Wednesday, December 21, 2011

last minute finish (2 of 3)

Ok, so the ends on the second sock aren't woven in yet (just tucked inside for the photo) but I am calling this gift done!

These socks are for Daughter, and wow have her feet grown! I can't believe how looonnnnng I have to make her socks!

I was concerned about running out of yarn, so I coordinated a skein of Heart & Sole "watercolor stripe" with the same brand in plain ivory for heels and toes. It looks like I would have actually had enough to make it using just the stripe, but that's ok, they look nice like this.

On to a hat for Hubs. And maybe an ornament for our awesome speech therapist to go with the gift card and chocolate bar I got today.....

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

last minute finish (1 of 3?)

Wow, how is it December 20? Seriously, Christmas will be here and done in about 4 seconds. Not sure how that happened when it seems like the first day of school was, like, yesterday.

Christmas prep felt extremely disorganized this year. As I explained it to someone this morning, it feels like a final exam where you're frantically scribbling everything you can into a blue book, and then the prof says "pencils down!" You're out of time so you're finished, even though you feel you could have done more, done better...but that's it, you have to just accept what you were able to accomplish and hope for the best.

Everything seems challenging right now because I constantly have to shove my son into his puffy jacket and then into his carseat, then put his boots/hat/mittens on when we get to the store (because of course he takes it all off in the car), lift and finagle him into the cart, try to get everything we need while not letting him see the gifts and stocking stuffers that are for him, etc, etc, etc. You know how it goes. Hopefully next year he will be in half-day preschool and I will be able to pull it together a lot better. 

I wanted to make more stuff for Christmas but it just didn't happen. AJ has his red sweater, Daughter has her black corduroy jumper lined with Laurel Burch cat fabric, my nephew is getting his framed sampler, my niece should have received her jumper, leggings and white sweater yesterday, and Daughter will be getting her Kina sweater:

Getting the color right was hopeless, believe me I tried. It's a pretty grape-y reddish purple in real life.

I used about 1.5 skeins of Wool Ease sportweight for this, and a button I've had for ages. All stash stuff. US 5 needle. It took a long time to knit. I hope she will wear it. I don't know...I've decided I'm not a fan of "shaping" made by enormous increases at the yoke, like in this sweater and the tea leaves/tiny tea leaves sweaters. I prefer a more fully fashioned approach. (So does Daughter...she never ever wears the tiny tea leaves sweater I made for her.)

I still have a pair of socks I'm hoping to finish for Daughter (one done, one started) and Hubs has requested a "slouchy, skater-type hat in a browny-grayish-green color" which at this time is a ball of cascade 220 heather yarn sitting in my knitting basket.

4 days to go...can I do it?

Monday, December 12, 2011

ho ho ho, it's a Christmas F.O.

Ok, I've got some cookies done, the tree is up and decorated, I not only took the kids' Christmas picture but I actually turned it into Christmas cards and sent them out. I think all the gifts are bought except for one or two little things, and now I just need to focus on finishing up the last of the knitted gifts for my own family members.

Still, I feel massively behind. And you? Ah, the holidays.

I'm psyched to have finished the last knitted gift to send away:

It's so cute and wee! This is a sweet, lacy cardigan for my baby niece to go over the tiny jumper/tunic I showed in my last post. It's from Leisure Arts "Baby Layettes Book 2" (#460). I used a skein of Stylecraft WonderSoft Baby 4 Ply that I found in my stash, and US 5 needles. This is one of those patterns where you get different sizes merely by changing needle size, so it can be knit on 4, 5, or 6 depending on what you want. I went with the middle size, which is supposed to equate to 3 months.

It's a little foo-foo and twee, but it was an interesting enough knit, and it cost me nothing since I had the yarn on hand (yay!). I have to go hunt down 3 buttons, which I'll do after it's completely dry. 

I put the blocking board on my dining room table to take a photo, and then I laughed and had to take this one - the "keepin' it real" shot:


Hope your holiday preparations are coming along!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

tiny (and frugal) baby tunic

Oops, once again I didn't mean to be gone so long. I was having, uh, mood issues. The combo of constant dark, dreary days, my general anxiety problem, and Hubs being away on a boondoggle business trip had me barely able to get out of bed and function, much less create and blog. But hey, today I feel myself coming out of it, hallelujah, so I need to take advantage. 

There's bread dough rising, I made a batch of muffins to use up the homemade applesauce that's been languishing in the fridge, and I managed to get a photo taken of the one handmade Christmas gift that's actually finished. Above you see a wee baby tunic for my sweet niece.

This is Simplicity 4243, in XS (7-13 lbs). The baby was 8.5 lbs as of last week when I spoke with my sister-in-law, so I figured this size should get her through Christmas. They live in SoCal, so I went with just the tunic (view D) rather than the longer dress. She can hopefully wear this with some little red leggings, which I hope to find pretty quickly so I can send them with the tunic, along with a white onesie and the white lacy sweater that I hope to finish in time (needs 1.5 sleeves and it is done). 

The frugal part is that this fabric was Daughter's Christmas jumper 4 years ago, when she was just 2 1/2 years old and I was about 5 minutes pregnant with AJ. Ah, the good old days, when I only had half the gray hair I have now. Anyway, I had maybe - maybe - a half yard of this corduroy. I had to smooth and adjust and smooth and adjust some more until the pattern just fit on the fabric. It was extremely simple to construct...just a front and two backs, a zipper, and some bias binding. I made that myself because I find the storebought stuff to be too stiff for tiny babies. Mine is just black quilting cotton cut 1.5" wide, folded in half, stitched to the right side, then turned to the back and topstitched. The only really tricky part was those tiny armholes. They did not fit around the free arm of my machine so there was some fabric gymnastics involved in getting that binding sewn down.

But it worked! And it is so sweet and wee and soft. I love it and hope they do too.