sweaters and more

Despite the lack of posts, things are still thing happening on these fronts. There is a bit of sewing, a lot of sweater making (some big, some small), and a lot of sweater pattern buying – which is ironic given the latest thing going on – word that we are spending some time in the United Arab Emirates over the next year.

On the crafting front, we made our round of handmade teacher gifts, and I’m super happy with how they turned out. We made little bird and garden angel ornaments from the book Scandinavian Stitches by Kajsa Wikman.030teachergift

On the knitting front. I made a second Alberta vest, this time for my Dad’s birthday. I also managed to squeak out a cardigan for my sister’s new baby…whom I had the pleasure of visiting right after she was born. Its nice to know I am knitting for a girl, and I did a little stash diving to find a cute yarn perfect for the little sunnyside cardi  from Tanis Fiber Arts. I also got to see Mia in the Puerperium Cardigan I made for Christmas, which was fun.

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In the past two months I’ve filled up my queue with sweaters, purchased the patterns and skeins up on skeins of yarn…and managed to finish my very first adult sized just for me sweater. I love the pattern, the color and the concept. I made a stupid judgement call on joining the yarn, and I can see the places in the sweater which bugs me. I also have never knitted with this type of yarn before…and I’m curious to see how it all holds up. They yarn itself is knitted strands – I have not idea what that is called, but it seems to easily snag on things. It worked out okay, but I am not sure I’d use that type of yarn again.

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So, here I sit with a queue full of sweaters and a closet full of wool. Rumor has it I may need a sweater or two for the air conditioning, but more likely…in addition to reorganizing our lives, my favorite pastime may need a major overhaul along with my Ravelry queue and list of favorites. Oy  vey!

So, this little upheaval in conjunction with the enjoyment of summer life in general is part of the reason I’ve been putting this blog (and some crafting) on the way back burner and I anticipate that will continue to be the case…at least until we get settled and figure out how life in the UAE works.

FO: Guernsey Wrap

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It’s a good thing we’ve had some crazy random spring snow in these parts, because a few weeks ago I finished my Guernsey Wrap. I love this project…the making of it, the pattern, the yarn, the finished product…and I may have to wrap myself in it all summer long – even if I’m a hot sweaty mess. I especially enjoyed working with the Brooklyn Tweed yarn, which was a first for me, and I love how such an amazing pattern can emerge from simply switching between two simple stitches…knits and purls.

Baby Shower & Handmade Gifts

As I mentioned earlier, I went back to VA to help throw a baby shower for my sister who is expecting her first in June. My mom and I hosted her shower, and also both set out to do some handmade gifts for her and the baby. My mom is quite crafty as well, and while it has traditionally been on the sewing machine, she picked up her hooks and busted out a few crocheted blankets as well. I ended up making the Lotta Jansdotter’s Snuggler and Tag Blankie from the Simple Sewing for Babies. The kids and I made a little dog rattle for the baby as well. The idea came from the book Sewing School, and we then added the rattle part inspired by the rattles in the Simple Sewing for Babies. That project involved them decorating the puppy outline with crayons and then ironing the dog to set the colors. We then turned it into a little plush and added the rattle.

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We had some crafty fun at the shower too. We set up a station where guests were invited to decorate a one-sie for the baby. We had a number of freezer paper stencils available and a selection of paints, and I think they turned out super cute! There are tons of tutorials online for how to do this, and I looked at these here, here and here.

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In addition to making the lovely green and white baby blanket below, along with a diaper caddy,  burp and wash cloths, my mom also whipped up these cute little pouches with a party favor for guests.babyshower_17 babyshower_75babyshower_01

All in all it was quite the lovely little celebration, and I’ve found a new obsession for this summer…Berry Fizz, the muddled berry/soda concoction my sister in in the midst of making below.babyshower_34

My Calla Cami; Finally

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I finally finished up the Calla Cami. The only reason it took so long was that it hibernated for a good long, long while. Once I got working on it again, things went smoothly. I love the stitch pattern. I ended up doing an additional set of the 20 row repeat because I wasn’t at the specified length as indicated by the pattern. That modification worked out perfectly, and now I just need to find the right camisole to wear underneath and a sunny warm day to bust it out! While it is sunny today, it is also snowing…nothing like springtime in Colorado.callacami4

Off my needles: Määrä

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I am so glad I decided to make the Määrä with the variegated yarn I was gifted by my Mom. It is this yarn in the Mesa colorway. The simplicity of the shawl shows off the color beautifully. Despite being simple, there is a little hint of fun with the ruffle edge and picot bind off, and I just love it. I have worn it a lot since it came off the needles, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

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I did read in another person’s project notes they left the top edge on scrap yarn instead of binding off, and then picking up the stitches to do the picot edge as per the pattern. I had planned to do that, but when the time came I was out of the house, and didn’t have scrap yarn. I am not a fan of the whole picking up stitches thing, so in hind sight, it would have been better to just be patient, get the scrap yarn and go down that route.

The Rock Island Saga Comes to an End

The Rock Island Shawl is off my needles, can you believe it!?! I received the supplies to do the blocking (thank you Joni), and hope to tackle that, snap some photos and wear it proudly this next week.

What a production!

And yet, once I got it sorted out it wasn’t to bad.

My Rock Island was like child birth…a 9 month production that at times was painful and tiring, but yielded something quite gorgeous that I am sure will bring me joy. And much like having children, I can imagine a day when the “pain” will recede from memory, and the idea of doing it all over again may sound like an appealing idea. Perhaps one day I will tackle the second colorway I ambitiously purchased when I first decided to tackle the project.

And…as my friend Katie said when learning of my Rock Island’s finished status…It is time to block it and rock it!

WooHoo.