Kawaii baby kimono

Hiya! Hope you’re happy and healthy where you are. It’s the cold and flu season around here and it’s been like walking acoss a minefield when I’m out and about, dodging the sneezing and coughing. Thankfully I haven’t caught anything serious. Phew!

So do you remember the baby kimono I showed you in my previous blog post? Well I used the nicely wound mini skein of handdyed yarn to neaten up the edges around that baby kimono. As you can see from the photo below, the bind off edge around the neckline has left a rather ugly stair step. Yuck. We can’t leave it like that, can we?

20120506 attached i-cord on baby kimono

To neaten this up, I knitted an attached i-cord right around the edges. I’m not very good at remembering technical stuff so I used this attached i-cord tutorial from Purl Bee to refresh my memory. The colourful i-cord also added a much needed zing to the kimono. It is after all for a baby.

And here is the finished jacket. Ta-da! A super kawaii (cute) baby kimono for my girl.

Baby Kimono

Interesting fact – Did you know that kimonos are worn left over right? It doesn’t matter whether you’re male or female. They only dress corpses right over left! So take note when knitting a kimono for yourself. You don’t want to wear it the wrong way. Might be bad luck or something.

Free pattern: Garter stitch baby kimono (Ravelry download)
Yarn: Treliske Organic Merino 4ply from Ecoyarns and Kathy’s Fibres SW Sock
Needles: 2.5 mm and 3.0 mm
Mods: Cast on for newborn but knit length longer (1-3 months length) to make it less boxy. Attached i-cord edging.  
Ravelry project page

baby kimono and stay-on booties

I had some leftover yarn from the jacket so I knitted booties to match. But there’s a bit of a story and a tutorial with those booties. So until next time, stay warm and keep on knitting!

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Skeining and balling a hand-dyed yarn

Alright. So now you have a skein of yarn, dried on the line after getting really bright with jelly colours. What are you going to do with this? 

Option 1: Skein/Hank it up and store it because you already have several other projects on the needles so this has to wait. This form reduces stress on the yarn, so this is the preferred option for longer term storage. The yarn will not be overstretched when you knit your garment.

OR

Option 2: Wind it into a ball now and cast on immediately. There are many sock and shawl patterns that would work with this amount of yarn.

Over the next few weeks we will bring you a simple sock pattern step by step.

1) Skeining/Hanking

I stretch the yarn between my two hands with my finger through the loop at both ends, then rotate one hand to start twisting. At one point the yarn will start to twist on itself, at this point, hold your hands firmly at the same distance from each other and add another 2 twists to the yarn, then rapidly bring your hands together allowing the extra twist to move into the skein. Tuck one end into the loop at the other end and TA-DA! there is a skein/hank.

There should be a nice fluffy twist to the yarn. 

When I first tried this, it took me about 10 tries to get it right.

_skeining_1
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2) Winding into a Ball by hand

I asked my kids to demonstrate this. First one person holds the yarn taut with their hands/forearms.The other person gently finds the ties that hold the yarn together and very carefully unties the knots. Usually two ends are tied together for security, pick either one, but if one end clearly lies on the outside of the skein, then start winding with this. Sometimes there are 2 ends tied onto different parts of the skein, pick one that looks the least tangled.

Winding
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Start winding the yarn onto your hands, forming a figure 8 between your thumb and pinkie. When this little bundle gets slightly puffy, release your fingers, fold it in half and start winding the yarn around across the strands.

Continue winding this way until there is a sizable ball in your hands, rotating the growing ball of yarn every few times as yarn is wound onto the ball.

I know some very clever people that can make perfect spheres, egg shapes and can even leave the inside yarn tail in the middle as a center pull ball.

As you are winding, try not to pull the yarn too taut, because if the yarn is stored that way, it can lose some elasticity and give an incorrect gauge when knitting with overstretched yarn. The correct tension for your ball should feel like it gives a little when squeezed, like a juggling ball, not hard like a cricket ball.

Well, frankly handwinding is pretty tedious and boring, and there might not be a willing volunteer to hold the yarn for you. Thats ok, try the back of a chair, or flip the chair over and drape the yarn over the legs. Or invest in a swift and ball winder.

PREVIEW:

For those who are really keen to cast on those Top-down socks, Using 2.25mm needles, cast on 64 stitches and join in the round. K2 p2 for 20 rows.

Use either double pointed needles (dpns) or 2 circular needles

more pictures and instructions coming in 2 weeks as Salihan is our blogger next week!

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Happy Hats

I have to be honest. I don’t know much about keeping babies warm in winter. I grew up in Singapore and all we had to deal with are heat and humidity all year around. With my little girl being born in August, I do feel a bit daunted about keeping her comfortable in the cooler months. Even though winter around Sydney is mild relatively to other parts of the world, I personally struggle with it at times. So naturally it does my head in trying to figure out the most suitable knitting and crochet clothes to make for my girl.

I blogged last week about the rather warm jacket I made for my baby girl. I thought it would be suitable to rug her up in it if we go for an evening stroll by the water. Doesn’t the orange and blue colours of the jacket remind you of sunsets over a river? I can just imagine us walking along together and watching the birds head home.

Fisherman's wharf at Woy Woy

So what if the evening was extra brisk and the wind was picking up? I didn’t want my girl to have a cold head! I searched through Ravelry for baby hats and boy, there are a LOT to choose from. I was certainly spoilt for choice. I did pick two hats to knit. They’re different from each other but both knit with EcoOrganic Cotton. I simply cannot ignore how comfortable this cotton is for the mild winter around here and the colours… Oh, let’s not get started on the beauuttiffuuulll colours!

Again I was fortunate enough to have my friend’s baby daughter to model one of the hats for me. She’s such a trooper. Look at her modelling my Aviatrix hat (pattern on Ravelry). Her eyes will melt your heart…

Newborn Aviatrix hat

The camera clicks away and she patiently waits for me to show off the pretty hat. She does not mind one bit that she had the hat on her head. That’s a good sign!

Newborn Aviatrix Hat

But she did finally show signs of boredom. The camera just isn’t fun anymore. Haha…

Newborn Aviatrix hat

The next hat I knit is a bit unconventational for a baby girl because I knitted it in a dark blue colour. But I did make it girly with a crocheted flower embellishment. It’s a Simple Baby Hat (free pattern) and I tweaked it a tiny bit by knitting an i-cord before casting off. I think it looks cute with the little tail on the top. No pretty model to show off this hat for me unfortunately.

Simple baby hat with flower

I think it still works for a girl. I’ve been doing quite a bit of window shopping for baby clothes and I’m often attracted to the clothes that are multi-coloured. The plain pinky ones are nice too but I think mixing that up with lots of colours make the outfit much more fun, don’t you think?

Frothy flower

I love this crocheted flower. There are many crocheted flower patterns around but I think this one was super cute and the size just right to dress up a boring hat. The flower pattern is available for free too! Got to appreciate those generous, creative people out there.

Well I got to run. I’m studying part-time and I have an assignment due in a couple of days. Eeek! Have yourself a fabulous week and catch up with you soon!

P.S. Have you subscribed to our blog? No? Then what are you waiting for. Don’t miss another blog post. Add Ecoyarns blog to your RSS right now

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Friends & Babies

A couple of my friends, who I met through Ravelry (Yay Ravelry!), have had babies just weeks from each other. I had them over the other day for morning tea and it was such an experience to have the babies meet one another for the first time. There was a bit of fussing and unsureness, and at times, their crying would set the other one off! Fascinating to watch. But I think it was just good to enjoy banana bread and tea and catch up again after so long. Everyone’s been a bit busy with being pregnant and having babies. You know what it’s like.

Friends and Bubs

Now what’s that got to do with knitting I hear you ask. Well, for starters, I’m pregnant too! Isn’t it weird how a friend’s or colleague’s pregnancy could increase your own fertiliy? We’re over the moon as it is our first and we just found out yesterday we’re having a girl! 🙂 Yay! So… over the last few weeks I’ve been knitting for my own little budle of joy who is due in August. 

I love the Baby Sophisticate pattern and had it stored away in my Ravelry favourites for awhile now. I didn’t know that it was going to be a girl when I knitted this so I kept it as gender neutral as possible. What do you think of the jacket I made?

Baby Sophisticate Jacket

I love the colours on it. It’s so unlike anything you’ll find at the shops. I used a Moda Vera yarn I bought at a Spotlight sale last year for the main part of the jacket and the lovely bright blue collar and edge trims are none other than EcoOrganic Cotton. The colour is aptly named Peace. I wanted a soft and gentle yarn against my baby’s sensitive neck and you can’t go wrong with EcoOrganic Cotton. For the life of me I cannot remember which Etsy store I bought those cute buttons from but they’re just perfect for the jacket I think.

My friend, Vanessa, was kind enough to loan me her beautiful 8 week old daughter the morning she was here to model my baby jacket just for YOU. Her first modelling job and I think she did a spectacular job!

Baby Sophisticate

Baby Sophisticate

All together now… Awwww…. Isn’t she just precious!

I also made an equally colourful baby hat to match this jacket but you’ll have to wait until next week for that one. 😉  Enjoy the rest of your week!

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Summer Crafting Part 2

Summer is officially gone and autumn has greeted us with devastating floods throughout many parts of New South Wales and Victoria. We are safe here where we are but nonetheless we are touched by what we see on the news everyday. Our thoughts are certainly with those badly affected by nature this last week.

I feel even more blessed to be able to continue my life quite untouched by the heavy rain elsewhere. I am knitting regularly now and I’m in a happier place than I was in the miserable cold summer. Reality and my expectations of what autumn should be is matching up. My brain is at ease with that. 

Woy Woy again

So let’s continue where we left off last week. I showed you the pretty potholders I crocheted while trying to get my crafting mojo back. It still brightens up my day whenever I lay eyes on them. Such simple pleasures when you create something yourself.

I also wanted to make something to show off the softness of the EcoOrganic Cotton. They are just so lovely against the skin. Well, it’s a no brainer really. I made facecloths! I so, so wish you can touch these!

Spa Facecloths
Free pattern (Ravelry)

The facecloths are just pure luxury against the skin, especially when you’re having a spa moment in the bath. Simply light some candles, pour your favourite aromatic oil into the bubbly bath and soak up the warmth. Stay in that moment and enjoy the softness of the washcloth against your skin as you lather your weary body with gentle soap bubbles. Feel your sanity returning to you…

Spa Facecloths

Oh EcoOrganic Cotton, how I love thee! 

My love affair with this yarn continues over the next few weeks. I’ll be using EcoOrganic Cotton in such happy ways that I really, really can’t wait to show them to you. It feels super good to be working through my stash too. It’s ironic how being frugal actually makes me feel proud of myself. *Pats myself on the back* So until we meet again, take care and happy knitting! ^__^

ETA: I almost forgot to tell you that Ecoyarns actually has 10 different types of cotton yarn to pick from. Ten! I have also tried Pakucho organic cotton but not the rest. Interested to see how each one knits up. So many choices, so little time!

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