Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year!!!

I just wanted to say Happy New Year!!!  We've been busy with our new baby boy and the holidays, but I have good intentions of writing more soon!  Our new little boy, Isaac, decided to come 5 weeks early on July 19, 2011.  He is doing really well and is 5 months old now.  Needless to say, things have been pretty hectic in our household.  I did manage to finish knitting his little sweater and a hat, and will post pictures as soon as I have washed it and sew on buttons.  I have also knitted a new little creation that I will share soon.  As for now, this big mama had better get in bed...
Sweet Dreams!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

How long does it take to knit a "5 hour" baby sweater?

I hope this post finds you doing well!  I don't know what it is like in your neck of the woods, but here in Alabama, it already feels like summer (upper 90's).  For someone who is going to be pregnant into August, this is not good.  I need spring to feel like spring!  :)  I can see that there is a lot of air conditioning, ice cold drinks, and swimming in my future.  Oh! and don't forget my favorite fat-free ice cream!  : d

Local Yarn Store Sale Finds  

As for knitting, I have a brand new project to share with you!  I just got the yarn  yesterday.  My local yarn store, Yarn Expressions, is having a stash sale, as well as a store sale.  The stash sale includes lots of yarn that customers have donated for charity, and the price per skein is usually $2-$4, though there are a few luxury yarns that are a little more.  Also, there are a lot of yarns in the regular store that are on sale for 40% off!  Well, yesterday I took advantage of both sales!  I got three skeins of sock yarn for $3 a skein (cotton, wool, and elastic nylon), which I intend on using for baby bootees.  (I am hoping the elasticity will help them stay on baby feet.)  I also got three skeins of Cascade Baby Alpaca (usually $12.50) for $7.50 a skein.  I am so excited about my finds!

Cascade Baby Alpaca:  Luxury in a Skein of Yarn

I do believe the Cascade Baby Alpaca is the softest yarn I have ever felt, and I know it is the softest yarn I have ever knitted with.  I was originally going to knit another baby cocoon, but after seeing one of the color ways, quickly decided that I needed to knit a baby sweater for my new little boy coming in August.  I have to check my gauge, but I am hoping it will fit him this winter.

Last night my husband helped me wind one of the skeins into a ball (not fun for either of us.  How I look forward to the day when I can get a swift!).  I also looked through my baby patterns.  I decided to start the 5 hour baby boy sweater.  Today I finished the yoke, only to realize that the pattern doesn't give directions for buttonholes at any point.  So, I may be starting over with the directions I found online.  (I am pretty set on buttons and don't understand the concept of a sweater that you cannot close in anyway, especially on a wiggly baby.)

Yarn and Baby Sweater Yoke

The yarn is heavenly!  It is very soft, and the color knits up beautifully.  I have to admit that sometimes I see a multi-color yarn that I love, but then when I knit it up, it is very disappointing to me.  That is not so with this yarn.  It looks wonderful!  It also looks modern.  I like it a lot better than the usual acrylic baby yarn.  Plus, it is alpaca!!!!  Yes, my baby boy deserves it, even if I do have to be fussy with the washing!  :)

The 5 Hour Baby Sweater Challenge

Now, for the fun part...I have decided to see just how long it actually takes me to knit the "5 hour" baby boy sweater.  Will it take 5 hours, or will I be able to get it done more quickly?  Maybe it will take me a lot longer than 5 hours.  We'll see.  My prediction is that it will take me longer than 5 hours.  I will be logging my time and will reveal the details when I finish.  Come back soon and find out!

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Knitting Renaissance

I'm back! And I'm so glad to say that I have been knitting away!  As you already know, I have been sick for quite a while with morning sickness.  It was about 2 1/2 months of feeling nauseated all day, everyday.  Thankfully, that passed.  Unfortunately, though, we started getting virus after virus in our house.  One time I even got bronchitis.  Well, we are all well now and are greatly anticipating the arrival of our new baby boy in August!  We can hardly wait!

I have been doing tons of things around the house to get organized for our new baby.  We have the crib set up and I have been doing a LOT of reorganization and work around the house.  Nesting at its finest.  Now I am at a point where I can just gradually finish things up over the next couple of months.  This week is a recoup week for me from all the work.  And I have been knitting,  knitting,  knitting!  It has been like a knitting renaissance for me and I am loving it!  It's not that I have been spending tons of time knitting, but I have been able to add it in here and there and even finish some projects.  I can't wait to share all my finished objects as well as new projects with you!

Cosette's Sweater

Last month I finally finished Cosette's sweater, which is the "embroidered jacket" by Debbie Bliss!  I am so glad that I have one of Debbie Bliss's books to learn from.  She gave wonderful instructions for finishing her knitted garments.  Now I am happy to reveal it to you!  Tada!

I was so glad that I found the Peter Rabbit buttons at Hancock fabric.  They are really the perfect buttons for this sweater.  I think that my little boy may even be able to wear this when he gets big enough.

I learned a lot while knitting this sweater:  
1. Moss stitch is beautiful, but takes a long time to complete.  
2. Wool yarn is wonderful!
3. How to knit and sew together a sweater (this is my first!).
4. How to wash a wool sweater, and block it (though all the pictures above were taken before I blocked it, except the one of my daughter wearing the sweater).
5. If you have to sew something up, just bite the bullet and do it and it will go quickly.  It is actually fun, too.

The biggest mistake I made was forgetting to add a buttonhole at the very top.  I think it worked out okay, though, and I still like the way it looks.

Baby Bib and Baby Blanket

I knitted a little baby bib, which I have knitted before.  It went more quickly this time, and was pretty easy.  It is the "modern cabled baby bib" by Andrea Pomerantz and is available for free on Ravelry.

(Picture coming soon.)

Next, I decided I wanted to make a rainbow baby blanket.  I found a super easy garter stitch pattern on Ravelry called, "Super Easy Baby Blanket," by Purl Soho.  I pulled different types and brands of yarn from my stash in all the rainbow colors, and bought the yellow specifically for this project.  Since they are all different brands and blends of wool,  I decided to knit a swatch first to see how they would all knit together and wash up.  The swatch contains all the colors, and I knitted it big enough so that it could be a baby doll blanket for my daughter.  I am very pleased with how it came out, and I plan on starting the actual baby blanket soon.  If you are interested in the pattern, which really is super easy, it is available for free here:  http://www.purlbee.com/super-easy-baby-blanket/

Baby Cocoon

The last project I finished recently I actually started and finished in the same day.  It is the, "Laurel Love Cocoon," by Melissa Riley.  It is adorable!!!  It is basically a little knitted sack for newborns to snuggle and sleep in.   I used some of the thick and thin Cherry Treehill yarn that I bought at Stitches South.  It is a wool and silk blend yarn and the color is called, "mint."  Since it is a thick and thin yarn, it looks a little different than the original.  I knitted it on size 13 double pointed needles (instead of using the magic loop method that the pattern calls for).  I actually knit the whole thing in 4 hours!  I could hardly believe it!  I have never knit anything so quickly.  (It was my first time to knit with bulky yarn on such a large sized needles.)  I will definitely be making more of these!

You can find the pattern here:  http://mrsmissymuffet.blogspot.com/2010/02/laurel-love-cocoon.html.One of the neat things about this pattern is that the designer will allow people to sell their finished object for charity or for WAHM use (WAHM=Work at Home Mom). How wonderful!


I have also started knitting Jean Grennhowe's topsy turvy Cinderella doll for my daughter.  She is really into Cinderella right now, and I am in such a mood to knit toys.  I will put up pictures when it is finished.  Who knows, at the rate I'm going, that could be really soon!

I hope you all have a wonderful week and a very Happy Easter!  Praise the Lord that He died for us that we might live!!!!

Remembering His Sacrifice,

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Feeling Sick for a Good Reason ; )

Well, I wish that I could say that I have been knitting away!  Alas, I have been feeling very sick and haven't been up to it.  But, at least it is good news!  We are having another baby!  I have been feeling sick since right before Christmas, and can hardly wait until I feel better.  Then I will have energy again and will be knitting away!!!

I have almost finished the sweater for Cosette.  The knitting is done, but I have to finish sewing it together.  (I hope I don't end up being one of the people that knit things, but never sew them together.)  As soon as I feel a little better, I am going to finish that up.  One thing that I have learned from this sweater:  Moss stitch takes forever!  It does look good, though.

I have started on a  baby sweater, but like I said, haven't felt up to moving forward on it.  As soon as the naseau goes away, I will be working on the baby sweater, getting some baby yarn, and working on designing some more patterns.

My pattern on Knitpicks is doing well, by the way.  They reknit it and put some new pictures into their New Year catalogue.  Sales are going great, and this has become a great blessing to us.  Check out the new pics here:  The Warmth of Love Neck Warmer.  I have two more ideas that I will submit soon.  They are also neck warmers.  Can't wait!

Enjoy knitting!!!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Wonderful News!!!

Well, we have moved and are finally settled in!  Our kitchen, living room, den, bathroom and bedrooms are now live-able and comfortable.  We still have more to do in them regarding decorating and details, but they are neat and inviting, so I am happy!  There are still a few rooms to work in, but we will gradually get those finished as well. 

I haven't been able to pick up my knitting at all, which is about to drive me nuts!  My knitting is scattered throughout the house, so hopefully sometime soon I can consolidate and organize it.  At least I did pack it up well, so I don't have to worry about the condition of it.  I must finish Cosette's sweater and start on a shawl and Christmas presents ASAP!

Wonderful News!

I have been so busy that I haven't even gotten to tell you about my wonderful news!  I noticed that on KnitPicks they have really neat patterns for only $1.99 that were written by independent designers.  I thought that it was really neat that people could put their patterns on there and so I read about the program.  The designers retain all the rights to the pattern, and they get 100% of the profits.  I thought the program sounded like it was really fair and a great opportunity.  So, I decided that I would send them my pattern idea with pictures of Nathan's neck warmer that I made him for Valentine's Day.   (Here it is on Ravelry.)

They were interested!  They sent me some of their yarn so that I could knit up a sample, Knitpicks' Swish Worsted in Allspice.  The yarn is great!  It is 100% wool, but is very soft.  After I finished knitting the neck warmer, I loved trying it on!  (I was only hoping that if all else failed, they would send the neck warmer back to me so I could wear it this winter!  The yarn feels luxurious!)  I took notes and pictures during the knitting and sewing process.  Then, afterwards I typed up a pattern.

After finishing everything, I sent it all in to Knitpicks and began waiting for a response.  It turns out that they liked it and decided to include it on their website!!!  Here is the link if you want to check it out on KnitPicks.  I would love to hear what you think!

Here are more pictures of the neck warmer which show the different ways that you can wear it:

This is the first pattern that I have designed, and it is very simple.  However, you can wear the neck warmer in many ways; and it can be knit for men, women, and children.  You can also use any type of yarn, such as wool, cotton, etc.  Change up the texture by using tweed.  It all depends on the look and feel you are going for.

Please let me know what you think!  I am super excited about it!

I had better go for now.  I hope that you are all knitting away and getting excited about the Fall!  Pumpkins, fall colors, golden leaves crunching under your feet, brisk breeze on your face, beautiful mountain scenes...  I love the fall and can hardly wait for it to arrive and to curl up in an afghan and knit away!

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Moving and Shaking

Well, "hectic but blessed" are the best words to describe my life right now, which is why you haven't heard from me in a while.  My husband has graduated summa cum laude from UAH, and started a great new job last week.  God just blessed us with a wonderful rental home on a nearby mountain, also!  I am exstatic about it!  It was built somewhere around the 60's, but has all new windows, refinished hardwood floors, and a new bathroom.  The kitchen is huge, but very vintage.  Luckily I love old and vintage things, so I think it will be kind of fun to have a kitchen like that, at least for a while.  The house is about 3 times larger than the apartment we were seriously considering, but it is less expensive.  It also has a really large back yard which is like a clean slate just waiting to be landscaped.  I could hardly ask for more.  Praise the Lord!

We will be moving the first weekend in August, so it may be a few weeks before I post again.  Then again, you never know.  If I get really excited about something, it may be hard for me to stay off the computer.  Otherwise, I will be packing, cleaning, moving, and knitting.  I have been moving along on Cosette's sweater, and will be sharing another project with you soon.  If I can only put the packing tape down...

Talk to you soon!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Exclamations of Joy!!!

 Knitting Needle and Notions Organization Day

Hello!  I have so much great news!  I am doing so much better physically!  Plus, I have been knitting a lot lately, and can't wait to share with you!  I have also organized my yarn stash and needles!  But some of the most wonderful news is that my husband just finished school!!!  I can hardly believe it!  He took his last exam yesterday, and will graduate on Saturday!  Have you noticed that every sentence ends with exclamation points?!  It is because I am that excited!!!  :D

Soon we will begin our preparations for finding a new place to live and will begin the process of moving.  While moving does not tend to be the most fun process, I am not as worried about it this time, as we do not have as much stuff to pack and move.  Things have gotten a little messy since I have been sick and injured, but I am trying to gradually straighten up.  Today I organized my yarn stash, knitting needles and knitting notions.  Below is a description of what I did to organize them:

Knitting Needle Organization

I used to sell Mary Kay, and every time I bought a hand held mirror (for customers to look at during a presentation), it came in a small, clear, zippered pouch. I kept all of them to use for “something” in the future. Well, I recently decided that they would be perfect for storing my circular needles. Today I finally put them to use.

Since I only have 9 of these pouches, I put two sizes in each pouch.  I made little labels for each pouch and punched a hole in them so that I can attach them to the zippers. For now I have them right inside of the clear pouch.  One of the pouches I also labeled for double pointed needles (dpns), and one for misc. big needles.
I also have two enfamil roll up pouches that I received when my daughter was born (the hospital gives these to everyone), and have all my extra notions, purse handles, etc. stored in them now. Both of those and the needle pouches are resting in a huge index card holder.

I only have a few pairs of straight needles, and haven’t figured out what to do with them. All my vases are in storage right now, so I may have to wait until after we move to organize them.

Yarn Stash Organization

I have all my yarn sealed in plastic bags, and then stored in large plastic storage bins with lids.  Well, I have received  and bought some more yarn in the past several months, and have also started and finished projects, etc.  So,  basically the yarn stash was starting to take over our bedroom.  Today I went through it all,  consolidated it, and organized it.  My acrylic yarn is in one bin; cotton and cotton-blends in one bin; and wool, alpaca, and other animal fiber yarns in a third bin.  All of these are stacked on one another neatly.

Breath in, Breath out...peace and calm from organization.  Now tomorrow I will do another portion of our room and gradually it will all get done!  :)

Have a great, restful and peaceful night,