Tuesday, December 22, 2009

And to all a good night

E's 1st Christmas

Between two new teeth (and more soon to appear), Thanksgiving at our place, vacation, a trip to my mom's, and more Christmas cookie baking than you can shake a stick at, there hasn't been much time for blogging the last month or so, but I have a feeling that things will settle down before too long.

Eliza and Santa

Have a wonderful and safe holiday, everyone.

Christmas Tree 09

Thursday, November 5, 2009


We keep a small basket of toys in the living room for Eliza to play with. It doesn't hold much, so it's easy for me to keep the toys picked up and away from the dogs when she isn't playing, and I can rotate things in and out to keep her interest. She loves to pull them all out, one by one, and play with them. This can keep her entertained for quite a while. I especially love it when she pulls out a book and 'reads' it.


This morning, she finally got a new addition to the basket that's been hanging out in my "on the needles" sidebar for way too long. I knit this bunny and felted it early in my pregnancy, and he's been hanging out in the knitting basket waiting for a face and stuffing since.

Felted Bunny

Isn't he a dandy? I actually made all of those toys that aren't in the basket: Goldilocks, the patchwork ball, the puzzle ball, and the cloth book. I'm not sure what to take out in order to make room for Mr. Bunny. She loves the bear and both of the dolls.

She also likes to make a move on Mommy's toys every now and then.
When can I play with these toys?
When can I play with these toys?

Someday, little one.

Monday, November 2, 2009


As much as I love Eliza's Cubba Hat, it seems to be getting a bit small. And I liked that she had a blue/purple hat and a pink/orange hat, so one or the other matched any given outfit. So I flipped through my Vintage Baby Knits book (because I want to knit just about everything in that book) last week and cast on for the Stella Pixie Hat.

What a great little knit! Looking at it, I expected it to be shaped with decreases or short rows, but it's not. When you knit it up, it looks like this:
Pixie Hat

The "ribbing" on the top isn't really ribbing at all, it's purl welts. Because if you knit vertical rows of knits and purls, the purls recede, but if you knit horizontal rows of knits and purls, the knits recede. And these horizontal rows of knits and purls pull in, just like ribbing, only in the other direction. So you knit this rectangle with no shaping at all, just taking advantage of the nature of knits and purls, and then you fold it in half and graft the top. Voila! Hat. I am such a sucker for clever patterns.

Except when I folded mine in half, I didn't have the same number of stitches on each side. It's always something with me, isn't it? So I went looking and found my problem:
Pixie Hat
An error in the stitch pattern. Lesson: don't knit this pattern in semi-darkness.

What to do? That blip threw off the pattern for the whole left side of the hat. Should I rip? Of course not. I pulled it off the needles and dropped a whole section of stitches. I probably didn't have to drop even as many as I did, but I figured it would be more of a pain to keep track of exactly which stitches I had to drop how far, so I just pulled the needles out and started pulling.

Pixie Hat
Yet another reason to love double pointed needles.

Pixie Hat
Coming right along.

Pixie Hat
Oops, missed one.

Pixie Hat
Almost done. (And the munchkin woke up.)

Pixie Hat
Where I should have been an hour ago.

Pixie Hat

Pixie Hat
And, hat!

Now let's try it on.
Pixie Hat

Side view:
Pixie Hat
See what I mean about the purl welts?

She didn't need the added height of a button band to fasten it, so I crocheted a quick chain and wove it through the cast on edge for a tie. I had some tension issues from the surgery, but a quick bath and run through the dryer (yarn is Cherry Tree Hill Supersock, so no worries about felting), it's mostly evened out.

Pixie Hat

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Eliza Halloween

Cisco Hat by Berroco
My handspun Corriedale, "New Day" by Spunky Eclectic

Eliza Halloween

Maybe a little big for this year, but I think she can make it work.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Down to the wire

While I was waiting on new yarn for more longies, I picked up this scarf that I started last year. I remember I started it because I wanted to make something from Nancy Bush's then new lace book. I had two balls of Kidsilk Haze, and I figured I'd just make the scarf as long as I could with that much.

Triinu Scarf

When I picked it back up, I was surprised to find that I was further along than I had remembered. For some reason I thought I remembered figuring that I could get 23 repeats into the scarf with the yarn I had. But that was a year ago, and my memory is sometimes very faulty (and also my math), so I disregarded that and knit until it looked like I had about enough yarn for the top edging, which was 24 repeats. Except of course I didn't have enough for the top edging. So I picked out the (sticky mohair) cast off on the bottom edging and ripped back a few rows, cast off again, knit a few more rows on the top edging to even it up, and cast off again. And I still barely had enough to get it done. I was literally cutting yarn tails off the dangling ends and splicing them into my cast off, and I still had to knit the last two stitches together to barely have enough to finish. I've never been so happy to throw something in a water bath and call it done.

Triinu Scarf
Triinu Scarf, Nancy Bush, "Knitted Lace of Estonia"
Kidsilk Haze, Fern
US3 needles

Thankfully, the fuzzy mohair hides the many ends. I think it turned out lovely. And it's just the right length.


You know how you start knitting something and you just can't stop? At this point in the Longies Knitalong, we're supposed to be working on short rows and gussets. The timeline is slow going, because a lot of participants are new knitters and all have small children. I've knit three pair.

This pair, in Peace Fleece "Moscow Magic Pink", I knit in the medium size. The fit is about perfect, which means they'll be too small before long. In fact, the length is better with the cuff turned down. So for the rest I moved up to the large size and knit a 1.5" cuff that I can turn up for now.

Knitalongies II
Peace Fleece "Violet Vyehchyeerom"

I put the third pair ("Georgia Rose") on her today and thought we'd go for a walk and get some cute pictures, so I put her in the stroller instead of the carrier like I usually do so I could carry the camera around my neck.

Ready to stroll

She wasn't too impressed. We walked to the park and saw some geese.


She wasn't too impressed with that, either.

No geese, please

Life's tough when you're teething. Or maybe she just wants some mittens.

I think I can finish three more pair of longies before the knitalong is over, and then I'll make her a jacket from the leftovers. (Who needs to do housework when you can knit?) The yarn just came in the mail today!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

More little girl knits

I meant to be knitting something for me, right? Perhaps finishing up a 2 1/2 year old UFO? Well, I pulled that old thing out of the yarn closet, held up the front piece that I had finished oh, so long ago, and the thing darn near went down to my ankles. And I decided I didn't want a sweater quite that long. So if I was going to knit it, I'd have to start over. And if I was going to have to start over, why not do something new? But what? Well, I had to think about that. And while I was thinking, I figured I might as well be spinning. And I knew exactly what I wanted to make with the yarn I was spinning.

E's Thrive Dress

I split the roving (well, technically, the top) down into 20 or more pieces. Pencil roving, basically. And then I spun it into 450 yards of fingering/sport weight singles. What a lovely, quick way to get a finer gauge yarn! And the Corriedale was perfectly soft and happy to be airy singles. I just can't get enough of the colors. Adrian is a genius. They'll have to pry my fiber club membership out of my cold, dead hands.

For the dress, I started with the Little Sister's Dress pattern, but modified it a lot. Partly because my gauge was a little different.

E's Thrive Dress

I ended the yoke where it was supposed to be joined for knitting in the round, then knit 4 rows of stockinette on the front and back before increasing for the underarms, using the schematic and my gauge to calculate my numbers. Then I just increased every 7th row until desired length, which is longer than pattern calls for. I used one of her dresses as a template.

Oh, and the yoke and hem are in garter stitch. Because garter stitch makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

What next? I guess I'll just have to work on her longies while I think about that some more.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Today, while waiting for the yarn I finished spinning yesterday (Hello Yarn "Thrive") to dry,
Thrive, drying

I pureed some peas for baby food,
Peas Puree Cold

And the pumpkins from this weekend for pie (she already has pumpkin baby food),
Pumpkin Puree Hot

Toasted the seeds for snacks,
Pumpkin Seeds, Toasting

And washed some Rambouillet (again) for carding and spinning.
Rambouillet, washed

Now I have to unload/reload the dishwasher, snap the green beans for dinner (part of those might end up pureed for baby food as well), and put up the laundry.

Why do I always feel like I never get anything done?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Little girls need handspun sweaters.

When I said I was feeling overrun by projects, I wasn't just talking about knitting. My crafting world exploded this summer with lots of sewing, a little embroidery, some spinning, but very little knitting. It wasn't until a cold front came through last week that I really started to get the knitting bug again.

I started spinning up Spunky Club's January '09 fiber, Twilight superfine merino. It had all of these aquas and purples that I thought would match Eliza's fall/winter wardrobe well. I wanted to make longies, but I was afraid the superfine merino wouldn't hold up well. She will be crawling soon, after all. So I Navajo plied it for durability. I also tried to remember to spin a little finer than I normally would for a worsted-weight 3-ply, because merino tends to plump up on me when I finish it. Except this one didn't. I ended up with about 300 yards of sport-DK weight yarn. It still matched Eliza's clothes, though, so I went looking for a sweater pattern.

The Audrey Hoodie in Vintage Baby Knits was cute, and it looked like I had just about the right amount of yarn, so I cast on. It's knit up from the back, over the shoulder, and down the fronts. If you were to knit it in a solid color, you'd cut the yarn and knit one front and then the other. My handspun was stripy, though, and I wanted the fronts of the sleeves and the cardigan to match, so I put in a steek for the neck opening and another down the front of the cardigan.

Twilight Sweater

As it turned out, I didn't have enough yarn for the hood. In fact, I barely had enough to trim around the front and hide my steeks, so the sleeves didn't get any crochet trim. Which is ok, because the sleeves are the perfect length as is.

Twilight Sweater

I think I'm going to continue in the moss stitch tradition and pull out my oldest UFO, the first thing I ever blogged about, and finish it up. Mommy needs a cardigan for winter, too.

And of course, baby still needs some longies. If you have reason to knit little people pants, feel free to join us at the Eco Friendly Family Ravelry group for our longies knitalong, which begins this Saturday.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

You can spot a knitter's baby anywhere.

And possibly a spinner's too.

Eliza Pumpkin Patch

Eliza Pumpkin Patch

See the hat and sweater on Ravelry. Can you believe she's 7 months old? I can't.

Does this mean I'm returning to blogging? I don't know. I'm crafting at a slower pace these days. Or at least finishing at a slower pace; I seem to be starting things at the same rate and then feeling overwhelmed.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Meet baby Eliza


Born Wednesday, March 11, 2009 10:28 am
8 lbs 5 oz
19 1/2 in long

Likes: breastmilk, handknits
Dislikes: diaper changes, socks

Monday, February 23, 2009

Everything but the baby.

At last, everything is done, purchased, washed, sorted, and put away! It feels so good.

Here's kind of a walking tour of the nursery. It's a little crowded (there was much measuring and rearranging to get all of this furniture to fit!), but I prefer to think of it as cozy.





I'll be spending lots of time here! The chair is a rocker/recliner. The lever is cleverly hidden in between the right arm and the seat cushion. The upholstery was the inspiration for the whole room.



All supplies on hand: cloth wipes, meds, toys, books...


Cloth diapers (prefolds and fitteds with covers) all ready to go.


Diaper pail (with waterproof liner) and another basket we received as a gift. I'm not sure if I'll use it for laundry or toys or what, but it's super cute.


Birds above the window -- pattern from Spool Sewing (link to pdf). Branch from our front yard.


There's a trundle under that bed, but nowhere to pull it out! The twin bed and dressers were already in the room.


Tons of tiny clothes!


This dresser and the matching night stand were in my room growing up.

That's it!

Oh, and I did manage to knit a couple more soakers, this time from Peace Fleece.
Peace Fleece Soakers

I started spinning yarn for another one, but it looks like I need to order a new bearing for the Schacht before I can finish. :(