Friday, June 22, 2012

Cross Stitch iPhone Case

I got an iPhone a few weeks ago and I absolutely love it. One of my favorite features is the excellent camera. It makes taking pictures of my craft projects so easy, and I can even reverse the view so that when I'm taking a picture of myself I can see myself. I had seen a post on The Purl Bee about cross stitch iPhone cases and I knew I had to have one. Not only do they look neat, cross stitch was one of my first crafts so it holds a special place in my heart.

The kits come with three different colors of thread and several patterns to follow, or you can make up your own or follow the ones on The Purl Bee. I chose one of the patterns from the booklet. Working close to the sides of the case was a bit of a pain, but the edges bend so it's not too bad. It did make my fingers sore at times but it's not an intense project. I love the way it turned out!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Some Baby Things

My dear friend Lisa had a little girl back in February, and I was only a little late in getting these baby things out to her in Colorado.

I absolutely adore this baby blanket pattern, and I'm sure I will be using it again. It works for both boys and girls, looks good with variegated yarn, and doesn't need to be blocked (usually an issue for me because I often use an acrylic-blend yarn). It's crocheted and the pattern is easily memorized after the first few rows. It's a free pattern from Bernat--you have to sign up for membership to their website but that is also free.

Pattern: From the Middle Baby Blanket by Bernat Design Studio
Yarn: Bernat Softee Baby Ombres and Prints, three skeins Tiptoe through the Tulips (pink, green, white, purple) (I bought four skeins just to be sure but didn't open the last one)
Hook size: 4.0 mm G
Modifications: Since I was using slightly lighter weight yarn than the pattern called for, I dropped from a size H hook to a size G

I had some yarn left over from the blanket so I made this matching hat:

Pattern: Swirl Hat by Mandie Harrington (another great free patten)
Yarn: Bernat Softee Baby Ombres and Prints, less than one skein Tiptoe through the Tulips (pink, green, white, purple)
Needles: US Size 3
Modifications: None--I love this pattern because it has lots of stretch for baby heads, since size and shape can vary widely!

One of my favorite uses for leftover sock yarn is baby booties, and I love making Mary Jane style booties for little girls.

Pattern: Fleegle's Seamless Saartje Booties (another free pattern)
Yarn: A small amount of leftover sock yarn from the stash (I think this is from Online Yarns)
Needles: US Size 1
Modifications: None

This baby lives in Colorado, so I figured another pair of booties would be needed. These were made with leftover yarn from the sweater I made her.

Pattern: Angora Baby Booties by Joelle Hoverson, from Last Minute Knitted Gifts (one of my favorite knitting books)
Yarn: A small amount of Cascade Yarns Cherub Collection DK in lavender (this is a great, soft acrylic yarn, but I think they might have looked slightly better in fuzzy angora yarn)
Needles: US 5
Modifications: None

   The mittens were made with leftover sock yarn from socks I made for Jack. I also figured that a baby in Colorado would need a something to keep her hands warm :)  Infant mittens are especially easy because there aren't thumbs to knit--babies don't really need to use their thumbs outside in winter.

Pattern: Infant Mittens by Kris Percival, from the Knitting To Go Deck
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock Yarn (leftover from socks for Jack) in purple, and Dale of Norway Baby Ull in cream, small amounts of each from the stash
Needles: US Sizes 1 and 2
Modifications: The directions call for US Sizes 0 and 2, but US Size 0 for the ribbing seemed a little too small to me, so I used US Size 1 instead.

I looked long and hard for a sweater. It seems like it's been awhile since I had a little girl to knit for, so I wanted something just right. It's tricky with some of the baby patterns because they have ribbons or other embellishments (choking hazard) or I don't think they're practical for dressing a baby (I try to avoid tiny necklines and pullovers without buttons at the shoulders). I finally found this great pattern in the book Vintage Baby Knits:

Not too fussy, cardigan style with just two buttons, (which I think makes dressing and undressing easier), simple but pretty.

Pattern: Louise Cardigan by Kristin Rengren, from Vintage Baby Knits
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Cherub Collection DK, 3 skeins in lavender
Needles: US Size 3
Modifications: I used a US Size 6 needle to bind off the picot edge at the neckline, which gave it plenty of stretch.

  So, dear little one, even though it is now June and you are getting bigger everyday, I hope you enjoyed your hand-knitted items (I have some photographic proof that you did). Each item was made with love and good thoughts for the exciting years ahead of you and your parents.