Summertime Bike Basket and Vacation

This, my friends, is adorable!

knit_bicycle_basket

And if you want to knit it up the pattern can be found right here. Courtesy of Knitting Today. You can fill *the cutest basket in the world* with your market goodies or a bouquet of flowers and you’re sure to get some compliments. FUN!

This is what much of our summer consists of….

Summer

In case you’re wondering where I’ve been, I’ve been knitting (from time to time) so that hasn’t stopped, but summertime is really for my kids so they have been my complete and utter focus. Somehow this morning it is nearly 9:30 and they are still asleep (summertime first). We’ve been having a blast this summer. I can’t promise I’ll do a ton more posts but I’ll do my darnedest to get one done every now and again.

Ooh one other thing I’ve been meaning to mention is that I went to New Orleans a few weeks ago and while I was there, as with every trip away, I like to find yarn shops. I found a shop called the Quarter Stitch, in the French Quarter, and it was fun, but geared more toward needlpoint(ers) rather than knitters.

Quarter Stitch Sign

They did have a bit of yarn in there but nothing that I couldn’t live without. I was hoping to venture to another yarn shop outside of the Quarter called Bette Bornside Company but I never did end up making it there…next time I suppose. The web site isn’t much to speak of, no pretty pictures, but it seemed intriguing so I will try and make it there next time we are back in NOLA.

Cafe Du Monde

Gumbo

These two delights were within a block of the yarn shop though. I have a LOT of food photos from our trip, makes perfect sense, why else would one go to New Orleans?

Happy Summertime Knitting!

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!

Getting Closer and Cup Cozy

I’m pretty into a nice hot cup of Tipu’s Chai on my way to drop my boys off at school in the morning. I decided a few days ago that I can’t seem to live without it anymore. I am a changed woman in the morning after that cup of chai. I can climb a mountain (pretty easily – Seriously), I can chat with anyone I encounter (oftentimes I’m a bit shy/reserved) and I feel so rejuvenated. I’m not sure if this is good or bad? I love to have that hot drink in the morning though, but I don’t like to burn my hands. Here is the solution.

And the ‘Getting Closer’ part of this post is in regards to my sweater. I’m not going to be done by Cinco de Mayo – I just cannot fathom that happening, but I am nearing completion.

Sweater Vest II Sweater Vest III

I wasn’t sure which one I liked the most…so hopefully you can get a general sense of what is happening here from these quick shots.

It is getting closer!

Vacation is heavy on my mind.

Sweater Progress & Stole Pattern

This time I can say with confidence I WILL be finishing my sweater! I am so excited about it. I’ve got the back all knit up and I’ve started up the front. I’m hoping to have it complete before I go off to Mexico, on Cinco de Mayo, but we’ll see.

Sweater Body

It may not look like that much at this point, but I’m pretty darn proud of it. The pattern I’m using is converted to knitting in the round. Since I’ve started this project I’ve learned a lot! I didn’t realize it was so simple to convert a pattern to knit in the round. Most of the sweater patterns I looked over instructed the knitter to knit the back panel, followed by the front panel, and then sew two pieces together. That just didn’t make sense…so I sought out some aid and Terry (the Knitting Jedi) helped me convert this pattern. I’m knitting in the round and actually even after the split I’m still using my circular needles. It is a bit much to wrap your head around, as I mentioned in a previous post how patterns completely change when you knit in the round.

Ooh and another cool trick is this stitch holder – who needs a real stitch holder – you can just use a piece of yarn. This cream colored yarn is holding the entire front of my sweater together, while I start knitting up the back.

Angle View

My pattern doesn’t look too complicated, and it actually isn’t, but when I end up knitting in the pattern from the wrong side (WS) it gets a bit tricky. I find myself flipping my garment over often to make sure I’m staying in pattern. That gets old. I wouldn’t do it that way the next time around. I’d make sure that I was on the RS so I could k1 and p3 and see what I’d done the row before, etc. Anyway that is boring…so here are a few more pictures (with plenty more to come) and the pattern of the week (or two weeks).

Body Again

I heart my yarn. Cascade Lana Bambu Yarn. Now I need to order more because I didn’t get enough…bummer! And of course the dye lot in the yarn shop isn’t the same anymore. Argh.

Yarn Stitch Holder

That’s it for the weekend hoodie (at least for this week).

 

 

The  pattern of the week can be found here. It is a cool site with free vintage patterns, and I just happened to choose this stole because I love the pocket.

Stole

Happy Spring Knitting!

Easter Pattern of the Week

Easter Eggs

You still have plenty of time to get “crackin'” on some Easter knits. You can always look back and use our sweet little hen pattern, or you could knit some soft eggs using this pattern. I’m plugging away on my sweater and feel really focused on that at the moment but I hope to get some Easter Knits in before I need to stuff baskets.

Ooh or maybe I’ll knit some of these sweet teeny tiny bunnies.

Happy Spring Knits!

 

Hoodie Pattern

Whit's Hoodie

This isn’t my pattern, but I couldn’t resist this choice for the ‘pattern of the week’ after talking about how much this Mama loves a good hoodie. I love hoodie’s so much I’m knitting one right now…but this would be an awesome simple (shorter) option if you didn’t want to knit the entire sweater to go along with the hood. I love the patterns on Purl’s blog and Whit must be a genius! This Hoodie Pattern is officially on my list. Plus I’m pretty into making pom poms and there is a wicked cute one on this little number.

New Sweater – Knit in the Round

New Sweater

I’m starting another sweater, I tore out the sweater for my sweet husband – that will be a project for later…

I started my sweater a few days ago and pulled the entire thing out last night. I decided on a hoodie of sorts. I didn’t want to deal with a zipper though, so I’m knitting a pullover hoodie. The pattern I picked I found on Ravelry. The sweater is called the Weekend Hoodie, unfortunately not a free pattern, but one that looked pretty much spot on. I love having a hood on my sweaters, it is a definite bonus on windy/chilly spring days. I decided to start with a sweater for myself, maybe that is  selfish, but I haven’t made a single thing for myself yet so I suppose it is high time!

I ran into problems right from the get-go, you’d think after all of the knitting in the round I do, I would have it figured out, but I definitely didn’t! The second row was the reason for pulling my entire sweater apart. When I say entire sweater – I was on row 12 ish…so not really that far, but when you cast on 220 stitches it feels like a LOT. I started over after figuring this out….

Flat Knitting:

  • garter: knit every row
  • stockinette: knit 1 row, purl 1 row
  • reverse stockinette: purl 1 row, knit 1 row

Round Knitting:

  • garter: knit 1 round, purl 1 round – this is where I went wrong. I was just knitting, knitting, knitting…not making a very appealing bottom to my sweater.
  • stockinette: knit knit knit every row
  • reverse stockinette: purl purl purl

I mean, it makes perfect sense when you think really hard about it, problem is I wasn’t thinking very hard about it.

Before I sign off I should tell you about my delicious yarn choice. I keep going back and forth between whether or not I like it enough to wear that sweater as much as I ought to once it is complete. I think today I’m pretty into it. It is a Cascade Yarn – Lana Bambu. It is 79% Wool and 21% Viscose from Bamboo.

I’m taking a sweater class to complete this project. I cast on 220 stitches on my brand spankin’ new Addi needles (size 6) and I’ve moved onto the Addi lace needles (sharper points) in size 7 and I’m going for it. The pattern is knit rows 1-3, p3, k1 on row 4 and start over knitting again. I think the pattern will be pretty fun when it gets taller, I’ll keep you posted.

Oh and I’m going to make a video of how to switch to a new ball of yarn as soon as I need to do so. If you missed the ball winder and swift video and you feel like throwing up, you should check it out.

Happy Knitting!

Knit a Tit Bit

If you happen to find yourself with some yarn to spare, and you are looking for a way to craft for someone in need….of course you can always knit up a hat to donate to your local homeless shelter. You can knit caps for your local hospital, it certainly isn’t hard to find someone in need of warmth in the midst of an arctic winter.

Maybe you are like me and find it really hard to make enough hats for the people in your life as it is, but you love making things for people in need, and donating your time and energy (whatever you might have to spare). It feels good to make other people happy, make them feel good or make their lives just a little bit easier.

Here is an idea my lovely friend shared on her blog that I’d like to share with all of you. Why not knit a breast prosthesis for a breast cancer survivor in need? It is sadly/nearly impossible these days to live in a community/family and not know someone that has breast cancer, has a family member with breast cancer, has lost someone to breast cancer or is a breast cancer survivor. In my life alone I could share many stories. My Grandma is a breast cancer survivor, my aunt was just diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer and a sweet friend just lost her Mom to breast cancer a little over a year ago, and the list goes on.

From what I’ve read it isn’t easy to track down a good post mastectomy bra, and those breast prosthesis are heavy, floppy and horrid. I mean what do I know, maybe they are amazing for some women?, but wouldn’t it be nice to have some soft cotton yarn to fill your bra instead? Some bamboo, or hemp, or chenille, something that feels good and soft against your skin surely would be much more appealing. So I am going to knit some tit bits – at least one. And, I would love to donate more than one or two knit tit bits with the help of you!

You can find the pattern on Knitty‘s blog if you’d like join the cause.  The project looks simple enough and February is cold, foggy, and dreary so motivation to knit should be rockin’ yer wool socks off.

I’m going to be collecting knit breasts to donate at the beginning of March. If you are interested in sharing your yarn, your time, & your skills please leave a comment and/or contact me. If you live in Missoula you can just drop your finished products off at Walking Stick Toys – 829 S Higgins. Let’s try and get these boobs made by March 1st friends.

Sock Monkey Love

Sock Monkey Love

Everyone loves a sock monkey right? Well I’ve been working on one, since about a week before Christmas. This is a kit that I actually sell at my toy store that is for children ages 8-12. I’m 33. To be completely frank, it wasn’t the most simple project I’ve ever conquered, but with some help and some previous knitting experience I definitely think a 12 year old could knit this sweet monkey. I am happy to just “own” the pattern now. Usually in kits you get a whole mess of acrylic yarn and boy did I ever. I’m anxious to sub my wool delights to create a new and improved sock monkey, maybe striped? I’m a sucker for stripes. I’m no master knitter, in fact I still consider myself a beginner, but I’ve been knitting over a year now, in fact today is the 1st birthday of this blog, I’ve come a long way! Thanks for hanging in there with me.

I think I’ve decided this will be for one of my little Valentines. The monkey comes with a heart that can be stitched somewhere…and I think I’ll put it right on the chest. I love knitting toys for my kids.

Sock Monkey Kit The Kit A leg Body, Legs, Tail

One thing that did happen while my monkey was under construction is I ran out of the main color yarn. You’d think in a kit like this they’d give you ample yarn to complete your project. Don’t skimp people, it is acrylic and costs next to nothing. The place where I had to make some compromises will be obvious soon.

Sock Monkey

The construction of the body was simple and fairly quick. I was pleased the opportunity finally arose for me to use my counter. Knitting row upon row of ‘monkey leg’ takes some counting.

Body Empty Body

Monkey Face The Ears

So it was the ears – I ran out of yarn to complete the ears and had to use leftover scarf yarn. Colored ears on a sock monkey is nothing to turn your nose up at. A mass of acrylic yarn it might be, but that is one cute sock monkey (patting self on back).

Hangin Out Little Socky

Just chillin’ on the couch.

Signing off so I can get some sleep on my blog birthday! Happy Knitting!

Night Monkey

Pattern of the Week!

Happy Sister

First thing’s first – here is my happy ‘rainbowed’ sister. They match! I had my concerns, but mash an incredible amount of color together how would you not get a match? A rainbow is a rainbow is a rainbow.

Now onto the newest addition to Mama Loves Knitting! I’ve decided to find and share a free pattern each week. The patterns will be fairly simple projects to start – to accommodate my skill level. I try to include a pattern for each of the completed projects I share with you, but often they are creations that happen when I start knitting (in the moment). I thought this new weekly event would be a good way to share more patterns that are intriguing to others, maybe a few less hats, heh. I encourage each of you to send me photos of your completed projects if you end up using one of the patterns. I’d love to feature your talents!

Drum roll please….this weeks’ pattern can be found on one of my favorite blogs, The Purl Bee. The pattern I’ve decided to share is a project that I’m intending to complete sometime this winter, long striped hand warmers. Don’t they look so cozy? And the possibilities for color combos are endless.

Happy Knitting – stay warm!