Wednesday, November 23, 2011

FO: Stashbusting

Recently I have dusted off the sewing machine again.  There were a couple of reasons for this, the main one being that I needed to whip up a quick baby gift and really didn't have any time to knit anything.  I was trying to decide what to make and realized that one thing we have really appreciated and used this time around were some nice new bibs, everyone knows that second babies end up with mainly stained and well worn bibs.
So I did some stash diving and came up with some fabrics I thought would work, drafted a pattern and voila here is the result.

I did get a little carried away and while I was on the go made a few more for Miss M as well so I could throw out some of the very tired looking old ones.
While I had was in a stash busting mood and spurred on by having some nice new bibs for Miss M I decided that it was also time to refresh the cloth wipes supply.  We have separate stashes of these that we use for faces and for nappy changes and both needed a bit of a boost.  Again all fabrics from stash.
While I had the machine out I felt it was only right to finally finish off a dress I started for Miss M many months ago, luckily it was too big when I cut it out.  It is a simple wee vintage pattern and I am pleased with the result although if I make more I think I would rather have ones that snap on the shoulders rather than this one while opens all the way down the back.  The fabric is some super cute needle cord.
And on Miss M.

Now I am all inspired to sew again and plan summer wardrobes for the kids, if only there were more hours in the day *sigh*.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

FO: Colour Me Cute

It seems I have been doing a lot of test knitting lately.  I really enjoy the process of testing a new pattern out and finding any errors etc along the way.  This particular test knit was a bit of a happy coincidence.  Lately when browsing patterns on Ravelry I have been strangely drawn to colourwork projects and had been trying to decide what to knit to get this out of my system.  I was tossing up between socks for me or maybe some fingerless mitts for next winter but had yet to find the 'perfect project' that really jumped out at me.
Then I saw that the lovely Elena Nodel had a new design ready for testing that is as cute as can be and would also fulfill my 'need' to get my colourwork fix.
This wee top/jersey (can be knitted with short or long sleeves) she has called 'Colour Me Pretty' and here is my version of it.

The smallest size for this pattern is 20" chest and as Miss M is only currently a 19" I knew this would end up a little on the big side.  She can definitely wear it now but I think it will be perfect come the end of summer and into autumn though.  I have knitted this version in Perendale 100% wool, mainly because I had the chocolate for the main color in stash and also because I could get a nice range of coordinating colors for the colourwork.  I must say a huge thank you here to the lovely ladies from my knitting group who helped me make the very awkward decision of what colors to use for this, I am completely rubbish as decisions like that.
So what do I love about this top?  EVERYTHING!  I am thrilled with how the colors have turned out, I love the design and the colourwork was loads of fun (and made the top seem to grow so quickly).  For any knitters out there that haven't tried colourwork before all I can say is its nowhere near as scary as it looks so just bite the bullet and give it a go :-)
Here are some shots of Miss M wearing it.  The yoke bunches a little on her at the moment simply because it is still a wee bit on the big side, still super cute though.

There is a high chance this will be my favorite FO of the year and is one of my all time favorites ever!

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Busy Day

Lately Mr A seems to wake up every Saturday and ask Daddy if he is going cycling today.  Most weeks they head down to the riverbank and ride along the riverbank trail and I collect a rather tired wee boy and bike at the end of the run.  Last weekend their bike computer told them they had cycled 8.5km at an average speed of 10k/h, not bad for a 4.5 year old.
Anyway this weekend we decided to try something a bit different.  By some miracle DP managed to fit both his bike and Mr A's in the car so we drove to Pencarrow and the boys went for a cycle ride while Miss M and I went for a nice brisk walk.
Getting the bikes ready to go.

All set in the buggy.

A wee warm up round the carpark.
Here are some of the things Miss M and I spotted along the way.

Pink daisies.
A wee reminder of Scotland.

A view across the harbor

The pathway.

Waves crashing.

Miss M with some 'fluffy flowers'

A 'monster' bush
When we all got back to the car it was time for a quick picnic lunch and a play at the beach.

What better way to round off an outing like this than to stop for gelato and coffee on the way home.  This might have been a busy day in itself except that when we got home we deiced it was time to do some gardening.  Unfortunately (or fortunately because it was probably too embarrassing to post) I didn't get a before picture of the garden but here is what it looks like now.  Suffice it to say it was a haven for every type of weed imaginable so Mr A and I cleared it almost completely and then prepared it for some new plants.  With Mr A's help we chose some seedlings and a couple of lavender bushes and it is now looking much better.

Now I just need to find the motivation to tackle the rest of the garden as well :-)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

FO: Baby Vertebrae

This project was a test knit for Kelly Brooker. When I saw her first photos of this design I fell in love with it. On first glance a frontless baby cardigan ay not seem practical but there are so many reasons this is a fab idea. Think of all those times a wee neborn alls asleep on your chest and you really need to take heir cardy off before popping them to bed. Have you ever had a refluxy or spilly baby, or a messy eating older baby and got sick of the endless woolen washing for the grubby cardy frints? Or my personal fav is that I think this design would be perfect for baby wearing, giving warmth on the arms and back while the wee one is snuggled up to you :-)
Anyway where was I? Oh yes having fallen in love with this pattern I jumped at the chance to test knit it for Miss M and here is the result.
The baby vertebrae pattern comes in a variety of yarn weights (4ply, 8ply and 10ply) and in sizes nb-2y (37.5cm-52.5cm chest).  Miss M is currently about 48cm chest so I had the choice between doing the 47.5cm or 50cm size.  I went up to the 50cm size and as a result the finished cardy is a little big on her right now but I think it will be perfect towards the end of summer/beginning of autumn.  Here I have knitted it in 8ply Skeinz Random Print in colourway Candy.  I was too sure about this yarn when I started knitting it up but now that it's done I am pretty pleased with the result.  For the 50cm size knitted with all lengths exactly to pattern this took exactly 150g.
Here are some pics of it being worn, Miss M was a bit too busy to be bothered with photos so they aren't the best.
I am still a bit obsessed by this pattern even having knitted it up, which is very strange for me as I don't very often knit a pattern more than once.  I can see this becoming a bit of a go-to pattern for me for new baby gifts though so be warned anyone I know who may be expecting or have a new baby.  Speak now if you don't want one, or if you do ;-)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

FO: A Gift For a Special Boy

Once again I time has run away with me and I am behind in popping all my FO's up here.  I will start right now with a quick post about a special baby gift.
I love making baby gifts and enjoy searching out the perfect pattern for the baby, what the parents might like, what would be right for the season etc.  Then the hunt is on for the yarn that is just right etc.  Early in 2011 we were very excited to learn that we would be introducing a new niece or nephew into our family.  Unfortunately for us this new wee person lives on the other side of the world, about as far away from us as you can get, so we knew we wouldn't be able to enjoy baby snuggles and that fabulous first meeting.  We later learnt that my SIL was having a wee boy and so I felt that a lovely snuggly cardy to wear through the Northern winter was just the ticket.
The pattern I chose this time was Young Einstein by Julia Stanfield which is part of the Little Rascals e-book.  I honestly don't think there is a better value for money pattern around.  This e-book contains a vest, jersey and cardigan in sizes nb-8y and is one if the few truly unisex patterns I have come across.  With options for cables, hood, collar, pockets the options are endless.
Here is my version, a size 0-3m.
The yarn I used here is Utiku multi in colourway Ocean.  I chose to do cables along the raglan increases and didn't add a collar or hood.
The hardest part of this project was finding the perfect buttons and after a long search I chose these cute wee teddies.
So congratulations to the proud new parents and sisters and I will check if I can add a picture of the wee man himself here soon.