Saturday, July 30, 2011

Make That 4

I did say that I was "obsessed with blankets", didn't I?

Now I have four blankets that I need to finish. I guess three wasn't enough pressure for me so I had to add this one into the mix.

I swear this was such an impulsive move...I wasn't planning on making this ripple blanket at all. I didn't even have the pattern in my queue on Ravelry.

But maybe I should have seen this coming: I kept talking about wanting to try a zig zag pattern here and here. If you add in my strong desire to use up stash yarn and my current infatuation with blankets I guess it all makes sense.

These are all acrylic yarns from my stash. Most of them have been used for various baby knits over the years. This blanket will be for the crib in Little C's room. He does need a blanket this year, so it will be a useful item. I debated adding the pink, but I'm sure he doesn't care about those things yet. It's more of a "nursery blanket" than a blanket specifically for him anyway. Plus, I had a lot of pink that I wanted to use up.

The ripple pattern is strangely addicting; it's hard to stop once you get going. I followed an excellent tutorial  to learn how to do it, and after a couple of rows it was easily memorized. I love seeing the blanket grow and changing the colors. I probably made the blanket a  little too wide (it's more twin bed -sized, than crib- sized) but if I ever do have a girl (again, with the baby girl talk! Sheesh.) then it would always look cute on her hypothetical big girl bed.

Anyway, before I get way too far ahead of myself, I need to finish this new project (as well as the other 3). I probably have to add 30 or so more inches in length. Hopefully I don't spontaneously start any more projects. I can't trust myself to be sure though.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Obsssed With Blankets

It's really hot around here right now. So, of course in contrary madness I want to crochet or knit blankets all the time. I have three blanket WIPs currently in my closet.

Here's the roundup:

Little C's big boy blanket:

I started this in the summer of 2009 and it has made several appearances on this blog. I am starting to get that anxious and panic-y feeling about it, which usually means that I MUST complete a project as soon as possible. Two years is a little too long to languish. I'm going to try very hard to finish this up in the next few months.

Basketweave Throw:

I started this in December (2010) and am really close to finishing it! (this is an old picture).  Finishing it in almost 6 months isn't bad at all. I only have to add on about 8 inches in length and put on a border. I'm hoping to finish this by the end of the summer.

Flowers in the Snow Blanket:

Ok, confession: I have made very little progress on this blanket which was started in January 2011. I think I made one more circle and that's it. This was supposed to be my longterm craft for Girls Night. That didn't really happen b/c as it turns out, it's hard to focus on counting the stitches while under the influence. Another non-alcoholic impediment to my progress is my lack of incentive. The blue stripe blanket is definitely for Little C. and I know it will go at the foot of his bed. The Basketweave Throw will definitely be used in the family room during TV-viewing. As for this? I have no idea who it's for or where it will go. I keep thinking that it would be very pretty in my daughter's room, but I don't have a daughter!!! Ha! So I'm sure this lack of purpose has hindered my progress. I will probably keep adding a circle here and there until I figure out what I'm doing with it.

I definitely already have my hands full when it comes to my blankets...and yet I can't resist this beautiful throw (Ravelry link). Like the Flowers in the Snow blanket, I have no real reason to make this, other than for aesthetics. I love the original happy yellow, but it wouldn't go with anything in my house. I've considered going with a slate blue-gray or chocolate brown and using it in my own bedroom, but so far I haven't committed. If or until that happens, I'm sure I'll just continue to daydream about it and other blankets. It's about 100 degrees out. What else would I be doing?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

You Know You've Been Spending Too Much Time With Baby When...

1. You're thinking about redecorating a bedroom using Goodnight Moon as inspiration.

2. You start eating fish more, not because Dr. Oz recommends it, but b/c Sally Sheep from Sally Sheep's New Nibbles has heard "that fish is good for you."

3. You start obsessing over knitting Christmas stockings because of the subliminal knitting messages in Good Night Moon and Counting Christmas.

Little C. loves books and these three are definitely his top favorites right now. They are also directly responsible for inspiring me to knit a Christmas stocking in JULY! (well, except for Sally Sheep. Unless you want to make a huge leap and connect sheep to wool to knitting).

Clearly I've been heavily influenced by Little C's reading material lately, especially Good Night Moon. Like a gazillion other parents, we read this book to our child every single night. We've been doing this for at least the last 365 days. So yeah, it starts becoming a part of you. 

Because of this I've contemplated making a nursery that looks like the room in the story. When you've read the book over a hundred times this begins to seem like a good idea. But truthfully, who could really live with green walls/ ceiling and a red carpet? I know I'm not the only person who has thought of doing this though. Here's an interior design scheme and also a real-life couple who created it for their child here. (It's the third picture down on the link--note: no red carpet in the room though). Thankfully, my nursery is already finished, so I can abandon this idea completely.

But that knitting bunny-granny? bunny-nanny? seems to speak directly to me. What's she knitting? A scarf? Hmmm...maybe I should knit a scarf...

 Did she also knit the socks and mittens that hang by the fire? Hmmm....maybe I should knit Little C. some socks and mittens too...The old noggin started cranking up, but I continued on with life as I know it and tried to get the subliminal knitting messages out of my head.

Goodnight Moon may be the nighttime fave, but the daytime favorite of Little C's that is read often in my house (and holds too much influence over me) is Counting Christmas by Karen Katz. In this story we see a couple examples of Christmas stockings. mind started whirring again, but I pushed the thoughts away and managed to continue on with my usual routine.

HOWEVER, after months of  having these images in my face (and trying to eat more fish), I finally succumbed and searched for stocking patterns on Ravelry. I love the rustic look of these stockings and ordered the snowman pattern right away.

It wasn't long before I plunged in to short rows, and heel/ toe confusion. I still have no idea how to make the heel or the toe. The toe part is actually on kind of sideways, but it doesn't bother me too much. I have never made socks before so it was all new to me. I'm even thinking of making a regular pair of socks just to understand heel/ toe construction. So, this stocking might wind up being a test knit. If not, I think I can live with it looking like this for a while. The tentative goal is to make one for me, my husband, and any other little ones we may have, but I'd definitely like to do a better job knitting the next ones.

Another error I made was  pulling my yarn too tight across the snowman scene. When doing colorwork and carrying a color across the back of your knitting, the tighter you pull your yarn, the tighter the fabric becomes. Anyway, there's barely any stretch to the fabric there which isn't good when putting presents in a stocking. Live and learn.

I started using duplicate stitch to add Little C's name to the top. This was also a new technique for me. I learned how to do it here. I'm sure I'll finish it the week before Christmas or something.

I also would like to line the inside with fabric to help make stuffing it with toys easier. And I have to add a little crochet loop so it can hang from the fireplace. I did enjoy making it and it went very quickly (except for the heel/ toe). They were a total mystery to me!

The best thing of all? I feel liberated from the hold of Goodnight Moon and Counting Christmas now! (I think I will stick with Sally Sheep's suggestion to eat more fish though, since it is so good for you.)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Better Late Than Never

I've been without my camera for several weeks (left it at a family BBQ) so I am a little behind the eight ball when it comes to posting anything. I finally got it back this week, just in time for Girls Night at K's! But then I forgot to bring it with me. Boo. K was a great hostess, but not a lot of crafting went on: she organized coupons, and P. and I probably only knit a row or two on our respective projects. I blame the lazy days of summer for the craft slump. I personally haven't been finishing much when it comes to crafts either.

One thing I did manage to complete was this patriotic shirt for the the 4th of July.

I had an extra white shirt hanging around, and I thought it would be fun to make a shirt for Little C. Instead of a plain red, white, and blue flag, or the shape of the U.S. in flag colors, I chose the Seal of the United States for my design.

Ironically enough, inspiration came my way after watching a lot of the festivities leading up to the Royal Wedding. I saw an interesting segment on TV about William and Kate's Coats of Arms. I love symbolism in general and hearing about what the colors and images meant was pretty cool. The U.S. Seal is sort of like the U.S.'s coat of arms. So, my 4th of July inspiration came to me by way of England. The very country the colonists declared indepence from back in 1776.

My transfer method was pretty primitive: the usual file folder and I used tape to create the stripes.

Little C. wore it on the 4th and it looked cute on him. To make it a REAL 4th of July shirt, maybe I should have removed the olive branch and 13 arrows in the eagle's talons and replaced them with hot dogs and firecrackers?
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