Christmas Cowl

For my great aunt. Turned out pretty. :)


Felting Fear

This is a pair of slippers that will be a Christmas gift. They are huge and are meant to be felted, but I am scared to do it. Front loaders are great for laundry, but not great for felting hand knits. They're unpredictable at best. I am trying to talk myself into just doing it. Eek. What if it ruins them?? I guess there's only one way to find out. 


I did it and it wasn't so bad. I did about four ten minute cycles on hot and then an extra rinse. They were still a little big, so I threw them in the dryer for twenty minutes. They are still a little big now, so I think I will wash them on cold with some laundry once more to get them perfect. Fears must be conquered.

Drying by the fire (with old sandals and plastic bags inside them for shaping):

All done except the suede soles:

Edit: I just realized that my buttons are placed incorrectly. Whoops. They are supposed to be on the outsides of the shoes. I will fix that after I shrink them a bit more. Guess I ought to look at the photos in my pattern!


Sorry about that...but not really.

It's crunch time, people. I have seven (SEVEN!) half-finished or not-even-begun gifts in the works. Also, two stockings to sew up and embroider names on. Christmas is in T-11 days. Are you wondering if I'll get it done? Well, so am I. 

Sorry, blogworld. You are at the bottom of my list. Talk to you when they're all finished.


Clara's Vesty

I finally finished the vest I started back in July. It kept getting put on hold so I could knit more pressing things and then at the end I just was so SICK of it I couldn't knit it. I could barely look at it. However I can look at it all I want now, because it is done done done. Clara seems to love it. She has an eighties sense of style as it is, so pair this little vest with some leg warmers and a jean skirt and she is golden. I added a couple applique knit hearts for flair. 

Next up is a scarf for the husband. He asked for one--how could I say "no"? It's a cabled scarf in brown, orange, mustard and light gray. More on that later.


freezer paper stencils

Yesterday I co-hosted a baby shower for my friend Becky. I am not a big fan of shower games, so we opted to do a group craft instead. We stenciled onesies, side-snap shirts, and burp cloths. They turned out very cute and I have had a lot of positive feedback on them. I'm going to lay out what I did for anyone interested.

1. Buy freezer paper. This is harder than it sounds. I finally found it at Ace Hardware. Also buy baby clothes you want to stencil. And fabric paints. And brushes. I used little silicon cupcake liners as paint cups.

2. Do an image search for stencil ideas. I would search things like "butterfly silhouette" to get just an outline for a stencil. Once I had all the images I needed, I put them on PowerPoint slides and cut the freezer paper to 8.5" x 11" and printed them. (Note: print on the non-waxy side to prevent smearing.) Next time I will print in a light gray instead of a black. My fingers got pretty dark from working with them.

3. Get out your cutting mat and an X-acto knife and cut out the stencils. Carefully!

4. Iron the waxy side onto your clothing until it sticks. Don't use steam.

5. Paint in a couple light layers, let dry, and say a little prayer for no smudging as you tear your freezer paper off. Ta-da!

I hope that helps someone out there in cyberspace! I always wonder if anyone is actually reading this blog...doesn't really matter; I like talking to myself. 


otto's boots

My next project is a pair of felted boots for each of the kids for Christmas. Starting with Oliver's chunky feet.

I am attempting a completely homemade Christmas for my family this year. Traditionally I get the kids a pair of shoes for Christmas, so this year I am knitting them. The pattern is knitting up quickly. It looks like it will take a lot of seaming, which stinks, as I am not a sewer, I am a knitter! Oh well. I am a bit worried about felting them in my front loader, too. I hope it doesn't take too long.

I scored the boot kit for free at Needlework Unlimited. If you spend an obscene amount of money there, you get $20 in free merchandise, and guess what? I spent that obscene amount and used my $20 on this boot kit. Once finished, they should look like this:

Here's hoping.


more baby goods

For real, my friends are getting knocked up left and right, so there are plenty of opportunities for itty bitty projects. I love them because I have a very limited attention span. I keep contemplating a sweater for myself but I am worried I will give up halfway because I get bored using the same yarn and needles for longer than a week. Still, I think there is an owl sweater that is calling my name...more on that after Christmas. 

I scored this newborn sundress in a clearance section for $5. My friend is having a baby shower on Tuesday and lives in the South. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of summer clothes on the racks these days. Anyway, I was lucky and found this cute dress that was begging for a shrug and I happened to have the right color yarn just waiting for me. The shrug is washable wool, but I figure it will work fine for the chill of the AC on hot days...right? I had to add a little felt and button flower. It's all about accents, I am told.

In other knitting news, the capitan hat is still torturing me. What do I do with it? I might just have to reknit it with smaller needles to see if that makes me happier. I hate giving a gift when I am not 100% sure it is perfect.



I finished my great-aunt's Christmas gift. It's a newsboy style hat called El Capitan. I hope she likes it. She requested a similar one that was crocheted in China. Um, hello! I will knit you a better one (and save myself some moolah in the process). Only problem: it is a bit on the large size. I went up a half size on the needles and I guess the yarn must be bulkier than the one called for in the pattern, but the end result is very loose on me. I have a smallish head, so I can only hope she has a largish one. I may sew some elastic on the inner back edge of the hat to tighten it up. That will probably improve the look overall anyway. There will be a matching cabled cowl with matching vintage (looking) brooch buttons. I wish someone would knit me a set!


oh sweet booties

I want to lick them, they are so sweet. Maybe not lick, but you get the point. I think my baby girl set has turned out adorable! I can't wait for the shower to give it to her. Now I just need to order a couple matching cloth diapers and it is done. 

Saartje's booties is a genius pattern. Knit on straight needles, you don't know if it is ever going to look like a bootie until--voila!--suddenly it is one.

Oh, I love them. Squish, squish. 


Berry Hats for Becca

Double post today - whoa. Slow down, Kristy.

I've been meaning to post my berry hat pictures. These turned out cute. 

Funky birthday

I am in a knitting funk this week. Cue the whiny voice: I just don't feel like it. Waah. 

That's the thing with knitting; it takes you so far and then leaves you high and dry before enamoring you all over again. Unfortunately I must plug on in this marriage of yarn and needles because Christmas is a'coming and gifts aren't going to knit themselves. 

On another note, Clara, my baby girl, is turning three years old next week. It is so cliche, but time really does go quickly when you have kids. I remember waiting and waiting, as she was five days overdue, sitting on the couch with my feet up, watching TV and knitting itty bitty cloth diaper covers and longies for her. Those five days felt  an eternity, as anyone overdue with a baby will attest. I do believe they were much longer than the next three years would be. Here are some samples of the hand knit lovin' I have bestowed on my girl in her first year of life.

Newborn Clara:
Sleeping with the daisies:
St. Patrick's Day shorties:
Rose soaker:
Crankypants knock-offs (these were actually for someone else but I love them so had to include them): 
First birthday longies:

Happy birthday, Little Bear! You are a spunky little thing and I love it. 


Lacy Dress/Tunic Thing: DONE

It's finished! It's finished! I blocked it last night and it looks so cute! A little side note, but blocking is so important. What good is knitting a beautiful project if it looks all wonky and crooked when you are finished? Just get it wet, pin it to a big towel, and let it dry. Then you will have a perfect finished project. Plus, you can tell everyone that you had a block party the night before. (that joke is courtesy of Ben). 

I was starting to think it might never get done, but lo and behold, it did. I think I will stick to projects on larger needles; size three is just kind of torturous. I am wishing I had picked a different green. The olive is a bit murky all knit up. Oh well, no going back now. I need to get some buttons for the back still, too.

My next project is a couple of fruit hats for a friend. Ann Norling's pattern is very smart and satisfying. My agenda is one little raspberry and one little blueberry. 

Those should be a piece of cake to whip up this week and then I will go back to my size three needles for a little pair of mary jane booties. 


craft swappy swappy

My friend invited me to a craft swap last night and it was fun! I was worried; it had the potential to be either really lame or really awesome. Luckily, the crafts were great and I scored an awesome new clutch, which I have been wanting for quite a while. Here it is!

My cowl and fingerless mittens were snatched up right away, which made me feel good. Always nice to make something someone else wants. I made an origami box out of card stock for the set and I think it turned out cute. I love homemade everything! We did a craft as a group, which I have to admit I was skeptical about since I am not a fan of stuffed animals, but how can I turn away this sweet little bunny?


Coming Along Nicely

The little dress is coming along nicely. I did mess up one of the first lace repeats but it is in the back of the dress and hopefully not too noticeable. I am not starting over now, that's for sure. The pattern still bothers me to no end; incorrect stitch numbers, half-missing pattern repeats. It's driving me crazy. Hopefully the finished product will more than make up for the errors.

Today is a rainy day, perfect for knitting. Unfortunately, I have a cold, so it is also perfect for napping. We will see which option wins. I do have some Arrested Development, Season 3 to watch  tonight with knitting, a fire in the fireplace, a mug of tea. Sounds divine.

Next up on my queue, after the baby dress, booties, and (possibly, depending on amount of yarn left over) bonnet are finished, are a few of these beer sweaters. Seems like a great Christmas gift for the fam. (this is the stock picture, not ones I have knit)

After those are knit, it is on to another baby shower gift. My friends sure are procreating these days.


Ooh I am a tad bit

Annoyed. This cute, adorable little tunic/dress for a certain forthcoming baby girl is kind of a pain in the rear. The yarn is great, the dress is cute, but the author of the pattern makes the simplest instructions confusing. I don't like it. Give me straightforward and I will knit you the moon. Or something. I frogged the first ten rows three times. Finally, I just rewrote the pattern to my liking! Dang buttonholes, you don't have to be so complicated. It's coming along, and I hope to have it finished by this weekend so I can move forward with other projects. I have some sewing to do! 

I so wish I had a craft room with a proper sewing table and places for all my supplies. As it is right now, I have to store the sewing machine in the hall closet, pull it out, bring it to the dining room table, move the table so it can reach an outlet, and then get all my supplies from a separate closet. It is less than ideal. Someday maybe we can afford an addition and Craft Room will be on my list. As it is we are pretty maxxed out for space around here. 

I am not in a bad mood anymore, though. Everything is made better by small, satisfyingly squishy projects like these little hamsters.


Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens

Let me tell you about things I love. Undyed yarns that showcase pretty stitches. Fingerless mittens, because I am a mother and I need my fingers for those car seat buckles and five hundred other things. Nap time play food projects. Teeny tiny projects worked up on teeny tiny needles. These are a few of my fav-o-rite things. Sing it with me now.


A little something for a craft swap

I forgot until this week that I am in a craft swap soon and of course have to contribute a craft to it. So I perused all my one-skein options on Ravelry and decided on a little cowl and matching fingerless mittens. I am just using stash yarn for this project, and my #1 greatest quantity in my stash is 100PureWool. I have tons of it, mostly undyed. I love it; it is the softest merino wool and is so soothing on the fingers. I tweaked the pattern a bit to do a waffle stitch (originally it is supposed to be a broken rib) and am currently underway on the mittens. I hope I don't fall desperately in love with this set and decide to keep them for myself...


Winter Gear, Part II

Oliver's set is done! Now on to bigger and better things.

Like finishing Clara's stripy vest (almost done)

And I wonder what this lovely yarn will be for? Stay tuned.


Winter Gear, Part I

Clara is very happy to have a new PINK hat and mittens for the winter. The Toasty Topper hat pattern from knitty.com is great--very easy to do and such a cute finished result. The mittens are from a pattern I found on Ravelry, called Extra-Toasty Toddler Mittens. I was going with the toast theme, apparently. The yarn is from my stash. It's pink tweed Peace Fleece from my diaper-cover-knitting days. A little scratchy, but I am planning on lanolizing it to make it softer. It will be super warm, that is for sure.

For Oliver's winter gear I am going to do the same hat, but I will have to wing it on the mittens. He has fat hands and Clara's don't even fit over his fingers.