Sunday, April 13, 2008

Molly's First Sweater

Note: Let's just say that Blogger hates me. I've been trying to post this for over a week, and the program just now seems to be cooperating. Enjoy!

Ta Da!

For my first attempt at a sweater I chose the Baby Yoda Sweater by Cari Luna in Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece. I loved this little sweater from the moment that I saw it - the cute little rolled cuff at the neck, the cute tie and side, and the organic-ness of the two front flaps. The actual knitting up bit went swimmingly - the instructions were very easy to understand and the knitting went very quickly. I had never really seemed anything before, but Katrina was super helpful and I must admit that I am super-proud of my stockinette seams. Find the seam. I dare you!

Unfortunately, I became rather disenchanted after I got the whole thing sewn together (but without the i-cord attached or the ends of the strings sewn in). The sleeves stick straight out from the sides of the body, and the whole thing seems a little big for a 0-3 month old baby (which is what I was supposed to be knitting for). It was at this point that I really looked at the label for the first time and discovered that Cotton Fleece is supposed to be dry clean only. I had mistakenly assumed that anything with cotton in its name would be machine washable. I figured that there was no way that this baby's Mama was going to have the time or motivation to dry clean this sweater, so into the washing machine and dryer it went. If it's going to disintegrate or felt when it gets washed, I would much rather that it do so on my watch. Luckily it survived the laundering just great, although all those strings I hadn't bothered to weave in were now ratty looking. As much as I hate weaving in ends, I especially dislike weaving in ratty-looking ends. So the poor little sweater sat on my laundry pile for two weeks, and glared at me everytime I walked by. For goodness sakes - the whole thing was sewn together and all it need was 30 minutes attention to be actually be finished. The longer I put it off, the more I disliked the scrawny ends and the way that the sleeves stood out from the body.

However, after telling my mother that the package would be in the mail on Monday I figured I should get my act together and finish the silly little sweater. And lo and behold - just like the tree at the end of the Charlie Brown's Christmas Movie - all the sweater needed was a little love.

In its new tidy incarnation, I find the little garter stitch edging riveting,

the ties adorably cute,

and the sleeve seam perfection itself.

I even made little booties to accompany it.

Baby Mary Jane Booties in Rowan 4-Ply Cotton. The white booties with the pink buttons accompany the sweater, while the khaki booties go with the striped baby bib from last week.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Eye-Candy Friday

Well, these pictures may not be beautiful, but they sure are funny. Apparently after I went to bed two nights ago my husband and roommates decided that in case of famine it was important to know which cat to eat first. So, they had a test run. Apparently Cicero was quite willing to participate, but Socrates, sensing that something bad was afoot, refused to be sized for any of the pots in my kitchen.

Luckily, I am pretty sure that I at least am far too large to fit in any of my own pots.....

Thursday, April 3, 2008


I have a good excuse...I promise. My new camera, my husband, my roommates, and even the memory card from my old ghetto camera went on spring break for a week and half in mid-March. They were here (well, ok, one roommate went to Hawaii - everybody(thing) else went to the British Virgin Islands).

And I wasn't bitter one bit that I was left here and that it rained the whole time they were gone. And I certainly wasn't bitter that I had to cat-sit for our friend's very grumpy 19 year old cat that apparently isn't very fond of other animals. And I especially wasn't bitter that they were running late for the airport and left the house a complete disaster.

Once I got the house clean (the house hadn't been this clean since we moved in 10 months ago) I continued on the home-improvement theme. I figured that by leaving they gave their implicit consent for whatever changes I might dream up.

So I painted these to go over the couch:

These paintings make me so very, very happy. I had never painted anything before, but I figured that it couldn't be that difficult. It's just paint and canvas, right? And since I had decided to paint quilt squares, I could just trace the patterns onto the canvas and then paint over them. In my family, the phrase "all you've got to do is..." is a recipe for disaster. Honestly, it usually ends with someone sitting in the floor in tears. So, it was a surprising change for this project to actually be even easier than I expected.

I also made these to go in our bedroom:

I bought the fabric for these back in the Fall, but was very sad to discover when I finished the first panel that they had cut the fabric 18 inches too short. With all this peace and quiet I finally managed to finish the second panel and bought more fabric to go at the bottom. The curtains are lined with black-out fabric, so they are finished just in time for the sun to start coming up at 5 am!

Oh, I also made this:

And I started this:

So, now that they're back and the house is trashed and they're eating all my food as fast as I can fix...I'm kind of wondering when they'll leave again....

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Somebody Had a Busy Day

While Ben and I were busy at a coffee shop all day (I was relentlessly reading about thymidine and folate and he was studying epidemiology), it seems that back at the ranch two kittens were also very busy. I'm not quite sure how long this took them, but it must have been hours.

The yarn looped around the kitchen table multiple times; it looped above, below, and around the legs on the kitchen chairs;

it went in circles around the desk chair, it was wrapped around the little rolling-storage thingy we have for school supplies;

there were layers and layers on yarn.

It seemed to take forever for me to get it all tidied back up, especially since the cats insisted on playing with/pouncing on/sitting on the yarn as I tried to ball it back up. Amazingly enough, NONE of the yarn had been chewed on or eaten, so other than being a bit linty (what can I say, we're busy and vaccuming hasn't been at the top of anybody's list) the yarn is no worse for the wear. I was planning on showing off some new projects today, but I figured this yarnapalooza took preference. But, I promise, next time there will be plenty of yarn to look at in all sorts of pretty patterns, not as part of giant knots in my floor.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

I'm Baaack

On my way home from Christmas break my camera apparently got crunched in my luggage (I say apparently because we think it happened in the luggage - the camera definitely got crunched). I finally got it replaced with a snazzy new Canon S5 that has tons of features I haven't learned how to use yet. I would include a picture, but, well, that would require a second working camera, which I don't have. I have tons of new projects and yarn (including the now-infamous Hill Top Yarn Fire sale), which means it should be pretty interesting reading as I play catch-up.

But, to begin, I wanted to show off a pattern that I had created over Christmas while watching football with my family. If you really want to impress non-knitters, designing and completing a scarf during a 4-hour football game is a great way to go about it. I call this scarf Serafine and the instructions are here. I love this pattern and the bulky yarn means that it is stiff enough to actually stand up underneath a coat, keeping my neck toasty warm and showing of a little bit of the color and texture. The Nashua Creative Focus Chunky I used is a bit itchy, but it is also inexpensive and colorful and warm. I've worn this scarf quite a bit and it is holding up very well, in addition to getting compliments from almost everyone who sees it. Not bad for 4 hours and a $9 ball of yarn.