ready for cuteness overload?

Posted on Posted in designing, food and garden, projects

we are drowning.
well okay, maybe not drowning, but wow, we’ve had a LOT of rain this week. i wanted to get out to plant seeds in the garden when i got home from san diego, but it’s been a no-go so far, which is one reason we haven’t had a garden post in a while.

(the plants i bought sunday are lovin’ it; they were singing show tunes about rain when i went out to take pictures . . . i hope they feel the same once they’re planted in the ground).

maybe later today . . . the sun has been out for a whole five minutes just now and if that keeps up, i could work outside for a while after i finish my pattern this afternoon.

all of the perennials are showing off their best stuff right now—it’s that time of year when the leaves are new and bright and full, unscathed by slugs and dryness. epimedium are so gratifying to grow—they just get better every year and come in so many interesting varieties.

obviously, i like things with weird coloring and the added benefit of having them is that brighter plants light up the dark areas of the yard, even on a dreary day like this (or maybe especially on a day like this).

the huechera are busting out this year with their best displays ever (i have four or five different varieties out there). i think they’ve finally matured into the “fully mounding” plants they are supposed to be (i love how plant labels tell us that stuff, but not how long it will take a plant to achieve it).

there is a LOT of green too, don’t get me wrong, haha. i try to break it up as much as possible without it looking like a circus out there, but the hostas dominate at least one area of the back yard and i like that.

my plan to encourage the strawberries to spread outside the garden and take over our [so-called] lawn seems to be working—they have multiplied well on “the other side of the fence” and it looks like we can expect a nice little crop of fruit.

so that’s the garden today—so much bigger than the last time we visited it.

are you ready for the cuteness? not yet?
okay, we’ll look at some blocking shots first, because i know you like those, too. i finally finished campanula and yesterday, while it rained, i blocked it.

really, this cashmere lace yarn from great northern yarns is so beautiful; incredibly well-behaved and well-engineered. when i soaked it, all the spinning oil came out and it bloomed a bit and turned soft as a dove.

it is not a cashmere yarn that turns limp and lifeless when wet-blocked; it keeps its shape perfectly well and continues to show that fabulous stitch definition that makes this pattern pop. truly luxurious.

readers sometimes ask me how i use blocking wires; i think they can seem awkward when you are new to them. the answer is—patience. using the wires is not really faster than pinning; there is quite a bit of setup time involved (which i happen to enjoy).

i thread the wires in and out of each row along the sides of the piece, which in this case are garter edges with alternating purl bumps, which makes working with a piece in very fine yarn a little easier.

after pinning out a center point on each of the four sides, i just measure from the edge of the carpet to get one straight edge, then i pin out the others based on that one. i’m not really super picky about getting it perfect; life is too short. eyeballing the overall result works pretty well for me (but then, i’ve been measuring things for a living most of my life; i should have well-developed skills. hecklers, have at it).

it takes even very fine cashmere yarn a long time to dry and with the chilly, wet weather, the wait seemd interminable. but finally this morning it was ready. i unpinned the gossamer thing from its mooring on the floor and gave it a whirl on the dress form (and a few other places around the house).

it drapes into the most luscious folds

not the collapsing kind that get flat after a minute or two, but nice rounded ones that hold their shape, surrounding the form with lovely curls of pure softness and light

it has luxurious substance and yet

it is sheer as a veil.
hopefully we’ll get some nice modeling shots before friday; i’m trying to decide which pattern to release first, the port ludlow sock or this scarf . . . let me know which you want.

okay, need a little break after that? maybe a cigarette?
cuz i’ve got cuteness for you and i want you to be totally ready (we’ll wait).

are you ready?
maybe you need a little ramp-up . . .

the hat i’m knitting to match the sweater is on the needles. i didn’t get all that far because it was very late last night when i started. i spent most of last evening finishing the sweater and this morning i sprang out of bed so i could block it (well, “sprang” might be an exaggeration, but i was excited).

i decided a little steam blocking would be just right—even though this is knit in one piece, i was able to lay it flat enough, one part at a time, to block the openwork areas.

it still needs the underarm seams to be stitched up; i’ll do those this evening. i left the garter areas mostly alone, except for the collar

after it was all steamed and looking pretty, it looked even better than i’d been imagining it

it needed buttons though, so i took out my myriad button boxes to see if i had something on hand. i don’t want buttons that compete too much with the textured fabric.

i found these, which i like a lot because they’re simple and they are a perfect match for one of the colors in the yarn. i’ve had them since the year one; i don’t even remember where they came from, but that’s the point of keeping a button box, right?

at this angle i like them a lot, with the light illuminating them. they seem plenty fancy and they glide very easily in and out of the buttonholes (important when performing this trick on a wriggling baby).

my other choice is very cute, but i hesitate—these perl grey bee buttons would be murder for a busy parent to fuss with (and maybe too textured for the fabric). on the other hand, they do lend a certain humor to the sweater and if i go with a honeycomb-ish name, they’ll be perfect. so i may use them just for photography in the end.

i dunno, what do you think? are these too plain? i love that they add a very straightforward touch to this jacket, like it’s saying: “yeah, i’m wearing lace, but don’t even think you can mess with me”.

but i digress; let’s get back to the cuteness—i WUV this thing!
it’s just what i wanted; now i have to think of a good name . . .

i’m working on the pattern and when i’m done, it has to go to tana for sizing and tech editing and after her, it has to be test knit. so it’ll be a little while before it’s published, but hopefully, not too long.

99 thoughts on “ready for cuteness overload?

  1. I adore the little green sweater. I prefer the plain buttons so as not to detract from the gorgeous intricacy of the body stitch. Are you looking for test knitters for it?

  2. Ok, so I guess I don’t need to tell you what part of this post I love best, do I? LOL Having said that, I wouldn’t use them on a baby’s sweater…they would make the sweater too heavy for a wee one.

    Hey… could design that sweater for adults….I would so love it, especially with those bee buttons! :):)

  3. The shawl is stunnin!g and the baby sweater is just so adorable! Looking forward to the patterns. As always, you amaze me!

  4. they are perfect! that little sweater is perfect!

    the lace is divine…i am drooling here. and also reminding myself that i still have fernfrost to finish.

    we got tons of rain today, too. our garden is in heaven.

  5. I love it!! I think I’ve found the baby knit I’m needing for a couple of incoming young ones… Also, I love those buttons — just enough, and not too much 🙂

  6. Oh the plain ones…nothing to detract from the wonderful pattern.
    There’ll be another project for those great bees.
    The photos of the scarf really make me want to squish it around my neck and bury my nose in the soft folds. Yummy!

  7. Definitely the scarf please!!! I’ve had the yarn sent all the way to the UK ready to go, the finished design is stunning….. plain buttons gets my vote such a cute sweater!

  8. What a pretty scarf! I’ve been planning very light scarf for my Aussie sister, this may be it.

    And I prefer the plain buttons for a wriggly-baby sweater 🙂

  9. The plain buttons look really nice on the sweater. The lace pattern reminds me of thistles, which doesnt sound too nice for a baby, but what about thistledown?

    Love the scarf.

  10. Campanula Lace Scarf – please, oh, and baby sweater (plain buttons – love) and hat! Oh yes! Yes please!

  11. Sorry. I meant to leave this comment yesterday after the lovely read. Campanula is my first choice. It’s beautiful!
    And I agree with Kim that the baby sweater would be pretty for a big person, too. I love the bee buttons, but as you say, they probably would not work as well for a little one (a big person like me, though, would be in heaven over them on MY sweater — Ha!)

  12. Port Ludlow PLEASE…. Once you posted the photos from California showing how beautifully the pattern opens up on the leg, I was hopelessly in love. I will even cast them on as my next sock project.

    Campanula is also beautiful, but my heart belongs to Port Ludlow.

    Keep the little round buttons on the baby sweater. Great choice.

  13. hey, don’t let my mom see those bee buttons, she will buy them for me!! ahh! she buys me anything with bees since i am allergic. it is some weird sick joke!

    beautiful little sweater though!

  14. I’d just love to see you release Campanula RIGHT NOW!!! Please, please, please! Seriously – it’s gorgeous.

    The little round buttons give such a vintage look to the sweater. The bees are cute, but that’s their problem — they seem too cute for such a classic looking baby sweater.

  15. Serious cuteness! As mom to some former babies: round buttons. But practicalities aside, they add just enough “omph” without detracting from the stitch pattern; Carol is right.

    That first strawberry picture is pretty cute too!

  16. Anne- Your hostas are amazing- I love hostas (my daughter called them hostiles).

    Plain buttons- as much as I love the novelty ones, they are very hard to do up.

  17. Lovely garden photos! I will be no help in choosing which pattern to release first. I want them both. Today. 🙂

  18. I think your button choice is perfect. As mentioned above, plain buttons are easier for mom when she is dressing a wiggling baby. That sweater will be gorgeous on the wee one! Yes, I believe your button choice is absolutely perfect. kelley secrest

  19. The scarf first and the plain buttons (I have buttons just like those in my button box). 🙂 When I knit baby clothes, I usually do all snaps and sew on buttons just for “show”. My “go to” layette is a little Aran knit cardigan, soaker, hat and bootees, and I always use snaps and darling little brown bear buttons that would be a PIA to button. That said, I’d love to try your cardigan for the next baby to come along.

  20. Oh, Campanula is so lovely and sweet! And those little bee buttons are adorable!
    I’m gardening vicariously thru you and Norma this year…everything looks wonderful!

  21. The Campanula is dreamy. It makes me want to abandon all others for the thrill of knitting IT!
    The little sweater is so dear – it has your trademark gorgeous-oso ALL over it!! Have to knit that one too. The buttons – what can I say? Needful.
    I blogged my yellow tree peonies – serious magnificence – you might like to see them!

  22. I vote for the plain buttons. I love the look of vintage buttons and the color is perfect. The sweater is beautiful….can we have an adult size please?

  23. I think the plain buttons are best–now if you were to knit one up as a little girl’s sweater, you could use a bee button at the top and leave out the rest of the buttonholes. Then you’re only buttoning one, so I don’t think that would be too difficult. I think it would be cute too. Honeycomb?

  24. I would love the campanula scarf. I have been waiting for you to finish! I want to make it so bad and I have the perfect red laceweight cashmere just waiting to be knit into it!

    I love the baby sweater and I think the plain buttons are much better suited for it, although the bees are really cute!

  25. Anne, The Port Ludlow socks would be first, I love an adult sweater like the baby one..
    Just back from China, when the thought came to mind that you might design a lacy cardigan..I could have used one on my trip.. while wandering around the markets..I came upon a young woman knitting the most beautiful the round on needles 16 to 18″ long..of course I stopped to chat..knitting has no language problems..the two of us were so happy chatting away..
    Love your beautiful yard..

  26. I like the plain buttons. They pick up the color, yet don’t fade into the sweater, are easy to button, and allow the stitch pattern to take center stage. Those bee buttons are great, but maybe for something else. And the scarf is just yummy. Well done, again!

  27. please post the scarf/shawl pattern for the cashmere yarn first

    the kid sweater is absolutely gorgeous

  28. Scarf please! And the plain buttons – I think the pattern and mottled coloring might overwhelm the buttons, and vice versa. Plain buttons accentuate rather than taking away from teh beautiful sweater – and the fancy buttons really seem like something needed on a plainer sweater so they stand out and make a statement! I love it!

  29. I love that scarf.

    And I have to say – thanks for using ‘myriad’ as an adjective, as it’s meant to be used, and not as a noun to be followed by ‘of’!
    Thank you! Sincerely, a language crank…

  30. I vote for Campanula to be released first – I have some yarn that would be perfect for it! 🙂

    That baby sweater just makes me gush. I esp love your description of tough baby lace attitude – awesome! LOL! I like the plainer buttons, they are perfect.

  31. My .02– the plain buttons. They compliment the gorgeous sweater so well, and won’t compete with it.

    And please, please, please oh PLEASE put up Campula first! I am so inspired by your finished project! Maybe it’s just wishful thinking for some cool weather (already) down here in Houston! Either way, I’m drooling over it and can’t wait to cast on.

  32. The plain buttons suit the classic design of the sweater best, but I absolutely love the bee ones. They’ll be perfect for another project.

    As for perennial plants, I read somewhere the first year they sleep, the second year they creep and the third year they leap.

  33. Definitely the plain buttons. The sweater is cute, but it is also very dignified. Leave the sweater to speak it’s own name.The bee buttons can go somewhere else.

  34. Lots of rain here also – Ohio has to dry out soon! Baby Sweater is perfection, especially with the understated plain buttons. Scarf is a lovely lace pattern -all space and light. Please publish soon.

  35. I confess that I already “voted,” but I have been counting responses (sort of), and there are just too many of you “scarfing” up the votes! Sock it to me, sock it to me…Port Ludlow! I have a feeling that I may be allowed one vote only???? Sigh.

  36. Scarf, pls…Sorry Susan in Guelph, but I actually gasped when I saw it!!
    My vote – SCARF~!!!
    Then, of course, I will also take the sockie one 😛

  37. LOVE that baby sweater. I wish I had someone to knit it for. You are so mean making us choose between the socks and the scarf. Of course, we want them both. If we can only choose one, then I need the scarf pattern for a gift I need to knit.

  38. Port ludlow! I’ve been loving that sock ever since you first showed it off.
    And the sweater is so adorable. I have a new niece it will be perfect for this fall.

  39. cute! My naming suggestion: “Buzzybee”. If only they made little engraved mother of pearl bee buttons. Love the stitch pattern on the campanula – just proves sometimes simple is simply amazing…but I really want Port Ludlow!

  40. Well, May 31 is a little late for a comment, but a work colleague just learned that the baby coming in October is a BOY, and that means that
    I need this sweater pattern … I was going to knit a blanket but she’s knitting a blanket, her mother is knitting a blanket, her mother-in-law is knitting a blanket. You can see where my need is coming from.

    Hasten, test knitters!!!

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