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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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Kid Projects

Crafting have been pretty scarce since Harry’s birth and I have a feeling it’ll be even less so once Willow makes her entrance. BUT, I have had a little time recently, so I’m working on projects for the kids.

I made teething pads for our Ergo since Harry is teething and chewing on them like crazy. They are made from one of Harry’s burp cloths and a receiving blanket. I cut the burp cloth so that each pad would have a height of 5 1/2 inches with no seam allowance. I sewed a strip of the receiving blanket to just the center, most absorbent part of the burp cloth using a small zig zag stitch to prevent any frays (and it’s a little more decorative than a straight stitch). I then used my overlock foot and sewed around the whole outside of the pad. I added 3 sets of snaps for easy attachment (but hard for little hands to get off). And that’s it! Super cute, functional, and no more chewing on the Ergo straps! The finished pads measure 5 1/2″ x 9 1/2″. I may make a second pair so that we have a spare set if these are being washed.

Ergo Teething Pads

Next up is Willow’s NB diapers. After a lot of discussion and thought, we decided to use only AIO’s with her instead of covers and prefolds. Trin isn’t showing any interest in potty training so having 3 in cloth is going to be a challenge. AIO’s will be easier for not only us but also other caregivers because there’s no worrying about all the different parts or forgetting the closures (which I tend to do)! I’m using a combination of Darling Diapers Free Fitted Pattern and Rocket Bottoms NB Fitted Pattern. They are both comparable in size, but the Rocket Bottoms pattern seems to sew up a little larger. They’ve turned out great so far! The 5th one (green with blue circles) definitely turned out the best and I’m so happy I figured out the easiest way to do the elastic–casing while topstitching. It’s definitely giving cleaner lines in the legs and back. Here’s 4 of the 5 I’ve completed so far:

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The next diaper I want to make is will have a Steelers emblem on black PUL and the gold cotton velour. I haven’t found the emblem yet but am hoping to soon! I’m planning to make at least half her stash (12-15). I may also try a different pattern just to have some variety. I was looking into Arfy’s Square NB pattern. My thinking is sewing will be faster because I won’t have to go so slow around curves, which I’m not as good at yet. Plus, I like having options. For all the diapers, I’m using a PUL outer, cotton velour inner, and each sewn-in insert has 2 layers of upcycled bath towels sandwhich between 2 layers of flannel. I’m hoping they are absorbent enough but just in case, I’m going to make some NB sized inserts to lay in.

I want to sew at least one non-diaper item for Willow so I scoured Pinterest and found an adorable baby dress upcycled from a men’s button-down shirt. Andy has a million of them so I may commandeer one of his to do it.

Upcycled baby dress

Moving on to knitting… I started knitting a shawl a few months back from Knitty called Oceanspray. I fell in love with the simplicity of the center triangle and border of this pattern. The knitting is coming along slowly as the increases are only 4 per RS row and it’s knit on 2’s. I’m using Misty Alpaca Lace in Mauve Melange. I finally got that part finished and finally got to start on the lace section! It’s turning out beautifully so far. I’d really like to use it as a nursing cover (I’m not sure how feasible that is but we’ll see) so I’d really like to have this finished by the time Willow’s born.

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

 

♥Courtney♥

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