Friday, April 30, 2010

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

I couldn't choose just one photo, because these photos tell a story. A story of a secret conversation between brothers that love each other very much.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

WIP Wednesday

I have not made a lot of progress on my knitting projects this past week, as we have been busy with a project of a somewhat larger scale: The moving of our office to the basement to free up the small room for Isaac. As Noah is a very light sleeper and Isaac is a very noisy sleeper, I don't think it would be fair to Noah to simply put them in the same room. Isaac is currently sleeping (and I use that term lightly) in his crib in our room, and while I don't foresee us moving him anytime soon, we will need to do some painting and preparations of his room before we move him into it. Which brings me to my little project for the week. Here is a sneak peek of the mobile I am working on to hang in his new room.

This move has meant some big changes for our family. The biggest (and best change, in my opinion) is that our main floor is now completely media free; no computer, and no television. However, this has posed a bit of a challenge for Curtis, who spends a good amount of time getting caught up on work in the middle of the night while he holds a restless Isaac. Did I mention (for those of you who don't know us personally) that our basement is not finished? Yup, that's right.

So, from a corner of our rather dark and chilly basement, I wish you all a wonderful day!


Friday, April 23, 2010

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

{making music}

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

WIP Wednesday

I am all about knitting for myself lately, it seems. After a couple years of knitting for Noah and then the coming baby (who was too big to fit into anything I spent hours and hours knitting for him), I am finally adding some pieces to my own closet. I will (hopefully) not be changing sizes as quickly as they are, so the bigger investment in time to finish these projects seems like a decent trade-off.

That brings me to my current work in progress, the Tea Leaves Cardigan. Yup, another sweater for me. The Shalom was actually the first garment I have ever knit for myself, and this will be number two! Because I am a knitter for goodness sakes! I shouldn't be wearing the old hooded sweatshirts with the broken zippers and holes worn through the elbows that I have had since before I even learned to knit! I chose Knit Picks, Wool of the Andes, a 100% Peruvian Highland wool for this project mostly because it was the only natural fiber yarn I could find in this pretty light gray color. I believe it is called Dove Heather.

As I said in the previous post, this project will keep me busy for a while. That's really alright since I don't expect to be needing a sweater soon, as the weather is finally warming up. Speaking is time to get outside and plant some onion sets before the little one wakes up from his nap!


Tuesday, April 20, 2010


The Shalom Cardigan is finally done! I finished the knitting this past weekend, and then blocked it. It took several days to dry, but yesterday it was ready to get the buttons sewn on. They are from a button collection I inherited from my Grandma. I remember playing with and sorting these big green buttons when I was a little girl. At first, I was not entirely sure if they were a good fit for this sweater, but now that they are sewn on I think they look pretty nice. Maybe they are growing on me? Plus, there is something sentimental about using buttons that are probably older than I am rather than just going to the local craft store and picking out new ones.

After the Shalom was completed, I needed a quick little instant-gratification project. I knit up this stretchy headband in just a couple hours (one nap-time!). It is a narrower version of the Calorimetry pattern, and perfect for keeping those fly-away hairs out of my face when it is breezy (or shall I say windy) outside...which it often is around here. The headband also features a funky orange button from Grandma's stash!

There you go! Finally some completed projects! Tomorrow I will share my new knitting that I am sure will keep me busy for a good long time.


Saturday, April 17, 2010


I love walking around our yard this time of year. It seems like there is something new bursting forth with color every day. A few things blooming right now...

heavenly smelling hyacinths

tiny strawberry blossoms

lavender lilac buds

sunset-colored tulips

Wishing you a colorful Spring weekend!

Friday, April 16, 2010

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Seeing an old friend.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Pilot Hats For All

I have knit a lot of pilot hats (also known as the Sweet Baby Cap) over the past few years using this great pattern as a guide. However, the pattern is written for a gauge of 7 stitches per inch, and I tend to like a heavier weight yarn for hats. It also has limited sizing options. So some time ago, I came up with a little formula so that I could make this hat in any weight of yarn and for any size head. I put my formula on Ravelry, where it has apparently helped a lot of people, so I thought I would put it here as well.

Step One
Determine your gauge by knitting a test swatch.
Example: My gauge using Berroco Jasper on #7 needles is 5.5 st. per in.

Step Two
Measure the head of the recipient in inches. Measure around where the actual hat will sit: from the nape of the neck, up over the ears, around mid-forehead, and back around to the nape of the neck. If you can’t measure the actual recipient, use the following as a guide:
Newborn: 14.5 – 15 in.
6 months-12 months: 17-18 in.
One year: 18.5 in
Two years: 19 – 19.5 in.

Step Three
Multiply your gauge from Step One by your measurement in inches from Step Two.
Example: 5.5 st/in. x 19 inches = 104.5 stitches, rounded up to 105 stitches.

Step Four
Figure out the number of stitches between increases and decreases. To do this: Take your cast on number and subtract 13. (Example: 105-13 = 92)
Divide that number by 6 (92/6 = 15.333333333)

This is where it is a bit tricky. The number of stitches between the first increase and decrease takes you from the back of the neck to the ear. The second number takes you from the ear to the side of the forehead. The third number takes you to the point of the forehead. Then you back track and the fourth number takes you around to the other side of the forehead, the fifth takes you to the ear, and the sixth takes you back to the nape. Six sections total (that is why you divide by 6). You want your numbers from those sections to match up. If you get an even number after dividing by 6, you get lucky. If you get a .3333, you need to make one section a stitch longer on both sides, and if you get a .66666, you need to make two sections a stitch longer on both sides. I usually add the extra length to the nape area or the area going from the ear to the side of the forehead. So for my measurement above, using the pattern below, I would use the numbers 15, 16, 15, 15, 16, 15 (respectively, going around). The number of increase rounds also depends on the gauge of the yarn. The fewer stitches you have per inch, the less rounds you have to do. I use about 8 pattern repeats for a gauge of 5-6 stitches per inch.

I worked up the pattern for 7 different sets of numbers/cast-on stitches. Choose the set that is closest to your number from Step Four. (Example: If you cast on 85, continue to use the third number where there are multiple options).

I start with a 12 inch circular needle and then switch to double-pointed needles as needed.

Cast on 71, 79, 85 (105, 121, 141) st. Join to knit in round.
Knit 5-7 rounds garter stitch, depending on your preference.

Rnd A: k1, m1f, k10, 11, 12 (15, 18, 21)
sl 1, ssk, psso
k10, 11, 12 (16, 18, 22)
m1b, k1, m1f, k9, 11, 12 (15, 18, 21)
sl 1, ssk, psso
k9, 11, 12 (15, 18, 21)
m1b, k1, m1f, k10, 11, 12 (16, 18, 22)
sl 1, ssk, psso
k10, 11, 12 (15, 18, 21), m1b, k1
Rnd B: Knit
Repeat Rnds A & B 6, 7, 7 (8, 9, 10) times total. Pay attention to how your decreases line up because in the next step you won’t be counting stitches anymore and will want to be able to tell where to make your decreases so they keep lining up.

Continue decreases only, every other rnd until 7 st. remain. You may also do decreases on every round once you get close to the top for a more rounded peak. Break yarn and thread through remaining stitches to bind off. To attach I-cord ties, find the earflaps and pick up three stitches along the cast-on edge. Knit I-cord ties about 8 inches long.
Questions or errors? Let me know!

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

WIP Wednesday

I am still plugging away at my Shalom Cardigan, but to keep things a little more interesting I will share a different project this week. I started working on my first quilt during the last weeks of my pregnancy. It is a Turning Twenty quilt, made from twenty fat quarters of Heather Bailey's Nicey Jane fabric. The cool blues, greens and yellows match our living room and kitchen perfectly, and I love how the punch of pink and red stands out in contrast. Before Isaac was born, I got as far as sewing together all the individual blocks.

Then, for obvious reasons, it sat untouched for a couple weeks. When Isaac was 3-4 weeks old and taking some lovely, long newborn naps, I finished sewing the blocks together to complete the top of the quilt. I also decided on and ordered a backing fabric that has more of the pink for contrast (the floral pattern on the lower right).
I got as far as washing the backing fabric, and then it sat, once again untouched for a few weeks. Isaac's morning naps are now much shorter and more hit and miss than before. Yesterday, however, I did manage to get the backing fabric ironed and ripped to size. Ironing six yards of fabric is a big accomplishment, I think!

Isaac woke up from his nap when I was halfway through with the ironing and was kind enough to sit in his refurbished bouncy seat as I finished up. I am still so amazed that a baby of mine will sit for a few minutes without being held that I felt compelled to photograph it!

Ok, enough chubby baby cuteness...

My goal for this week is to get the backing of the quilt sewn together. After I pick up some batting, it will be ready for (eeek!) actual quilting. That part is making me a bit nervous. I mean, I really don't want to mess it up after putting so much time into it. I want to do free motion stippling on the sewing machine, but will definitely need to practice on a smaller project before taking that on. Plus, I don't even want to attempt it until I can be sure that I will have several hours of uninterrupted time. In other words, this project is probably going to sit again for several weeks (or months) until I finish it up.

Happy crafting everyone!


Monday, April 5, 2010

A Spring Robin

Around here, it is not officially Spring until you see your first robin of the season. When I saw this pattern months ago, I knew it would be the perfect Easter gift for Noah. I even finished it on time!
You may remember the egg from last week's sneak peak...
Turn the egg inside out and...
It turns into a robin!

The pattern for this adorable reversible toy is in the book Itty-Bitty Toys by Susan B. Anderson (a fellow Madisonian). The pattern was originally written for a bluebird, but as I can't remember the last time I actually saw a bluebird, I made a robin instead. The patterns in this book are cute and clearly written the way toys should be knit (in my opinion): in the round, with invisible increases and minimal seaming. It is also spiral bound so it actually stays open to the correct page! I will definitely be making some of the other projects in this book.
Happy Spring, once again!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

First Smiles

Is there any better reward for weeks of crying, sleepless nights, and spit-up than those first baby smiles? I think not. Getting Isaac to smile at the funny black box in front of my face is a bit of a challenge though. Here are my blurry (because if I took the time to adjust shutter speed, he would be out of his 2 minute "happy mood" window) attempts...all of them. How could I pick just one? :)

Oh, those dimples. They are going to melt many hearts in his lifetime!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Isaac enjoys his first afternoon outside on a beautiful spring day as we prep the garden for spring planting.