Rocking Chair Redo

IMAG1164A new rocking chair pad and cover complete! This was an absolute must. The rocking chair came with no pad over a year ago and a new pad was on the “Must Do” list for the longest time. So over the summer I finally buckled down and got it done. I used 3″ thick padding, and I probably would have been happy with 2″ as the 3″ felt a bit too thick, but it works well. I made up the pattern according to the dimensions of the chair and it fits like a glove! I chose a soft Duck Cotton and it worked up beautifully. My one mistake, I didn’t pay close attention when I cut my pieces out. So I essentially cut with the pattern going in the opposite direction of what I intended, but it worked out fine and it’s growing on me.

August the 25th

IMAG1165Back in my college days, I took a theatre costuming class. For the final you had two choices: Create a life-size costume with a model or create a small miniature model using a doll of some sort. Thinking I would save time and fabric I opted to create my King Lear inspired Renaissance Era dress in miniature. It was a horrible, horrible mistake. Seam allowances were so slight that hemming sheer fabric and satin with 1/8″ allowances resulted in several attempts that were thrown away because by the time I managed to get them right, the fabric had started to disintegrate and unravel. I suddenly had a new appreciation for the cost of doll clothes and vowed to never make a dress for a doll again.

Fast forward to the more recent past, I was browsing my local JoAnn Fabrics store looking for costume ideas for Halloween. I stumbled upon a sale for a doll pattern at $0.99, and at that price I couldn’t pass it up. I have my not so little 19 month Chickpea who is loving baby dolls right now, but unfortunately, the dress she came with has gotten filthy and sneaking away a much-loved dollĀ  resulted in more drama than I expected. So when I saw that pattern for a whole set of doll clothes the faded memory of college was pushed away as my Mommy of a Toddler urge screamed “Make all the doll clothes!!!”

This pattern wasn’t terribly difficult. The good people at McCall’s designed it with nice big seam allowances of 1/4″ so it did allow for a bit more ease of sewing. The bodice did give me a tiny bit of trouble as you have to sew it together, attach the lining, and then flip it right-side out through narrow 1/2″ shoulders. But all in all it worked up extremely quickly in just about 2 hours on a Saturday. I will be making more of the different sets of clothing in the future as the fabric requirements are perfect for stash busting remnants and odds and ends from larger projects.

Time and NaK

Time is funny, as a kid time seemed to never pass as quickly as I’d hope. Now, time seems to blaze on by with nary a thought to how well I can keep up.

For instance, I can’t believe I have an almost 4-month old!

10308304_10202617061561429_4966586234582171407_nDD is a giggly, loving little one, but as one can expect with an infant, sleeping so mommy can knit is not one of her priorities. That being said I did start a new shawl in April, but due to time and NaK (nursing at keyboard, aka my only computer time before bedtime) I’ll have to share it once its blocked and dry. We will see if DD is up to modeling then…

In Which Our Intrepid Knitter Returns

I have been incredibly productive lately in the knitting/crafting front, which is great since I now have actual blog fodder that consists of actual content. However, it means I haven’t been posting because I’ve been busy squeezing every last bit of knitting time in between work and Christmas preparations.

As I finally finished a commissioned piece and they’ve received it, I can finally post about it. Not that they would have seen it here to begin with, but it involved color work which I naturally tend to dislike and when it’s Red Heart acrylic that’s being matched to a set made almost 40 years ago, well that doesn’t lend to me being thrilled with it.

Macee StockingThere is a bit of history here, however. My paternal Grandmother was a knitter, and actually a rather specialized knitter. She made hundreds, if not thousands (I’m not kidding in the slightest here…) of these Christmas Stockings in her lifetime. She’s still around, but arthritis and eyesight no longer allow her to enjoy knitting as she used to. Personally, I blame the Red Heart acrylic with the arthritis, my own hands get achy and sore when using the stuff and it’s pretty much the one type of yarn I avoid without being allergic to it. Anyway, back to the stockings. Since my Grandmother made so many of these things, every single person in the family has one. Well, except for Macee, she unfortunately was born a few years after my Grandmother’s knitting retirement and so for the last 3 years she has been the stocking-less family member. That was until earlier this year when her Grandfather (my Grandmother’s Nephew) asked me if I could do it. I accepted much more quickly than I should have, but almost a year later I did it. It lacks the main intarsia motif that all my Grandmother’s stockings are known for, and clearly it puckered around the hearts, but I’m happy with it because I did my best, even when I wanted to stuff it down the garbage disposal and deny ever accepting the challenge.

Also, I’m just pretty thrilled that it won’t be living with me so I can now close that chapter of knitting history and open up a new one for my own family’s stockings. Which probably will include color work, but done well with wool, never again with Red Heart acrylic. (Not that I’m biased…)

Purple Steps

And clearly this is a pattern I’m getting addicted to. There must be something about booties and their tiny size that just makes me want to squee and play with them. Granted, I was never this way before I had my own little one on the way, so that may also be playing a huge part.Purple BootiesRavelry link here.

The first photo is closer to the real color of these, I used the same Euro Baby Babe DK weight yarn as the pink booties from the last post but this time in a light lilac. I’m dying to make these in the pink as well but one little detail is making me cringe wondering about how much yarn I have:

Purple Booties WeightPink Booties Starting WeightYeah, it’s going to be close…

Booties for Twins

Well I made my deadline for the booties. I finally figured out a gauge system that worked, though I suspect that Pregnancy Brain had a huge role in why I couldn’t get things to work for a bit there. Posting is late because the Shower took place the weekend I had planned on posting and then I got whacked by some odd cold like thing that was enough to make me miserable but not enough to keep me home from work. But enough about me, on to the booties!

Guerra Twins 1Ravelry link here.

The Pattern is Blue Steps by Regina Willer, the original pattern is in Dutch, but it is available in English. My one issue with the English pattern was that it was very difficult to understand, thankfully the commenters on Ravelry include some lovely ladies who have retranslated the pattern to a more readable and useable form.

The pink yarn I absolutely fell in love with, Euro Baby Babe yarn was absolutely fabulous to work with. It knit up like butter, slightly splitty but the yarn feel as it knit up and the finished fabric more than made up for that problem. The blue booties were made from Cascade Yarns Cherub Collection 4 Ply, which is a fingering weight yarn but using the same exact needles knit up to the same exact size as the pink ones… yeah still scratching my head there. The yarn was good, felt thinner than the pink (obviously) but worked up just as well. It was very soft, but lacked the “buttery” quality of the Babe yarn.

The only mods I made to the retranslated version of the pattern I used was to make them in the round on DPN’s so to achieve this I cast on 40 sts with a long tail cast on and then seamed up the bottom before doing the foot decreases. I normally wouldn’t put a seam on the bottom of a foot, but as these are for babies and supposed to be for the 0-3 month range I highly doubt they will be worn while walking so at least they won’t be uncomfortable.

I wound up loving the bootie pattern and especially the Babe yarn that I’ve already made another pair for my little one and have plans for another pair, but that’s another post. All in all, very happy with this project, and happy that they were well received by the Mommy to be and family.

Fifth Time’s the Charm?

I have a friend’s baby shower this upcoming weekend.

Three separate baby bootie patterns and attempts died in the last week as I was getting gauge (in swatch and in the actual knitted bootie form mind you) and STILL they were coming out too small. Going up a needle size on the booties seemed like it would leave too loose a fabric to be of use for winter babies so the booties idea was scrapped.

The Fourth Time was a simple plain stockinette stitch hat with a curled brim. The most simple little pattern, I was simply going to dress it up after the knitting by adding 2 ears and a little bear face to the front when I was done. And then my neck/shoulder/left arm and wrist reminded me why I don’t knit with large needles in the colder months. Something about the slight hand/finger positioning that is different in needles 4mm in diameter and larger makes my muscles seize up when the temperature starts dipping under 70F. So long story short, the hat was scrapped.

The fifth attempt I think I’m going back to the booties idea, I have a thicker yarn I can try with needles a size or two up that *should* give me the right gauge to produce the right size booties to be of some use rather than sit in a drawer looking like they are sized for a doll.

Playing with the tape measure made me realize that even with my proper 7 sts per inch and 28 sts which *should* give me 4 inch long booties was only if those 28 sts were in a straight line, not the curved half-bottom of a bootie sole which was measuring a strange 2 7/8 inches long while I scratched my head and ripped the aforementioned bootie out before my own pregnancy hormone cocktail had me crying with frustration.

So tomorrow the plan is simple, get some laundry done before work, make a nice large cup of decaf coffee and sit and force the next pair of booties to work before I run out of time this week. Because oh, did I mention? She’s expecting twins…

It’s Been a While

So it’s been 5 months. As DH has informed me, the blog has been sadly neglected to the point of near abandonment this summer. To be honest though, it’s been a pretty busy or at least event filled summer.

Things started off with a bang when I visited Solvang and Jalama Beach with my parents and I have pictures, but we’ll have to see if I get that into a post.

However, a huge event that has led to the huge lack of my ability to blog this summer was due to some very special news.

23 WeeksDH and I are expecting! I’m currently 24 weeks and thrilled, and of course I’ve been knitting and planning on the things I need to get done before the baby arrives. I have a nearly complete baby sweater and baby blanket in progress, but those are for other posts.

As for finished objects just a small project to report for now. Not knitting this time, but rather quilting. The picture is a bit dark, I’m still adjusting to my phone camera which I realized this summer takes pictures that are much better quality than my old camera, so they will have to do until I get more practice in or at the very least, decide to take pictures at a halfway decent hour when there is sunlight available.

Quilted PlacematsMy beginner attempt at learning quilting, aka placemats. Just a basic half square triangle design that I dabbled with, one fat quarter of the darker contrast fabric was enough for both placemats, and I believe I used less than 3/4 of a yard of the lighter fabric for the half square triangles, backing and the binding. It was a good practice for me as I learned a few new things about my sewing machine. One huge realization was that the little mark it has to show where your 1/4 inch seam allowance would be, is so not 1/4 inch. This was actually a rather quick project to complete, I started cutting out the pieces earlier this week and then finished the binding earlier today. All in all, not too shabby for a first completed project.

A Small Delay

So as it happens in the spirit of sharing on Christmas day, my DH’s whole family traded a nasty cold and I went home and posted while being an unsuspecting target. Being the newest member of the family I seem to have gotten hit hardest, probably because I haven’t been exposed to their particular set of germs long enough to get some good antibodies in place. Yesterday was my first day out of bed so as such I’ve gotten absolutely nothing done and I don’t have any knitting orĀ  progress or work to show.

My goal will be to be posting on Tuesdays, since I neglected to mention that in my last post, however due to the ill timing of this cold I’ll be starting next week. I hope everyone else had a healthy and warm Christmas and New Year’s Day.


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