Sunday, October 26, 2014
Knitting: Stella's birthday gifts.
So...this past week, my niece Stella turned a year old. How is that even possible? It seems like we were just sitting at the hospital, impatiently waiting to meet her for the first time. And now she's taking steps by herself and babbling nonstop and blowing kisses and doing any number of other adorable things. :) This has been one of the fastest years ever.
For her birthday, I made Stella a little knitted set. I love how the sweater turned out! The pattern (Granny's Favourite) was really easy, though visually a bit hard to follow at times because of all of the sizes included. This really is the perfect little girls' sweater. Stella's measurements did match up with the 12 months size, so that's what I made.
I used this pattern for the hat and followed it exactly, except I increased a few extra stitches for the ear flaps because I thought they looked too small at first. That, of course, made the whole hat a bit bigger. I added the I-cord ties and pompoms. The mittens were from this pattern and I made them slightly longer. As for the owl...I made some of these little owl puffs to sell at the festival earlier this month. Stella ended up with one of them and she loved it and even slept with it, but then it went missing last week during a shopping trip in town. So of course I had to make her another owlie. :)
Everything was made from KnitPicks Swish DK (in the colorway carnation). Five skeins of it was enough for everything, with a bit leftover. This was my first time using superwash wool with the intention of actually machine washing it. For Stella's previous two sweaters, I used acrylic, which I'm not a fan of. This time I wanted to use wool, but I wanted it to be soft and something that my sister-in-law didn't have to handwash. After reading some of the reviews of the yarn on Ravelry (horror stories of felting and pilling), I was so nervous to throw these items in the washing machine...but if anything bad was going to happen, I wanted it to happen with me and not her. Thankfully, the worst that happened was that the massive pompom I had on the top of the hat fell apart, so I replaced it with a little one like I had used on the ends of the ties (they made it through fine). I washed everything on cold delicate, then laid it flat to dry. But it wasn't drying quick enough and the sweater had stretched out a bit in the wash, so when it was still a little damp I put in the dryer on the lowest setting. It dried everything nicely with no ill-effects, and the sweater even shrunk up to its proper size.
So that's what I gave my niece for her first birthday, along with a copy of one of my favorite picture books: Extra Yarn. She loved the owl most, I think. :) The mittens fit her perfectly, as does the sweater, except for the sleeves being about two inches too long (I thought I was knitting them to the length of her arms, but apparently something got off). The hat fits with plenty of room to grow...she'll probably be able to wear it next winter, too.
Of course I have to include a few pictures of the birthday girl...
She liked the pizza, but as you can see, she was less than impressed with her first taste of cake and ice cream. :) And even though she knows how to feed her baby doll, she'd much rather drink the bottle herself.