Thursday, June 24, 2010

Cover that Baby in Moss: How I made and wrapped a Mossy Baby Blanket!

 I have finally finished the baby blanket that I started a little over a month ago! Woo hoo!

After my brother's lady's sister had a baby I knew I had to whip out a blanket for that little tyke! Since I knew I had to get the blanket to the family by June 24th I wanted something that would be fast but still nice. Being so new to knitting, I also knew that it would be kind of slow going for me and so I whipped out the Vogue Stitchionary: Volume 1 and set about finding an awesome stitch. After a few days deliberation I landed on the Moss stitch. It had already been in my head to use green yarn so this stitch was even more perfect because it matched the feel of the color.

Once the stitch had been chosen I set about picking out the yarn. I wanted to use something soft, but completely acrylic. With this in mind I set off for the Lion Brand Studio, hoping not to spend too much money but get a quality product. It wasn't hard for me to find what I was looking for! I fell madly in love with the Nature's Choice Organic Cotton. It was not only a perfect texture for a baby blanket (so, so soft), but it also came in such amazing colors! I chose the Pistachio and when I looked it up later on the Lion Brand page I saw that it was even more spectacular for this blanket because the description of the color is "medium moss green." Thus I set about to make my Mossy Baby Blanket!

I cast on 80 stitches which made the blanket about 22 inches across and I worked until the length was about 31. To make this size took about 3 and 1/2 skeins of the yarn, which only cost around $32. I used size 9 needles that were 14 inches long and while it did start to get heavy towards the end I had no problems wielding the knitting.  I did run into a couple of snags, dropping stitches twice and then further wreaking havoc on the blanket in my botched attempts to fix my mistakes. As a newbie I am not quite equipped to handle these situations and that is where the lovely people at Lion Brand and a very knowledgeable co-worker came in to save the day! In the end I was only set back by a few days and finished in a pretty timely manner for someone so new at this. I didn't finish in time to block though, so the blanket is a bit windy, but I think that I will be forgiven.

Full Blanket:

Folded Over View:

Close Up Fold:

The Stitch Close Up:

Folded Up and Ready to Wrap:

Once the blanket was done it was time to wrap it! I was actually really excited about this because I wanted to make a label with care instructions and detailing what yarn had been used. I went ahead and got my supplies ready and went into action.

Wrapping Supplies:

I cut up some green card-stock to make the tag with. I wanted to decorate each side differently, but keep it simple enough to where they could keep the tag for future washing reference. Therefore I decided to use an orange pen (to match the yarn I used to tie the blanket with) to write out the information with (although I would recommend a fine point marker if you have it, just because it makes a deeper impression). For decoration I chose to use 3-d leaf stickers I had gotten at Hobby Lobby a while before for the front and on the back I glued some simple yellow flower confetti. I then punched a hole on the top of the tag to thread the yarn through.

Tag Side 1:

Tag Side 2:

Once this was done I simply tied the blanket up and attached the tag and I think it came out looking pretty cute (if I do say so myself)!

Finished and Wrapped:

I will be giving the blanket to its rightful owner very soon, with a small sample supply of Soak so that they can wash it before giving it to the baby (I wish I had had time to...but I guess at least this way I can introduce them to Soak). I hope that the baby finds it comfortable and the parents find it aesthetically pleasing, all I can say is that it was great fun to make and I like it (imperfections and all).

*cap supplied by Jessica Hische at DailyDropCap  

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Little bit of Stitchin' and a whole lot of Pitchin'

 S ince I am new to the wonderful world of knitting I haven't really been to any knitting related events and was therefore super excited when a friend of mine asked if I wanted to go to Stitch n' Pitch with her this year. It seemed like such a perfect plan - go to the game where our spouses could watch the game and we could knit while glancing up every few minutes. I looked forward to the event for quite some time, was overly excited when we all got free Mets key-chains with our tickets, and was even happier that I had a simple project that didn't take a lot of concentration to work on.

The day was pretty pleasant, although it was pretty hot for New York, but I have to say that I got almost no knitting done! Once we arrived at the game we got a free skein of yarn and a crochet hook, but they were out of the project bags. I was gracious enough to have a nice practice yarn, but I have to admit my eye wandered to those little bags all day.

The game started almost immediately after we got there and I pulled out my project to work on.

There wasn't too much room though and as I started to work I completely lost what was happening in the game and didn't get too far with my knitting either. My friend and I then decided to go get some food and spent most of the rest of the game in line at Shake Shack (I would like to make the point that I am a vegan though because I think animal rights are very important, my guy however is not and I respect that as well).

We got back just in time for the last inning and the Mets won the game, so yay for them!

My friend and I agreed that while we pretty much enjoyed ourselves, it might be better to get tickets to a minor league game so that we could
1) be closer to the action
2) pay less money for better seats
3) (at least for me) not have to worry about my fear of heights combined with very little room in front of your seat...I just kept imagining myself loosing my footing and falling over people until I smashed into that little gate.Ugh!

I really do enjoy the feeling of comradery that one gets at these type of events, but as I have already said, it might be best to just get a few of your friends together and go to a cheap game where there is less of a crowd and more room to really work on your projects or just sit back and relax.

*cap supplied by Jessica Hische at DailyDropCap  

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Madness Continues: An Army of Covered Buttons!

 Okay, so I know I have been pretty lax in posting lately, but I have been spending most of my spare craft time on knitting a baby blanket and so really haven't been doing much else. Maybe you can forgive me then for posting another project that you can do with covered buttons.

I have become pretty picky about what kind of jewelry I will wear. I really like my jewelry to be simple, yet still say something (even if it is just "look at this cute animal!"), but I refuse to pay an arm and a leg for a very basic piece of jewelry. Seeing as how so many sellers find it necessary to charge exorbitant prices for such cheap (and I mean cheap literally, not as a comment on the aesthetics of the jewelry) items has led me to try and make my own jewelry. While this process hasn't been going all that quickly, I have made only about three items, it is one that makes me really happy with what I am wearing because it is custom made for me and doesn't cost a ridiculous sum of money.Thus, covered buttons are a perfect addition to my jewelry arsenal.

With covered buttons I can buy any fabric that I like and turn it into a cute, simple, and perfectly coordinated  piece of jewelry. With an awesome fabric from Purl Soho sitting in my supply box and a few earing backs in my drawer I decided to just go to town and make a couple pairs of earings.

As I have already outlined how to make the covered button (in this case a flat back), all the wisdom left for me to impart is to instruct you to glue the buttons onto the earing back and let sit for 24 hours and then wallah! you are done! I used just a standard jewelery glue from Michaels and this type of earing back (although you can of course chose the type you want, just make sure the setting size and button size match well enough) that I got from the Etsy supplier Softcover:

I made sure the earings I made would match outfits that I already had and am really thrilled with the outcome:

I added a little flair to the house set by making the other one a red topped house and the sheep earings were just perfect for Stitch N' Pitch (sorry the picture is so blurry)!

So, I guess all that is left to say on the matter is Go forth and create!

*cap supplied by Jessica Hische at DailyDropCap 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Can a Person Ever Really Change? : The Story of a Chalk Board Girl in a Dry Erase World

 I have always been more of a chalk board type of girl, but after seeing this awesome idea that was brought to my attention by HowAboutOrange I might have to start converting to markers instead of chalk! Since deciding my craft area needed a re-vamp I have been looking for a possible chalk board situation so that I can draw out size ideas I have for knitting projects and see if they actually look good. I don't want to spend an arm and a leg though, and as I am sure most people know (although if you don't be warned) the cheap chalk boards are made of a material that seems to expel chalk as opposed to allowing you to write with it. That is why this dry erase board idea is so great! I can buy a cheap frame, to the size of my liking, and simply add fabric for a cute but functional piece of craft equipment. While I think I might always prefer the feel of chalk in my hand, I can see myself much preferring this beautiful piece on my wall as opposed to a slab of black. So, while I am still deciding whether I should buy a huge frame and go for it, I thought I would pass the awesome idea on. If I do make this I will be sure to detail the process here.

* cap supplied by Jessica Hische at DailyDropCap