Thursday, September 17, 2009

A warm blankie for the newt

It didn't take long to finish the newt's blanket and, since I finished it on a sunny day, I dunked it in the sink and spread it out on the patio to block in the sun. It was dry and ready to photograph in no time.
yip016 - the newt's blanket
Pattern: Baby Chalice Blanket by Lykkefanten
Materials: 3 skeins of Green Label Tanis Fiber Arts in Spearmint
Needles: US 10.5/6.5 mm
Started: August 29, 2009
Finished: September 16, 2009
Raveled here

Mods: I cast on an extra 20 stitches for two more pattern repeats after reading that the blanket is rather narrow. I wanted to end up with a square blanket and I accomplished that.
The newt's blanket
I really like the way this turned out. It's really soft and squishy and will be nice and warm this winter. The lace pattern is pretty and simple, and the colour! I'm a fan of turquoise.

And I seem to be forcing my colour preference onto the unborn. I whipped up a little snuggly swaddler for the newt on Sunday from a turquoise Echino damask and white flannel. The pattern is from Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing for Baby. Very smart design -- you stick the baby's feet in the bottom pocket and wrap the two velcro-ed flaps around the baby. I hope it works!
Baby Burrito
I learned an important lesson whilst sewing this. Now that my body is changing, I need to stop cutting my fabric on the floor and move to a table. I had an awful backache after spending an hour or so plunked down on the floor and bent over my cutting mat. Ouch!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The newt will not be short on handknits

The parade of baby knits continues chez words starting with "p." In a fit of nesting, I've been churning out the handknits at a steady clip.

First up, the cardigan that every baby born to a knitting mama is required to have: the BSJ.
Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann
Source: The Opinionated Knitter
Materials: less than one skein of Fleece Artist Trail Socks
Needles: US 4/3.5mm
Started: August 5, 2009
Finished: August 12, 2009
Raveled here

No mods. Brilliant design. What more can I say?

I had some yarn left over, so I knit some booties (which I've somehow neglected to photograph) and an elf hat.
Stella Pixie Hat
Pattern: Stella Pixie Hat by Kristen Rengren
Source: Vintage Baby Knits
Materials: bits of Fleece Artist Trail Socks and Koigu KPM
Needles: US 4/3.5mm and US 3/3.25 mm
Started: August 24, 2009
Finished: August 29, 2009
Raveled here

The only problem is that the newt will never be able to wear the matching set at the same time . . . unless he/she has a really, really humongous head and a wee little body. I realize babies have big heads, but I hope (for my own sake) that the newt has a normal-sized cranium.

Since I'm having a winter baby, a woolly hooded sleeping bag would be nice, no?
yip011 - Thank you Gramie!
Pattern: Hooded Carrying Bag by Debbie Bliss
Source: Essential Baby
Materials: a little more than 4 skeins of Wool Gatto by Lana Gatto in Brick
Needles: US 7/4.5 mm
Started: June 30, 2009
Finished: September 7, 2009
Raveled here

I finished knitting this long before September 7, but it languished in the knitting basket for a while whilst I contemplated sewing in a zipper. I knew I wouldn't be able to do it on the sewing machine because garter stitch is so stretchy and my sewing machine is a little too "basic," and my hand sewing skills leave a little to be desired. My Gramie, however, is a very talented and well-rounded crafter. I figured she might even want to put a zipper in the bunting since it's for her first great-grandchild. She happily took on the project until she, ahem, realized that it was probably the most frustrating sewing task she's even undertaken. I'm so sorry, Gramie! But I'm really glad I didn't try to do it because she did a flawless job. The newt thanks you.

Jesse and I were at The Loop a few weeks ago and, while ogling some yarn, I asked, "Will our baby need a handknit blanket?" He said, "Of course." I bought some delicious, squishy merino. I have the best husband ever.
yip012 - knitting in bed
I have about seven rows left on the blanket and then I have to figure out where I'm going to block the darn thing. Oh Annie. Why did you have to move away and leave me without a decent blocking space?

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

I'm an award-winning knitter

One of the ladies in knitting group has been entering her work into the local exhibition for years and has been appalled at what has been passed off as "award-winning" knitting. She explained to the rest of the ladies that if we were to enter some of our work in the fair, we would all come away with some fancy ribbons and could call ourselves "award-winning" knitters. Sounded good to me.

So last week, I went to the exhibition office and bought myself a $25 membership. That allowed me to enter as many knitted objects as I wanted (it's usually $5 per entry) and I'd get free admission to the fair. I picked out five of my best FOs, filled out some paperwork, and handed my items over to the exhibition staff. Jesse and I went to the fair this evening and, lo and behold, there are ribbons attached to all of my entries.

I am an award-winning knitter.

First place for Dad's felted blue jay!
the award-winning blue jay
First place for Mum's Porom tam!
the award-winning Porom tam
First place for my Ishbel neckerchief!
the award-winning Ishbel
Second place for Mr. P's Trellis! (ahem. Some pink acrylic atrocity won first place.)
the award-winning Trellis
And third place for Gramie's Forest Canopy Shawl!
the award-winning Forest Canopy Shawl

Since the prizes are ribbons AND cash, I'm pretty sure I won enough to cover my entry fee.

But the real honour is being able to call myself an award-winning knitter. I like the way it sounds.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

FO: The newt's vest

Baby knits are so quick! Especially when you don't have to knit sleeves.
The newt's vest
Pattern: Vest by Debbie Bliss
Source: Essential Baby by Debbie Bliss
Materials: 1.5 skeins of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in Sea green
Needles: US 4/3.5mm
Started: June 12, 2009
Finished: June 17, 2009
Raveled here

I love a nice sweater vest. I love them on kids, women and especially on men. Nothing is cuter than a grown man in a sweater vest. Give him a beard and I melt. Speaking of beards, I had a dream that I gave birth to the newt and it was a boy who looked exactly like Jesse except he was blonde. Sounds kind of cute, but instead of looking like baby Jesse, the newt looked like a teeny version of grown-up Jesse, complete with a beard. I also had a dream that Jesse met a couple who had been trying to conceive for ages so he decided to sign away our rights to the newt and give him/her to this couple . . . without asking me! I was pissed.

More baby knits are in the works. I am over the moon about knitting for the newt!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

More spinning

This alpaca/silk/merino blend from FreckleFaceFibers . . .
365-262 (I may have bought some fibrey goodness)
turned into this . . .
365-329 (I'll never tire of doing this)
and then into this!
green handspun
I'm getting better at this spinning business!

I'm thinking of knitting something for the newt with my handspun. I don't think I have enough for a sweater, so it might become some booties and a hat. This kid's going to be born in December so he or she will need lots of warm woollies!

Oh! And you can keep track of my weekly belly bump pics over here!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

FO: Gooseberry Hat

Just a little FO to show you.
Isac in his Gooseberry hat
Pattern: Gooseberry Hat by Suvi S.
Materials: bits of leftover Louet Gems Sport in Chickadee
Needles: US 4/3.5mm
Started: April 20, 2009
Finished: May 22, 2009
Raveled here

I knit this up for my friend Ashley's baby, Isac. It's a little big on him now, so I'm hoping he'll get some use out of it this fall.

And you'll be seeing some more baby knits here in the near future because I'm working on building my own little person!
So, I've got something to tell you guys
The newt is due to arrive in early December!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

I'm a winner!

A lovely prize arrived in my mailbox yesterday! Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross. Ooooh!
Good mail day
I won the book in a contest on the the craft blog, Make+Do. Austen is doing regular giveaways, so you'd be smart to subscribe to her blog and try your luck at winning a crafty book too.
365-364 (Sigh. I want to make everything in this book)
Seriously, this book is incredible. It's got a wide variety of patterns (not just your regular placemat, handbag, napkin, remote control holder and tissue box cover) and I kind of want to make everything in here. Sherrie had her heart set on winning this book, so I've agreed to share custody. :)

I seems that I won't have a whole lot of time to craft over the next 34 days. A provincial election was called today, so I'll be managing a campaign and working my butt off! Sherrie: the book is yours for a month!

Thanks again, Austen, for the lovely book!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

FO: Ishbel

All the cool kids were doing it, so I jumped on the bandwagon.
365-340 (Ishbel)
Pattern: Ishbel by Ysolda Teague
Materials: 1 entire skein of Handmaiden Double Sea Silk in Midnight (?) plus a little tiny bit of Fleece Artist Nova Sock in a similar colourway to bind off
Needles: US 6/4mm
Started: April 3, 2009
Finished: April 7, 2009
Raveled here

Verdict: Love it. First, the yarn is really, really beautiful. It's soft, silky and has a lovely drape. It's ideal for a shawl/scarf/neckerchief/whatever Ishbel is supposed to be. The pattern is easy and well-written and the finished object is classy. I love everything about it.
365-338 (blocking)
Now that Blogless Annie (who, incidentally, now has a blog) has moved to Brooklyn, NY, I've lost my old blocking space! I used to block shawls in her attic because the old wood floor was the ideal spot to quietly leave a damp handknit where no kitties or husbands could disturb it. I decided to pin Ishbel down on the linoleum kitchen floor by the patio door in hopes that no one would step on it/wrestle it away from the pins and it was a success! Moustache didn't even look at it.
I ran out of yarn just before casting off, so I hauled out some bits of Fleece Artist Nova Sock in a similar colouway (leftover from this cowl) and bound off. It's blends pretty well and is hardly noticeable. It's actually kind of satisfying to use an entire skein on a project and not have any bits leftover.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Foray into a new craft

This thing of beauty showed up in my living room one evening after I went to knitting group. A guild member who says she hasn't touched her spinning wheel in months offered to loan me her lonely wheel for a bit. I, of course, jumped at the chance of being able to spin in the comfort of my own home.
Why hello there!
I fiddled around with the wheel a bit to familiarize myself with it and then jumped right into spinning with both feet. I got this braid of 3.7 ounces of merino combed top in "Lunamoth" from Freckle Face Fibers, drafted it a bit and started making some yarn.
And I came up with this gorgeous skein of handspun.
I made yarn!
Sure, it's not perfect, but I love it. It's approximately 166 yards and 100 grams of worsted weight yarn in shades of purple, brown and grey. I have no idea what I'm going to knit with it yet, but I've got enough for some mitts or a cowl or a beret.
365-321 (I made yarn and then I put it on my head!)
Right now I'm happy wearing the lone skein on my head. Fashionable, no?

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Porom for Mum

Mum asked me to knit her a tam or a beret, so I went to Ravelry right away to show her some patterns. At my insistence, she chose Porom. She wanted it in green, so I was excited to pick out some new yarn. I went to the Loop last weekend and found a gorgeous skein of Tanis Fiber Arts Green Label yarn -- a light worsted merino dyed in a semi-solid green. Perfect.
Green Label Tanis Fiber Arts
Pattern: Porom by Jared Flood
Materials: 1 skein Tanis Fiber Arts Green Label in Moss
Needles: US 6/4mm and US 8/5mm needles
Started: January 26, 2009
Finished: January 28, 2009
Raveled here
364-270 (Mum's Porom)
I didn't do any modifications -- the pattern is perfect the way it is. I did, however, run out of yarn on the last row and had to use less than one yard of Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in a similar colour to finish off. It's not noticeable at all. In fact, even when I pointed it out to Dad he couldn't see it.

Mum loves her Porom and it looks even better on her than it does on me!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Like cozying up in a basket of Fleece Artist

Remember way back when Lolly was visiting and I bought that to-die-for Fleece Artist kit? It wasn't long before I cast on and started creating my very own Lady of the Lake cardigan (rav). But then I lost the pattern. And then the kind ladies at Fleece Artist sent me the pattern. You'd think that would mean that I could finish the cardigan, but no. Then all that Christmas knitting happened and the ol' Lady fell by the wayside.

But after Christmas, I promised to pick up that ol' Lady again and finish her. It didn't take long once I got started again.
365-268 (Lady of the Lake!)
Pattern: Lady Of The Lake
Materials: 1 skein Fleece Artist Curly Locks and 2 skeins Fleece Artist Kid Aran
Needles: 7mm circular
Started: sometime during the summer of 2008
Finished: January 21, 2009
Raveled here

I didn't make any modifications. The cardigan looked kind of short when I finished piecing it together, but I wasn't worried because according to Ravelry, a good blocking does wonders. And it did.

I am so happy with this cardigan. It's incredibly cozy, not itchy at all, and wearing it is like cozying up in a basket of Fleece Artist yarn. Jealous?
365-242 (and you'd better not put it in the dryer this time)
All of this FO talk got me thinking that I forgot to blog about a couple of hats that I've knit in 2009. Remember Jesse's Hubby hat? Well, before Christmas he told me it wasn't quite long enough to cover his ears completely and he wondered if I could pick up some stitches along the brim to extend it a bit. Sure. Then he showed me the hat. He had felted it! Sure, it was superwash yarn, but that doesn't mean you can put it in the dryer! I agreed to make him a new hubby hat out of leftover bits and bobs of Mission Falls 1824 wool, but only after I gave him a stern warning about washing handknits!
Sweet Baby Cap #3
And this little guy wasn't knit for anyone in particular, I just had that mini-skein of Koigu KPM burning a hole in my stash and needed to knit with it. I still have enough for some booties or baby socks.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Comfort Week: Image

365-79 (knittin' in the backyard)
I'm a little late with this post -- I was on the road all day Friday and in Halifax yesterday (both days spent without my laptop! Oh the horror!) and I forgot to post first thing Friday morning. Better late than never?

I took this self-portrait in July and it just screams comfort to me (despite the puzzled look on my face, I was feeling quite serene). It was a warm day and the grass in our backyard was dry. I just plunked myself down there with some Noro Kureyon sock and knit for the afternoon. Bliss.

For more comfort, mosey on over here. And a big thanks to Sherrie for hosting this!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Comfort Week: Habit

Comfort Week: Habit
My favourite ritual is the 45 or so minutes I spend every morning with the paper and a nice, big cup of tea.

For more comfort, mosey on over here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Comfort Week: Place

365-261 (Comfort Week: Place)
Yeah, it's corny, but this is my most comfortable place.

For more comfort, mosey on over here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Comfort Week: Home

365-260 (most comfortable)
Day 2 of comfort week is devoted to the most comfortable thing in your house. Mine is the recliner I got for free (!) from my Mum's best friend when she got a new recliner. I spend every Sunday morning sitting here, doing the crossword whilst listening to The Sunday Edition.

For more comfort, mosey on over here.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Comfort Week: Food

365-259 (Comfort week)
Sherrie's hosting Comfort Week on her blog, so I'm bringing you a "comforting" photo each day this week.

Today's photo is about comforting food. I made leek and potato soup. It doesn't get more comforting than that.

For more comfort, mosey on over here.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Colour Week: Yellow

Colour Week: Yellow
I'm continuing with the dishes theme.

The little box behind the glass is filled with little yellow coasters that my Gramie gave me.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Colour Week: Purple

Colour Week: Purple
There's no shortage of purple in my kitchen.

The new purple mug was a Christmas gift from my sister-in-law. It's the perfect shade of aubergine.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Colour week!

Colour Week: Blue
Leya is hosting another colour week. Today is blue.

I love our blue dishes. We got them as a wedding present and I don't think we've broken one yet!