Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Winter Mouse is Finished!

The Winter Mouse is Finished!

Yesterday Nathan picked up some stuffing for me, so I was able to stuff and sew together the Jean Greenhowe Winter Mouse that I have been knitting.  I am so pleased with the results!  Cosette absolutely loves it, which of course makes me even more  happy! 

Things I learned

This doll was just as easy to make as the little bunny that I recently made (also a Jean Greenhowe design).  It uses the same techniques of increasing:  knitting in the front and back of one stitch.  I learned a little more about knitting flat pieces that fold into little objects, opening my eyes to how creative you can get with knitting, and making sculptural type pieces.  For instance, the hat is a strip of knitted fabric, rolled up and sewn together.  It was so fun to see this little mouse come to life!


The only thing that I did different from what the pattern calls for, is to leave off the hand warmer muff and the little gift that the mouse is supposed to carry in her hand.  I thought that my two year old would enjoy it a little more if the mouse's hands are free because she can make the mouse do more things with her hands. 

I cut out the little cardboard circles to go in the bottom, but they seem to fall out pretty easily (and they are the right size, too).  When the circles come out, then all the stuffing in the large skirt portion is exposed, and with a toddler, this could just be asking for trouble.  So, I think I may knit some fabric to sew into it, or maybe just use some felt.

Great Project!

Just like the bunny, knitting this little mouse boosted my self confidence with knitting.  It really gave me a sense of accomplishment, and helped me to be encouraged to do more.  It was a fun little doll to knit, and I must recommend it to anyone who wants to knit something a little different, something for a child, or something that does not take much time to knit.  With or without the gift and hand warmer added on, this little doll makes a very attractive Christmas decoration as well.

May you all have a Happy New Years!

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Great Christmas, despite walking pneumonia

Diagnosis:  Walking Pneumonia

Hello!  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!  Ours was great, despite the fact that I am sick.  I found out the day after Christmas that I have walking pneumonia.  This could be a real downer, but instead, my spirits are up.  I have had a great time spending Christmas with my family, and all-in-all don't feel too horrible.  I have felt a lot worse with other illnesses, and it sounds like the medicine that I am taking should knock this out relatively quickly.  However, I am not taking this lightly, and am just laying around visiting with my family, knitting, and watching movies.  That part has been fun!  :) 

I will only be contagious for another couple of days, though it could take a month for all the symptoms to go away.  We are now in Birmingham visiting my Mom for Christmas, and since my Mom, husband, and daughter are already exposed, we decided to stay put until I am no longer contagious, and also so that I can get some rest.  (The doctor said that I am "very" contagious.)  Hopefully no one else will get this.

A Great Christmas!

On the bright side of things...We had a wonderful Christmas!  It was so fun watching Cosette open her presents this year!  She was able to open all her presents herself and to really get into it.  She seemed to enjoy it a lot, as well as decorating the Christmas tree.  It has been so neat watching her enjoy the Christmas lights and have so much fun this year!  She is a true blessing to my heart!

My husband and I decided to spend only $10 on one another for Christmas, focusing on stocking stuffers.  This turned out to be so much fun!  I was able to get him a neat magazine about the upcoming National Championship (Roll Tide Roll!), his favorite Giordelli chocolates, and a small bottle of Chardonay from the World Market.  He loved them! 

He got me one of my favorite movies:  Far and Away, some white chocolate truffles, and the winter Interweave knitting magazine, which he knows I love!  They were perfect!  I think I enjoyed this more than when we got bigger gifts for one another!  It was great!

It was also fun watching my Mom open her gifts, too!  This year, I was able to give her homemade knitted gifts:  My very first finished knitted project:  the dishcloth that she helped me start that really got me into knitting.  I especially wanted her to have it.  She said she is going to save it and not use it since it is so sentimental.  I also knitted a dishcloth in "gumdrop" for her, which was pretty.

I also made my Mom a little knitting-related gift.  She is always kidding around with me that her yarn stash is my inheritance...So, I made her this little gift, which was so fun to make for her.  She loved it!  :)  I also included a $10 gift certificate to, a wonderful website that she introduced me to.  It has been so neat sharing with her the joy of knitting!

Another one of the bright points of this week has been the sheer joy of getting to knit...a lot!  I have also really enjoyed getting to knit with my Mom, which I don't get to do nearly as much as I would like.

I have been knitting a little winter mouse for Cosette since Thanksgiving break.  I started and finished the skirt in one night, but got sick right after Thanksgiving (I guess with walking pneumonia, though I didn't know what it was at the time).  Anyway, I wasn't able to work on it anymore until now.  On Christmas Day, Nathan took Cosette to a family party for a little while, so Mom and I sat here knitting.  :)  I also worked on the mouse while waiting at the doctors office, and yesterday I finished the last two pieces:  the two little ears.  How exciting! 

Now all I have to do is get some stuffing.  I have no stuffing with me, and haven't been able to go get any since I am sick, so I am hoping to convince my husband to go to Michael's for me.  ;)  He seems pretty willing, so I am hoping to stuff the little mouse by tonight or tomorrow.

Here are the pictures of the unstuffed mouse:

These are the mouse's ears. 

I also finished another dishcloth for my Mom while waiting at the doctors office, and yesterday I made a dishcloth for our Aunt Lue; and I made Cosette a little mini-dishcloth to use on her play dishes.  She said, "for me?  for me?"  : D  This gave me the best feeling in the world!

Doctor's waiting room dishcloth for my Mom (some of her favorite colors).

Aunt Lue's dishcloth (this is called "chocolate umbre").

Cosette's Mini-dishcloth.

Well, even though I am pretty sick, I am enjoying time with my family, time knitting, and time really contemplating what is important in life:  God and my family.

May you and your family have a wonderful Christmas season, and a Happy New Year! 

Thanks for reading!   

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmastime, My Finished Bunny, and A New Business

It's Christmastime!!!

A picture I took of a bird near Constitution Village last Christmas season.

Long time, no see!  It has been a while, but I just have to write something before Christmas arrives.  I could go into all the ups and downs over the last month or so since I have written, but I don't even know if I could remember all the details to share with you.  Needless to say, it has been a blur. 

What I will tell you, is that I have had back trouble that is better now, and my husband is finished with his fall semester, thank goodness!  His next semester will be his last for his degree, and he will graduate in May.  Yay!  I am so excited that we have almost completed our goal!  It has been challenging for us, but I know it will be worth it.

Now we can enjoy Christmastime, and all the wonderful things that it brings.  I just love walking down a sidewalk on a cool, brisk winter day, enjoying the outdoors.  (That is what we were doing when I captured the picture above, last year.)  I love Christmas trees, Christmas lights, and watching children's faces when they see such things.  I love going to church events, singing Christmas songs, and remembering the true reason for the season:  Christ's humble birth, and the greatest Christmas gift of all--new life.  I hope you all enjoy the season as much as I do! 

As for knitting...
I don't think I have yet gotten to share with you my knitted bunny.  I finished it in time for Cosette's birthday and she loved it!  I gained a lot of confidence by knitting this bunny.  It was a lot of fun too!!! 

Here are some pictures of the various stages of knitting and sewing the bunny:

My Favorite Picture: 
The one of my daughter, Cosette, opening her bunny birthday present.

Some things I learned by knitting this bunny...

I learned how to increase by working in both the front and back of a stitch. This seemed difficult to understand until I looked at an online recording of it. It is really simple once you see it done by someone. I am glad to have learned how to do it.

It is also my first time to sew a knitted object together, so I learned the difference between backstitching and oversewing.  I had to redo the seams at one point because of this. (The first time I wasn’t backstitching, and I didn’t sew far enough down on the knitted fabric, so it stretched out and didn’t look very good.)

I followed the directions for the eyes and nose, though I used different colors (blue for the eyes and pink for the nose and mouth. Black seemed too harsh for this bunny.) I came up with my own mouth. I liked the way it looked rouned instead of in v’s. I have a little stitch holding it down at the bottom of each curve.

I didn’t follow the pattern for the twisted yarn bow. Instead, I improvised an I-cord scarf. I remembered how to do it from memory, as I had read about it in one of my Mom’s book, or somewhere, I can’t really remember. (It was really late when I was finishing this up, and the internet was down, so I just decided to try it out.)

The only problem I have noticed since I gave it to Cosette, is with the eyes.  She pulls on them sometimes, and I have to repair them with a crochet hook.  Otherwise, the little bunny is doing well! 

New Projects

I have been working on dishcloths (of course) and I started on a Jean Greenhowe Winter Mouse.  You can see which one I am talking about here:  I started and finished the skirt over the Thanksgiving holiday, and haven't been able to do more since.  My goal is to finish it by Christmas, which shouldn't be hard given how quickly I knitted up the skirt portion.

Today I finally got to work on Nathan's scarf again.  I sure hope I can finish it by Christmas!  I will be on a knitting marathon from now until then.  Hopefully I will have it ready to go under the tree by Christmas Eve. 

I would love to hear from you all about the Christmas gifts you are knitting, and about your status on finishing them!  Please write me and tell me about them! 

My New Iron in the Fire

While this has nothing to do with knitting, I really want to share it with you before I go.  I started my own Discovery Toys business!  :) 

In case you have never came across them, Discovery Toys makes high quality, safe, educational toys.  I was really impressed with Discovery toys a few years ago, when I came across them at a Christmas market.  I am picky when it comes to my child's toys, regarding their educational qualities and their safety standards.  Discovery Toys met and exceeded all my expections. 

Recently I was trying to figure out how to make some extra income with my crazy schedule, I thought of Discovery Toys.  It is a great fit for me! 

You can visit my website at

Well, I hope you all have a great Christmas!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Memories, Beautiful Clothes, and Knitting at my friend Deborah's Wedding

Well, life has been as hectic as ever.  It seems we are out of town more often than in town sometimes.  The weekend before last we went out of town to see our close friend, Deborah, get married in Auburn, Alabama.  (The photo above is at the Moore's Mill Golf Club.)  It was so wonderful!  We had so much fun seeing Deborah, and also seeing several of our other friends from college.  It was perfect weather, which was great.  It was so wonderful to see that my friend had met a strong Christian man, and both sides of the family have a deep faith in God.  It was wonderful to see her get married, and to such a great guy!

Both Deborah's parents and her husband are Nigerian, so the majority of people there were Nigerian.  They wore beautiful outfits in gorgeous colors, with headdresses that sometimes matched, sometimes contrasted.  Deborah, her husband Abiola, and the wedding party wore traditional American wedding clothes, while their parents wore traditional Nigerian clothes.  All the parents' outfits were made from the same turquois fabric, and they wore orangy-red, large beaded jewelry which went perfectly.  Gorgeous!

Deborah and her Dad while taking a picture at the reception

Deborah and Abiola's family at the reception

A Suprise Knitting Connection

At the reception, one of our friends brought a gift that had a knitted ribbon. A third friend asked about it, and in the process we learned that all three of us knit! What a suprise! I think I have already gotten used to feeling like I am the only one around that knits, and I was so pleasantly suprised that my two friends had started knitting too! My friend had knitted the ivory colored ribbon on the way to the wedding. Of course, I had to bring out the dishcloth I was working on for Deborah. It was so neat to talk to them and learn what they were knitting. I also told them about Ravelry, and one of them has already joined!

Before leaving the reception, I told Deborah about all three of us becoming knitters.  She said that she used to knit, but had put it down.  I am going to have to encourage her to pick it up again.  Maybe after her knitted gifts from us she will be inspired!  Wouldn't it be wonderful if all four of us could visit and knit together?!  What a dream!  :D

Knitted Wedding Gifts

This is one of the dischloths that I knitted for Deborah and Abiola.  I knitted half of this on their wedding day.

I am knitting more of these for them.  I couldn't get them finished in time for the wedding, but they are in Puerto Rico, so I doubt they are missing them!

Congratulations Deborah and Abiola!!!

Talk to you all soon!  I have TONS more to share, just not enough time to write!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Feeling Better and Knitting!

Yay! I'm blogging! I wondered if I would ever make it back. I guess technically it hasn't been that long, but I love to write and I sure have missed it.

A few days after getting back from our weekend trip to Tuscaloosa, I got sick with a virus. It was not fun and it took me a little over a week to get better. The last week or so I have been trying to catch up with things and get back into our routine while at the same time taking care of my husband, who is now getting over being sick. I have so much to write, but will have to spread it out over several posts. :)

I have been knitting, though of course not as much as I would like to. I have about 4 projects going right now, and a list of them to start. So many patterns to knit! :D I have found the best time for me to knit is when Cosette is eating her breakfast, and sometime after she has gone to bed. Then I am all about patterns, and Ravelry, and Ebay, and, oh yeah, knitting! ;)

Finished Project: Cabled Baby Bib

I finished the cabled baby bib recently! (See picture at top of post.) I have not sewn on the button yet, but otherwise it is done. I am tickled with the results. The cable looks great, and as far as I can tell, I didn't make any mistakes. (Shocking!)

This project was a great refresher for me on cabling. I also got to learn the seed stitch, which is very fun to knit. (Knit, purl, knit, purl across the row.) Wonderful purling practice. This was a really fun project with a simple cable that anyone could knit. It was a great project to usher me out of my dishcloth world, into the exciting world of other knitted projects! :)

During Cosette's breakfast I finished up a small washcloth I have been knitting to match the bib. Yes, yes, even though I am braving the new world of other patterns, I will continue to make these cloths. They are such great gifts!
Note: The bib pattern is "Modern Cabled Baby Bib" by Andrea Pomerantz, and the pattern states that it is her variation of the "Simple Baby Bib" by Colleen Kadleck.

A Bunny for Cosette

I just started a little bunny for Cosette the other day! I am really excited about this project. It will be my first knitted toy. It is a Jean Greenhowe pattern, and it is so cute. It is supposed to be a little over 6 inches when it is finished, so I think it will be the perfect size for Cosette, who just started toting little stuffed animals all around the house recently.

The Pattern

The pattern is the bunny in Jean Greenhowe's Knitted Animals. You can see the pattern on Jean Greenhowe's website: My Mom has a stack of Jean Greenhowe pattern books, which I love. They are not difficult at all, and are extremely adorable.

Yarn for Bunny

I am knitting the bunny rabbit in Vanna's Choice acrylic yarn. The color is "linen." Even though it is acrylic yarn, it is really soft. The reason I chose acrylic is because it is difficult for me to afford luxury yarn right now, plus, I wanted something washable since an almost-2-year-old will be carrying it around. I am really excited that there is some nice, soft acrylic yarn out there! (I tried regular Red Heart recently and couldn't take it.) I am already spoiled! Thanks Mom! ;)

Needles for Bunny

I am knitting the bunny on size 2 needles, which are much smaller than the size 6 that I am used to. I knitted a small swatch and thought that I may need to move down to a size one needle. When I tried to use them, though, it was almost laughable. I felt like I was knitting with toothpicks! I was afraid that I might even bend them. :D So, I moved back to size 2. The size 2 are pretty fun to knit with, actually.

Memories of a Knitted Bunny Named Ritz

I can't tell you how exciting it is for me to knit Cosette a doll. When I was a child, my Mom knitted and crocheted me all kinds of dolls, toys, and Barbie clothes; and I loved them all. She knitted a stuffed bunny for me, which I named "Ritz," and he quickly became my favorite stuffed animal of all time. Recently my Mom told me he was the first stuffed animal that she made, and that she didn't do a very good job. She said she would have ripped him out and started all over, but that I would not have let her. I can actually remember when she was making him, and I think I probably bugged her to death asking when he would be finished. Finally the day came where she sewed his nose and mouth, attached "google" eyes, and gave him to me to hug for the first time. To me, Ritz was perfect.

After that, it was all over for my other dolls. Ritz was my bunny, and I had to have him in order to go to bed at night. My Dad would tuck me in, and he would tease me by calling Ritz, "Fritz." It used to drive me nuts! I would say, "it's not Fritz, it's Ritz!" :) My Dad was great for teasing us, and he loved teasing me about Ritz even after I became an adult. And it still bugged me! :D Now the torch has been passed on to my husband who kids me in the exact same way that my Dad did. I guess I will forever be teased about my Ritz! (Secretly I love it.)

This is Ritz (knitted by my Mom)!

Ritz was made from the following pattern: "Snow Bunny" designed by Michele Wilcox. I think it was in a magazine, but I will have to ask my Mom which one.

While the bunny I am knitting is from a different pattern than Ritz, I have hopes that he will at least become one of my daughter's favorite dolls. I am waiting to make her a Ritz doll when she is a little older and can appreciate a larger stuffed animal. Plus, I wanted to start out with a small toy. I am still a beginner afterall! ;)

Have fun knitting!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Great Weekend

My weekend was busy, but great!

I had
so much fun this weekend, that I have to tell you about it! My husband and I went to the Blount Undergraduate Initiative (BUI) 10th Anniversary this weekend on the University of Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa, AL. BUI is a liberal arts scholar program at UA. It is a great program, and you can read about it at Mr. "Red" Blount was one of the major donors, and was very involved in the program, which is why the program bears his name.

Nathan and I were in the inaugural class (1999), and we both graduated college in 2003. Our experience at UA was impacted so much by being in this program. We learned so much, and gained so much intellectually and socially from BUI. We had so much fun getting to see old friends and professors this weekend. Several of us "Blount couples" have gotten married and have had "Blount Babies," and it was so great to see our kids playing and getting along so well. Some friends of ours from the program had gotten married and had a baby 3 days before we had ours. They had a blast together!

Knitting this Weekend
I also had fun knitting at my Mom's in Birmingham (of course!). This weekend while riding in the car and visiting with my Mom, I finished my Monkey wash cloth, started and finished a small green wash cloth, and started a baby bib.

This is my finished Monkey Wash Cloth (it has not been blocked yet, and I am not sure if I am going to do so.)

The bib pattern is "Modern Cabled Baby Bib" by Andrea Pomerantz, and the pattern states that it is her variation of the "Simple Baby Bib" by Colleen Kadleck. You can find this pattern for free on

My Mom gave me a refresher on how to cable, and with this pattern it is SO easy. You only have to put two stitches on the cable needle and lay it behind your work, knit the next two stitches, and then knit the stitches on the cable needle. Then you just finish the row. It is simple and I must recommend it to anyone who wants something easy to work on in order to learn cabling.

The body of the bib is what I think is called a "seed stitch," which is basically, "knit, purl, knit, purl," all the way across. This is a great way to practice the purl stitch after you are comfortable with the plain garter stitch.

Here is my bib so far:

A Current Special Project

In about 2005, sometime around the time I took the knitting class at the Knitting Corner, I started working on a scarf for my Dad. I was knitting it with grey wool that my Mom had given me. I don't know if I got bored with it, or if I just didn't have time to work on it, but either way I ended up putting it away and never finishing it. (One of several projects left from the past, before I really got into knitting.)

Well, I recently got out my "stash," which has been packed away for a while (I'll show pictures of this another day). In the stash was that project, still on the needles (the teal yarn is unrelated):

I looked at it a few times over the next few days, not knowing what to do. My Dad passed away in 2007, while I was pregnant with my daughter. I wasn't sure if I would be able to work on it again, since it was originally for him. However, one night I looked over at the partial scarf and yarn, and thought about how one of my husband's favorite colors is grey. I then thought of an idea. I could finish the scarf and give it to my husband, leaving the part that I had knitted for my Dad intact. It is a way for me to finish something that I had started for my Dad, and still give it to a special man in my life, someone who would appreciate the importance and sentimentality of it. I think he will really like that! (And I think my Dad would have really liked that too.)

I am hoping to finish this by Christmas. :)