The Thankful Mama

Little Flowers Skirt

Well, after a crafting hiatus, I am back with a completed project. I finished the Baby Jaquards Floral Skirt by Bernat Design Studio. This cute little pattern is written for the use of the Bernat Baby Jaquards Floral yarn. The free pattern is available on the ball band and here.

My hubby got a couple of skeins of this as a birthday gift for me and he picked well! I love the color, a bright and happy mix of oranges and cream. The self patterning flowers are so fun to see appearing as you knit. It’s very girly and perfect for my little girly girl! It’s an a acrylic/nylon blend, but it is soft and I haven’t noticed it irritating my daughter’s skin. I also had no problems working with it as far as it being overly rough or squeaky on the needles.

I had to do a little adjusting, since the sizing was too small. I just kind of winged it and made increases evenly until the skirt was the width I needed. Not the most intricate of designs, but it worked…and it’s a toddler skirt…no need to get too mathematical here.

The addition of elastic in the waistband it great and it worked better than I thought. It gives the skirt a much better fit. I found it easy to sew in the finished piece and well worth the extra time it takes to add this little detail.

Now that I have completed this pattern and fumbled my way through altering the size, I really want to knit more skirts for my little girl. The overall construction is simple enough to work on when I have the time and great for car rides. And because it’s a relatively small project, you get a completed item pretty quickly!

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Two Pairs of Socks Made by Me!

I have completed two pairs of socks! I’m so happy with both of them and even more happy that I have already knit four socks this year! I also managed to use some of my luxury stash yarn that has been in storage for way too long. I’m glad they finally got to see the light of day!

Spiral Rib Unicorn Socks

For my first pair, I knit the Purl Spiral pattern again, toe up. I really enjoy this little stitch pattern because it’s relatively easy to commit to short term memory, kind of hard to mess up, and makes a nice variation to the old 2×2 ribbing.

The yarn I chose is Knit Pick’s Imagination in Unicorn. I think I would have bought this yarn on name alone, but it also happens to be in a beautiful pink,purple and cream colorway that is quite magical! 🙂 It’s a merino and alpaca blend and boy is it soft! It has a nice little halo as well. The finished product feels like a snugly warm hug for my feet!

My second sock creation isn’t very different from the first. I used the same purl spiral stitch pattern, but only for

Cambria Cotton Confection Socks

the leg. The foot is a 3×3 rib, nice and simple. The real interest of this sock is in the yarn, a gorgeous rainbow of self striping fun! I picked this yarn up on our vacation to Lake Tahoe a few years ago. It comes from the Ball & Skein & More yarn shop. As I remember it was very quaint and had a great selection if interesting yarns that were reasonably priced. The Crazy Cotton by Schachenmayr nomotta caught my eye and ended up going home with me as my souvenir yarn! I’m so glad I bought it. It is a dream to work with. The cotton is incredibly soft, and yet it is quite sturdy. I love the stitch definition it gives as well. I really want to work with this again, good thing I have one extra ball! More info can be found on my Ravelry page for the Spiral Rib Unicorn Socks and the Cambria Cotton Confection Socks. My next project? I think I have the itch to make a kimono. That should definitely make a dent in the stash…unless I decide I must go shopping! Happy knitting!

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The Fairest Knit Fairies

This is a project I made for Christmas presents and have just now got around to talking about. I entered a contest on the Spud & Chloe blog and won a copy of the winter issue of Knit Simple Magazine. One of the featured patterns is Susan B. Anderson’s Flora & Fairies. When I first saw them, I knew I had to knit these!

Blonde Fairy

This is one of the most clever patterns I have ever knit. I was surprised how the wings came together. I thought I wasn’t following the instructions correctly, for sure. I just couldn’t see how what I had on my needles was possibly a pair of wings…but I kept with it and sure enough a tiny little pair of wings appeared! This pattern calls for Spud and Chloe fine yarn, which I didn’t have and couldn’t get my hands on in a reasonable amount of time. These were last minute gifts after all. I would love to try a fairy with the Spud and Chloe, their colors are gorgeous! I substituted some leftover sock yarns and they worked great. I found it helped to use the yarns with the most spring and give, to facilitate working on small needles and a small stitch count.

This pattern includes a variation on hair and wings to make each fairy a little different. There is also a flower petal drawstring pouch, to carry around your little sprite, that is too cute not to make! I knit two of the fairies for two little girls. I made each type of wings and used yarn that matched the hair of the girls they were for.

Brown Haired Fairy

I ended up making only one flower pouch due to time constraints, and skipped the i-cord drawstring in lieu of ribbon for the same reason. I found the overall pattern really easy and fun to knit…but not as a last minute gift before Christmas! I’m not sure what I was thinking…but I’m looking forward to knitting my little girl her very own fairy when I do not need to rush.

Fower Petal Bag with Ribbon Drawstring

I received such glowing reviews from each recipient and I’m very glad I took the effort to make them! They are certainly a unique gift to give and I don’t know any little girl…or mommy for that matter…that wouldn’t adore a little fairy in her own matching purse!

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Cabled Slipper Socks

Another finished Christmas gift, albeit a little late. I did, however, have one completed sock to gift wrap and give to my dad…with the understanding that the second was soon to follow! Except for that second sock (which was half way finished) I completed all of my Christmas knitting on time. I was really proud of myself for achieving the goals I set. I ended up making 3 pairs of socks, 2 fairies, a pair of boot toppers and a sequined scarf. Some of these projects I still have to share here, but the details are up on my Ravelry page.

Elongated 6-Stitch Cable

The Cabled Slipper Socks turned out pretty nice, even though I made my trademark one-sock-bigger-than-the-other mistake. I’m not sure why that seems to happen every time I knit socks, but it probably has something to do with knitting furiously at midnight in dim lighting after a really long day of chasing a one year old…maybe? Anyway, I used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Tweed for the first time for this project and I love it! It’s a combination of Peruvian Wool and Donegal Tweed. The color is Sequoia Heather and it’s a really deep green with flecks of fawn throughout. For being a worsted weight wool, it is really sturdy, yet surprisingly soft. I used the Elongated 6- Stitch Cable pattern from Ann Budd’s book, Getting Started Knitting Socks, which is such a fabulous reference…one of my go-to books for anything sock!

For this pair of socks, I wanted to turn them into slippers or moccasins, so they could be worn around the house or outside. I bought a pair of prefab suede soles from Joann.com. These things are great, although pricey. They come with a warm fleece like interior and pre-punched holes around the perimeter for ease of sewing. After finishing the sock and blocking, I used leftover yarn from the project and secured the sock to the soles using a whip stitch. Very easy and it looks neat.

The review that came back is that they are really warm and comfy. I’m hoping that the extra strength of the suede will help with wear and tear on the sock…we shall see. I really would like to try this project again, especially when I’m not trying to break the land speed record for knitting! 🙂

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More Christmas Knits: Seeded Rib Socks

I have been working away at my Christmas Knitting list that somehow doesn’t get any shorter. It seems as soon as I complete something, I find something else that would be a perfect knitted gift. All of that aside, though, I do have a finished project to show off.

I decided to make my in laws each a pair of socks for Christmas. I recently finished the pair of Purl Spiral socks for Mom and now I can add the Seeded Rib Socks for Dad. I love this design and have knit it before. It’s nice and easy and stress free (unlike the pattern I chose before it, that ended up being ripped out…twice!) Anyway, this pattern is perfect for socks that need to be knit fast and is great for the car. I think I knocked these out in a little over a week, certainly a record for me.

I used Knit Picks Stroll Sport in the colorway Midnight Heather. It’s not easy to tell in the photos, but this yarn is a mix of beautiful deep blue and green. There are little flecks of green that catch the light and remind me of a mossy glade. This yarn is great for thick and cozy men’s socks. It knits up quick, which is a plus when you are making size 12 socks, and it wears well. I also did something new and exciting. I added traction to the bottom of the socks via puffy fabric paint.

Anit-skid on the Seeded Rib Socks

My in laws have lots of tile floors to traverse in their home and between my hubby and myself, we decided it would be nice to give them a little anit-slip bonus. The process couldn’t have been more simple. After washing and blocking, I used Puffy Paint in a coordinating color and applied it in a zigzag pattern on the sole of the sock. The directions recommend washing inside out again after the paint dries.  I love the way this turned out so much I added it to the Purl Spiral socks as well. Now mom and dad should be able to have cozy feet and feel safe no matter where they walk in the house!

Anit-skid on the Purl Spiral Socks

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Purl Spiral Socks

 

I have completed my first Christmas knitting project! I am pretty pleased with myself too. 🙂 This project is the Purl Spiral Socks from the book Big Book of Socks by Kathleen Taylor. I have made several patterns from this book and have enjoyed everyone of them. There are a wide range of patterns to suit any sock knitting mood you may happen to be in. From easy and basic to color work and beads, this book has it. There is also a handy reference section in the back for knitting different toe and heel styles. Toe up and top down patterns are included in this book.

I knit my Purl Spiral socks with Knit Picks Imagination Handpainted Sock Yarn in the colorway Evil Stepmother. It has beautiful hues of purple and red running through it. It definitely reminiscent of the colors of the Evil Queen’s dress in Snow White or even of Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty. It is soft yet sturdy and easily withstood a few rip backs. I modified the pattern slightly by making the purl spirals mirror images of each other. I was pretty proud of myself for trying something new and succeeding! It turns out it wasn’t very difficult at all to achieve this look and it was well worth it. The finished product is soft and warm and I’m sure my mother in law will enjoy them on a chilly winter evening…just don’t mention the name of the colorway!

 

Project Details:

Yarn: (2 balls) Knit Picks Imagination Handpainted Yarn

Colorway: Evil Stepmother

More details on my Ravelry page!

 

 

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Knit Girl’s Summer Suit

I finally finished a project! It seems like I knit and knit but can’t seem to complete anything lately. But here it is, a finished project! I have been wanting to make this particular garment since I was pregnant…well my little girl is almost 13 months. But, hey, it is summer!

This is the Girls’ Summer Suit from The Expectant Knitter by Marie Connoly. It’s a cute little pattern for a top and diaper cover. The top is open in the back and secured with a button at the neckline, allowing for an open swing design. It’s nice and cool, especially when worked up in cotton. I decided not to make the diaper cover for now, but I’m sure I’ll knit up another set with both pieces. It’s too cute not to! The top does, however, go great with shorts! The pattern is written well and pretty easy for a novice garment knitter, such as myself. I knit most of it on the go in the car. I made the 18 month size for my 12 month old and it’s a little snug. I definitely suggest going up a size, or two, but this is true for any baby clothing it seems! 🙂 Room to grow is the idea!
The yarn is a new one for me, Lion Brand’s Baby’s First. It comes in 8 lovely colors and it’s oh so soft. My only critique is it separates a little too easy. I’m thinking I’ll start from the other end of the ball next time and see if that helps the unwinding of the ply situation. A very minor bother and it certainly won’t keep me from using this beautiful yarn again.I think I could have done a neater job on the finishing, but it’s secure and wearable…and it’s for a baby…not going to sweat it too much! I love the button attachment technique. A small crochet chain on one side completes the button closure…so cute and girly! This is a really fun and adorable little project and I’m glad I finally got around to making it. I think we’ll get a lot of wear out of this one!

Project Details:

Yarn: Lion Brand Baby’s First

Needles: Size 8

Colorway: Fairy Tale #103 & Sea Sprite #146

More info on my Ravlery page

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Father’s Day and a Pair of Socks

 

It’s been a great Father’s Day especially since it’s my hubby’s 1st. His first year of fatherhood has been wonderful. He has risen to the challenge on many different fronts. He successfully helped me get through pregnancy and labor…our first, everything was new and exciting/scary. He also goes out everyday and cheerfully slays dragons so I can stay home with our little one. I am one lucky girl, but I have known that since the day we met!

For Father’s Day we kept it low key with a lunch for our dads. We made the entire meal low carb, since Hubby and I and my dad have given up the carbs. Grilled salmon and a breadless deep dish pizza that seems more like lasagna or quiche to me. Whatever it is, it’s delicious and I can’t make it enough for my hubbby!

Father in law 3x3 rib socks

Of course I had to craft for Father’s Day…it’s a holiday right? I decided two pairs of hand knit socks, one for each dad, was in order. My dad is a regular customer already, but I haven’t made anything yet for my dad in law. Thank goodness he and Hubby have pretty much the same size 14 feet. That’s a pretty big sock and I somehow figured I was going to make two pair of big men’s socks. I ordered Knit Picks Stroll Sport, figuring the heavier weight would help me crank them out. I’m pleased to say I completed one pair in time to give to dad in law on Father’s Day. I wrapped up the yarn for my dad’s socks and presented him with that. He was slightly confused until I reassured him I wasn’t trying to teach him knitting, but those were soon-to-be-socks. Overall, I have to say I enjoyed working with the Stroll yarn. I usually knit with fingering weight, so it was a nice change and it made a difference in the completion time. The yarn itself is stretchy and soft. My dad in law kept squeezing them and commenting on how comfy they felt. I’m looking forward to starting my next pair!

 

Project Details:

Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Sport

Colorway: Fedora

Needle Size 2 (3mm)

More info and photos on my Ravelry page

 

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Baby Unicorn Legwarmers

After finishing up a few crochet projects I decided to get back into knitting. I have some leftover Knit Picks Imagination Hand Painted Yarn in the Unicorn colorway from a pair of socks. I thought they would make a great pair of of soft and cozy leg warmers for my little girl…and I was right. They turned out great and were super easy to make. I used the Legwarmer pattern from The Expectant Knitter. I already completed one project from this pattern and was very happy with the results. This is perfect TV knitting. I even managed to do a few rows while waiting at the acupuncturist. This time I decided to fore-go the stripes since the yarn has such a nice patterning effect. The result is a super squishy, soft and stretchy pair of warmers. They’ve already got good use under jeans on chilly mornings. I love this pattern and recommend it for anyone interested in a quick, useful project or for a gift.

Project Details:

Yarn: Knit Picks Imagination (about 1/4 a skein)

Colorway: Unicorn #24506

Needles: US size 2

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Baby Leg Warmers

What is it about being a knitter that inspires one to decide a week before a holiday or birthday, “I think I should knit them something”…? I recently convinced myself to do just this and cranked out a hand knit gift for a little girl’s 1st birthday. By utilizing baby nap time, and toting my project everywhere with me, I successfully completed a pair of baby legwarmers. I was so happy with how they turned out, I almost didn’t want to give them away!

Project Details:

Yarns: Lion Brand Wool Ease in # 099Fisherman & #129 Cocoa; Sensations Angel Hair # 4348 Pink

Needles: US size 2

 

 

 

 

I used the pattern Leg Warmers from the book The Expectant Knitter. The pattern is knit in a rainbow of bright primary colors with 1×1 rib on each end. Subtle shaping is used throughout to create a nice gradual increase up the leg of the stocking. They are quite lengthy, which not only look cute bunched up on a baby’s chubby legs but also gives room to grow.
My time frame didn’t allow me the luxury of a leisurely trip to the yarn store to locate the yarns suggested in the pattern. I had to improvise with what I had on hand. I ended up using a heavier weight, but it made the finished leg warmers nice and thick, perfect for the cold climate that the baby and her family lives in. I also decided to go for a different striping pattern by using only three colors and used the sewn bind off technique found in the book Knitting Without Tears by Elizabeth Zimmerman. It creates such a great stretchy leg opening and is just so simple, I love using it. It’s also great for casting off toe up socks.
I was pleased to see the leg warmers quickly put on the baby as soon as they were out of the box. And even happier that they fit! They were so well received that it definitely made it worth the rush job. I’m glad I listened to my nagging inner knitter.

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