Thursday, December 30, 2010

Handmade Holidays

First, thanks for all the kind words about Buster. He was such a good boy, and so very loved. I think it's poor Bella who is having the hardest time because her lifelong pal is no longer here. But she's getting loved on and I'm happy to be at home with her over the holidays to love up on her and spoil her lots.

Now onto craftiness... This year I was able to make a few things for Christmas:
There's the advent calendar that I made at the beginning of the month - a cute addition to our Christmas decorations this year. It was a great little kit from Stampin Up.

Advent calendar

Then there's the handstamped Christmas cards featuring the santa suit picture of Naomi. I figured since most of my friends and family back in the UK rarely get to see her that they'd enjoy a picture card. And these were super simple to put together with a bit of patterned paper and ribbon.


And I really got some mileage out of the pic because I also used it as a gift tag on decorated boxes of chocs that I gave to all the lovely people who take such very good care of Naomi at daycare.

Decorated choc boxes for the ladies at daycare

I also handknit a couple of cream scarves for a couple of ladies at daycare who've been looking after Naomi since she got there. I chose cream because I figured a neutral like that works with most people's taste. In the process of knitting the scarves Naomi got involved - she enjoyed playing with the yarn:

Yarn makes me happy

...and grasping at the project when I wasn't knitting on it:

starting her young

Although the full on lesson seemed to bore her to sleep ;o)

must have bored her ;)

One of the highlights this Christmas is that Jessica, Naomi's older sister, came to visit. It was great to spend good quality time with her. She's such a talented soul too - seems to excel at everything she puts her hand to. We made some pretty cookies and packaged them up for the neighbours. That was a fun project, and the end result was soo very Martha Stewart! (Or so we thought :o)))

Jessica and I made cookies

More to come as I get pictures uploaded. Hope you are having a lovely Christmas and I wish you the very best for 2011.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


My big boy Buster passed away yesterday. It was sudden, and unexpected, and I miss him soo very much.

We were lucky to find Buster at the local humane society about 10 years ago. He was a couple of months old at the time and when I laid my eyes on him it was love at first sight... I wanted him to be part of our family.

He was my first 'baby' and the very best companion. Yes I know, I'm a crazy dog lady! But if you have a pet you probably know what I mean - they have a way of working their way into the centre of your life, and your heart.

I just wanted to drop a note here to remember him. I loved him soo very much.

If you too have a loved pet at home, give them a scratch on the head from me. In the meantime I'll be hanging out, and loving on, my girls. And fondly remembering the good times with my big boy. I miss you dearly Buster xxx.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Holiday hats

Goodness it has been a while since I posted anything out here. Here's a little post to share some of the quickie projects I've been working on.

There's a Santa Hat for Naomi.

(Yep, piccie has been used on the Christmas cards this year)

Joe and I both have a handknit santa hat and so it seemed only right that Naomi get one too. You should see the looks we get when we are out and about together! ;o)

Hat pattern is from handknit holidays book, and the yarn is the blue sky alpaca that the pattern calls for. I love this yarn. I think thats what really makes the hat. Well, I guess the model isn't too shabby either! ;o)))

(This is a picture of her trying to escape... you should see how many shots it took to get to the first picture... and how heavily I cropped and edited it to make it work for the cards. Baby girl is mobile!)
And then there's a little elf hat.
Naomi received a gorgeous winter coat off her great Grandma and I wanted to make a hat that went well with it. I do love the meathead hat pattern from knitalong book and figured this would work with a mother's schedule: big needles + big yarn = fast knit. I had some of the lovely bright pink Red Rocks yarn from a cardi I made (think the pattern was shalom?) and that complemented the colours in the new coat nicely. It wasn't quite the right weight of yarn for the pattern and so I used 3 strands held together. Unfortunately it wasn't the quick knit I was hoping for -- this hat has actually been knit and re-knit about 3 times. It didn't seem to be quite deep enough for baby girl's head. I even tried to stretch it:
In the end I couldn't bear the thought of reknitting yet again what was supposed to be a churn-it-out-in-one-evening project and so decided to just add some ear flaps instead. Oh and the big flower came off one of the baby dresses she had that no longer fits... and since she'd actually worn through the dress (yes, I loved it) it wasn't any good for donating either. Ooh and Daddy has one of these hats too... a 'manly' version... but goofy nonetheless. Must get a modelled shot ;o)

Now I'm trying to whip up a couple of Thermis cowls for the lovely ladies at daycare... I'm new to this whole gifts for teachers thing so I hope this isn't going to seem lame? The ladies are always making kind comments on Naomi's handknits, and Thermis seems like a good versatile, go with most styles and tastes pattern? Can you tell that I'm second guessing myself at this point. Ah well enough twitter, I need to get to the needles... tick tock tick tock time is flying by....

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Barn Raising

Whew! This took some knitting. (And some seaming.) But it was well worth the effort. Barn raising is complete!

barn raising

Aside from loving how it turned out, I know I'll always treasure this project because it kept me good company throughout my pregnancy and the first few months of my baby girl's life. And on top of this it also includes squares from some of my knitty friends.


Hmm what else to say? It's a really straight forward pattern and the perfect take along project to have stashed in your handbag at all times.

Barn raising

I thoroughly enjoyed laying out the squares - arranging and rearranging until I found a layout that I loved. As you can probably tell I worked diaginally from one corner to the other, moving through the colours of the rainbow.


My blankie colour wheel

I also spent some time toying with how to seam it up and decided to make the ridges visible on the right side, as the pattern suggests. I love how this looks. Adds to the rustic feel.


Coincidentally EZ has a very similar blanket in one of her books where she does not cast off each square - choosing to put it on scrap yarn until the end when she kitchener stitches/grafts all the squares together. Can you imagine? I have a hard time kitchenering (!) the toe of a sock... a whole blanket? You'd certainly be an expert by the time you are done!

barnraising is finished

But enough of my waffle! Last note - I added a border (of course I did - I can't seem to help myself when it comes to blankets). It's a simple crochet border. Nothing fancy. But I do think it ties it altogether nicely.

And that my friends is it. Hope you have a happy Halloween tomorrow. I can't wait to dress the little miss up and parade her round a couple of lovely neighbours before cosying up inside with bowls full of candy to see what trick or treaters swing by.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wedding Shrug

Last weekend my brother married the woman of his dreams. It was a beautiful day filled with many fond memories.

On the knitting front, I wanted to make a little shrug to go with the sleeveless dress that I'd picked out for the occasion. I had some kid silk haze in my stash that just so happened to be the perfect colour.

wedding shrug

After seeing the lovely dream in colour shrug that Stacey had made I decided I wanted to do something similiar - just in this lighter weight yarn. I saw that the dream in colour shrug was a simple rectangle shape, and figured it would be fairly easy to replicate -- just needed to find a lace pattern that I liked and figure out the number of stitches to cast on.

wedding shrug

After some fiddling with needle size and gauge etc I cast on 80 stitches using a US2 needle and knit in rib for about 10 rows. I then followed the lace pattern from 'Waving Lace Socks' by Evelyn A Clark from the Interweave Favourite Socks book. I worked using the US 2 needle for 1 pattern repeat and then upped my needle size to US4 so that the back would have a little extra width than the sleeves. Worked a bunch more repeats in the 4, before switching back to the 2 for the last set of repeat and 10 rib rows. At the end I simply sewed the sleeves together (If I were smarter I should have just knit the beginning and end rows in the round to save the seaming). And that was it. Simple.

wedding shrug

I really like how it turned out, although truth be told I opted not to wear it on the day. Instead I found a sparkly scarf that was perfect and a bit more razzly dazzly than my knitted shrug. In hindsight I wished I'd added some seed beads to the shrug... I think that would have been the cherry on the cake. But, as they say, hindsight is 20/20!

naomi and i

And of course Naomi had her whirligig on. Aside from the bride, I think she might have been the most oohed and aahed over! ha ha ;o)

naomi's shrug

Saturday, July 31, 2010

More squares...

Were you wondering what happened with Barn Raising?

You may recall that I'd set a goal to have it completed by the end of my maternity leave. Ahem, yes, that was 2 months ago! To be fair, if I'd stuck with the 42 squares that the pattern called for, I would have been done at that time.

Unfortunately though, it just seemed a little small - more of a lap blanket than a snuggly throw. I tried to convince myself otherwise. That it really was big enough. I even tested with Joe: "It's a good size, right?" But both he and the nagging feeling in the back of my mind confirmed that it needed to be bigger. That ultimately I'd be disappointed if I kept the size as-is. Thing was I was a little burnt out on the non-stop knitting of squares - the thought of having to make oodles more just wasn't appealing. So I hid it away for a little while.

But it's back out of hibernation now, and I have a renewed interest to complete. Let's see how this goes... (Btw - if anyone said they were knitting a blanket out of sock yarn, wouldn't you think they were bonkers?)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Little Cotton Cardigan

I've been eager to finish a knitted project. It certainly wasn't going to be either of the blankets that I have on the go right now (I decided to make barn raising bigger than the pattern suggests and the araucania hexagons aren't seeing as much progress as I'd hoped). So it was time to whip out another baby cardigan for Naomi!

I had some Adriafil Fruttamix cotton yarn lurking in my cubbies and thought it would look pretty on the little miss. I wasn't much in the mood for following a pattern so this is one that I kind of made up as I went along, using the EZ February Baby cardigan instructions as a starting point.

I cast on 71 stitches (the amount recommended after the 2nd round of increases) and knit a few rows of garter stitch, and then increasing a row (K2,M1)* to the end of the row. Then knit stockinette for about 4.5 inches, at which point I put the sleeve stitches on yarn holders and continued knitting back and forth on the body.

Toward the bottom I wanted a ruffle and knit a (K2,M1)* increase row. Stockinette for a few rows, and then another (K2,M1)* row before adding a few rows of garter. I'm really happy with how this turned out.

Finally I picked up the sleeve stitches and added 15 additional stitches to each side. A few rows of reverse stockinette and then cast off. A garter stitch button band up the front and TA DA it was done! If only adult sweaters could be whipped out in a similar amount of time.

And on a side note... isn't she growing up soo quickly!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Wedding Whirligig

Later this summer we'll be going to the UK to enjoy my brother's wedding. It will be the first time the majority of my family will be meeting little miss Naomi in person. I can't wait!

I found a gorgeous little dress for the day of the wedding and wanted to make a knitted something-something to go with it. You were so very kind with your suggestions from an earlier blog post, and in the end I decided to make the Whirligig shrug.

Modelled Whirligig

I couldn't be happier with the end result! The details in this pattern are adorable and the decadent hand painted silk yarn with the little glass seed beads strewn through it is fit for nothing less than a princess ;o))

Pattern: Whirligig Shrug by Stephanie Japel (from Interweave Knits 'Weekend 2009')
Yarn: Tilli Tomas Hand Paints (Beaded Lace, Stony Mist) - just over 1 skein... I had to break into the 2nd skein for the cast off edge. Boo!
Needle: US 4 (instead of the 6 called for in the pattern - I prefer the tighter fabric that was made with the smaler needle size), I went up a size to compensate - 12-18mths
Modifications: Other than the needle size, I chose to add a seed stitch border around the neckline (to match the hem and cuffs) instead of the edging in the original pattern.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Ribbed wrap top

I'm warming up for the ravelry 'WIP cup', pulling out works-in-progress and trying to finish them up. Here's a project that's been hanging around for 3 years. It's a summery ribbed wrap top from Debbie Bliss's silk collection. It's pretty simple. But pretty nonetheless. And has a perfect non clingy drape for my post baby bod!

ribbed wrap top

Not a lot to tell you about this one... I followed the pattern word for word. One exception though - I added a row of single crochet across all top edges (fronts, back and shoulders) to make them a little sturdier and a tad more 'polished'.

Ribbed wrap top

Other than that, I just wanted to add a little note to wish all Mums a Happy American Mothers Day (UK one was back in March. And yes, I'm trying to swing it with my husband that we celebrate both! ;o))))

I <3 Mum

Friday, May 07, 2010

Barn raising update

Thanks for the suggestions and thoughts for the baby wedding cardigan. I added 2 more links to the list in the previous post, if you want to check those out, and comment?

Anyhoo here's a quick update on barn raising... I've been continuing to knit the sock yarn squares and I have 35 now! That's right, I'm on the home stretch!

look at all these squares

My plan is to try and finish this project by the time my maternity leave is up at the end of the month. I think it is possible to knit the final few by then. But I'm not sure how long it will take to assemble... we'll see.

More to knit?

By the way, for any fans of ravelympics (and other timed-based knitting/sporting-related events) out there, do you know that there is a world cup group out on ravelry -- WIP Cup. The focus is to finish WIPs during the world cup. And there are prizes!

I'm thinking of bringing the araucania hexagon blanket out of hibernation for this event. This could be a lofty goal - finishing a blanket in a month with a wee one at home, and a full-time job to return to. But I do like a good challenge.


Hope everyone has fun plans for the weekend,

Thursday, May 06, 2010


In September we'll be attending my brother's wedding back in the UK. I've found a gorgeous dress for Naomi, and some beautiful yarn to make a little cardigan or shrug to go with it. (Yarn is Tilli Tomas beaded lace in colour stoney mist- it is super cute!).

Now I just need to figure out what to make. Does anyone have any suggestions?

it's perfect!

I put this request out on ravelry, and received the following recommendations (click on the link to view):
Whirligig shrug
Annie Amelia Baby Bolero
Tiny tea leaves
Baby's tied shrug
Confection baby shrug
Hannah Fettig's Yoked Cardigan

Thoughts, preferences and additional suggestions all welcomed.

hope the dress fits

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Naomi's new blankie

Check it out - the gorgeous sock yarn blanket with the fun monster backing material (to match the nursery theme).

I love it!

Thanks to my knitty friends - Stacey, Jeni, Terrie, Tiffany, Mary Kay - for making this for Naomi. (And to Stacey's Grandma for sewing on the backing :)

This blanket is for me?

Thank you xoxo

Friday, April 16, 2010


I'm having a lot of fun with the barn raising blanket. But not as much fun as I'm having with little miss Naomi... she's over 7 weeks old now, and growing like you wouldn't believe! She's also started smiling and babbling -- I think we have a chatty little soul here :o)

Naomi and the blankie squares

For the barn raising blanket I've been using Pagewood Farms sock bites (mill ends that are sold at my local yarn store) and scraps of sock yarn from my stash. I've also swapped a couple of squares with local knitty friends.

Barn raising... I'm obsessed!

I'm really liking the color combinations so far and enjoying arranging the squares to see how I'll want the final placement.

Barn raising progress

Another great simple project!