Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Quick Little Baby Snowdrop Hat

Hubby's cousin had his first baby, a little girl, over the weekend. We can't wait to meet her and so in the meantime I thought I'd knit a little hat! I purchased a bunch of baby-esque yarn prior to Goose being born so I was able to raid my stash for the little bits this hat needs.

It was super easy to knit up. I started it last night after dinner and with some knitting then, some more at the park today and a bit over naptime and voila! I'm done!

Yarn: The pink is a DK weight as it's what I had on hand. If I had worsted I would go down a needle size for the ribbing. Upper level yarns are both worsted.

Needles: size 5 DPNs

Cast on 64 stitches in first CC
Rows 1-10: *K2, P2* repeat to end, break yarn
Rows 11-12: Knit MC
Row 13, 17, 21: *K1(MC), K1(CC)* repeat to end of row
Rows 14, 16, 18, 20, 22: Knit (MC)
Rows 15, 19, 23: *K1(CC), K1(MC)* repeat to end of row
Row 24: Knit (MC)
Row 25: Knit (CC)
Row 26: *K6, K2Tog* to end
Row 27: Knit
Row 28: *K5, K2Tog* to end
Row 29: Knit
Row 30: *K4, K2Tog* to end
Row 31: Knit
Row 32: *K3, K2Tog* to end
Row 33: Knit
Row 34: *K2, K2Tog* to end
Row 35: Knit
Row 36: *K1, K2Tog* to end
Row 37: Knit
Row 38:*K2Tog* to end
Cut tail, thread through rem stitches and weave in all ends. Add pom pom!

I feel like it may be a little small. Definitely a newborn hat though I was shooting for more of a 0-3month. I know that my babies could never wear newborn hats with their big bowling ball heads! Next time I'd cost on at least 72 stitches and another repeat of snowdrop stitches.

Also, all the yarn is acrylic. Ech. Like 100% acrylic. The white and sandstone aren't too bad but the pink is super squeaky. I think it's good for a baby hat because there's nothing to itch her but if I were buying yarn for this project I'd look for something soft and wooly and squeak-less. I think I'll make Chipmunk a hat next with the same pattern but not

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Lilly Pulitzer Baby Quilt

First, I apologize for these photos. I was on my way out the door to give it to my friend and realized I hadn't photographed it yet. iPhone + toddler trying to roll on it does not equal great photos.

A dear friend (and the only who shares my passion for all things fabric) Loves. loves. loves Lilly Pulitzer. Like lives it, breathes it, hoardes it, and sells it online (here!). Before her I thought it was just a line of dresses that looked vaguely Floridian. Since meeting her I'm pretty good at identifying "Lilly" from a (short) distance and I've grown to appreciate the designers affinity for pairing wild animals and alcoholic beverages. I also have access to a huge stash of Lilly scraps that collectors would probably give their right arm for.

When my friend told me she was pregnant with her second and planning a nautical nursery I knew that I had to get my hands on those scraps.

(Wow these colors above are way off! And super blurry!) I found the pattern for the sailboats from PieceByNumbers on Etsy.

Another thing about my friend... she loves color and pattern. Like loves it nearly as much as she loves Lilly. I had to audition 3 bright pinks before her before she agreed that the one I used for the binding wasn't "neutral"! So I used as many patterned fabrics as I could and prayed that it wasn't too "neutral" or too crazy.

When Cotton and Steele debuted we were a wee bit obsessed so that obviously had to make it in there. And then I snagged whale fabric at my LQS and even though it didn't seem like a good fit at first I really love how it gives the lower sea some depth.

Free motion quilting was, as always, a pain. I actually love doing it and I love the effect, but I'm terrible at it. I don't know if it's my skills (probably) or my machine (probably not) but I'm constantly breaking thread and making beautiful little nests on the back of the quilt. It seems I've tried every needle and thread weight under the sun but it always ends up the same.

I love these fish. They were a last minute addition and I was inspired by a quilt photo I can't find anymore so I slapped together a paper template myself which explains why they are a bit wonky.

I hope she likes it!!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Sunshine Quilt

When I started this I had some sort of bizarre dream that I would be peacefully finishing up the handquilting while in the maternity ward after Chipmunk was born. I think because I spent 5 boring days at the hospital with Goose that the same would happen. Instead, I was beyond exhausted at the end so there was no energy for quilting, then she was a week late and we spent less than 48 hours in the hospital. Poof! Dreams were gone.

Then it was a rush to finish quilting it because I forgot how freakin exhausting the first months are and she was a good sleeper even early on!

So the quilt that I started in January so that I would have some sunshine during an otherwise gray and seemingly unending winter... was finished in July. Whoops.

And then of course I couldn't find the photos I took and had to sheepishly ask my cousin to send me some. I'm sure that didn't sound narcissistic at all!

I love how wrinkly a hand quilted quilt can get!

Goose's Fishy Hat

After Chipmunk's stocking I had a new love of knitting. Unlike quilting I didn't need to hole myself up in a sewing room covered in threads and with little bits of fabric strewn everywhere. I could binge watch Netflix with the hubs, have coffee with my girlfriends or kill time at a doctor's appointment while being productive.

While looking through patterns on Craftsy, I found this adorable fish hat . I had similar colors in the stash of yarn I've slowly accumulated for various craft projects and thought I'd give it a go.

A few things: I was still trying to figure out a stranding technique: how to hold the yarn so it didn't pull, when to twist it, how to read a pattern-- all foreign to me. Thank god for YouTube. And the pattern designer, Lisa McFetridge, told me I picked a difficult project for my first stranding. Which makes me feel equal parts crazy and proud!

Also, gauge meant nothing to me. Check the gauge? That must be like pinning when sewing... Useless. Turns out it's not terribly useless at all. Different yarns, different needles, different knitters all end up with different gauges. Lesson learned. (Woof, look at that mess down below! Full disclosure here...)

Then there's that whole "measure the head" thing. Why in the world did I think Goose would fit into a youth size hat?? My dear 2.5 year old who comes from a family of large noggins, who had always been off the charts head size, who can't wear turtleneck shirts, who has never fit into a toddler size hat....sure lets make him a youth size hat.

So the technique was a work in progress, the gauge is a bit small and luckily I switched to an adult cast on before I started though I had only printed a chart for the youth size printed out and had to ad-lib a bit.

It's tight. Like let's- you-a-hair-cut-and-hope-that-makes-it-fit-better-tight. Again, the pattern designer came to the rescue and suggested steam blocking. So I'm going to cross my fingers this isn't acrylic (I really don't think it is?) and give it a go!

I've now attempted two more stranded colorwork (I don't even know if I'm throwing this terms around correctly!) hats that have been much, much, much more successful. I can't wait to get them up here to redeem myself :)

And as a side note...

Chipmunk woke up for an early morning snack at 5am today. I stupidly took that nursing time to look on Ravelry which got the wheels spinning which means I didn't fall back asleep. Today is going to be rough, but this cool, misty, almost-autumn morning with a zebra mug full of hot tea, a lap full of quilt, and a house full of sleeping family is my One Moment and I'm loving it. Thanks for indulging a little Pinterest inspired moment. I feel like I should throw in #blessed or something... :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Chipmunk's Christmas Stocking

As kids we had the most amazing(-ly tacky) stockings. My mom ordered them all hand knit for me, my siblings and my cousins. I was pretty sure they were the best thing ever and they have been faithfully holding our goodies from Santa ever since.

Ready for this photo of 80s goodness?

Fast forward a whole bunch of years and I had been married for a year and realized it was time to get the hubs a good stocking. Lo and behold, my knitter friend found the same pattern and whipped up one for him!

The following year Goose came along, and my knittery friend had a little one of her own, so I trolled Etsy and found someone to make me one.

Last year I dug out my siblings stockings and put together this Christmasy delight:

So earlier this summer I went looking for that seller only to find that she no longer has a shop. Not good. Other sellers made the same pattern but it was going to set me back $100. Understandable for a hand knit treasure but I had a hard time ponying up that much for such tackiness. 

My next thought was an obvious one: I can do stockinette stitch so how hard can this be? I found the pattern on Mary Maxim and got to work.

There was lots frogging (like how I throw around knitting terms? It means ripping out.. Rip-it, rip-it... Get it??!). And research on intarsia vs stranding. I went with a (poor) intarsia job.

But I learned a lot: how to do multiple colors, mattress stitch, duplicate stitch, weaving ends (which apparently I didn't do) and how much I dislike knitting with acrylic yarn. And this is really acrylic, like buy it by the truckload for $2 acrylic. Which also luckily means I'll have enough to make stockings for all the woodland creatures in our family to come!