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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I finished something!

Here is my complete beach tote. I am quite pleased!

And here's a pic of my half-felted swatch of Elann's Pure Alpaca for Laura's viewing pleasure. Oh, if only I could take a decent, not-blurry photo.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Another sewing project?

Not quite yet. I am going to finish some things first, I promise. But I do want to make one of these baby carriers. I mean, look how happy that little baby is! It looks so lightweight, too, and I have all the fabric and batting in my stash... I bet I could finish it in a Saturday... FOCUS, Woman!

Monday, August 20, 2007

I'm ba-ack!

Wow, it's been a little while since I've posted. There's been so much going on lately.

I had Friday and Monday off from work, so I went on a little trip to the beach in France this weekend with the baby and a girl friend. I was really looking forward to some sunshine and relaxation with perhaps some knitting thrown in. Sadly, it was cool and drizzly and unpleasant, so instead, we spent most of the time gorging ourselves with French food. Not a total loss, then... We also went to this really awesome aquarium that had big tanks you could see sharks and fish swimming in, and it had a petting tank to feel fish and rays. Pretty cool. It would have been great if Paul were a few years older. As it is, we did get pictures of him with the sharks and by the English Channel.
I also finally got my Mommy-Mobile. We ordered a station wagon almost two months ago and it finally came. I love it!!! It's a Saab and blue (that's all the stats I really care about). I had never even ridden in a Saab before, but I really like mine. I've had it a grand total of five days and have put over 1000 miles on it (thanks to France).

Update on the knitting club: not everyone showed up who said they would come, but the three of us there had a really great time! Two of us are already knitters, and we were able to teach the third. Her three kids also wanted to learn how to knit. They're young (4, 6, and 8), so I figured rather than tell them they're too little, I'd give it a shot and thought they'd give up pretty quickly. The 8 and 6-year-olds did give up after about five minutes, but the 4-year-old kept plugging away and made probably two knit stitches in 20 minutes before throwing in the towel. :-) So cute! Baby Paul also got to play with his little baby friend who is a month younger. Of course, playing for them consisted of laying on a blanket together, kicking and poking each other, and grabbing at each others' feet.
I received a big box of yarn last week from Elann and have made a promise to myself not to buy any more yarn until it is at least time to knit Paul a Christmas sweater (I know, that's like a month away). Anyway, I am already going to break that pact. We are going to baptize Paul when we vist the U.S. in a few weeks, and I am making him a little blanket/wrap for the church. Here's what I have completed so far:
This is Elann's Pegasus yarn - 52.5% mercerized cotton / 47.5 Viscose. So far I like the yarn and the pattern, but I only have two skeins of the color, so I need to buy more, like, now. The pattern is an adaptation of "Madli's Shawl" by Nancy Bush from Interweave Knits Magazine Summer 2004. Instead of making a long shawl, it will be square and I will knit the edging last and sew it around the edge. I hope it comes out well. The yarn is a nice light cotton and the viscose gives it a nice little shine.

I know, I know... I'm starting another new project and nothing finished to show for my labors.

Oh, and I put the straps and a lining on my tote. Just have to sew on the bottom and I'll post the directions.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Well, this is what I'm working on now: matching cardis for my son and his cousin (13 months old). Well, are they considered matching if they're different colors? The yarn is Knit Picks Swish DK. The pattern is from Debbie Bliss's SimpyBaby book - Cable Yoke Jacket. Obviously, I haven't gotten to the cabble yoke part yet. Still working plain old stockinette. The green I am working on is for Christopher, Paul's cousin. I will make Paul's out of the Terra Cotta color.

I got my Vogue Knitting magazine Thursday or Friday and was less then impressed. After much browsing through and reading others' thoughts out in blogland, I am only really interested in making these two (for now at least):

I want to make this scarf out of different colors of mohair I have floating around. We'll see how the flowers look in mohair.

I have this Knit Picks CotLin that just arrived. The color is darker than I thought it would be and I'm a bit afriad it'll be too close to my skin tone (not so flattering) but it might work for a hoodie/cardi. Have to swatch and see.

And here is Paul looking cute as ever. This is his first day wearing something size 6-9 months. He's getting so big!!

Now, I am off to a new knitting club/group/circle thing of friends. Only one of the four other women going actually knows how to knit, so I don't think I'll be getting much knitting done. This should be fun, though... Gotta pass on the craft!

Sunday, August 5, 2007


First, let me say that Paul is the perfect baby. Seriously, he hardly every cries. If he cries, it means he needs something, and I can usually figure out what that need is pretty quickly. That said, he cried - no, screamed - for two hours straight on Saturday. Once he calmed down, he would start up again if I tried to put him down. My husband and I tried everything - feeding, pacifier, changing diaper and clothes, rocking, walking, cuddling, playing, examining his little body for bee stings or hernias. Eventually, it was a lot of singing that calmed him down. I still don't know what the problem was. Today, he was back to his happy-go-lucky self, which kind of kills my theory that he is starting to feel tooth pain. I have no clue...

I am one of those knitters who is easily seduced by variagated yarn but never actually likes the look when knit. I have found an exception, though. This is beautiful. The yarn is Araucania Atacama in color #501. It's 100% alpace and is gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous. I only bought one skein but am thinking of buying a few more for a hat/scarf/gloves combo. That would be nice - very cute with a denim jacket.

Here it is, fresh off the skein:

...And wound in a ball:
...And knit into a little swatch:

On a different note...

When I first started knitting, I made my husband a sweater (he was my boyfriend at the time - the boyfriend knitting curse didn't apply to me, I guess). We were both so happy with the results, I'm afaid I won't be able to top it and haven't made him anything else. Five years later (Wow, time flies), I really need to make the man another sweater! I've been promising a gray vest for a while and had gone through a couple different yarn option and pattern rejects before settling on Elann's Peruvian Pure Alpaca and (surprise surprise) my own design. It's a simple allover woven-type cable. It's subtle because the background stitches are also knit as opposed to the more common purl. Here it is so far. I'm not sure how long I've had this in progress, but I know I started it before Paul was born. I just pulled it out again this weekend.

I also just ordered some Filatura di Crosa 501 for a turtleneck for him, hopefully for Christmas. We'll see how this turns out...

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Busy snuggling

Nothing to blog about today. This evening, I've been waaaaay too busy watching this little man sleep. He's so snuggly!!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Not much to post about today. Instead of being crafty, I made peanut butter cookies for friends in Iraq. Here's a pretty picture... knitting and cookies.

The knitting is just to post something. I've been working on this since near the end of my pregnancy, when I started knitting for my body sans-baby-inside again. It's been slow going thanks to the lace and little needles, but I am really happy with it so far.
This is the back...


...and this is the front. You can see I have a little ways to go.

Here I've stretched it a bit so you can see the lace. It's sideways, obviously. I think the vertical lace pattern will be flattering. It's a simple lace pattern that I stole off of a pattern in a magazine, but I wasn't a fan of the sweater.and here is my big boy holding his own bottle!! Once we found the camera, of course, he had stopped holding the bottle on his own, so I confess, I coaxed him into this position for the photo, but he was really holding it himself, I swear!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Update on the Totes

I was hoping to have one of the bags all done this weekend, but we'll have to settle for some teaser photos. We had some setbacks on Saturday with the embroidery, and the straps are taking FOREVER to turn. There must be a more high-tech tool than the safety pin for turning tubes of fabric right side out, but whatever it is, I don't have it.

This one still needs a bottom, lining, the pocket embroidered and the straps sewn on. (I just laid it all together to see how it would look.)

...and this is a sneak peak at mine. I'm really happy with it so far. The name embroidery turned out great.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Some kind of recent FOs

Here are some fairly recently finished objects.

This a skirt I just finished a few weeks ago. I used this Blue Sky Alpaca pattern. It's the first pattern I've followed exactly in a long time. Of course, I finished the knitting probably a year ago. Problem was that it was too loose at the top and didn't stay up well. This is definitely a problematic feature to have in a skirt. So, it went into a pile for me to sew on some elastic, and then it was put off for a long time while I was pregnant. Here it is, all finished up with the elastic at the waist.

It aint perty (the sew job on the elastic), but it gets the job done. I was too lazy to get out the sewing machine, so I hand stiched it on. This definitely took longer than it would have taken to just get out the machine.

I don't recall the yarn. I'll have to do a better job of tracking that kind of stuff. It was something I bought on but wasn't elann brand. It's some kind of wool. I really like the yarn and wish I remembered what it was. Maybe I'll stumble across an errant brown ball in a knitting drawer.

This is a top I made a long time ago with cashmere yarn that my sweet, wonderful husband (then my boyfriend) bought me for Christmas. It is so soft. The only sad part is that I ran out of yarn before I could finish the armholes as I wanted, so they pull in a bit. It's still very nice, I think. Instead of a summer top, I wear it more in the winter over a long sleeved tee, like a turtleneck vest. It's an interesting look.

This is my most recent knitting FO. That's why I remember these details: It is knit from's Baby Cashmere on size 4 needles. The two colors are starlight blue and peacock. Can't think of what other information might be good to post. I don't recall how many balls it took. There was no pattern. I just kind of made it up as I went along. I really like how the boat neck turned out. Still need to wash and block it, though.

Sorry for all of the headless shots. My wonderful husband is just learning the art of knitting blog photography. While the sweater is the main focus, it's just kind of weird to see all these bodies that should be looking at you but have no heads.

And..... gratuitous baby shot.

In closing, Thank you Thank you Thank you to Libby. She left me my very first comment and it made my day! :-)

Baby pics!

Here are some pics of Baby Paul (and me). I know that's what you really are interested in.

Here we are at the very beginning...

Here he is in one of the sweaters I posted about two days ago.

And here he is now, 4 months old.

I really must improve my photography skills.
Maybe I should get to work now. This blogging thing could be bad for my career. :-)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

on to the sewing part of my life...

Here are some sewing project ideas I would like to complete before the summer is over.

First, these are pieces for a tote bag. I made up the pattern by looking at one I bought and love. The colors are obviously not for a girly-girl like me. This one will be for a friend. I really hope it turns out nicely, though, because I bought all of this gorgeous stripe and toile fabric to make more...
If it they do turn out well, I will post my made-up pattern and directions here. This weekend, I'm bumming use of an embroidery machine from a friend. We're going to try to embroider names on the tote pockets.

Next is some gorgeous blue linen I bought for a dress. It's so light and has such a wonderful drape (I actually think it is a linen-cotton blend of sorts) I'm thinking something floaty and strapless. ...and if the top doesn't, um, stay up, I can always add some straps later. Here is the fabric and the pattern I plan to use. The color shows up on my monitor very accurrately.

This is a pattern I want to sew, but I haven't found the right fabric yet. Besides, how many dresses does a girl who wears a uniform every day need? I'm thinking something with a virtical stripe. I like the way the example on the right looks.

Finally, a dud online purchase. :-( This looked so beautiful on the screen! I thought it would make a pretty, chic sheath. It's drapery material, but I've found great fabric suitable for a dress that way before. Some home dec fabrics have really pretty patterns that are sophisticated. Anyway, I did not love it so much when it arrived at my mailbox. I don't like the feel of the fabric, and it is as washed out as it appears on the screen here. The photo on the web site was overly flattering. I'm not sure what I'll do with this. It will definitely go in the stash. It could be useful to make a muslin for some home dec project... not that I'm planning one any time in the near future.
I have a reasonably large knitting stash, but I'm just starting to work on a sewing stash. I learned to sew from my mother, who never bought material without a project in mind. Hence, no real stash to speak of (until she started quilting). So when I started up sewing again, I didn't buy fabric without the plan and time time to complete it. In the past year or so, though, I've definitely fallen behind and don't see myself catching up with my visions any time soon, so I guess you could say I've developed a fabric stash.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Cute Little Baby Sweaters

Here are two of my most recent creations (most recent successful creations, at least). Both are for my son who is now four months old. I tried to get him to model them but quickly realized that he has far outgrown both.

I am definitely what I call a "selfish knitter." 90% of the things I make are for myself - mostly sweaters. Having a baby is slowly changing that. I do love the instant gratification of knitting for him, even on small needles. These sweaters are both wonderfully soft, and the buttons and snaps in front made for easy changing.

Neither really came from a pattern. I own a bunch of knitting books but hardly ever actually follow a pattern. They are more for inspiration and size reference. This fly-by-the-seat-of my-pants attitude makes for a LOT of frogging, which drives my husband nuts!!

The first sweater is made from four colors of some cotton-blend yarn I had left over from making my nephew a sweater - dark and light blue, tan, and white. I knit it in a slip-stitch pattern that I made up (but I'm sure it's not original).
This sweater, hat, and socks set is knit in's Baby Silk yarn, which I ADORE! Now I am working on two sweaters for myself in this yarn... wonder if they'll ever get finished. I loosely based this cardigan off of one in a beautiful Debbie Bliss baby book. The one in the book was a pullover, but I thought a cardi would be more practical for a tiny baby. I would like to make the pullover for him this winter... but out of a yarn that is machine washable!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Welcome to me!

This is my first attempt at blogging, so I expect a long learning curve before I actually tell anyone about it. If you stumble across this blog, I hope you enjoy it a bit. My plan is to post about my knitting and sewing projects. I enjoy reading other crafters' knitting and sewing blogs, so my hope is to add a little more inspiration out into the online crafting community.