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.

Jan Knitting

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

Jan Knits

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.

Shane's Hat Shane's Ribbed Hat Shane's Hat Done

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

 

 

Baby En Route

I convinced my sister at 41 weeks (today) to drink some castor oil (in hind sight I don't think it took much convincing). She is probably checked into the hospital right now. I got a text about an hour ago saying they were on their way. I texted her 2 hours ago and said "Sup?" and she replied with "Not good" about 5 minutes later. I wasn't sure what that meant but I found out 15 minutes later they were heading to the hospital.

The hugest part of me wishes I wasn't 1300 miles away right now. I get the amazing experience of being present for many births in Montana but seriously debated trying to doula for my sister in spite of our distance. I tried to be there for Clara's birth and that didn't pan out quite as I'd hoped, so I think I learned my lesson. The catch(es) is/are that I have another sister (in-law) in Missoula that is due the 25th of October and I have 2 little boys in school and a husband with a sporadic work schedule. I couldn't really leave my world for an undetermined amount of time to go to my sister's world to be at her birth, even though at this hour after a few glasses of wine my heart is telling me that was a bad decision. I realize she is in good hands and she is made up of the same bits I am so she'll be just fine and probably can feel my love from afar? I hope.

Blanket Bundle

To tie it all in - I've spent the last month dreaming about baby William's arrival and wondering how his story will unfold whilst knitting and knitting and knitting him a precious blanket. Back in the summer Melissa picked out the yarn and held it in her sweet pregnant lap. That lap is not the same size it was then, and that baby is not probably quite as cozy as he was this afternoon. Hopefully his blanket can keep him warm as the fall creeps in.

 Knit Blanket

Work in Progress

I used a pattern I found called the Forever Baby Blanket and I found out as I neared completion that another Mama I am doula(ing) for is knitting the exact same blanket for her baby due in February. I used Spud and Chloe sweater yarn in place of the yarn the pattern recommended. This particular yarn is a wool/cotton blend and delicious to work with. I used size 8 needles a bit different than the pattern but good for my yarn selection and circular needles as the pattern calls for. I got one skein of yarn that was a different brand (without knowing) and had to order more - this time I chose to order from Jimmy Bean's Wool and I love the outcome of that decision. I loved my experience and would recommend it to anyone that might be wondering where to order yarn from. I got a free pattern when I ordered and got free shipping on my next order.

Back to that blanket...

knitting

I love how simple the pattern is:

Row 1: K3, *sl 1 wyif, k3, repeat from * to end of row.

Row 2: K1, *sl 1 wyif, k3, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, sl 1 wyif, k1.

And that is basically it. Over the course of the last month I took this blanket with me to Simon's second grade orientation, watched/helped Gus learn to ride a two-wheel bike, sat on the front porch swinging chair and watched fall come, watched storms roll in, watched the wind blow, went to prenatals, watched about 8 horror movies (it is horror movie month at our house), hung out with baby Sloane, spent hours talking to family on our regular Friday night family night, knit on the beach in the sunshine, all the while wondering about William (Baby Bill).


William Jeffery is here! He came while I puttered away on the keys. I will probably just post some photos and call it a night.

Just got this photo to 'send out to the world'.

Bill Jeff

Happy Birthday Baby Will - born on the sweetest Great Grandma's birthday on earth. That will make Grandma Eleanor smile!

The kicker is the blanket arrived today on their doorstep. Maybe he really was waiting for his blanket from his Auntie.

Hi Knitting Blog

I've been away from you, but definitely not away from my knitting. I've got a handful of projects for new babes coming into the world and for sweet babes already in the world. I have my sweater in a good place, just awaiting the assistance of the Knitting Jedi to finish up the hood. She is this woman that is probably in her 60s and she's been knitting since she was 3 years old. I'm pretty sure she might know every single thing there is to know about knitting. My sweater has sleeves now though...I could conceivably wear it without the hood...but I kind of had my heart set on a hood.

Sleeve

Soon soon - the air is chilling - it is harder and harder to get out of my nice warm bed every morning. Pretty soon I'll be all snuggled up in a nice warm sweater of my own creation.

I had a fun and very full summer. Each of the places I visit, in addition to checking out the local toy store, I've now found I need to find the local yarn shop. I made it back to the midwest for a visit and my sister and I had a couple of days sans our kiddos while Grandma and Grandpa spent some quality time with them. We found a couple of magical yarn shops that I hadn't ever been to.

My Sister

Blankie Yarns

The first was Crafty Planet in Minneapolis. We decided since we had time we'd find the yarn I would use to make her baby a blanket and hat. Both will be featured in future posts. The blanket yarns are upon her shrinking lap (courtesy of Spud & Chloe). They had several yarns to choose from so it was pretty fun to look without distractions, they also had some pretty great fabric so we spent a LOT of time at Crafty Planet.

Then we got hungry and there was a tiny little restaurant that happened to be right around the corner. We actually did a GPS search for restaurants (pulled over on the side of the street) and we decided on our destination and we were about 20 feet from the parking lot. Probably didn't really need the GPS to help us get there, actually, who am I kidding?, we did. This was my delicious lunch at Chimborazo.

Hungry

Now back to the yarn. The next stop was pretty much my dream come true. The only bad part about this entire place was the temperature and that was simply because it was 100+ degrees outside in the muggy muggy midwest. Borealis was the shop we sought out in St. Paul, MN. This was outside the front door and I think it ought to be their home page photo...just sayin'.

Borealis

I'm pretty into the idea of tagging things these days. My tags will unfortunately never be this awesome.

Rad

Street Corner

Heart

Now for the yummy inside of the store. I will mention this place is HUGE, it has 3 separate yarn rooms - an entire room for just sock yarn. If sock yarn is your 'thing' you will probably want to put it on your list of places to visit before you run out of yarn. Which poses the question does any knitter/crocheter ever run out of yarn? I recently told Jan that I hope I live long enough to use up all of my fabric and my yarn. She told me I would just buy more, so that was probably impossible.

 Chunky Worsted Weight Yarn Yummy

There is something about cubes full of yarn that makes my heart sing. I'm so happy they didn't care that I was taking photos.

Wool Sock Yarn Green, Yellow, Cream

Don't you just want to stick your entire arm right in the middle of this rainbow?

Blues Pinky Purps

KNIT

Just do it!

 

 

 

 

Uke it Up! Catching Up!

Pretty excited to knock this out for Father's Day for my very own Ukulele Guy. And, maybe I can even surprise him with a little ditty. You see he got me a uke a while back and I haven't taken the time to learn to play it, or maybe I haven't taken the time to have him teach me. I am the proud owner of the exact same ukulele pictured on Knitty's Pattern though. I'm going to click on some of those links and learn those chords tonight. And then pull some yarn out of my stash and knit this up, and attempt to felt the first thing I've ever felted. I'm not anticipating it to look anything like the beautiful examples pictured with the pattern, but I'll do my darnedest.

I've been away from this sweet blog for awhile, not on purpose, but vacation(s), kids, life, etc have pulled me away. I've been knitting though...that is one thing I've stuck to. I'm still plugging away working on my sweater, it now has one complete sleeve. The sleeve ended up being, not quite as perfect as I would have hoped for, luckily I still have another attempt with sleeve two. Then I will only have a hood to do, which sounds daunting, but I WILL GET THAT DAMN THING DONE! And I will save the photos until the end, mostly for your sake.

I'm also working on a baby blanket for someone special.

On the Plane

This is a tiny taste of it right up next to a pretty kickin' Mad Lib my 6 year old created for our airplane entertainment enroute to Mexico. If you aren't into the anatomy and bodily functions a 6 year old finds hilarious - maybe this Mad Lib isn't for you.

And, I'm working on a hat for a special little birthday girl in my life, shhh don't tell her.  I think I'll use it to top a jar of pickles, her favorite food (at least at my house). Those are the next special things coming down the pipe.

Edie

Happy Almost Summer!

4 Months Old

Sloane's Blanket
And her auntie FINALLY got her blankie done. Sheesh.

I suppose this post will be more a photo gallery than anything else. This is what Sloane looks like today, she's not much of a newbie anymore, but at least she's not 5.

Little Baloney

So the time line goes a little something like this...

Sloane came into our big world on January 3rd and this is about where I was in the garter stitch process when her Mama Lexie went into labor. You'll notice in the final product there are a couple of crocheted hearts in the purple section that has some special meaning. You see, I had the very special privilege of being Lexie and Colin's birth doula and of course I brought my knitting along. I always do, and good thing I did, it was a long one.

Finally got to Purple

I dropped my stitches a few times during Lexie's labor. A couple of them got flipped over and unfortunately my yarn selection isn't terribly forgiving. I used 100% Superwash Wool made by Cascade Yarns. If you want to see the very beginning of this process (only the blue yarn and a sweet pregnant belly) feel free to go back in time.

This was our first Ladies night (with our newest lady) at Sloane's abode. New Mama Lexie, Auntie Sarah, Sloane, Mia (the big sister) and I. We did some knitting, crocheting, baby snuggling/smelling and celebrated with a bottle of wine.

Ladies Night Big Sister

I think I did something like 140+ stitches across each and every row and it wasn't a quick knit. It was definitely worth it though for the sweetest little peach.

I drank a lot of martinis and watched a lot of movies during the long winter while working on this project.

Martini and Some Knits

I knit while I babysat my sweet little 2 month old niece. She spent a lot of time around her 'work in progress'.

Babysitting Awake Sloane Sleepy Sloane

Some of it awake, much of it asleep.

knitting auntie

Getting bigger by the day. Both of them.

Sloane

Shiny needles, must get them.

Get Needles Baby Blanket

Until we just had the finishing touches. The finishing touches were no quick task. I crocheted 4 hearts and stitched them on both sides of the blanket to cover the contraction bumps. The knitting would fall off of my needles every once in a while when I was needed to hold hair back, massage Lexie's back or legs or cover her with a blanket or cool her with a damp cloth, or sway back and forth in the living room. Or lay on the bed in the bedroom beside her. I couldn't predict when the timing was good to start another row of purple. I 'purpled' through the entire labor. And I lost my work a lot! It showed the most in these two spots, so I decided how fitting to put some hearts there. To make those flaws have a bit more meaning, well, and to hide them.

Heart

Hearts Heart

Finished

The Hearts

I think Sloane likes her blanket and it is nice and big and I envision her on it in the backyard on the grass...so spring better start heating up! Mama Lexie took some sweet photos of the wee one and her big puppy sister Mia and her new blankie, and holy smokes, it is all adorable.

Sloane and Mia

 

 

 

New Year Knits

Colored Shepard's Wool

Happy morn of 2011 - I'm still working on some of the same projects into our brand spankin' new year. That baby blanket isn't quite complete - but that baby isn't either - still waiting on her arrival. Grandpa Jeff loved his new Packers Christmas hat & from the photos it looks like I could have made it a bit bigger/longer. Looks like you need to plan a trip to Lambeau.

Grandpa's Knit Hat Grandpa's Profile

We had/have a houseful of family and friends and all that love I keep talking about. We had a wonderful Christmas and we've had a pretty relaxing week...playing with our new treasures and knitting. My boys scored with Santa - man that guy is gracious, not to mention a whole mess of gifts from other family members and full stockings! Shane got me that amazing game I'd discovered about a month ago and although everyone poo pooed the idea of playing it on Christmas day we had everyone in the vicinity entertained after we powered the Wii up. The whole room full of Aunties, Uncles, Grandpas and Grandmas were passing Wii remotes between one another, sometimes arguing about whose turn it was.

Yarn Kirby

Every character in the game is made from yarn (grossly adorable) and all of the scenery is made from pieces of fabric that you can go behind, between and pull buttons to gather. It is seriously RIGHT up my video game alley!

Kirby's Epic Yarn Kirby's Epic Yarn
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Even though you all might be tired of my hats...I've got another ribbed hat I've been working on...and I think it might be my favorite. I started it only a few nights ago, and have made progress amongst our company. In fact the knitting seems to be contagious around here. Grandma Melinda (my mother in law) has been knitting since Christmas night, my sister in law (waiting for the newest babe) has been crocheting, and on Christmas night I had the privilege to teach my sister in law Sarah how to cast on and do the knit stitch.

Auntie Sarah Christmas Knitting

Back to that hat - I also drew my little sister's (Melissa's) name for Christmas and she put in an order for a hat to match these mittens. (That I did not knit - but I wish I could say that I had.)

rainbow mittens

In the past I've used size 8 16" circular needles to knit my famous ribbed hat. With this particular hat I cast on 88 and k2, p2 the entire way around until I reached the decreasing zone.

Cozy Stripes

I decided this time I'd like to switch up the top a bit, and make it a little bit more fun. I'm definitely going to do a pom pom again (because I love rainbows more than most things on earth) and I think a rainbow pom pom will be incredible eye candy. I hope my sister doesn't think she looks like Rainbow freakin' Bright when this arrives in her mailbox. As the decrease began I kept my work on my circular needles and k2, p2, k2, p2tog the whole way around.

Double Pointed Needles Place Marker Pretty Colorful

I put a place markers when the first round was complete and then I transitioned to double pointed size 8 needles while I k2tog, p2, k2tog,  p1 (the second time around). The third time around I just knit the knits and purled the purls. The next round I k1, p1, k1, and p2tog (the two purls that weren't already purled together). The next time around I k2tog, p2tog. Then I knit the knits and purled the purls over and over again until I thought the hat was looking elf-tastic.

Elf Model Elf Gus

I finished it off by just k2tog until I only had a few stitches remaining and then I pulled the remaining yarn through. I hid all of the yarn I'd tied together from changing colors so many times. I always just use a crochet hook to weave it all in. No sign of the transitions and I love the way it turned out.

Mama Elf

I used my favorite yarn since I already had such a selection of colors. I only had to add three more colors to the mix to complete this project and now I want to make 10 more of these. The yarn is from Joseph's Coat and it is called Shepard's Wool. It is not superwash wool, but it is so incredibly soft and warm. * Hand wash only Mrs. gift recipient. * Since I ended up adding several inches to the top before closing it off, I got a little bit nervous about the appearance of the top of the hat. Not to be crass but it looked a bit like a striped wool condom attached to a beanie. Nobody wants to walk around with a phallic looking woolen good atop their noggin. Cindy Lou Who might be cool with it I guess, or any of the Whos for that matter. The pom pom addition really sealed the deal for me! I made the pom pom with a houseful of friends last night and a glass of wine nearby.

Elf Simon Simon Elf

So we happily ring in another beautiful year, and I'm grateful for the 2 degree weather today. I can knit all day, play games in our cozy house, and watch Return of the Jedi without an ounce of guilt creeping in. Happy Peaceful New Year to all! Ooh and I can't wait to show off my next project! I'll give you a little hint - it has a tail!

Transition