Gingersnap for Bigger Kids

 


Hello! I'm floating on air today because I've just published the Gingersnap Cardigan for Bigger Kids. Finally. It's been years in the making and I worked so hard that I cannot help but heave a big sigh--equal parts relief and pride.  Gingersnap for Bigger Kids is sized for 1 yr, 2 yr, 3/4 yr, 5/6 yr, and 7/8 yr, with a bonus 6 mos size. The sweater above is the size 3/4 (modeled pictures soon) and the sweater below is the size 2 with my grandson modeling it last year. It is knit in worsted weight yarn with a gauge of 20 sts and 25 rows for 4"/10cm in stockinette stitch. The pattern has been tech edited and tested. I knit my sweater with three colors of Rowan Pure Wool Worsted, but this is meant to be a real scrappy sweater and as long as you make gauge and use a soft, machine-washable yarn, you can be thrifty and raid your stash using 3, 4, 5 or more colors. The color possibilities are endless and I can’t wait to see what you come up with. 

A little backstory: Pattern writing does not come easy to me. The original Gingersnap in one size (1 yr) was a struggle enough. After its publication 5 years ago, I've had hundreds of requests to add larger sizes. I really wanted to do that, but instead I stalled for a few years. And then I stalled for a few more years. In June I had a surgery that kept me off my feet for 6 weeks so I planned to use the down time to finally rewrite the pattern. To say that it was not an easy process for me would be a distortion of great magnitude. Just ask my patient test knitters. After six weeks of writing and revising, then testing and rewriting again, then sending to a tech editor, (yep, I did that part backwards, rookie mistake) I have come up with a pattern I'm very proud of.

If I'm making this little pattern sound like a big deal, then yes, it was a big deal for me and an uncomfortable stretch of my abilities. A very kind test knitter who knew about my anxiety, sent these words to me, "When we embark on any project as a newbie, there are always unforeseen obstacles. To be philosophical, it’s actually rather wonderful in its own way, albeit frustrating. The learning process is pure gold and something to be cherished. It teaches us patience, broadens our scope of understanding, humbles and yet still gratifies." This lifted my spirits tremendously and I knew I had to push on.

I'm happy and proud to send this pattern, my baby, out into the world. I hope you knit it and I hope you love the process. I hope your little one feels warm and cozy and gets loads of kisses and cuddles while wearing it. I hope (s)he outgrows it and passes it down again and again until it's raggedy and frayed and needs to go into the rag bin. The perfect ending to a well loved hand knit!

Kits are available at Uncommon Threads here.




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Mithril












This lovely sweater is from Lisa Chemery of Frogginette, a talented designer specializing in children's designs. Carter's knitted fall wardrobe has quite of few of her designs in the mix and I was delighted to test knit this one. This sweater is a classic top-down seamless sweater with a feathery cable at the neck, split hem, and i-cord edging. It has a smartly tailored, detailed look that I love. The pattern is simple enough for an adventurous beginner, well written, and is available in sizes baby to 10 years. I'll most likely be knitting one a year for my grandson!

The yarn is a new-to-me Berroco Ultra Wool. I'm now a big fan and promptly bought some more to test knit Gingersnap in size 4. (Yes, can you believe I'm finally getting around to sizing that? Stay tuned!) The yarn handles beautifully and is very well priced. Carter loved it and said it was very soft and he's super picky about that. It was so soft he wouldn't take it off for his nap. It's a superwash and predictably came out stretchy after washing. Here's how I snapped it back into shape: Roll it between fluffy towels to remove excess water then pop it in a warm, not hot, dryer. Check it every 10 minutes or so and when it seems to be back to normal size and is still slightly damp, block to measurements and dry flat. Worked like a charm. I love littles in white and don't think I'll ever tire of white sweaters anyway. I guess it's not terribly practical but unless he's playing in the mud, who cares about a little dirt?


The plaid pants, FYI, are from Target last year. Gwen Stefani designed them for her label Harajuku Mini when she partnered with Target. They sold out online in minutes and I was lucky to snag a size 4. They are so dang cute. The boots are Stride Rite.

After naptime we played a little hide and seek. I see you!




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Braemar Pullover















I'm so happy with this little sweater! I test knit it with a group of lovely knitters, and every single one in every size and every color is beautiful. This is Braemar from Vera of OGE Designs and is sized from baby to adult. I have some beautiful Shibui yarn set aside to make a luxury one for me. 

I made the size 4 for this brand-new-last-Sunday 3 year old grandson (I know what you're thinking, where on earth did the time go?) and while it fits him perfectly right now, if he outgrows it this fall, and it's certain he will, I have some extra yarn to add to the body hem and the sleeves. I hope the pictures showcase all the pretty details: the perfectly proportioned funnel neck, the exposed shoulder seams, and the effective stitch pattern that you will have memorized after one row!

Carter loves it and came over three mornings in a row with it on. I'm so pleased he's still at the age that he loves my knits. I always try to knit up things that are easy for him to wear in yarn that is super soft. This is Rowan Calmer from my vintage Rowan collection. I think we should start a campaign and beg Rowan to bring back this soft and stretchy stuff! If you've ever knit with this, you are saying AMEN right now. It's beyond fabulous.

For this photoshoot I let Carter behead a few flowers, had my husband behind me making funny faces, and then of course I had to pay them both for their trouble. Modeling fee: one large marshmallow.

Braemar pattern, sized  from OGE Designs

I hope your summer is going as well as it can be. We are fine here, still sheltering in place and working in our garden so it's not such a bad time to be stuck at home. I'm planning a garden post so if you like those, stay tuned for that. 



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Rose Infused Vodka--make your own









I recently heard about rose infused vodka and rose infused gin and I thought to myself, surely I can make that myself! Right? After all, I have a ton of roses and certainly some booze in the cupboard. I googled it and sure enough, making rose infused vodka and/or gin would be a snap. So I did it and the result is so beautifully pink and divinely fragrant that I was absolutely thrilled with the results. (Note: I cannot explain why the bottle of the rose vodka looks yellow in the photos. I can assure you it is a deep rose pink but it would not cooperate and photograph nicely. Seems that photographing rose vodka is more difficult than photographing my wiggly toddler grandson. Still, it's beautiful, smells delightful, and tastes wonderful.)

Here's how to make it: First, gather about a dozen of your loveliest unsprayed, fragrant roses. Roses with pesticides cannot be consumed and roses without a fragrance will not make a a product worth your trouble. I used my Eden roses from the rose arch at the entrance of our vegetable garden. They are unsprayed, beautifully fragrant, and have a glorious mid-pink color. Gently wash your roses in cool water and shake the water off the flower. Next, separate the petals and lay them on a cotton cloth to dry. I set mine near an open window and fluffed them a few times with my fingers over the next few hours. When the petals are dry, pack them in a clean glass jar and pour plain, unflavored vodka or gin to cover completely. Push a long spoon down the center a few times to release the air bubbles. Top it off with more vodka, cover and put in a dark cupboard. By the next day you'll start to see a faint blush of color! The petals won't look too pretty, but ignore that and give it a little shake and put it back in the cupboard. Shake it gently once a day for 3-4 days. Next, strain the vodka through a sieve, lightly pressing the petals to gently release the liquid. Lastly, give it a final strain though a linen cloth and pour into a clean bottle. Now you're ready to make the prettiest vodka and tonic you've ever had! I don't know how long it will last, but I don't think I'll have to worry about that. It should be gone in no time.

Full disclosure: My darling husband of 47 years did not like my pretty drink; he said he'd rather have a beer and so he did. His loss. I drank both and then he had to cook dinner. 😎







I'd love to hear from you, especially if you are thinking of making this, 
or better, yet, have actually made it???

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It doesn't often work and it's a wee bit wonky when it does,
but I appreciate it when you try!
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