Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Free Online Pattern: "Snoozing Ned"

I'm finishing up a knit softie owl pattern that I saw through the blog "Zakka Life". The pattern is actually a Lucinda Guy pattern but I don't know what the original link to the website is and I don't feel comfortable posting a direct link to the pattern and not to a website. So go over to Zakka Life and she has the pattern link there.

It's an adorable owl pattern and will make a great toy. I'm finishing up the details of the owl - and will hopefully have it posted in the next day or two. But I wanted to share the pattern for those of you looking for a basic softie pattern that is suitable for beginner knitters and is something that you can fully customize. I made my owl striped in yellow, orange, and red! Talk about a colorful owl...

So go take a look at Zakka Life and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Phew! I completed some more projects...

I've had a couple projects on my list of "to-do" for awhile. One of them being a cover for the infant car seat. A lot of people recommend having a light blanket that you throw over the car seat so that you can shade the baby in the sun or put over them when you're in the store to prevent strangers from touching your baby (Really?!?! That happens!?!? Hands off!) I've seen some sold in the store and coughed at the price. Baby items can be so expensive!
So with 1 1/4 yards of fabric (times two for a front and back) and a little bit of sewing time I made a cover for less than $6! I didn't follow a tutorial - the shape is so basic that it's pretty intuitive. I just made sure that I used an extremely lightweight fabric so that it was breathable and cool.

Some other projects that I knocked off my list were some burps clothes using the freebie pattern I have listed here. I used up scraps from other baby items I used by piecing the top and using terry cloth for the underside.

I also made a couple of knit soakers that are newborn sized. Most of my soakers were knit for about a 6-12 month old. So using the pattern from "Vintage Baby Knits" (pattern = Milo Soakers) and a pattern from Just Jussi blog (posted for free) I knit 2 soakers (and I even lanolized them already!!)
"Just Jussi" has the best pattern because it is super thick and absorbent through the crotch and is shaped in the butt. I like to knit the pattern in the round to avoid seaming. When I get to the crotch section I start knitting back and forth and continue knitting until I'm done with the short-row butt shaping. Then I seam them back to the section worked in the round with seamless kitchener stitch. I also cast on the leg ribbing and work on dpns. This way there's no seaming... yay!
The "Milo Soakers" were knit a little different from the pattern as well. I've knitted the Milo Soakers before and was unhappy with how it's written. First off, the pattern makes HUGE soakers with no shape. Talk about a huge booty! So I decided to make these changes:
1. Knit them in the round!!
2. Knit the ribbing in twisted rib on one size smaller needles (I used U.S. 2 needles)
3. Knit the body of the soakers in stockinette stitch NOT garter stitch (I really thought the soakers looked even more bulky in garter stitch and they look smoother and nicer in stockinette. Also by knitting in the round you avoid any purling...)
4. When you get to the crotch section (ribbing) work back and forth on both sides. Instead of knitting a 7" crotch - knit each side back and forth in ribbing for 3.5". Join the crotch at the middle with a 3 needle bind off.
5. Add leg ribbings for an even better fit (knit in the round with dpns)
This way they fit better and are seam free!! Yeah!

These are both knit in Knit Pick's Bare yarn (Just Jussi's are knit with a strand of aqua Shepherd's Wool in the crotch). I knit both pairs using size U.S. 3 needles. So it's a thick knit and smaller. They turned out exactly how I wanted them!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Diamond Baby Sweater Finished

I bought the knitting book "Vintage Baby Knits" awhile back on a whim when I was at JoAnn's Fabric Store. I had a 50% off coupon and thought a lot of the patterns looked really cute.
Since bringing the book home I've knit many of the patterns. Since these are vintage patterns - I think Kristin Rengren did a nice job updating the patterns for modern yarn and sensibilities. However, I still think that some of the fit is off. A lot of the patterns are a little large for the size listed (most notably the Milo Soakers, which I've knit several of - another post to follow soon on those).Here is a quick sweater that I knit from the book. I changed up the pattern in the diamond section a little bit to make it a little more boyish. I also knit in a LOT tighter of a gauge and went up a size just so it would be a lot thicker. The yarn is black Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino (3 skeins) and I ran out of yarn on the sleeves so I was only able to make it short sleeves... oh well...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

DIY Boppy Cover

I received a "bare naked" Boppy as a shower gift with the intention of making a personalized cover. Every Tuesday my mother and I get together for a weekly lunch and we do something (ranges from a movie, pedicure, or a crafting project). My favorite is when we create something together. This week I had the Boppy Cover in mind. I googled Boppy Cover Tutorial and couldn't really find anything specific. So my mom and I made our own pattern - it took a couple hours (and still needs a little tweeking) but I think it turned out great! The most important part of the cover that is missing in most tutorials is a gusset in the cover. If you strictly trace around the pillow and make it like that it will be too small or really gathered and puckered. We put a gusset in the middle of the "horse shoe" and we put a zipper on the back. After we do a little more tweaking, I believe we'll start making and selling these (sorry, I'm not posting the pattern on here for free...)
Take a look at the basic cover - it's chenille on the back and cotton on the front. Next time I'm adding some piping and perhaps making a pieced front to match his quilt or room...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Freebie: Dotted Baby Hat

Here's a quick freebie for those of you looking for an easy, but adorable baby hat to make in an evening or two.

It has a rolled brim and dotted with purled stitches for a little dimension and finished with a knotted top.Size - Newborn
Yarn - Gedifra Mayra Yarn (shown in color "cement")
Needles - U.S. 7 needles of choice for knitting in the round (I use small circulars) and a set of U.S. 7 DPNs for decreasing at top of hat.


Body of Hat:
CO 66 stitches. Place marker to denote beginning of round.
Rounds 1 -8: Knit in stockinette stitch (every row knit).
Round 9: K3, *P1, K5, repeat from * until last 3 stitches, P1, K2.
Round 10: Knit across
Round 11: P1, *K5, P1, repeat from * until last 5 stitches, K5.
Round 12: Knit across.
Repeat rounds 9-12 until hat measures four inches from cast on edge.

Decreasing Crown of Hat:
Round 1: (K9, K2tog) repeat until end of round
Round 2: (K8, K2tog) repeat until end of round
Round 3: Knit across
Round 4: (K7, K2tog) repeat until end of round
Round 4: (K6, K2tog) repeat until end of round
Round 5: Knit across
Round 6: (K5, K2tog) repeat until end of round
Round 7: Knit across
Round 8: (K4, K2tog) repeat until end of round
Round 9: Knit across
Round 10: (K3, K2tog) repeat until end of round
Round 11: (K2, K2tog) repeat until end of round
Round 12: (K1, K2tog) repeat until end of round
Round 13: (K2tog) repeat until end of round (6 stitches remain)

I-Cord for top of hat:
Place 6 remaining stitches on one dpn. Knit 6 stitches for an I-cord (*Knit a row. Slide row to other end of needle. Do not turn the work. Repeat from * for two and a half (2.5) inches.
Cast off 6 stitches. Weave in ends. Tie I-cord in knot at top of hat.You're done! Congrats! Now place the hat on a cute, little baby...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Another Pair of Greemy Baby Booties

I haven't knit any "Greemy Baby Booties" (pattern available for free from the wonderful Chopped Tomatoes blog) since finding out I am pregnant. When I was at the knit store the other day I picked up some wonderful yarn that screamed "BABY BOOTIES!" The pattern I turn to? Greemy Baby Booties! They are fabulous to knit - easy to make in a couple hours and turn out so cute!

I casted these booties on with size U.S. 2 needles and knit them with JoJoLand's Melody Superwash sock yarn. This made tiny newborn booties. They are super stretchy and I'm sure will fit great at birth.
Go over and take a look at Chopped Tomatoes Blog and make a pair today! They are great for charity knitters (hospitals are always looking for baby socks and booties for their baby patients since hats are always the "go-to" item...)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Baby Shower Gift

My mother and I have been invited to my friend's baby shower this weekend. My friend is expecting TWIN GIRLS in the beginning of October! I'm so excited for her and can't wait to celebrate this weekend...
For a present we decided to team up and knit a little package for her precious bundles. My mom visited Nina's knit shop when she was in Chicago a couple months ago and bought some beautiful light pink (color "Shell") Organic Worsted Cotton by Blue Sky Alpacas. She worked hard on a gorgeous baby blanket using the pattern "Eyelet Baby Blanket" by designer Leslie Scanlon (available by Blue Sky Alpacas). This pattern calls for 7 skeins of yarn and U.S. 10 needles so it's a pretty quick knit for a blanket. I can tell it's a great pattern for the fact that my mom has knit 3 blankets (one for me, one for my friend, and one for charity!)
To go with the blanket she also bought some coordinating yarn by Blue Sky Alpacas called "Suri Merino" (in color "dawn"). It's a luscious yarn with great loft and is SUPER soft. It's definitely worth the price tag (all of Blue Sky Alpacas yarn is worth the pricey price tag in my opinion...) With a single skein of the Suri Merino I knit up 2 baby hats from the book "One Skein" by Leigh Radford and had enough left over to make at least one more.
I hope my friend enjoys her gift. It was knitted with love - and sure does look and feel heavenly. I might go out and buy some of the Suri Merino to make a baby hat for my little man. It's that wonderful (even though it has to be hand washed!)