Finishing garments

>> Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I have finished the body of my sweater, one sleeve and I am working my way up the other sleeve. I started thinking about the finishing for this pullover when it's done and since it is knit in the round there is minimal finishing to be done. YEA!!

When I first started knitting I couldn't sew in my end pieces very well and wasn't real thrilled with any of the "finishing" aspects of a project. When I started knitting my first (and only to date) sweater it was for my daughter.

Really cute sweater, hood, and front pocket (I'll post some pictures later when I can get better light). The only big complaint is that it is knit in pieces and then has to all be sewn together at the end (that was not a fun night). By the way it was knit with 100% cotton yarn and of course didn't hide a thing. I was terrified that I would spend a lot of hours on this sweater only to botch the seams and then it would spend the rest of it's days in the back of the closet. So before I started finishing the sweater I looked for a book to help me along. This is the book I picked up

The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques by Nancie Wiseman

Anyway, as I said I picked up this book and LOVED IT!! It is spiral-bound so it lays flat as you read and knit. The instructions are simple and accompanied by clear photographs. It discusses casting on, binding off, increasing, decreasing, selvages, picking up stitches, buttonholes, and sewing seams with a few other odds and ends thrown in. It gives the pros and cons for each type and makes it very easy to decide which technique to use when given a choice in a project. The finished seams on my daughters sweater were fabulous (not because I have any particular skill but because the book was so easy to follow. I highly recommend this book for anyone looking to clean up their knitting.

Now I'm off to hopefully finish my sweater and then we'll have the big reveal. Have a great weekend!


Love Ravelry

>> Thursday, July 24, 2008

Well thank you very much for all your helpful ideas. After the unanimous suggestions, I checked out Ravelry and I found this pattern. Luckily I have this issue of Interweave so I pulled it off my shelf and thumbed through it to the pattern. It was cute but then I found this pattern and to be honest I liked it more. Knit in the round, no cables (and after that afghan I am a little cabled out), pretty easy construction.

Interweave Knits Winter 2007-El Sol Pullover (just more photos, couldn't find the pattern online)

I'm thinking the rose color for the sweater and black for the contrast edging. What do you think? Now that I have gotten my feet wet with Ravelry I am so excited. I queued up a few more projects and since I like perusing patterns almost as much as knitting I have a feeling I will be spending a lot more time there.

I finished the aran square I was working on and have cast on for this pullover. I'm so excited!

Have a great weekend.


Aran afghan and a little question

>> Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Here is what I have been working on for my aran afghan. Thanks to a comment left by Sheepish One I checked out the DIY network web page and found this. Here is what I have knit thus far.

It is the Moss Diamond Cable Afghan Square and it takes a lot of concentration. So in addition to this little project I need something that is a little more mindless if you know what I mean.

Back when I first learned to knit and purl I thought, "hey this isn't so bad, maybe I'll just whip up a sweater." Mind you at this point I knew next to nothing about knitting, yarn, patterns, what have you. I promptly went to the store and purchased this yarn (I have more than one).
Patons Classic Merino 100% Wool

I have now been holding onto this yarn for about two years and I don't know what to do with it. I still have yet to make anything for myself. I would like to make a cardigan or a simple pullover. Nothing fancy just something that will fit. The yarn is kind of stiff but I like the color so...Any suggestions?


A running errands cowl

I know, I know, another cowl. Who hasn't had their fill of these? They are everywhere. So of course I had to make one. It has been christened the running errands cowl but that is exactly when it was made. Saturday driving (in the passenger seat of course) to the farmer's market, the local nursery for more plants. Standing in line, waiting at dance class, you name it. Since it just goes around and around all you need is a little yarn and your needles. I just kind of measured around my neck how loose I wanted it to be, cast on and started knitting. I bound off when it was as wide as I wanted.
On a different knitting front I am no longer going to make the long hooded cardigan. The truth of the matter is I was almost finished with it and went to do the arms and realized I had royally messed up. The kind of mistake that can't be fixed, so I had to tear almost the whole thing out. I tried starting again but my energy for the project flagged and I realized that I probably won't ever wear it. White or anything in the while family is not a good color for me. It is yarn from my grandmother's stash though so I still want to do something with it. I have decided to make an afghan with it. I am thinking aran squares all stitched together. I don't have a pattern so I am gathering together all the aran stitches I can and mapping out some sort of pattern. I will stitch each one into a 12 x 12 square and then stitch the squares together. Hopefully this weekend I can finish at least one square and see if anyone has any advice for me.
Thanks for the comments I love connecting with you all out there and reading your blogs!


Sunday brunch and a little knitting

>> Monday, July 14, 2008

Sunday mornings around here start slow with kids getting up and coffee brewing. Usually someone wanders outside to water the garden and see if there is anything to gather for later on in the day. We sit out on the deck and watch the quail while we enjoy breakfast. I found this beautiful squash in the garden and decided to cook up a frittata for breakfast. People usually wander over on Sunday morning and breakfast inevitably turns into brunch. So after slicing up the squash here is what I did.

Sauteed squash and bell peppers in a little bit of olive oil, with some freshly ground black pepper and italian seasoning. I would have added some garlic and onion but my sister-in-law is allergic so we did it without.

Then in a mixing bowl I whipped up about 6 eggs and added a couple of tablespoons of milk. When the vegetables had softened a bit I poured the egg mixture over the vegetables. Wait until the eggs are about halfway cooked then sprinkle some shredded Swiss cheese and a little shredded Parmesan-reggiano cheese.

Cover, turn to low, and cook completely through. Voila....we also had coffee cake, banana bread, and a fruit salad. A feast!

I also managed to finish the flower washcloths.

I think I will buy her a bottle of wine, a good book, and some bath salts. It will be a relaxation kit for her birthday. I am really happy with how they turned out. The cotton chenille is lusciously soft and the colors are nice and bright. I hope she enjoys it.


Friday nights and a dollhouse

>> Saturday, July 12, 2008

This is how I spent my Friday night and part of Saturday. While flipping through a magazine a couple of weeks ago I found the directions for this dollhouse in a magazine and had to share. I went down to the local craft store, spent $2.79 on the foam board and made this for my daughter.

We then got the paints out so she could start painting the walls of her new dollhouse.

And of course no house would be complete without stickers on the walls :).

We strung beads for lights across the family room and I used the leftover foam to make furniture. We have a couch and three beds, one for cow, one for zebra, and one for turtle. I know, I know, it's a dollhouse but she much prefers playing with animals so it is now her animals house. A quick foray through my sewing table and we found some in her words "cozy fabric" to make pillows and blankets for the beds, and some more fabric to make two pillows and a blanket for the sofa, "just like mommy's sofa".

I can't tell you how much fun we both had making this. The best part is we can put all the little pieces in a shoe box and the two pieces of the house come apart. It can be stored easily or taken to Grandma's house. She has moved this thing all over our house and has had so much fun. We found the little blocks at the craft store, they were $1.00.

Anyone out there who has a young daughter or son I really encourage you to check out the website link above and get the directions. The only thing is the instructions say to make a 2-inch notch in each piece of foam and you need to make a 4-inch on one and a 6-inch on the other so that they lock easily together. Please let me know if any of you make this! We had fun.


Finished Chanel clutch

>> Thursday, July 10, 2008

Finally I got my act together and organized my pictures. Summer has taken this house by storm and I'm finding it's hard to want to sit at my computer for any length of time. We have been outside soaking up the good weather. I don't live in northern California but the fires there are affecting our air quality today and we are shrouded in forest fire smoke. Can't see the mountains or even across town. So today we are inside.

Here is the clutch. Truth be told I didn't use it at the wedding. I had it, finished, in my suitcase, but there it laid until we came home. There was so much rushing around before the wedding that I never did grab it. My only accessory during the wedding was my one year old son on my hip. I am happy with how it turned out and now I need to find an event to use it for.

Here is the inside.

It's not huge but it holds the necessities. Cell phone, lip gloss, keys, and small holder for credit cards and license.

The back....not very interesting but there it is.

Since my current everyday purse is really a large bag to cart around the kitchen sink :) I'll have to plan a date with the husband and use my new purse. Hope everyone has a great weekend. I'm off to attempt homemade croissants. If all turns out well I'll post pictures next week.


Fourth of July Fun

>> Monday, July 7, 2008

The fourth of July has always been on the beach at the lake, followed by a bbq and then fireworks. Since having my kids we've done the fun in the sun and the bbq but not the fireworks (fireworks start WAY after their bedtime and my kids like/need their sleep). They are also too young at 1 & 3 to know what they are missing. When they are older we'll do the fireworks.

I knit a hat for my son but he wasn't very cooperative with the photo shoot.

One year olds tend to want to pull anything off they can :).

I was pretty happy with how it turned out. I can't post a link to the pattern because I made it up. I just wish he would have kept the darn thing on. Oh well.

Here is a recipe for s'mores bars that were super easy, not healthy, and fun to put together with a three-year old.

~Grease a 13x9 ban, one layer of graham crackers on the bottom, prepare a package of brownies according to directions and spread batter over graham crackers. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes until brownies are done, sprinkle 2 cups of mini marshmallows, 1 cup of chocolate chips, and 2/3 cup chopped peanuts over the top of the brownies, broil in oven for a minute or two until marshmallows are browned. Delicious (small children can help with the layering of crackers and the sprinkling of goodies).


Wedding and other musings

>> Thursday, July 3, 2008

Before anything else gets said I want to show you a couple of pictures of my daughters flower girl dress. My mother made it can you believe it? Here is a picture of the front. She made a bow tie and cumber bum for the ring bearer out of the purple that she used here for the cumber bum on the flower girl dress. Unfortunately the ring bearer wasn't in a cooperative place by the time the wedding took place and so we don't have any pictures of him.

The skirt on the dress is layered in tiers and to my daughters delight twirls out beautifully on the dance floor.

It was made using a Butterick pattern and was perfect. The wrap that I made was never used due to the surprising heatwave that occurred that weekend. Rumor has it that the temperature was about 15 degrees above normal. Needless to say no wraps were needed. I would like to add that though the day was warm and the night as well, by the time the ceremony had started a cloud cover had taken hold of the sky. It was a perfect temperature to stand and support my sister in marriage. No one was "melting" at the altar. The rest of the evening progressed that way. There was never any need for sweaters or wraps but it wasn't unbearably hot as well. The weather gods took pity on my sister and blessed her wedding day. She was gorgeous.

I would also like to take a moment and stop to smell the flowers.

Since starting this blog and subsequently treading out into the world of blogging I have started feeling more grateful and living more consciously. What I mean by that is I am someone who feels very comfortable with structure. I like lists and schedules and a clear cut idea of what needs to get done. I enjoy crossing things off my to-do list as much as I enjoy creating the list in the first place. Since having children I feel like I am always rushing from one list to the next. Birthdays, holidays, trips, entertaining. All of these things have taken on a whole new life now that I have two small people to plan for as well as myself. The lists are taking over. This blog has helped me to slow down and enjoy more. I still have lists. This last trip for the wedding and then our two-day vacation afterword provided me with plenty of opportunites to make lists. My blog though has forced me to sit down and think about what I want to blog about and what is going on in my life. It is encouraging me to make my days enjoyable with my children and friends so that I can share it all with you. Photographing projects and taking the time to write it all out forces me to sit back and enjoy what is going on instead of rushing off to the next item on my list. I find myself planning fun knitting projects or searching for a new recipe in the hopes that I can in turn share them with all of you. It has turned the mundane into an adventure and I would like to thank everyone out there who blogs for this epiphany.


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