Are you ready to romp?

This little romper is a recently published pattern, Tulipromper by Rille Rundt. The fingering weight gauge is lightweight for summer, plus I love the simplicity. The original pattern has a stranded tulip band that I replaced with a more masculine band of mosaic knitting from the Alaskan Pullover. The pattern is easy to follow and sized up to 4 years, plus inexpensive at $3! I used lovely vintage stash yarn, the late and great Rowan Cotton 4-Ply. It's been replaced with something even nicer, Summerlite 4-Ply, but the original cotton is lovely too and my stash is full of it. Either one makes for a perfect light weight summer knit and both go in and out of the washer and dryer with ease. I know I sound like a broken record here, but Rowan really does make the best cottons available for the hand knitter.

My husband thought a pale blue romper might be inappropriate for our very active and very big fella, but I maintain that babies are babies for such a short time and dressing them like babies is quite alright, and is in fact preferable. And oh my! he looked simply adorable in it! After the "photo shoot" we took him downtown to the children's bookstore to buy some new books. Once we got him to understand that he could not throw the books, he took his book reviewing very seriously.  Linden Tree Children's Books has been a beloved jewel and landmark in our downtown for decades. When my own son (Carter's daddy) was young, my father, an avid reader and lover of books, came for a visit and was throughly enchanted with our beautiful children's book store. After that he regularly sent my son $25 to spend at Linden Tree. We have saved most if not all of those books and they are now being read to Carter, my father's great-grandson. Now here I am shopping at the same store with my own grandson and my father's legacy lives on.

After book shopping we popped into the knit store next store to show him off, then strolled down Main Street. Our little one received many appreciative smiles and ouus and ahhs, and quite a few woman stopped us so they could admire him a good long time. Sigh. It's so very fun showing off a grandchild. 

Rowan Summerlite 4-Ply is an excellent and better substitute and is widely available.

I've been asked how I get my 22 month old grandson to pose for me, but honestly, I don't do much except follow him around with a camera. He might show off for me and smile at the camera, but mostly he goes exploring on his own and I always manage to get some great shots. When he is actively moving I use the live setting my on iPhone. During editing I scan through the shots within the live photo, choose the best one, then click off the live setting. When he is sitting still I use the portrait setting. There are many pictures here because I simply could not edit any more out--I love them all! 

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garter stich pullover

This Garter Yoke Cardigan by Melissa LaBarre is a pattern I've knit several times before. It's meant to be worn with the buttons in front but I've always preferred this sweater with the buttons in back. It's a fantastic pattern but it runs HUGE. I knit the smallest size and made modifications to make it smaller, plus made gathered sleeve poofs. Directions for both modifications are on my Ravelry project page and below.

Wow! In these pictures I was really surprised to see a dye lot change in the yoke. I thought I always checked dye lots but in this case I guess I didn't. It's weird because you can't see the change with the naked eye, but a camera will magnify anything done wrong in a knit, right? No mercy.

The yarn is one of my favorites for summer, Rowan's Creative Linen, a 50/50 blend of cotton and linen. Rowan does a lot of things right and while I think they are most famous for their beautiful wools, they make gorgeous cottons too. Creative Linen goes right into the washer and dryer--the ball band might not recommend it, but I've knit with this many times and even after a few years of wear and quite a few times in the washer and dryer, it holds up very well. If I do put a sweater in the washing machine, I usually put it on gentle cycle with cool water, then put it in a warm, not hot dryer until it's half dry, then finish drying flat in the shade. But this sweater was a little bit big (even with all my modifications) so I put it in a hot water wash and hot dryer to shrink it. It did shrink an inch in length and an inch in width which made a better fit.

I was so happy with the sleeve poof. It turned out just as I had hoped it would. I love the fit and made a few easy mods to make it smaller. My modifications:

To make an XS:

Knit with a much smaller gauge. (DK weight instead of Aran weight.)
Stopped yoke at row 37.
At raglan shaping I repeated rows 3 and 4 six times only.
I had 153 sts for body and 46 sts for each sleeve.

It was still too big so I put it in a hot water wash and hot dryer. It shrunk about an inch in width and length which made it a better fit. The ball band will tell you not to do this of course, but it's cotton and linen and those two can go in the washing machine and dryer. Normally they would not shrink, but this was a planned shrink with HOT!

For sleeve poof: (These are knitted top down in the round,)

To taper the sleeve I made two mirrored decreases before the elbows: 42 sts.
Just below the elbow, kfb each stitch across row: 84 sts.
Knit to desired length of poof.
To finish:
Row 1: K2tog across row: 42 sts.
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: K1, K2tog, K to 3 sts before M, K2tog, K1: 40 sts.
Row 4: Purl
Row 5: Bind off knitwise.

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We have had a wet and windy Memorial Day weekend but that didn't stop our little Mr. Green Jeans from taking on his gardening chores! His new hat is the super fantastic new pattern, Shiftalong by the adorable Andrea Mowry. She hosted a KAL during this holiday weekend and I jumped right in when I saw her pictures. I was so lucky that my local knit shop, Uncommon Threads, had the model colors in stock. While I was purchasing the two skeins another knitter was in there with the same idea. I think this is going to be one popular hat. It's knit in Spincycle Yarns Dyed In The Wool using two skeins; one of Melancholia, the blue, and one of Stay Out Of The Forest, an orange multi. The yarn looks homespun (it's not), has gorgeous colorways and is surprisingly soft when knitted up. It gets even softer after a bath. The yarn is pricey but since I've always wanted to try it, I thought this hat pattern was a good way to give it a try without too big of an investment. If you want to splurge on a fun yarn and pattern, I think you will love knitting this. Of course you could use any fingering or sport weight stash yarn that makes gauge--my next one is from stash yarn. The pattern comes in 3 sizes--I made the smallest for Carter. Isn't is gorgeous? I love it so much. Links are at the end of the post.

Today is Memorial Day. Our nation owes a debt to its fallen heroes and we are thinking of them today. I hope you are able to spend this holiday with those you love doing the things you love. 
xo Kristen

I asked Carter to hold up the colors next to his face to see if they looked good on him. They did!
I love it so much I decided to knit one for my 18 year old granddaughter. 

My Ravelry project page with all the details

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