FO’s & WIP’s

I haven’t had too much time to craft since the birth of my daughter at the end of August, but before she was born, I was able to complete a couple of projects for her.

The first one I finished was her Hugs & Kisses Layette, minus the booties (I didn’t have enough yarn to make them, unfortunately). I am so happy with the way this turned out! I used Baby Bee’s Sweet Baby Delight in Little Princess, which is a dark pink. I found beautiful, iridescent flower buttons at Jo-Ann’s to complete the cardigan. Now that the weather is getting cooler, I can’t wait to pull out this set for her to wear.

Finished

Hat 1 Hat 2

Next on my FO list is Willow’s Shell Headband. For this project, I used Baby Bee’s Sweet Delight Baby in Pink a Boo. It’s a very soft acrylic yarn which means it’s machine washable – a must for anything to do with kids! It turned out beautifully but it was definitely not a newborn size. I have to be honest and say that the pattern left a lot to be desired and was difficult to figure out sizing (and I say that with the utmost respect as a 18+ year crocheter). I guessed as best as I could as there is no gauge given. I would say the pattern, as written, would fit a 6+ month old. My finished headband didn’t turn out at all like the picture, even though I followed the pattern exactly. :/ It’s still beautiful though! I crocheted the flower using Teresa Richardson’s Slinky Crochet Flower pattern. I chose this one because it’s incredibly customizeable (is that even a word?). You don’t have to create 2 alike if you don’t want to. The pattern includes several different petal types that you can blend to make the perfect flower. I used the same yarn and color as the project above and looks fabulous against the pale pink!

Willow's Shell Headband

Now on to my WIP’s… I started Willow’s afghan/baby blanket at the end of July hoping to have at least the blocks finished before her arrival. I have to be honest and say that I’m not a big fan of knitting blankets. They seem to take FOREVER and I’m just too impatient. I decided to go with granny squares to make it an easily portable project. I wanted this afghan to represent our family full circle so I chose our wedding colors: pink, orange, and green. I’m using Joyce Lewis’ Simple 10-Petal Afghan Square as the base and doing 3 different color combinations.

Green SquarePink Square

Orange Square

I adore this pattern and think the colors really shine with it. The most difficult part of this pattern was figuring out how to to the last step. The designer included picture tutorials which are incredibly helpful! Once that was figured out, it goes pretty quickly. I can get one square completely finished in about 1 1/2 hours. Without the border, the afghan should be about 45″ x 45″. I haven’t decided yet on a border, how thick to make it, or which color(s) to use. I have a little ways to go yet as I only have about 12 of 36 blocks completed.

Since I had surgery and was laid up for about 5 days, I decided to pull out the Holly Days Throw that I started in 2011. It was a pattern I received through a Creative Knitting Magazine newsletter and I completely fell in love when I saw it. My only advice with this pattern is if you don’t like seed stitch, you probably wouldn’t like knitting this. The first and last 22 rows (of like hundreds of stitches) are seed stitch as well as the first and last 11 stitches per row. It creates a gorgeous border though!

Well, that’s about all I have for now so until next time, much love and many crafty blessings!

♥Courtney♥

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DIY Nursing Pads & WIP’s

As Willow’s birth gets closer and closer (only about 9 1/2 weeks left), I find myself fretting that I don’t have everything I need in terms of nursing and diapers. Before Harrison was born, I purchased some MegARoo’s cloth nursing pads (the disposable ones are AWFUL) at a steep discount since she was going out of business. I absolutely love them but found myself having to wash them so often because I didn’t have enough. I don’t want to deal with that this time around and after looking at the prices of purchasing more, I decided to make some.

Nursing Pads

It’s really helpful that I have all the supplies I need as well. The first thing I had to decide was what materials to use and what size I wanted when finished. I was really happy with MegARoo’s size so I knew I didn’t want to change that. The materials I decided on are PUL outer (waterproof), flannel inner, and cotton velour outer (gives the pad the stay-dry feel). I couldn’t find any information on how many layers of flannel to include inside so my first set had 4. The first one definitely didn’t turn out as great as I hoped. I initially cut the pattern to size since my plan was to use my machine’s overlock foot but the layers are too thick to get it into the foot properly. Needless to say, I scrapped it and started over. I added a 1/2″ seam allowance to the next one, straight stitched to hold the layers together, trimmed the seam allowance, and used a close (#1) and wide set zig-zag to overlock the edges to prevent any fraying. It came out okay but you can see some of the flannel through the sides and the edges have a somewhat lettuce effect (the pink pair in the picture above). It took me playing around with my setting to get the lettuce effect to go away and by the 4th of 5 pairs, I finally had a product I liked! The second pair I did was with the pirate PUL. I decided to change the inner layers from flannel to bath towel material since I was using the same thing in Willow’s NB AIO’s. I really thought this was a genius idea because I wouldn’t need as many layers but they would be incredibly absorbent. Um… what I didn’t compensate for is how THICK bath towel is. Even with only 2 layers inside, the pads are so bulky they would definitely be noticeable through a nursing bra. So I guess that’s my night time pair! My third set (the zebra print) I decided to use only 2 layers of flannel and think that will be perfect. At this point, I was still annoyed that my edges still had the lettuce resemblance so I tried moving my width a tad farther apart–to #1 1/2 instead of #1 and that did the trick on the last two sets (the green ones). I’m just so happy to have finally figured it out! Here’s the best of all of them:

Nursing Pads (Single)

Side note: I totally love this PUL pattern. It’s actually an older Thirty-One pattern! I’m still not really happy with how unclean the edges look though. I think I’ll try all flannel (no cotton velour) and see how that turns out and maybe turning and topstitching or turning and overlocking.

I’m still working on knitting items for Willow and am making progress on her layette set. I finished the front left panel and started the front right panel of the cardigan. I’m hoping to complete that today if I have time (thankfully it’s only 25 stitches per row). After that’s finished, I have to knit the 2 sleeves which I’m planning to do 2AAT to save time and ensure they are the exact same length. I’m thinking I should have done that for the left and right front panels too. Once that’s complete, then I’ll start the booties and hat which shouldn’t take more than a day or two and then can finally start her blanket! I’ve been dying to cast on since the yarn arrived a few weeks ago. It’s even prettier in person and incredibly soft.

Switching gears to general crafting–you may have noticed a new layout and tab on the homepage. I’m so happy that I finally got a layout and background I’m happy with! As far as the new tab, I created a bunch of free printables for a project I’m working on and blogged about over on The Kramer Menagerie. You can read more about it by clicking the link. I really love creating things and sharing them so enjoy!

Well that’s what I have for today so until next time, much love and many crafty blessings!

♥Courtney♥

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Baby Shower Gifts & Current Projects

I know I’ve said this before but I seriously am in love with Pinterest! Talk about inspiration when you need it! One of my best friends is due in July so I wanted to make her & her new squish something really special. Initially, I was going to make a hooded towel and washcloth set with her name embroidered but after looking at material, I couldn’t find just what I wanted. In comes Pinterest–after scouring for what seemed like hours (not really–more like 15 minutes), I found some great ideas including burp cloths, a pacifier clip, and bibs. I knew burp cloths were a must as they have been total lifesavers with my kiddos but one thing I didn’t like about the commercial kind was a. the price and b. the weren’t big or absorbent enough. I did see many different options for creating burp cloths and eventually decided on using Gerber’s 6-ply “cloth diapers” (I use that term very loosely). The first couple I made had a strip of fabric down the center, over the most absorbent part. I wasn’t overly happy with the way they looked because after washing and drying them, I noticed the center sections weren’t straight. Even still, they came out cute. I made the rest full-size piece of fabric on one side. And the most special one had a full piece of beautiful purple flannel with a strip of pretty patterned flannel down the center. I also hand embroidered her name in the lower right corner (I have never done that before and have no clue how to do it on my sewing machine). It was incredibly happy with how they turned out! I made 2 sets of burp cloths and packaged them with another home made item, one being a matching pacifier clip and the other a matching bib. Here’s the finished, packaged projects:

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After getting them together, I knew I needed something else and really wanted something knitted. I remembered a pattern that I started for Trinity over 2 years ago that included a cardigan, hat, & booties with beautiful lace around the leg and knew it was the perfect choice, especially since I was incredibly limited on time to finish my gift. The booties knit up in just a few hours and turned out absolutely adorable! I used Baby Bee Sweet Delight Baby in Pink A Boo which is a very light pink. The yarn is very easy to work with and incredibly soft (plus machine washable–always a must with baby items). I have to be honest and say I can’t wait to see these on her!

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 Design F

One of the current projects on my needles is the cardigan from the above mentioned layette set. I actually started this cardigan 2 years ago for Trinity but never got it finished. It sat in my stash bin since the following baby was a boy and the yarn I was using is a deep magenta pink (I don’t think daddy would have been okay with him wearing that. LoL!). After finding out our newest squish is a girl, I decided to revive it. The cardigan is knitting up super quick! One thing I really like about this pattern is that even though it features a lace motif, the pattern stitch is incredibly easy to memorize and the pattern itself is only a 4 row repeat. My only issue so far is that each piece is knit individually, i.e. the back, the front left, the front right, etc. and then seamed together–definitely not a fan of seaming (side note: I’m wondering if this could be knit bottom up and maybe just seam the arms?).  The other project, the Ocean Spray Misti, is still coming along at about the same pace. Since starting on the other projects, I haven’t picked this one up since the last post. Here’s an early shot of the shawl (during the increase phase):

Ocean Spray Shawl

It’s definitely bigger than that now but I don’t have a more recent picture.

Design F

Now onto my DIY adventures… I recently bought some all natural diaper rash cream from Naturally Herbal Soap that is cloth diaper safe and I’m totally in love with it! What I’m not in love with is the price, even though it is on the cheaper side for something all natural and cloth diaper safe. My issue is the rate at which we go through it, it’s not economical for our budget. So I set off to find a recipe to make my own. I was so anxious to get started and waiting the week for the supplies to arrive was killing me! Anyway… I used the recipe over at Little House Living blog. It was very straightforward (lots of pictures), easy to make, and smells really good. My only alteration to the recipe is adding lavender essential oil. I started with 10 drops during the melting phase and the scent was amazing but ended up too faint after all said and done. I’ll definitely add more next time. I’ve been using it for roughly 2 weeks and have had no issues with buildup on our diapers and it’s working wonders on my kiddos skin! So well in fact that one of Harry’s rashes starting clearing in just a few hours! This is definitely something I’ll continue making and want to experiment with different blends of essential oils.

Well that’s all I have time for today so until next time, much love and many crafty blessings!

♥Courtney♥

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Filed under Crafting, DIY, FO's, FO's, Knitting, Sewing, WIP