The New Guy in town.

June, 1st, 2015

Photography by Erica B. Studio + Design//Graphic Design by Mary Joy Gumayagay

It’s no secret that I am a boymom.  Today I am super excited to present my latest collection which focuses on the newest of little guys. Creating knit layettes for my children was one of my great joys during pregnancy. This particular set includes favorite pieces inspired by my youngest.

He will be turning two next month (ahhhhh!) and it’s so bittersweet for me knowing that he is my last.  It just made sense that I should finally get around to the patterns I drafted way back then, even if some of his little pictures do get me all teary eyed.

The designs are sized from Preemie to Toddler and they also include a variety of options for versatility, such as differing sleeve or pant length. Knit the colorwork as shown, or simplify any design by working it in a color changing yarn or replacing the stranded work with easy stripes.  Eliot had a little help with the modeling, check out precious Sawyer below!  He was only about a week new when we took his pictures.

New Guy is available from your local yarn shop (shops click here to purchase wholesale from NNK Press!) as well as here in my store. The e-book is available now, and comes with your pre-order hard copy package!  Pre-orders are $12 and also include a couple of custom Tot Toppers stitch markers and even adorable gift tags. Place both versions in your cart and apply the code NEWGUYDROOLS at checkout to receive the pre-order discount.

There are five designs total including the Hug Me Hat, Kiss Me Romper, Welcome Mocs, Hello Kimono & Wee Hat. The book provides yardage estimates for knitting the entire layette or you can just pick your favorites and go one at a time. Just make sure to choose the recommendation for the right options (sleeves/pants).

I used Shibui Staccato to knit my set.  It is a beautiful fingering weight yarn available in a wonderful array of colorways. I purchased it at a wonderful yarn shop called A Good Yarn Sarasota.  I actually was knitting and designing the Kiss Me Romper while I was in the shop for a teaching trip! I considered calling it “A Good Romper” ha! All of the projects feature the same gauge of 30 sts over 4″.  You only have to swatch one time for 5 projects!  Bonus.

No matter which outfit you work up, you cannot skip the Welcome Mocs.  They are such a fun treat to knit and I should know because I had to knit a whole lot of them in order to get them exactly how I wanted. They go so very fast and I love the funky fringe accent.

OK now I’m going to get a little sentimental.  You’ve already got the pertinent info so feel free to skip my sob story :) But the good news is that is has a happy ending!

Though Eliot’s was my shortest pregnancy by a couple of months, it seemed to last the longest as it was fraught with complications that threatened both our well beings.  Most of these pieces were originally knit in the Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist’s waiting room prior to my bi-weekly appointments. The reason I initially knit two versions of the Kiss Me Romper was because we didn’t know just how preemie he would be and I wanted to be ready no matter what. Not only did knitting calm my nerves during a very tenuous time, it also was my outward sign of choosing joy despite the uncertainty. These pieces lent me peace, brought me comfort and ultimately happy tears when he finally was safe and well enough to wear them, not to mention squeals from hospital staff as I became known in the NICU as “the knitter.”  I wanted to share some real life photos of the set in action keeping my munchkin warm in his earliest of days.

                  

Whether you’re a pregnant mom, anxious grandparent, ready-to-spoil aunt or uncle, or the best friend ever, I hope this little layette inspires you to create something cozy and sweet for the new guy in your life, no matter if he is on the way or settling in during his first few years.

I Hope You Win

March, 19th, 2015

It’s March 19 which means that the Knits For Boys: Little Men KAL is officially underway! It’s time for me to reveal all the amazing prizes that are up for grabs.  In order to be eligible for prizes, you simply need to post photos in our Ravely knitalong thread & have your project posted on Ravelry tagged LittleMenKAL. The project needs to be from the Knits for Boys book and be linked up to the appropriate pattern. For this knitalong we are keeping it simple, everyone gets one entry as long as you follow the rules.  Also feel free to grab and use this badge for your project!

LittleMenKAL

 

I am really picky about my yarn.  I really put a lot of thought into every yarn choice and that’s why I’m so glad to be able to offer prizes that feature the yarn I used in the book! Leading up the KAL, we had blog giveaways for three projects, Jesse Half-Zip/Anzula, Caden Vest/Madelinetosh & Twisty Crew/Plucky Knitter. Here’s what’s up for grabs now: all prizes include enough yarn to knit any size in the book.

From Skacel, one winner will receive HiKoo Simplicity to make Winston Henley in the colors that I used in the book.

Also from Skacel, one winner will receive HiKoo Kenzie to make the Imagination Sweater in the colors that I used in the book.

From Spud & Chloe, one winner will receive Fine to make Stripy Socks in the colors that I used in the book, along with an adorable happy little project bag. This bag is so cute!

ThreeFineHanks

From Berroco, one winner will receive Vintage to make Comfy Shorts in the color of their choice.

From Lorna’s Laces, one winner will receive Sportmate to make a set of Long John PJs.

From Anzula, one winner will receive Cricket in the colors that I used in the book in order to make the Sunday Best Bowtie & Suspenders.

Also from Anzula, one winner will receive Squishy in the color that I used in the book in order to make Prepster Vest.

From Plucky Knitter, one winner will receive Bulky in the colors that I used in the book in order to make Jake Jacket.

Thank you so much to all of these supportive yarn companies for your generosity!  You have up to 3 weeks to get your project going and join our knitalong.  Winners will be announced on April 9.

Limitations
This contest is limited to US residents.
Each participant may win only one prize package.

Big Brother

March, 18th, 2015

Photography by Kickstand Studio

Last week I blogged about Big Sister…but actually, there was another pattern that came first!  I decide to hold out on Big Brother for a little while just because it has the same audience as my book and there has been so much going on with the upcoming knitalong, etc, and I wanted to give folks a chance to notice a knitting-for-boys pattern the was not part of the new book.  I have been so excited about releasing this pattern though and finally the day arrived!

I have two different samples to show off of this design. The original was the colorblocked version, shown in scrumptious Dream in Color Classy (in Wicked Royal, Grey Tabby, Deep Regret and Malibu Sail) and then, as I was conceptualizing the solid color version of Big Sister, I realized that I should also show Big Brother in solid.  Not only do I really like how it looks in one color, it also makes the project a lot more accessible for knitters that aren’t experienced with working intarsia. More on that later. The solid version is shown in yummy Plucky Knitter Plucky Sweater (in Corduroy).

The construction of this pattern is really fun. I think so at least!  A provisional cast on at the back neck gets things going. Both sides of the collar are worked from this cast on. Once the collar is wide enough, stitches are picked up for the body and the pattern is worked top-down from there all in one piece.  It is seamless and the only finishing required is attaching buttons across from buttonholes and weaving in loose ends.

The trickiest part is remembering to you do your buttonholes.  I was traveling when I was knitting up my first sample and I admit having to tick back a few rows, more than once, because I got distracted and didn’t notice how fast things were going!  I would recommend some kind of row-counting mechanism to help you remember to work the buttonholes. I definitely still think that the perk of not having to pick up and work the buttonband/collar after the fact far outweighs the downside of having to remember to work the buttonholes throughout the project.

Because the buttonband is worked along with the sweater, that means that the colorblocking is done intarsia style. If you’re not experienced with intarsia style knitting, don’t be afraid! I think this is a great project to give a try even for the first time.  The color changes all occur at the exact same place, so once you get going you hardly even have to think about it and you will also have a marker in place to remind you that it is time to change colors. Here is a video from knittinghelp.com on how to change colors when you are working intarsia. All you need to know is in the video.

Aside from the colorwork, the differences between Big Brother and Big Sister are the length and the front closure.  Big Sis isn’t closed at all and therefore has more of a flowy eased look to it.  Big Bro was designed with the same ease but it has a skinny double breasted button closure at the front making it appear more fitted.  Also I admit, Oliver (wearing the solid version) is almost 3 and pretty chunky and doesn’t actually wear a size 2 in anything so… I should have had him in a size 4.  It’s a little snug but still super cute, in my humble opinion.

This pattern includes 7 sizes from Ages 2-14.  The largest two sizes actually overlap with the smallest two sizes of Big Sister.  So, if you have an older-than-14 year old who needs an even larger size, you would be able to use the stitch counts for larger chest sizes in Big Sister along with the row instructions for Big Brother to upsize pretty easily.

I think the color and texture combination in this pattern is both unique and wearable which is definitely what I strive for when I design for boys. The little guy in your life (whether he is a brother or not!) will be stylin’ and profilin’ in this cardigan. Here’s a link to the pattern on Ravelry. And here’s where you can buy it in the Tot Toppers Shop!