Full of Wool

October 20, 2010

If I had to guess, I would say that my knitting needles have been packed away somewhere in my sewing room for the better part of the past year. Knitting has occupied little space in my brain, especially through the heat of this past summer. To be honest, I thought that perhaps sewing had begun to take on the dominant spot that knitting use to occupy, but thankfully a new baby and a new season has changed all of that.

With the start of my second trimester, and the looming birthdays of my two boys, I took up my needles once again. Pebble Vests were the first items to knock off the lists, but thankfully many more have followed.

This past Saturday, Jacob celebrated his 7th birthday. It was a very special day marked by BMX racing, a soccer game, family time, caramel apples and a lot of love for this little one. To say that Jacob is my miracle would be a huge understatement. At the age of 23, with mass endometriosis and a chronic illness diagnosed, I was told I would never have children. But it was a strange string of dates that would prove that theory wrong.

On October 16th, 1992, I would meet and fall in love with my now husband. On October 16th. 2002, we would find each other again. On October 16th, 2003 Jacob would come into this world at 12:09 am. This date is the most meaningful of my year, since it began the long journey of all of us becoming a family. I think that my favorite moment is always when I creep upstairs at exactly 12:09 to wake my sleeping babe up, and plant his age in kisses upon his forehead.

But back to the knitting.

This year Jacob’s sweater followed his brother’s, and he was gifted a soft blue alpaca Pebble vest. Using the same wonderful modifications as Elwood’s, I added an inch of length to the body and about 3/4″ to the straps to make this fit just perfect. I loved working with alpaca, as it made the sweater feel just a bit more luxurious.

Pajama pants had to come next, and Jacob’s pants were made in the same way as Elwood’s (I promise a tutorial to come shortly). I have to share that the night before Jacob’s birthday, I had procrastinated so badly on the making of these sweet pants that I almost failed to get them done in time. When the clock struck 6 am, and I had only had 3 hours of sleep, down came my oldest son with tons of birthday energy. As he woke me and we quietly crept out to his birthday table, it truly melted my heart that his eyes lit up so big to see his PJ’s made. While there was no reason for him to think that they would not have been there, it still broke my heart to know that I had come so close to falling short on something he was so eagerly anticipating. Lesson learned.

His day dawned clear with warm sunshine, and with everything completed we began the celebration.

Thankfully the boy’s birthdays have sparked a new passion for knitting once again, and while Saturday was spent enjoying my older boys, Sunday was spent dreaming of knits for the one not yet here.

Baby mittens, socks, booties, slippers, hats, sweaters, rompers. All queued up and ready in Ravelry, all yarns, needles and patterns gathered together in knitting bags just waiting to be started. This new little one will hopefully have a very warm and cozy wardrobe to be greeted into this world with.

Of course, while baby and kiddos take up most of the space in my knitting world, there is always room for a few mama items just for me. This easy bookmark form the great book More Knitted Gifts made for a fun hour of knitting, and a great way to mark my place in a favorite book.

My goal in these next few months is to knit up as much as I can for the boys and the baby, hopefully strongly trimming down what I need to purchase in stores. I have had a storage of yarn for way too long, and it is time to use what I have, and use it where we truly need it. Warm and functional is my theme, and I have a few short months of nesting to get to it.

So tell me, what are you working on right now, and what favorite patterns are you excited to dive into?

{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle October 20, 2010 at 12:36 pm

Lovely vests Heather. I am in the midst of making myself an Elizabeth Zimmmerman Tomten sweater. So easy and quick. I have wool to make Athena a Christmas sweater, slippers for both of us and an elf hat for her. I'd better get after it if I want these all done in time!

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eva October 20, 2010 at 12:56 pm

The vests are gorgeous! Like Michelle I'm currently working on a Tomten sweater for our 9 month old son. I started several things for him, but nothing got finished so far… :-( Last winter we got some great sweaters from my knitting group on the occasion of his birth and I found the garments with lots of garter stitch (like the BSJ) the most useful, because they grew with him and he could wear them for a really long time.

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Tonya October 20, 2010 at 1:33 pm

I am just loving your vests and looking forward to making one for Sarah in shades of pink.
So sweet the little mittens and bookmark.
Warm wishes during this wonderful time.

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Sarah Jane October 20, 2010 at 2:08 pm

Heather, first off, it's amazing how 10/16 is such a wonderful day for you. Very cool.
And the vests are great.
I've been make the dulaan baby hat for a babe. The first was too small so starting another. Its made with bulky so it's a very quick knit. I finished another baby sweater that was made a little too late for Caroline so now to a friend's babe. I hope to finish my tea leaves next week so then I can get to some holiday knitting!
Happy birthday to that sweet boy.
How are you feeling these days?

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Andrea October 20, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Love that story about October 16…what an amazing, sweet series of coincidences! I've been slowly knitting away on a shawl for a long time, but recenlty bought supplies for a sweater (for me!) and decided the boys need some between-season mittens for times like now when there's no snow but chilly fingers in the mornings (of course they hate mittens, so I doubt they'll wear them even if I find the time!).

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Meryl October 20, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Like, you all sorts of woolie things for a small one. But I keep getting sidetracked by handwarmers–they're so quick and so nice to have around for last minute holiday gifts.

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Shivayamama October 20, 2010 at 2:33 pm

The Tomten is one that I would love to make for the boys this winter. It looks like a great knit, and not too much seaming, which I LOVE :).

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Shivayamama October 20, 2010 at 2:34 pm

I never thought of how much easier it would be to grow with garter stitch. Now I am really determined to make this sweater for them :)

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Shivayamama October 20, 2010 at 2:34 pm

My kids have loved mittens more than I thought that they would. Not so much for outdoor play, but more for hiking, or just when we are out and about running errands,

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Lisa Q October 20, 2010 at 2:48 pm

love the photos of your boys….you're at the perfect place for knitting: pregnant and in the autumn. What better combination could there be?! LOVE the pebble vest. I'll have to show it to my 8yo and see if he would be interested in having one for himself.

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ItsLily October 20, 2010 at 2:52 pm

I love that you kiss their age on their forehead at the time they were born. What a sweet tradition. Too late for me, but I must pass this along to my d-i-l. I just got the knitting books out again last night and bookmarked a couple of patterns to begin. One, which is dreadfully late in coming, is a tea cozy for the teapot I brought home from Taiwan. I've wanted one since I came home, but last night was the aha moment when I realized I already had just the yarn I needed to make it. Whoop!

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Anna October 20, 2010 at 2:53 pm

I love how 10/16 is such an important date for you. Would love to hear the story behind your ten year gap with your husband, I have a thing about learning people's stories. Your knitting is lovely. Someday I hope to learn as all of you knitters are so inspiring. For now, I'm content to sew pj pants. Happy belated birthday to Jacob from one Libra to another.

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Kelly October 20, 2010 at 3:07 pm

attempting the baby sweater from that same book.

love the pebble vests, seriously so cute!

and happy birthday to another special boy!

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Angela October 20, 2010 at 4:15 pm

Lovely post! What a wonderful date-the 16th; I loved reading your stories. The birthday crown is just adorable. You are quite talented.
I have the same knitting book. What kind of yarn did you use for the bookmark? Be well, Angela

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Joy October 20, 2010 at 5:01 pm

Jacob's vest is just as adorable as Elwood's, and I love the shot of them playing in the leaves. So adorable! I'm finished up the Libby sweater for Elizabeth (for Martinmas) and then I'll be working on a Christmas beret for her. I don't know why I've procrastinated on her items so much. The boys' stuff has been finished for a long time. :) I can't wait to see what new little baby items you're working on!
http://www.ravelry.com/projects/joy8/libby http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/star-cros

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Ann October 20, 2010 at 5:43 pm

Wow! back to knitting again. My needles have been away all year, but you have motivated me to get them out again. I have been too busy sewing – making pillowcases for Conkerr Cancer – I am now the link person in the UK – so have been very busy getting this project off the ground. BUT back to the knitting. I love the tops and look forward to seeing the tutorial re the PJ's.
Happy week and thanks for the inspiration

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Angie October 20, 2010 at 5:51 pm

Wow, you sure have been busy! Nesting nesting….I love knitting for baby.
What a cool coincidence to have October 16th be so many special days. And I say way to go in getting those PJ's done. Thanks for sharing your journey.

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kerry October 20, 2010 at 5:54 pm

I've been checking out your knits on Ravelry the past few days and it is so fun to see what you have been up to. This year I've taken some time to work on some sweaters for myself. Of course I have lots of knitting for my kiddos too. Hats, mittens, legwarmers, slippers. I love those vests and have been considering one for my son. It's lovely to see how handsome they look on your boys.

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anushka October 20, 2010 at 5:58 pm

your boys are so handsome and so sweet and i'm loving your fall pictures from my caribbean island where it is always summer. since you asked…. i finally got to writing a much needed post on what i've been knitting lately. and because i live in this endless summer climate, you'll see i've not been knitting up any garments! but, you should take a look because i think you will love using up your yarn stash to make some of these itty bitty knits! http://bogoyevac-journey.blogspot.com/2010/10/itt… there's the link to my post. i hope you enjoy it as much as i enjoyed yours. i made a similar vest for my boy when he was just a wee lad. i am looking forward to knitting for him again when we return stateside next year. i'm so glad you're back online heather! have missed your posts.

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Rose October 20, 2010 at 7:02 pm

The vests are gorgeous! Loving the pics of your boys playing in the leaves. It is so hot in Florida today, I just can't get in the fall spirit.

On my needles right now is a brown striped sweater for my husband. I'm using Elizabeth Zimmerman's raglan formula in Knitting Without Tears.

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erin October 20, 2010 at 7:40 pm

Happy Birthday to your sweet boy! I love the vests and the pj pants. Isn't it awesome to see your child light up at something that you've crafted specifically for them. It bring so much joy in my heart.

Currently I'm sewing a set of alphabet bean bags for my nephew for christmas & a little kitty cat for my niece. :-)

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ella October 20, 2010 at 8:21 pm

what a wonderful post.
Your work is stunning and makes me happily think of the cold winter days – I said HAPPILY – and I normally dread winter coming on 😉
What a journey you've been on… dealing with an illness and yet coming through on the other side with a great family and so many good things in your life 😉
Here's to the 16th! BIG HUGS 😉

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peacebeginsathome October 20, 2010 at 9:20 pm

What a magical story! I am blown away and I would love to hear more about it!

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Unearthing This Life October 21, 2010 at 12:27 am

Look at you go, Beautiful! I have come to the opinion that I'm the slowest knitter in the world – and here you are knocking out your projects one by one! It doesn't help that I've got at least four WIPS, including kitty ears and a tail for Halloween.
And here's to a big happy birthday!

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Sachi October 21, 2010 at 12:38 am

October 16th! What a day for you… How incredibly coincidental and quite wonderful.
I am currently working on a pair of socks and I am about to cast one for a sweater for myself!

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heirloomseasons October 21, 2010 at 2:39 am

How wonderful to have such a magical date in your life!
How adorable those little mittens are!
I should probably be trying to find a nice mitten pattern to make for the girls. And I am wondering if I might want to knit them new winter hats. And I definitely want to knit them some legwarmers!

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Kristi October 21, 2010 at 5:02 am

What precious photos of the boys' birthdays you have captured! The carmel apples have me drooling. I've never actually had a dipped carmel apple. We always cheated at our house with a cut up apple and little side of Mrs. Richardson's carmel topping.

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kendra October 21, 2010 at 6:43 am

so magical, heather! the vests are too cute! blessings abound indeed! i love those mittens too, what a lucky babe-on-the-way! hope you catch up on some sleep! and more knitting, of course. : )

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Linda October 21, 2010 at 6:53 am

The vests are wonderful Heather:)

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Megan October 21, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Well I am no knitter, but that bookmark does seem do-able!
The story of those October dates gave me goosebumps! How amazing is that?
Love the photos~

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Desiree October 21, 2010 at 2:16 pm

I love the knits! And how amazing that your son came on the day you reconnected with your partner! That's very cool. :)

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agambroult October 21, 2010 at 3:02 pm

love that story of October 16 :) and I'm so curious how it is that you found your love again, 10 years later! You have been busy with the needles! Beautiful work, the multicolor mittens are gorgeous. Happy nesting!

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Valarie October 21, 2010 at 4:54 pm

I just love those vests. They look so great. I'm in a knitting fury myself these days. I'm working on a sweater for myself. I'm stash busting making 60 inch long scarves which I will sew together to be a blanket and many hats and mittens. I have a lot of yarn I just need to knit up. I know you can relate. :)

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Donna S. October 21, 2010 at 10:51 pm

I haven't had much knitting mojo lately, I just started a Master Charles Cables Ear Flap Cap from Knit Picks for my grandson. Looking forward to the pj bottom tutorial!!

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Polly October 21, 2010 at 5:16 pm

Do you know what you're having yet? Or is it going to be a surprise? I was looking at the knitting thinking: why isn't she knitting in pink? For whatever reason my brain just totally assumes you're having a girl.

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Healing Hillary October 22, 2010 at 2:00 pm

My queue is rather full too at Ravelry and my fingers are in constant motion.

Love the lil baby mitts. Thanks for highlighting that. I am going to have to make some of those for sure!

Sending you love.

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patty-jean October 22, 2010 at 4:23 pm

mmmm loving the mittens. I too have recently started back to my knitting needles….over the past year I had laid them on the shelf…now between the pages of "Little House" and the prediction that this winter here in the Canadian prairies are going to be a long cold one – I'm trying to knit up a storm….may have to let a little house work go to get knitting;)
Love your creations!

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Layne October 22, 2010 at 7:21 pm

Beautiful (finished) projects. I always start knitting something, get distracted and put it down and then start another one! Maybe I could take on and finish that bookmark! Thanks for sharing and inspiring!

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willowluna October 22, 2010 at 9:43 pm

I love to see your boys wearing and playing in their hand-knits!! It's how knits should be, worn and used in daily life. Seeing the little mitts, I picture them on little waving hands. :)

I just got More Last Minute Knitted Gifts and there are several project in it I am excited to knit. I'm also knitting my son a sweater vest for Yule among the many gifts I'm planning on knitting this holiday season.

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Adrie October 22, 2010 at 9:45 pm

So fun! I love the pebble vest pattern. I just had to order needles so I can make some elf slippers for my wee ones cold toes!

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Kayla October 24, 2010 at 6:26 am

Not knitting, but after almost a year of not sewing I have pulled out my sewing machine. I have been working on a Halloween themed quilt I started last year. Blocks will be finished tomorrow. Dear daughter has loved handing me pins and fabric, which makes the time at my machine all the more precious.

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homebakedonline October 25, 2010 at 2:51 pm

What beautiful pictures! I love all of the knitting patterns you've chosen, Heather!

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Nicola @ Which Name? October 25, 2010 at 8:20 pm

Oh happy happy 7 to Jacob! What a special story you shared about October 16.

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Shivayamama October 28, 2010 at 3:58 am

Thank you Eva. I never really thought of the importance of how much the garter stitch can help your child grow with the garment, but now you have me intrigued. I am off to research the Tomten on Ravelry :).

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Shivayamama October 28, 2010 at 3:58 am

Oh I can not wait to hear how that sweater comes out for you. It was one of the reasons that I actually got that book :). How is everything going with the little one?
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Shivayamama October 28, 2010 at 4:01 am

Thank you! It is such a special day :)
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heather November 2, 2010 at 7:02 am

that just made me cry. you and your family are beautiful and magic.

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