If I had all the time in the world

I have found some wonderful crafts, but I haven’t the time to make them. You might notice that I barely have time to update my blog. I think its been about a month! In my imaginings, I knit some wonderful things, beautiful sweaters for all my friends and family, dresses and hats for my girl, sweaters and socks for me . . . but then there are the non-knitted items that I would love to make, but I can’t find the time, handmade soap (I have made some lovely soaps in the past), wonderful sewed bags to carry my knitting, a pillowcase dress, and cute, new fitted diapers for my girl. Maybe you could be inspired to make some of these items and I could live vicariously through your craft. Here are some of the beauties:

Wonderful Soap recipes Unfortunately, I had a great source for soap-making materials, but I just found out that the owner is closing up shop. I was always thrilled with her service and quick delivery. It makes me wonder, if “A Garden Eastward” can’t make it, how do some of these other companies stay in business? Sorry, I’ve gone off on a tangent.

Sock knitting Bag This looks so adorable and practical.

Bagsket knitting Bag This could very well be the most beautiful knitting bag I’ve ever seen. I think that if I had one, my couch would no longer be covered with my knitting projects.

Pillowcase Dress My girl is gorgeous (I know, I’m a little biased), but she would be even more beautiful in a dress like that. So pretty!

Fitted Diapers With my very active little girl, its hard enough to just get a diaper on her, much less be able to make a new diaper for her. I am in awe of WAHM’s who can do it.

Well, I hope this piqued your interest in one of these crafts . . . please don’t let me dream in vain. On another subject, I have completed the pattern for the Alyson tank/dress. I have been waiting for my husband to help me correct an error on the lace pattern. I’ll get on his back about it.

Reusable Swiffer covers



Needle: US size 6/4mm
Yarn: Peaches & Creme (Shrimp, Peacock, Teal, celery, etc.)

First of all, we have lots of wood and pergo floors in our new house. Secondly, I, like many people these days, am trying to cut down on the amount of garbage I add to the environment. These situations led me to discover this pattern. I approached it with a little apprehension. The swiffer covers that I buy in the store are “elecrostatically charged,” so I envisioned just pushing the dirt around while using my handknit swiffer covers. Nope; these things are great. I am so happy with them. The dirt and cat fur stick to the cover as well as it would stick to the electrostatically charged disposable covers. Yay!!

As an added bonus, one has to be careful when cleaning wood floors not to get them overly wet. I wet one of my knitted covers and squeeze it out well. Voila, it is the perfect dampness to clean a wood floor. Love, love love.

Alyson Sunhat

This little sun hat was designed for my best friend’s new baby girl. While this hat is not pink, it is very girly with lace and floral ribbon. The eyelets on the crown add a bit more femininity, but also help to keep baby’s head cooler. The hat has only been knit in the smallest and the 6-12 month sizes, so if you make a different size, please let me know your thoughts. Thanks. This is my first pattern. I hope that you like it.

Size

0-3 months (3-6 months, 6-12 months, 12-24 months)

Finished measurements

Head circumference: 15 (16.25, 17.5, 18.75) inches

Materials

Lily Sugar’n Cream Confectionary Colors (100% cotton; 710 yds per 400g skein). color: Pistachio. 1 skein for all sizes with tons left over. Note: This yarn shrinks after a trip through the dryer. The pattern is designed a bit long to allow for machine drying.

Rose Garland Ribbon 16 (17, 18.5, 19.5 ) inches. (My ribbon was found at Michael’s, but you can also find it here)

1 16 inch US 6/4mm circular needle

1 set US 6/4mm double pointed needles

6 stitch markers

tapestry needle

Guage:

20 sts/22 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch.

Stitch definition:

SK2togPSSO: Slip the next st on the needle purlwise. Knit 2 sts together. Pass the slipped stitch over.

Error: In row 5 of the chart, after the first YO, K2tog (not K1 as indicated on the chart). I will update the chart when I get a chance.

Brim: CO 108 (120, 126, 135). Place marker. Join work and Row 1: K around. Row 2: P around. Rows 3 & 4: K around. Begin working the chart. *Work odd rows of the chart, K 1 (1, 3, 4) repeat from * around. Even rows of chart: K all sts. After completing one repeat of the chart, K around until work measures 2.5 (2.5, 2.75, 3) inches.

Hat body: K one round dec evenly by 0 (3, 0, 0) sts. Next round, *K3tog, YO, K3tog, YO, K3tog repeat from *. 60 (65, 70, 75) sts remain. K evenly for 1.0 (1.0, 1.25, 1.25) inches.

Crown: K 9 (10, 11, 12) SK2togPSSO, YO Place marker 5 times.

Row A: K all sts

Row B: *K to 3 sts before the marker. SK2togPSSO, YO. Repeat from * around.

Repeat Rows A & B until 3 sts remain between st markers. Next row, K all. The next row, SK2togPSSO around. 5 sts remain. Cut the yarn and thread it through the remaining sts. Pull the yarn tight and make a small knot.

Finishing

Weave in all ends. Lace the Rose Garland ribbon through the eyelets at the base of the hat body making sure that the ribbon is very slightly loose. Cut the ribbon to the correct length and tie the ends together on the underside of the hat. Alternatively, machine sew the ribbon ends onto the inside of the hat, with the ends of the ribbon separated by about 0.75 inches. Block the hat to size.

The patterns for the shorts and tank top will follow shortly.

New socks for a new home (AKA, Happy Hedera)

Pattern: Hedera

Needle: US 1/2.25 mm

Size: Small enough to fit my feet

Modifications: 10 repeats of the lace on the leg. 13 repeats on the heel flap.

Well, it is much more satisfying to knit these socks when I can actually wear the finished product. I love them. I will also always know that they are the socks that I was wearing the day that I became a homeowner. Don’t they look nice on the pretty wood floor of the kitchen?

All right, enough about my gorgeous socks . . . on to the gorgeous house. The basics: it is brick, built in the late 1800’s, 3 bedrooms, walk-in closet in master br, 2 baths with basin sinks, a sun porch,  wood-burning stove, deck with fountain and jacuzzi, and a finished attic. There is also beautiful carved wood and decorative doorknobs.

We’ve already experienced some of the negatives of home ownership. The previous owner kinked the gas line to the dryer when she was moving, so my husband spent most of today installing a new gas line. The sink and toilet in the downstairs bathroom have to be tightened in the near future, but there are positives too. I had been talking to my husband about plants. I wanted to plant irises, a lilac bush, and peonies. Yesterday, as we walked around the house, I saw those beautiful pink balls, the buds which burst into peonies. I squealed with delight. I also noticed irises in the front of the house. That only leaves the lilac bush, but I can survive without it for a little while. This year’s blooming season is over anyhow.

Miss Dashwood, the Adorable

Pattern: Miss Dashwood

Needle: US 5/3.75 mm

Yarn: Marr Haven Wool Yarn (worsted)–Lilac heather

Size: 1-2 years

Modifications: Due to some guage issues, I decreased the hat after the bobble edge. I brought it down from 93 sts to 85 sts. Therefore my version of the hat has a wider brim than originally written in the pattern.

All right, I love this yarn. I knit an Aran sweater for my husband with it and this hat. It feels so nice in my hands and makes beautiful, full fabric. It receives my highest endorsement.

About knitting this hat . . . I don’t know what is going on, but I have been having major guage discrepancies lately. Fortunately, Miss Dashwood still looks adorable, but that could be a result of being on such a cute model. The hat is a little too big right now, but my girl is only 8 months old. I’m thrilled that it will fit her for a long time. Right now its so big that she looks like Dark Helmet from the back.

The only problem, she’s not in love with the hat. She likes to rip hats off from her head, so earlier today she was crawling around with her face completely covered for a little while before she got the hat off. Little goofball!

In other knitting news (or rather “unknitting news,” I have frogged one of my too large Hedera socks. There is something strangely satisfying about pulling yarn with reckless abandon. I hope to have Hedera reknit in a wearable size later this month. Crossing my fingers.

Bobbles are fun

Miss Dashwood was one of the first patterns that I ever dreamed of knitting when I first discovered Knitty. It is one of the reasons that I hoped to someday have a baby girl. Now, I am completely in love with my girl, but she has dramatically cut down my knitting productivity. I have tons of cute little girlie patterns and not nearly enough time.

Anyways, back to the bobbles. This hat has adorable little bobbles framing the brim. I was a little intimidated by my first encounter with bobbles, but while time-consuming, they were easy to complete . . . So, I learned how to knit bobbles. The trick: Knit VERY loosely. The first bobble was so rewarding; knit, knit, knit, knit, turn work and purl 4 together, turn work and POOF! Like magic, there’s a nubby bobble. I highly recommend it. The brim is completed and I’m now working on the rest of the hat, but I expect it to knit up in a flash.

Horrible Hedera

Pattern: Hedera

Needle: US 2/2.75 mm

Yarn: Knit Picks Gloss–Concord Grape

Modifications: 10 repeats of the lace pattern on the leg. 19 repeats on the heel flap. Decreased the foot to 56 stitches.

I did everything I could think of. I shortened the heel flap and made the foot a few stitches smaller, but still, Hedera was a disaster. I deluded myself into believing that the socks would shrink up a bit after I washed and blocked them . . . they didn’t. It wouldn’t bother me so much if I hadn’t been so excited for the socks and done a very accurate guage swatch. As you can see, the socks fit my husbands one size does NOT fit allginormous, rather wide feet quite well, but mine, not so much. And no, I will not give them to my husband. First of all, they are too feminine and secondly (insert whiny voice here), I want them for myself! I am debating whether I can salvage the socks by only frogging them to the heel flap and shortening that some more, finishing them up with the size 2 needle that I had used originally. Maybe I should frog the entire heel flap and do a short row heel. I’m not sure, but I think that I’ll have to frog them entirely and reknit on a size 1 needle. Words can not express how sad I am that I am not wearing these socks and looking fabulous in them right now.

Don’t get me wrong, these socks were a joy to knit, but now I’m ready to wear them, not knit them again. I’m crossing my fingers that when I finally fix Hedera, I can post a “Happy Hedera” message.

Wedding season

My sister, Lauri is getting married in August. I have tried to help her out, giving her some wedding planning advice (those things that we wish that we had splurged on and the other things that we could have done without), suggesting an awesome free wedding planning website, and just trying to be there to relieve some of the stress. My husband and I have only been married for two years, so I remember the stresses of wedding planning all too well.

Lauri only just purchased her wedding gown and I was literally scolded by the bridal shop owner for ordering my bridesmaid’s dress so close to the wedding. It is not my fault that Lauri only just figured out what she wants us to wear, this lovely chiffon dress in a dark raspberry. Now the problem I face is that my baby is the flower girl. Most flower girls are at least two years old and my girl will be about 12 months. This makes it near impossible to find a dress.

Lauri suggested that I knit a dress for my girl. Of course, I jumped at this, showing her all sorts of adorable patterns, lacy or flowery. She must have been joking about the knit dress because she shot down every cute thing I suggested, but honestly, what could be more cute than that little sundress adapted to have cap sleeves, knitted in white with raspberry colored flowers at the waist that complement the bridesmaids’ dresses? Oh, well. Its Lauri’s wedding and she should be thrilled with the outcome, so we continue to search for a flower girl dress.

PSA: The dangers of knitting and driving

the results of knitting & drivingThis is Public Service Announcement, issued on April 30, 2008. Beware of knitting and driving.

Every day, when I leave the house for my daily commute, my husband rolls his eyes as I pick up my knitting. I don’t throw caution to the wind and try to knit while the car is actually in motion; that would constitute a pathological knitting obsession. I knit a few stitches at stop lights. It is wonderful because I usually run a few minutes late for work every morning. This way, when I inevitably catch every red light, I have a joyous little “snack” of knitting.

Today Hedera paid the price for my reckless knitting. Fortunately, I am only working the ribbing of sock #2 and this didn’t interrupt the lace. It was simple enough to tear it back, but I should have been more careful. So, let me reiterate: Beware of knitting and driving.

In other news, my husband and I are purchasing a house, so I am very busy packing our belongings. I know that I’ll be busy when we move into our new home too, so I wanted to make some meals to freeze. I plan to make pasta this weekend, specifically ravioli. If there is anyone who has a good ravioli recipe that he/she would like to share, a little variety would be great.

Doodlebutt


doodle 2

All right, I figured since this is “Saboknits and more,” I should include some of the knits. I just finished knitting a pair of Aubrey DoodlePants for my little girl. I think that it is the best diaper cover that I have knit to date. I made the pants shorter for summer-wear with a Belle Epoque ruffle from Nicky Epstein’s “Knitting on the Edge.” I still have to weave in the ends and the pants have not even been put on my girl yet because she was asleep when they were completed last night. I am so excited to see them on her little hiney.

Next up, I will knit a pair of Hedera in Knit Picks Gloss. This will be the first pair of socks that I have ever knit for myself. I made a bunch for Christmas last year, but never got to make mine . . . All right, I can’t lie to you, I did knit one pair of socks for myself years ago, but it was before I realized how important it is to use the correct weight of yarn. The pattern called for fingering and I used sport, then changed the pattern to accommodate the different guage. Needless to say, it was a disaster. I have never frogged the socks though. I guess I have this emotional bond to my first pair. I can’t bear to see them die.