Paulie the hibernating cardigan

I haven’t touched my Paulie cardigan in over a year. Here’s where I was in early 2013:

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The going was slow, as anyone who has tried to make a larger object with thin yarn knows, and a bit monotonous — knit a row, purl a row, knit a row, purl a row, etc. — but my desire for a sweater that I have knitted myself is still there, especially as we’re beginning to get into slightly cooler weather. So the Paulie cardigan was again picked up, and in just a couple of weeks I’ve gotten a good bit farther:

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The edges are curly but it should fit once it’s straightened out and the button band is added. I feel like once the body of the sweater is done, the rest will be a breeze; the sleeves should progress a lot faster since the rows will be so much shorter. Exciting!

In other news, I’ve been doing a bit of wedding planning. While overwhelming with all of the things I need to do, I have lots of support from both of our families. We’re working on securing the dates and locations for everything and have already got ideas for everything else.

Also, our dog Zero has been doing really well except for the night last week when we had a very loud and long thunderstorm (we usually get gentle rain that doesn’t last very long). She would not leave my lap and was shaking, poor thing.

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She’s back to her normal healthy and happy self and loves cuddles:

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Work has been going pretty well — I’ve made a good friend and am getting my work done on time. There’s a bit of burnout due to how busy we are, but I make sure to take a day off every once in a while to recharge.

That’s really about it for now — thanks for stopping by! I’ll try to continue diligently working on both the Paulie cardigan and also my garter stitch striped blanket. I’ve been looking for some things to crochet, too! Well, see you later!

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knit a blanket

Actually, don’t. Blankets take SOOOOOO long to knit! You guys warned me when I bought the yarn for my latest blanket, but did I listen? Noooo. Should I have? Yes! Here’s my slow progress:

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It looks very nice so far, very simple and cozy. But it’s so much slower than crochet! Part of that is undoubtably due to the fact that I’ve been lazy with the crafting lately — it’s hard to pick up the needles when you’re exhausted from work, trying to spend time with friends, and planning a wedding (not to mention it’s so hot here that it turns knitting into sauna time). Part of it is also that my hands get tired and I quit before I can finish a whole skein of yarn. I’m on skein 6 of 15, not counting any border I might want to do. Here are the colors I have left:

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These skeins of yarn are happily hibernating in my antique bread box that my parents got me in Arkansas:

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Both the yarn and the blanket fit nicely inside the box, which is sitting beside my armchair for easy access:

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Well, that’s unfortunately all of the yarny updates I have. I’m hoping to get motivated to pick up either of my 2 hibernating sweaters so that I’ll have something handmade to wear this winter, but we’ll see. As always, thanks for stopping by!

sewing scissors acquisition

My parents and I went to one of my favorite antique malls yesterday up in Charlotte, NC. They got me a fantastic vintage 9″ pink Pyrex pie plate and also some [presumably] vintage sewing scissors!

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I don’t know exactly how old they are but they look awesome and they’re REALLY sharp.

Something about having pretty crochet/knitting tools just makes the whole process just a tad more indulgent (kind of like a really expensive and luxurious skein of yarn), don’t you think?

What are some of your special tools? Have any antique hooks or needles, or maybe a really cool measuring tape? Let me know in the comments, and as always, thanks for stopping by!

guess what?!?!

I’m engaged!

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Chris asked me after over 4 years of dating! Despite a few bumps in the road along the way we have a great relationship and I look forward to spending my life with my best friend. Honestly I’m still a bit shocked — I’m not sure what else to say so I’ll leave it at that for now. :-D

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working on something

It’s been pretty slow on the crafting front here lately, but I do have something to share!

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It’s my first knitted blanket, and it’s simple garter stitch. I got the inspiration from the Colorblock Bias Blanket by Purl Soho, but I’m not doing the diagonal stripes, just regular stripes. The colors are the ones shown in this post — it’s the KnitPicks comfy worsted. Boy howdy is it soft!

It’s going pretty slowly, as is expected from a knitted blanket versus a crocheted one, but I’m enjoying the easy repitition. It looks like it’ll be a perfect size for my cozy chair. Can’t decide if I want to do a border or not with the darkest gray… I’ll need to learn how to pick up stitches from the side of something; is it easy? I could always crochet the edging if it’s too hard to knit…

Well that’s all I’ve got for today! I hope ya’ll are doing well, and thanks for stopping by!

4 tips for making baby shower gifts

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Above is a gift I gave to my coworker at the last baby shower I attended.  This weekend I’m going to another baby shower, and I’m trying to narrow down options for an appropriate gift.  I’ve got some tips to help:

  1. Use cheap yarn.  Baby things can get messed up.
  2. Use yarn that’s soft enough for a baby’s skin.  This might mean counting out your favorite wool, even if it feels soft to you.
  3. Use yarn that is both machine washable and dryable.  This will help busy moms clean your gift easily, meaning your gift is more likely to get used if the mom isn’t worrying about getting it dirty.
  4. If you want to use a natural fiber, try cotton or bamboo.  They’ll keep the baby warm if you’re making something wearable but they will still breathe, keeping the items from being too hot.

With these tips in mind, I’ve found a few items in my house that are already complete and waiting to be gifted to a soon-to-be mom.  The first is made of Stylecraft Special DK leftovers from a previous blanket (100% acrylic):

baby blanket 1The second is also acrylic (maybe Caron Simply Soft?) and has been around for a couple of years:

baby blanket 2Both of these blankets are soft, made of acrylic, and machine washable and dryable.  Since I’m not sure if I’ll have time to make something else, it’s a choice between the two, but the 4 tips apply to almost anything you want to knit/crochet for a baby.

What are your favorite things to make for babies?

Thanks for stopping by, see you soon!

 

row counter ring and a summer update

Have you seen the beautiful row counter rings handmade by Kristan MacIntyre?  I ordered one and received it in the mail yesterday:

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How cool is that?  It’s made from sterling silver and can be made in your specific size.  Mine is the stamped version in size 5 but you can get the numbers hand engraved and you can also get rubies added.

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There’s a little notch that you can’t see in these pictures because the ring is rotated on my finger, but the notch indicates where you are, so you align your current numbers with it.  I like to keep that notch on the side of my finger so that I can see it really easily when I’m knitting/crocheting.

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Isn’t is pretty?  One of my favorite things about this ring is that it is an actual piece of jewelry, not just some brightly colored piece of plastic that you wouldn’t want to wear out in public.

Price range depends on whether you get the stamped or hand engraved version and whether or not you choose to get the rubies added.  You can head over to Kristan’s website here to view the options for yourself, and check out her other knitting related jewelry! She has some beautiful shawl pins, a really cool needle sizing pendant, and more! I’m eyeing that pendant…

So, for the summer update bit.  I’m happily enjoying this whole week off of work for the 4th of July holiday. I was getting a bit burned out at work, to tell the truth, so this was a great time for a little vacation! My boyfriend Chris is working all week, so we can’t actually go anywhere, but I don’t mind staying at home one bit. It’s great just spending time with him and the dog and doing lots of eating and sleeping and movie watching (and not much else)!

And speaking of home, I have some flowers on my front stoop now that my parents got for me:

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Aren’t they pretty?  That last one is actually a citronella plant to keep mosquitos away (after all we do live in a very humid climate and our location is right by a river). There’s actually a 4th plant, too, but it’s looking very sad. I think it got too much sun so I moved it to the shade, but it might be too late. Well, with my horrible gardening skills, I’m actually pretty pleased that only one plant is looking bad and not more!

You can see our dog Zero in the second picture there, looking across the road at our neighbors’ dog and wanting to play.  Poor Zero — I haven’t been able to walk her as much lately because it’s been so hot!  I don’t want her little paws to burn on the pavement and she starts panting so quickly, so we just go early in the morning on days I have off.  This week should be good for her!

Well, I guess that’s all for now.  I’m off to go eat dinner with my parents and my aunt, who is visiting from Arkansas.  Hopefully I’ll post a crafty update with some knitting or crocheting soon — I HAVE been working on things… a bit…  :-)  Anyway, thanks for stopping by!