When I was about 8 months pregnant, I started knitting a simple shawl. Mainly, I started this to have something to focus on. The thought was that I’d use it as a cover up when nursing in public. I really enjoyed the process of knitting this shawl – very relaxing. Unfortunately, I chose the wrong size needles. I did extra repeats to make the shawl bigger – so size isn’t the problem. The stitches are pretty tight, though, and not at all drapey. Because it is so dense, it doesn’t wrap nicely around my neck.
My textured shawl
But, this shawl did not go to waste. I have been using it a lot as a baby blanket! The triangular shape works really well for a baby blanket, if you ask me. It is easy to wrap him up. It hangs nicely over the edges of the stroller or car seat. And it is very soft and warm so he loves how it feels.
I will most definitely plan to make a triangular baby blanket as a gift in the future.
I needed a break from my never-ending Christmas gift and decided to knit a chemo hat for a coworker. I was told that she likes owls and that purple is her favorite color. So here’s what I came up with:
Super-soft Owl Hat
Pretty cute, eh!?
The hat needed to be soft as it will be worn next to bare skin. I spent a while searching for various cashmere yarns and finally decided on Trendsetter Kashmir (which is 65% cashmere and 35% silk). I thought it would be perfect for the owl hat pattern. This yarn is so so soft – I wish I had a big blankie made from it. For some reason, I thought I’d only need one ball for the hat but, alas, I needed to purchase a second ball. The first ball ran out just before starting the decreases. Oh well, I’ll just have to figure out what to make with just over 3/4 of a ball of this luxury yarn.
So I took a bit of a leave of absence from blogging. My maternity leave ended at the start of January and I’ve been pretty busy since going back to work. I’m popping in today to get caught up.
In addition to going back to work, I also took on another job – Daisy girl scout leader. My troop is made up of 16 kindergarten girls. Although we only meet once every three weeks, it is pretty time consuming for me. It has been pretty enjoyable so far.
Ava gets her pins during our first meeting.
As for crafting, I’ve only been doing a little bit of knitting. In fact, I still have one outstanding Christmas gift! I’ve been plugging away at it little by little but now that the end is in sight, I’m afraid that I’m going to run out of yarn. Fingers crossed!
I wonder how long she will be this interested in her little brother. For now, she’s infatuated.
Miss A needed a new hat now that the weather is getting cool. I used this as an excuse to head over to one of the two new yarn stores by my house. She came with me and picked out some Lorna’s Laces Shepherd’s Worsted. The color she picked as called Pilsen and is brown with shades of pink (and a bit of purple). She was also nice enough to humor me as we looked around the store.
Miss A's and Her New Hat
Although the yarn’s weight was off, I decided to make Ripley by Ysolda Teague. It is such a cute pattern and fun to knit. I love how the pleats give it the perfect amount of slouch. She looks so stylish and I don’t even have to fuss with her hat. I made the version with more slouch and the lacy brim.
I’m also thinking about making a matching neck warmer with the lacy edging and maybe some mittens. I’ll have to head back to the store to get some more yarn. Too bad
The new yarn stores, by the way, are:
Michigan Custom Boutique & Fine Yarns in downtown Plymouth, MI. They have a rather pitiful website but the shop is lovely.
Center Street Knits in downtown Northville, MI. Their website is here and this shop is also very lovely.
Both of theses are 100x better than the other shop that is close to me (and now I don’t have to go there again!).
I started working on this pattern some time ago. I was nearly ready to release it when I became pregnant. After that, there was always one thing or another that prevented me from finishing up the pattern, getting it tested, and releasing it on the Knitzi.com website. I tried really hard to finish up before the baby arrived, but alas, that did not happen. Now, a month later, the pattern is available.
Because I feel bad for making people wait so long (there has been a great deal of interest in the pattern based on the photos posted earlier) that I decided to offer the pattern for free for a short period. Get it while the getting is good. Just head over to Knitzi.com to get it for free until November 14.
Thomasina Toe Design
In general, my sock philosophy is “little work for big pay off.” I love patterns that have elegant complexity despite a simple techniques and stitch patterns. Thomasina was designed to show off a semi-solid yarn – the simple lace will show up nicely with a nearly solid colored yarn while the stockinette sections offer a canvas for the subtle beauty of the yarn. The lace panels are very easily memorized – mindless knitting – but the designed toe and heel offer something a little more spicy. The novice could easily substitute a plain toe and heel and still have an stunning sock to show off.
So get the pattern and give it a try. I’d love to see what you do with it!
Here is the other halloween costume in our house:
You got a preview of the Halloween costume, here. I was able to finish every before the baby was born (except for the coordinating candy bag – I’ll make that tonight).
I’ve made her costume every year except the first one. That year, she was about 7 months old and dressed as an octopus. Since then, she has been: a lamb, a princess, a butterfly, a pirate, and this year she is Batgirl. She asked for a store-bought costume for next year. What a stinker.
We looked around for lots of Batgirl pictures before designing the costume. I must say that there are a lot that aren’t appropriate are a 5 year old. Eventually, we picked an inspiration photo and got working.
I hit the fabric store with a vague idea of what I wanted. I found the shiny, stretchy purple fabric right away and knew it was perfect. From there, I just added a bunch of accents. I used one of her summer dresses as a template then made 2 layers – the shiny purple (a bit see through and not very warm) and a black jersey lining. The cape was a bit of a disaster – I’m not going to talk about it
She asked for a knitted hat. I found a great pattern to go with the costume the whipped up some matching fingerless mitts to tie it all together. I really like the idea of knitting costume components – she is sure to be warm!
I can’t wait to hear what she wants to be next year!
Well, that wasn’t very nice of me to set up a new blog then go silent for a month, was it. Fortunately, I have a good excuse. On September 28, my son was born: Colin Jeremy. Since then, I’ve been pretty occupied with my motherly duties (and some knitting here and there!).
Here are a couple pictures of him modeling his knitwear:
1 day old, wearing his knit hat. Perfect fit!
Toasty warm in his tweedy wool and alpaca blankie.
He has to grow into the rest of the things I knit for him as I made them on the larger size. I do need to make him a new hat now – that little blue one is already a bit small.
Her plan, for nearly a year now, has been to be Bat Girl for halloween. I’ve been working frantically the past few days to get the costume made before the new baby arrives. I’ve got 3 days left to finish it up. The rest of the work if fairly minor so I should be able to do it. Here is a sneak preview:
Here are the details:
Pattern: Amelia Earhart Aviator Cap
Yarn: Rowan Wool Silk in Velvet Purple. DK weight.
Needles: Size 6 to make it small enough for a 5 year old head.
Mods: Just the smaller needles and of course, the bat-ears.
As for the costume, here is my todo list:
- Make gloves (knitted to match the hat – one down, one to go)
- Make mask
- Add wrist straps to the cape
- Make a matching candy collection bag
Plenty of time!
Miss A had her first day of kindergarten last week. She’s been waiting for this for a looong time and she’s really enjoying herself. Surprisingly, her favorite part is riding the bus. Here she is:
Miss A on her first day
She has been having a hard time recounting the day’s events for me so I started asking for just 3 things about her day at school. It has been working like a charm… and I usually get more than 3. Today’s were:
- The bus driver had to yell at the noisy kids on the bus.
- The teacher got out the book box and everyone got to pick out some books to read.
- They went out on the playground today and played “Shark.” Some boys and girls got to be the shark and everyone else ran away.
Yesterday, she brought home a drawing from her first art class. It was of a fairy wearing sun glasses, a coconut bra, and a grass skirt. She was on her way to the beach. Sounds good to me!
I decided to start keeping my own, general purpose, blog rather than the shared knitting blog that I’d been participating in for years – Good-Natured Ribbing. I did import all my old posts to have them all on one place.
So, soon you’ll be hearing more about my other crafty endeavors, my family, and my various escapades. Welcome and enjoy!
Recently, a coworker asked me to make her a pair of mittens and didn’t really have any preferences. She just wanted them to be warm. After searching through many mitten pattern, and deciding on several different ones, I decided to let the yarn be my guide. I spent a good hour at the yarn store looking at all the different wooly yarn, waiting to be inspired. I didn’t quite get the inspiration I needed, but I couldn’t pass up the Shepherd’s Wool: so soft and great colors (made in Michigan, too!).
I spent a little time swatching and more time searching for patterns and finally selected Chevalier. These are mittens I’ve always really wanted for myself but never got around to it. It is a good thing my friend has smaller hands than me, or I would have a hard time giving these up!
Because “warm” was the only requirement, I knew I had to do a little something extra. Having recently finished my Fiddlehead mittens, I was armed with a new technique of lining mittens (and enjoying the results every day!). I decided that lining these mittens was the right way to go. In order to make this work nicely, I used the i-cord cast on, just like Fiddlehead. This give you a place to pick up and start knitting the liner without it showing.
Pattern: Chevalier Mittens
Yarn: Shepherd’s Wool in Midnight Lake for the outer and ggh Kid Melange for the inner
Needles: Size 5 US for the outer and 4 US for the inner
Modifications: Replaced the standard cast on with an i-cord cast on; added fuzzy warm liner
So I’m a little slow with the photos
Details: Artyarns Ultramerino4, Size 1 dpn, toe up, magic cast on, 60 sts, wrap/turn short row heel, increase to 64 sts before 2×2 ribbing.
They pooled like crazy and the color is a bit muddy but they feel great. I’ll definitely use the yarn again if I can find it in a solid or semi-solid color.