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A Snake for Roman Bryce

This little nugget entered our world on January 20, 2013. I love him.

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P.S. He isn't my baby, he is my nephew, Roman Bryce Hickey.

He waited to arrive until the very day I finished putting the button eyes on his gift (surely that is what he was waiting for).

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I got this pattern from a book I needed to have, when I saw this very snake, on the cover. It didn't call for the same yarn I used, but I had some 220 Superwash made by Cascade Yarns on hand (in a rainbow of colors) and figured it would be just as fabulous. It was.

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I followed the pattern exactly to shape the head and the end of the snake but lost track a lot in the middle stripe section. I knit on size 5 or 6 dpns although I could've just used regular knitting needles, since I wasn't knitting in circles. I was thinking I'd like to knit in the round but I ended up just stitching it closed, as the pattern stated.

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Here is the finished 'bod' and I was already pretty in love with it. He was all one piece so I just had to stitch his belly closed. He was a pretty simple project. I love knitting toys, especially striped toys.

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long as my leg

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Lexie had called me to let me know she was in labor, so I made sure I had my necessities packed (in my doula bag) before I headed off to bed. I was in bed for about 5 minutes before I got the call to head to their house. It made me happy I was going to be able to bring this fella along with me.

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Notice the snake protecting the corgi, Papa and that badass laboring Mama.

I think Boo Boo was happy too. The snake for baby Roman was a good morning distraction (for a big sis) at 7am when she woke up to a laboring Mama.

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Winter Hat Love

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More deets on other winter projects coming soon. My needles have been busy all winter. If you'd like to follow on Instagram I am walkingstickmama.

Kindergarten Powerband

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I cried myself to sleep last night, you know that silent cry, so not even your husband knows you are crying? I didn't think that would happen this time around, but who was I kidding, really? I never have dry eyes through a parent teacher conference, I never have dry eyes through a choir concert, hell I barely have dry eyes through dinner most nights, so when I thought I was unaffected by my baby starting Kindergarten today I was really just kidding myself. He didn't know I was sad, nor will he know tomorrow when I don't even get to go inside the school with him. I got teary leaving Simon in his 3rd grade classroom and he barely even wanted me to set foot in the door with him.

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We sprinkled magic dust under his pillow last night to help him peacefully sleep. I always check on my kids before bed, but there was something "right of passage y" about last night. Tomorrow will be the first full day elementary school for both of my kids - under the same roof - without me. They've grown into kids, officially. I know I'll enjoy the change, just as soon as the newness wears off. I feel comforted knowing they are together at school, even if they don't see one another throughout the entire day. I'm comforted knowing they'll watch out for each other on the bus ride home tomorrow afternoon.

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When Simon started Kindergarten he needed a little bit of extra love through the day, or a reminder that I was with him, even when I wasn't right there. My heart was still with him. I stitched up a little cloth heart and we pinned it inside his pants each morning before school, until he didn't need it anymore. My heart wasn't really mine anymore after he was born.

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And I wouldn't have it any other way.

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To make the power band I used Shepard's Wool Yarn, which is probably my favorite yarn ever. I used size 8 dpns. I cast on 32 stitches and passed 8 onto each needle. I k2, p2 the entire way around - changing colors for the different powers that needed to be incorporated into the band and did 3 rows of each color combo. Ta Da - it was done and I am going to be happy to wear it just as soon as Gus doesn't need it anymore.

 

Sayonara Summer

Time to start knitting again. If you have some acrylic yarn that isn't worthy of much else...here are some ideas.

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Yarn and Simon Mama Loves Knitting

We've spent the entire summer wrapping yarn around sticks making swords, staffs, decorative pieces, and each color has a "power." My favorite is pink - that is "sexy power," according to my 5 year old. Just to clarify "sexy power" gives you a skirt (whether you want one or not). Yellow is blinding, red is fire (of course), green is life, black, I think we all know, is death, and I might have to check in with Gus in the morning to be reminded of the rest of the powers.

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If you tie yarn around your head (or ankles or stomach) - color dependent - you get special powers. Be mindful of your color choices!

I made only one hat this summer...and I've started on my second. Time to start hanging out in the basement after dark and knitting my life away. Of course this is just another of my infamous ribbed hats. I cast on 84 stitches and knit 2 purl 2 until the end. It'll fit forever. This is supposed to be for a baby - and it fits Gus (my sizing model). It will fit the masses.

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If you follow peeps on Instagram you can find some occasional knitting pics @evosshickey.

Life is grand - summer was fabulous. I'll be knitting hats in San Diego - on our vacation in September. I was thinking I would attempt a hat a day on vacation - that is a stretch. I will be on the beach, in the sand, maybe I'll finish one hat while I'm basking in the California sun and hitting Legoland with my all time favorite boys!

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Hope your summer was as magical as ours.

Yarn Tagging

Yarn Tagging Mama Loves Knitting

As promised, forever ago, here are some more photos from our yarn bombing event. The holidays came and went, my little toy store went through a remodel phase and now it is May. May seems to be the perfect time to share some snowy photos.

Higgins Yarn Bomb Mama Loves Knitting

It is pretty pleasing to see the burst of color amidst the dreary, drab wintery Missoula skyline and downtown.

The Cause for the Yarn Bomb

The cause for the yarn bombing was this organization.

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Yarn Bombing Higgins Mama Loves Knitting Stitching Yarn Bombing Higgins Mama Loves Knitting Hand Model

In case you are wondering my hand model is my good friend Niki. A tiny flaw...we stitched these bits of cozy warm blankets together using a needle and thread and in the future when we do yarn bombing again we'll need to stitch these beauties on with yarn. The thread didn't hold up on the windy bridge quite as well as it could if burly yarn were used in place of the thin thread.

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There she is! Niki joined me spur of the moment to tag the posts on our Higgins Street Bridge.

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Tag Something Mama Loves Knitting

Tag something, with yarn of course!

At Long Last….

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I did it! I finished my sweater - in one year - but it is finished none-the-less. I will probably wear it every single day for a year now. It is cozy and warm. It isn't without a flaw here and there, like the entire hood is completely inside out, but with the addition of a pom-pom it looks perfectly adorable, in my opinion, and then no do-overs required.

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Before I forget there is a link I've been meaning to share. Picking up stitches can be tricky and each time I have to do it I realize I've completely forgotten how to do it, this video perfectly lays it out (for me). The photos above are when I was working on picking up stitches for my sleeves. I had to do it again when I was working on my hood and finishing up the collar. I am not going to lie to you, I'm pretty into the finished product.

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So I did end up finishing the hood later with a pom-pom and I love it so much more, but I love the elf effect it has on me.

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I couldn't comfortably stand in the yard while Shane took some pictures of me, I'm far to shy for that, so I grabbed my chicken to keep me company. Meet Octopus Pie - named after Gussy's pronunciation of Optimus Prime as a tyke.

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So the hood, I flipped it so you could see the side that is (I think) actually supposed to be the visible part. I honestly like the way it looks though. Others may not be into the "character" (that is what I'll be calling it from here on out).

The pattern for this sweater I found on Ravelry and it is called the Weekend Hoodie. You can see my progress if you look back at this post and this post. And I don't honestly think there is much else to say. I'm beaming - and now for a few more photos...and I'm out (wearing my sweater of course).

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Happy Knits!

Socks – and then some…

I have yet to complete a pair of socks...er even one sock...but I am going to finish my sweater - hopefully before the weekend is over.

I wanted to share this blog that is full of fun patterns and mad skill. Today the focus happens to be sock construction...and I will be revisiting this after my sweater is complete.

Just so you have a fun photo to view this is another holiday gift that I knit up for Simon's 2nd grade teacher - Mrs. Rothwell - whom he loves dearly. And I love this boy dearly...my little potato.

Simon's Scarf Gift

I knit this from some local yarn - made in Corvallis - Mountain Colors is the brand and boy is it colorful. It was a fun project - I knit most of this scarf in the hospital (doula-ing) while the little nugget below was being born.

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His mama was my yarn bomb buddy.

Here is a pretty cake of Mountain Colors yarn - which I will most definitely be using again.

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Happy Knits.

 

Year End Holiday Knits

My year has been full. It has been full of love, friends, family, knits, change and all kinds of good stuff. I embarked on new projects this year, tried new things, grew a bit as I feel like I do with each new year. My kids are obviously growing too, I'll be doing some shopping for Simon in the new year he barely fits in any of his clothes these days. It warms my heart to see both of my boys still loving their knit hats I made them back when this whole new passion became a part of my life. The hats were one of my very first projects.

Christmas Tree Hunting

This year I've been crankin' hats out. I can make one in no time flat anymore, all I need is one evening and a good movie and of course some chunky wool and my 10.5 circular needles. It doesn't hurt to have my husband snuggled beside me on the couch either, never does really (knitting or not). I still have a couple of projects in the works. My sweater for example. Sheesh when will I ever finish that bad boy. But I've made two baby blankets over the course of the past few months and several hats.

Here is a quick snip of one of those blankets.

Evelyn's Blanket

This one was for Baby Evelyn whom you met a few months ago.

Then I got to spend nearly a week with one of my favorites - knitting a few nights when we weren't cleaning, rearranging, and organizing at my store.

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Here she is...knitting by our sweet little Christmas tree.

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She brought me a surprise...a huge one...my sister and her baby whom I hadn't gotten the chance to meet yet. Baby William Jeffery.

BIll Bill's Hat

The nights when we got to sit down and knit were, and always are, my favorite. The aforementioned hats I worked on for Christmas gifts were for my husband (whom I've never made a thing for - on purpose anyway) and his brother who happens to heart the Chicago Bears.

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In order to complete these projects before Christmas morning I used some fairly chunky yarn and some size 10.5 circular needles. The yarn is malabrigo chunky in the hat pictured above. This hat I knit right in front of Shane (because I didn't really have a choice) but since he didn't inquire the gift ended up a surprise. This yarn is Kettle Dyed pure merino wool the variation in the skeins was so pretty. I decided to stripe it a bit - I'm a total sucker for vertical stripes.

The hat below was the Chicago Bears inspired hat that I decided to attempt a tiny bit of fair isle on. I don't really know what I'm doing but it sort of worked. I didn't know if my brother in law would like it though so I quickly knit up another ribbed hat for him too. Two hats on Christmas morning - that's a fine gift...right?

Fair Isle Attempt Outside Fair Isle Fair Isle Angle

I finally found some Brown Sheep Yarn Co. yarn to use for the Bear's hat, but it was no easy task finding yarn, in one day, that came close to being the proper colors. Plus I needed wool...and it wasn't the softest wool - hopefully Bryan doesn't have an itchy head. I ribbed the bottom of the hat in the pictures above and then just knit knit knit (on circulars) and knit in those little fair isle stitches for a couple of rounds. I didn't use a pattern just decided to wing it.

Ribbed Bear's Hat

And now I'm feeling a bit more caught up. I realize it is actually February and I'm still reminiscing the end of the year. I guess I'm just in a much better space today than I was a month or so ago. Things are calming down and I'm filing through photographs. And, I'm getting excited to have the time to start some more new knitting projects. Happy 2012!

Baby Bill

 

 

Yarn Bombing in Missoula

This morning our local paper featured a yarn bombing project that I was fortunate enough to partake in yesterday. If you'd like to see the article to hear more about Keep Missoula Warm you can check it here.

Yarn Bombing in Missoula

This fascination I have with tagging something in town was finally met but not on the secretive level that I'd hoped for...so that is my next goal. I have the perfect piece to share - now I just need an occasion. It will come to me soon enough I'm sure. I took a handful of photos of the handiwork yesterday so I'll post those as soon as I weed through my pictures. I barely squeezed this post out before I turned into a pumpkin. Nighty Night.

 

Baby Evelyn Mae’s Hat

Evelyn Mae Hickey

I got to be at another birth and it was an awfully special one, especially close to my heart. This little nugget joined our family almost a week ago and I was present for her first breath of Montana air. She was born right in her Mama and Papa's peaceful bedroom, and she's my niece Evelyn Mae. I am working on a blanket similar to the one I made for Baby Bill Jeff but with a different color scheme. I knit a bit during the labor, but I wasn't working on the hat, that was complete and I had gifted it to Sarah that night, at our house, right after her water broke at our kitchen counter. We were having a bit of a surprise party for her because her birthday was only a few days later and we figured the weekend would be the best time. We were about an hour into the party when ~ "blammo" drenched drawers. We surprised her baby out! Or maybe Evelyn thought the party was for her.

We headed to her house, and I went along for the ride, as I'd planned to be her birth doula. Her midwife visited just to check heart rate, blood pressure and dilation. All looked well. Contractions hadn't started just yet, so I headed back home for an hour, when Bryan texted me things were getting more serious. That didn't take long.

Sarah and Sandhano

Sarah labored through the night with mighty gusto. Bryan was by her side the entire time and things went perfectly. Mama might still beg to differ, but I'm sure not for long. Sandhano (her midwife (and mine 4.5 years ago)) came back around 5:30 AM and Sarah was ready to push. 1.5 hours later she pushed her sweet baby out right before the light of the morn on October 22nd.

Start of Hat

Not sure how many stitches I cast on but I know that I just looked back at another ribbed hat for a babe I'd made before. I suppose I probably did somewhere near 60, of course some multiple of 4 as that is a requirement to make this pattern work. k2, p2 all the way around using size 6 circular needles. The variegated yarn I used was wool from Skyline Yarns purchased a couple of years ago, her Etsy shop has been empty for a while now, but I save it (hoard it) for special occasions...such as this one. I am promised the yarn shop will be back someday. The yarn pictured is sock yarn (fingering yarn) but just because it is "sock yarn" doesn't mean it has to be used for socks only. In fact I've never completed a pair of socks...but I'm always on the lookout for pretty sock yarn.

Baby Hat  Baby Hat Again

This little hat is so tiny that I was asked if it was made for a hamster. Uncool. Hamsters don't even wear hats.

I promise to share more photos and love just as soon as I complete the blanket. I'm 1/2 way there. Here is a snip of what it looks like (a bit before the 1/2 way mark) and Thanksgiving felt project my sister (Sloane's Mama) and I are working on.

Ev's Blanket

Welcome to the world sweet Evelyn. We all adore you!