Saturday, April 30, 2011

Baby Olive

What a fun afghan! I was looking to make a baby blanket and wanted something a little different from the norm. I was flicking through Larissa Brown's 'Knitalong' book (love this book - made quite a few projects from it) when I came across 'Olive's Afghan'. The interesting zig zag lines and simple garter stitch called to me.

Olivia baby Blanket in 4 ply cotton

I had quite a lot of the Rowan 4-ply left in my stash from another baby blanket, and since it has held up really well to numerous cycles in the washing machine I decided it would be perfect for this project. So instead of the yarn and needle called for in the pattern, I used the Rowan 4-ply and a US 3 needle. I didn't make any changes to the number of stitches that the pattern recommends you cast on for each panel, but did only knit 12 stripes per panel. This seemed to be a good size for a baby blanket - it is about the width of a standard crib/cot.

I found that I only needed 6 panels to make the baby blanket (which was a good thing as, although I love the Rowan 4-ply cotton, I find it unforgiving on my hands - after a good stint of knitting I feel like I have achey claws instead of young, supple hands! Aah the scarifices ha ha!)

Olivia Baby Blanket

To finish, I placed right sides of the panels together and joined them using whip stitch in a nice contrasting steel blue colour. I chose the whip stitch because I wanted it to be a little visible, but not overly dominant (as a crochet join might be). And then of course added a crochet border in the steel blue (I seem to have this thing for adding crochet borders to all my blankets these days!) It is about 5 rounds of double crochet. At each point I'd dc 3 stitches into 1 hole, and at each trough I joined 3 stitches into 1. (I'm sure there's a correct way of describing this, but I'm not familiar with the crochet lingo!)

And that's about it. Oh it does have a 'design feature' - I ran out of the pale green yarn on the very last stripe in one of the panels, and ended up using one of the other colours from the blanket. I think it works out ok. In fact if it hadn't been one of the last panels I knit, I would have considered purposely adding an 'odd' stripe into each of the panels for a fun touch.

Olivia baby blanket - odd stripe!

I'm pleased with how this turned out. But perhaps the biggest fan of the project is our big boy Bruno who would actively seek out this project and then take it on tours of the house, garage and dog run, leaving a Hansel and Gretal style trail of yarn everywhere! Yep, the end result had a good spin in the washing machine before being gifted!

Caught red handed

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Birdie Sling with a Kanzashi Flower

I have some good friends. Big thanks to Stacey and Genia for hauling round multiple sewing machines, and their patience, yesterday. They kindly showed Terrie and I how to make the gorgeous Birdie Sling bag. It was a fun day. And we had fabulous finished projects at the end of it.

Finished bag for Jac

The bag I made is for my sis - a diaper bag for when her new baby comes along. She loves this skully pattern and the random polka dots seemed to be a fun touch. I absolutely loved the bright fabric on the inside.

Inside pockets

I decided it needed a splash of that bright colour on the outside and so made this Kanzashi flower from my scraps using the online tutorial here.

Kanzashi flower

Super happy with the outcome. Can't wait to start the matching baby quilt. Oh yes, and I finished those Easter cards and got them out in the mail last week. These were a nice quick and easy project. And a little pic for family members that don't get to see Naomi very often.

My sleeping beauty

Hope you've had a good weekend,
Sam xxx

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Hello... I haven't disappeared

A whole month since the last post? Where does the time go?

Happy Mothering Sunday to all Mums in the UK! Most especially mine :)

Since the US and UK celebrate mother's day on different dates I find it is easy for me to miss the UK one (which is alwways before the US). This year though, I was ahead of the game and was proud of myself for getting a little something in the mail in plenty of time. Except wouldn't you know it, it didn't arrive! Harrumph! So, sorry Mum if this ruins the surprise. And hopefully the goodies arrive in the next couple of days.

I put this card together and used a little plastic cup in the center of the flower to hide a package of troll beads. How cute is that!

Mothering Sunday card

I've also been putting some Easter packages together. The little flowers are simply pencils (for the stalks) with the heads made by using a flower shaped paper punch and some patterned paper - simply cut 2 flower heads, stick the sides together using double sided sticky tape and slip on the top of the pencil.

Easter baskets

Ooh yes, I've also started getting the photos ready for this year's Easter card. Need to finish the cards today and get in the mail tomorrow.

Easter card

And felt it was only right that Bruno get a turn! (Bella, quite rightly, was having none of it).

Back up Easter model

And of course there has been some knitting. I have been making slow progress on the baby olive blanket - my priority one project. 3 panels done. 5 to go. I need to step up the pace on this one to have this completed in May. Loving the last strip with the blue and green colour combo.

Baby Olive

Next project which I am super excited to start is a baby quilt and matching diaper/nappy bag for my sister who is expecting a baby in August. That's right, I'm going to try my hand at sewing again. I had soo much fun at the fabric store with Stacey and Terrie picking fabric out. And now am itching to get started! Roll on next weekend :)

Wishing you all a Happy Mothering Sunday,