I once dreamt I had birthed my cat

knit mauve sweater

I picked this pattern in a previous life: way back when little man was in utero and my body measurements were in constant flux.

I figured if I finished the sweater quickly I could still wear it with a big belly. If it only got finished later, it would be breastfeeding friendly.

What they don’t tell you beforehand of course, is that babies -like cats- are born with tiny, razor-sharp claws and a penchant for scratching. and pulling. and biting. and general (discovery through) destruction.

I think this sweater will have to live in a closet for a while. At least until such time as my clothing has ceased to double as a plaything/napkin.

button detail of knit mauve sweater

front detail of knit mauve sweater


 

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What to knit when you’ve lost your mind

baby wearing purl soho toque

I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve come to a decidedly unfeminist conclusion:
Pregnancy makes you stupid.

Once your body starts the all-important, all-consuming, beautifully miraculous task of cooking up a human being, it figures you’ll have no more use for that brain of yours.

My math skills went early. By the end of the first trimester I had to pull out a calculator to subtract 2 from 39.5. I figured I could probably do it, but I just didn’t trust myself with that pesky little .5 at the end.

Next, went my words. Through the second and third trimesters I found myself searching for common nouns, pointing at objects to fill in the blanks in my sentence, mixing up family members’ names and sounding more and more like my mother.

My brain hit peak dumbness after baby boy arrived. Shrouded in the thick fog of sleep deprivation, I could barely manage my email password. My linguistic output was limited to parroted oohs, aahs, gurgles and heehees. It had been many weeks since I’d attempted to knit anything: the very notion of having to read and interpret a knitting pattern felt like advanced calculus.

But at about four weeks postpartum my fingers started jonesing for some wool. Any knitter deprived of knitting for long enough can relate to that yarny itch. I had started this sweater a while back and figured the miles of stockinette stitch would be a reasonable choice for a sleepy half-wit. Boy was I wrong.

It had felt so good to be knitting again. Like that first bike ride in spring after a winter of lumbering around in clunky boots: I was flying! Row after row, speeding past! A blur of fingers! A knitting ninja!

Except, when it came time to join the pieces at the underarm, something was off. I spread the knitting out flat, I spun it around, I turned it inside out, I folded it one way then the other. Yes, after having grown and birthed a baby I had experienced some remarkable anatomical transformations, but none that warranted replacing a neck hole with an armscye! None that would have me fitting into the strange moebius strip of fabric I had produced.

Somewhere along the way I had attached one part of the sweater to another part that had no business being anywhere near the first part. It was less sweater and more “art piece”.

There was no saving it. I was done for. Mind = gone.

But at least the consolation prize is pretty good. And cute to boot.

baby wearing purl soho toque

  • Pattern: Purl Soho Garter Ear Flap Hat
  • Size: Baby
  • Yarn: Leftover Cascade 220
  • Needles: 4mm & 4.5mm
  • Notes: A cute, and most importantly, super simple pattern. Clever short row ear flaps. Barely any need to reference the pattern once you’ve read it through once: safe to knit when you’ve lost your brain. I worried the tassel was a bit silly at first, but now I think it makes it adorably gladiator-like. Works up slightly larger than I expected: room to grow.

 

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Birthing a coat

Yes, it’s true, I’d never inserted a bagged lining until now.

Popped my proverbial bagged-lining cherry, if you will. (Ooh, what a sentence that is! And what an image it conjures!)

It was a messy affair. I was nervous and sweaty. Got out my trusty walking foot for extra protection and added comfort.

There were a few moments of: wait, that goes where? That’s supposed to fit in here?

I have to pull the whole coat, inside out, through this impossibly small opening?!

But I huffed and I puffed and presto!: a fully lined coat emerged.

One of life’s precious little miracles.


  • Pattern: Cascade duffle coat
  • Size: 10
  • Fabric: Charcoal medium weight wool blend; black kasha lining; leather salvaged from a thrifted jacket
  • Notes: The toggles were pieced together from a hacked up Anne Taylor leather jacket. I had to double the half circle parts for extra beefiness. I punched each hole around the edge with a nail and sewed them on by hand using buttonhole thread -With the zipper bands already attached, there was no way I was jamming the whole thing under my walking foot to sew by machine.
  • Mods I would’ve made: 1. I’m pretty sure they should have drafted a separate piece for the hood lining. As it is, there’s no accounting for the facings. I had to make two little tucks to get it to line up along the neck. 2. The zipper band in contrasting fabric should be interfaced, in my opinion. Especially if you use lining fabric as they suggest.

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Instead, I knit

I often wonder what I’m missing.

If t.v. is to be believed, the best cure for a bad dream or a stressful board meeting is a handful of cool water splashed onto the face. It seems everyone’s doing it.

I can’t remember the last time I splashed water on my face. Maybe once, after a long day of gardening in the summer heat? But never as some sort of panacea for emotional turmoil.

Tell me world, does it work?

Of course, I’ve never “grabbed a bite” either. Or “hit the sack” or shyly whispered “well… this is me” in front of my impossibly expensive Brooklyn brownstone.

But maybe I just haven’t lived!

Instead, I’ve been knitting my clothes as per usual and submitting legal questions to the Undisclosed Podcast.

Yes, you heard right folks, little Allison Wool&Potato got her question read aloud on the second addendum episode of the current season of the podcast. Like a boss.

It was terribly thrilling.

Should’ve splashed a little water on my face to come down after!

  • Pattern: Donner
  • Size: 43.25
  • Yarn: Malabrigo Sock, Colour: 862 Piedras
  • Needles: 3.75mm for main body, 2.5mm for ribbing
  • Notes: Great pattern, fun to knit, especially the braid detail and short rows on the shoulders. Didn’t have enough yarn for longer sleeves, but prefer the short sleeves anyhow. Haven’t compared the final measurements to the pattern, but I thought it would turn out looser to make more room for my expanding belly? Here’s hoping for ample stretchiness instead.

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