Tic Tac Toe Baby Sweater Pattern

Close up of the two colored tic tac toe sweater laying on a table.

Tic Tac Toe sweater is knit bottom up with the sleeves being joined before the yoke is worked. Though designed with positive ease in mind, it’s recommended that you knit one size up.

I’m going to be hosting a KAL in honor of our newborn! Use code three in a row (case sensitive!) from April 13th 2022 until May 13th 2022 to download the pattern for free.

Use #tictactoesweater on Instagram so I can see and appreciate your Tic Tac Toe Sweaters.

You can purchase the Tic Tac Toe Sweater from my store on Ravelry.

Yarn

Blue Sky Fibers Sweater (55% Superwash Wool / 45% Certified Organic Cotton; 100g/160yrds)

2 (2, 2, 3, 3) skeins

Gauge

20 sts & 26 rounds / 4” in stockinette using larger needles

Suggested Needles and Notions

  • US #6 (16 in circular & DPN or 40 in for magic loop)
  • US #5 (16 in circular & DPN or 40 in for magic loop)
  • Stitch markers
  • Cable needle
  • Stitch holders or waste yarn
  • Tapestry needle

Sizing

 3-6 months9 months12 months12-18 months18-24 months
Yardage Required240270320350380
Chest18 ¾ in19 ½ in20 ½ in22 ¼ in23 in
Body Length6 in6 ½ in7 ½ in8 in8 ½ in
Sleeve Length6 ½ in7 in8 in8 ½ in9 in
Upper Arm Circumference7 in7 ½ in8 in8 in8 ½ in
Neck Circumference11 ½ in12 ½ in13 ¼ in14 ¼ in15 in
Front Yoke Depth4 ½ in4 ¾ in5 in5 in5 in
Back Yoke Depth5 in5 ¼ in5 ½ in5 ½ in5 ½ in
Close up of the tic tac toe sweater laying on a table.

April 2022 Bookclub: Stardust

Cover art for Stardust by Neil Gaiman.

Stardust has a special place in my heart. It’s a book that I can reach for again and again, without the intention of discovering something new, but rather the intention of falling into a land I wish I could go to. Portal literature (think books like Alice in Wonderland where the reader starts off in the real world before “falling down the rabbit hole”) tends to hold a special place in my heart because I love the idea that there is a magical land waiting for me to discover the door to it.

There are many different adaptations of Stardust and they all seem to tell the story just a little differently. One of the most notable differences, in my opinion, is whether or not there is a final battle between the witches and Tristian for Ivaine’s heart. In the book, the witch recognizes that Ivaine’s heart was given freely to Tristian and therefore not usable to her. Though not very sensational, this idea has always struck me as romantic and beautiful. After all the idea that a heart freely given to someone cannot be taken by someone else provides a beautiful moral to the story, be careful who you give your heart to for you have no control how gentle they will be with it or how willing they will be to protect it.

The book also feels more adult than the movie does, spending more time developing the land beyond the wall as a place as opposed to racing the viewer through it while bouncing from one plot point to the next. This isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy the movie (in fact it’s one of my favorites), it’s just that the two versions are very different experiences.

No matter which version you are enjoying, it’s hard to get over the idea that a bunch of brothers need to kill each other for the right to rule over the land. There’s no way that I can look at this where I end up with confidence in the final son who is allowed to rule (although perhaps that is the point considering that Tristian is said to do a good when he finally decides to take up the mantle).

May’s book club will be a little more serious than Stardust, we’ll be reading Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware. It’s been a little while since I’ve fallen into a good suspense story and The Woman in Cabin 10 was enjoyable. Let’s see if reading about a nanny working with children who ends up in jail is more intense when you have a baby sleeping in the other room!

Cover art for Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware.

When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.

Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unravelling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.

It was everything.

She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post, and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.

Full of spellbinding menace and told in Ruth Ware’s signature suspenseful style, The Turn of the Key is an unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.

Ballerina Crossover Pinafore

A size 6 month pinafore dress with a repeating ballerina pattern laying next to a pair of matching baby bloomers.

A few times a year, not specifically in honor of the new year, I sit down with my fiber and fabric stashes and look through them. Am I still inspired by the materials in each stash? Do I still see myself working with them? Fabric and yarn are meant to be used and enjoyed, if I am no longer the person doing those things I like to think that I’m releasing them to find the person who will. While going through my fabric stash this time around, I stumbled on the half a yardish of fabric that I used to make my first Cleo Skirt.

Honestly, I forgot about this fabric and how much I enjoyed working with it the first time (which is why I like to sit with my stash from time to time). Occasionally, I rediscover leftover fabric (or yarn) and let it go because I don’t see myself making something out of it a second time. Sometimes because I didn’t enjoy working with the material the first time, others because I’m happy having made the one thing. Even knowing that the fabric can get a little wrinkly when worn, I instantly knew it needed to be a crossover pinafore. The frog one I made a few weeks ago came out super cute and I can’t help but smile at the idea my own little girl with little ballerinas on her. Combine that with by the time she’s 6-12 months the weather will be warmer and I couldn’t cut the fabric fast enough.

Back view of a size 6 month pinafore dress with a repeating ballerina pattern laying next to a pair of matching baby bloomers.

My straps came out better than the first time I made this pattern, but honestly, they’re still not perfect. As with the first one (we didn’t know we were having a girl, so I’m thrilled that she’ll be rocking the little frogs instead of it going straight to a friend), I used some leftover black fabric to make the linning and had just enough fabric left over to squeeze out a pair of bloomers.

Strap skills aside, this is still a pattern I can see myself reaching for time and time again. The fabric requirements are low and the total time from start to finish is so fast! Even if our little one doesn’t end up wearing a pinafore every day this summer, it’s definitely become a staple baby shower gift.

Head in the Clouds Knitting Pattern

Close up of head on the clouds cowl folded into quarters laying on a table.

Over the last few months, I’ve found myself reaching for gradient yarns more and more frequently. Don’t get me wrong, I think solid or heathered colorways are still my favorite, but I think gradient colorways are giving me the space to work with more than one color without sacrificing the complexity of the project. Gradients allow you to continue to play around with texture, something I’ve been drawn to of late. This is a roundabout way of saying that when Wonderland Yarns asked me if I wanted to design a pattern for their March Blossom Club, they received an enthusiastic yes!

It took a few tries before I landed on a design that I was happy with, despite going into the design process with the idea of “head in the clouds” after seeing the colorway. My first attempt was a shawl that didn’t make it much further than casting on. Then I tried a cowl with a provisional cast on with the general goal of grafting the ends together at the end, this design didn’t make it much further than the second repeat. Third time was the charm, although I did have to put it down for an evening before committing to it. Visualizing the way a design is going to knit up and block is very difficult – even making a gauge swatch leaves a lot left to the imagination when it comes to what the larger garment will look like. There’s this delicate balance between creating from an idea and calling the project when it’s clear that it’s not working out the way that you intended it to.

Head in the Clouds is a quick knit cowl, despite being knit in fingering weight yarn, with a textured design meant to remind the wearer of birds migrating and puffy clouds in the sky. Guage is not important for this pattern, but not knitting the cowl to gauge will affect yardage requirements (and Head in the Clouds uses just about an entire skein of blossom!).

You can purchase the Tic Tac Toe Sweater on Ravelry starting in April 2022 or as part of the March Blossom Club from Wonderland Yarns.

Close up of the head in the clouds cowl being worn.

Hippo Baby Bunting

Pattern envelope for Simplicity 9215 showing a baby in a fleece bunting.

While I spend more of my time knitting than sewing, it’s safe to say that I tend to reach for both with a mentality of either “this will be fun” or “I could make that”. While perusing baby patterns last fall, I stumbled across Simplity 9215 which offers the sewist the ability to transform fleece fabric into a jacket, pair of pants or baby bunting. Combine that with Joann Fabrics having a sale on fleece during the upcoming weekend and it felt meant to be.

Now, the pattern envelope claims that this is an easy project. Having just curned out a wonky looking baby bunting I think it’s safe to say that the pattern pieces were finicky and the instructions left a lot to be wanting. Perhaps I’ve been spoiled by the indie patterns I’ve been working with or perhaps I’m simply not in a place where I can picture how what I’m about to do will translate into the finished garment. Either way, I will aknowledge that my beginner sewing status played a role in the wonkiness of the finished garment as well.

For starters, the zipper is one of the first items that you sew on rather than the middle or last steps as I’ve previously worked. This is tricky because the instructions have you working with the front and back piece without the extentions in one step and then add in the extension in the following step. Honestly, it would have been easier to either attach everything together and to attach the zipper after sewing the shoulder seams and inserting the sleeves. In the end, I skipped the extensions (I’m still unsure how they fit together with the final grament, which is ok because I opted for a contrasting zipper on purpose) and was able to manuver my sewing machine around the extra bulk caused by installing the zipper so early. Also, my 14 inches zipper was a little smaller than the length of the body, I should have opted for 17-20 inches.

Another modification to the instructions I would have made (and highly recommend) is sewing the toe piece to the front before attaching the front pieces to anything. The area you’re manipulating is so tiny that any reduction in bulk is going to make it easier. Then, while I would like to think I could try pinning the bottom of the foot in such a way that I could sew around the foot and then up the side seam, the reality is that the bottom of the foot really can’t be attached until both leg seams are completed. So this step would indeed need to wait until closer to the end.

Finally, I couldn’t wrap my head around how to attach the mittens to the sleeves in a way that would make them usable. Now that the project is over, I think I would be able to if I were to rework the pattern? The directions here left a lot to be desired, but I’ll chalk this one up to being a newbie.

Would I make S9215 again? Perhaps in a larger size than 0-3 so that the manuvers are easier to make, but I also don’t see myself making this as a gift for anyone until I’m a little better at sewing. Luckily our little one will be small enough that the sizing won’t really matter (the feet in particular didn’t work out quite right). All in all, happy that I worked through the pattern (I learned a lot!), but a little bummed that one foot is smaller than the other and the larger foot is a weird shape.

A hooded baby bunting made of fleece with a hippo pattern on it.