Lucille


I finished Lucille, which was designed by Courtney Kelley. This was such a fun knit, as I loved seeing the lace pattern emerge, but the sleeves were quite a pain in the butt. Anyway, I used the new Cascade Yarns Heritage Silk, which is a merino-silk blend (85% merino, 15% silk). I thought it felt like knitting with mercerized cotton, there is no give in this yarn and no drape in the resulting fabric. It wasn’t *bad* to knit with, but it wasn’t terribly fun. I probably wouldn’t use it again, as it was rather splitty. The sweater turned out well, though, it does a good job showing off the lace pattern and the semi-stiffness of it keeps the lace pattern open and visible. The buttons I chose were just teeny tiny fake purl buttons I picked up at fabricland in North Plainfield.

Ravelry details for Lucille are here. I think this will fit Caroline late this summer, it’s pretty big for a 0-3 size. It’s more like a 6 months size.

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Noopy’s Lovey

I am so excited and proud to announce that the summer edition of Petite Purls has gone live, and that I have a pattern included!

Presenting: Noopy’s Lovey! (pics by Brandy fortune)

Favorite/Queue it on Ravelry: Noopy’s Lovey

I submitted the idea for this pattern early last fall, while my little Noopy was really still a baby (about 8 months). It’s so funny how time flies, and he is now a grown man at 17 months. Ok, maybe not a grown man, but compared to tiny Caroline, John is enormous. ANYWAY!

The summer edition of Petite Purls is all about TOYS – and take a look at the other designs in there. What cuteness! There are some big names in knitting alongside my little one! I am so excited to have been included. Start to finish, it was a great experience. The editors are really great to work with and I hope that I can do this again some day soon. Kind of hard with a toddler tornado and a 3 week old, but I will do what I can. I love writing knitting patterns, it brings me almost as much happiness as being a Mom.

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Welcome, Caroline!

Peacefully asleep at 3 days old.

My sweet baby girl Caroline was born May 20th, at 12:07pm. I am so in love and so tired.

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Easter Bunny!

I am SO GLAD John wasn’t scared. He almost threw a tantrum when our turn was over, though. Oops. Thank goodness Beary was there with us (see pic) to help him not lose it!

Easter 2011!

(Please excuse his hair… omg. I forgot to check it before the photo was snapped!).

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Have you ever wanted to learn to knit?

I teach beginner knitting classes at a yarn store called Purl Jam, out in Califon, NJ. It’s a REALLY cute little shop that has a lot of local yarns, organic yarn, hand-dyed, hand-spun, wool alternatives, and it even has some roving for the spinners. It is held on Saturday mornings and I will be going on maternity leave soon, but I think there are some spots left in April’s class. If you don’t live nearby, and still want to learn – you’re really in luck. A very talented designer/author/teacher from New Mexico named Stefanie Japel has made an online class called “Knit Lab” using Sympoz.com, and I recently had the opportunity to try it out.

First, a little about Stefanie: I first learned about her when I was learning to knit back in 2002. She had a free pattern in one of the very early issues of Knitty.com called Bad Penny, and it was a cute little sweater that required pretty much no finishing. I looked her up, and found her whole philosophy at the time was to design knitting patterns that were really easy to knit, but super cute to wear. I have personally made the “Minisweater”, the “One Skein Wonder”, and the “Bulky Cable Cardigan”, so I can attest that Stefanie knows what she’s doing when it comes to designing and writing patterns. Since those early days, she has gone on to write a few books, win a few awards, have a few cute kids, and now, make classes available online so people can learn to knit.

I have to say that the idea of a 24-hour access online class should have happened a long time ago, right? I think Stefanie’s is pretty much the first I’ve ever heard of. There are millions of YouTube tutorials, but nothing really start-to-finish like Knit Lab is. And, being that she is a former college professor, she knows how to organize materials and break confusing things down into very manageable chunks. The entire class is broken into 17 lessons that range from a few minutes to a little over a half hour. Starting out in Lesson 1, Stefanie outlines the entire course and explains how to use the Sympoz.com site. That itself is very helpful, she mentions you can type a question to her as you’re watching the video, as well as search of others’ questions as you’re watching. In Lesson 2, she goes over materials (yarn, needles, etc…) in a really detailed manner that took me a few years of knitting on my own to know about. Lesson 3 is learning how to cast on, and 4 is knitting and purling, which Stefanie teaches in the continental style (that is just a way to knit, I personally knit in the English style, but it looks the same in the end. Her way is MUCH FASTER!).

The really cool thing about the class is that as the lessons go on, you can actually use all the techniques in each lesson to work on a project, which Stefanie also provides a written pattern for. Also, the camera work for the actual knitting instruction is great – very close up, and Stefanie goes slow and shows you many, many times how a stitch is made (and the videos are all in HD). Lessons after the basics of knitting and purling include learning how these two stitches function together in a few different combinations, utilizing increases and decreases to make your knitting look more fancy (lace!), seaming, buttonholes, learning why it is important to make a gauge swatch, learning about tension and how that can affect your knitting, and on and on and on. Seriously, this class isn’t just for beginners – I am actually learning a lot about things that had always kind of confused me (seaming), and also understanding concepts better because Stefanie really knows how to explain things well. And I have been knitting for nine years!

Among the 17 lessons Stefanie has made, she also includes three .pdf patterns that go a long with the class and use techniques she teaches (a cute keyhole scarf, a seed stitch scarf, and a pattern/tutorial on how to use tulle to make a bath scrub). Also included are two separate .pdfs for use in reading patterns – a knitting term glossary and a list of knitting abbreviations, as well as overviews for the separate lessons and information that is really helpful when you feel like you’re ready to let go and just knit all the time.

So seriously, if you’ve never even picked up needles, this class will teach you so much. If you’ve never taken a real class, you will also learn a lot. If you’re a teacher like me and want to get an idea of how someone really established teaches, it’s amazing. The class is a bargain for the $59 price, but there is a special deal where every third person gets their money refunded and the class is FREE. Click here to register – you won’t regret it!

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Oh if I had a million free hours…

I think sometimes I click “add to favorites” too much on Ravelry, but then I go back through my tags and I see that maybe I’m really not that trigger-happy, just that there are so many cute things out there to knit. It’s gone far beyond adding things to a queue, because then I feel like I have a sense of commitment to make something, and then it never gets done. Oh poor Aravis Cowl… I will make you one day.

Anyway, I have tagged over 100 patterns as “baby” something… baby dress… baby girl cardigan… baby booties… Here is a top eight list of my favorites, in no particular order.

1:

Winter Baby Boots, by Julia Noskova
These are very sweet, and look like they would actually stay on active little feet. Having had my first baby only 14 months ago, I am pretty good at determining which styles of footwear will actually stay on. I can’t tell you how annoying it is to keep putting socks on, etc… Haha.

2:

Lazy Daisy Dress-Up Kit, by Anna and Heidi Pickles
I just love, love, love the turban. It’s so funny. You could reenact Grey Gardens with this outfit! And the colors chosen for the daisy stitch cardi are so current, don’t you think? Perfect for spring babies.

3:

Clara Dress, by Karin Vestergaard Mathiesen
Oh this dress!! It is so sweet – take a look at all the projects people have made on Ravelry. Alicia Paulson’s (pictured) is STUNNING, and I have some stash Madelinetosh to make an exact copy. Seriously, it’s so gorgeous in silver gray.

4:

Fiona’s Top, by Sanne Bjerregaard
This is soooo cute, perfect for twirling and would be so cute with leggings, or if long enough, fun colored tights and cute Mary Janes.

5:

Tiny Tea Leaves Cardi, by Melissa LeBarre
This is a super cute pint-sized version of the adult Tea Leaves pattern written for Madelinetosh, by Melissa LeBarre. If you’re into matchy-matchy, you could make Mommy and Me sweaters, but honestly, I like it better on a tiny human.

6:

Lucille, by Courtney Kelley
Oh my gosh, just click on the link – how completely PRECIOUS is that baby? I am dying.

7:

Lovebug Booties, by Carrie Bostick-Hoge
I like how cool and simplistic these look, but they’re anything but simple.

8:

Concentric Stripes Cardigan, by Melissa Mall.
I saw this on Facebook (when I was still on Facebook!), and one person commented how positively stupid it was to make a sweater for a baby in anything but machine washable yarn. Oh, please. Speaking again from recent experience, it is not difficult to hand wash a tiny sweater, spit-up and all! But this is so cute, and it looks like good mindless car knitting.

When I am done knitting this super secret project, I will make at least ONE of these, and I am hoping to start a blanket for the Lady. I am currently at 29 weeks, so I hope I will have some time to complete both!

(And how weird is my style? I either like really lacy, old fashioned stuff, or super simple looking knits that have complex techniques hidden in them).

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My little toddler!

I never, ever thought that learning to walk was such a big deal until I had my own kiddo. I mean, they come out of you so completely helpless, and about a year later, they get up on their feet in the middle of the room and just start walking (okay, after cruising for about 5 months, but still!). Last Sunday John took his first steps, and by the end of the night had made it to 14 consecutive steps across the room. He is my super cautious boy, and didn’t really walk much after that, until today. I put a new pair of shoes on him, and he quickly learned to pick his feet up higher. When we were outside on our deck, he was walking all over the place. JUST SO CUTE!

Here is a video from last Sunday morning:

I DIE.

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