Sunday, December 09, 2012

Rocio Cardigan

It took three months to finish this cardigan---three long months of knitting with lace weight (thin!) yarn and miles and miles of stockinette stitch. But the final result made it all worth while.  I love this "Rocio" cardigan. The pattern, designed by Joji Locatelli, is so well written and easy to follow, and I'd definitely knit another one of Joji's designs again.  I participated in a KAL on Ravelry, and I even won a skein of handspun yarn (thanks to those of you who "loved" my photo) and another of Joji's patterns.  (I chose the Flyaway Hoodie).  But before I start another cardigan, I have a few Christmas gifts to finish knitting and a lot of baby items to knit.  I'm ready to kick into baby mode (two new grandsons coming in the spring), but first things first, right?  Like Christmas.  :-)  We are certainly enjoying the Christmas banner (see previous post) hanging over the fireplace, but really, I must start the Christmas baking.  Chocolate covered cherries, tomorrow!  

When I found this clasp at Hancock's, I knew it would be perfect. 

 The detailing on the back is the highlight of this design and the most difficult part to knit.  

The sleeves a slightly too long, but that's okay. I'd rather they be too long than too short.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Christmas Banner

After seeing so many beautiful Christmas banners on Pinterest and other websites, I decided to make one for my own fireplace mantel.  Because I couldn't find any printable letters to my liking, I ended up making my own banner letters using the "Flakes" font, a free font from RAFwebdesigns.  Making the letters took a long time, but I was happy with the way they turned out.  

I found all kinds of ideas online for ways to put the banner together, and I incorporated some of those ideas in my banner.  Assembling the banner was not difficult but it did take time to cut out all those ornaments!

The banner is now decorating the mantel in my living room, and it looks so pretty there.  Now I just need to get up the rest of the Christmas decorations! (This coming weekend, hopefully).

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from my home to yours!  As my children grow up, get married, and have families of their own, it's sometimes a challenge to coordinate the holidays so we can all be together.  This year we celebrated an early Thanksgiving and the family was almost complete.  (Our daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter in Switzerland couldn't be here). 

Truly, I have so much to be thankful for! The Lord has blessed abundantly, and I can't begin to express my gratefulness in words, on a blog post.  So I'll leave it at that and instead will show you a few pictures of my own sweet little Thanksgiving Pilgrims and Indians.

When I sewed two Pilgrim dresses in the late 1980's for my first 2 girls, I had no idea that twenty-some years later my 5th daughter and my granddaughter would be wearing the same little dresses.  Emily is 7, my granddaughter just turned 4, and my grandson is 5.  Elliot is almost as tall as Emily!  This will probably be the last year that the dress will fit Emily.

 In this picture taken in 2007,  Emily is just 2 and 1/2 years old.

I sewed this Indian costume in 2007 when Jacob was 7 years old.  He loved the costume so much that he wore it almost continually for years until he finally outgrew it.  Now he's 12.  Sigh.  Where do the years go?!


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Kitten on My Cardigan and Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to Sewing Momma whose name was drawn for the Sharp Crochet Hook giveaway!  

Sewing Momma commented:  "Thank you so much for sharing these ideas for edgings. They are beautiful. I am currently doing some crochet edging on socks for my little girls. I never knew a sharp hook existed. I would love to give one a try.

I do not have your address, so send me an email with the pertinent information!  

On another note, I am still knitting away on my Rocio cardigan.  One sleeve is all that remains, but let me tell you, this one sleeve is dragging on and on.  My goal is now to finish the sweater by December 1st as part of a KAL on Ravelry.
If you are a Ravelry user, and if you care to bother with it, would you please go to this link and click on the little "love" button under my picture?  If I get enough love, I may just win a skein of handspun yarn.  Now wouldn't that by nice?!  

(Clicking on the picture below will also take you to the Ravelry page). 
"I want to take a nap, but these pointy things are getting in my way."

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Start of Something New

The start of something new.  New babies, that is.  And new knitting projects for new babies.  Two new grandbabies due in the spring, and I am giddy with joy. 

My newest knitting project is a white blanket for a precious, yet unborn, baby boy or girl.  The pattern is the Pine Forest Baby Blanket, modified.  I'm using a wool-acrylic blend yarn (Berroco Vintage DK) which is machine washable and dryable, making it a good choice for baby items.  

A few days ago I spent the day with three of my five daughters.  We went to town and shopped and ate and drank coffee (okay, I was the only one who drank the coffee) and ate chocolate and looked at art galleries and ate some more and looked at antique shops and ate again (I had forgotten how hungry pregnant women can be!) and just enjoyed hanging out together.  We missed my lives-in-Switzerland daughter tremendously, but it was a fun and enjoyable day otherwise.  It was a day that I hope to repeat many, many times.  I am so blessed.


Friday, November 09, 2012

My Baby is Sewing!

It seems like just yesterday when my last baby was born and I was sewing little outfits for her to wear.  Now here she is, all grown up and learning to sew for herself!  My sweet girl has been asking for months for me to teach her, and finally we took a day last week and started what I hope will be a lifelong love for sewing.  

We started with a simple  project, a pillowcase.  Emily did a great job sewing the seams and I was delighted at her happiness in the finished pillowcase.  

Since then, I've given Emily free run of my extra sewing machine, and she has made all kinds of little bags and filled them up with stuffed kittens and other what-nots.  She quickly mastered threading the machine and inserting the bobbin.  I think she's on her way!

Next week I'm going to help her sew a simple skirt or perhaps a tote bag.  Stay tuned.  :)



Wednesday, November 07, 2012

More Crocheted Edgings and a Giveaway

With two new grandbabies due in the spring, I have been busy crocheting edgings on flannel receiving blankets.  A number of years ago I posted how I make these blankets, and today I am going to show you some of the stitches I used on these recent blankets.  Also, at the end of this post you will read about a giveaway for one Sharp Crochet Hook and instruction booklet from Jessica of

These edgings are all quick and simple to crochet with only one or two rounds.  If you want more elaborate, fancier edgings, then you may want to look elsewhere; however, if you want edgings that stitch up quickly and easily, then give these a try. 

For this giraffe-monkey fabric, I wanted a plain edging that wasn't very frilly, suitable for a boy.  The thread I used is size 5, and is thicker than the size 10 I typically use.  I like this thread for the heavier look I achieved here.  The stitch is so easy (only one round!) and yet looks great.

Only one round: (2 sc directly into fabric, chain 1); repeat around every 1/4-inch

I used the same size 5 yarn for this green polka-dot blanket and crocheted another simple 2 round edging as follows:

Rnd 1: sc around, approximately every 1/4-inch
Rnd 2: (chain 2, sc into next st); repeat

The edging for the pastel dot blanket was also stitched in only one round to create a simple, bumpy, picot edging.

Only one round: sc into fabric, (chain 3, slip-stitch into the sc (picot made), sc into same hole as first sc, chain 1, sc into next place in fabric, approx. 1/4-inch apart); repeat around.

The pink rosebud fabric has long been a favorite of mine.  It's a classic print that is simply sweet.  For this blanket, I used #10 crochet thread in a variegated pink with the following simple scallop stitch:

Rnd 1: sc around approximately every 1/4-inch
Rnd 2: (sc in next stitch, 5 dc in next stitch, sc in next stitch); repeat.

Now for the giveaway information!  Jessica at Sharp Crochet Hook is going to send one Sew Chic reader a free booklet of patterns and one crochet hook like the set pictured below.  The instruction booklet is small in size, but it comes packed with patterns for 18 projects.  I haven't yet tried out the patterns, but I did use the crochet hook to work the pastel dot blanket. I found the sharp hook helped me move along more quickly than with my regular size 8 hook.  Jessica's current hook is improved over her previous design and does not snag or catch on the fabric.  I like this hook even more than the hook I received last year. 

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post.  I will randomly choose a winner in a week or so.  In the meantime, go here to check out some of the exciting patterns included in the booklet.  


Friday, October 26, 2012


Today I wound six lovely skeins of beautiful creamy white yarn into six little cakes.  Six yarn cakes.  And soon to be knit into a baby blanket for my 5th grandbaby.

I can hardly wait to get started on the blanket, but first I must finish a few works in progress:

This colorful baby sweater now just needs a few buttons and a blocking to call it finished.

 Pattern:  Paxton Baby Jacket
Yarn:  Knitcol by Adriafil, merino, dk weight

And this green sweater, a cardigan for me, may never be complete at the pace I'm knitting.  Lace weight yarn and miles of stockinette stitch--what was I thinking?!


 Pattern:  Rocio
Yarn: Knit Picks Shadow, merino, lace 

Lastly, the ever ongoing socks.  In my opinion, a knitter must always have at least one pair of socks in progress.  :)


Pattern:  Charade
Yarn: Bare Sheep Yarn Company (Etsy)

As evidenced by all the knitting posts, it's obvious that I'm not sewing.  I just need to figure out how to make time for both knitting and sewing!  I do have a pattern for a messenger bag that I'm super excited to sew.   


Wednesday, October 03, 2012

{ Babies }

I think I've been making these baby blankets for hundreds of years, and yet I don't get tired of them.  New moms always seem to appreciate them, too.  

This particular set of a receiving blanket and matching burp cloth was made for a reader's new granddaughter.  The tiny rosebud fabric is such a classic print, and I just love working with it.

Crocheting the edging is not difficult.  Tutorials abound on the internet including mine here from 2007.  

The stitch I used for this edging is as follows:

Rnd 1:  Single crochet round blanket. Slip stitch to connect the last stitch to the first stitch.
Rnd 2:  *Single crochet in next stitch.  5 double crochet in next stitch.  Single crochet in next stitch.*  Repeat around the edge of the blanket. Join and tie off.

The pea green baby set is also finished!  I just love the little fun to knit.  

The patterns:
Sweater: Paxton Jacket
Booties: Seamless Top-Down Booties
Hat:  Easy Peasy Hat

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Baby Hats

Sweet little baby hats sewn on a whim--a quick and fun project that got me into my neglected sewing room. But still, I have no motivation for sewing.

So, it's back to the knitting needles. (I started a pair of booties to match the finished baby cardigan which is waiting for its buttons).

If you have any extra sewing mojo, send some my way! :)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Make Mine Strawberry (Cardigan)

Emily's sweater was finished several weeks ago, and I finally sewed on the buttons this week.  The cooler weather was just what I needed to motivate me to finish this project.

Yes, this princess of mine still loves kittens.  :)


The Pattern:  Make Mine Strawberry
The Yarn:  Liberty Wool by Classic Elite Yarn
Modifications:  I shortened the length.  And I'm glad I did.  However, my sweater came out wider than I like....perhaps it's because I used a thicker yarn (even though I did get gauge!) or because I knit too loosely.   Overall, I'm happy, happy, happy with this sweater; I will definitely make it again.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Acer Cardigan, All Buttoned Up

The buttons are on my Acer Cardigan!!!!  

I finished knitting the sweater over a month ago but finally sewed on the buttons yesterday--just in time to enter it in the county fair.  :)

This was my second adult size sweater to knit, and it was certainly a challenge.  I experienced a few "firsts" with this sweater:  my first time to knit cables and the first time to set in sweaters in a knitted garment.  

The challenge of this sweater was a good one, and I am more than happy with the results.  I'm delighted!


Look at those cables down the back!

More than likely I will not wear the cardigan fully buttoned up, but here's what it looks like.

 love, love, love

Monday, September 03, 2012

Yarn Stashing

A few posts back I said I don't have a yarn stash, and I had no plans to start a yarn stash.  I confess, my resolve has failed....  Let me introduce you to my new yarn:

 Knit Picks Shadow
100% Merino Wool
Lace Weight
Color: Forest Green Heather
Intended Project:  Rocio Cardigan

100% Merino Wool
Fingering Weight
Color: Pageantry Purple
Intended Project: Lafitte Shawl

Plymouth Yarn, Dreambaby
Acrylic Microfiber/Nylon (so soft, too!)
DK Weight
Color: 143 Green
Intended Project:
Paxton Baby Jacket 

Tofutsies (toe-foot-sies)
Superwash wool, soy, cotton, chitin (shrimp/crab shells)
Fingering Weight
Color: 856 TOEquoise
Intended Project:  Socks (someday)

Superwash Merino
Fingering Weight
Color: Pond Love
Intended Project: Socks (soon)

As you can probably guess, I have been knitting this summer and not sewing.  Now that our home school is starting back up,my knitting time will be lessened: I'm sure this yarn will keep me occupied for some time.