Repurposed Piano

As excited as I have been to finally post about this … I have been procrastinating. I wanted this post it to be as perfect as the subject matter is. I’m not sure why I’m being mysterious about it, if you are friends with me on Facebook or Ravelry you’ve already heard. So…here it goes.

I have received the ultimate gift one can give a knitter (outside of unlimited purchasing power at the yarn store of their choosing.) For my 35th birthday, which was last weekend, my husband gave me a beautiful, one of a kind, and extremely special to me yarn hutch/cabinet / thingy (I’m unsure what to call this piece of furniture to fully do it justice.) Here is the story of how it came to be.

2014_0814AA

When I was a kid we had a crappy old piano in the basement. I taught myself how to play from my Mom’s old piano books until she signed me up for piano lessons. I enjoyed that horrible old piano until I graduated and moved out of the house. Many years down the road I was married and my parents were looking to get the piano out of their house, so it came to my house. I played it some, but mostly it was just another piece of furniture for me to put knickknacks on. Many more years down the road my husband starts asking if we can get the piano out of our house. No one really uses it and it takes up an awful lot of space. The piano held a lot of sentimental value for me, but he was right. There was no real reason to keep hanging onto it. (Even if my kids ever really pushed to take piano lesson I also have a hugely awesome Casio keyboard they could learn on.) I put the word out that we had free piano up for the taking. Probably not surprisingly, no one wanted a piano that has been out of tune longer than I’ve been alive. I was about to list it on Craigslist and see what happened when my husband started suggesting taking it apart and making something new out of the pieces. (I think originally this idea horrified me more than just giving it to someone else to enjoy.) Eventually I agreed and watched sadly as MY piano became many bits and pieces. For months he worked on this thing in the garage. Originally he was building this as a piece of furniture for his home theater, but when the basic structure was finished and he tried it out down there he knew it didn’t fit. I have been hinting/nagging for years that he should build me some sort of storage unit for all my yarn. (Because lots of baskets and bins stacked in the corner of the living is not really a great or attractive system.) He liked the idea but always kind of put it at the bottom of the list. It seems like fate that MY piano would transform into MY yarn cabinet. I am in love with sitting next to it (and all my yarn in it) and knitting in the evenings.(I should note that not ALL my yarn fits in here. Yet) I am so amazed at my husband’s ability to build things. I don’t understand where he gets it from or how his brain works to make marvelous things like this come to life. It was fun to watch him work on this and really amazing to see the finish product.(Thank you for letting me brag about my amazing gift and my husband who built this for me.)

Part of me wants to leave this as a stand alone post like it deserves, but I do have some finished knitting. I finished the Hooded Baby Sweater with Back Zipper for Baby Girl. I have even hand sewn in the zipper and handed it over to my Mom to machine sew it in more firmly (that is usually the part I procrastinate on.) I also finished the hat I bought not one, but two knitting books to get the pattern for Baby Girl. It is Bunny Tail by Susan B. Anderson. I actually first knit the ears with the yarn held double for the inner ear, but it made the ears too heavy and flop forward. (I included one photo below that shows the hat when it had one of each type of ear I tried.) I took them apart and just knit the ears with the one color. They are still way cute! I also knit two other baby items. My sister’s friend is having her first child and my sister asked if I’d knit something for her to gift to this new little girl. I did some Saartje’s Booties…but in the round! Someone took this great pattern and made it in the round, which is genius! I so much prefer knitting things in the round. I also knit Mini Tearsa by Taiga Hilliard. My niece is modeling the items for her  new friend who will be born shortly. I do have some new things on my needles, but I’ll wait and post those soon in a new post!

If you read this whole thing you are amazing – thanks!

I can’t believe how fast summer has flown by. A few short weeks and we’ll be back to school! Enjoy the rest of your summer!

 

 

Advertisements

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.

DSCF2207

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!)

DSCF2220

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.

DSCF2206

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.

10178077_10203298685130134_1719379286_n

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

 

 

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!!

collage_2013-04-07_20-06-14

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!

DSCF1770

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.

DSCF1774

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.

DSCF1762

Happy Spring!!