Friday, July 29, 2011

Lazy Summer Days

We finally got a few. This is on the needles.

Monday, July 25, 2011

FO: Budgie II

A good friend of mine is going to have her third boy any day now. She is positively glowing and excited for his arrival. When we were both pregnant there was speculation on whether I was going to have a boy and she was going to have a girl (she has two boys, I had three girls). She said to me, "I have as much of a chance of getting a girl as you do getting a boy!" And she was right. I had another girl, and she has another boy on the way.

A bit after that comment was shared I sat down and started this sweater. It was going to be for either me or her, but I picked the colors with her brood in mind. Overall I am thrilled with the sweater, but that damn zipper. You can never find them in the length you need them (see the waviness from it being a tad too long?), and then sewing it in so the stripes line up?! Well, that required some work...and re-work and re-work. But in the end it turned out and hopefully will be durable enough to outlast, or at least keep pace with, this special little boy. I can't wait to meet him!

The pattern is the Budgie sweater and I loved making it a second time. The sweater goes really fast and the shaping is easy to manage. The zipper makes for a durable, versatile, and CUTE garment, but it is tricky to sew them in with the stripes. I highly recommend ordering a custom length zipper if the sweater measurements don't match up to pre-made ones you find in a store. You'll be happier with the result in the end, trust me. If I make another of these I will definitely go that route.

The yarn is a Lion Brand Wool-ease from the stash. A great super wash yarn that is easy to knit with!

I'm also think it is time to get some tags to sew into my gift knits. Any ideas on where to get some? And what I should put on mine? I think that "at the end of this row..." is too long. Maybe just "row..."? Or my name? What do you think?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

FO: In Three's

It took awhile for me to sew on the buttons, but this was one quick knit! I am I-N L-O-V-E with the short-sleeve cardigan. Minimal finishing since it was knit from the top down, and it was so nice not to do arms for a change. I have a hard time pushing through the second arm - almost as much difficulty with finishing a second sock - but this project took that issue right off the plate. And no-arms makes such a versatile garment in the end. A nice layering piece that I am finding is just right for my older girls. The realize they need to cover up in the cooler months, but a full sweater can be too much for girls that insist undershirts are proper Wisconsin winter wear. This will be perfect when paired with a long-sleeve shirt (or nice with short-sleeves in the spring/fall).

And I couldn't be happier with the yarn in the end. I don't mean that I actually like the colors - what I mean is that I am thrilled it didn't pool or otherwise make funky patterns on the fabric. It's also 100% superwash wool (fist-bump to all you other knitting mama's out there) to boot.

The pattern is fantastic too. It's simple to follow and the sizing seems to be spot-on. The increases seem to match my girls shoulders perfectly. The cardigan flows nicely outward, but not too dramatic or drapey. I made the 5T size for width, but added an extra inch in the length for longevity of wear.

I think there's enough character here that one can proudly wear this mama-made sweater.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Great Frame-Up

Over the three-day weekend DH and I did a quick project together.

I have been searching for a way to organize my earrings for some time. I thought I would go ahead and purchase an earring tree - until I realized that I have some earrings that would work on a tree, and some that need different way to hang. So I began to search Etsy for another way to organize and display them. I happened across a simple display idea - chicken wire in a frame - and thought we had all the supplies on hand to make one up myself. It turns out we did.

I started with a thrifted frame - the one I used didn't even have a back (yeah, it was from a "free" box) which worked to my benefit for this project.

First I had my husband cut a piece of chicken wire (left over from building our own coop!) to fit inside the frame, where the glass would normally be.

Second, I cut a piece of form core to fit in the back of the frame. Third, I covered it with fabric, secured the fabric with masking tape, and slipped it into place. Lastly, I added some more tape to keep the foam core affixed to the back of the frame. The idea is to have a bit of space between the chicken wire and backing, and this frame, lacking it's proper backing, worked very well for that purpose.

There is a little metal piece on the back to hang the frame on the wall, but I have it just leaned up against the wall for now. I also chose a backing with fabric for mine, but you could also stick with just the frame and chicken wire. Your wall - presuming you like the paint color - would make a nice backing too.

And after 20 minutes of working together I have a new place to keep my special earrings!