Sunday, March 21, 2010

Baby Gift Crochet/Knits

One of the small joys of having a baby is all of the handcrafted goods that have been given to me for her. It seems to me that at the heart of crafting is the need to give to others, and who better to receive these gifts than a new little one, who hasn't yet been tainted by the world's greedy and unappreciative influences. I also think that the gifters may know that as a crafter myself, I'll actually put to use the items that they have made, rather than keeping them "safe" where they "won't be ruined." I don't know about you, but when I hear that I cringe immediately!

To start with, I was given several family heirlooms. The first was a gift from one of the seniors that frequents my work, this cardi that their grandmother had made for them to wear. I can't even express how honored I was that she chose to give this to me rather than her own brood. I can only think that she must have known that I would truly appreciate the craftmanship of it.

Then my mom gave me this blanket that my Nonny knit when my brother was born (which I'll give to him if he ever has kids). The neat part is that there is a ribbon tied to one stitch, which apparently my Poppy knit.

The third is a hat that Skylar's grandma (my mother in law) wore when she was a baby- I think her own grandmother knit it for her:

Of course, we also received several things made specifically for the baby. A crocheted hat made by Skylar's Nana (my stepmom):

An awesome skully cap by Knit Knacker Georgia:

This non-pastel sweater (she must have heard my pink pastel rant!) that came along with one of our Knit Knack exchanges last year, made by Kelly:

And of course here she is as a hodgepodge knitwear model wearing what I made for her, a little sweater and cap (yup, that's the knit knack blanket in the background). The red portion of the cap I made while in labor with the little one. I had intended for her to wear the cap home from the hospital but I ran out of yarn, so I finished up the top (blue section) when I got home:

I don't have a picture handy, but she also received a (somewhat scary looking) crocheted bunny from one of my mom's 7th grade students, and a darling little purple bear from another friend.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Final Edits

I finished up the photo shoot of the mitts with my friend Beth, which brought to my attention the fact that what I had originally thought was a "one size" pattern actually needed some adjustment. I discovered that Beth's hands are considerably smaller than the mitts. We made do for the photos and despite the size issue I think we got some great shots.

Needless to say, it was an "ah-ha" moment for me when I realized that my hands, the models for all of my glove/mitt/mittens knitting, are actually quite large. The good thing is that it enabled me to again revise my pattern so that it can be offered in a small and a large size. I'm working out those (hopefully) final kinks and my goal is to email it in tomorrow, one day before the deadline. Oh what a mental game it will be to press that send button!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What was I thinking?

I've finally decided to submit a pattern to Knitty Magazine. The mitts that I made for fellow knit knacker Amber (and mentioned in a previous post) rolled right off of my needles so effortlessly and I couldn't believe how much I liked they way they turned out. On a whim I checked Knitty's submission page and found out that the next deadline is March 15 - right around the corner - so I thought "why not?"

Since I made the decision last week to go for it I've been pouring over the pattern again and again with a fine tooth comb. I think it's finally as good as it's going to get. The next step is taking quality photos, so this afternoon I have a girlfriend coming over to do a photo shoot wearing the mitts. After that, all there is to do is send it in and wait.

Needless to say, I'm really nervous about this submission.I honestly don't expect my pattern to be accepted, especially since this is my first time ever submitting one (but it would be cool if it was!). Even so, I think this is a logical next step for me. Plus, I've heard that the editors give valuable feedback, and who couldn't use that?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Suzy Homemaker (for now)

Being home all day really is turning me into a crafty homemaker. Fret not, hubby, I'll be back to work in three weeks and hopefully just knitting again so the craft messes around the house should dwindle some!

Earlier in the week I spent some time making wall mounts for some awesome ABC cards that my little sister made for the baby. I wanted to figure out a way for them to hang on the wall, but also to easily come off the wall for the baby to learn/play with. Here's what I came up with:

Basically they are lines of ribbon which the ABC cards attach to with velcro. it was pretty simple to put together and I think I've already rearranged how they are displayed on the wall at least three times since Tuesday.

I have also started working on some dark curtains for the baby's room, in the hopes that a darker bedroom will make nap time a little smoother (we'll see on that count). After I lugged out my old 50+ pound hand-me-down sewing machine and got it all set up, I discovered that it was broken (again). After some searching around I figured out that it would be faster and cheaper for me to go out and buy a new simple sewing machine than to get the old one serviced.

My new singer sewing machine in all it's glory:

Don't assume that because I'm making curtains I'm some sort of seamstress. Oh, I can hem with the best of them (a skill I've developed because my hubby's legs are freakishly short in comparison to his height and they don't make men's pants that short) but beyond that all bets are off. I learned long ago that a curtain is just a series of simple hems and if you get a solid fabric people won't notice as much if they are crooked.

Naturally it's taking me longer to complete the curtains than it really should, but I've finished one and will hopefully be up to start the second one tonight.

As for the mitts I'm making, they are coming along swimmingly. So good, in fact, I'm toying with the idea of submitting the pattern to Knitty. For that reason, I'll not be posting pictures here for the time being (if the pattern is posted elsewhere in any form they won't accept the submission). I've got to check out their deadlines and see if it's even a possibility, but I'm stoked that this is one of my best original patterns in a while.

Coming soon to Knitosphere will be a preemie hat pattern that I developed for my cousin's baby. the stitch was inspired by A Scarf Askew (ravelry link) so it isn't a super original pattern and in my mind, not fitting to be submitted to a knitting mag. As soon as I get the kinks out it will be all yours!

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Trouble with Tribbles... that they are fast and easy to make, thus becoming an addiction for those knitters (ahem) who like instant gratification projects. I think each one took maybe 2 hours tops to do, including the seaming. Here are the Tribble dish scrubbers that I pumped out last night during the last hours of the Olympic games:

I've put the Coffee Tunic on hold for the time being, because I want to get started on a pair of mitts of my own design for a fellow knit knacker who is crocheting a hacky sack for Guy. Last night, when I couldn't get back to sleep after the baby's 3 am feeding, I lay in bed brainstorming what the mitts should look like. This morning when I got up I jumped on the computer and threw down my ideas on paper, along with a chart, and scoped out the stash yarn that I could use for the project. I found Knit Picks Palette in Cream, Marine Heather, and Calypso Heather which I think will work nicely. If the mitts are a success I'll put the pattern up, otherwise you'll probably never hear mention of them again!