Summer Craft Round-Up (Part 1): Sew This, Knit That

I have been a busy bee these past few weeks.  It all started when little Chickadee was under quarantine.  Not only were we staying home, but she was taking solid naps.  Wren has always been a good napper, so I took advantage of the situation and set up shop in the basement.

First, I took out this unfinished quilt and finally attached the binding.  It was one of those stories where you wonder why you let it sit unfinished for half a year when it took one afternoon to complete it.

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It is not perfect, but it is the second quilt of this size I have ever made, and it is d-o-n-e!

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Then, feeling bad about having neglected my needles, I was determined to finish yet another project.  My mother had sent some bamboo yarn my way.  It was not enough for me to make a sweater that I’ve been dreaming about, at least not one in my size!  So I did some arithmetic and scaled it down many sizes.  It will fit a 3-6 month old baby.

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My Ravelry notes are here.

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THEN some leftover squares from the table runner I made back in December were calling my name.  I didn’t know what to do with them, so many evenings you could find me in the basement rearranging the squares.  After reading Modern Log Cabin Quilts, a really great book I checked out from my local library, I found my inspiration.

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The greatest part about finishing this project, aside from the finishing of it, was sending it off in the mail.  I really liked it, and I’m pretty glad that it’s going to a good home.  (Happy Belated  10th Wedding Anniversary, Andy and Lindy!)

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And THEN I decided that I was done knitting my nursing shawl.  It wasn’t shaping up the way I wanted it to.  I like the pattern a lot, but the wool/acrylic blend just didn’t drape.  So I knit a few more repeats until it ended on a good colour for symmetry and called it a baby blanket.  The cast-on edges like to curl so I’m contemplating what to do about that.  So technically, this project is not done because I need to … add a detailed edging?  … line the back?  Hopefully, I’ll figure it out soon enough and then I’ll come back with more photos.

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Oh, and Chicka is finally a good napper!  Alas, she’s awake so I’ve got to run.  Until next time.  🙂

 

My Knitted Little Cotton Rabbit: Isobel

Once I saw these bunnies that Svenna made, I knew I had to make some for the girls one for myself.  I bought the pattern and started work right away.  When I wasn’t knitting, I was browsing through Ravelry project gallery admiring all of the bunnies that everyone else had made.

There are over 425 completed entries for the girl version alone.

Yes, I might have been obsessed.

But isn’t she worth it?

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The pattern is 14 pages long.  (Yes, fourteen.)  The designer did an amazing job detailing practically every step.  She’s brilliant.  I learned a lot of new techniques.  I made a few mistakes along the way but nothing catastrophic.  The bunny is knit flat, and if you aren’t a master of the mattress stitch before… you will certainly be after!  A little embroidery and crocheting were required.  Neither are my strengths, but she still turned out cute — if I can say so myself!

I honestly can’t think of how I’d improve the pattern, but I know now where to pay attention to avoid mistakes on the next go round.  The only part that disappoints me is the shoe.  I couldn’t get it to curve just right, so maybe this is something where practice makes perfect.

I’m glad I bought the pattern for the boy bunny as part of the package, because Okey has requested that I make him one, too.

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Ravelry notes here.

The Nine Hour Sweater

Since I had experience in making one sweater under my belt, I felt fully empowered to make modifications. (Ahem.) I had made this sweater from this pattern before and so I knew what changes I wanted to make. Primarily, I wanted to add buttons. Secondly, I wanted to make the project quicker so I decided to knit it in the round. I think I managed to shave an hour off the total knitting time.

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^ Big sissy saw that I added a prop to the photo and decided to help add more. I love these girls.

My full knitting notes are here.

Knitted Cat Hats (Not for Cats)

The following project was made from one of the knitting books I got for Christmas: Animal Hats by the creative Vanessa Mooncie.  Each hat pattern is offered in either a child size or an adult size.  The author didn’t make it clear what a child meant, so I decided to scale down the yarn size and needles to make a hat for my toddler.  As a result, I made a hat that fit my infant.

The cat hat is knit flat and in intarsia.  The inner and outer ears, cheeks, and nose are knit separately and attached at the end.  The whiskers and eyes are added embellishments that are sewn on.  So while cat hat worked up prettily easily, it took forever to sew.

That being said, it only took a day to make.

So I made two.

I skipped the step for lining the hat because I was afraid it would make the hats fit tighter.  My knitting notes can be found here.

2013: The year of making stuff

Here is a list of all the things that I made last year:

Two small quilts (although one was started the prior year).

Two pairs of fingerless mitts (one for me and one for a niece).

One sewn hat and two knit hats.

A cocoon.

Leg warmers.

… One sock.

A set of burp cloths.

One pillowcase.

One purse.

One malong.

An infinity scarf.

One baby girl.

I wasn’t very good at documenting everything I made last year, and I seriously doubt that I will do a better job of blogging everything this year.  I just hope that I can continue making good use of my knitting needles and sewing machine.

Have a Happy Crafty New Year, Everyone!

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STOP THE PRESSES.  THIS JUST IN.

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The mail lady just dropped off a package which came from the exotic land of Denmark! This is part of the secret gift exchange that I mentioned earlier this week.  It looked like every postal worker who came in contact with this box took a nibble of the cookies as the tin was open and there were some halves strewn about! I didn’t care and dove straight in… Yummy! She also included historical notes about each cookie.

Time for me to put the kettle back on and do a little “research.”

Newborn Cocoon and Knotted Pixie Hat

I just love knitting for newborns!  There’s just something sweet about making something new for a little one.  It doesn’t hurt that knitting for a newborn doesn’t take much time or a lot of yarn.  A few stitches here and there, and before you know it, the project is done!

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I also like the creativity that comes with knitting.  I truly enjoy coming up with ideas, doing a little math, and having my vision become tangible.  I do a lot of mental processing before I jot down my notes and it can take a few days or weeks before I actually cast on.  Once the project is finally cast on, I usually have to do a little tinkering, especially if my model has grown since I took initial measurements. Continue reading

Fixin’ to be an old lady

My old next door neighbour greeted me one evening as I was sitting on the front stoop enjoying the wonderful weather.  “You’re fixin’ to be an old lady,” he said.

It was true that I was partaking in a generally thought of old lady activity:  knitting.

He also reminded me that I had a garden and baked goodies for the neighborhood.  I chuckled and then took a sip of my tea.

Perhaps he was onto something.  How is it that grandmas are so good at baking pies and quick at knitting socks?  How do they make biscuits without a recipe, measuring in pinches and dashes?

They don’t turn into grandmas overnight, obviously.  They’ve had decades of experience.

So while I still painstakingly and slowly knit each stitch and check each step of the recipe twice, I know that this is just practice.  At some point I’ll be proficient like a grandma.

So, yeah, I’m fixin’ to be an old lady, and that’s fine by me.