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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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Trying to get back in the game…

I just realized I haven’t updated this in over half a year! Crafting has honestly been few and far between since BugABoo’s birth. Life keeps me crazy busy so I’m trying to find time here and there to do some kind of crafting, even if it’s only a few minutes a day! Since my last update I’ve become a Pinterest stalker. Seriously. I’ve pinned so many projects I want to do and then get sad because I realize that I just don’t have the time to do them; at least not right now. With that said, I have made/tried a few of the recipes I found.

Design F

As far as knitting is concerned, I’ve more or less put that on the back burner. I did knit a pair of mittens for BugABoo but that was more out of necessity than anything else! Although the color isn’t exactly the same on both because I used a self-striping sock yarn and double stranded it, I’m incredibly happy with the way they turned out. They keep his hands perfectly warm plus feel good on his gums!

Harry's Mittens Harry's Mittens2 Harry's Mittens4

The next project I finally finished is Kristi’s Waves Scarf. It only took me 2 years, but I did it! I think this turned out great and she loves how soft the yarn is.

Kristi Waves Scarf-001 Kristi Waves Scarf3-001

I told you all awhile back that I started another project but couldn’t give you the deets until I gave it to the person. Well, it finally happened. I not only finished it but also gave it to the person! It was a complete success and I’m totally stoked that she loved what I made! I decided to knit her a pair of socks using the Prickly Pear Socks pattern by Thayer Preece Parker and Araucania Ranco Solid in a beautiful light blue colorway. I started them last year in hopes to have them finished by the end of the school year as her teacher gift but that definitely didn’t happen. I planned to work on them while waiting for the labor-starting medication to kick in. I ended up only knitting the first sock’s heel and 1/2 of the second sock’s heel. I put them down and planned to pick them back up but was too tired and things just rapidly progressed from there. Fast forward six weeks after arriving home and I picked them back up. Um, yeah… Let me just say that putting something down in the middle is definitely not a smart idea. Lesson learned. I “finished” the second heel but ended up with twice the number of stitches. I ended up ripping both heels back and finished them shortly afterwards. The pattern was really fun to knit and pretty easy to memorize. I love that Parker used two different stitch patterns to create the columns. They turned out so beautifully that I honestly didn’t want to give them up!

image_medium2image_medium2 (1) image_medium2 (2)

My 2013 goals and how I did (in bold):

  • Create at least 3 patterns — 0
  • Knit Christmas gifts for at least 5 family members — 0
  • Complete at least 15 projects (I’m expanding this to include all crafting) — 11, 5 of these knitted
  • Knit at least a few of those for Baby Kramer — 2

Not completely terrible but I honestly wouldn’t have been able to do anymore than that.

I decided I’m not “setting goals” for 2014 because I have 2 children under two, am pregnant with my 4th, and due in August. I’m going to craft as much as I can but if I don’t get to, that’s okay.

Design F

On to sewing… My latest project is bibs. All of Trin’s bibs are too short so when she eats, she’s getting food and liquids on the front of her shirt. I feel that defeats the purpose of using the bib in the first place. I was actually complaining about this to my MIL and told her I need to get a move on sewing some or Trin was going to have to eat nudey (I was mildly joking). She ended up purchasing this adorable, incredibly soft purple fabric with pink and purple butterflies. I used the same pattern I featured last year, turned and topstitched it, and added a snap closure instead of velcro this time around. Here’s the finished project:

100_7453-001 100_7458-001

The second one I made out of a piece of flannel fabric I found at Hobby Lobby in the sale bin. I originally purchased it to make a fitted diaper but decided that it would make a way cuter bib and wipes. It’s turned and topstitched and also has a snap closure.

100_7464-001

So that’s been the extent of my crafting endeavors. While I do hope to update more often than last year, I’m not really sure how feasible it’s going to be with 3 kids under 3 years of age! Until next time… Much love and many blessings!

♥Courtney♥

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