Easter Sweater

>> Saturday, April 25, 2009

I finished the Easter sweater in time for my daughter to wear it Easter morning but umm...it was so hot Easter that we got sunburned from being outside. The sweater sat in her bedroom awaiting a cool spring morning. Luckily we had some this weekend.
It is the Jacket with Ribbed Yoke from Family Knits by Debbie Bliss. A favorite pattern book of mine with beautiful knits for everyone (as it is titled Family Knits) :).

I made a few very minor modifications. I don't understand why as lovely as Debbie Bliss patterns are everything is knit as one piece. This sweater is a simple one and I didn't understand why everything had to be knit separately but also flat and then seamed together. I abhor seaming so I knit the body back and forth instead of three separate panels. I picked up stitches at the shoulder and knit the sleeve in the round until I got a length I wanted.

As per the pattern the collar was knit using short row shaping which I had never done before. Loved it. I used jaeger roma yarn and size 6 needles. It is a little bit roomy through the shoulders but still looks cute on her.

And it wouldn't be a finished off post for us without some running shots.

Up next for me is this. Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!


Spring Socks

>> Thursday, April 23, 2009

In March I won a small victories giveaway that Suzanne had. She sent me a lovely skein of yarn complete with a pattern for a pair of socks.

I was so excited because if you remember I haven't ever knit up proper socks. So I referred to the pattern on the back of the yarn wrapper and cast on.I had enough yarn to make myself a pair and my daughter a pair as well. We now have matching spring socks. She is in love with the color combo as it is "rainbow" and that is her "very most favorite color". How very fortunate that Suzanne sent us that color :). I can't believe that I have never knit up socks before. I bypassed the second sock syndrome I've heard so much about by casting on for one sock at a time while also working on my daughters dress and her Easter sweater (with pictures coming shortly). I think having another large project going at the same time helped me not get to bored with either one.

Sorry the pictures aren't the best but I had a hard enough time convincing here that running shots weren't really the best way to showcase the socks, so I had to snap quickly so that she could show me how fast these socks made her run....wish I could bottle up that energy.


A princess dress

>> Tuesday, April 14, 2009

This dress. I'm not quite sure what to say about it. It is a product of a recipe at this blog. With percentages, gauge, and chest measurements off I went to create this dress. I think this will be my only dress as I cannot fathom a day when I would step out in public in a knitted dress. Mind you it isn't that I don't think they are pretty I'm just not sure that this post-two-baby-body could pull it off successfully.
It has a purple garter stitch collar and the same stitch with increases to create a ruffle arm band and another small ruffle on the bottom.

I used jaeger roma yarn in pink and purple. Size 6 needles.

A series of increases on the skirt helped make it twirly.
As always there was lots of running.

And a little color work on the front.

This dress was so much fun to knit, precisely because it wasn't a pattern. It gave me a small taste of design on a large scale. I would really like to branch out a bit more into designing things to fit myself. I am just trying to learn, and practice if you will, as much as possible with knits for my kids. I promise there are some things in the works for myself. I just keep thinking about how fast my babes are growing and I find myself casting on again before they are all grown up.

So while I keep forging ahead in my quest for knowledge on designing my own knits, any tips for where I should look?


Knitting as a diversionary tactic

>> Monday, April 13, 2009

One more little piece of Easter and then we will move on. My mother-in-law made these little nests with my daughter for our brunch. How cute are they? 2 cups of butterscotch chips melted with 1 cup of peanut butter. Mix melted mix with 2 cups of crisyp noodles. Scoop onto parchment paper and use the spoon to hollow out your "nest". Fill with malted eggs and voila....cute and delicous! They also made some with chocolate chips instead of butterscotch chips. Easy, cute, and fun! Next year make some.

I lied....one more thing. You couldn't have possibly thought that I would let a holiday go by and not make another house. We have them at Christmas, and Halloween so of course we had an easter house.

Now, we all know how knitting can fill so many categories depending on what you need. Creative? Check. Meditative? Check. A great way to watch TV at night and still fill productive? Check. Showing love for the people around you? Check. But have any of you used it as a diversionary tactic? I just came off of a fun holiday weekend but as with most holidays it was full of family. Not just my own family of origin but in-laws as well. Now I'm not here to tell any tales but I have to say I used my knitting. Shamelessly even.

Friday night after the kids were in bed the wine started flowing and sometimes conversations took an uncomfortable turn. No yelling, or raised voices.....just conversations that I didn't' want to participate in. Can I tell you that never in my life has stockinette stitch and weaving in ends required more attention. Thank goodness no one around me knew how to knit so I had no fear of being caught. As conversations took a turn here or there I just buried my head in my knitting and offered noncommittal mmhmm's occasionally and "Oh I didn't hear you I have to really concentrate on this part." This technique has earned me many a free pass out of situations/conversations I have no interest in being a part of it. One more reason to love knitting!
Hope you all had a fantastic Easter weekend and I have some finished pieces to show off this week. The weather is supposed to cooperate today (with snow by Wednesday) so I'm off to bribe my little red-haired girl with jelly beans to do a photoshoot.


Scones & Egg Cozies

>> Thursday, April 9, 2009

Weekend Knitting was the first grown-up knitting book I purchased. One of the patterns inside is the sweater egg cozies. The pattern has a caption discussing how fun it would be to serve house guests their hard-boiled eggs with these sweater cozies. I have to admit I found the whole idea a bit ridiculous but with Easter here I found myself casting on...

These little sweaters are going to hug a few hard boiled eggs on our table this year. We have a big Easter Brunch every year at my house and it is typically a movable feast. Family and close friends start trickling in mid-morning for good food, coffee, eggs, and way too much chocolate. I had debated about embroidering initials on them and using them as place settings but didn't have the time so they will just be a fun hand knit decoration.

This year we have close to twenty people and while a gathering of this size is fun for everyone it can be a little tricky with the planning of food. Of course everyone brings something but there still seems like a lot of cooking goes on. I try to makes things ahead of time and I thought I'd share something we love to eat for brunch (but only on special occasions because it is definitely not in the healthy category). I like to make scones and the whole family loves these maple scones from the Barefoot Contessa especially. Now I'm not sure if this is going to be new information for anyone or if I'm a little bit late to the party but here it goes :). I make these scones usually on Wednesday or Thursday before Easter (hopefully this afternoon I'll get to them). I don't cook them mind you I just mix and roll and cut and then place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet, cover in plastic, and into the fridge they go. I cook them straight from the fridge Easter morning and they are delicious!

I sometimes will also place the cookie sheet in the freezer (uncooked) and when they are mostly frozen I put them in zip lock bags and then put the bags in the freezer. When I want just one or two scones then I pull one out of the freezer and pop straight into the oven (add a little bit longer to cook time). This is a great way to enjoy scones whenever you want or if your family is like mine, and somebody pops in on a Sunday morning and you want to serve them a treat with their coffee.

Do any of you have any helpful recipes or tips for a crowd? Happy Easter!


Week wrap up

>> Sunday, April 5, 2009

My week may or may not have looked like yours. There was a lot of yard tidying up. We are expanding our vegetable garden and also building a stone retaining wall (so much fun). We tidied up the yard and found some bulbs poking through.

Our fruit trees are finally budding

My strawberries are now the home of a plastic giraffe and some golf balls.....hmmmm
My first "crop" of the season was some fresh chives for our potatoes
I also have a recipe to share, and Claudia since you have been sharing so many healthful recipes and tips this year this dessert is especially for you. These brownies which include two cups (yes that is not a typo) of black beans.

Yummy, delicious, gluten-free (if you need/want that) fantastic brownies. Recipe for Amazing Black Bean Brownies here.

How was your week?


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