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! ๐Ÿ™‚ 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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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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.ย  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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Crochet Challenge

I am a self taught knitter and I absolutely love the craft. My grandma is a self taught crocheter and she can crochet like a machine. She tried more than once to teach me and my sister how to crochet a chain, but of course we never really stuck with it. I naively thought crochet was lace doilies and toilet paper cozies, because that’s all Grandma really made. Once I learned to knit I started to eye crochet again after seeing it applied so creatively to edgings in knitted items. From there I stumbled across Amigurumi…and oh my! Cute is just not a sufficient enough adjective to describe these little yarn sculptures. I totally wanted to make these! Grandma, why didn’t you show me how to make these!

I enlisted my mom to go over crochet basics with me, since somewhere along the line she paid attention to what Grandma was doing. I also purchased Stitch ‘N Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker and Kyuuto! Japanese Crafts!: Amigurumi. I can highly recommend The Happy Hooker, it is perfect for learning crochet visually. It helped me better than any other printed resource I tried. I expected as much since I used the Stitch ‘N Bitch knitting series to learn knitting. The instructions are clear and written casually, and the drawings make sense. I was so impressed with myself after crocheting a sample swatch and it actually looked like the real thing! I finally figured out how to work in a circle and then it was on to cute dolls…

I’ve decided to challenge myself. After going through the Amigurumi book I bought, I’ve decided to try and make every single pattern. They are all so adorable and I know my little girl would love a whole set of dolls made by Mommy…I know I would! I’ve started the first pattern, Little Teddy Bear and so far so good. I’ve completed the head, body and arms. I can’t wait to see this little teddy all finished! I’ll definitely feel a sense of accomplishment seeing him sitting in my baby’s crib alongside her knitted baby blanket I made.

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Baby Aviatrix Hat

I finished another knitting project! I’m so pleased to finish anything… my knitting time is mostly squeezed in between baby’s naps, housework and everything else. To make it even better, this is a functional item.
I used the pattern Aviatrixย  Baby Hat by Justine Turner, a free pattern on Ravelry. I had some leftover Sensations Angel Hair yarn in my stash and it is so soft I thought it would be perfect against my baby’s delicate skin. It’s also pretty dense when knitted up on smaller needles than recommended.

Baby Aviatrix Hat

Yarn: Sensations Angel Hair

Color: # 647 Posey

Needles: Size US 4 & 6

 

 

 

 

This pattern is written well and is easy to follow. It’s divided into different sections according to what weight yarn your using. I love the design the garter rows make along the top of the hat. Adding a button closure helps it stay on, even when it’s being pulled and tugged at by the wearer! Being that this hat is so quick to knit and the pattern keeps your interest, I think I’ll make several more in different colors to match everthing in Baby’s closet! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Baby Cardigan

I just finished knitting my first real garment. A baby cardigan.

Baby Classic Cardigan

I wanted to try out the construction on something small and easy to handle. I also was making this item as a gift, so it had to be somewhat a quick knit.
I used the pattern Classic Cardigan from the book Natural Nursery Knits by Erika Knight. This is a relatively straight forward pattern that I found pretty easy to make. I was really pleased with how my finished cardigan turned out. It’s designed to be knit in one piece, which was great, very minimal seaming. It also uses snaps as closures. This I like…it’s a little easier to snap a sweater closed on a little wriggly baby. The snaps hide underneath the buttons quite nicely. There is also the option of pockets, but I found them to be too large for the newborn size that I knit.

This is such a cute little sweater that would look great for either a boy or girl by using different colors. Mine is made for a little boy and I wanted it to resemble a man’s cardigan. This is a great project, but what I’m really happy about is that I was able to actually start and finish a project in between taking care of my little 2 month old girl! I feel a sense of real accomplishment! ๐Ÿ™‚

Project Details:

Lion Brand Wool Ease in Grey Heather #151ย  Approx. 1 ball

Needles Size US size 5 (3.75mm) &6 (4.0mm)

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Mary-Janes for Tiny Feet

I just completed the finish up on two pairs of Mary Jane style baby booties for my little girl, who’s yet to arrive (three weeks and counting!) I’m so happy with how they turned out and with the new yarns I used.

Both are knit from the pattern Mary-Jane Style Booties by Grace Akhrem. I found this pattern at the Daily Fiber, my local yarn store, and my wonderfully generous mom bought me the pattern and yarn. The store had a finished version of the booties on display. After seeing those, we couldn’t resist! I found the pattern to be pretty easy to follow and they are knit in one piece, which is a plus!
The first pair is knitted up in Berroco Sox Metallic. This was my first time knitting with this particular yarn. I found it really easy to work with. The wool/nylon blend gives it a nice springiness that helps keep it’s shape and makes fixing mistakes or picking up stitches much easier. The colorway is a beautiful blend of denim blues, yellow and green, with a gentle metallic sparkle thread running throughout. It is quite soft, especially after washing, but I think I’ll always have baby wear the booties over socks. The wool is just a little too coarse for delicate baby skin.

Borroco Metallic Mary-Janes

My second pair was knitted with Premier Yarns Serenity Garden. This was also a new yarn for me. I bought it on impulse, mainly for the lovely color and it seemed the right weight for baby booties. This is a sport weight yarn, so it made a little bit bigger pair. The microfiber was pretty easy to work with and soft, but it did split a bit too often for my liking. Of course that’s not enough to keep me from using it again. I’m really pleased with these, also and can’t wait to pair them up with a cute pink dress!

Serenity Garden Mary-Janes

I’m looking forward to making more of these booties. They are such a quick knit, perfect for working on in the evening while watching TV. I was able to make a pair with minimal yarn in about two evenings. They also make a wonderful gift and, depending on the color yarn used, can be perfect for boy or girl. Thanks to Grace Akhrem for making this pattern available!

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Easter Egg Hunt II

We had a great Easter, spending time with family and friends, delicious food and another Easter egg hunt for the kids. I have to say, though, that I found just as much fun in it as they did.
We spent the day at my sister’s house, where she had lunch and an egg hunt for the kids planned. We were joined by our good friend, her son and her boyfriend. Since we had two kids who’s ages are 2 (almost) and 8 it was decided that we should have two egg hunts with corresponding difficulty levels. The baby’s eggs got dumped out on the lawn…there that’ll do. ๐Ÿ™‚ The big boy’s eggs my sis and I carefully and craftily hid all through her backyard. I thought the use of shoes and patio umbrellas was quite clever.
When the hunt commenced, it was pretty enjoyable to watch the difference between the innocence of the baby and the determination of the older boy. The baby went from egg to egg and immediately handed them over to mom to “abu” or open. The older boy was on fire looking for the eggs and shouted victoriously every time he located one. It was all so entertaining to watch, I had a hard time deciding where to point my camera.

My nephew egg hunting...or rather candy hunting

Aka Tom Sawyer

Aka Tom Sawyer

After all that excitement, we were treated to a fantastic lunch of chicken Caesar salad, fruit and chocolate dipped strawberries!

We also shared a few gifts with each other. I made hand knitted Easter eggs to add to a basket of goodies for my parents, sister and friend. They were easy and quick to make and a great way to use up leftover cotton yarn. I really enjoyed making these little gifts! Thank youย  Emmy Knits for making this great pattern available!

Our baby also received a first Easter basket, even though she’s still a bun in the oven! ๐Ÿ™‚

My sister generously put together a little basket full of baby goodies for the little one to come. It was so sweet and thoughtful and Hubby and I were quite touched!

Knitted Easter eggs artfully tucked in basket

Easter was a wonderfully relaxing day spent with family and friends and to top it all off, that afternoon we were surprised by an earthquake! Easter, Southern California style I suppose!

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