She Knits: Julius’ Booties

My sister mentioned that my nephew could probably use some booties. Can’t leave a knitter’s nephew hangin’ like that! I knit this for his birthday, which is coming up soon.

Progression Info
Started – February 1
Completed – February 5
Duration – 4 days = 0.6 weeks

Pattern Info
B25-25 First Impression Booties by DROPS design

DROPS design again… 🙂 Simple, sweet booties. I found them to have an interesting construction — they are knit flat and seamed. The only modification I made was to use Kitchener stitch to seam the soles, instead of binding off and using mattress stitch. I did have to use mattress stitch to seam the backs of the cuffs.

My gauge was likely off because I think they came out a bit large. But that just means they will fit longer. Thankfully, baby feet grow instead of shrink! If I knit this again, I would be more careful about gauge.

Yarn Info
Knit Picks Brava Sport
100% acrylic
Colorway – 25670 Umber Heather

0.37 skeins = 101.2 yds used 

I am not a fan of this yarn. It was scratchy and rough out of the skein. It softened slightly with the first wash — I hope it continues to soften with repeated washing. The quality appears on par with any sport weight (typically labeled “baby” on big brand names) available at big-box stores. In fact, I think the brand Bernat Baby Sport is actually softer than this yarn. I will use that next time I want sport weight acrylic!

Photo

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She Knits: Cotton Candy Mitts

Someone requested mitts like the ones I made my niece for Christmas.

Progression Info
Started – January 12
Completed – January 17
Duration – 5 days = 0.7 weeks

Pattern Info
Irish Hiking Mitts by Karin Michele
Ravelry

As with the last mitts, I crossed the cables the other direction on the second mitt. I knit these two-at-a-time (TAAT) on one circular needle. It was fiddly, but I wanted the practice.

Yarn Info
Knit Picks Mighty Stitch
80% acrylic, 20% wool
Colorway – 26823 Cotton Candy
0.41 skeins = 85.3 yds used

This yarn is OK. It doesn’t seem to be any better quality than the wool/acrylic blends found in big-box craft stores. And it has an odd sheen to it, which reminds me of the acrylic yarn Simply Soft by Caron. It is not *bad*, but not something I like very much.

Photos


She Knits: Fancy Legwarmies

I knit a pair of legwarmers for my nephew for Christmas. I had planned to knit two pair, but wanted to be sure they would fit. So this is the second pair I “owed” him. 🙂 I made these fancy, with a simple cable design.

Progression Info
Started – January 3
Completed – January 8
Duration – 5 days = 0.7 weeks

Pattern Info
Legwarmies by Alana Dakos
Ravelry

I made them a smaller diameter by casting on 40 stitches, then I knit 10 rounds in 1×1 ribbing.

The cable design is made of two rounds, plain and cabled.

Plain round: *K2, P1, K4, P1, K2* repeat round 4 times
Cable round: *K2, P1, C2F, P1, K2* repeat around 4 times

After the ribbing, I knit 2 plain rounds, then a cable round. Then 9 plain rounds, then 1 cable round; repeat.

Yarn Info
Scheepjes Stone Washed
Colorway – 805 Blue Apatite
1 skein = 142.2 yds used

Photos

img_7705_medium2

 

She Cooks: 2-Ingredient Toddler Dessert, Recipe

This is a recipe, if it can be called such, for a very simple dessert. My toddlers love it. It is healthy and delicious. It begins with just two ingredients, but there are many ways to boost the nutritional value, which I will give below the recipe.

2-Ingredient Toddler Dessert

Servings: 2

Ingredients:

1 cup frozen fruit, any combination

1/2-1 cup COLD plain yogurt or whole milk

Procedure:

Blend ingredients until smooth. That’s it! It should be the consistency of a very, very soft ice cream or frozen yogurt; similar to a smoothie but smoother. It can be eaten with a spoon or straw.

Optional additions (stir in after blending):

1-2 tsp sweetener (honey will clump; maple syrup is great); be careful if the fruit used is already sweetened!

1 Tbsp whole flax seed or chia seed

1 Tbsp wheat germ

The picture shows this dessert made with frozen strawberries, vanilla yogurt, maple syrup, flax seed, and wheat germ. The kids love it, and don’t mind the little seeds at all.

yum!

A Year of Crafting: 2016

I am not going to individually re-cap all THIRTY-NINE of the projects I finished this year. Instead, I’m going to give the summary I usually do at the bottom plus some commentary, and call that sufficient. 😉

Project Totals

Projects: 39
crochet: 0
cross-stitch: 0
embroidery: 1 (3%)
knit: 19 (49%)
other: 1 (3%)
quilting: 1 (3%)
sewing: 17 (44%)

Gifted: 20 (51%)
Designed: 10 (26%)

I made 10 more projects than the previous year, again. Ha! I stitched, quilted, and crocheted less this year; but I embroidered, knit, and sewed more. In fact, I finished twice the number of sewing projects as last year.

I gifted many, many more projects than last year (2.5 times as many, in fact)! I even designed more. I am proud of the diaper clutch tutorial I published on my pattern website this year. Also, on that website, I received my first feedback through the contact form — a question about the knitted chapstick holder pattern I have there. That was exciting!


Yarn Totals

Total Yardage: 5,397.2 yards (That’s 3.07 miles or 4.94 km!)
acrylic: 755.4 yds (14%)
bamboo: 432.2 yds (8%)
cotton: 959.2 yds (18%)
nylon: 130.2 yds (2%)
other: 268.0 yds (5%)
wool: 2,852.1 yds (53%)

I beat my yardage from last year by almost a whole mile! I knit less acrylic and exotic fibers (alpaca, silk) this year, but more cotton, nylon, and wool. Natural fibers made up even more of my knitting this year — clocking in at 79% (versus 70% last year). Bamboo was a new fiber for me this year. It was interesting, made a pleasant fabric, but was not as easy to use as wool, for example.

It seems crazy to me that I have knit that much yarn in one year, especially with two kids in the house!


Plans for Next Year

I don’t have many plans for the coming year. I suppose it is because I knit so many Christmas gifts that I’m about knit-out. 😉

I do intend to make a few more things more my nephew — another pair (at least) of legwarmers, a hat, booties. It doesn’t get terribly cold where he lives, but cold enough that he needs a few more accessories.

I have one gift in my queue, yarn at the ready, and just need to print the pattern and begin. Obviously, I can’t tell anymore about that.

I want to knit a hat and mittens for JB soon. Hopefully, I will finish in time for any cold weather that comes our way.

And someday, maybe not even next year, I want to start working on an afghan for the house. I have a pattern chosen, but am not ready to buy yarn yet.

Oh, sewing plans… I don’t really have any. I’m sure I’ll sew more zippered pouches — why not? I just need to find recipients. I would love to sew some clothing for the kids, but that requires more undivided attention and time than I can devote right now.