Saturday, April 28, 2012

Cherry Beaded Holden

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Rainbow (Pirate) Socks

I've been making stockinette socks (first via dpn's, and recently with magic loop) ever since I found Kelley's Sock Class (FREE!) on YouTube.  This class is what really got me into knitting in the first place.  After you watch her demonstrate the different parts of a sock, and listen to her refer time and time again about how ANYONE can do this... you start to believe her, lol!  Anyways.... I wanted to change things up a bit, and try out some kind of pattern for this fun yarn I bought from KnitPicks (Rainbow Felici)

I came across this free pattern on Ravelry, "Hermione's Socks", with a simple 4 row pattern repeat.

The verdict?  Not too bad.. after a while the pattern repeat became second nature.  It did take a little more thinking (especially in social situations...), but my lovely recipient was more than pleased with the ultra-bright outcome!

AND... I even had enough left over to make some matching ones for little sister (just plain stockinette this time, though).  The conversation went a little something like this...

{Mommy} "Look, Little E... your rainbow socks are ALL DONE!" {Little E, gleefully} "FANK YOU mommy! Little E weally needed some PIWATE SOCKS! YES! That's a GWEAT idea!!!"

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Favorite Homeschool Links

I'm giving a little talk to our local "Homeschool Mom's Prayer Group" on Monday on "Free (& Inexpensive) Resources on the Internet" and I thought I would share all of my hard work here as well!  This is by no means an exhaustive list.... rather, it is a collection of links and sites that I use for my own family when putting together curriculum, looking for educational games, or getting ready to make a worksheet.  I hope it is useful to you and yours as well!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lacy Little Cardigan

60 Quick Baby Knits: Blankets, Booties, Sweaters & More in Cascade 220 Superwash (Sixth & Spring)I bought a copy of 60 Quick Baby Knits, and I wanted to knit the “Lace Motif Cardigan”. However, I’ve only been knitting for a year, and I have yet to venture out of the realm of the top-down Raglan sweater, with no seaming (and the Lace Motif Cargigan DEFINITELY calls for seaming!).
Soooooo….. I decided to alter the pattern. I used the basic measurements of the 18-24 month size of the “Cardigan Rose” pattern, and added in the Lace Motif. Here are my alterations:
  • Cast on 72 stitches, placed markers as directed and knitted in garter stitch until I had 4 rows of purl bumps.
  • I knit a 5 st garter band, and then a 2 stitch “spacer” before starting the lace chart (row 11 for the left side, row 1 for the right side - so that the pattern would be mirrored down the front) and worked a simple buttonhole (k2, yo, k2tog, k1) in the 5 stitch garter band (instead of a 7 stitch as called for in the pattern) on the left hand side.
  • Continued in stockinette and lace pattern (increasing at markers with a simple m1, sm, m1) until there were 6 garter ridges after the buttonhole. Then I placed another buttonhole (k2, yo, k2tog, k1)…. I ended up doing this twice so that I had three buttonholes (spaced 6 garter ridges apart) on the front of the sweater.
  • Followed the cardigan pattern for putting aside sleeve stitches, etc (omitting the garter ridges worked into the body of the Cardigan Rose pattern) and after achieving the desired length of 10.25”, I ended with 4 garter stitch ridges (and bound off knitwise on a purl row to make the bind off blend in).
  • I went back and picked up the sleeves (picked up 2 additonal stitches under the arm, and decreased them on the next round), k6 rows in stockinette, and then alternated knit and purl rows until I had a series of 4 garter ridges, and bound off purlwise.
  • I added a simple crochet border to the bottom/sleeves of the sweater as follows: 1 sc in first st, * ch 3, 1 dc in first ch, skip 2 sts , 1 sc in next st , repeat from-* across.
The only tricky part was remembering that the lace pattern was not the same for both sides of the cardigan (so that it would be mirrored). Also, with the Raglan shaping, there are not 12 stitches available for the lace panel at the start of the sweater…(you keep adding available stitches everytime you increase at the marker). This worked out fine because the lace chart does not “do” anything in these missing stitches until further down the cardigan, and at this point you have increased enough that there are 12 stitches available for the lace panel (just barely, though, lol!)

I also knit her a matching headband using this pattern from KnitPicks (the Amy Lynn Headband).

Here is the finished product, after blocking, modeled by the lovely K :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Little Chef

We have all been sick for what seems like two weeks now..... awful......  and it is really taking its toll on little E.

{Little E} "What's wrong wif you, Mommy? Why are you waying on the couch? You wook TEWWIBLE!" {Mommy} "I don't feel very well, sweetie." {Little E, consolingly} "Oh... that's too bad. (small pause) ALWIGHTY THEN! I would wike some cheerios... in a bowl... wif bananas.... and a wittle spoon... wif lots of milk........ Pease hurry......CHOP CHOP........... the E is VEWY HUNGWY!"

Today, I came upon this when I stumbled into the kitchen...

Apparently, Little E has given up on mommy providing anything for her to eat in a timely manner... Oh well!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Itty Bitty Cabled Set

Yet another itty-bitty baby set... this time with cables! I finished the Little Owl Set with enough time to make a gift for another upcoming baby shower. I still have several skeins of the Martha Stewart Crafts Extra Soft Wool Blend in the 506 Igloo, and after making a gazillion baby sweaters lately, I wanted something with some interesting bits. So, I decided to make this little sweater that has been languishing in my Ravelry queue for ages.... the Bitty Cabled Cardigan by Heather Cabanas

My gauge with size 7 needles was 4.5 st/ 6 row per inch (as called for in the pattern). I also used the ”cabling without a cable needle” technique that I like from grumperina - really speeds up those cables, when you aren't constantly sliding them to a cabling needle.

After steam blocking, my finished measurements were as follow: Body - 9” across, Arms are 4” from underarm, Height (from collar) 8”.

I also altered the pattern slightly so that I ended up with 5 buttonholes instead of the 4 in the pattern.

What a darling little cardigan! So, with gauge, this little sweater really is just that… little! This seems like a good newborn size (my youngest is a year… but this sweater is a good fit for all of the little onesies I have saved in her closet, lol!).

To round out the set, I added the Bitty Cabled Hat also by Heather Cabanas. After reviewing the notes on this pattern, it seemed to run a tad small, so I added another 6 stitches to the cast-on (to account for another cable). This was the only alteration I made, though, in terms of size.  Finished hat fit a 4 month old snugly, so I am happy with the size.

Finally, I decided to go with the Bitty Booties by Natalie Larson. These little booties have a knitted casing with some hidden elastic to make them as kick-proof as possible (as a mother of four - I assure you that this is a good thing!). Here's the link to my set on Ravelry

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Owl Love You Forever

I needed a quick little baby gift set, so that I could wing it on it's way up North... enter the "Hoot Cardigan" by Brenna Kotar.

I had almost a whole skein of the Berroco Vintage Breezeway left over from the Breezeway wrap, and since it is soft and machine washable (and Blue!), I thought it would be perfect.  However, after only a couple rows into the pattern, I started noticing some problems.  I thought I would write down all my notes in case I want to make another someday.

This pattern really is hard to understand as written, in my opinion… which is really a shame, because it is so cute.
  • This pattern calls for you to cast on with an I-Cord cast on… very simple, and has a nice, finished look. However, in the I-cord cast on you should only cast on one additional stitch rather than two, in order to have your stitch count come out accurately in the end.
  • Row 2 should have 4 “kf&b before and after every marker”. (Pattern only has you doing this 3 times instead of 4).
  • You need to remember to work the owl cable pattern on the WS rows. This isn’t mentioned in the pattern.
  • I used the "cabling without a cable needle" method as described by grumperina, which really makes those little owls a piece of cake!
  • Pattern says to knit sleeves until they are 0.5” short of desired length (but no mention of actual length/per size). I was making the newborn size, and off the internet, this corresponds to 4” as measured from the underarm.
  • Also, I didn’t like that there wasn’t any arm shaping here, so this is what I did - Using magic loop, pick up all held stitches on scrap yarn, plus 7 under the arm (5 cast on stitches, plus 1 additional stitch on either side of these stitches to close any gaps. I put a marker in the center of these stitches to mark where I was going to decrease.)
  • I did a decrease row as follows: Knit to 2 sts before marker, ssk, pass marker, k2tog (decreasing the sleeve by 2 stitches). I repeated this decrease row every 6 stitches, a total of 4 times. Then I added 2 rows of garter stitch, binding off purl-wise on a knit row so the bind off blended into the garter stitch cuff. 
I also decided to add on this darling little owl cabled hat, Aly's Owls by Diana Dzendzeluk and some worsted weight socks Ribbed Far-Away Baby Socks by Amber Ward (I love the look of booties... but they never seem to stay on, and thus aren't very practical in my opinion!)

Here is the finished set after some steam blocking the make the little owls pop!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Roses for K

Well, after being stuck on shawls and scarves for quite a while, I had to knit up another little baby cardigan using Cardigan Rose by Abi Taylor

My local yarn store had these little lovelies in the 40% off bin .... and I knew they would be perfect :)

I did a gauge swatch with size 4's as suggested, but just like always, I ended up getting gauge with size 3 needles (I ALWAYS have to go down one size…I just need to remember that! at 5.5 st/in).

Also, I had to rip-out the "one row buttonhole" approximately 8 times (the first time, I had to rip back about 5 rows, because I knew something was wrong with it, but forged ahead in happy oblivion anyway). However, after EIGHT attempts, I finally figured out the in-row buttonhole… I ALMOST gave up and just did a k2tog, yo buttonhole, but I looked the pattern up on Ravelry, and 100 other people had successfully used the pattern, and their buttonholes looked great, so I knew there must be a way (maybe my pride wouldn't let me give up, lol! It literally took me about 2 hours.. isn't that pathetic?)

This is a nice size in the 18 mo version… and should fit her till at least 24 months.  However, after I cast off this little sweater, I decided it needed a little feminine touch, so I added a crochet row of ch-loops in the BO edge of the hem and sleeve cuffs as follows:
  • 1 sc in first st, *ch 4, skip over 1 st, 1 sc in the next st and repeat from * to end
The buttons are Vintage La Mode, that I picked up from the fabric store.  And to finish it off, I wet blocked, and then when almost dry, I steam-blocked to help with the acrylic portion of the yarn… ended up very soft, with a wonderful drape. I think we will be getting a lot of use out of this little sweater!