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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Knitting Again

I had forgotten how calm and serene the world becomes when I knit.

I have been designing cable hats and I've been rather obsessed with making pretty patterns on the crown of the hats.
I just love knitting cables.I hope to post the patterns on my Ravelry page soon.

A little bunny update. She is now starting solids ... she loves peas, pears, prunes but she doesn't like peaches ... she grabs the spoon and swallows with great gusto ... it is awfully cute and terribly terribly messy ;-)

Monday, September 14, 2009

You Are Never to Young to Paint

Learning to paint ...What master pieces the baby bunny has made ...Once trimmed and signed they make the most adorable cards. We are SO proud of her first crafting project I'm not sure if we will ever be able to use the cards!!

AND I've found time to start knitting again ... I've forgotten just how much I love to knit.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Nesting with my Needles

The count down is officially on for the arrival of the new baby bunny - and it seems I am refusing to slow down. I had planned that I would spend these last few weeks as a 'resting' period. Where I could curl up on the sofa, watch movies, generally pamper myself and the large bump I'm hauling around - most of all stacking up on some extra sleep that I won't be getting for the next 3 months. However it seems that I am still running around doing things at full tilt, brisk doggie walks in the park - like the most energized pregnant person you have seen - occasionally I might pass out for a quick 'nap' (of a couple of hours or so .... hum.)

This week, ignoring all the baby orientated things I should be doing, I spent a day pulling together my first knitting needle organizer. Before I could begin on my pattern I had to first sort through the pile of knitting needles I kept loose in this bag. The bag had done a sterling job for a while - but as my knitting needle collection has grown it has become harder to find needles quickly - or even know what needles I have. For example I had completely given up on trying to find my beloved chunky cable needle and my naff blue plastic needle I love to use to sew knitted pieces together. But once the bag was emptied properly I discovered that they had been hiding in there all along! Some time ago my mother had also given me a large collection of old knitting needles. I did discard the bent ones but I was still left with a whole array of different lengths and sizes. How would I measure all these strange unmarked sizes? Luckily I had an antique bell gauge in amongst the collection as well ... ... which I soon learned was not that helpful as many of the old UK sizes do not really exist anymore. So I have learnt quite a lot about old knitting UK needle sizes and in the process I discovered the crazy (yet impressive) art of miniature knitting.

I decided to make my needle organizer from some left over pieces of Amy Butler's Lotus fabric, some left over cotton batting and some left over bias tape (I tend never to throw any fabric bits away - believing it will come in useful at some point!) It was a super easy and fast project.
Unrolled it measures 21"h x 23"w. Rolled up it measures 15"h x 4.5"w (depending on how many needles you have stuffed in there of course!) It has 4 layers of pockets for different length needles. The bottom pockets are extra wide to hold your circular needles. In total there are 50 different pockets.There is also a crafty 6" flap at the top of the organizer that folds over and secures with cute side ties to stop the needles falling out once it is all rolled up.
This all means that now I have a full inventory of my needles and I can waste yet more hours, put aside for baby stuff, on the Ravelry needle page! Being able to deny that your life is about to change in a momentous way can be a fabulous thing!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Totally Unravelled

I have signed up for Ravelry (I know I'm behind the times) ... but it seems to be a bit dangerous. On my first little Ravelry outing ... before I knew it ... half a day had passed by ... and that is dangerous!

I have added a couple of my knitting projects to my profile and I hope to make my Hugs, Kisses and Cables pattern available soon. It seems to be a wonderful forum to find out tricks and hints from other knitters - over come those parts of a pattern that you might be struggling with ... alternative ways to use patterns ... I fear there will be many many more hours (erm days) spent perusing the information available ...

I'm really struggling with the Sylvi pattern from the Twist Collective. My gauge was perfect with size 10 needles ... but then when I began knitting the pattern the sizing was totally off and the size small was turning out to be smaller than an extra small. After 60 rows or so I decided to unravel my knitting and start again with a bigger needle size (US 10.5) and try the size medium pattern. But it is still knitting up too small. It is really hard to know whether to keep going and see what happens or start over yet again ...
... and if I start over again - how do I start? Bigger needles? Bigger size?Maybe using my own choice of yarn was a mistake ...
Maybe I knit super tight (I think I do) ...Maybe I should just stay clear of trying to make clothes (maybe I'm wimping out too soon) ...
Or maybe it is the reason why hand knitted things are so special and unique - they all turn out a little different?
Do you just learn how your knitting style will change a pattern? Or will I have these endless debates with myself for ever more ...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Little Rose Cardigan

It never ceases to amaze me how much I learn from each new project I tackle. And I might sound a bit simple - but I was really beginning to think I might know how to knit. So I felt probably over confident when I decided to knit my first piece of clothing (admittedly - a very miniature clothing for the little bunny.)
It didn't take very long to make all the pieces ... learning to make cute edging was fun ... ... but learning how to sew together the shoulder seams using a grafting technique - that was a serious mental effort (especially when your pregnant brain is functioning like a peanut) ...
... and realizing that in order to make my seams beautiful and neat on the inside of the garment I really need to adjust the way I "dec2" ... lets not share photos of the dodgy bits!

I only made one little rose for the front of the cardigan. I followed the instructions making the rose with the specified US6 needles - but it was really too big - so I unravelled and remade the rose using US3 needles. Putting 3 additional roses down one side still seemed too much - do you think I was wrong to leave it at one rose?
I found the perfect colored pink button from my recycled button stash ...... although I wonder if pink was the wrong color? (Cascade Yarn - Cash Vero DK 036) Pretty predictable for a girl bunny ... but I felt knitting in white cashmere for a little one was just asking for trouble!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Knitting Clothes

I really started knitting to knit bunnies and other knitted softies. I don't know why I have never knitted any clothes before (apart from the odd hat, one scarf and a pair of dodgy mittens) ... probably because I haven't had faith that I would make anything worth while or even wearable. Now I have the cardigan/coat pattern to take on ... but I little thought popped into my head the other day - soon I will have the perfect model to experiment with - an innocent child who will (for the initial part of her life at least) wear what ever I put her in!

And this is what I have found for her first little knitted outfit ...... I plan not to torture her too much with anything too experimental. But I really think this is about the cutest little baby cardigan I have ever seen - lets hope I do it justice!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Four

Back in December the lovely Kathy from Lizzie Jane (check out her adorable spring bunnies) tagged me to:
1. Open the 4th picture folder on your computer.
2. Choose the 4th picture and post it on your blog.
3. Explain the picture.
4. Tag 4 people to do the same.

Here is my photo (step 1 & 2 completed!):
(Step 3:) This is a padded baby book that I made back in March 2008. The book is made from material scraps (surprise) and was lovingly sewed together to help a little one count from 1 to 5. How? By counting the bunnies of course! Initially I thought it was a rather sweet project but then I realized I had probably totally lost the plot - because any small child who is still in the padded book stage is not going to be advanced enough to recognize a bunny - let alone count bunnies from one to five. So this is a project that just went into the 'needs more thought' box. I had always meant to make another padded baby book with big colorful shapes (no advanced number or alphabet skills needed) ... but that is a project that is still on the 'to do' list. Here is a better picture of the book ...
My husband is ever hopeful that a certain little man in our family will learn to count soon ... he certainly looks like he is concentrating hard!!(Step 4:) I'm terrible at being tagged - I'm sorry ... but please consider yourself tagged and play along - take a look at your fourth picture in your fourth picture folder - what will you find?

Friday, January 2, 2009

I Have Giraffe Envy - Meet Gerald

I really really want to be good at making cotton sewn softies - but it seems to be a skill that eludes me. I'm always a bit upset with the fabrics that I end up choosing - that amazing skill some people have of throwing different fabrics together to make things look utterly beautiful is totally absent in me. Is there a book I can read? A course I can take? I'm always way too practical and perhaps I need to be more daring?

Recently I've been having giraffe envy (check out delightful softie giraffes at Hop Skip Jump) . Don't ask me why it has been giraffe envy ... because I actually have craft envy with most things I see. (That list of 'want to make' only gets longer these days.)

So off I set to make a giraffe. I tried to pick good colors - but then I've never been known for my wild and crazy choices - so safely I opted for orange and brown - at least if it is orange and has a long neck someone might recognize it as a giraffe?
Meet Gerald. Gerald is a lonely giraffe so we decided to take him to the Central Park Zoo to see if we could find him any friends.
We searched the map of the Zoo - but unfortunately there are no giraffes ...
... but don't tell Gerald ... because we told him that the Llama's were a type of giraffe too ... and he seemed happy enough with that.