Friday, April 30, 2010

Ah, Spring! When a Young Knitter's Fancy Turns to...Fall?

I completed Little C's "Fall Stripes Sweater and Hat" or his "Under Autumn Branches Sweater and Hat". When I'm feeling Romantic--as in Stendhal not Danielle Steele--I call it by the latter.

The hat is from this pattern,  I just didn't knit up the top again, like with the newborn hat I made a few months ago.

I messed up parts of the hat b/c I was a.) tired b.) distracted while watching TV c.) both. The correct answer is c.)  Here's another reason why I love knitting/ crocheting for babies/ kids: they're so cute, everything looks adorable on them, even a piece of knitting with a bunch of mistakes in it.

I did learn a couple things from this exercise. One, how to switch yarn colors correctly. Two, I really need to include a little pad/ paper with  my knitting so I can be more exact in what I'm doing. Part of the reason I continued to mess up the hat was b/c I kept forgetting where I was, and at one point I even mixed up the pattern with something else I'm working on (I started making increases, instead of decreasing). I used to know a knitter who was so meticulous, she even pinned notes to rows in her work with safety pins, so she could return to it easily and know exactly what she was doing. That's not my style, unfortunately. It's probably also why I am a better cook than baker; baking is much more exact.

With my third baby sweater and second hat under my belt, though, I am learning a lot and definitely improving my knitting. I feel like it might be time to try cables soon, but I have a lot of projects I should finish first. I'd also like to make some things that are a little more seasonal, maybe a crochet beach tote or a light and airy nightgown (half crochet, half fabric).

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Real Thing

Little C. got to try out his Boardwalk Sweater on the actual boardwalk this past weekend.

It was a beautiful sunny day, with an occasional crisp wind. My husband and I took a long walk with his mom and soaked up all the boardwalk sounds and smells. The idyllic ocean view was somewhat marred by exposed piping and heavy mechanical equipment. The township is frantically trying to restore the beach before summer after all the storms this year. It was a challenge to photograph the ocean without it.

It's always so fulfilling to get outside, enjoy the sunny weather, and spend time with family.
I'm so happy with the boardwalk sweater that I've sort of embarked on a bit a knitting tear! I've noticed that my modus operandi usually involves one primary knitting project, and 1-2 secondary projects I like to switch back and forth with. Lately, however, I keep getting drawn to other additional project possibilities. I even had to write down a short list of patterns/ yarn colors so I could keep it all straight. I'm also currently obsessed with making a bunch of drawstring bags in which to keep all these WIPs. I love when these bursts of creativity happen. I wonder if Little C. will catch the creative bug too? I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Girls Night: April

P. graciously hosted Girls/ Boys night this month, and I'm sure it was no easy feat because she is 9 months pregnant and very, very ready to have her baby right now.

In spite of her discomfort she came up with a very nice craft for us to do: embellishing kitchen/ bathroom towels with ribbon, embroidery thread, and buttons. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures (even though I reminded myself to do it while crafting). So, there are no photos of the ones the other girls made. P. stuck to a neutral palette of tans/ blacks/ browns. K. made a springy one with pink and green and flower buttons.

Somehow, despite pinning my ribbon, I started sewing in a slant. The scattered large and small felt buttons are my lame attempt at tricking the eye not to notice this. Normally I would not point out a mistake, but it is so obvious it's rather comical. I considered starting over, but I was too tired to fix it. It's my kitchen towel and the slant isn't going to kill me, now is it?

In fact, I've chosen to look at this slant as one of life's metaphors. Perhaps when we are thrown off course, those who can look at the aftermath, and actually work with what has been presented to them will ultimately be the ones who find peace and happiness whether they are heading in a straight line or not.

That's definitely a stretch for a dish towel, but you have to give me credit for trying...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

...Try, Try Again

I was excited to see some evidence of sunshine yesterday morning as I crawled out of bed extra early to get the little man. I spied the sun through the bathroom window, starting to make its way up into the sky, as Little C yelled at me to ‘HURRY up already and PICK ME UP!’

Maybe it’s because of the extra hour I accrued in the morning, or because of the motivating sunshine, but I was determined to put the finishing touches (weaving in ends, sewing up holes) on Little C’s Boardwalk Sweater.

The split hem wound up being pretty easy to do. It’s funny how I can complicate things! I just had to separate the stitches from working in the round. I decided to just wing it when it came to the tassles, and they’re fine the way they are. I knitted a long rectangle shape for the hood, folded it in half (inside out) and used my crochet hook to knit a seam. Then I turned it right side out and attached it to the sweater collar also with my hook.

I'm happy with how it turned out, and I put it on my little guy right away. As I pushed the stroller ahead of me on our walk yesterday, I could feel the warmth of the sun on my face, and feel a cool breeze now and then as the wind blew through the trees. I maybe closed my eyes for just a second and imagined us walking the boards with the ocean next to us. Little C must have been pretty pleased with his sweater too because he was comfortable enough in it to take a snooze.

Until I get down to the actual, authentic boardwalk, I’ll take these walks in the sunshine any day.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Crochet Cool

In light of my sometime prejudice against crochet (i.e. that it often looks "like something from the sixties" or "what an old lady with blue hair, named Mildred would make"), I wanted to share some pictures of trendy crochet fashions that I happened to come across in the past week.

A black skirt*.

Casual dress*.

Boho dress*.



*All from Athleta

Then, while procrastinating this morning (from a list of chores like, laundry, cleaning, gardening, cooking...) I saw this picture on of Katie Holmes wearing a crochet dress.

Maybe crochet is a lot cooler than I've been giving it credit for? I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for other crochet trends this spring.
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