Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Yarn Along {A Sleep Sack and Cowl}

Still counting down for baby, but in the meantime knitting away a few last minute baby projects that I didn't think i'd have time for.
I've made little sleep sacks for other babies, but my own have never had one. I also wanted to make one that would be useful for something else once the baby has grown out of it, (a keepsake of sorts) so I made it in a way that it could be used for a decorative throw pillow someday down the road. (I'll have to stitch up the other end of course, but that should be easy.)

The bottom flap is seamed at the sides so it's not actually a flap, but a pocket top that flips. And my son made the little wooden buttons for me. I thought it was a nice touch that this baby would get buttons made by her sweet and very loving older brother. 

I'm also knitting a cowl for our knitting group's knit along. We decided to go with the honey cowl because it's still a fun knit for those with more knitting experience, but easy enough that beginners can make it as well.

It's perfect timing, because I wanted to make a few Christmas presents anyway, so I dyed yarn with a couple of recipients in mind, and tried to go with more of an adult "frozen" theme. The trickiest part was trying to get both skeins to match. (I did dye them together, but sometimes one will absorb more dye than the next etc.)
I think they'll be fine though. I thought I could possibly get away with one skein for the cowl, but i'm nearing the end of the first and will definitely need to break into the second. 
Oh, and totally unintentionally, I found a project bag that matches the yarn; a cosmetic bag that was on clearance at target for 7 bucks! It's like it was meant to be.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Yarn Along {From Where You Were Plucked}

I have this really silly notion, and I'm not sure where exactly it stems from, that I'm not ready to have a baby until I have a hat with a knot in the top.
It's like this nesting-for-a-newborn thing that just *has to happen*.

I woke up last week in a cold sweat realizing that I didn't have one for this baby. Well, I have the ones used for the previous three babies, but it wouldn't be right to allow this baby's first hat to be one of her older siblings first hats. Another notion that I have no grounds for, but there it is.

My previous three babies had regular store bought jersey hats with a knot in the top, which suited the job perfectly. Lotte's actually had two little knots, one at the top of each corner, that almost looked like little ears, or the Great Gazoo. Adorable. 

I just love that these little hats look like the baby has been freshly picked, no, CHOSEN, off of a magical baby tree somewhere. That little knot just screams "I'm a brand spankin' new little person!" 

I might have issues.
I looked around on Ravelry and there were a few knotty hats on there but nothing like what I really had in mind.
Note: Typically, around this time before baby, I get somewhat irrational with the DIY. I don't just break down and clean all the windows, but I come up with work for myself that is seemingly useless. "Yes, Corrie, Write a knitting pattern, when there are already so many available... How about a hat that will fit for only a few weeks? Then you will feel as though you are ready to have a baby."

So without any more explaining (because let's face it, I might just be a bit crazy) here's the pattern. (oh, and an FYI-I tried it on my friend's full term, two week old newborn. Fits perfectly.)


{From where you were Plucked}

Materials: Sock or light fingering yarn scraps(two colours if you want to do the colour work portion-I'll explain how the hat is made first and include the colour work details at the bottom of the pattern, so you can choose to skip them if you would rather.)
2.5 mm double pointed or 16" circular needle

4 stitch markers
tapestry needle
With main Colour, using long tail cast-on, cast on 108 stitches. Place a stitch marker to keep track of your beginning of round.

Without twisting your cast on, join for working int the round and work in K2P2 Ribbing for 10 rounds or approx 3/4 inches

Switch to st st and knit until piece measures 4 inches from cast on edge.
Decrease Set up row: k27, place marker. Repeat two more times, and then knit the remaining 27 to your beginning of round marker. You should now have 4 markers with 27 stitches between each one.

Row 1: *k1, k2tog, knit to last three stitches before next marker, ssk, k1, slip marker*. Repeat to end of round

Row 2: Knit

Repeat these two rows 5 times, for a total of 10 rows. (68 stitches remaining)
Then work Row 1 only, 6 times more, (20 stitches remaining.)

Remove markers as you come to them, and knit until this top tube of 20 stitches until it measures 5 inches long. It may be easier to switch to double pointed needles for this portion.

Once you reach a 5 inch point,  k2 together all the way around. Break yarn and draw through remaining 10 stitches, secure and pull remaining thread inside the hat.
Tie a knot in the top and you're finished :)

After you do the 2x2 ribbing and several rows of stockinette stitch, without breaking your primary yarn colour, pick up and switch to a contrasting colour. (pictured, white.)

Row 1: Knit one row in contrasting colour. (i did a jogless stripe method-helpful youtube tutorial for that
here.) Do not break yarn between these four rows. 
Row 2: knit one with primary colour yarn, knit one with contrasting yarn, all the way around. (so mine was blue, white, blue white, blue white etc.)

Row 3: same as row two, but with contrasting colour first. (white, blue, white blue etc).

Row 4: same as row 1.

when these four rows are completed, then break yarn contrasting yarn (white), work more stockinette in the primary colour and if you wish, throw in another section of colourwork. My colour work sections are about 3/4 inch apart. 

Knitting {in Church}

For this week's portable/church project, I decided to cast on a quick little hat for one of my nephew's Christmas presents. I plan on making it look like a really goofy monster (because, well, he is) and seaming the top with a kitchener stitch rather than typical hat decreases.
I love projects where I get to use up leftover yarn, and kid projects are perfect for that.
It's gone really fast and I'm just about finished.

I also got a little surprise when I reached for an apple-double hearts! 

Church notes: 2 Peter 1:3-11, Message download here

I'd love to see what you're working on too!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Yarn Along {baby knits}

I finished up a few baby knits-anyone want to help me decide on some buttons for this little sweater?
I realize that the two pinks look almost the same in the picture, but the upper right is more of a reddish colour, and the bottom left are more coral. 
oh, and we are expecting a girl, or so we're told.I never feel like we can be entirely sure until the baby is actually in our arms.

There used to be a tiny hole-in-the-wall store on my street that was packed to the walls with old, new stock. Still in original packaging, but from the 30s, 40s and 50s. Crochet thread, bakelite and lucite buttons, stocking supports, zippers, ribbons.....
And sitting at the very back of the store behind a very large secretary desk covered in haberdasheries was the tiniest, and probably oldest woman I've ever met, smiling behind her massive, coke bottle amber glasses, hands folded, just waiting for her next customer. I felt like i was walking into a movie, or a wardrobe....another universe.

And what was even more delightful but definitely puzzling, was that the prices she was selling these things at were what was actually on the original package.

So yes, these buttons cost me 5 cents a package for 40 of them

I bought them ALL. ...and a slew of other goodies as well. I basically kept going back until her store was in my house. 

Well..not quite, but almost.

I've given a lot of it away for gifts to vintage appreciating friends, and used a lot of it on my own projects as well.
I decided a while ago to use some of these buttons though on some baby things because they're just too delicious to let sit in a box. 

I also made some of these hilarious little pants (they're just about as wide as they are long, I love how newborn pants are just about square.)
I'd really like to make a couple more pairs, they look so cozy! And they work up really fast. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Sunday Knitting {Knitting in Church, and Why I do it}

On Sunday afternoons over the last couple of months, I've been posting my #KnittingInChurch projects on my instagram.
I've received a few questions from people (both online and off) as to why I knit in church, or other places where it might seem out of the ordinary, or a social faux pas. And also, how I justify or feel comfortable doing it while others might not. 

Simply put, knitting is my rosary.
 *I'm not actually Catholic-but I can appreciate that a rosary is a form of meditation. Something that keeps one's mind focused and in thought. The point here is not the tool, but the function.*

As far back as I can remember, I've had to had my hands busy while listening in church, (or school etc) to keep my mind from wandering off into a day dream. 
In elementary school I was often scolded for drawing because the teacher would assume that my actions meant I wasn't listening. Little did they didn't realize that it was the only thing that kept me engaged in what what was being said.

My high school teachers though, embraced that this was simply how I functioned and never minded if I was drawing, crocheting or carving, so long as my grades reflected that I was indeed listening. (and I did, and do still take notes as I go.)

And I soon realized, that I wasn't the only person who seemed to best function while having something to occupy their hands. 

As an adult, concentration, for me, is still a struggle. Possibly even more so.
 While the distractions might not be the same, they are still plenty. Instead of simple and imaginative childish daydreaming, it's:

Did I lay out the chicken to thaw for tonight's dinner?

Do I need to stop at the grocery store on our way home?

I need to remember to tell so-and-so about the date of that birthday party
Wow, that baby is really cute. I want to squeeze her. again and again. And smell her. I wonder what size she's in now.... Do I have some clothes I could pass down to her already? Would they be the right season yet? Hmm, she looks a little bigger than Lotte was at that age...

You catch the drift.

 It is so difficult for me to go from having a very full and ordinarily multi-tasking mind to listening to one subject (no matter how interesting) without losing focus.  Especially in a church so blessed that it's brimming with so very many noisy, adorable children.

This isn't a selective issue, either.
I don't want anyone to misunderstand what I'm saying. I'm not suggesting that our church sermons are so boring that I have to knit to stay awake; In fact, I don't find them boring at all.

Please realize that I knit through even the best of movies and television shows as well. And before I knew how to knit, it was some other outlet. (there are many.)

I'm also not suggesting that this is something everyone and anyone should do.
If anyone were to find knitting (or any other thing) to be something that was too difficult to do while listening, I would not suggest it. The entire point, for me, is to stay focused, not to cause further distraction.

I choose very simple patterns and stitches for church- things I don't have to think about. If I know i'm going to have to count anything, read anything or at the point in a sock where it's time to turn a heel, measure etc,  I leave it at home and bring something else instead. Even just some empty needles and a piece of scrap yarn. Really.

I don't feel the need to actually justify why I do this, I would feel some form of self conviction if it were something that was was hindering my relationship with God.

But thought some form of explanation would be helpful for those who have asked why, or others who have attention deficit tendencies and feel alone in their own, sometimes not very obvious, but very real distractions.

Sunday's Sermon can be downloaded here

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Yarn Along {Finished Projects}

I should just change the name of my blog to Yarn Along, seriously. This seems to be the only time of the week where I find time to post anymore. (Better once a week than never, right?) Hopefully i'll get back on the bandwagon soon.

And Don't let the title fool you, I haven't finished much lately, but I did finish a few things a while ago. And like a very bad knitter, I forgot to actually block and photograph the projects. So finally...

Spring Kerchief in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino

She was unimpressed that I asked her to sit still for two whole seconds to take her picture. I had to bribe her with a cupcake.

Bramble Shawl (She saw my shawl and requested one for herself. She said she needed one for "apple picking". (We don't have an apple tree, and I think she's picked apples maybe once?)
 Note to self: Take Lotte Apple Picking.

I whipped out a pair of
these last night...I'm completely floored by how fast these went. (2 hours maybe, tops?!) I wanted an easy slipper pattern to make for some Christmas gifts that would fit the recipients well. This Pattern is only available in one size, but changing the cast on number of stitches, yarn or needle size would easily change that. I can't wait to try these with a fun, thicker, variegated yarn.

These are a women's medium, and are clearly a touch too snug for my crazy swollen ankles and feet. 

I so look forward to having normal sized feet in the near's right there on the top of the list with normal jeans.



Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Yarn Along {current projects and tech trouble}

I have a few projects on the needles right now that seem to be taking forever. This is the scarf of doom that I mentioned last week. It really is going to be rather lovely, but wow, the repeats are playing in my head at night as I sleep. It's a sample knit for a local yarn shop and I volunteered to knit it. I'm well over the half way mark now which is a relief, because in the beginning I wasn't sure I was going to make it. (I'm a repeat wimp...I have self diagnosed ADD when it comes to these sorts of things.)

My little pickle requested a pink and purple hat, and I happened to find some cascade220 superwash in exactly those colours. I've had my eye on the stella hat for a while now and thought it would be sweet. 
It ended up being a touch small for her, but I was able to add a few rows here and there to get a little more room out of it. I'll be making this one again for her, but definitely one size up.
This was a really fast knit, (yarn is held double) and it only took about 2 hours, which I was happy to knit during a middle-of-the-night bout of insomnia. 

I always get insomnia out of nowhere towards the end of pregnancy, and feel like if I'm going to be just laying there awake, I may as well DO something.

She loves her little hat, and the way it hugs her cheeks makes them look even chubbier and that much more kissable. She was so excited about it that I could barely keep her holding still for the two seconds it took to take the picture. Sorry about the blur.

My socks are still a work in progress-I've really only been knitting them while i'm away from home (which isn't too often)  because they're so wonderfully portable. I always like to keep a portable project in my purse. This makes small things seem to take forever though, If i'm only working on them here and there.

I'm going to bring them to knitting night tonight though and hopefully get through the rest of the foot. I have some more yarn and a new sock pattern (toe up with a fish lips kiss heel)  than i'm really eager to try-but won't dare cast on until these are finished. I'm weird like that, I guess. 

P.S:This last month has been a bit of a technical nightmare...My phone was out of order for a good few weeks so I wasn't able to take as many photos as I normally do (or use instagram. so SAD).
But now it seems that my laptop is out of order, and ironically, I have to make this post from my new phone. (And can't use the app, because blogger's app is horrid. And I'm still getting used to typing on this thing.)

I also just realized that I had about 9 unpublished comments from last week's yarn along that I didn't even know were there until today. I'm so sorry. I feel like a royal idiot. Normally I get some emails that tell me comments need published, so I'm not sure what happened. 

But really, these are all first world problems, so life is good.