The Hazelbrook Vest

The last picture is precious to me. Carter calls this walkway, "the scary place." I see what he means; it's very dark because of the dense ivy walls and the wisteria that grows over the pergola, and it does seem far away from the house, especially if you are two years old. We usually hold hands when we walk under the long pergola, but on this morning, with no warning, he let go of my hand and burst into a run to show me how courageous he was by running through by himself. He waited for me at the end and called for me to follow; "Grammy, it is ok. I will watch you." This little boy...💕.

This is the Hazelbrook Vest by Vera of OGE Knitwear, from Sydney, Australia. Vera makes the most adorable and affordable children's knitting patterns and I am one of her biggest fans. Her patterns are well written and easy to follow. This simple vest uses just a few easy knit stitch variations to create pretty textured stripes. I love the roomy fit, the big buttons, and the fold down collar.

I bought this yarn last year on a trip to Bar Harbor, Maine. At Bee's Knitting Bar I purchased 2 skeins of Mousam Falls, an aran weight 100% superwash wool by JaggerSpun, a Maine based company. I think yarn souvenirs are the best souvenirs, especially if the yarn is made right where I bought it. While this is a superwash, it is not stretchy when wet (like so many superwashes) and is easily patted into shape to dry flat. I know the sweater is white and needs to go in the wash tub after one wearing and I don't care! I never mind washing a sweater--and I offer a free sweater-washing service for my grandchildren anyway. 😇 This yarn is lovely to knit and I cannot wait to use it again. It would make beautiful cables.

59 Cottage St., Bar Harbor, Maine

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Whooo stole my heart?

This is my favorite baby sweater to knit. The Owl Cardigan pattern is by Penny Straker and has been around since the 60s. From Penny: “No one knows who originally conceived of making owls with cabling but when I opened my first yarn shop in 1962 a dear and elderly customer came in to wish me well and gave me her hand written copy of the owls. From this worn and dog-eared direction I designed this cardigan. Now in its eighth printing, Owl has continued to be a cherished and popular design through the decades. Grown women have asked for an adult version – I’m working on it!

Now owls are everywhere, and they should be, they are such an adorable design element for littles and adults. This is the child's cardigan, size 2, 4, 6 and 8 years. There is also a baby sized cardigan pattern as well.

I made the size 4 for my two year old grandson. He is a big boy for his age and it fits well, but remember, this pattern is an old one designed when children's sweaters were meant to be worn with little or no ease. I do feel it is sized small so just want to warn you of that. The yarn is a new one from Rowan, Baby Cashsoft Merino, easy care and delightful softness. It is a sport weight yarn and I knit is as a sport weight for this sweater, but it will work equally well as a DK weight with a needle size switch.

Since the pattern is an older one, it is knit in pieces and seamed, although it does have you attach the shoulder seams with a three-needle bind off so that is good. Also the button bands are knitted as you go saving another step. The one thing I did change was the sleeve construction. I always choose the set-in, short-row technique. Do plan to spend a few hours sewing on 16 button owl eyes!

So does Carter like it? He does! He loved the owls and before he would even put on the sweater he had to give each one a kiss. It's a super soft and light, not overly warm sweater. I love lightweight wool sweaters for active children. Wool has a way of "breathing" and regulating body temperature to keep a child warm when he is playing quietly indoors or actively outdoors. Scroll down for the shopping links.

This color is more accurate in the modeled pictures but I show you this to see the sleeve technique.

Carter wrote a letter to me and I asked him to read it. He stood up straight and held the paper in his hands and said, "You are nice." This made me very happy because I know children this age mimic what the adults around them are saying. Deep sigh.
Penny Straker's Owl Cardigan for children
Penny Straker's Owl Cardigan for babies
My Ravelry project page
Rowan Baby Cashsoft Merino

How to knit a top-down set-in sleeve.

If you are having a difficult time finding the tiny eye buttons,
Penny Straker sells them on her site here.

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My not-so-spooky Halloween house

Hello and good Monday morning to you!

I think I've admitted here before that I'm a bit of grinch about Halloween. I have never gone into decorating my house too much with skeletons or witches, rarely dress up, and really can't think of much I like about Halloween except the candy, especially if it's chocolate. I do have a few Halloween decorations but mostly rely on darling little pumpkins for my decorations. I'm sure as Carter gets older he'll think I'm a real dud, but I save up all my holiday excitement for the worthier Thanksgiving and Christmas that is RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER!

We had the kids over for dinner this weekend. Lately I've been stuck on what to make for a two year old. He was a good eater at one time, opening his mouth while I would spoon in whatever we were having for dinner. He would gobble it up and open his little mouth for more. So dang precious, but all that has changed. Now he alternately loves then hates, then loves and hates again such kid-friendly mainstays as chicken, salmon, peas--potatoes even! Two year olds!

I decided to make tomato and wild rice soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, and green salad. Bless his heart, he loved my soup! Of course he also loved the sandwiches too but would not touch the kale salad. The week before we had him over for dinner and I had put a minuscule amount of salad on his plate: a postage stamp sized piece of lettuce, one pea, one skinny shred of carrot, and a razor-thin slice of radish. He poked at it and announced, "This is salad. Mommy and Daddy like this stuff but I don't." He did eat the main offering of spaghetti. Thanksgiving will be interesting. Last year he loved it all, turkey, potatoes, stuffing, gravy, and kept asking for more. If he eats half of what he ate last year I'll be thrilled!

As for Thanksgiving, I'm already thinking about it. I loved the simple table I created above for our family dinner and think I'll reproduce it for the big day. We will be small again this year, just six plus the baby. I'll still make a huge turkey because we love all the leftovers, especially turkey soup and plain old turkey sandwiches. Can you tell I'm ready?

I have three posts planned for the next few weeks; such an abundance of photos and blogging is a rarity for me these days. They are all knitting posts and one is about my recent yarn purchases in Copenhagen and Helsinki. I haven't started knitting with any of my new yarn yet as I've still got a few things on the needles I'd like to have done before the holidays.

This is a little pair of red shorts with cabled suspenders for Carter that I'd like to finish by the holidays.

Love the way the simple stitch pattern creates a quilted effect on two-year-old-sized Juniper by OGE.

This new cowl design from Andrea Mowry is addicting to knit and Spincycle is surprisingly soft against the skin.

This will become a darling garter stitch, over-sized cotton coat for Annie.

Mommy and Grammy took Carter to the pumpkin patch.
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