September 30, 2011

Post Wedding... Wedding Post!

Last weekend was my beautiful sister's wedding!
Everything went perfectly well, and although it had rained the whole day before, guests were still able to enjoy the outdoors and amazing views.

Laura and Tom Rice
Photo by Dan Koczera

The wedding was in Port Deposit, MD at the Donaldson Brown Center, a mansion built around 1935, overlooking the Susquehanna River.

Doesn't my sister look gorgeous?  The veil was exactly what she wanted and I loved catching glimpses of the sunlight shining through it.  She truly glowed the whole night!

My crazy little wedding goers, otherwise known as the ring bearer and flower girl! 
Father-daughter dance (and a view of the veil from the back)
Watching the bride

The kids were great in their roles, and William even carried the rings in his pocket!  Aevyn danced the night away with everyone she could coerce out to the dance floor.  My dad was her 'best partner' and she said "I didn't think Pop would be able to dance so much!"  That, after 2 hours... we didn't think she could dance that long!

After four months of lots of wedding planning, it was such a beautiful and relaxing weekend.

Now, however, I fully intend to spend my mornings knitting and relaxing before out next big event... BABY!

September 26, 2011

A Little Organization

For quite some time I've been wanting to organize my knitting needles.  I've kept them in a plastic bag, or a basket, or stuck into whatever random project I have lying around.  They sell cases at Joann's or any other knitting supply shop, but $15 or more?  Sorry!  I'd rather buy yarn!  

After perusing the tutorials floating around, I combined some and came up with a knitting needle roll that would work for me!

I started with 3 pieces of canvas and 1 piece of felt.
Layer as follows:

Back damask (facing down)- 19"tall by 21"wide
Felt- 12" by 21"
Damask lining (on top of felt)- 12" by 21"
Striped canvas pocket- 9" by 21"
(The felt is optional, but I wanted a little more bulk to the roll.)
The remaining 6 1/2 inches of the back is folded up and over the layers to make a front pocket.

Use bias tape to finish the edges of the two pockets.

Now would also be a good time to sew your lines in for the needle pockets.  (For some reason I waited until the end!  It's good to have others make the mistakes for you!)  I did mine about 2 inches apart, for a total of 10 pockets.  If you use a lot of big needles, 3 might be better, but you will have to adjust the size of your roll or have fewer pockets.

Sew around the 4 sides of your canvas layers.  Finish it with a thicker bias tape.  You can do the bottom too if preferred.  I may do it later!

*I sewed two ribbons on the back of my roll while I was doing the pocket lines.  I put mine right in the middle and only sewed it in one spot, but you could try various ways.
Here's what it looks like with all my needles organized from smallest to largest!  I have straight needles in the back, dpn's and circulars in the front.

Fold it up, tie the ribbons, and go!  Perfect for taking to knitting night, vacation, the coffee shop, etc.  It doesn't take up much space, and you have whatever you might need!

Have any other organizational tips or ideas?

*There's a good tutorial at Made by Loulabelle, but the one I mainly referenced is over at Design Sponge.

September 22, 2011

Cropped Sweater Details

I thought I would share a little of my process from the Cropped Sweater.  The pattern came from Bergere de France Tricot Kid 512.  I decided to do a size 8 for Aevyn.  She'll be 7 this fall, so I wanted to make sure she would be able to wear it for a long time!

I used Deborah Norville Serenity yarn, and I loved it.  I will say that it unravels a bit, but that's only after frogging... multiple times.  Which I did!!!  I view it all as good practice, and the more you take out, the faster you become at it!

The pattern used two strands of their yarn on size 8 and 9 needles.  I only used one strand and after testing gauge, used size 10 and 11 needles.  

Here you can see one whole sleeve and the beginning of the body.  I love how it was worked across in one piece like this.  I actually took it back a few rows after this picture because I didn't think the body was right.  It seemed so short, so I added a few stitches to the moss pattern on each side (I think 6 or 8).  I'm sure it would have been fine otherwise, but I like that it adds a little more weight to the bottom half.  

The front and back are worked separately while the other half is on a stitch marker.  This forms the neck and then they join again for the rest of the body and other sleeve.  

The neck is picked up and knit in double rib, and then all that's left is to sew the sleeves and sides together.

Aevyn has already worn the sweater three times, and one of them was for picture day at school.  I am so happy that she loves it!  It makes each stitch worth the effort.

Thanks for reading!

September 20, 2011

My Favorite Fall Colors!

I've been following Celebrate Color, which is hosted by a few fabulous bloggers this fall.  Very inspiring for bright, cozy projects to beat the rainy days we've been having here!  And not limiting autumn to orange and black, my favorite fall colors are red and purple!

Here are some pictures I took at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA.  Longwood belonged to Pierre S. du Pont, who built magnificent gardens, fountains, and a Conservatory, all with the best ingenuity of his time.  I grew up often visiting the gardens with my parents and my best friends family.  It is now our go-to place for inspiration, relaxation, and beauty.  

One thing I love about autumn is the bright pops of color that stand out against their darker contrasts.  The purple plants provide that anchor for the reds to be so vibrant.

How cool are these peppers?

So, to celebrate autumn this year, Aevyn will be wearing her new purple sweater!

We love it paired with bright red pants!

I just can't resist hugging her in this cozy sweater.

This was a project that I loved the whole process of.  It had just the right amount of challenge to keep from being boring, while not crossing over into discouraging.  I did have to call on Kate (my personal expert) several times, as I'm still getting the hang of reading patterns.  But knitting is always more fun with others!

Today is another rainy day here on the East Coast, so head over and check out all the beautiful images and projects at Celebrate Color!

Celebrate Color

September 14, 2011

Stitch by Stitch

I have a lot of projects going on right now....
Captain America is definitely on the back burner.
Aev's sweater is almost finished.

I've been wanting to make a knitting needle case for the longest time, and that is about half finished.
But, what I've been working on lately (and must have finished by the 24th) is my sister's wedding veil.

After looking at veils, she didn't like the prices, and she asked me to make it.  Ok, I'm always up for something new!  How hard can it be?  Well, now that I am hand-stitching satin ribbon all along this poufy, 36" long veil, I totally understand why they are 70 dollars!  I tried it with the machine, but it just wasn't gentle enough, and threads of the ribbon kept getting snagged.  

However, as I am sewing, stitch by stitch, I'm trying to remember that some things take time.... and patience.  I've spent some of the stitching time praying for my husband.  I've always wanted to get into this habit, but I've not been very devoted in the past.  The last few weeks I've decided to change that.  This has been a great way to get my focus off the little things that irritate me, and onto the man that God created.  I've found new things to thank God for, and I've been more sensitive to what may be stress factors that affect my husband.  One thing is for sure... if you want to change your attitude about something or someone, start looking at them from God's perspective.  Any situations or people you need to start praying for?

September 7, 2011

Off to School

My little boy started preschool this morning!

After being my sweet companion every day of the past 4 1/2 years, he is growing up!  Ok, I'm being a bit dramatic.  I got to stay today, and it's only 2 1/2 hours, 3 days a week.  But still!  Good thing we're having a new baby!  

He actually didn't want to start school for the longest time.  He told me he wanted ME to be his teacher.  Uhhh..... no.  But, superheroes fix everything!  Here is the backpack that made William sooo excited to start preschool!

I didn't like how all the bags in the stores had images of the heroes looking so intense and mean!  Since William hasn't actually seen any of the movies, he makes up the stories himself.  But he knows all the symbols, so that's what we wanted.  When you can't find what you want, make it!  

I printed out the logos, cut out certain areas, and then traced the image onto the backpack with a white pencil.  I thought the freezer paper would iron on for a nice stencil (note the white marks from where I tried this), but it didn't stick.  I used Tulip fabric paints and for an afternoon or two of work, it's pretty cool!  William got to watch the process and he's obsessed with his backpack.

Happy Preschool, little boy!

Yeah.... you.

September 5, 2011

Another Work in Progress....

I'm still working on my sweater for Aev, but I like to have a lot of projects on the back burner!  I guess it keeps me from getting too stressed out with any single project.  

William has been really into superheroes lately.  He likes to talk about them, dress like them, and pretend to be them.  As Aevyn said one afternoon, "Which hero are you today?  Or are you just Will?"  I'm pretty happy with 'just Will', but his answer was Captain America.  

I don't find much inspiration for the boy, so when I do, I definitely want to do what I can to make something special for him too.  So, I decided to make a Captain America sweater!  

I love doing colorwork, mainly because it is so challenging, but this almost made me insane!
12 bobbins of yarn at one time!  And I had to untangle them after every row!  (I still haven't woven in all my ends!)  But, it's better than trying to do all of that in the round.  I decided that I would knit the Captain America shield and then patch it onto the sweater.  It won't look very professional, but I am NOT at the point where I can do all of that on a circular.  

I'm knitting the sweater in a raglan style from the top down.  It is all stockinette, so the neck, sleeves, and bottom will have a rolled effect.

William starts preschool this week, so I will have 2 1/2 hours, 3 mornings a week with NO KIDS IN THE HOUSE!  Seems pretty crazy... but I totally plan on knitting during those hours.  Not cleaning... not getting ready for the baby... knitting!  So I should soon have both of the kids in new sweaters for the fall.  And then I'll have to find a few new projects!