There are those who hate knitting

Monday, April 29, 2013

My love affair with yarn and knitting has been going strong for about 4 years now. When it first began, I did not talk about my passion much, I suppose I was a bit embarrassed and I felt that I had to explain or defend my love of knitting. But as time has progressed, I have become more and more comfortable and confident, and while it’s not something I immediately reveal about myself, I am extremely proud to be a knitter. Also, my friends have been encouraging and supportive and this has nothing to do with the fact that I have occasionally bribed them with knits.

I was thrilled when, recently, one of my friends expressed an interest in learning how to knit. We decided on a date, and I went over armed with yarn and knitting needles. While our kids ran screaming through the house, and our husbands were absorbed in a baseball game, we made ourselves comfortable on the couch and set to work.

It went really well. My friend is a natural! By the end of the night she had knitted a few rows and was feeling confident that she could continue on her own.  I left happy, knowing that I had recruited another knitter.

Alas, my success did not last! Later that evening I received dire news, my friend’s knitting progress had come to a screeching halt. It seems that knitting enemies lurk everywhere! She sent me this photo

While she was upstairs, putting the kids to bed, their dog, obviously feeling threatened by the appearance of knitting needles and yarn, signifying yet another reason why he won’t be getting the attention he so desperately craves, decided to put an end to this initiative and chewed up her knitting needles.

He did however leave the knitting intact, which to me simply means that if nothing else, this dog at least has some respect towards the effort it takes and the work that was done!

So knitters beware, there are enemies hiding in plain sight…

Nola Jane - A Sweet little Baby Sweater

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Spring has finally arrived. The temperatures have been reaching the double-digits, and the snow has melted away. The birds are chirping and you can almost see the buds forming on the branches. 

Spring has arrived, and at the same time a few babies are making their debut within my circle of friends. I already introduced you to the adorable baby kimono I knitted for my niece, and now I would like to show off another baby gift.

I chose to knit the Nola Jane pattern, which I glimpsed a while back in Petite Purls Magazine. You'll have to agree with me that it’s such a cute sweater, perfect for a baby girl.

It’s a fast knit, with adorable elements thank make knitting it interesting, such as the folded hem and the crochet ruffle. The folded hem I might use myself for other projects, and the crochet ruffle, took a few attempts, but it worked out. If I were to re-knit this, I would space the purl rows a bit further apart, or maybe only make 4 rows, as I find it a little busy with the ruffles. 

But it still looks cute, I mean......newborn baby girls….you can never have enough ruffles!

I cannot wait to gift this little sweater, I am sure it’ll be loved and appreciated.

"Inversion Cardigan", a project 6 months in the making

Sunday, April 14, 2013

I have never been great at multi-tasking, at least not when it comes to my personal projects.  I have never been the one to read several books in parallel, or work on several knit-projects at the same time. 

You may think that it’s maybe a good thing, but this, can back-fire. Case in point, the project I want to show you today. I started the cardigan last fall, October according to the notes I added to Ravelry. And it was only finished recently. 

There were times, I never thought I’d finish. Why? Because except for the borders, this is all stockinette stitch. And that is in the shape of a rectangle, so no shaping whatsoever. Even though I knit as a form of therapy, I still need a little more excitement then what stockinette can offer.

But I stuck by it, and slowly the pieces came together.

Details: Inversion Cardigan Pattern by Jared Flood
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca in Pea Soup Mix
 Project details on my Ravelry page

If you are planning on knitting this for yourself, the most important tool to have on hand, besides patience is blocking wires. They are essential! How do I know? I don’t own any, and boy, did I regret that. Once the pattern is knitted, in order to put it together properly and to have the right shape you need to block the pieces very precisely, the 2 mirroring pieces need to be the exact same size, and the third has to match. To my surprise my knitting stretched by 7 inches once blocked, so I was grateful that the instructions mentioned not binding off until the pieces were blocked, and even more grateful that I actually followed these instructions.

Then, came the fun part! Grafting the border to the stockinette portion and then using kitchner stitch to seam the mirroring pieces together. It took me 3 evenings to finish this step of the process. Granted, I'd never used the kitchener before, so this pert was especially slow, but I did it right, and in the end, I believe it looks quite good.

I am extremely happy with the end-result, and I have worn the cardigan a few times already. It's been admired by both knitters and non-knitters alike.

All in all, this is another amazing Jared Flood pattern!

Onesie Decorating Baby-Shower

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

I promised you a post about our baby-shower activity, and I am staying true to my word.

In planning the party, I was looking for something different that we could do. For the first shower we did the traditional games, and while that was fun, I knew that doing the same thing a second time around would probably elicit eye-rolls, or at least yawns.

So in researching ideas, I got to talking with one of my friends. She is a kindred spirit, a fellow crafter. She is the proud owner of a brand new Etsy shop, Lulu Belle Baby. She makes the most adorable applique onesies, you must check out her shop. 

Another thing that she puts together, are onesie decorating kits for parties such as baby showers. This is a custom package, that she tailors to the theme of the party.

How does it work? What do you actually get?

Enough fabric pieces to easily decorate about 15 onesies
Embellishments such as buttons, ribbons, pom-poms
Web fusing (it's what makes your design stick to the onesie)
Tons of templates and ideas for decorating
And of course instructions.

I bought the onesies, ( I suggest you get several sizes) and I had some fabric pens on hand as well. You need some other tools such as fabric scissors, whole punch, needle and thread, and you need an iron to actually iron on the applique’s.

We took our time paging though the examples and ideas provided, and some of us used the templates, others decided to let their imagination flow, and the result was adorable!!! My sister absolutely loves each and every creation, and we are actually planning to make some more with the leftover fabric. Everyone had a great time decorating the onesies, and I was so happy to have found an activity that everyone enjoyed, and that resulted in some wonderful keepsakes for my sister.

Now, I cannot wait to meet the new little one and see how these will look on her. I can also say that the toddlers in the house got jealous and requested some embellished t-shirts of their own, and it was so much fun that I just may have to oblige.

If any of you out there are interested in something like this, I warmly recommend you check out Lulu Belle Baby, she will create a wonderful package for you and you will have a blast!