Friday, January 23, 2015

Too Small (yay! sort of)

About 2 weeks before Christmas, I began knitting a cute little elf hat for Taco. Little did I know that knitting with a newborn is a one-row-at-a-time endeavor.  By the time I finished, Little Christmas had come and gone.
And now the hat is almost too small; it just fits on Taco's head. I should have used a stretchier cast on. But I'm choosing to be positive about the too smallness of it. It's sort of a victory (yay, breastfeeding!) that he's grown out of the hat in the time it took to knit it.

Anyway, the pattern is Red, White and Ewe Elf Hat by Vania Jenny of Knit While He Naps. It's a free pattern and I used leftover yarns in my stash for it.  It could not be easier to knit up and is very cute. I made a few little changes, eliminating the long tassels to make it safe for Taco to wear when I'm not watching like a hawk.  That's about all there is to say about this cute little hat. 

On another note, thanks for all the nice comments about my last post.  My secret to looking well: a husband who has paternity leave. Phin is a HUGE help and we are doing about as well as a new little family could, and better every day. In the last week, I've even found a few minutes every day to think about and plan a few simple sewing projects - looking at patterns, buying fabric and notions online, etc. So, I hope to be posting again soon. Til then, happy sewing, knitting and crafting.


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Last 2014 Sew: Another Cardi-Shrug

Before I try to do a belated year-end summary, here is one last 2014 sewing project...

With all the sewing and knitting I crammed into the last few weeks of pregnancy, this was the one project that was finished just under the wire. Truly. I hemmed the sleeves while in early labor.

It's another Simplicity 2603. I used the last bit of my precious stashed modal fabric to sew this one up. I didn't have enough for the long version that I made the first time around. So, this is view D with the sleeves shortened to elbow length. I've been wearing this and the striped version non-stop now that Taco has arrived.

For this version I added a hook-and-eye hook to the end of the front drape and a sneaky thread bar hiding along each shoulder seam.

I had seen some RTW "nursing wraps" that had a button or snap closure similar to this. It enables you to drape the front over to the opposite shoulder for nursing. I thought it was a great idea but didn't feel like paying the mark up that seems to apply to all "maternity" and "nursing" clothing. Really, there is nothing "nursing" about this except for the hook and bar. 

I'm kind of pleased with myself for managing to put on a bit of lip gloss for these otherwise no frills, indoor, with-a-flash photos. What you see is what you get when you have a 5 week old.What you will not see with this cardi-wrap is any nursing slip ups!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy Anniversary: We Means Three

Ten years ago today we tied the knot.

Goin' to the chapel...

It's funny that after 10 years the most important and meaningful weeks have been the last three - now that "we" means three.

Happy Anniversary and Happy New Year to the loves of my life.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry & Bright

Wishing you every joy of the season.  Oh, and that Santa came too!

Taco was on the nice list!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

And this is love...

 I never believed in love at first sight before Sunday...

But then I saw him for the first time.

Baby Boy Taco*
19 inches, 5lbs 10oz (2.55kg)

Taco was 12 days late and his unexpectedly small size caused some complications with his delivery. But he was born completely healthy and is really thriving now that we're home.

He makes the funniest faces. Sorry about the wonky camera angle...

And we're done.

The only thing we're making around here at the moment is milk. I actually finished a few unblogged projects before he was born. Not sure I'll get to posting them soon. But look for us on Instagram.

My reality: better than any fantasy

* So, we're calling this tiny boy Taco for blog purposes. Yep, there's a story.  From the day he found out a new cousin was expected, my 8yo nephew Linus was horribly offended that we were calling the baby Raspberry. Cleary, Raspberry is a "girl name," and Linus was convinced that the baby would be a boy. His rationale: there are 5 girls in my generation but no boys, and there were 4 boys in his generation but no girls. So, the boys were "owed" another boy and Linus renamed the baby Taco. It seems only fair that we continue calling him Taco in the blogosphere, since Linus was correct.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Tree of Life Baby Blanket

The first thing I knit, but one of the last projects I finished is a Tree of Life Baby Blanket. Back in July, I posted that I was having problems motivating myself to seam the border to the center panel.

This "condition" continued until last week when I finally sat down and stitched the blanket together and then blocked it.

I think it came out beautifully. Sadly, I'm really struggling with indoor photography on these dreary days. But here are some of the details.

Tree details

I love the cable work trees. So pretty!

Flower Garden

Tulip Border Detail

I think, in the end, my seaming looks pretty great, by which I mean "mostly invisible."

This is actually a free pattern from Lion Brand Yarn (click here). I'm usually a little skeptical about free patterns but I thought this was just so beautiful. It's based on Nicky Epstein's full size Tree of Life Afghan and calls for Lion Brand's "Pound of Love" yarn, which is an acrylic worsted weight yarn. Since I prefer natural fibers, I used Cascade 220 Superwash, which I seem to favor for baby knitting. It's very soft and washable, but tends to grow. So, I would use caution before using it for sweaters or other fitted items.  

Not much else to say except that we are sooooo over this still waiting thing... I've been doing a bit better recently at keeping up on Instagram. If you aren't familiar with it, it's a platform for posting a photo with a small caption. It's fun for micro-blogging and WIP's. So, you may want to follow me there: Instagram

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Meet Dijon the Giraffe

Still no Raspberry, and there's a fair amount of cabin fever around these parts. So, here is the first of two knit projects which were finished in the last week.

Phin has named this cute giraffe Dijon.

This is the second Not-so-Itty-Bitty Giraffe I've knit from Susan B Anderson's Itty-Bitty Toys book and Craftsy class (first one here). In fact, the Craftsy class is what got me started knitting stuffed animals.  I really think it's well worth it, especially for all the finishing details like how to decided where to place the legs, ears and horns, and how to sew the face. These are the steps that tend to get glossed over in patterns, but really add to the cuteness of the finished stuffed animal.

Really, Dijon is just loaded with cute features, isn't she?

From the cute pompom capped horns to the ears to the pompom mane...

I've since fluffed, trimmed and straightened my pompoms... the spots and tail. Really, this is just the cutest pattern.

For this go-round I used Ella Rae Classic Superwash yarn in worsted weight. The colorways are Sunflower and Orange.  It was reasonably priced and knit up well. I have plenty left over to make some cute something for Raspberry. Maybe a hat with a pompom?  We'll see.

For now we are just waiting...