Valentine Beanbags!

14 02 2011

Raise your hand if you know I tend to go overboard at Valentine’s Day.

Ah, I see more than half of you with your hands up. As you may have guessed, this year was certainly no exception. We’ll see how much time I can find this week to show you all of our projects.

First up, I made a pile of bean bags out of left over felt from Seth’s halloween costume, an old grey t-shirt and a large bag of rice. I had everything on hand except the rice, which I found on sale – bonus! I would have preferred to have found some old sweaters to felt down or some lovely new wool felt to use, but time and money were not on my side so I made do.

Eleanor helped fill them with the rice. She and her brother also helped sweep up the rice after one rather large spill that happened when my back was turned. I just kept repeating in my head – practical life lesson, it’s ok, breath, practical life lesson….

In this pile, you can see one with the tag hand sewn on. It was the only one that had a tag by the time the sun was going down yesterday.  I purposefully sewed the hearts a little wonky twice around, but I’ll admit by the time I was on my 22nd one they were REALLY wonky.  I somehow doubt the 3 to 5 year olds will care though.

I suggested to Eleanor that she might want to write an E on the back of each card, but she would have none of it. She wanted to trace her full name on each and every card. The crazy part is she did it! Half last night and the rest this morning. We were a little late for school, but I wasn’t going to stop that concentration and persistence.  Even last year Seth didn’t make it through signing all his valentine’s and his name is so much shorter than hers. It was very unexpected. She even added a little sticker to each one.

I hope each and every one of you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day! Find someone to hug and slowly enjoy a good chocolate treat.


A Complete Set

12 04 2010

What do you do when you’re big sis hits a milestone birthday? Well, in my case you knit. And because I’m the teasing little sister, I knit in black.  I couldn’t be too bad after all, I do have a younger sister and will also eventually hit this milestone.

Here’s me modeling the beret. I’d put a pic of my glamorous sis up, but she’s all the way across the country.

Pattern: Speedy Cabled Beret (the term speedy is NOT used lightly here)

Yarn: Rowan Alpaca Soft

Alterations: converted to knitting in the round

Ravelry: here

Since I had plenty of yarn left and I was on a fingerless mitt kick:

Pattern: Last Minute Knit Mitts from Dawn at UK lass in US

Alterations: none

Ravelry: here

I still had yarn left over so I knit a super quick (and slightly boring) long skinny scarf with fringe.

I wish it could have been longer, but not only has this yarn been discontinued, it was supposed to just be a project to use up the yarn. Buying a 5th skein would have defeated that purpose. I think it took me longer to package and mail this gift than actually knit it. I’m bad that way.

Happy very belated birthday big sis!

Ravelry: here

Fingerless Mitts

16 01 2010

I got on a big fingerless mitts knitting kick in December. I knitted up a pair so quickly in November that I decided I could make a pair for each person coming to visit me for Christmas. I’d love to show you that 1st pair, but not only is it difficult to photograph but it hasn’t been given to it’s intended yet. Maybe sometime soon. If you’re a knitter, you really should make a pair or two or three as the case may be. Easier than a pair of socks, more challenging than your average scarf or wash cloth. They’re also a fabulous fashion accessory or comfort item.

First up, a pair for my younger sister. Owlings by Kerrie James. Knit from some squishy Kathmandu Aran tweed. I added little black beaded eyes on one owl for each mitt. I also altered the pattern by adding 3 rows of seed stitch to all edges to prevent the rolling that might naturally occur if left as is. I know the color is a bit funky here. It’s because I always forget about white balance when taking pictures in the snow. The true color is more like the dark purple on the right. (Ravelry here)

Next up, a pair for my father. I really liked the way the Jacoby pattern looks in the intended yarn. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find that particular yarn and it was only 2 weeks before christmas. Since I had my heart set on this pattern, I found a replacement yarn. And though I’m fairly happy with the results, I wasn’t as thrilled with how easy the yarn was to knit with. I do have plenty of yarn left over. Enough for 1 or 2 more pairs in fact. And guess what? Seth has requested a pair to match his grandpa’s. So it looks like I’ll be downsizing this pattern in the near future. (Ravelry here)

Finally, a pair for my mother. As I had already gone over budget with her gifts I decided to look through my stash. I pulled out 2 skeins of a nice dark, dark green Mission Falls merino. I’m fairly certain I got these from Martha when she was unloading some of her stash. (Thanks Martha!!) The pattern, Warm Cafe Latte Wristies, knits up quick. So quick that I finished in just a few days. However, I wouldn’t recommend knitting them that quickly as I ended up having to take ibuprofen to ease the pain in my forearm. Unfortunately, the pattern is only available if you have access to Ravelry. I like the pattern. My only complaint would be the thumb gussets. It’s too roomy in the palm and curls in at the top edge due to the stockinette stitch. If I did it again, I’d slow down the increases and finish off the thumb edge in one of the pattern repeats. Oh, and this is definitely intended for someone with long fingers. Had I done the number of rows it suggests for the thumb you wouldn’t be able to see any of my mother’s thumb at all. (Ravelry here)

Can’t you just see snuggling on the couch with a pair on, reading a book? Or going for a walk with them on a crisp fall or spring day?

ORIGAMI wrap sweater

3 01 2010

As soon as I saw Martha’s ORIGAMI wrap sweater I knew I should make one for my sister. It looked comfy and stylish. Just perfect for a teacher.

The pattern is simple. Deceptively so. At the same time, I’ll admit it took me a while to wrap my head around it. That is, until I tried to do the folds with a kleenex as another commenter on the post mentioned. Then it all clicked into place and wallah!

OK, maybe not wallah.  I was really nervous about cutting a really long straight line. Wish I had a good rotary cutter, but I don’t. I made my mother sit in the room with me as I cut for moral support. I also had left it to the end as I busily knitted away at other gifts. So 2 days before Christmas, a half hour before my sister was to arrive I sat down to sew the 3 short seams. My son, trying to be ever so helpful kept running upstairs to see if she had arrived. I hurried along and was able to finish just as she was pulling up in front of the house.

Well, sort of finished. It was inside out. Oops. I wrapped it up anyway and gave it to her Christmas morning letting her know I would fix it that day. Which I did. I ripped out the seams and sewed it up better than the 1st time. I think it looks lovely on her. Don’t you?

The Case of the Incredible Shrinking Pillowcase

27 08 2009

I’m so back blogged it’s ridiculous. Is it just summer or have I lost my blogging mojo? I’m guessing it’s just summer. Time will tell. But I will not forgive myself if I do not show you this soon. So here I go. It’s a skirt I made. Me. Of my own design. 

Crazy, I know! Granted making clothing out of pillowcases is not a new idea. But still. I figured it out on my own. No tutorial, no pattern, just me and my noggin.

What’s up with the title of the post you ask? Well, it was my inspiration for the idea. You see, Seth has some snugly knit sheets to go with his quilt. But for some reason every time I washed them the pillowcase got smaller and smaller. I tried adding snaps to the end to keep it around the pillow but eventually it got to be about 2 inches shorter than the pillow. Weird, I know.

So I snipped off half the pillowcase, made a waist edge casing for some elastic on the cut end and took a queue from House on Hill Road’s Twirly Skirt for a little side tie. I wanted the tied to come out a button hole, but couldn’t figure out my button holing mechanism. So I reminded my self this skirt would last at most for the summer as it would continue to shrink and I simply made a little snip in the fabric. Walla! Of course, then I found the instruction manual for the sewing machine. I put it in a safe spot for the next time I have a button hole emergency.

Fortunately, as you can see the little squirt likes the skirt. Unfortunately, I don’t let her wear it that often because silly me forgot to account for added diaper butt inches. Ah well, I’m still proud.

1st Hat – Again

4 03 2009

I did it. After my first annoying attempt, I completed my first hand knit hat. I even messed with the pattern. Yeah!

Yarn – Rowan Big Wool, 100% Merino Wool

Pattern – Chunky Knit Beanie by Leslie over at a friend to knit with (Thanks Leslie!!)

What I did:

  • Knit on dpn instead of straight needles
  • Due to knitting in the round I dropped 4 stitches off the cast on (thanks to the advice of Martha)
  • The first version didn’t cover my ears as much as I wanted it to, so I lengthen the portion where you decrease stitches. Instead of knitting 2 together for the last two rows, I started to knit 2 together, knit 2 stitches and repeated until I got down to less than 10 stitches. Now it covers my ears and there aren’t any gaps from reducing so quickly!

This is a really quick and easy hat. Perfect for a 1st hat. Supposedly you can knit it in a night, which for a mom of little ones actually  means 3 nights. At least for me anyways. What’s even more fun? Doing it with a group. Each person with their own choice of yarn and ideas on how to alter the pattern. Here’s Martha’s and Jen’s. Still waiting to see pics of Sarah’s and Dana’s.