Monday, September 30, 2013

the mad hatter strikes again

I asked my mother to help me select a design for birth announcements, and she studiously pored over dozens of layouts. When I asked her which were her favorites, she said, "The ones where the babies were wearing hats. Have you knit some cute hats for the baby yet?"

* cue cricket noises *

Hmmm. I hadn't, so set out to rectify the situation right away.

pattern: Solid Shells Earflap Hat, by Posh Patterns
yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Bobby Blue and Indigo
hook: size H Clover Soft Touch (Bobby Blue)
size I Clover Soft Touch (Indigo)
size: newborn (Bobby Blue)
3-6 months (Indigo)

My first time crocheting something that actually has to fit! Usually I crochet afghans and the like. These were pretty fun to make -- very quick, and I enjoyed not having to switch to DPNs and fiddle around. They are worked top-down. Initially I made the little one in Bobby Blue, then began to fret because it looked so tiny! So I made another in a larger size with a larger hook. After blocking, the tiny one looks just right. Not a bad thing for "Ragnar" to have a larger hat for the winter, too, though.


Also, a wee owlie hat for our little one! Love the owl cables and the yarn.
pattern: owl cable hat, by Teresa Cole
yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted, Natural
needles: Clover US 7 bamboo 16" circs + DPNs
size: newborn

I seem to recall that there may have been some minor typos or errata in the pattern, but it was such an easy little knit that I just improvised. Should have taken better notes!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

fo: Schieffelin Point Shawl

Cool autumn nights call for cozy handknits, don't they? I love this time of year.

pattern: Schieffelin Point Shawl, by Kate Gagnon Osborne
yarn: Lou's Luxury Yarns, Earth Bunny, 1.7 skeins (~ 500 yds.)
needles: Clover bamboo US 7 circs

I purchased this wonderfully soft and cozy yarn at Needles 'n Pins Yarn Shoppe in Delavan, Wisconsin on my knitting group's annual weekend getaway. This truly is a treat to knit -- a local yarn with lots of fluffy angora content, in such a nice natural melange of colors.

The pattern was easy to knit -- miles of garter stitch, with a lace edging knit at a perpendicular angle at the end, though I began to tire of the lace pattern at about the 90% mark. My only complaint is that the increase rows in the garter stitch are pretty visible, and not in a decorative way.

curious onlookers -- the cats love to supervise from the back porch whenever we're out grilling in the yard (or taking photos of handknits)

I didn't break out the ice cream maker too often this past summer, but this recipe turned out to be one of Paul's favorites!

Biscoff ice cream

2/3 C. Biscoff spread (I used creamy, not crunchy)
1/4 C. sugar (I used regular/caster sugar, but I think brown sugar would be awesome)
2 C. heavy cream
1 C. skim milk
3/4 tsp. vanilla

Prep your ice cream maker as directed (I put the bowl in the freezer the night before). If desired, put an empty freezer-safe storage container in the freezer, too.

Add all ingredients to the blender. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides a few times. Freeze using your ice cream maker, following the manufacturer's directions. I use a Cuisinart and run it approx. 15 min. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe storage container and chill for at least a few hours before serving.


I've been admiring these bright and colorful Blabla knit dolls lately (esp. the cats, the fox, and the raccoon). It goes against my nature to purchase one, though since they look fun and easy to make, so I'd like to try knitting something similar. Any pattern suggestions?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

the final countdown

We're busy getting ready for baby these days. The countdown to our little guy's due date is under two weeks. I'm alternately torn between being ready for him to arrive RIGHT NOW and wanting a few more days to finish decorating the nursery and to square things away at the office.
My mother's friends and family appliqued and embroidered these sweet teddy bear quilt blocks at a baby shower for me way back in 1978. Each teddy bear is different and bears the initials of its maker. Grandma (who was very crafty!) did all the finishing work, truly a labor of love for her since she enjoyed making garments, slipcovers, and curtains, not quilts. I love that my mom kept this all these years, and I feel so lucky to incorporate it into our little guy's nursery. Sugar is quite fond of it, too, as you can tell.


More cardigans to keep wee "Ragnar" warm are off the needles...
pattern: Baby Sophisticate, by Linden Down (the free version)
yarn: Knit Picks Simply Cotton Worsted, green tea heather, 2 skeins
needles: US 7 and 8
size: 6-12 months

This is the project where I finally mastered short rows! Huzzah! Cute little sweater -- I like the shawl collar shaping. I used US 7 needles for the body, but had to switch to US 8 DPNs for the sleeves to get gauge. I used US 8 for the bind-off, too.


pattern: Little Coffee Bean Cardigan, by Elizabeth Smith (free!)
yarn: Lion Brand Cotton-Ease, 1 skein each of Lake and Almond
needles: US 6 and 7
size: 3 months (?)

Yipes, stripes! I love them! The color combination is one of my favorites. Used up the very last of my Cotton-Ease stash, acquired many years ago.  I accidentally knit the collar with size 7 needles instead of 6, but remembered to use size 6 for the cuffs, bottom hem, and button bands. I didn't think through my button placement very wisely.

The sizing seems... well, quite generous, which is better than the alternative. The sleeves also seem pretty large in comparison to the body, but I'll evaluate the fit once it's actually in use.