Radio Silence

It has been months since I last posted. It was hard to write a blog post about my new knitting when all my new knitting was a secret! I know my sister reads my blog (which I love) and so I was trying to avoid talking about my knitting projects for Baby Girl here. The problem was that all of what I had been knitting is for Baby Girl. It was not a bad problem to have, I love knitting for babies. I just missed updating my blog. I solved my own problem though. I have handed over all the completed items, so now I can talk about them here!  (She did offer that I could say right at the top of my posts if she should skip reading particular entries; but, what fun is that?)

The very first item I knit for Baby Girl is a tiny little hat. Upon finishing it I realized it would fit her for about 2 seconds, or not at all. Oh well, if it never fits her maybe she can use it as a doll hat someday. I had visions of knitting matching booties for this hat but have since abandoned the idea due to the possible failure of the sizing on the hat. I used a preemie hat pattern but sized it up…I maybe didn’t size it up enough. (I do love the color gradation though.) The pattern used is Preemie Baby Beanies by Karen Everitt.

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My sister  requested one item that she wanted me to knit for Baby Girl: Booties, specifically those booties that look like little Mary Janes. I have knit a pair or two of these before, so that was an easy one. for Baby Girl I have knit two pairs so far. A pink pair and a purple pair. Each pair coordinates with one of the several hats I’ve knit. I kind of want to knit one more pair of booties in a neutral color so that if she is dressed in something that pink or purple doesn’t really go with she still has booties to wear. The pattern I used is Saarjte’s Booties. It is a great pattern! Easy to follow and minimal sewing of seams at the end. My favorite part of these is finding cute little buttons! The pattern used is Saartje’s Booties by Saartje de Bruijn.

At one of the two LYSs (Local Yarn Store) that I frequent I spotted a sample baby hat I fell in love with while shopping for yarn for booties. I asked the shop lady if they sold the pattern and she told me that they didn’t, it was from a book. I immediately went online and ordered a cheap used copy of the book from Amazon. To my surprise, when the book arrived the hat was nowhere to be found in its contents. I went on Ravelry, looked up the pattern and discovered that it was in the book “Itty Bitty Hats” rather than “Itty Bitty Nursery” as the shop lady told me. I was able to buy the Kindle version of the book fairly cheaply. I have not knit the hat that I bought 2 different books to get the pattern for yet, but I did knit two others from the Itty Bitty Hats book.

The Upside Down Daisy hat is very cute. I don’t think mine turned out quite as well as the one pictured in the book. I was surprised that the hat was knit in its entirety and the flower was knit separately and then sewn on. I feel like if the pattern was knit in such a way that the petals were incorporated into the hat design rather than being an afterthought it would have had a better finished look. (That might just be me though, I am not awesome at the sewing/finishing part of knitting.) The pattern used is Upside Down Daisy Hat by Susan B. Anderson.

I also knit a hat that doesn’t really have a name in the book. There were three hats in the beginning of the book that are Simple Baby Hats 1, 2 or 3. You chose 1, 2 or 3 based on the weight of yarn you were using. Then there was three different ideas of toppings to put on the hat: fleece strips, tulle strips or feathers. I loved the look of the tulle one – so girly! It was a fun quick knit that I did on my scrapbooking weekend. The pattern used is Simple Baby Hat 2 by Susan B. Anderson.

I blended a couple of patterns to make this headband. The flower is indeed knitted and not crocheted. I kind of prefer crocheted flowers. I will need to make another and crochet the flower. Not that this didn’t turn out cute. I am worried that this is going to look positively massive on a newborn sized head. I will have to aim to make the crocheted flower smaller too. The pattern for the headband is Spring Baby Headband by Amy Andersen. I do not know the name of the pattern that I used for the flower – I’m still trying to track it back down. (Sorry!)

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Part of the idea behind all these cute little newborn accessories is that my sister wanted some cute things that could possibly be used for newborn baby photos. We realized that Baby Girl would need a diaper cover or something that would look good with the cute hats and booties. I knit up this soaker pattern. It will be perfect for photos, but should not be used as a functional soaker. I used the wrong kind of yarn for it to be used functionally. A true soaker should be knit out of 100% wool. The wool naturally acts as a moisture barrier. I used a wool/acrylic blend that seemed much softer than the 100% wool yarns. The pattern used is Snapdragon Soaker by Heather Fox.

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I do have a few others things in the works for Baby Girl that I can’t talk about yet. One of them is quite large and I have been working on it for months now. The end is in sight for that one, but it will probably be the gift I bring to the hospital when I get to go meet Baby Girl. I have been starting to get excited about knitting something other than baby things. I’m thinking Minnie needs a cute knit top to wear when it finally warms up here in MN. I also bought a cute pattern book of clothes that would fit her American Girl dolls. I haven’t knit anything out of there yet. I had thought I would knit myself a winter headband to wear in lieu of my winter hat, but it is getting a little late in the year for that. My itchy fingers will have to wait a little bit longer!

Spring has been slow to arrive in Minnesota. The photo below is from April 4th. I am desperately hoping it was our LAST snow storm until we get back around to next winter.

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Until next time – Happy Spring (hopefully Mother Nature won’t torture us anymore!)

 

 

It’s Been A While

So, it’s been a while since I last posted…like a few months! Yikes! I’m not sure where the time went. Since I posted last work has been busy, school has ended for the school year, summer arrived, camping trips have commenced and two holidays have happened! I have thought a few times about writing up a new post and then before I could sit down and do it I got busy with other things and forgot. Sorry! I do have a fair amount of knitting to share!

I really wanted to make my kids’ amazing teachers great knitted gifts. I never manage to start in on these early enough though. Both teachers got homemade key chains from the kids along with a Target gift card and a small knitted item. I made both teachers the Heart Pin by Hannah Fettig. It was a quick and interesting little project. I was not totally thrilled with how they turned out, but was out of time to be too fussy. Both teacher seemed to like them though! (I heard Minnie’s teacher put it directly on and wore it for the rest of the day on their field trip!) Sorry, the quality of this photo is not great, it was taken on my phone and it is the only photo I ended up with.

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I finished some socks that had been languishing forever in the ‘almost done’ state. The trick was to ONLY take this project along on a car trip out-of-town. It was the only thing I had to work on, so naturally it was appealing. I love how these turned out. I am not a big fan of cold weather, but these will be fun to wear once fall comes around again. (These are the Traditional Gansey Socks by Wendy D. Johnson.)

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Upon finishing one of my unfinished pairs of socks I was reminded how much I do like knitting socks, but I tend to let myself get sidetracked when they are involved socks with lots of design and patterning. I have been hearing of the after-thought-heel in old podcasts of the Knitmore Girls Podcast that I’ve been catching up on and thinking…that might be the way to go. More or less you knit a big tube with ribbing at the top. You need to knit in some waste yarn where you plan to knit the heel in later and then do the normal decrease for the toe. I found a pattern with great directions and tried it out. I love it!! I have knit one sock of a pair for myself. I decided to start a pair for Minnie before finishing my pair, but in doing the math to figure out how many to cast on to make them her size I went too small. I have a baby sock instead of a Minnie-sized one. I have cast on once again for her and this one will fit…we have already tested it. Next…I need to figure out some patterns/designs to work into these quick plain socks…I’m thinking cables! (The pattern I’m using is the After Thought Heel Socks by Laura Linneman.)

I almost forgot about this one…I started this back in Mid-May when we went up to Breezy Point for the weekend. These are some mittens that I queued ages and ages ago and still love, so I finally took the plunge and cast them on. I love how they are turning out! (This pattern is Galileo Mittens by Laura Chau.)

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One of my biggest regrets right now is that my current job doesn’t allow me to knit at my desk when work is slow, like my previous job did. I would be getting tons of knitting done right now. Oh well, it just forces me to take the time in the evenings to make sure I get some knitting in. It would be nice to have more time though as I feel like I have so many projects going or that I need to start right now. I do have one other project in the works it is for Baby J’s 2nd birthday. He isn’t a baby anymore, maybe I’ll just start calling him Busy J. I can’t share it yet, but I will say that it is another project that I queued ages and ages ago on Ravelry and there is a certain satisfaction in finally getting around to knitting it for someone.

I will leave you will some of my favorite pictures from our summer so far. Hope your summer has been and continues to be wonderful!

Mystery Demystified

Well, my mystery project is finished and it has been gifted to the recipient, so I can share it now. My sister-in-law is currently on her first trip to her dream destination…London, England!! Back in the fall she asked me if I would make her a shawl she found and fell in love with in a Jane Austen Knits magazine. I agreed, but should have gotten the ball rolling on it right away. Skip to one month before her trip when I remembered it. At that point we determined I would probably not be able to finish the shawl for her without giving up sleep entirely for the next month. Feeling bad, I looked at knitting patterns on Ravelry, determined to find a pattern I COULD finish in the time I had left before she crossed the pond. I picked out a pattern I’d heard about on podcast I love. Paula from Knitting Pipeline is the designer of this pattern called Ellison Bay.  It is a gorgeous pattern. I had a great time knitting it. I’ve even had a few people ask me to make one for them too!

Here are photos of the shawl and of my sister-in-law wearing her shawl in London. The brooch she is wearing with it she bought at Portobello Market in Notting Hill! Jealous!!

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I finished another gift earlier this week. Booties for baby Gemma. I have always wanted to try the Saartje’s Booties pattern. I actually used a pattern which someone wrote based on the Saartje pattern but instead of knit flat you knit it in the round and inside out. I really detest knitting things flat if it is something I can knit in the round. I’m glad Kris Stanton figured this out and shared her pattern: Saartje’s Booties the Bockstark Way. Hopefully Baby Gemma will get some use out of them this spring!

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I started on another pattern that I found in my book, Sock Yarn One Skein Wonders. It is a quick one. It is called Ruby Begonia Sunglasses Sock. I have a case for my sunglasses, but it takes up entirely too much room in my purse. This one will keep my sunglasses from getting all scratched up, but is also skinny. I am using some yarn that I purchased online and was really unhappy with the colors compared to how they were shown online. The colors are turning out better than I thought they would.

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We are SLOWLY moving into spring here in Minnesota. I’m hoping we are really and truly done with snow. Our yard has almost no snow left! I have never been so happy to see so much ugly brown grass. What a change from last year. Last year on Easter morning our photos were taken out in our lush green yard. Here is one from this year, inside since we still had a lot of snow.

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Happy Spring!!

New Stuff

Sometimes too much freedom is not a good thing. After finishing all my projects with deadlines I went a little crazy starting up new projects. I don’t think it is bad to have lots of projects going, but I clearly have project ADD, or something. If I spent as much time finishing projects as I did casting new ones on I would have more completed projects to show. Oh well….it has been a very exciting few weeks of knitting with all the new projects.

We went out-of-town last weekend. One of my favorite things about going out-of-town is all the knitting time in the car and preparing for it. I wound many skeins of yarn last Friday night. In my opinion there is nothing better than winding yarn! Naturally I wound more yarn than I needed for last weekend…but I went to bed stress free!

I did start-up some socks with a skein of my Sunshine Sock Yarn. I think I knit this sock faster than any other sock I’ve ever knit (just 8 days.) I picked the color way Tonks from my stash. I kind of liked how it looked better in the skein than knit up…but it is a lot of fun! I can imagine that these will be my favorite socks to pull on in the winter when I get home from work and put on my sweats. I used the pattern Hermione’s Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder. The only change I made to the pattern was that I used black for the cuff, heel and toe just to break up this bright yarn a bit. I’m looking forward to knitting the second one.

I could just gloss over this project, but I’ll be honest. I cast on a cowl with my pretty Malabrigo on our ride up north last Saturday and have since frogged it (for those non-knitters frogged means I took it apart and rewound the ball of yarn.)  I was working on the Sofia Cowl by Jessie Dotson. It is a lovely pattern and I fully intend to try it again…maybe with different yarn. I had trouble remembering to always pass the slipped stitch over the stitches knitted together on the lace rows and it caused problems. I discovered a few rows in that things were off track. I kept going for a bit but really if I’m unhappy with my knitting, ignoring the problem isn’t going to help it. Sigh.

Despite all I have going on I joined a knitting group on Ravelry called American Girl Knitters and then joined their June KAL (Knit a Long). So today finished the first half of the assignment for the June KAL. It is a hat called Belle by Deb Denair, It turned out totally cute and I’m excited to cast on for Kimana by Deb Denair. The fun thing about knitting doll clothes is that they are so quick and they make Minnie happy!

Now, I need to reign myself back in again and finish up at least some of what I have on the needles right now.

This night owl needs to get to bed! So, until next time…happy knitting!

Addicted!!!

I love when I find a pattern that is truly amazing! While I have worked on both the Traditional Gansey Socks and the Lintilla this week, I knew it was time to start something new too. The more variety I give myself with my knitting the better I seem to do with it. Odd, I know. I’ve been wanting to do another shawl with some lace elements since I finished the Multnomah, so I looked in my Ravelry queue and picked a pattern to start. I chose the Shaelyn shawl by Leila Raabe. I cast on for it Sunday evening. Two evenings later I’m almost through the whole first skein of yarn. It is the kind of knitting I love most  – Addicting!! I have a hard time setting it aside and moving onto anything else. I keep wanting to knit another row to see the lace pattern emerging. I am using yarn by Quince and Company. It is excellent yarn! I’m very impressed with it.


I still want to start one more thing…I’m not sure what yet. I found a new pattern that I’m interested in for my Malabrigo yarn…(Commuter Fingerless Mitts)

Or maybe some socks so I can use some of my Sunshine Yarns sock yarn! Or maybe a pattern that incorporates beads…

Here is an updated picture of the Eloping wedding garter with the elastic sewn in. It is cinched up a bit more, but not too much.

The dress for Minnie’s new American Girl Doll was a hit! (And the dress I knit for it.) I think knitting more doll clothes will be in my future.

Clearly I have more ambition for knitting projects than I have time to accomplish them all. We are going out of town for Memorial Weekend and I’m thrilled to have many hours of car time in which to knit!

The last thing I want to mention is that the Ravelry design contest has ended. The design that I liked best (outside my own) Won!! I’m excited and plan to buy a project bag! Thank you Ravelry administrators for such a fun contest! And congrats to ALL who entered, it is amazing how many talented people there are on Ravelry!

Until next time…may you enjoy your favorite hobby!

My Design!

Round one of the Ravelry design contest has ended. My design did not make it into the second and final round. I knew as soon as I saw the range of options in round one that I would not get to the next round. There are so many amazing designers who submitted to this contest! I still had a fabulous time working on this. It reminded me of why I love designing even though I don’t currently get to do very much of it. I said I’d share my design here when the contest was over. The contest is not quite over; voting for round two is going on right now…so go vote! Since mine is not in the final round I’m ready to share it here!

Really quickly, for anyone reading this who has no idea what Ravelry is I should promote it a bit! Ravelry is like facebook for knitters and crocheters. It is a social media/organization site for anyone involved in the fiber arts. I think it is a fabulous site and would recommend it highly to anyone who has a love for knitting/crocheting/spinning/dying/or just yarn in general. By the way, should you come join friend me. My username on Ravelry is GreenEyed79.

Go Vote! Ravelry Design Contest

If you are a member on the knitting/crocheting/spinning website Ravelry I urge you to go vote in the current design contest. The Ravelry website is celebrating five years of being on-line and invited its members to create an original design to print on new project bags. The theme is, “A Ravelry Celebration.” The rules and guidelines associated with the contest are available on the website. As an avid member of this website and someone who has a background in design I enthusiastically participated in this contest. Voting started today on the 234 entries (wowza)! Each member can cast one vote which is due by midnight on May 15th. This is round one in the voting and may go onto subsequent rounds if necessary. There are so many outstanding entries! I do not expect to win, but had fun working on my design anyway. After the winner is chosen maybe I will share which one is mine. Happy voting!!

(I borrowed this picture from the Ravelry site. It is a cool picture they did incorporating all of the design entries…by the way, I have an unobstructed view of my entry!!)