Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mary's Nursery

Showing you Mary's nursery is long overdue (haha, see what I did there?) This room used to be our bedroom, but we decided to move ourselves over to the second bedroom, as this was more baby-friendly. That room has stairs up to a loft (the office) and 2- story ceilings with skylights, and it seemed odd to put a teeny baby in such a big room. (To see what it looked like before, check out this post from 2010.)

The walls are "Gray Cashmere" by Benjamin Moore, color matched to Olympic no-VOC. This color is definitely not gray, it's a light blue. I know, I'm a terrible mother making my daughter sleep in a blue room. I'm sure when she's old enough she's going to request pink and purple glitter walls which will surely offend all of my design sensitivities.

I made the curtains with hidden tabs (I didn't take pictures but this tutorial is very similar.) The fabric is from Premier Prints, which is one of my favorite companies for heavier-weight decor fabric. All of their designs are modern and fairly inexpensive. The zig-zag fabric on the footstool is also from Premier.

I asked mainly for books at my baby shower, and that's what Mary got! She's very advanced for her age but for some reason hasn't learned how to read yet. If she's going to be a child genius and rake in the cash with her multiple sponsorship deals then she better get cracking. She also has a lot of stuffed toys which are little more than glorified drool mops at this stage.

I've had this round mirror for a long time (I think it came from Pier 1). It was originally a brown-ish metallic, but I thought it would stand out much more and fit more into a baby's room if it were bright yellow. I love it and I sort of want to spray paint everything else I own, too.

I framed some fabric in a square ikea frame as cheap art; it's an owl print, which you can't make out in this picture unless you have some kind of mutant super vision. It's cool if you do, I won't judge. The dresser is from Ikea and serves as our changing table. It's a little high up for me, so once Mary gets to be too heavy, I might have to just change her on the floor. It's worked great so far, though! I left the collage of photographs in the same place, because getting it to hang straight was a mathematical feat that needed to be celebrated.

Oh, and the crib is from Walmart. That's right.

I made the branch & bird mobile using a Martha Stewart tutorial. Instead of wrapping wire in floral tape, I found this raffia-wrapped wire at Michaels. I freehanded the flowers instead of using a punch, because when am I going to use a flower punch again? (Probably all the time now that I didn't buy one.)

And here's the baby in question, all grown up at 5 months old.

* This post brought to you by a completely random and never-to-be-repeated 3-hour nap.

Friday, April 04, 2014

On the Needles

During the last 5 months, instead of spending my internet time browsing new knitting patterns and online yarn shops, I've been googling things like "3 month old won't nap." Now that I've realized that everything parenting-related is completely made up and no one really knows what they're talking about, I've gone back to my old ways. My crafting time is now limited to after Mary's bedtime, which is frequently taken up by laundry or staring at the TV because I was up at 3am, but it does exist.

While a lot of knitters love starting new projects and having tons of things on the needles, that's just not my M.O. I don't like things being unfinished; this is probably why I'm the only person in the world who has a maximum of 27 emails in my work inbox at any given time. Here's what I'm currently working on.

Plain 'ol socks in Vesper Sock from Knitterly Things. The colorway is "Bride of Socktober Spooktacular". Maybe I'll get the second sock done in time for this Halloween? The bright colors are not what I usually knit, but there is a distinct lack of neon in my sock drawer.

This is will be a crocheted circular cowl, no pattern, it's just single crochet all the way around. I'm not sure if I'll keep going with it, but I do like the finished stitches. This handspun has already been knit into several different patterns and then un-knit, so I kind of just want to finish something and have it be done.

More socks, in Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Select. I bought this yarn at Sheep and Wool several years ago, but have been looking for a good pattern that wouldn't be obliterated by the variegated yarn. The pattern is Blueberry Waffle Socks, and I really like the textured pattern. I'll probably knit this again if I have a multi-colored yarn.

Baby Tea Leaves, in Malabrigo Arroyo. Malabrigo is probably my favorite yarn ever: I like the semi-solid colors, it doesn't pool, and it's priced well. I'm knitting the 12-18 month size for Mary for next winter. 12 months, can you believe it? My mind doesn't really understand the concept of a baby who can walk.

More socks! I like knitting socks, OK? (To be specific, apparently I like knitting one sock of a pair.) The yarn is merino/nylon handspun. I started these forever ago but haven't worked on them in a long time because they require a chart. (Yikes, apparently I started these in February 2013. Obviously I am not enthusiastic about this project.)

Once I clear a few of these projects I have the inkling to knit a sweater. A real, adult-sized sweater. The last one I finished was in 2009, five years ago! I did have a Featherweight Cardigan on the needles, but I frogged that one because who knits a sweater out of laceweight? Crazy people, that's who.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Snow Day

This is my first full week back to work, and I totally lucked out and had a snow day. I got to spend the day baking, knitting, and hanging out with Mary, Jason, Mary's grandma, and Kiska. I'm so ready for spring, but it's hard to beat a free day off!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Baby in Knits

The one advantage to having a winter baby is you get to dress her up in cute teeny tiny sweaters and hats. Here is Mary rocking her Golden Pear hat. It was too huge for her in the hospital, but now is nearly too small! Babies, man, with all of the growing all the time.

Her striped booties fit her for about .75 seconds. She actually only wore them twice, because baby pants and socks are some sort of aggravating invention by someone who's never had to keep socks on a baby. I'm convinced that their feet actively repel socks.

One of the great things about being a knitter is that I have a lot of knitterly friends. My knitting group got together and made Mary this blanket. Apparently some of these squares were knit right in front of me and I never noticed! I love all the different yarns and knowing that so many people contributed to it.

Another friend made her this beautiful sweater. The pattern is classic cashmere sweater, but she added the pattern on the front and a picot bind-off on the back, which really makes it extra adorable. The yarn is great too: it's Supersoft 4-ply by Pear Tree Yarn.

And finally, the Sunnyside cardigan I knit for her: looks like she's about to bust out of this one soon too! (If you're wondering why she's wearing socks in this picture, when I hate baby socks, it's because I dressed her up to go visiting and I didn't want all my friends to think that she wears pajamas all day. Because she totally does. No way am I taking off baby pants and wrestling them back on 10 times a day.)

Thursday, December 05, 2013

She's here!

Mary Cecilia was born on November 14, a whopping 6lbs 11oz. and 19.75 inches long.

So far she hasn't shown any signs of wanting to learn to knit (I think her hands are still too small for the needles), but she is doing a good job of wearing the things that I've knit her. Hopefully I will be able to take some pictures soon of her little baby fashion show.

As many of you know, taking care of a newborn is somewhat time consuming, so crafting time will be non-existant/minimal for a while. But that's what Pinterest is for, right?, to keep track of all the projects I'll do one day after she goes off to college.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

More Baby Knits

For years I have been hoarding all of the leftover scraps from completed knitting projects, with no specific idea why. It turns out these leftovers are perfect for baby knits! All of the below were knitted with odds and ends, with the exception of the blue sweater.

Golden Pear hat, knit with Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage:

Saartje's Bootees, Wullenstudio sock yarn. I feel like everyone should knit these even if you don't have a baby to wear them because you will die of cuteness.

Sunnyside Cardigan in Knitpicks Stroll Handpainted:

These 2 items went off to outfit my impending niece or nephew (my sister is due 2 months after I am and doesn't know if she's having a boy or girl.) The hat is Welcome to the World Newborn Hat, and the socks are Cozy Little Toes. I was working on them while sitting in a lab having tests run, and someone asked me what I was making. When I held up the sock, the entire room responded in a chorus of "Awwww!", including grown men. Knitting is that powerful.

Friday, October 11, 2013

This Summer

As I plan fall crafts and put the knitted socks back into rotation, I'm reminded that this summer was a pretty good one. The temperatures were generally reasonable, I picked lots of fruit, and the amount of stink bugs invading the house seemed less than usual. I got a new camera for my birthday back in May, and I love it! (It's a Sony Alpha NEX-5R.) Here are some highlights.

The hydrangeas are usually blue, but this year they changed to purple:

The container farm reached its largest size yet (it eventually grew to about three times the size in this picture). I grew cucumbers for the first time, and was able to pickle about 6 jars' worth.

The county fair was visited:

15 pints of peaches were canned:

Baseball games were attended:

This giant spider tried to booby-trap our back door by spending all night creating a giant web and then sitting on it for 2 days. I felt bad for it because it never managed to catch anything, and then Jason had to destroy its web in order to take out the trash.

The mantel has now been decorated for fall, only one tomato plant remains on the deck, and I've resorted to wearing Jason's sweatshirts in the house because I'm too cheap practical to buy warmer maternity clothes for only 6 more weeks. I look ridiculous but at this point you can probably guess how much I care.

Monday, September 23, 2013

2013 Spinning, So Far

After taking the below pictures, I had a shocking revelation: this is the only spinning I've done all year! I usually spin more during the summer than winter because I tend to spend winters huddled under a blanket on the couch. I also hear that taking care of a newborn is not conducive to spending several hours sitting in front of a wheel, so I must spin all of the things in the next 2 months.

This yarn was finished most recently: 2-ply Polwarth from Into the Whirled, in the "Captain Tightpants" colorway, which is apparently a reference to Nathan Fillon in the show Firefly. I'm old now and out of touch with popular culture, so maybe one of you young-ins will know what that is.

My other finished yarn is a Merino/Silk gradient from Fiber Optic. I spun the single super thin, and chain-plied to keep the gradient intact. It took for.ev.er. which might explain my 2-skein total for the year. It paid off, though! Not only am I super happy with the yarn, it won Best in Show at both the Montgomery County and Maryland State Fairs this year! I'm feeling a lot of pressure about what to knit with it.

My awards paid off monetarily as well, and per my annual fair tradition, those winnings are directed straight back into the yarn/fiber fund. As the anti-enabler (I can talk you out of buying anything!) I'm sort of at a loss when intentionally wanting to stash yarn. Any suggestions? I'm interested mostly in independent dyers; I've already bought a skein of Vesper Sock. My mom thinks that I have a big yarn stash, but I can count on the knitters reading to confirm that one small and one large plastic bin is a small stash!

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Halloween Wreath

This weekend I hosted my crafty co-workers for a Pinterest Party, which we hold every few months. One of the benefits/perils of an office job is that we spend too much time on Pinterest at work are too busy to pin at work, so all of that inspiration is pent up and eventually explodes in a cloud of glitter and felt.

For my Halloween wreath, I used this Etsy wreath as a jumping off point. Instead of wrapping the wreath form (I used a straw form instead of foam because it was cheaper) in fabric, I used yarn (acrylic yarn, THE HORROR). It probably took about 2 hours just to wrap the wreath, and I'm pretty sure I gave myself the crafting equivalent of tennis elbow in the process.

I bought the felt bat from Michaels, and for the flowers, I used several different tutorials (mostly this and this). Several glue-gun burns later, I had a wreath that I totally love! Fall is my favorite crafting season (and favorite season), so I don't care if it's still 90 degrees out, I'm milking every minute.

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