Thursday, December 31, 2009

Frances the Charismatic Monster

Another monster has been completed for the nursery -- Frances the Charismatic Monster. Yay for a fun pattern from Danger Crafts.

Mum had started this when she was over on her pre-baby visit last month. I picked it up again the other morning while watching The English Patient and was able to polish off 2 legs and an arm. That gave me all the incentive I needed to just knuckle down and finish off the remaining arm and ears and sew this cutesy pie together. (That's right, I'm putting this holiday break and pre-baby time to good relaxing and crafty use!)

Here's the details:
  • Yarn: Knit Picks Shine Worsted in Snapdragon. I think Mum and I may have used 4 balls between us. And that's only because we used a double strand (in hindsight not necessary, but it does make the fabric denser).
This was gifted to me by Nachaele when she moved from Colorado last year - I think she'll agree it's been put to good use :) And I think there might be enough left to make a cute cardigan wrap like this one (ravelry link).
  • Needles: US 6
  • Mods: I chose to handstitch eyes and teeth again since it is intended for a baby

Ooh I am looking forward to seeing how the nursery will turn out. I also painted the walls yesterday. Opted for a traditional pale pink. Nothing too bright -- I'd like the fun accessories to pop and be the feature.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Festive feet

Joe loves his handknit socks. But some of the pairs he has in the sock drawer are looking a little bit too loved... far beyond their best. So I had this grand plan to make him a new pair of socks for Christmas, as a surprise.

The surprise part didn't work out too well... or the getting them for Christmas part... but hey they are complete now, and it's still December.

A little zany aren't they! :o)))

I used Zauberball sock yarn, knitting from each end of the ball to force the striping. I think it's fun. A little Dr Seussical. I do much prefer the one that has more blue in it vs the yellowy one. But they work together well enough in an odd kind of way.  Another super simple knit. I used my basic sock pattern(which I need to modify to fix the heel shaping, btw). And a k3,p1 rib for the leg and top of foot.

He's super happy with the end results and has even worn them into work today. Wonder what his colleagues will think if they see these dazzlers peeking out!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Daphne and Delilah

I have this idea for the nursery -- that it's going to be 'monster themed'. Which of course sounds a little odd... Monsters? For a nursery?? For a little girl???
Yes that's right - monsters for a nursery for a little girl.

When the monsters in question are as cute as these guys, I think you might agree that it actually might work. And heck, be cute too. So here's Daphne and Delilah. One of many great patterns from Danger Crafts.

Daphne and Delilah are made using Lion Brand Cotton Ease, and a size US 5 needle. I didn't modify the pattern in any way but did add the following details:

  • Momma monster has a handstitched heart on her belly (using some yummy Mama Blue yarn I have in my stash)
  • Baby girl monster has a little knitted bow (For the bow portion I cast on approx 30 stitches and worked in the round for about 10 rows then cast off. For the knot portion I cast on approx 6 stitches and knit until it was long enough to wrap around the middle of the bow. Then simply sew together.)
  • Both monsters have hand stitched felt eyes and teeth. I chose to stitch these details figuring it might be safer for baby.

Next on the nursery crafting list is Frances (ravelry link). Mum started this for us when she was over last month. Need to get cracking on that. And my dear step daughter is working on one of the Knitted Odd Bods (ravelry link) to go in the nursery for her little sister (melts my heart). (The theme has evolved a tad to include other whimsical creatures... and the patterns from the Knitted Odd Bods are perfect!)

I have high hopes for how this is going to turn out... But first job for this week is to paint the room in question.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The kindness of folks

(I know, my blog posts are like buses... you wait for ages for one to appear, and three come along at once! )

I was thinking the other day about how kind people can be. This has been especially true during the pregnancy -- the kind words, the support and advice, the surprising and thoughtful gifts. Thank you to all my dear friends who have been enjoying this journey with me.

I mention surprising because sometimes it's the little things that just pop out of the blue. Take work, for example... There's the lady that operates the coffee cart who makes sure I get my daily dose of vitamin C -- she catches me on my way to my desk and gives me a couple of clementines each day (and a little bit of English toffee on the side!). Or the colleague who, knowing this is my first child, went out and bought me a book all about pregnancy. The list goes on and on... And believe me, I certainly couldn't ask for a more supportive boss right now. I've been truly blessed there.

I wanted to show my gratitude for some of this kindness, and of course this means handknit gifties! First up is the ruffle scarf. It's nothing momentous to shout about but I do like this pattern a lot (this is the 3rd scarf I've made using this pattern now). And with the designated weight yarn it's a very quick knit - I cranked this one out in just 2 evenings. (So if you need a very last minute gift, you could always plop yourself in front of the telly today and tomorrow and whip one of these out).

I made this one using some Kathmandu Aran that I had in my stash. I think it was probably close to 3 balls that I used (it was odds and ends of a couple of balls so hard to be sure on the yardage -- but that guidance will be in the pattern). With this tweedy yarn, this one feels a little more rustic than the other two. But I'm thinking that it should be super cosy. I hope she likes it.

Oh yes and that's a pic of me modelling it with my 28week belly. B.O.B. is certainly growing in leaps and bounds now!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Handmade goodies for the little lady

I mentioned in the last post that Mum came from the UK to see me over Thanksgiving. What I didn't note was that she was hauling a suitcase full of goodies for the little lady, from friends and family back home. I was blown away. Christmas had come early :o)

I won't post everything now - you'll be seeing plenty of modelled shots in only a matter of months. But I did want to share some of the handmade goodies:

First up are some more hand made gifts from Mum. Knowing that Joe is a huge sports fan she made little lady's first baseball outfit, complete with Cleveland Indian's logos:

How cute is that handknit sweater! And I love that she has matching jeans and socks. She'll be all ready for the opening of the 2010 baseball season!

And Mum also made a cute rag doll that's kitted out in Miami Dolphins colours and logo. (When I was a little girl I had a Raggedy Ann and Mum tells me that I loved my rag doll. There's other stories too, to do with the dolls red hair and my nostrils... ;o) Anyhoo she thought my little lady might also like her own rag doll. I agree.)

Mum is probably going to tell me off for posting it here. You see she's not that fond of the end result and has been referring to the rag doll as Ugly Betty! (I think she was even thinking of not gifting it... crazy!) I LOVE it!

The other handmade goodies came from my Mum and Dad's neighbour, Barbara. Barbara has been a dear family friend and seen us all grow up over the years. She loves to knit and even owned her own yarn stall at our local market for a while. You can only imagine how giddy I was when Mum pulled out not 1, but 4 knitted outfits from Barbara. Whoa! Little lady is going to be decked out in nothing but the finest handknit goodness!

Mum and I also worked on some projects while she was here. I want to finish them up before I share them... maybe over the Christmas break. They will form part of the nursery decor. My plan is to work on the nursery too between Christmas and New Year. It feels like the countdown is on as I'm into my third trimester and have a lot of prep to do... More to come in the next couple of weeks...

Meanwhile, I'll leave you with this -- we went for a 3D scan while Mum was over. It was amazing! So wonderful to see the little lady in all her 3D glory. She's either a little shy, or a feisty soul - she does not like her picture to be taken! But after much prodding and poking the sonographer was able to get a couple of good shots. What cracked me up the most though was when she raised her little fists at the end as if she was ready to take on the sonographer if he didn't stop! :o)))

If I don't blog again between now and then, I wish you a Merry Christmas. Only 3 more sleeps...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas stamping

I can hardly believe it's been a whole month since I last posted. Time is flying... I have been busy with work and play. And part of that play has been some craftiness. So here's the first of a couple of posts to get caught up.

After I finished the mittens I needed to knuckle down and get started on my Christmas cards. I received very disappointed looks from Joe last year when I (who owns too much stamping stuff to be buying a card. Ever.) went out and bought all my Christmas cards. This year I was ahead of the game and pretty much made every single one. I even made a couple of batches for my sis - more on that below.

Sometimes I lack inspiration for a design, and so I scouted the web and my idea books to come up with these. I really like the simple red/brown, green/brown and red/green colours.

And because I was on a roll I offered to make my sis some. She wanted some fun ones and I had this great stamp set with cute animals so made her a batch of those.

My sis also makes cool resin jewellry and ornaments, so Mum and I made her a batch that could 'house' the resin goody so that it would double as a gift and card for her friends. (Mum was over for a vist over Thanksgiving... we had such a nice time, and I was sad when she had to return to the UK).

Next up, some knitty goodness for the Little Lady...