Friday, February 26, 2010

Ravelympics 2010 "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can."

Ravelry does this cool thing that during the Olympics, they have their own "Ravelympics" in which knitters and crocheters can enter their WIPs or projects in different events and then subsequently "medal" in their event.  It's a lot of fun and really promotes getting some cool projects completed. 

Up until now, I've had other obligations that haven't allowed me to fully focus my attention on Ravelympics.  I picked out a project.  One that would not only challenge me but that I thought I had a chance of completing during the alloted period of time.  Now that I have more free time on my hands, I'm hoping to complete my project by Sunday night, at the end of the Olympics!

I chose the pattern Owl Baby Vest.  A seemingly simple pattern.  I've never knit actual clothing before and I thought this would be a good opportunity to try.  Knitting for a baby/toddler seems much easier than attempting to knit myself a sweater.  I'm using Spud & Chloe sweater yarn in colors Lake & Moonlight to complete this vest.  Last night I JUST started the owl design, which makes the project feel much more do-able.  Up until now it's been rows of stockinette stitch.  And although it's not a big project like an adult-sized sweater or a shawl, the work seemed to be going very s-l-o-w-l-y.  I'm anxious to see how my owls turn out.  This is my first time using a cable needle and knitting this type of design into a project.  I think it's going to turn out well and I'm starting to see the birds take shape, even though I've only done 3 rows. 

I'm somewhat leery as to how the rest of the vest will go once I've finished the owls and reached the arm holes.  The front and back are split up and worked separately and then joined back together at the top.  I need to have a can-do attitude.  Just call me "the little engine that could."

During X's naptime and after he goes to bed will probably yield the best work environment.  So if I'm quick, this shouldn't be a problem!  Mostly, I'm excited to see the end product, get it washed & blocked, and slip it on Xander to see what he looks like. :)  If this project goes well, then I've just found another window into the world of knitting that felt closed to me before!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Binky, Binka, Paci

Helpful at times? yes.  Annoying at times? Definately.  Even more so when they're dropped on the floor every 5 seconds!  And if you happen to be somewhere you're concerned about germs and putting it back in your babe's mouth, you could wind up with a very unhappy boy or girl deprived on their comfort! 

Of course, there is a solution!  I don't know how many parents use them, but pacifier clips are wonderful!  For obvious reasons - now whether or not the binky is in Johnny's mouth, it's NOT on the floor!  Most brands of pacifiers have a cooresponding clip for this purpose.  But aside from somewhat colorful straps and clips, they're rather boring. 

That's why I think these clips are just so cute!  A handmade item paired with cute! :)  This is my second Elephant Pacifier clip.  Such a quick project.  I'd make one for X, but the binka is making it's way out, so the need isn't so great at this point.  But I know so many people with babies right now!  So it's hard not to want to make them.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Heros in a half-shell...turtle power!

I posted a few days ago about a knitting swap I participated in.  The project entailed knitting a Painted Turtle hat and including things needed for a toy kit (swap partner picked a surprise toy from Itty Bitty Toys), and then any other goodies you wanted to include.

I recieved my package (or would it really be X's package since the hat was for him?) yesterday.  It was great to come home and see the box sitting by the front door.  I rushed inside, swooped up X for some attention, and went to open the package. 

The hat my swap partner knit is beautiful!  The base is a lovely creme with turtles of all different greens and cremes surrounding it, as well as one camo turtle on top (he's hiding).  X wanted to play with the hat immediately.  He's so drawn to those little turtle-dudes (as we have been calling them on Ravelry!). 
Painted Turtle Hat from FlFiFiLaRue

X enjoyed playing with the taffy
The toy kit I recieved had some beautiful KnitPicks Comfy Sport yarn to knit up the Egg/Bluebird & Nest reversible toy.  I love making these reversible toys...they're so much fun!  And the yarn came in a beautiful handmade blue drawstring project bag.  Just what I needed!
Yarn & project bag for Egg/Bluebird reversible toy
Finally, the remaining items included a touch & feel book for X, a beanie baby crab (Claude) for X, some salt water taffy, some neat shells from the beach (she's from FL),  and handmade burp rags.  It was a fantastic swap. 
All the loot

On another note, I recently finished the Elephant Paci Clip from Itty Bitty Nursery.  This knit was so quick!  I got at least half done while watching Night at the Museum 2 and finished what remained the next night.  This clip could easily be altered to accomodate any type of pacifier, just as long as you purchage the corresponding clip to attach to the knitting.  Mine is for a NUK or MAM type paci. 

The head & trunk of the elephant are knit first, with an Icord to lengthen it and attach to the clip.  And a strap is attached at the top of the head to attach to the binky ring. 

The ears are crocheted.  This one has an open ring in the middle, but it's also possible to close that hole.

This was a great project to work on for how little time it took.  The knit time is minimal but the results are fantastic!  I would certainly recommend this as a project for anyone with babes who use binkies!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Another one bites the dust!

That's really not an appropriate title for this post, but I was thinking how I finished another Paper Bag hat, this time in blue (appropriately titled Blue Paper Bag) and this song got stuck in my head.  I immediately thought "Another one bites the dust" and then my next thought was "and another one gone and another one gone, another one bites the dust!"  And now that song will be stuck in my head for the rest of the day. Boo.

But on the plus side, this hat did not bite the dust, rather it's just finally finished.  :)  This hat is for a little boy so I wanted to make it more masculine.  I also wanted to try my hand at different stitch patterns.  So to accomplish those things this is what I did:

Instead of using only garter stitch, stockinette stitch and seed stitch, I used 3-4 new stitch patterns.  I really enjoy the look of the horizontal dash pattern.  I may knit up a hat using only this pattern and see how it turns out.  We'll see. :) My only thought here next time is that if I'm going to incoorporate color changes into the hat, I won't knit the dash at the color change b/c it creates messy lines.  I like the look on this hat, but just a note to myself!
 Horizontal dash (white); checkered (blue)

I also used a chevron type pattern (I'll have to look up stitch pattern names later), double moss seed stitch (?) and a checkered stitch.  Some of the patterns are more easily visible than others, and perhaps if I blocked the hat they would look better, but I kinda like the way it looks now.  I did use seed stitch for the last 2 inches at the top.  I really liked the texture it gave the top on the Pink Paper Bag hat so I decided to stick with it here. 
 Chevron (blue)

Instead of a picot trim on the bottom of the hat, I crocheted a single crochet edge.  Simple and gave the effect I was looking for.
 Single crocheted bottom edge

I still used a picot trim for the top of the hat, though.  I considered frogging it back and putting just a single crochet trim on it, but then I decided it was okay.
 Crocheted picot top edge

Finally, instead of tying the I-cord in a bow, I laced it through the eyelets and double knotted the I-cord.  I then put knots on the resulting strings just to add a little more visual interest.  This decision nicely balances the picot trim (I think) and makes it a little more "boy." 
 Knotted Icord

Overall, there are a lot of things going on in this hat.  Several different patterns, different trims, an I-cord.  As I was knitting and looking at the hat, I wasn't sure I'd be pleased with the end result.  I contemplated starting over several times.  But then when I got the I-cord, cinched the top shut and sat back to observe my work, I was happy with my choices. 

Finished product