Category Archives: WIP

WIP: Another Month, Another Tank Top

Autumn is with us here in the UK, and leaves have started to turn to gold and lay fallen at the foot of trees. For the first time in many months there is a slight chill in the breeze that makes you want to pull your collar up ever so slightly, and consider the drawer full of hats and light scarves just before leaving the house. T-shirt weather has ended for the year, and an extra layer of warmth is a kind comfort.

When full bulky sweaters are perhaps a bit too warming for the middle seasons, a sweater vest, or tank top here in the UK, is a perfect Autumn and spring alternative. After finishing the striped tank top a couple of weeks ago, I have cast on a second experimental knit for Baby Awesome, something to pull on over a shirt or jersey top, just to keep the chest snug and warm the heart with a knitted cuddle.
I’ve used a variegated yarn in candy colours Regia 4-fädig Color in shade 5025 (Papillon), alongside a pale beige shade of Drops Baby Merino. Though the yarns are slightly different in construction and handle, the stitch I am using for the main body of the tank top gives enough bounce to make the two yarns work perfectly together.
The stitch I am using for this tan top works up slowly, but the effect is worth the knitting, and I hope that the finished sweater will be worth it when it is finished. Though I am using the showcase stitch for the main chest and back areas, the upper chest and shoulder areas are being worked in a squishy and sumptuous garter rib, matching that of the bottom cast-on edge.
Now that Baby Awesome has reached a year of age (a whole year of Baby Awesome being in the world has now occurred and this happy and emotional mummy can hardly believe it!) there is likely to be a bit of a slow down in his growth rate, and with any luck the things that I knit for him now may even still fit him in the spring, so this tank top may be useful for two seasons.
I’ve also been sidetracked from this current project with a bright and cheery little birthday knitting project which I hope to share soon. To further prove just how industrious I am being I also have two crochet projects on the go. It’s amazing what can happen when your baby quickly goes from waking 5-8 times a night to sleeping a 12-13 hour stretch (It’s been five weeks of good sleep, and I still don’t think I have caught up on the preceding couple of months, but I’m certainly getting there.

Enjoy any projects you have underway as the seasons change, whether you are moving into autumn or spring!

Growing Knitting And Growing

Now that Baby Awesome has returned to good health, days are a more manageable mixture of play and rest, as days have made way for giggles and exploration of new ways to move and new things to do, which in turn are tiring enough to allow for the occasional nap. When the Eskimini sleeps it allows for Eskimimi making things, and at the moment I am using that time to put my feed up with an episode of Columbo as I make my way steadily through the entire all-seasons box set, and sit down with some easy but fun knitting.

As for the little prince himself, yesterday we reached a new mini milestone when, at 16 weeks old, he turned from his back fully to his front. Though yesterday he just lay there, calmly, today he is happy to lie with his held aloft as he tries to reach out with his hands in front of him to bear his weight, knees bend behind him as if he was trying to swim across the floor. It puts me in mind that one day he will be crawling, then walking and talking, and though these will be the most wonderful and amazing firsts, I also wish that I could just slow time down and enjoy these days. For now i shall go back to my pot of tea, the warmth of the knitting on my lap and the mixed sounds of a few gentle baby snores and Columbo’s latest deductions.

WIP: Royal Tweed

New year, new you.

I don’t really do New Year’s Resolutions* as I am usually of the mind that if I wanted to change something about myself I should do it on the day I decided it should be changed, rather than wait for the year to spin around to a shiny new number. I do, however, have all the respect in the world for those who decide to make a change and stick to it, and if January 1st gives someone the added resolve to draw that line in the sand a little deeper than all power to you and good luck with your change!

However, I did manage to pick up something on January 1st that I haven’t had much time for lately, and that’s my knitting. I say ‘pick up’ but what I actually mean is cast on. The date was not suggestive of me wanting to change the amount of time I spend creating (I always want more time for that) but rather came about because baby Awesome has been poorly since Christmas Day (and still is, though he is improving day by day) and January 1st happened to be the day that meant that he was coughing a little less and wanted to sleep a little more, and sleep means peace and the freeing up of one’s arms, both of which are very handy for a spot of knitting.

So, creeping quietly away from a peaceful babe for a couple of minutes I sprang to the yarn cupboard and decided to clear some space by knitting up some Debbie Bliss Donegal Aran Tweed yarn into something cosy.
I had two shades: a very regal purple and a rich gold colour, so the colour choice was pre-determined by the yarn that I had. There was enough tonal difference in the two colours to allow for some form of colourwork so I set about with a few ideas, scribbled  few notes, bought up my graphics program and made a few charts to send to myself and with a sprinkle of mathematics I had all I needed to cast on.

As Mr Awesome has returned to work after the festive break I will probably have to squeeze in a little knitting here and there, in the evenings or when the Eskimini sleeps (though he seems to have grown tired of naps when there is so very much excitement in the day time!) but hopefully, no matter at what pace, some day this shall be a gloriously royal looking finished item, in gold and rich purple, though what it shall be and the finished details are. for now, firmly under wraps…

*Unless you count my Instagram 366 days project as a ‘resolution’. I’ve never tried anything like this before, and though, like most things, I could have started this on any day, I thought starting on January 1st would make it easier to track what I was doing. Also, I’m really not going to worry too much if I do miss a day (though I will try not to) or if circumstances mean that for whatever reason I have to abandon it at some point. For now, though, it’s actually been good fun, and five days is five more than no days. You can follow along here for a daily peek at life in Eskimimi Towers: crafts, pretty trinket, nerdy things and cute babies all abound. Instagram name: ‘Eskimimi‘.

When In Doubt, Knit Socks

Over the past few days I have felt a slight return to myself after the birth, and with the shock of a new routine not lead by me and all its demands slowly settling in I thought I might like to take up just a bit of knitting, to hopefully bring with it some return to my notion of self.

When I have decided to return to knitting after  big occasion, either very busy, deliriously happy or in some occasions traumatic, I have usually had a good think about what kind of project I might best tackle for my current frame of mind, and so with busy days, many new tasks, a lot of noise and a decent amount of lost sleep, I thought some simple, vanilla socks would be just the ticket.
The only problem with stockinette socks is that they can sometimes feel a bit dull to knit. They are almost so far into the comfort zone that they become a little boring, and to counter this I often feel I need some semblance of surprise, which is why choosing good, fun yarn is absolutely key for me.

These socks are for Mr Awesome, so there is a lot of knitting involved as much like the rest of him, his feet are big. So, I decided that stripes were in order, but as I no more fancy fiddling around with lots of little balls of yarn than I do weaving in all of the ends, I managed to hunt down some of Regia’s Pairfect yarn. This yarn is supplied in 100g balls and promises a matching pair of socks each time. The ball can be knit from the centre for top-down socks, or from the outside if you wish to knit toe up. Each ball starts with a length of yellow ‘scrap’ yarn. You cast on from the point where this yellow yarn changes to the first of the colours for the cuff, and then knit the cuff and seven stripes of colour before knitting the heel, foot and toe in the solid colour.
Once the first sock is complete you wind any remaining yarn until reaching the second section of yellow scrap yarn and repeat the entire process until you have a perfectly matching pair of socks.

I have deviated from the instructions slightly to wind the skein into two smaller balls so that I can knit both socks simultaneously on on long circular via magic loop, which I really did because I did not trust myself not to get hit by a case of Second Sock Syndrome, where I might find myself presenting my husband with another orphan foot-covering.

As well as playing with a new form of yarn to reinstate my knitting mojo I am also enjoying the excitement of knitting with the new circular needle I treated myself to (because I am so very rock n’ roll): one of the Knitpro Kubics brass needles. I have knit with Knitpro Kubics before, though only in the larger sized wooden tips. The smaller metal needles are wonderfully comfortable for socks and the relaxed balanced grip and smooth surface has helped my stitches fly along in the rare quiet moment that I have to knit.

Hopefully the combination of needles and fun new yarn will help ensure that these socks do not languish unfinished as at the moment I am very much enjoying this simplest of knitting projects.

Beads And Knitting

Everything feels as if it is going well at Awesome Towers at the moment. Baby hasn’t made any grand gestures to move just yet, and I am pretty uncomfortable most of the time, but I am filling my days with pretty and fun things.

Thank you so much for those who advised and volunteered for the test knit. That is now underway and I am given great heart by the thoughts and kindness of the knitting community. It’s still one of the most supportive and thoughtful, fun and creative online communities that exist, spread amongst bloggers, through social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter, and through dedicated communities such as Ravelry.

I have also had the pleasure to meet and hopefully encourage a new knitter. One of the women who was in the NCT ante-natal classes that Mr Awesome and I took has become a lovely friend, and one day had been telling me of the shawl that an aunt had knit for her impending arrival. She had said that she had thought that she might like to try knitting again, last having picked up the needles at a very young age and having knit ‘mostly holes’. I said I could try to put together a few essentials for her to get started, and so raided my cupboards and stash to try to get together some of the things that I thought might be useful.
The Knitmaster needle set has been a good friend of mine for many years. When I bought it, it came with an amazing range of 13 needle tip sizes, and though the cables were not the most flexible, the tips were sharp and smooth and I knit many miles with them before finding my way to my Knitpros. I wrote fondly of these old favourites almost exactly five years ago, and though I have picked them up and used them a few times in the intervening years, I have plenty of needles now and thought that a new knitter would make better use of them than I ever will again.
I added in a few extras, such as stitch markers, row counters, a project bag I made when I learned to sew, a book and some yarn. The only thing I could not lay my hands upon was a copy of Debbie Stoller’s Stitch & Bitch, that whilst starting to look a little dated is probably the clearest introduction to new knitters that I found useful when learning to knit. With a quick link to Amazon, however, that new knitter had found her way to casting on, and a couple of days later brought to show me a wonderful knitted square with little seed stitch heart motif and various other stitches like a miniature knitted sampler. Today she is underway on her first hat.

Whilst I spread my time between activity and relaxing, and keeping an eye on the communication on the test knitting front, I am also still working on the new shawl design and have been eagerly awaiting a delivery of some beads to add to the project before I knit any further, and they have finally arrived today.
I had started off looking for beads in a coordinating shade of almost electric purple, like an 80s Cadbury chocolate wrapper, but when I could not source any I found these as an alternative: 6mm glass seed beads in blue with an inner of somewhere between purple and magenta. I’m hoping that as the constituent colours of the purple they will add a little optional detailing to the shawl.
Now that the beads are here I am going to have a little experiment as to where on the motifs I wish to place them for best aesthetic impact, then I hope to have a few more evenings of relaxing shawl knitting whilst I wait for our baby to decide that he’d like to come out into the world and meet us.

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