pinwheel sweater


Good news! The boys had reading placement tests this week, to see what groups they should be in. I was a tad worried about Andrew, he can read but he never showed us how well till this week. My little 1st grader is reading at a level most 3rd graders read halfway through the year. His teacher/stepmom said he only missed two words, one was frightening and… I can’t remember the other. Andrew was telling Evie (or more accurately, my tummy) that she needs to be born soon, he’s ready to teach her how to read!

Zane, no one was worried about him. He’s been reading since he was one. Yes, one. Amazing stuff. He was very proud to tell me that even though he is in 3rd grade he reads better than most 11th graders. That’s right, Zane reads at a level almost 3 times higher than what he should. I am one proud mommy!

boys Smart AND cute!

They come home from their Daddy’s house tomorrow. I can’t wait. I miss them while they are gone. Never thought I would be one of those people sharing kids and having to schedule all that mess. But we’re all a LOT happier now.

Pregnancy News

Not much to report really. I had a lot of contractions yesterday, for an hour there it was every 5 minutes. Evie is such a tease. I wasn’t too excited cause I knew it is still a tad early at 36 weeks. But they are at least every hour or so, if not more often. I could have this baby now and be perfectly happy.

Heartburn has been a bitch and a half this week. I never had it with the boys!

The same thing with morning sickness. I threw up once with Andrew and never with Zane. I threw up twice this week alone! Whoever said morning sickness is just for mornings and early pregnancy is NUTS! (I threw up at night and I’m 36 weeks, there goes those theories!) So many things are different about this pregnancy. I wonder if it’s cause it is a girl this time, or cause it’s a different daddy or just cause I’m 30 instead of in my 20s. Maybe a combination of all 3.

Still have a migraine, but after 6 months straight, I dunno, I kinda get used to it I guess?

Evie’s nursery is pretty much done. I’d repainted a few months ago from ugly bright brick red to a pretty mint green. I washed all her clothes and sorted them into age groups. I got a rocking chair, boppy pillow, changing table, basinette (for our room) newborn diapers. All that’s really left is to move the furniture and move sophie’s litterbox and food. I need to pack my suitcase and get some lanolin and nursing pads. Every time I think I’m all ready I realize there is more to do!

Have you seen these nursing covers? i got one as a gift yesterday! The woman who did my pedicure and I were talking about nursing and she asked me if I had one, I said no, I’ll just use my baby sling (which I am dying to use, hurry up Evie!). I guess she really likes them cause she brought me a very cool orange one! What a nice surprise. The pattern is sadly not on that site(though the ones that are there are just as great), but it is so awesome I plan to use it for something else once Evie is done nursing.
Knitting News

I’m working on a secret surprise. It’s nothing spectacular, but I don’t want to share till it’s done cause if it doesn’t work or looks silly I’ll be embarassed!

I also got yarn for another pinwheel sweater.

yarn

The “white” is really more of a grey, so it will be a pretty grey/purple/pink for Evie. If I need more yarn, I’ll finish it with some of the cream that is left over from the first pinwheel I made.

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pinwheelfull

Pattern: Elann’s pinwheel sweater, kid-sized for Evie

Yarn: Vanna’s Choice in white, beige, chocolate, taupe, mustard, honey and rust.

Modifications: Quite a few actually. I didn’t do the provisional cast-on, I did a technique called “afterthought heel” in some circles. You can read about that here. I also changed the sleeves, Ending in a stockinette stitch instead of the ribbing, because I liked the way it looked on rippedoffknitter‘s sweater. I also castoff the sleeves with one row of beige. I thought it looked nice.

pinwheel arm1

What I learned: Also a lot! This was my first circular project so I got over my silly fear about those crazy circ needles. I learned how to adapt a pattern to knowledge I already had. I learned i-cording!

pinwheel trimming closeup

pinwheel1arm

What I will do different next time: Not use 7 colors! It’s too busy for my tastes. I would like to do a nice purple/pink/grey next time around. If I ever make one for me instead of my unborn daughter, I would like to use the beige/chocolate/taupe. Maybe some rust too.

pinwheel trimming

This really was a terrific project for instant gratification. You start out with a lovely pinwheel design and change colors often. It’s hard to be bored!

pinwheel

I started Monday August 13th around 6pm and finished Friday August 17th around 10pm. Of course I didn’t knit constantly and I’ve been extremely sick all week, but that’s a fast project. My husband didn’t put it down last night, he told me how proud of me he was and how great it looked and what an artist I am, etc. That’s a good feeling. I can’t wait for photos of Evie in her new jacket. I’m ready for her to be born!

pinwheel finished

I’ve finished one sleeve for the pinwheel sweater and I’m working on the last one.  I thought I would share the way I’ve been doing the armhole and sleeve because the pattern is difficult to read and understand – for me at least.  And since I had done it this way for Piggle and… something else… it was already familiar to me.

When you get to the part of the pattern that says “knit the first set of 18 stitches and the yo from the round before, place the second set of 18 stitches on a holder, join a new ball of yarn and cast on 18 stitches using a provisional cast on – see below for provisional cast on instructions (this will be the sleeve later), join yarn and continue knitting 4 more sets of 18 stitches plus the yo’s from the previous round, slip the next 18 stitches on a holder, join yarn and cast on 18 stitches using a provisional cast on, knit the last 18 stitches and yo from the previous round.”  Ignore it.  Way to confusing in my mind!

What I did (which I’ve discovered is also called an afterthought heel, interesting) is knit the 18 stitches plus one yo on waste yarn, then turn the work and knit these same 19 stitches again with waste yarn.  Switch back to your working yarn and continue the pattern.   In the middle of your sweater you will have two rows of waste yarn where the armhole will go.  It looks like this.

pinwheel armhole

When you’re ready to do the sleeves, pick up 19 stitches of one side on #9 needle.  Personally it’s easier for me to see what stitches to pick up if I do it on the wrong side.  Just push the needles through to the right side when you are ready to knit.

pinwheel sophie

Pick up the other side of the 19 stitches and it looks like this.

pinwheelwaste

Now you remove the waste yarn,  a tad scary, I know.  You end up with two needles and an armhole!

pinwheel 2 needles

Spread the stitches out to 3 or 4 needles, whichever you prefer, then continue the pattern.

The only thing that I discovered, and I suppose I’m missing something, maybe someone can point it out, is that I now have to purl the sleeves in order for it to look the same as the rest.  No big deal but knitting is a lot faster than purling for me!

If you see anything wrong in my explaination, please do let me know!  Enjoy your pinwheel sweater!