Friday, February 20, 2015

Frozen in February

Winter seems to become a whole different animal once you have kids. I have definitely never been a fan, preferring to stay anywhere warm than brave the cold. Now, however, it's even more difficult to want to go out, not only because I have to get an extra person ready, but also because that extra person is a squirmy little girl with very little communication skills.

Gone are the days of throwing a coat and scarf on, grabbing gloves and a hat and running out the door. It no longer takes 2 minutes to get out the door, it takes a minimum of 20 and all because we've added a little person to the equation. A little person who, by the way, rips every hat off her bald little head the second it gets put on, and behaves as if I'm pouring boiling water over her hands rather than just simply trying to put mittens on her.

So I've abandoned all hope of putting mittens on her, she will actually gnaw on them like a rabid animal if I try. I do continue to fight the good fight, even if Eliza thinks winter clothes border on child abuse, and in trying to make it a little less painful for us both I've made her an adorable hat and scarf to wear.

Notice her hand going to pull the hat off. I'm pretty sure she's sticking her tongue out at me too.

The hat I have made literally dozens of times. If I need to, I can make one start to finish in a single day, and it's the perfect baby gift. I now know from experience that you get a hat with every other outfit you are gifted when you have a baby and that zero of them actually fit the baby. This one is perfect every time, the ribbing makes it snug without being too tight and if it's too short then you don't have to turn the brim up.

The scarf is a new pattern, but worked up just as fast as the hat. I bought the awesome yarn at a local yarn shop on my way home from work on a Thursday and knit them both as Valentines Day gifts for Eliza by Saturday. I really love how everything turned out and have already gotten many complements on them.

They're still not as cute as my model though. :)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Look What I Made!

 Yup! I made that all by myself! Well, the blanket anyway ;)
I used this Simple Lines pattern and a really nice wool, silk, cashmere blend yarn instead of getting crazy with something complicated. It's wonderfully soft but not machine washable. Oops.

I also made the hat Eliza came home from the hospital in, flower accessories compliments of Grandma since we had no idea she was a girl before she was born! 

I must say it may be even fewer and far between blog posts now that Eliza is here as I have my hands full of baby and not knitting for now. Who know a little one was so time consuming! Hahaha...

Friday, October 25, 2013

Blake's Boats

Well, Megan's due date has come and gone and we are all still waiting to hold that baby, no one more anxiously than Megan herself, I know! If willing a baby to come could make him get here we would have met Blake 3 weeks ago, we're all so excited for his arrival. As for me, my excitement was put to the task of finally finishing his blanket which, when it wasn't done before the shower, I promised Megan I would definitely finish before he is born.

So I'll share it here while I wait to wrap my sweet nephew in it.

Knowing I wanted to make something original and unique I decided to create a pattern to be double-knit which would make the blanket double sided. I love the way it turned out and am happy to share the pattern with whomever would like to knit something equally special for a little boy in your life.

Blake's Boats

Needles - Size 6 circular and 14" size 6 needles
Yarn - 1000 yards each of 2 contrasting colors
           MC = main color
           CC = contrasting color
            *The MC will change depending on which side of the blanket you are working on.

The double knitting is pretty easy to get the hang of once you get into it, but the cast on can be pretty tricky so I recommend this video as a tutorial for getting started. You'll need to get familiar with the kitchener stitch to bind off the blanket so use this video to learn that if you're not sure or like me, need a refresher.

Using the double knit cast on and the 14" needles, cast on 150 stitches of each color, this will give you 150 stitches on each needle and a total of 300 stitches. From here on out I will refer to the work as having 150 stitches so assume that "one stitch" (ie. K1) actually includes 2 stitches; one from each of the RS and WS of the work.
With the circular needle start knitting the cast on stitches. The color on the needle closest to you is the RS and should get knit first (make sure the WS color was cast on last).

ROWS 1-6 - Hold both yarns to the back of the work and knit RS stitch, pull both yarns to the front and purl WS stitch. Finish the row alternating between RS and WS making sure not to get the yarns twisted.

Note: when you start a new row, cross your yarns first to make sure the sides get closed up. If you forget to do this you will have to go back or find a way to sew up the sides of the blanket later!

Before you start working the pattern, you should separate a handful of your stitches over your tail yarn by alternating putting them on two size 6 needles so you can weave in your ends. When you start working in pattern the two sides of the work will not separate. Keep this in mind as you join new balls of yarn.

ROWS 7-18 - Follow the wave pattern.

ROWS 19-24 - Knit 6 rows of basic stockinette.
ROWS 25-42 - K3 with MC, Follow the boat pattern, K3 with MC

Border pattern:

ROWS 43-46 - Knit 4 rows of basic stockinette.
ROWS 47-50 - K7 with MC, knit to last 7 stitches with CC, K7 with MC
ROWS 51-53 - K7 with MC, K3 with CC, knit with MC to last 10 stitches, K3 with CC, K7 with MC
ROWS 54-55 - K7 with MC, K3 with CC, K2 with MC, knit with CC to last 12 stitches, K2 with MC, K3 with CC, K7 with MC.

ROW 56 - K7 with MC, K3 with CC, K2 with MC, K1 with CC, knit with MC to last 13 stitches, K1 with CC, K2 with MC, K3 with CC, K7 with main color.

Repeat row 56 until blanket measures approx. 30 inches from the beginning. Work border and boat & wave patterns backwards till the end of the blanket.
Separate RS from WS stitches onto your 14" size 6 needles and use the kitchener stitch to close the end.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Big Snowy Owl

A while ago (I think this is how most of my posts are going to start for a while as I get caught up). So a while ago I decided to make Lilly another knitted animal. Last Christmas I made her a giraffe and it was a huge hit, or at least I was proud of it, I don't know how much it gets played with, but that doesn't bother me so much. So I wanted to make something else. I'm not sure of the exact order of events, if I saw Purl Soho's Big Snowy Owl pattern and just had to make it, or if I desired to knit another animal and then found the pattern. I'm sure it's not important.

Now the only thing that caused me to hesitate with this project was the scale. This owl is HUGE!!! Take a look at him hanging out with a (live) cat.

So it seemed that if I followed the directions, the owl would be even bigger than Lilly is, so I did what I always seem to do, I adjusted. I really don't seem to be able to leave well enough alone when I get my hands on, and commit to, a pattern but I followed the directions as written only using size 9 DPN's instead of 15 the pattern called for. Honestly, another reason to use smaller needles was the stash yarn I used. The smaller needles were better for the Lion Brand Fisherman's wool I had on hand and that's an important consideration when you decide to modify a pattern. I wasn't looking to knit a lace owl with stuffing hanging out of it.

As you can see, smaller needles made Mr. Owl a much more manageable (and little-arm huggable) size.

He was so cute, I had to made a second owl for Megan and Blake's baby shower. Lilly got the white owl, Blake got a brown owl, and not to be left out, Baby D will be getting a grey owl. When I get around to it...

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Good News

So I'm back. Yes, it has been since April. Yes I have lots of projects to share. But first, I'd like to share some exciting news... we're expecting!!!

It has been a long journey filled with heartbreak, hormones, and finally triumph and I won't bore you with the details because what matters is as of today I am 26 week down, 14 to go, and still a bit disoriented by the fact that we are finally going to be parents! I know everyone's path through life and more specifically to becoming parents, is completely different as we all make different choices and have different hurdles to overcome, so I don't necessarily feel that our experience was any harder or easier than anyone else's, but for us, it was a trying time. The only advice I can offer is that God is faithful, He has a plan, and some days the only thing that kept me from falling apart was knowing that God was in control.

One day when I was particularly discouraged I was driving home, upset and mentally trying to sort through my emotions, when I pulled up behind a car at a red light and noticed its vanity plate. Nahum 17 it said. I knew that Nahum was a book of the bible, but he is a minor prophet and from what I knew of those Old Testament books, minor prophets are short, sweet, and no more then a few chapters each. Being the sleuth I was I deduced that this was not Nahum 17 but Nahum 1:7. Honestly, by putting this car in my path that day God accomplished 2 things; He got my attention and distracted me from my pity party, and He encouraged me. When I got home and was able to look up the verse it said "The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him.".

I will get back to posting my knitting projects soon, and I won't promise to be consistent or frequent because we all know how that will go. I do however, have lots to share so I WILL be back!

I pray today you find the encouragement you need and take comfort in knowing that God is in control.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Honey Cowl for Megan

I finished Megan's replacement scarf a couple of weeks ago but had been too busy to post it here until now. The pattern is the fabulous Honey Cowl I found on Ravelry and had started making on my day off last month.

Rather then knit in a single color like the original pattern shows, I decided to edge her's in purple so it had a little more life and I really like how it came out. A little pop of color to break up the off-white of the rest of the scarf. I also added about 20 stitches when I cast on making it about 6 inches longer so it wasn't quite so snug around her neck.

I love the finished project, and I think Megan does too! I don't know if it's fortunate or not, but we're still having some bi-polar spring weather here and I think she'll be able to get some use out of it before the warm weather really shows up. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

So Long Shrugs

I really like shrugs. They're the halfway house between "I'm bored with scarves" and "I think I can make a sweater". I have made several in my almost 4 years of knitting, including a purple one worn to my sister's engagement party two years ago.

The first one I ever made was red and so easy to make. It was just a square that got sewn together at either end to make the sleeves.

I also made these two from the same pattern, although the sizing was a bit off. The white one I made first and was so tiny I couldn't even get it on to model it for pictures. I gave it to a friend's daughter and then had to make the blue one one for her older daughter.

That one I was able to squeeze on for a picture but what you probably can't tell is I am losing feeling in my fingers because the shrug is cutting off the circulation in my arms.

I have several more shrugs in my favorites at Ravelry, but I think I'm going to have to make them for other people or else not at all. The reason you ask? I have no shoulders. There, I said it. At 5'-5" I am a "normal" size, but I have a very petite frame and shoulders that can't even hold my purse straps, let alone an article of clothing meant to be held up solely by them.

It makes me a little sad, because they are easy to make and a really nice layer to add on a fall day when you need a little added warmth. Or, as I've used them before, a great addition to a strapless or summer dress to make it a little more weather appropriate when it's cooler out. Perhaps someday I'll have to find and/or design one that will fit me well, but for now, I think I'll let them remain in other people's queues.