September 29, 2017

Sewing project: My first pieced together blanket Picture heavy (again)

I took the pattern I showed you yesterday and got started on a little car seat blanket as soon as I got home from work.
Side note: It may say quilt but it's not. It's a blanket. Look up rag quilt on Google and you get a whole different animal. But I really like it, especially here on the Gulf Coast where a cotton blanket will get a lot more use than anything heavy and hot. 
The longest part about this whole thing was trying to decide how I wanted to set up the pattern.
I really like this one, but I didn't have enough of anyone one of these colors to double it so that was a no go.
Then I decided to break it down to car seat size and go with polka dots and elephants. I wanted the elephants on the "non rag" side, so I came up with this pattern.grey polka dots in the corners and the reverse side, those greys are elephants.
I am so glad I decided car seat size because three times I had to rip out seams and start over for putting the rows together backwards. One row had a seam on top, the next had the seam on the bottom. (it was a learning process) and I highly recommend making a small one of these as a learning curve for quilt tops. and a good seam ripper. I highly recommend one of those too.
Here she is all sewn and ripped and resewn. I like the way it came out. Especially for my first attempt it's not too bad.
Yes I am 51 and yes I wear Converses, I love canvas shoes. And yes I've heard a million times that they are more for the 'younger' people. I wear my Van's and cowboy boots too. Deal!

The lines on the back aren't perfect. As my BFF pointed out (she's my favorite critic) I should have ironed my pieces before anything else. Like with my knitting, I usually forgo all the "should haves" and just went with it the way it was. In hindsight, ironing my have helped square up those lines. But it's ok. It's going to be puked on, dropped in the floorboard, left in a diaper bag for weeks. It's close enough to perfect for me.
The cutting of the edges didn't take me near as long as I thought it would. I had it finished well before bedtime last night. And that was with a 3 hour hiatus to go eat dinner with Brat #1.
It is in the drawer now, ready for prep day.

All in all it was fun to throw together real quick and I can see myself making lots and lots more. I do think it will help me in creating my first quilt top. Which will be my very first project as soon as gift crafting season is finished.

September 28, 2017

Football is great for knitting!

Especially if the knitting is a garter stitch blanket.
I really like how this yarn works up. It has a nice stitch definition and until everyone else goes out and tries it, it's not expensive at all.
Granted that will change when it starts flying off the shelves.

I worked on this all day Saturday watching football. 
I tend to knit faster when I am seriously into something I'm watching. 
That wasn't the case during the Alabama game last weekend. It was a walk in the park so it was slow and steady knitting.
Ole Miss? Yeah, I expect some speed knitting to be going on this Saturday.

As you can tell by the pictures, this blanket grew fairly quickly. And I love the not so girly, but girly, colors of this yarn. So much so that I bought two more skeins to finish Sissy B's blanket in time for Christmas. And two skeins for Grandbats #6,7 & 8
I did end up having to add the smidge from another skein to finish this up. I measured the width at 28" so I wanted the length to be the same.

And here she is! All finished up. 28x28 perfect car seat, throw in the diaper bag, drag around with baby size. I haven't washed it up yet to see how the yarn holds up. I can't imagine it getting any softer than it already is, but we will see.
It is in the drawer with the receiving blanket and burp cloths and bib, waiting for prep day.

Up next I found the cutest pattern online for a rag quilt. 
It looks fairly simple and Wally World sells fat quarters for like 97 cents. I bought all they had in the pattern I want, just waiting on them to get some more in so I can get that finished as well.

This is the pattern I am going to start with

30 minute rag quilt
I love these! They look really cute and easy! 
That's the name of the game, Easy Baby Projects for BB

September 20, 2017

Have you tried arm knitting yet?

 My DD #1 has always been more of a tomboy. She was tougher than most boys her age, and had her Mama's mouth. 
So I was happily surprised to see her slowly become domesticated. 
Sewing cloth napkins and selling them to make extra money.
And apparently she's really good at it. (proud Mama voice)

No automatic alt text available.
 Then she decided that arm knitting would be a good family project her and the kids could do together during a night of t.v. watching. 
I never really took much notice of arm knitting, figured it was a fad that would fade pretty quickly. I mean like really?!? 
But she got so excited about it, I decided to give it a looksy. And now I have, yes! have to! knit one of these! 30 minutes! A whole, warm, snuggly blanket! You know I would have to try. 
So of course being a visual person, I started with YouTube and found a couple of good videos.
That would be me. I like the CO in this version.
Which led me to this video
A couple of tutorial videos
You can purl too
Needless to say, I can't start anything new while gift knitting season is upon me. 
But as soon as it is over I am going to try this whole arm knitting thing.

September 19, 2017

Found the perfect baby hat

No, I know that's not a hat, but this is the sweater I have picked out to make for BB. Using a few pieces of the LB Mandala for the contrasting color, I think it will work just perfectly!
Once the sweater was picked out, the bib was knit, the blanket is finished, I need a hat. Not just any hat, I want cute and original and ease of use.
I have been searching all around the web and then today I came across this little hat
Garter Ear Flap Hat from Purl Soho
Garter Ear Flap Hat | Purl Soho
 You have probably already seen this hat, but I have knott. (see what I did there?)
Now I have the whole ensemble picked out. I need to get into some serious knitting mode. I have three and a half weeks!
Thank you Jesus the blanket is going quickly. That's going to be the biggest part.

Happy with the results so far

I am obsessed with knitting on this blanket.
I love color changes, it keeps me knitting away like a fiend to get to the next color, without all the stopping and changing, ends to weave in, all the stuff I don't like.
I must correct my previous post, this is 125 sts on size 6 needles.
It is coming out the perfect size for carrying around with baby.
I am knitting the old way on this blanket because, honestly, until I get used to picking my sts, I knit much faster throwing. The only reason I want to try and get used to picking is for the relief on my shoulders and wrists. It is much easier on me, but much, much slower for my knitting. And bye bye to getting perfect gauge every time. When I pick my stitches, they are vastly tighter than any other knitting I do. Which as you can imagine, makes it hard to do stranded knitting with two hands.
So right now, I'm still throwin'

And look at that stitch definition, it is perfect! So, I'm just making a suggestion, but next time you need to whip up a quickie baby blanket, Lion Brand Mandala and garter st will get you all the compliments you deserve.

September 18, 2017

Loving garter stitch blankets More pics

So.... I was at Wally World for like the tenth time in a week and had a minute to spare so, as my usual, I go back and check out the cotton yarn for cloths and bibs and such. Sometimes they have a colorway I just love and have to have, most times not ;0(, but I digress.
I came upon an endcap filled with this awesome yarn.
Lion Brand Mandala, did you know about this yarn?!? If you did, why didn't you tell me about this yarn ?!?
I wanted to find something I could make BB a blanket out of that wouldn't be so overwhelmingly girly but still be sweet. Bam! Here it is!

I couldn't wait to cast on! So when I finally got home, I had to finish up the Tweetypie bib before I could cast on anything else. (self imposed rules) So, with a little help from her Majesty, Protector of all things yarny, I finished the bib.

It will look much better once I wash and block it. But for now, I followed my own rules and it's off the needles.
I cast on 170 sts, on size 7 circs and went to town on some t.v. knitting. I love this colorway. There is plenty of yardage in each color so I wasn't getting stripes of colors but whole blocks.

As the monster grew and grew, I started to realize that this was going to be waaaayyyy to big for a baby blanket. One that could easily be carried around with a baby and all accompanying equipment.
But it is way to pretty to rip out and start over. So I made an executive decision to finish the first skein of yarn, leave it on the needles and start the second skein for a more baby mama friendly blanket. This blanket will be finished as soon as all the BB work is done. It will now be Sissy B's Christmas blanket. I haven't knit anything for Sissy since she was about two years old, so it's time. 
The second try was on size 6 needles with 120 sts. I love this blanket. It is the perfect size and the blocks of color are awesome. With the yardage I'm getting out of this yarn, I don't think it is going to take much more than this one skein. If it does, it won't be but a smidge.

There is only one thing I do not like about this yarn. Small thing really. Both skeins had ends tied together, not far into the first color out of the center. That little strand you see sticking out there in the last picture? That's where they tied it on the second skein. I don't care for that at all, but not a deal breaker. 
Otherwise, I love this yarn. 
And garter stitch....................don't get me started about my love for garter stitch blankets!

September 15, 2017

Sewing: Baby stuff. Picture intense

BB will be here in just a few short months. 
Well I say a few, I'm sure Mama says it seems like forever. 
I wanted to make some hand made gifts for the shower next month. Try some new things I've never done before. And here is the result. 
Warning, I have just started sewing, I know they aren't perfect, but just like with my knitting, it ads to the charm of receiving hand made gifts. You can definitely tell mine are hand made. 
I think they cam out really cute though.

I bought a towel and cut it down to make some burp cloths that would be soft and absorbent on both sides. Let me tell you, it looked like it had snowed in my dining room. Whew! Lint everywhere!

I took the scraps from making the receiving blanket and made up two burp cloths that will match and make a set.

This was a learning curve for me. I remember when I first started knitting, it took me a minute to realize, if you make the exact same mistake 3 times, it becomes a part of the plan. That's what I went with with these two little cloths. Three times I ripped out the seams and called myself turning the fabric around so that the good side would be facing in. So I could sew and flip and have the seam on the inside. With kids running around and trying to help with homework while trying to do this, I must have been some kind of distracted, all three times, I flipped it with good side facing up, so, just like with my knitting, I finally just went with it. I will see what they look like after they are washed, if they come out looking good, I will add them to the set as wash cloths, since the seam is on the outside, I don't feel like they are good enough to give as a gift, but we will see what happens. If I don't add them to the set, I have me the cutest little pot holders ever!

Either way, I think the burp cloths came out absolutely adorable!

This was my first time doing anything besides a straight stitch. I added this zigzag stitch around the receiving blanket to add a little bit of a decorative border. It's the best my machine can do. I didn't go out and buy one of the nice, fancy, expensive machines, YET. I just went with el cheapo I had at home. So this is the fanciest I could get. But I like it. Simple charm!

The hardest part for me about doing the blanket was cutting the fabric down to size. I measured and remeasured and cut and messed up and remeasured and cut again. I finally got frustrated and free hand cut what I thought was a good size blanket (I know, I know) and then measured, perfect! 
Getting the second side to match was easy peasy after that.

Yes, those are elephants, little BB is going to be a huge Alabama fan! 
Just sayin'
All in all I think everything worked out very well. And I am ahead of my schedule!

Then......there's the knitting. 
Tweety Pie bib and garter stitch blanket coming up..........................

September 14, 2017

LOTD: Knitting and Sewing:projects to keep you warm

 As a self proclaimed expert on loss of body heat, I can tell you, covering your head and the center of your chest will keep you as toasty warm as you can be, no matter how cold you are. 
Trust me, this is from years of trying to get warm while everyone else is pulling up their sleeves and fanning themselves with whatever they can find.
 I am literally that cold natured.
This pattern covers both areas, the head and the chest, nicely.
The hooded cowl would be a great idea for someone like me, in fact, this will be mine before the beginning of winter. 
Hooded Cowl 
Not that I could look as sweet in it as she does but hey, function before form. I don't care if I look like Hagar or the Pilsbury dough boy as long as I am not freezing my biscuits off.

This sewing project is perfect for someone like me who, even with a pair of gloves on, can get tingling fingertips within five minutes of being outside in the cold. 
I never even thought about using pocket warmers until my daughter started working at the local shipyard and she swore by them. But they can get a big pricey, especially if you can make some for yourself out of an scrap fabric you have laying around and some rice.
And these heat packs, they will be perfect for warming my always, even in the dead of summer, freezing toes. And anything with a name like this is a must have in my book!

Top it all of with this cozy looking sweater and I think I might stay a little warmer this winter.
 Free Knitting Pattern for Twilight New Moon Bella Hooded Cardigan

September 13, 2017

LOTD: Smorgasbord


What better way to give a handmade gift then in a handmade gift bag. 
This cute little pattern can be whipped up in minutes and stuffed with any gift you have made. The pattern is easy to change for whatever size bag you may need.

  This traditional looking shawl would be a great hit with anyone. Knit with aran weight yarn it would be an easy knitting gift that would provide someone with years of warmth and comfort. 
You have to be a Ravelry member to get the pattern, but, why wouldn't you be one anyway? Have you been there lately?! 
Ravelry: TraditionalSkills' Triangular Shawl #1- free knitting pattern                                                               

Talking about classic! This is the way to go for those freezing winter play days.
Classic Mittens Pattern #615 children sizes 

Just in case you were wondering if I still have my infinity scarf obsession, why yes, yes I do.

Free Knitting Pattern for Autopilot Cowl

And last but not least, this one has my name written all over it.
Free Knitting Pattern for Easy Blanket Blanket For Seriously Cold People 
Happy knitting everyone!

September 12, 2017

LOTD: Snuggly and warm babies

 Tiny Ripples Baby Blanket- Cables

Garter Stitch Ruffles Made completely out of garter stitch, the ruffles in this blanket are completed simply by using two different needle sizes.

Pinwheel Baby Blanket Round and round we go

Sunny Baby Blanket Textures

Waffle Blanket 

Guernsey Style Baby Blanket

Chocolate Parfait Baby Blanket because it's chocolate!

Heirloom Bunny Blanket for the whimsical

Zoology Baby Blanket reminds me of quilting, knit 4 squares and sew them together. Pictured above.

And just because these are too cute

September 11, 2017

Fair warning, not knitting. Candy Crush! Handmade cloth napkins!

So, I told you my newest obsession is sewing. Well quilting is my goal, to be exact.
But my daughter has shown me the best way to practice and practice those all important 1/4" seams.
Handmade cloth napkins. 
I mentioned these in an earlier post and just had to show you how cute these came out.
This is my work space, i.e. dining room table and a couple of chairs to hold my box of fabrics.
It took me a hot minute to figure out how to consistently cut a straight line with the rotary cutter. Even with all these nice little gadgets to make it easier. 
The ruler kept sliding around as I was cutting and it was seriously starting to frustrate me. 
I finally wedged my pinky behind the ruler and with pure determination, got it done. 

From there it was off to the races. Once I got the hang of working that stupid blade (yes there was bloodshed) I couldn't get enough of this cute candy fabric I found on Ebay. You literally can find anything on eBay.
It was an all day project, in between Sunday school and church and night service, I did manage to keep the house clean, and get these done. 
Once my waitress mode kicked in and I started assembly lining, things started moving a lot faster. 

                                                      We have butterfingers
 My personal favorite and the only reason I bought this set: Pixie Stix!!!


 And for the chocolate lovers, Snickers, because you're not yourself when you are hungry!

There are some crunch bars that haven't gotten sewn up yet. 
You know, Sunday evening service and all.
Now aren't those all just too cute!?

Getting back in the groove

It's been so long since I have wanted to knit anything.  I knit so many socks when I started knitting back in '99 that I was comp...