Tag Archives: knitting

Getting crafts done

The last few days were probably some of the most productive craft days I have had in quite awhile.

A few weeks prior I had hunkered down and knit up this little baby cardi for my good friend Cara’s baby girl.

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After buying a super cheap Rapunzel dress for Bean that I spend some time altering…

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…only for it to pretty much fall apart over the next few weeks, I decided all future dress up clothes would be made by me with real fabric.

During the President’s Day weekend sale, I scored four Simplicity sewing patterns for $1 each. It saved me like $60.

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Last weekend I got some coupons in the mail from JoAnns and got some really nice sparkly ice blue fabric from the “special occasion” section for only around $15 to create the first of these dresses. So, fabric plus pattern wound up being less expensive than the Target Rapunzel dress that fell apart.

The kids played outside while I cut out pieces one day.

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The next day I got the bodice done while they dug up my garden.

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Yesterday, I sewed up the rest.

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And since I had my machine out already, I went ahead and took care of a couple other things that I’ve been meaning to do. I added some more leaves to the Tinkerbell costume for some length and I gave it a snaps opening in the back to make it easier to get on without stretching it out.

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Then I added an elastic chin strap to the Peter Pan hat so it stays on better.

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If you can handle any more cuteness from my kids without your head exploding, they wore their Tinkerbell and Peter Pan costumes to Disneyland last week.

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Some crafty things

At the risk of some people wanting to shoot me or at least throw something at me for “all the stuff I do,” I present some crafty projects I’ve been working on the last few months:

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I finally got one of my Alicia Paulson ornament kits done! I have two more to go so I don’t think I am going to be ordering this year’s kit. I love these ones so much. I want to hang the cocoa cup in my kitchen permanently.

I am in the process of redoing some of the stuff in the nursery to be more of a boy’s room. I made new basket liners for all the baskets in the changing table.

Before:
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After:
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I still need to do two more of these small ones that are in the closet, plus a couple larger ones that we use for storage and dirty laundry and I want to redo the crib skirt. Eventually it will happen. I am also kind of itching to paint all the white furniture in there robin’s egg blue, but I haven’t completely won Stephen over on that idea yet.

I knit Sprout a sweater that already made an appearance on this blog.

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And then I knit Bean some Nordic leg warmers for ballet.

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I’m pretty much always creating something. Just trying to figure out what to do next. I have a crochet scarf I started, a doll for Ethan all cut out waiting to be sewn, more nursery sewing as described above and two more ornament kits. Plus, I got a ton of really nice yarn from my mother-in-law recently that is just waiting for me to turn it into something. Picking the next thing will be hard.

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Of owls and slings

All the post-birth down time drives me a little nutso. I can’t sleep because I am high on adrenaline and baby love. I feel like I need to do a bunch of stuff and I finally don’t feel all pregnant. Which for me is bleh.

So, I’ve been a busy little bee.

Sunday night I whipped out a ring sling in about 20 minutes. I did get an awesome Ergo carrier from my aunt, but it’s for babies 15-40lbs. My little guy isn’t quite ready for it. I made a ring sling when I was pregnant with Bean, but it was slightly pink and girly. I had every intention of making a boyish one to use with Sprout, but he hated the sling and I never got around to it. So I let my sister borrow it. Well with a doctor’s appointment, preschool, veggie pickup, and grocery shopping all needing to be done by myself this week (Stephen is back at work), the only way I could think of it being a possibility is with a sling.

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Fabric I’ve had just sitting there. I got it from Miss Talia and if I remember right she got it from a yard sale for like a quarter or something. Ring slings are so easy, it’s basically just fold, pull through, fold, sew, hem, the end.

I also decided to make a mini version of the Otto the Owl toy that I made for Sprout. So I basically just halved everything (row numbers, cast on, increases, etc.) and came up with Otto’s little brother Ollie. So now Sprout’s little brother has one too (yes, still working on the blog nickname… there is one I really like, but someone I know is already using it and none of the others have grown on me).

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And then today I saw these forest friends onesies from babyGAP and I just about died from the cuteness. So I picked up a pack of plain Gerber onesies and I will be coming up with my own version that doesn’t cost me $20 per onesie and is summer baby (short sleeves please) friendly.

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The dog ate my daughter’s doll…

So, if you have been following this blog for awhile, there has been quite the saga with a certain knitted friend.

Here she is bright and shiny the first day I made her:

Bean wasn’t always thrilled with her, but she did grow to love her.

Isn’t little Bean so cute at a mere 56 weeks (Weeks? God, I was just a little anal, don’t you think? I would totally convert this into the month approximation, but I am lazy and hate math.):

Or how about this one from 15 weeks, look at those chub cheeks:

And then the knitted friend got lost when my husband and Bean spent the day together in Bakersfield. I was kind of upset. But then I made a new and improved version. Bean loved her just the same:

One day Bean fell down in the garden, scraped her knee and needed a band-aid. She decided that her dolly needed one too:

Other than that little boo-boo, things were going fine and dandy for our knitted friend until Thanksgiving when we were staying at my in-laws. Bean misplaced the doll and left her there. My in-law’s Shetland Sheepdog, Bodie, found her.

At Christmas the doll was returned to us. She wasn’t as pretty. As Bean said, “Bodie got my dolly.”

A torn dress:

Mangled and missing pig tail braids:

We talked about the importance of taking care of our things and not leaving them out when we are done with them. Especially at Grandma and Grandpa’s house where Bodie can get them.

The knitted friend was temporarily relocated to my craft to-do basket. Except I didn’t feel like doing anything. So she sat, and sat, and sat.

Really, I was making a mountain out of a mole hill. I knew I could fix her up during an afternoon nap. I just didn’t feel like doing it.

Well, I was getting all my craft stuff organized for our big trip today and I was almost going to stick the doll in the to-go bag, but then I just decided that instead of doing more graph paper coloring or more crochet medalions or starting any new projects, I should probably use all my crafty inspiration and energy and finally get around to fixing the doll. So I did.

I also decided that I wanted her to have better hair. So I Googled “doll hair tutorial” and found a ton of stuff. The doll got a makeover:

Bean was super excited that I was finished when she woke up from her nap:

And she was so in love with the made-over version that the dolly had to go with us to the Farmer’s Market to enjoy some Oxnard strawberries:

So the adventures of this girl and her doll continue…

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Lacey Wrap Cardigan

I’m a busty sort of girl. And I hate it.

Pretty ridiculous and slightly hilarious when you consider that many women are willing to undergo painful and costly surgery to get what I have naturally occuring.

I think all women have body issues and this is just one of mine. So while some girls complain about not being able to fill tops out properly, I complain about filling them out far too much. The grass is always greener, isn’t it?

I’m a pretty modest girl, you see, and so I don’t really want to go out into public with several inches of cavernous cleavage spilling out and begging to be stared at. It’s embarassing to me.

Button up shirts and sweaters, in particular, are Enemy No. 1 around here. They aren’t designed with girls like me in mind. The results are pulling and gaping that just isn’t pretty.

As such, I’ve been thrilled to bits with all these lacey, flowy, wrap-style open front cardigans that have been cropping up everywhere.


Anthropologie’s Cold Rush Cardigan


Anthropologie’s Jet Stream Cardigan


Target’s Mossimo Black Drape Front Cardigan 


Urban Outfitters’ Kimchi Blue Floral Bouquet Cardigan

I’ve already got three in my closet. They are so versitile and can easily be paired with belts and ties to flatter your figure or worn loosely to cover up the parts of you that need some forgiveness.

The thing with stuff like this is you can never have too many. I decided I wanted to design and knit one myself that would be just the right color with just the right details.

I’m so pleased with the results and hope you are too. The pattern is included below the pictures if you would like to create one for yourself. Hopefully you can understand me, if not leave a comment and I’ll try to help you out. Happy knitting!

Lacey Wrap Cardigan Pattern
Size: One size fits most
Needles: US 5
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine in color 1214, I used 2 skeins, but if you want to make this longer or wider you may need more.

Sleeves and Body Upper
Cast on 89 stitches

Work in seed stitch for 7 rows.
Row 8 (WS): Purl across
Row 9 (RS): K1, work row 1 of lace pattern across

Row 10 (WS): Work row 2 of lace pattern to last stitch, p1

Work the 10 rows of the lace pattern 5 times, keeping the first stitch on the right side in stocking stitch.

Rows 59-63: Work in stocking stitch.

Row 64: BO 44 sts, purl to end.

Continue working in stocking stitch over remaining stitches until piece measures 8 inches from cast off edge, ending with a WS row.

Next row (RS): Knit to end, cast on 44 sts using the thumb loop method.

Work 5 rows in stocking stitch.

Next row (RS): K1, knit row one of lace pattern across repeating to end.

Work 10 rows of lace pattern 5 times total as for other sleeve.

Work 6 rows seed stitch, BO all stitches in pattern.

Fold over sleeves and seam 4 inches in from cast on/off edges. You should have a little bit of a flap leftover on both sides which make up the right and left fronts of the piece.

With right side facing, pick up a stitch along the bottom of left front, back, and right front. Work in stocking stitch until desired length (mine was 12 inches from the pick up).

Next work lace pattern across bottom. Do five repeats of the rows of lace just as for sleeves. Work 6 rows in seed stitch, BO all stitches in pattern.

Pick up desired number of stitches along the fronts and neck (I am not providing a number because I hate when patterns specify a number on a section like this and it makes my collar either ruffly or too tight, you’ve got to figure out what looks best for you) and work in seed stitch to desired width (I did it until I ran out of yarn) then BO all stitches in pattern.

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Acorn Sweater

I was recently invited to a baby shower for one of the ladies in our Bible study that is due to have a boy in October. When I got the invitation August seemed so far away and I thought I would have plenty of time to make something. Well then this summer and the month of July just flew by so fast and the week before the shower I still hadn’t even decided on a project. If I had been very sure about what I was going to make this wouldn’t have been much of an issue, I can usually whip out a baby knit in a couple days.

I kept changing my mind though and ripping it out and next thing I knew Sunday arrived and I was knitting right up until 20 minutes before the shower with lots more to go. Time to give up and just go empty handed except for the salad I promised to bring to the party.

Part of the problem is that I picked out a varigated yarn, something I had sworn off months ago. Varigated yarns are just really hard for my brain to work with because I can’t control what is happening. A color change would happen in an awkward part of the pattern and I’d get frustrated and rip out.

I just couldn’t resist this yarn though. The color name is aptly titled, “Earth” and it’s no wonder with all those lovely oranges and browns.

Plus, I found the cutest acorn buttons and I had to make it work.

I did eventually figure out what I was going to do and decide. I made up my own pattern which I was dutifully writing down as I went up until the crunch was on and then I abandoned that idea. So no pattern to share here afterall. I do have some cute pictures of Sprout in said sweater though.

I based the pattern on past experience doing raglan sleeves, the men’s Zipped Vest stitch pattern from Veronik Avery’s Knitting Classic Style (which if you remember I made for my father-in-law for Christmas last year), and for the number to cast on I referenced the Simple Top and Socks with Contrast Stripe from Debbie Bliss Easy Knits (a tried and true pattern I’ve used many times for other baby gifts).

Congratulations Lindsey and Randy! Can’t wait until your new little guy joins our growing group of kiddos.

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First finished knits of the year

A month ago my sister e-mails me because she found this cute little Etsy shop and wanted to get the shoes and hats with ears for her friends that are adopting a baby from Ethiopia, but could I please make them or something similar for her instead and I have a year or so because foreign adoption processes take a long time.

But of course. I had a similar cotton bootie pattern and hats with ears are easy peasy. Plus, how could I resist knitting something so cute? I could not.

Well, then this week she e-mails me again to inquire about the status of the project which I had not even started yet.

no rush but they just completed their home study – which is a super hard, super long packet and interview process and i’d love to give them to her to celebrate. i know you are crazy busy and have two kids now! omg thats nuts. so really no worries. I told her about them and she is pumped. I am so glad i have a knitter sister like you.

When my sister writes cute stuff like that I really cannot resist. Plus, I know from my sister-in-law’s experience how much work and huge binderfuls of paperwork goes into the adoptiong process and how big a deal these little milestones are. So, I did the only reasonable thing possible and almost immediately went to the store for yarn and started working so I could get them done by the end of the week. Because that is what sisters are for. Both projects were finished in 24 hours and later today they will be in the mail.

Have I mentioned how much I miss my sister? Because I do. A lot. This is the girl I used to share a bunkbed with and Oregon is freakin’ far away from Southern California people.


Pattern: Cotton Bootees from Easy Baby Knits by Claire Montgomerie
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton in Espresso
Needles: US 5
Modifications: Instead of making the t-bar a separate piece, I just attached the strap to the top middle of the bootee while I was knitting it by picking up a few stitches. Much easier and less ends to weave in and I think it looks better too because I did try the other way and then ripped it out.


Pattern: My own.
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton in Espresso and some unknown orange scrap wool I had in my stash.
Needles: US 5
Modifications: None.

And now I need to knit some for my little guy because he just looks so darn cute in them!

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