Wednesday, February 24, 2016

fiddly knitting

Joining Ginny and friends for this week's Yarn Along:

Reading How Toddlers Thrive, one of the most helpful, practical, and kind-spirited books I've read about parenting toddlers -- it's helping me think about how little kids think, learn, and grow (a nice review here). Also Dodie Smith's The New Moon with the Old -- she wrote 101 Dalmatians, one of my favorite childhood books, plus I Capture the Castle, so I was excited to see some of her lesser-known books now available in reprints.

Knitting some sweet little toys for the kiddos. I'm at the fiddly part -- embroidery, seaming, and stuffing. Embroidering the face can make or break a handknit toy. A few wonky stitches can lead to the stuff of nightmares. I always end up pulling it out and redoing it a few times.

Here's the pattern photo of how they're supposed to look -- fingers crossed I can pull it off.

Friday, February 19, 2016

snowy days

Snowy days in the upper midwest call for handknits: Erik in the Barley hat I knit last winter; Bridget bundled up in a hand-me-down crochet earflap hat of Erik's, plus her cozy Baby Chalice blanket. More fun with the neighbor's Tomten garden! Visiting it is now part of our routine, and a good way for Mama to get a little exercise.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

bon bon toque + one plus one

Joining Ginny & friends for this week's Yarn Along:

a Bon Bon Toque for Erik, using leftover eggplant-colored yarn from his Flax pullover (both terrific patterns from Tin Can Knits).

Just finished One Plus One by Jojo Moyes on my Kindle -- a single mum who's down on her luck and her two eccentric kiddos end up on a roadtrip with one of her housecleaning clients. Charming fluff, not as moving as Me Before You (which is being made into a movie!). Having some light reading on my Kindle is perfect for those wonderful times when Bridget falls asleep on my lap or those less wonderful times when the queue at the post office is unbearably long.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Tomten + Chouette

Erik is a whirlwind of activity these days -- so hard to get a shot of him in focus. What has him so fascinated?
A fairy garden just down the block, though Erik is convinced that the wee gnome is actually the Tomten, which we have been reading every night lately.
Not only am I dreaming up plans for our veggie/herb/flower garden this summer, now I've added a Tomten garden to the list.

pattern: Chouette by Ekaterina Blanchard
yarn: Malabrigo Chunky, blue surf, less than 1 skein
needles: US 9 (5 mm) bamboo circs
size: toddler

I did a 3-needle bind-off rather than kitchener stitch, and it worked great. Also, skipped the button eyes -- Erik needed a hat one day, so I grabbed this off the stack of handknits to finish and then completely forgot about the button eyes until now.
P.S. Joining Ginny for the Yarn Along today.

Friday, February 05, 2016

a study in purple

Off the needles and onto the little guy:
Hooray for finishing Erik's purple sweater while it still fits! I started knitting this while he was wearing 2T and finished it after he moved up to 3T. Thank goodness I cast on for the size 4-6. It's warm and cozy and fits just perfectly, plus it's Erik's favorite color, which he tells us at least three times a day ("Purple's my color" -- such a cutie).

 pattern: flax, by tincanknits (free!)
size: 4-6 (yielded a 3T/4T)
yarn: knit picks swish worsted, eggplant, 5 skeins
needles: US 5 (3.75 mm)& 7 (4.5 mm) Clover bamboo 16" circs and DPNs

Easy-to-follow pattern, sleeves are a little long as written, but would probably be good for an older (skinny) kid. I made the arms a bit shorter, even though Erik actually does have long arms for his age. Soft and cozy superwash yarn, but I know from experience that Swish will stretch out and pill over time. That's OK for a kid's sweater, in my book, since he will grow out of it quickly -- the stretchiness will buy us some more time, and the last thing I want him to do is refuse to wear it because it's itchy.
 "Nevermind my new handknit purple sweater, enough with the paparazzi!" --Erik

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

yarn along: books and buttons

Joining Ginny for this week's yarn along:

I picked up All the Light We Cannot See again and am mesmerized -- can't wait to see how the two narratives mingle together. Also reading Beautiful Ruins for book club -- good, but I don't like it when authors take the easy way out when drawing characters by referring to technology and current trends -- not only is it sloppy, the book will become dated very quickly, and usually not in a good way. Also contemplating buttons for a Granny's Favourite Cardigan for Bridget. Need to decide quickly, as it will fit her for about five minutes!