Sweetest knitting bag ever + new project!

Look at this adorable little bag!!

Cath Kidston cottage knitting bag

I picked it up back in May when I made a pilgrimage to the Cath Kidston shop in London. When I saw this knitting bag that looks like a cottage, I had to have it!

Not only is it super cute, but it is LARGE. I currently have 6 skeins of Cascade 128 superwash in it (a bulky yarn that takes up a lot of space!) and still have plenty of room to spare.

There are no inner pockets to this, but there is one large one that runs the span of the back with a Velcro closure. There’s so much room inside, though, that I haven’t used it yet. The only trick I think they missed was that the back and inside are plain red. If the inside had some coordinating print, I think it would take it over the top!

I don’t see the bag online any more. It went on super sale about a week after I got home (figures!) and then it disappeared. Cath Kidston still has some cute stuff in her craft range though.

Cath Kidston cottage knitting bag with Roseberry in progress

And what is that large amount of red knitting you see, you ask? It is the Roseberry that I started a couple of weeks ago for dear Baby Knitsnips. I found this pattern very early on in my pregnancy and favorited it. I was just obsessed with it. And I still am. I love the hood. I love that it is made with cozy bulky yarn. But most of all, I love the cables.

As soon as I saw this pattern, I instantly thought it should be red. It just felt like a Little Red Riding Hood sweater. I felt so strongly about it being red, that in my mind, the project on Ravelry was red. I was astonished when I went back to buy the pattern and the picture was of a BEIGE sweater. When did it turn beige? It didn’t change, of course, I just had a real vision for this sweater.

It’s a Ann Kingstone pattern, who I first found through these incredible Gryffindor socks (I love them! Who wants to knit them for me?! I both adore them and am terrified to knit them at the same time!). I’m excited to be knitting one of her patterns now, and I also have my eye on Ilkley Moor (maybe for my Irish yarn?).

I am using some of my favorite bulky yarn, Cascade 128 superwash, on size 10 needles for this project.  I’m making the 2-3 size, even though BK is mostly wearing 18 months clothes, and a very few 24 months, just to make sure we can make it through the winter. If we’re lucky, she may be able to wear it next winter, too! Regardless, it will be well-worn and loved. BK spent most of the winter last  year in sweaters instead of a coat, because I felt like they were more comfortable for her and they kept her warm for our quick trips between the car and stores. I anticipate this sweater may end up being one of her most used this winter. I can’t wait to see that cute little face in this beautiful sweater!

Ten on Tuesday: Getting ready for fall

Well, my friends, much has been going on here at Chez Knitsnips. The most notable thing is that I managed to slice open my right pinky finger in one of my oven vent holes, and that has made both typing and knitting slightly challenging. I got my first set of injury stitches (4!) right across the pad of my finger, and I will tell you it hurt something fierce!

My recovery is moving right along now, so I’m up to participate in Ten on Tuesday with CaroleKnits again! The topic Carole has chosen for this week is “Ten things you do to your home to get it ready for fall.” Mine are:

  1. Decorate for fall. This usually includes some festive baskets.
  2. Decorate for Halloween. This includes a lot of things – and by that, I mean something in every room. I even put Halloween clings on the mirrors in the bathroom. I’m totally dedicated to Halloween!!
  3. Buy at least one potted mum. I usually kill it right away (on accident) – it is the only plant that we consistently don’t do well with at our house, but we keep trying!
  4. Decide on a Halloween costumes! So this isn’t part of the house, but very
  5. Buy, carve, and decorate with pumpkins!
  6. Buy Halloween candy. Yum yum yum. I have been resisting so far, but I dare say I won’t last much longer passing those bags of candy at the store!
  7. Stock up on coffee and tea. As the weather gets colder, the need to add an evening hot drink sounds too good to resist.
  8. Stock up on hot chocolate!
  9. Get out my pumpkin spice candle. Smells of amazing.
  10. Get out my beloved hand-painted ceramic haunted house that my mom made. Truly a treasured possession! (can’t find a picture of it at the moment – astounding, but true – but will try to share in a future post).

And there has been knitting going on, really and truly. I’ll share that soon, too.

FO: Gramps Cardigan

When I found out one of our friends was having a little boy, I had a little dig through the baby patterns I tagged on Ravelry before I found out Baby Knitsnips was a girl (I didn’t let a little thing like that stop me – I tagged ALL the baby patterns! :-)). And the project that really stood out at me was the Gramps Cardigan. I loved everything about it. I loved all the cables, I loved the shawl collar, and I loved the old man sweater buttons. Perfection.

So I purchased some HiKoo Simplicity at my LYS, because I like the way it felt, it was washable, and I liked it was both wool and acrylic. Plus, the light grey color I chose was lush.

I started the sweater before heading off to England on our family trip. I worked on the sleeves throughout our time in England, and was able to put it all together once we got home. Working on it in both countries was really important to me, because I was giving it to another British/American couple, and I wanted it to have a connection to both countries for them.

Gramps Cardigan - front view

I think it turned out really beautifully. There’s really nothing I would change about it.

Back of the Gramps Cardigan

The back has a nice wide ribbing to it, so I think it will fit him for a while, since it’ll have plenty of stretch. I made a 12 month size, even though he was born at the beginning of August, because I think it’s always better to err on the bigger side! He may even get two years of use out of it depending on how quickly he grows.

Front view of Gramps Cardigan

I didn’t really make any adjustments to the pattern – just knit it as instructed. I found the old man buttons at Hobby Lobby, and they were exactly what I was looking for.

I met the sweet little recipient about a week and a half ago, when he was only one week old. He is so sweet, tiny, and in that very newborn stage where he mostly sleeps and lets anyone hold him. And I think the sweater will suit him well.

Now, to wait for cooler weather so he can rock his cardigan. :-)

How to make the best burp cloth ever

My friends, one of the best gifts we got for Baby Knitsnips at my baby shower was some handmade burp cloths. BK LOVES them. They were used lots when she was tiny, of course, as a regular burp cloth, but also as something soft to put under her head so she didn’t spit up directly on her stroller, to comfort her as she fell asleep, to clean up tiny messes, to play peekaboo… They’re still in use today!

So when we found out that we had a friend having a baby, my mom suggested that I pass on the great gift and make some for my friend’s baby.

I heartily agreed, but I was a bit nervous about flexing my minimal sewing skills.

I believe the friend who made the burp cloths for me used cut-up receiving blankets. However, I went to JoAnn’s with my coupons and purchased flannel.

Mr Snips and BK went with me to pick out the fabric. We tried to pick things we knew would be special to the couple and their little boy. We settled on soccer balls, umbrellas (she’s British!), race cars, American football, and rocket ships. For the cloths I wanted to be the same on both sides (soccer balls and rocket ships), I got 2/3 yard. For those that I was doing different on each side, I got 1/3 yard. I made 7 cloths, and have enough to make at least 7 more.

Burp cloths

So how do you do this?

  1. Cut a rectangle the size you want. I used one of the larger ones BK had that I thought was a nice size. I don’t have the ones I made in front of me any more, but my guesstimate is about 11” x 5”. As you can see, mine aren’t all the same size (that’s fine – the baby is going to spit up on it!). For those that are the same on both sides, I cut so I had one fold to save the matching and sewing up.
  2. Put wrong sides together. Sew around all 4 sides, leaving a small gap to pull the fabric back right side out.
  3. Pull the fabric through the hole to be right sides out.
  4. Sew over the gap you left, making sure to catch your ends.
  5. Trim your threads and try to tidy up as much as possible.

A view of both sides of the burp cloths

That’s it! Easy peasy (after my mom helped me get started!). You can wash them in warm water and dry them all the way. They hold up amazingly and just get softer with each wash.

While I have to say my sewing is not the best, and there are certainly some uneven seams, they were made with love, and I hope my friend’s baby gets as much use out of these as we have out of BK’s. She’s due any day now, so we’ll soon see!

Stack of burp cloths

Ten on Tuesday: 10 things to do in a waiting room

After a long delay, I am rejoining with Carole Knits on Ten on Tuesday! The topic she chose for this week is 10 things to do in a waiting room. So here’s my list!

  1. Knit! That was an easy one, right?
  2. Blog. Sometimes if I forget my knitting, I draft a blog post on my phone.
  3. Play games on my phone.
  4. Watch TV. My doctor’s office usually has on HGTV, and I can’t resist an episode of House Hunters!
  5. Do work. That is both a benefit and a drawback of having a work phone with email access…
  6. Read. A benefit of having a Kindle app on my phone if I haven’t planned ahead to bring the actual Kindle.
  7. Check my social media.
  8. Read knitting blogs! :-)
  9. Shop online. Hey, sometimes I need some time to browse Etsy and Amazon.
  10. Roll my eyes dramatically, sigh, check my watch, and try to find a fellow waiter who is also exasperated and will complain with me!

Wow… so I never realized how much my waiting habits have changed since I got my iPhone. I’m kind of ashamed that so many of these are focused around my phone, when I like to think that I’m not on my phone all the time, and actually engage with real life!

4th of July wrap-up

I really love the 4th of July. I don’t really remember being that into it until we moved back to America from England, and I really appreciated what America was all about and the opportunities it provides.

It became even a little more special after Mr Snips became a citizen. And my heart did a little skippy beat when we started out for a bike ride yesterday and he stuck an American flag into BK’s little trailer, and we whizzed off through the cornfields to the park.

20140705-230323-83003339.jpgAnd I was never really that into cornfields until we moved back either. But considering I grew up in one (really), I don’t think it’s surprising that it feels like home. And nothing fills me up quite like green cornfields, bright blue sky and a red barn, like this one we passed on our bike ride.
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Growing up, Indiana often felt too repressive, small, not quite interesting enough. But going away and coming back, I’ve realized it’s a really nice place to live. Of course, the number one thing Indiana has going for it is that my family lives here – but there are other things. It’s got a nice capital city, but it’s not too big or overpowering. It’s affordable. It’s safe. It has open spaces. It has views like this:
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Sure, we’re a little backwards about a lot of things, and certainly no one would accuse us of being progressive, but we’re generally a kind, friendly people just doing our best.

And we’re just one of 50 states doing the best we can, still trying to hold on to the American dream, and figure out how we can contribute in this land of opportunity.

This 4th of July, I thought a lot about how lucky my little family is. That we’ve been able to make our home in the USA, and we have a wonderful place to live and grow.

 

Monday Musing: In Threes

My friends, I decided there were too many fingering weight projects in my WIP pile, so I decided to start knitting something worsted. What better project than the In Threes I’ve had planned since Christmas?

You see, when my Friday Night Knitting group gave me baby shower for BK last year, one wonderful lady made her a little In Threes in Liberty Wool, and I was just taken by it. I loved that it was a nice warm layer without the bulk of sleeves. I loved that she could wear it in the evenings as a layer before it got really chilly out. She even wore it as a layer to play in when it got so frigid this winter that no one’s heater could keep up and it was cold inside. In short, she got lot of wear out of it and I loved the look of it.

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So I purchased a different color of Liberty Wool (7829) right after Christmas with the intention of knitting her a bigger one for this year. Last week, I got itchy fingers to start the project. I purchased the pattern on Ravelry, pulled out my yarn….and realized I was at least a skein short on yardage!! I remember looking at the yarn requirements on my phone via Ravelry in the store while buying the yarn, and I even remember telling my mom that I would never need more than 2. Not sure how that happened…

Anyway, I went to the store again last week to see if they had more. I figured I would have to buy a different dye lot and do some alternating. But, to my amazement, I found two of my dye lot! I bought them quickly, thought I should buy a lotto ticket if my luck was that good (and then didn’t), and ran home to start. I LOVE it so far – the pattern isn’t too taxing on my stressed mind, and the color changes of the wool keep me guessing. Never mind that I will probably never need the 4th skein (which, in honesty, I bought because in my mind I needed that much, but when I got home and consulted the pattern I realized I did not – fool me twice!), it would make a lovely coordinated hat!

I’m zooming along on the yoke now, but will be spending the work week wishing I was finishing up this lovely!

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In fact, my plan is to have it done in the next two weeks. All of my current projects have been lingering for so long (like since October – yeek!!), I feel I need a quick win. I’ll have to try to carpool as much as I can this week to get in my knitting time!

What are you working on this week?