Friday, March 22, 2013

FO Friday #71 - Legging It

Happy Friday everyone!

Just a quick post (that is also doubling as packing procrastination) to show you a couple accessories I've made as gifts over the last few months.

First up is a pair of boot cuffs I made for my (very knit worthy) cousin for her birthday. She had pinned a picture of a pair of boot toppers on Pinterest.  I found the pattern for them on Ravelry and surprised her with a pair this week. It was so rewarding to see how excited she was. She even messaged me with this picture of them in action yesterday. Isn't that nice!

Pattern: Boot Candy Boot Cuffs by Sara Gresbach
I've shown one inside out because I have seen then worn both ways.

Yarn: Cascade 128
What can I say? My love affair with this squishy, soft, bulky superwash continues.

Next is a pair of leg warmers I made for one of Monkey's little friends for Christmas. The traveling stitches were very a little migraine inducing difficult on double points so I used magic loop which is really not my favourite method of knitting. The end result, however, was worth it. 

Pattern: Zeg Warmers by Georgie Hallam
Great pattern but eleven pages for a leg warmers pattern seemed a little excessive.

Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Merino DK in heuchera
I will never get over how beautiful Madelinetosh knits up. For this pattern though, I did find it a bit splitty.

Well, I guess I can procrastinate no longer. I hope I will be able to blog a little over the next couple weeks. That is if I survive transatlantic travel with three children and I can find sufficient WiFi ; )

In the meantime, be sure to pop over to Tami's Amis and check out all the other goings on for FO Friday!

Cheers, Nikki

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

WIP Wednesday #86 - Preparations

Happy Wednesday everyone!

My jacket for Doodlebug is coming along swimmingly. Of course, I only have eleven days to finish if I want to be a part of this month's AlphaKAL at my LYS, The Loop. Oh, and I'm also flying to the UK with three children in four days. But, I haven't missed a month of this KAL yet and I am determined!

BTW I love how this yarn is knitting up. So pretty for a little girl (you know, without being pepto bismal pink).

I have also put some thought into what to take for me as travel knitting. So far I have:

A TGV (High Speed Knitting) in Handmaiden Casbah in the Hemlock colourway. This will be my project for April's AlphaKAL (K is for Knitting). Also, I cannot think about this yarn without singing "Rock the Casbah" in my head.

Next up is my first project from Tanis Fiber Arts Year in Colour Club. An Aerie scarf in Silver Label Boysenberry.

I'm also thinking about chucking in a pair of socks. You know, in case we get stranded in the UK for an extra couple weeks and there are no yarn stores to be found. What? It could happen!

Now I'm off to figure out the jigsaw puzzle of how to fit 5 people's clothing and gear for a two week trip into three suitcases . Arrrrggggg

Cheers, Nikki

As usual, I'm linking up with Tamis Amis' WIP Wednesdays : )

Friday, March 15, 2013

FO Friday # 70 - Thinking of Vancouver Island

Happy Friday everyone.

Strathcona is an incredibly lovely provincial park on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Having grown up in Vancouver, I have spent a lot of time on The Island and miss it dearly. Strathcona is also the name a fun scarf pattern by Jane Richmond. Jane's latest collection features patterns named after parts of Vancouver Island. Strathcona is my favourite.

I enjoyed knitting this scarf. The slanted eyelet pattern makes for quick knitting. Choosing to knit a bright red colour in the middle of winter was an inspired pick. And so, I have another Christmas present knit and it is for my aunt who,funnily enough, lives on... Vancouver Island.

Probably the most time consuming part of this knit was blocking it out.

But, I think it was well worth the effort.

Pattern: Strathcona by Jane Richmond
40% Silk 40% Wool 20% Bamboo
Almost two full skeins used

This weekend will be spent packing, packing, packing. Babies are so small. Why do they need so much stuff??

I hope you have something more fun planned than I do. And, I hope it includes checking out more FO's on Tami's Amis!

Cheers, Nikki

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

WIP Wednesday #85 - Being Careful

Happy Wednesday everyone

I've spent almost all of this weeks's knitting time working on Doodlebug's jacket. I am really hoping she will be able to wear it on our trip to the UK later this month.

Did I mention that all five of us are headed to Wales? Before you ask... yes, I think we are crazy. Between planning the trip and Monkey's birthday last weekend, there has not been all that much time for leisure activities.

Anyways, I'm happy with how the jacket is shaping up and I love the tweedy texture of the yarn. Although, it has very little give and I'm finding it a bit tough on my wrists. I've been wondering if I might have a bit of carpal tunnel syndrome that can be quite common after having a baby. I've decide to take the very wise and mature approach of ignoring it and hoping it goes away. I am being careful to rest if my wrists start to ache.

I'm well into the body now and am very happy to have the cable finished. I'm also pretty satisfied with how the join looks where the stitches were picked up along the cable edge (thank goodness because I hate picking up stitches!).

If you get the chance, pop back on Friday as I have a cute and quick scarf to show off you.

Cheers, Nikki

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Perfect Pins: Birthday Cake Edition

We now have a five year old in the house. I can hardly believe it. Five feels big, really big.

I think we managed a pretty spectacular day to usher it in. The highlight was ten kids spending three hours at a mini golf/ playzone center. By the time we got home, I was very ready for a nap! (Which, sadly, I did not get.)

The party was a bit of a Angry Bird/Pirate Mash up (hey maybe I've just thought of the next Angry Birds edition: Angry Bird Pirates!)

I went to Pinterest for help with how the hell you make a designing the pirate ship cake. This pin came to the rescue.

My own effort ended up looking like this:

The whole ship only took one 9 x 13 cake. This source page of the pin had some great simple pictures to follow. It wasn't a quick endeavour but that is likely the fault of the cook (who, word has it,  is pretty rubbish at icing cut ends of cake).

I also threw together some cupcakes to make sure there would be enough cake for everyone.

Monkey loved it. He was so proud of his pirate/angry bird cake. His smile was all that mattered to me, but as an added bonus, it was pretty yummy too.

Five. I just can't believe it.

Cheers, Nikki

Friday, March 8, 2013

FO Friday #69 - Another Wee Knit

Happy Friday everyone!

You may remember that I was knitting a little jumpsuit for my yet-unborn Bean back in December. I was feeling a little guilty that all I had made him was a hat. When Bean took his sweet time arriving I convinced myself that he was refusing to come until his outfit was finished. Since he came over a week after it was done, I guess I was a little off base on that. And of course, when he did come, the jumpsuit was massive on him. What a difference six weeks can make...

He looks cranky here because I woke him up taking the picture - oops!

Despite its less than inspiring name, this is a great little free pattern. It is knit bottom up and is virtually seamless. The original pattern has a hood but I was a little short on yarn and don't actually find hoods very practical for little babies. I don't like letting them fall asleep in garments with hoods and changing them for every nap is out of the question! I improvised the ribbed neck.

I love this yarn! It was lovely to knit and it is very soft. The very best part was I got it 50%off ; )

Since winter has returned with a vengeance around these parts, I think Bean will have ample opportunity to wear this little suit in the next little while. (that's me looking for the silver lining in the twenty centimetres of snow outside my door)

We've got a big weekend planned as my Monkey is turning five on Sunday! We are having a Pirate/Mini Golf party. I am super stressed about making the cake! Hopefully it will be nice enough to show pictures to you next week... but if I don't, let's never speak of it again, OK?

Have a fantastic FO Friday and a fabulous weekend!

Cheers, Nikki

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

WIP Wednesday #84 - Both New and Old

Happy Wednesday everyone!

This week I have finally started an ambitious project that I have been planning for months years.

I bought nine skeins of Queensland Kathmandu Aran yarn on clearance ages ago with the aim of making a Top Down Baby and Children Cable Yoke Jacket for Doodlebug. Last week, I realized that if I didn't make it soon I wouldn't have enough yarn to make her size. When I noticed that this project has a J-word in its name, I was sold. March is for J in my ongoing LYS alpha-kal.

Hopefully the cable yoke is the hardest part because it feels like it is taking forever!

What are your March knitting plans? If you're not sure, there is always plenty of inspiration to be found on WIP Wednesday's at Tami's Amis!

DFTBA, Nikki

PS: this week's breastfeeding Internet time has been spent watching many many videos by the VlogBrothers. I'm hooked!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

An Unexpected Gift

I received something lovely in the mail today. I think that most people would agree that there is a special joy that comes from getting mail (other than bills of course). But, what I got was Unexpected Present mail and let me tell you, UP mail is in a category all to itself. It totally made my day.

Strictly speaking of course the gift was not actually for me... well, let me show you.

I love Where the Wild Things Are!

It's a gorgeous handknit Baby Sophisticate from Paula at knitandseek!
Such a lovely surprise. I met Paula through Tami's Amis about two years ago and I feel very lucky to have such a special friend. It's funny how much you can value the friendship of someone whom you have never actually met in person.

I'm pretty sure Bean likes his present almost as much as I do because this is his very first "almost" smiling photo!!

Thanks Paula you are the best xxx

Cheers, Nikki

Friday, March 1, 2013

FO Friday # - I is for "I'm way ahead"

Happy Friday everyone.

My knitting may be the only thing in my life that I feel on top of right now. Oh well, I guess one thing is better than none ; )

My LYS's monthly "AlphaKal" is up to "J" now (wow! I can't believe we've been at it for 10 months!). For February I had to find a pattern or yarn that started with I. I decided to go for something bulky because:
a) it would hopefully knit up quickly
b) I was looking for an excuse to try the Cascade 128 Superwash that the store had brought in.

So, I knit an Improv cowl holding the yarn double and then added an Autumn hat to match (also with the yarn held double). The yarn was every bit as dreamy to knit with as I hoped. Great colour and super soft. Yay!
The best part? These are going to be Christmas gift! (although I will admit I having a very hard time not keeping them for myself!)

Super easy and satisfying pattern. It did grow A LOT when I blocked it and I wonder if it is a bit too big now. My friend suggested adding a big button so you can snug it up around the neck which sounds like a much better idea than frogging (although then I would get to knit with the yarn again...).

I love this hat although I feel like the pattern is pretty pricey for such a simple knit. 

I think I've decided that the only way to ensure this set stays a Christmas gift is to treat myself to more of the yarn for my very own hat.

Coming soon ; )

Cheers, Nikki

It's Friday, so of course I'm linking up with all the other fabulous FO's over at Tami's Amis!