Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I knit a beanie hat!

I'm so PROUD!!!!

First, I have to thank my wonderful friend Jen, for walking me through this Cecily Beanie Pattern. Jaana, I would've called you (just to spare Jen some pestering!), but with the time difference I would've been waking you up at midnight! Anyway, the pattern itself is fairly simple, even for a first time knitter. But, Jen was pretty adamant about her passionate hatred toward purling. I don't think it's quite that bad. She insisted I had to knit this pattern "in the round" (meaning on circular kneedles for my non-knitter friends) which would eliminate the need to purl to create the stockinette stitch. She even loaned me some of her needles to use. Since the pattern is written as though the knitter is using straight needles, I put in several calls to my dear friend, to ensure I was knitting it right. The whole concept of how to translate a pattern from straight needles to circular needles, is still completely confusing (and unknown) to me. I just did what Jen told me to do and, Lo and Behold, I knit a beanie hat!!!

I used "Berry" Lion Brand Cotton-Ease yarn. I have a fairly small head and the pattern is sized to fit an "average female head", so it's not quite as snug as I'd like it even after one washing and a cycle on high heat in the dryer. But, Taylor is insisting I make her the same hat, so I'm using smaller needles and thinner yarn and we'll see where that gets us. It will either create a hat for Taylor, or another, smaller hat for me. Taylor was sooooo excited when I took her to JoAnn's on Sunday to pick out the yarn for her hat. She calls it "thread". When I first started knitting about a month ago, she would tell me "Sit and play with your thread, Mommy!".

I'm feeling much, much better than I was last week. I still have a lingering cough, but I'm back to the land of the living. I still can't believe how completely exhausted I was. I even tried working on this hat while I was sick, and I literally would knit a few stitches and then fall asleep. So glad to have my energy back so I can catch up on crafting and blogging!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Sick and Tired

There's hasn't been much crafting going on 'round here. I've been hit with a nasty cold. I've been in bed for 3 days with bodyaches and pure exhaustion. It's completely unlike me to stay in bed. I'm a doer. I have to be up doing. At this point, all I'm doing is drinking lots of fluids, getting plenty of rest and eating chicken noodle soup. Nyquil is my new best friend. I went to the doctor yesterday because I wanted to make sure I didn't have more than just a cold. He diagnosed me with "the common cold that is kickin' everyone's butts". So, if you have any inkling that you're coming down with a cold, up your vitamin C, take your meds, drink lots of fluids, do whatever you can to nip it in the bud. This nasty virus is not any fun!

I'll check in again, once I've kicked this thing!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Monogram Frames

I love the collection of magazines by Northridge Media. I consider Scrapbook Trends one of my "luxury" magazines and only purchase it as a special treat for myself. I have fallen in love with their Simply Handmade magazine. I have a link to they're blog in my sidebar and the current issue of the magazine has a tutorial for these monograms. I absolutely LOVE these! I have to make some!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Testing Another Pattern for Lil Blue Boo

Another T- Shirt Dress!

Read on to learn how you can WIN this Pattern!

I was super excited when Ashley of Lil Blue Boo asked me to test another recycled T-Shirt dress pattern for her. This pattern is just as clear and easy to follow as her Recycled Halter Dress Pattern that I tested for her a couple of months ago. But this pattern includes varying sleeve lengths, and variations in the main dress piece that allows for several customizable options as well as tips about seam re-inforcement and top-stitching that make the finished dress look very professional. She also offers even more tips on working with knit fabrics!

For this dress, I used an old USC T-Shirt of Daddy's that no longer fits, and cut up some more of our freebie Lakers shirts. Before I added the ruffle, the top looked like a cute little jersey. I easily could have stopped there, and it would have been super cute! But of course I finished it off with the adorable ruffle and I love it! Now Taylor can show her team spirit all season long, as she and Daddy cheer on the Trojans!

Head over to Lil Blue Boo and enter to win this e-pattern! Also, you have to check out her Paper Doll Dress It is sooooooo adorable!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Learning to Knit

I have wanted to learn to knit for a long time. I have vague memories of my grandmother (I think) teaching me how to knit when I was a kid. I never kept at it, though. Well, my mom knits (but refuses to follow a pattern or do anything other than straight kniting) and I knew when I visited her last week I was going to have her teach me how to knit. Well, she tried, but I wasn't gettin' it :(. My friend Jaana (pronounced Yawna) came to visit 2 days before I came home and gave me more detailed lessons! By the time I got off the plane in LA, I had knit this:

Yes. That's right, after a 5hr flight I had only knit this small section. In all fairness, I'm not very speedy as this was my first project, and I was trying to entertain my adorable 3 yr old who refused to sleep during that 5hr flight and of course, I was using size 6 needles. While I like the look of tightly knitted projects, it was going a little too slow for me. I needed to feel like I was accomplishing more in my new crafty endeavour. So, I got some Patons Melody Yarn, and used my size 17 needles that I confiscated from my mom, and whipped up this "blanket" for Taylor's baby (one of Taylor's many babies).

The reason I call it a "blanket" is because it's much more like a scarf. See, given I didn't have any guidance on this project, I had no idea how much it would stretch out and I intended to make a large square. Um. No. That's not what I ended up with at all. I ended up knitting a long rectangle measuring about 6"x40". The 40" side is what was on my needles! Ah, well. Taylor still says it's a "blanket" and it actually works out quite well for swaddling her baby, Sally.

After sitting with Mommy for a few hrs and watching me knit, Taylor was eager to give it a try, herself. I had guided her in doing a couple of stitches in the blanket. So, when I was all done, I gave her some scrap yarn and the needles. Still a little young, but the interest is there :) .

Special thanks to my mom and Jaana for teaching me another craft to add to my addictions!

Apologies for the grainy pics. I dont' know what's wrong with my camera!

Anyone have any favorite tips, sites, blogs for a new knitter? I know at least 2 of my followers knit!