Sunday, April 24, 2016

Birth Announcement

Have you seen how cute the penpals patterns are from Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery? These are beginner friendly, and a big part of that appeal is they are small enough that you can finish fairly quickly.
Birth Announcement
I had been working on Penpals 202, which I believe was originally a Valentine's release.  I bought this as a kit, with the polka dot linen and delightful cosmo threads, from The Cottage Needle on Etsy (I highly recommend them for your stitch goodies).  While I was working on this, I received the good news that a dearly loved couple were expecting a baby girl.  As the months went by I saw that they were decorating the nursery with pink and hearts.  That triggered an idea - this cross stitch pattern would make a cute birth announcement.
Birth announcement
Once I worked the penpals design, I needed to add the personalization.  A quick Google search later I came across Stitchpoint - a site that lets you pick a font and type in the letters and characters that you want to stitch.  I opted for the Monaco font - I wanted the lettering to be delicate and not overpower the penpals design.  For the name I used the darkest of pinks from the design.  For the birth details I used the medium pink.  My thought here is that the name would stand out a little bit from the rest of the details.
Birth announcement
Birth announcement
For the finishing I found a frame at TJ Maxx that would work with the furniture in the nursery, and also complement the cross stitch design.  I cut some card and batting that would fit the frame (I like how the batting adds some 'poof' to the finished design, centered the design over the top and then laced up the back.  (There are a number of online tutorials showing how to do lacing...  this was my first time finishing/framing a project myself, and I was pleasantly surprised at how well it turned out).
Birth announcement
Have you tried something new this week?

Wishing you a great week ahead.
Love,
Sam xxx

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Delicate baby booties and hat

I started the baby booties and hat again using the new yarn. It was a good decision!

Pretty baby booties and cap
The previous colours were nice... they just didn't feel really special. These new yarns however - Wow! First the colours - I feel that they are classic and delicate. Perfect baby colours. The cream yarn is Blue Sky Alpaca Royal, and to use their description: A very rare quality of luxury alpaca fiber. You just want to snuggle with this. (Or as friend of mine would say, you want to have a complete body suit made out of this!) The peach yarn is Louise Harding Orielle in color Blossom. This one is 97% baby alpaca (more snuggly softness) with a silver princess sparkle that runs through it (and the sparkle does not detract from the softness). If there is any downside it would be that the stitch definition is not as crisp in the alpaca yarns compared to the cotton. But you could argue that this just adds to the charm of the alpaca. Always a silver lining :)

Pretty baby booties
The pattern is Knitting Baby Set by Elena Mitchell (Solnishko43 on Etsy). The pattern is extremely detailed with a couple of size options: Excellent written instructions and accompanying photographs for each step. As I was knitting I felt that this must be a very talented knitter that created this design - there are some steps in the design, such as how each row starts and stops that give a very professional finish. If you have some baby knitting in your future I recommend checking out her patterns on Etsy. The finishing touch was to add the pearl beads as a final decorative element. These are fit for a princess!

Pretty baby hat
Now, if only this snow would let up I could go and get them in the mail :) 
I am taking full advantage of the snow day - crafting, blogging and quality family time. It is a good day! How would you/do you spend your snow days?


Stay safe Coloradoans, and wishing everyone a great weekend,
Sam xxx

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Road trip

Over spring break we took a road trip to visit family in Arizona.  The timing was perfect because we were able to catch a spring training game with the Rockies.  That's a win:win for my husband and I...  He gets to watch the game while I get to enjoy some great weather and solid knitting time :)
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Spring training
It was really good to get away for a few days, see family and enjoy some delightful weather (thankful to have missed the blizzard back in Colorado). I mainly worked on the Clapo-ktus scarf on the road trip and have been making good progress - almost at the half way mark!  I have since flitted between the other projects on the needles:
 The Habu Gauzy scarf (now on the 3rd colour):
Gauzy scarf
Some baby booties:
Rev 1 colours
Rev 1 colours
Although I am not loving the dusky pink and have since been reworking them in this glittery peach and cream combination.
New Colours
In addition to the knitting I was able to pick up some fabulous Blue Moon Fiber Arts yarn, which is soo bright and happy! I'm eager to get one of these skeins on the needles! But first, I need to finish those baby booties.
Blue Moon Splurge
Hope you have had a wonderful weekend,
Sam xxxx

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Slow and steady

I've been making progress on the gauzy scarf... the 2nd colour block is almost complete and it is looking lovely. I think it has an Eileen Fisher vibe to it. This scarf is intended as a gift, but might be hard to part with. :)

Scarf progress

Aside from the scarf, I don't have a lot of crafty progress to share this week. In my free time I've been on a kick to purge the house of unnecessary 'stuff'. Do you ever feel like that? I'd made a good start, but certainly have plenty more de-cluttering to go. It was nice to get a start on it. Could it be that spring is on the way and that drives the desire to have our homes feeling clean and airy?

The purging does not include yarn :) I welcomed the following beauties into my stash - a lovely gradient yarn from Pigeonroof studios. There are a few babies due in our family this spring and summer, and I was thinking that this would be adorable for a little baby girl project.

Gradient yarn

The other beauty we welcomed into our home this week is Macky. Look at this handsome soul!  His Momma is going to be travelling for some months and so we have the good fortune to have another furry family member until she returns.  I'm thrilled and have been enjoying snuggles.

Macky

Wishing you a great week ahead.
Love,
Sam

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Scarves

I picked up some beautiful Habu yarn last week - N-80. It is 4 fine strands of merino that are wrapped in a black silk thread. I picked up 3 different colors to make a gauzy colour block scarf. I think this yarn looks really elegant and was eager to cast on immediately.

Habu N-80

I am using the Coco Knits Nora Fringe scarf pattern, minus the fringe. It is a basic garter knit scarf, and because the fine yarn is knit on larger needles, the resulting fabric is beautifully airy and light. I'd spent most of my craft time working on this, and am making good progress so far. This one is a gift knit.

Habu N-80

Habu scarf

Our new little furry family member took it upon himself to remind me that I also have the Clapok-tus scarf in progress too, by running laps with it around the house. Aah he's a yarn lover - skeins of yarn and knitted socks or slippers are not safe around this little fella! But look at this bundle of sweetness... yes, all is forgiven! 

So sweet

Yarn lover

His little show did prompt me to spend some time on this scarf too. Naturally this one is going much more slowly, but is very soothing to knit on. I love the colours in this soo much, and think that my natural preference is to work on the smaller needle sizes.

Sock yarn scarf

That's all from here. It is girls day today and we off to pick up the painted pots from last weekend's party. Wishing you a wonderful Sunday, and Happy Mother's Day to all in the UK.
Sam
xxx

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Birthday Fun

It's been a fun, yet busy, week with Naomi. She turned 6 and in honor of her birthday she got to be student of the week at school, which involves a daily activity: bring a poster to school about yourself, bring someone to school to read to the class; ... you get the idea. Add to this a music performance her class was giving on Tuesday evening; 100 days at Kindergarten on Friday day, and a Spanish festival on Friday night. Yup, quite the busy week!

100 days of school = dress like you are 100 years old
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I hadn't heard of the 100 days of school activity prior to this year, but essentially the kindergartners get to celebrate their 100th day by dressing as though they are 100 years old.  Typically I'd go out and hunt for something, but given the hectic schedule we went searching through the closets at home. A simple dress and cardigan and a few props later, we were ready! The plastic glasses were a party giveaway, the faux pearls from a previous Christmas party, and maybe you recognize the shawl? It is the Handspun Henslow that I made many moons ago.

On top of the school activities, we've been working on the aprons for the birthday party.  That's right "we".  I can't tell you how pleased I was that Naomi wanted to play an active role in making these for her friends.  Cutting out the sleeve/pocket pattern, measuring and cutting the ribbons, and helping me stitch (sat on my lap, her hands on mine as we guide the fabric through the machine).  I was really impressed with how she got on.

Cutting the pattern

Little helper

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Pom poms
Hello... it's me

The party was earlier today and they had such a wonderful time.  If you are in Colorado/Denver area, we went to Hot Pots in Littleton, and it is a great place with the most helpful staff. The space is beautifully decorated and there is room for the kiddos to be in a dedicated area of the store. I highly recommend it.
birthday girl

Well, time for me to put my feet up!
Hope you had a great weekend,
Sam xxx

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Children's apron

It is rapidly approaching Naomi's birthday, and we have just settled on a party idea:  Pottery painting at a local studio. If you have been following me for some time you know that:
a) I love to make party favors and gifts
b) I have a tendency to leave the making of said favors and gifts to the last minute
This year is no exception!

Given the kiddos will be painting, I thought a fun apron would be a sweet thing for them to wear at the party and take home afterwards.  I found 2 strong candidates via Pinterest:
1.  Aesthetic Nest: Children's Reversible Fat Quarter Apron
2.  Brown Eyes plus Blue:  Pinafore Apron

There's something very appealing to me about the cool and utilitarian vibe of #2, and I had a vision of how this could look with the mochi mochi dots from my stash.  However Naomi preferred #1, hands down.  And what's not to love about this bright patterned apron with the whimsical details.

Apron

So, we started with a rummage through my fabric stash and found this fabulous children's print:  It is a Kokka fabric called Hello Animals by designer Nancy Wolff.  The backing will be a solid hot pink Kona cotton.  The ribbons and pom poms were picked up at Jo-Ann fabric.

Fabric for apron

I made a couple of modifications to the original pattern:
1.  I added both pockets to the 'front' of my reversible apron, and added some additional pom pom trim detail to them
2.  I did not add a button and button hole for the neck ribbon.  Instead I cut the ribbon at about 18 inches, so that it sleeps over Naomi's head.  In fairness, this is a snug fit, so I may alter the other versions to either use a velcro closure at the back of the neck, or simply add 2 lengths of ribbon that can be tied in a bow at the back of the neck.

et Voila!  I am delighted with how the prototype turned out.  The rest of my Sunday will be in mass production :)

Apron Back bow

Wishing you a great day ahead!
Love,
Sam