfect tiny outfit.

    Note: My kids are three and five, so it’s a bit early for grandma urges.

  26. What a seriously hilarious post. And so sweet. And inspiring. You’ve made me want to lay down the needles and “stoke up” the Louet! I think I shall. Thank you, Stephanie

  27. No babies to knit for in my case, but I love the layette. It’s certainly the most delicate thing likely to ever be worn voluntarily (well he has no say at the moment) by a little boy, and would be equally lovely on a little girl, should the opportunity arise. Well done!

  28. Your family seems to understand the need to give birth to fabulous knitwear models! They all look wonderful in everything you knit for them. Thanks for posting this: it’s a great read.

  29. The sweet little layette is so perfect! I have a sweet little girl due the last day of the year and I think this will be perfect.

    Also, if you decide you just can’t handle all the crochet on the dress, I’d be very happy to do it for you!

  30. I don’t see a ton of crochet on that little dress unless you’re talking about just the little flowers? If you can’t bear to get them done, send the pattern, etc. to me and I’ll knock them out for you! It is a fabulous little dress, by the way!

    • I agree it isn’t *that* much crochet. I think Steph could do it holding her breath (what with those great bicycling lungs and all). I think that sounds like an MSF challenge in the making… 😉 What say you all?

      • BTW, the layette is sublime and the model gorgeous! And the skein? I’d give my eyeteeth to be able to spin like that — oh, wait, I donated them to hockey when I was young. Ah, well…

  31. as you tend to do, you have inspired me to ramp up my current knitting efforts. I will need to finish the boot cuffs on my needles, and then get busy with gifty-type stuffs.

    nicely done, steph!

  32. Frankie looks darling in it, but I want that sweater for ME! Very cute and cozy for tiny and grown-up alike… I have a similar pattern, so I’ll have to look up bee stitch. Thanks for more motivation!

  33. I love the dress! It’s stunning and you’re tempting me to make it even though I absolutely cannot afford to come down with startitis right now!

  34. You are wearing braces now when you bike ride?? Please.. I have some good friends who developed some bad issues after their first episode.. care for those hands..

    Those little crochet flowers will be a snap.. I’ve just done 5 of them for some hats for some wee great nieces… They take about ten mins each.. Is that pattern available anywhere as a single pattern? It is lovely…

    And the spinning is great.. I am spinning some lovely hand dyed red heather, trying to make it chunky, so someone can knit a big fat cowl for the Go Red for Women heart association benefit.

  35. I have bookmarked that little dress. I can imagine my daughter running around in that (though she isn’t technically walking yet).

  36. Loving the spinning! I need to get back to that like quick. OK is it just my imagination or the heat talking or is it an optical illusion that makes the sleeves on the beautiful Garn dress look like they are knitted upside down?

  37. Yay, Boston! I’m signed up. And I *love* nouveau-ne (can’t get an accent), now I just need someone to have a baby. It isn’t going to be me.

  38. LOVE the baby set– have a new baby coming to a running buddy–I want to knit it this like yours ,then substitute pink or blue ribbons and buttons. Went to Loopy ewe- is your color IVORY or WHITE? Thanks for all that you do, bike-wise, knit-wise and blog-wise!

  39. It looks as if Frankie is turning his face toward the sun knowing at one point, winter will be here and thankful he has a loving Aunt that will continue to keep him warm with hand made knits.

  40. Frankie’s layette is indeed perfect and beautiful; the spun yarn: ditto. But I am most delighted to hear you are returning to Calgary (despite the fact you swore last fall you never could)…and though I can’t see you there (or in Lethbridge) because finding time to drive that far isn’t happening…I wish you all the best for your return visit… You deserve it…and we Albertans love you. Have a great autumn!

  41. That is the most perfect layette I have ever seen. Practical and beautiful without swapping the little lamb in yards of pastel frilliness. Modern and classic at the same time! Most of all though . . . that last photo . . . has any little bean looked more content and blissful! Joy!

  42. Yay!!! A Boston appearance!! I’m so there! But I don’t see it in your “where’s the harlot” list! When will you be coming? I need to clear my schedule!!!

  43. I can see why that handspun grabbed you. I see browns and oranges and spots of other colors that remind me of late blooming flowers, and it looks just like the fall colors that you love so much. 🙂

    Thank you for the cute layette, and your niece’s dress will be lovely. 🙂

  44. The layette is so beautiful and the timing is perfect. Our first grandchild is due the end of October. The sweater is on needles. Any chance of the blanket pattern being available? Frankie is sure a cutie!

  45. I’ve wondered how those big hanks of hand painted roving turn out when spun, way more subtle than I’d expected and quite lovely!
    The Bee Stitch is eating through my stash of cotton which I’d had no idea how to use up, and now I’m going to try my hand at making soap to go with it!

  46. The yarn is gorgeous, and the layette set is beautiful! My husband and I just brought our daughter home from the hospital, and I knit an orange baby kimono and peach-variegated booties and hat for her to wear home. Handmade things make the coming home even more special 😀

  47. I love the layette. My daughter is getting married next week but I am not a fast knitter. I want to start now so I’ll have the layette finished before they get pregnant. How’s that for wishful thinking. I live just outside of Toronto and it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me to go though the US to buy your pattern . Is there any way to avoid that?

  48. That last picture is the best. Hopped over to Ravelry to get the pattern. I’m almost two weeks late on a hat for my coworker’s son. I have to keep up my tradition of a hat for every work baby since 2009 or so.

    I have the popcorn ready to watch the fun when the crochet starts 😉

  49. Oh my goodness! The sweetness just kept coming in this post. I love that adorable dress, the yarn and cowl are beautiful and Frankie in that layette just slayed me. Wow.

  50. I loooove that you have startitis and make mistakes, and have to redo and frog, and get distracted by new things. Its so reassuring to the rest of us who are exactly the same! If only I got as many projects finished as you – although I suspect having a regular blog readership is a good spur to getting things done.
    Much love from Ayrshire, Scotland 😀

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