Aran Baby Sweater: Shoulders & Collar…

The shoulders of the baby sweater are seamed and the collar is ready to be knitted on:

Thats 1…….. and I must say not the most intuitive stopping point so I stopped where I thought best and left the joining yarn hanging— just in case.

and that’s 2.

Collar done, check!!! From here it’s all downhill. Well, if I could decide what buttons to use!

Posted in Chat, Knitting Tagged , , , |

Aran Baby Sweater: The Home Stretch

Hasn’t Olympic events watching been good? Well for the most part. As a hockey fan and a St. Louis Blues fan in particular, seeing the USA crush Russia and Blues player T.J. Oshie come out as somewhat of a hero in this game—- well it sweetened my weekend for sure!

The Aran Baby Sweater has made progress, even after a brain misfire where half of the first sleeve had to be frogged back. So it goes. Off it went and the sleeve then finished up nicely. Sleeve two is in the works and should be done by Monday evening at the latest. (I know, never say that it tempts the knitting gods!)

Still loving the pattern, loving the yarn and adoring the sweater!

If it looks this great now I can’t wait to see it washed, blocked and put together. If you’re a flat one armed baby this one is ready to go right now!

Posted in Chat, Knitting Tagged , , , |

Yarn & More Yarn: The Mailman Cometh

Yarn came. In a big box.

I’d placed an order for some yarn to knit the Baby Owl Hat on Creativebug—- you know this has been on my hot list for some time. Once I knew that there was a pink baby on the way it made ordering yarn easier and I decided on a soft pink, a pale gray and a darker gray:

I love the yarn combo and went with a Knit Picks trio of colors.

Admitting how completely I did NOT pay attention to my order (unlike me completely) it was a huge surprise when I opened the box. Apparently I had some yarn in my queue at Knit Picks and somehow the yarn I’d been thinking about made it to my cart! I’m ever grateful that Knit Picks is such a moderately priced yarn!

Below is a sweaters worth of yummy blue, a deep denimy blue in their Brava which is a super soft really nice acrylic. I want to knit a sweater for my daughter who is NOT going to take the time to handwash and block so this easier care yarn will be perfect.

I’m thinking of knitting another Ellen Mason sweater (her designs are gorgeous and a little bit retro, the instructions are outstanding)—

               8474162713_a0ed1abb75_n     8475243034_b028108724_n    Place_holder_medium  Don’t you love it?

Then I must have put some baby blue on hold before I knew baby pink was the order of the day….. so there was some of that…… along with a lovely green because I still want to re-knit the leaf baby cardi.

Knit On!

Right now I’m knitting feverishly on the Aran Baby Sweater…… on it goes!

And by the way, Happy Valentines Day!

Posted in Chat, Knitting Tagged , , |

Olympic Knitting a Bite at a Time

I’m not enjoying the Olympics as much this year for some reason. Maybe it is the huge time difference that makes every single network (including NBC) shout out the results in advance of their airing or maybe it is that the viewers are down and they think no one cares. Regardless I’m watching the games in the evening and sometimes during the day. My work schedule has been a little heavier than anticipated but that’s okay as well.

The Aran Baby Sweater continues to be SUCH a joy to knit!!! The vintage pattern directions mean that there is no chart but as I learned to knit by written directions it’s no big deal at all. I’m loving the result and as of this morning the back and a front are done with the other front moving on. I’m almost afraid to go back to mitered squares they’re going to seem incredibly dull!!

Can’t wait to see it blocked, this yarn really has a nice “fulling” without obliterating the pattern and stitch detail. Normally I hate hate hate Seed Stitch but in a baby sweater it goes so much faster!

When it comes to keeping a pattern under control I’m completely Old School

Individual row counters are assigned a stitch pattern and threaded onto a stitch holder. Then every row the row counters are moved forward and the directions and their corresponding sticky notes also move ahead. I know plenty of knitters who keep patterns in their heads and do not need to track them in any way, much less two. I am not that knitter. Long ago I learned that I knit happier and more relaxed when I gave in and made double dog sure that I’d know where I was at all time with ease.

As I write this, I’m about 1/3 of the way through the other front, adding buttonholes as I go. When it comes to buttons for this sweater I have absolutely no idea, usually that’s all been decided beforehand. The buttonholes per pattern instructions are ‘two stitch buttonholes’, fairly large openings. I’ve decided that if I go with a smaller button I’ll just put a couple little tack stitches in the sides of the hole to snug them up.

Knit On! May your countries team win!

Posted in Chat, Knitting Tagged , , |

First Half Afghan- FINISHED!

I made my goal of having the first half of the Hue Shift Afghan done!  The two halves together give not only a sense of accomplishment but a peek at how gorgeous this afghan is going to be!

Half down, another half to go (after Olympic knitting)!

The ‘new’ half is furthest away on the left side of the photo above

I love to see how the colors move together with the diagonal ‘line’ of the mitered square adds interest and motion.

Super pleased at the half way point for sure!

Now a brief break for Olympic Ravellenic Knitting, next up:

Alaura12_small2

This gorgeous baby sweater, in a rosy pink

Posted in Chat, Knitting Tagged , , , , , |

Final Push to Ravellenics Knitting!

With the Olympics starting in less than two days I’m in the final big push to afghan goal before beginning my project(s) for the Ravellenics.

Eligibility: Any knitter who, embracing the “Citius, Alitius Fortius” ideal, would like to challenge themselves while embracing the Olympic spirit, and is just whacked enough to play along with me.

Concept: You must cast on a project during or after the Opening Ceremonies of the Winter Olympics (Feb 7, 8 PM Sochi time)- and finish before the Olympic flame goes out (Feb 23). That’s 13 days.

Rules:

  1. The project must be a challenge for you to complete in 16 days.
  2. There are no rules about what a challenge would be. Like the real Olympics, there are many areas to compete in. If you are a new knitter, then a garter stitch baby sweater might do…If you are experienced, well. I’ve already considered Torino. Use your own conscience.
  3. While this is intended to be somewhat difficult (like the Olympics) it is not intended to ruin your life. Don’t set yourself up for failure. (Olympic athletes may cry, but they do not whine pitifully, sob and threaten members of their family with pointed sticks because they haven’t slept in five days. ) This is intended to (like the Olympics) require some measure of sacrifice, and be difficult, but it should be possible to attain.
  4. No casting on before the flame is lit (mod: no casting on before Opening Ceremonies, because we have no idea when the flame is lit.)
  5. Finish before the flame goes out.
  6. You may swatch before the games. (I consider this “training.”)

(Ravelry.com)

Knitting Olympics rules by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

Afghan first, my goal is to complete the first half of the afghan, three blocks remain as I write this. That means that I need to knit with some madness tomorrow through (bad math disclaimer), 11 a.m. on Friday.  I think I’ve got it (knock knock).

I’m ready for the start of the Olympics as it relates to knitting (which is everything!!!)—- and have swatched for my opening project, and have the yarn wound and project in a clear protector along with needles at the ready.

Look at that beautiful swatch! Garter border on both sides so it lays nice and flat- washed and dried– carefully measured. Wish my swatching was always this meticulous. It is decidedly NOT!

What are YOU creating during the Olympics?

Posted in Knitting Tagged , , , |

It’s PINK…… & Knitting in the Gift Drawer!

It’s PINK……. my great auntliness will be of the pink variety, I love it when I’m right! The little pink tiny pants will not have to be reknit in blue…. AND the green Garter Stitch Baby Kimono got it’s finishing touches over the weekend. Now both can be sent off to mama who is still in shock that this is not a baby boy!

I’m always excited to put something in the gift drawer, especially something with Knitted Goodness!!! This hat is knit in chunky yarn, not a lot of shaping, simple rolled “brim” and a fluffy pom pom—- Certainly not an award winning complicated hat but cute!  Always gives me that great feeling when something is tucked away and waiting.

The yarn is Lion Brand Thick and Quick Chunky, the yarn trim is from stash and the buttons are vintage reproduction from Mollie Makes.

Mr. Weatherman says it’s going to be an early spring and I sure hope he’s right! I’ve been missing my long bike rides. I do have some socks ready for trips out and about, it’s almost beach knitting season!

Posted in Knitting Tagged , , , |

Laundry Cheer & Then Some!

So, the laundry room.  Or laundry closet, I just don’t call it that instead I like to think of it as part of the open concept space whereby one can (presumably) do laundry while being part of the action. Maybe it’s a rooset! That’s it, a laundry rooset, sounds French and exotic!  And NOW I can be part of the action in a laundry room that is FRESH, CLEAN and cheerful as anything. Coral, my favorite color… delicious Dishy Coral from Sherwin Williams. Seriously, this is about my favorite color ever, you just can’t feel bad around it! It has made cameo appearances on the back of the white built in’s and the tiny powder room and now, it blessed the laundry rooset!

First everything was hauled out. I found a teensy little card from a phone (not mine) on the rear top shelf—- just goes to show you that it’s never fun to even think about living with other peoples dirt!!!! At least paint that crap over!!!  I cleaned it out, threw some stuff away, organized others. Then the shelves got a coat of white latex enamel. Already looking better.

I have a pretty hard and fast rule that if it’s hooked up and working, don’t unhook it because you are flat courting deeeeeezaster! So wiggling in to this very tight space that is already off a hallway proved interesting. And entertaining. The walls were wiped down, the floor mopped (yuk) and the coral paint cut in.

Then the coral rolled on using a mini roller, two coats please.

The shelves got loverly paper, actually wipe clean grasscloth look on the top shelf and lime green rubberized on the bottom shelf. Then everything got replaced, rehung, re re’d.

LOVE.

I’ve done laundry in there since and I can tell you, the angels sing!

Everything looks better in there! I know I look better doing laundry!  :)

Big difference, huh???

Knitting Content: Two afghans squares down, still six left to complete the second quarter/first half.

I got up early this morning and knit on the afghan, ate some stone ground grits and read the latest Where Women Create: Business. Just the thing to kick start the day. While I did a load of laundry of course!

Linking up to:

Green Willow Pond

Savvy Southern Style

City Farmhouse

Jennifer Rizzo

Posted in Chat, Home Dec Tagged , |

Week Ahead!

I am dying to get into the studio. CAN’T WAIT!!!! So much fun and creativity awaits!!!  See everything on the shelf, lined up, happy and waiting? Project one will likely be the Boho Leather Cuff on Creativebug, a really interesting class with Elke Bergeron. Her work in leather is amazing and who wouldn’t love it all? I’m happy to have on the list making this cuff:

And thos Santos Dolls from Jennifer Rizzo……. yes, they’re high on the list too.

Work has had me writing a ton of contracts and sending out proposals like a crazy person, in the world of the self employed this is a good thing so I won’t complain. Ever. Too Much. Maybe just a little.

What I’d love to do is put on some grubby clothes and tackle the laundry room. Give it a fluff and buff. It’s only a closet with bi-fold doors with a tall ceiling and shelves, how long could it take? Yeah. That’s what I’m afraid of too. You know how it goes, you take everything out and it needs to be cleaned, then you might as well replace the dryer hose since you have to clean it out anyway. Then you take out the shelves and where do you put all of that crap? So you paint the shelves and buy a bunch of things to organize the space and find that you really have to make some super cute things that will PRESUMABLY give you a thrill when doing the laundry. Of course you have to paint the space and then put everything back. I’m sort of exhausted just thinking about it. Maybe I’ll just do “real” work today and save this project for the rainy day that’s coming mid-week.

In knitting content, I’ve fallen behind a bit on the afghan. My goal of 5 squares a week has fallen behind by 8. Epic fail.

Posted in Chat, Crafty Happy Tagged , , , |

Update The Office: From Blah to WOW!

It began as an office in terra cotta tones. Very sedate. Very boring. We were totally over it and actually wondered why in the world we chose this color to begin with!! As it is, you have to ignore the popcorn ceiling and less than awesome carpeting.

The decision to repaint was far easier than choosing the color! In the rest of the house are bright coastal tones of blue, yellow and green with a pop of coral here and there. With a nod to the new Pantone color for 2014, radiant orchid, that was the jumping off point. Enter the first sample quart of a color I don’t even remember the name of, just that it was a softer orchid tone. Barf.

The original terra cotta color is on the far right wall.

The orchid color is the predominant color on the front wall

followed by samples

One {blue} &

 Two {green}

Man, that orchid is VILE!

Add to that, the dark wood, the ugly desk….. it all had to go!

The color chosen was Cooler Blue from Sherwin Williams, I’m a flat paint kinda’ gal. I tried (really I did) to like the office in a satin finish but in the end I just couldn’t do it!

The armoire itself is a great piece, just too dark. When I move I swear I’m leaving this with the house, it is one heavy beast!

Granted, it looks better against the blue walls but I still want it crisp white!

If I move to a casita in Santa Fe I will regret this choice.

The wall paint chosen and picked up, two gallons please! A quart of white paint for the furniture. I’ve tried (and like for the most part) the chalk paints but these were in an office that would get some use so I opted to go with Sherwin Williams Pure White in latex enamel. Perfect choice as it went on beautifully, covered in two coats with minimal brush strokes and the resulting sheen was not too glossy at all. I was going to distress a bit but decided to leave it as is and am really pleased with it.

The photo below is greener than Cooler Blue but as in all rooms, paint color does morph a bit with lighting and time of day!

After a light all over sanding and pat down with tack cloth, the first coat on the armoire -above, shows you that when painting furniture in any paint at all, the first coat makes you wonder why you thought this was such a great idea in the first place!! The smaller piece on the left was a Big Lots purchase, some assembly required. Okay, irritating assembly required! The door brackets were set by the factory completely wrong and had to be re-screwed in.. After a bit of irritation, the cabinet is complete and for the most part good to go. I did have to go the liquid nails route— it is what it is… and you can’t beat the price of under $150.

Fabric choice was next, small valances and a couple of coordinating prints just because:

As always I had a narrow slice to time to work and wanted it done NOW….. so local fabric sourcing it was. Around here that means JoAnn’s where I had a fabulous coupon and found 3 prints that were perfect. The darker pattern in the collection above didn’t make the final cut.

Valances were lined with plain white muslin as the light that comes through the office windows demands it for the best finished look not to mention the fact that they hang better in the end.

I cut the fabric twice as wide as the window and with the lining and the fabric right sides together stitched along the sides and bottom, leaving the top open. After trimming the seams, turning them inside out, pressing well with lots of steam they were ready for a header. Using a seam gauge I turned under the raw edge a half inch and then pressed in a header that would allow for a nice little bit of ruffle at the top. The header was then machine stitched using matching thread, a 1 1/2 inch channel was stitched in for the spring rod pocket. Final press and ready to hang!

Time for a second coat on the armoire and building a new desk!

When the instructions are stapled in the upper right corner & not the greatest, you know you’re in for it.

The second coat was the final coat, {yay!} and the desk thankfully went together a LOT easier than the cabinet. The desk was much smaller than it’s predecessor. The office desk doesn’t see as much duty when the laptop travels and the tablet is such a workhorse so a writing desk became a great option for this space. I wouldn’t have minded another ten inches or so of real estate on the desktop but a lot of that is probably being used to having a big l shaped piece that even housed the printer. Now the printer can go back into the armoire and everybody is happy. The plus side {I think} is that having a small desk forces neatness. Ask me how it’s going in a few months. I’m still on the hunt for baskets that fit on the somewhat small shelves below the desk.

Before the accessories were finalized, before the leopard dog bed was slipcovered with fabric, this is how it came together.

The space itself is large, the ‘back half’ of the office has a huge walk in closet for great storage as well as an area that is coming together for seating. When I made the Target run to see what I could discover I found some great things!!! That in itself was a huge surprise as I NEVER seem to find good deals! On an endcap selling out some kids furniture I found a fantastic blue seat/table/stool with white buttons and trim for $15, love it! Crusing down a side aisle I spied these folding metal chairs— which might not have been my first choice for seating— but the color is perfect and the retro charm of the cut outs had me at hello!

Then, a $19.99 floor lamp put the final touch on retro, coastal, charming office—- love the blue toned shades! On my do me list is to make cord covers, I’d rather see cute fabric than ugly brown cords that can’t be hidden!

You know if it’s in my house there will be accents of red and a tiny bit of black to ground the space:

I love love love it!

Now back to work— and maybe just maybe a little bit of knitting!

I deserve it!

Joining:

Savvy Southern Style

Green Willow Pond

City Farmhouse

Jennifer Rizzo

Posted in Chat, Home Dec Tagged , |