Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Yoda couture...

One of our dear friends (who also happens to be our Lolo Bean's godfather) and his totally gorgeous wife welcomed their first child, baby Nicola, into the world on Friday morning just as I was weaving the ends on this awesome Yoda hat and jacket.

You see, Mauro is a serious Star Wars fan and as soon as I saw this pattern (years ago) I squirreled it away in my brain knowing that I would knit it for his child one day. And now that day has come and I am so thrilled! It was such a pleasure to knit too because it all looks so authentic. I really got such a kick out of it.

I knit the the hat from just over one ball of Elann Peruvian Highland Wool in the 'peridot' colourway using this free pattern. I added earflaps by picking up 15 stitches on either side and working in garter stitch decreased at the beginning and end of every right side row 3 times and then every row until 3 stitches remained. Using a couple of DPNs I finished them off with i-cord ties. The whole thing got felted 3 times. And voila, the quintessential Yoda hat.

The sweater was knit to spec using this free pattern and just 3 balls of Rowan All Seasons Cotton in 'cookie'. For even more Star Wars awesomeness, I used these charts to write "may the force be with you" on the inside hem. Love it!

We brought it over yesterday afternoon and it was a hit with the new dad. Of course, I'll have to knit a little something pink and girly to make up for dressing poor little Nikki in a weirdo space creature outfit. I have a few ideas brewing...


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Sir Lolo Bean

It occurred to me as I started knitting Nettle Knits' castle cardi, that nearly everything I have ever knit for Logan has been too small for him to wear longer than a week! It's true! Shocking isn't it? So this time, I was determined to make him a little cotton sweater he could wear on cool spring and summer evenings and perhaps even early fall.

So I took out the biggish yarn and the largish needles and added extra length to the body and sleeves and managed to knit the 12 month size with plenty of extra ease for my Lolo bear... and my friends, I finally did it!!!

It might be hard to tell from the pictures, but the sleeves are rolled up! And the body has lots of growing space. Even the neckline has some room to spare! This Sir Lancelot of mine is ready to brave the cool summer winds in royal style ;0)

The pattern for this castle cardi (don't you just love the crenelated collar?) is from Nettle Knits and is very well written. Though I think there may be errata in the picking-up-for-the-collar department, but I was so sleepy by the time I got to it that the problem might very well be with my brain and not the pattern!

I knit the 12 month size and did knit the collar over 62 stitches, but I had to pick up 4 stitches on either side of the garter bands and 8 stitches over each of the sleeves to get to that number.

As much as I love this pattern though, what makes this sweater for me though is the yarn. I used Rowan All Seasons Cotton and I must say, I think it is my favourite sweater yarn ever! It is so soft and breathable and I've noticed that I am always extra cuddly with Stephen and the boys when they wear their sweaters knit with this stuff.

It is aran weight which I think is a great weight for kids stuff as it speeds up the knitting but isn't so bulky that it's hard to design with. It is also hard wearing and very easy to care for. And as a nice little bonus, you can get amazing deals on this stuff from places like Cucumber Patch or Janette's Rare yarns (see links in my sidebar) that are often clearing discontinued colours. Both shops are in the UK but ship incredibly quickly (I'm talking less than a week to get to Canada) and for very cheap. I've bought several 10 ball packages of this yarn for $20 each. You just can't beat that price...even though the colour selection (for the sale stuff anyway) is often less than scintillating.

Happy knitting!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Winged Heart Tattoo

Out of ideas for mother's day? How about a knit winged heart tattoo?!

I've been working on this pattern for a while now but was struggling on what to do with the wings. And then it came to me quite suddenly this weekend: why felt them of course as my little Jujube would say!*

The felted wings worked out brilliantly - so cooshy and fluffy! And with just the right amount of stiffness so that they aren't droopy.

And just like that, this rocking little number is ready to soar out of my knitting bag and perhaps into yours. Get the free pattern from Jujube & Lolo here.

Happy knitting!

* I don't know where he picks up these expressions, but his current favourite is adding "of course" to the end of every sentence. What a kooky boy. I feel so lucky to get to spend my days hanging out with that little guy of mine. He's just pure sunshine!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Crafting with Julian: Part one

So my little Jubilee Bubilee is approaching the big 3 this summer (can you believe it?) and while I am a little sad to see my baby grow into a boy, I am so excited at being able to do more and more things with him. We've been baking and 'cooking' and drawing and colouring and reading and singing and playing together for a while already...

But now we're crafting too and I can't tell you how much joy this brings me! And he's really enjoying it too. I guess the crafting apple doesn't fall too far away from the crafting tree ;0)

Check out the slide show above for details on one of our first craft projects: a bug in a jar. We got the idea from one of our favourite new Treehouse shows, Mr. Maker. This is a great craft for the little-ish ones! Julian pretty much made these guys on his own. I just helped with the eyes and legs...

I should mention that since we didn't have any play clay and were too eager to get started, we sought out a home made recipe and came up with this one from Martha Stewart's website which was fun to make and held up really well.

Happy crafting ;0)