When your family gives you a new sewing machine for your birthday you can’t ignore a request to make them something. This is especially true when it comes from a oh-my-god-he-is-almost-4-year old. But I loved watching how the request changed over the course of a week.
“What do you want me to make you?”
“Heavy or lightweight?”
“Lightning! I want lightning pajamas! They should be blue and green and lightning colors.” At this point he ran out of the room to grab a book to show me what lightning looks like. Thanks kid, I remember.
“The store did not have and green or blue fabric, but I got some red and black. Do you still want lightning?”
“No. Those are not lightning colors. I want a wake up shirt with a dragon on it. … Can it be a lightning dragon?”
“Dragons are very pointy, can we do something less pointy? because this is the first time I have sewn something on a tee shirt before. How about a bear? you love bears.”
“Bears are not red. Can you make me a hippo?”
Apparently I can. I am a little amazed I was able to make a shirt from scratch (with the help of the flashback tee pattern) and appliqué a hippo.
In Georgia the summers are hot and long. Hot enough that for about 4-5 months out of the year I am in open toed shoes. I am one of those people that as long as their feet are warm their whole body is warm and my eldest son seems to be the same. So while other knitters are posting about the onset of fall and the return on hats and gloves I know that in our home we still have a few months to wait. But for now we get socks.
This spring my friend Joeli asked for test knitters for a child’s sock book she was working on. Not being a big sock knitter, I decided to take a crack thinking I could learn a lot about the techniques behind sock knitting and not get bored.
Shortly after finishing the first sock I was hospitalized due to complications during my pregnancy. Obviously upset I tried to look on the bright side that at least this time I did not have an IV in my hand so I could knit. I knit up a storm and when my son visited a few days later I was able to present him with a pair of mamma-made socks. Quickly he threw them on and started to slip all over the hospital’s slick floors.
The great thing about socks is how everyday they are. My son was able to wear them to school, around the house and even to bed. At a time when he was missing his mom he was able to take a token of my love with him everywhere he went. It was great when I was gone and still good for the everyday pangs of this work-outside-the-home-mom’s heart when dropping off her boys at childcare. So the obvious choice for my next project while in the hospital was a matching pair of socks for the soon to arrive little brother who I knew I would be separated from part time while he was in the NICU. Now, at 7 months old he is kicking off or eating those socks every chance he gets.
But in the summer sock knitting was the last thing on my mind. My feet were hot and the whole family was barefoot. But sure enough the first week with a nip in the air Joeli’s book, Tiny Treads, came out. Perfect. Now in the interest of full disclosure Joeli is a friend, my main tech editor and totally awesome. I cast on moments after downloading the ebook for a pair of socks. Blue by request of my favorite 3 year old.
The book was full of great patterns. I just finished my 3rd pair of Sandman socks last night, a pattern I find extremely satisfying to knit because it is so full of reward points. But the designer in me is drawn to the sizing chart and basic sock recipes. The recipes provide instructions for 2 different sock types, toe-up and top-down, in 4 different gauges. A great way to save yourself the up front math of a project so you can focus on the yarn and the child you are knitting for. I found the sizing chart particularly handy because I cast on while my boys were asleep. All I had to do was look up his shoes size and it corresponded perfectly to the age ranges she had listed. I love that Joeli included both ways because so many children fall outside the normal ranges at some point in their childhood.
Next on my list: Pied Piper. I have never done an afterthought heel before.
Not the most conventional of combinations but somehow it just works.
4 months ago my family was lucky enough to grow by one. Our new little dude needed something to look and bat at so plans for a toy for my elder son were modified. Don’t worry, the bigger boy toy is coming soon.
The Petite Liossum is designed to hang from a baby gym, car seat or stroller. Looking up the baby will see a large face, one of the first things a baby learns to recognize, in high contrast black in white that babies find appealing. I recommend using a bright color for the mane because babies become attracted to bright colors within the first few months of life – I know my son goes nuts for the red maned one. All this boils down to kicking, swatting and squealing coming from your little one.
Published:June 2011Yarn weight: Worsted
Gauge: 22 stitches and 32 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch
Needle size: US 5 – 3.75 mm
Hey guys long time no see. I just wanted to let you know that I will be at the Whole Nine Yarns for their Christmas in July event. It is Sunday 11am to 4pm. If you are anywhere near Woodstock Ga you should check it out. They are well worth the drive.
And here is a peek of the pattern I will be debuting there:
Recently my 2 year old son has made the cognitive leap from knowing the mommy knits to knowing that when mommy knits she is making things. As a result he has started making request. The most common is mittens but he has also asked for monsters, lions and dinosaurs. Luckily for him his mom does knit monsters — and mittens — but mostly monsters.
He has also started to pretend to knit much more. I keep a small ball of yarn around just for him and a crochet hook. He wraps the yarn around the hook and stabs the ball of yarn. Every time I beam with pride and wonder if I will be able to pass along my craft knowledge or will gender stereotypes get in the way. Or maybe he will not care for crafting at all. In the meantime I enjoy watching him play.
I have been drawing long legged cats in the margins of my notebook for over a year now. Always telling myself they would make a great toy. I am sure my coworkers thought I was crazy.
But I am very happy with the way this drawing translated into yarn. At 22 inches tall he is by far my tallest toy to date but because he is so skinny it only took 380 yards of yarn to make him.
Honesty the skinny legs are what kept me from making him for so long. But when I finally started knitting them they flew by. I really think the stripe pattern on the pants took a lot of the stress away. After all it is much easier to count 99 rows when you know it is only 33 stripes.
Published: June 2011
|Yarn weight: Worsted
Gauge: 22 stitches and 32 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch
Needle size: US 5 – 3.75 mm
Today is the unofficial start of summer in the US but here in Atlanta we have already had several days over 90 degrees. It is far to hot too think about making anything piratical to keep us warm this winter. Right now it is starting to be hard to believe winter will ever come. So this summer I decided to make toys. Just toys. It should be fun.
Care to join me? I have two fresh toy patterns coming out in the next few weeks and I already have a few more in the works for later this summer.
When 3 people, with lots of hobbies, live in a 1000 square foot house you have to get a little creative with storage. When it became clear to us that our son’s love of trains was not going anywhere we started looking at options. We loved the train tables we saw at the store but knew there was no way we could fit one in our house. We found a few that fit under a twin bed but nothing that fit under a toddler bed. So we made our own. Or rather my husband and I planned together and he made it. The best part: these tables retail for around $200 and we spent lees than $50 on materials.
To make this project we used:
4’x3′ piece of plywood
1 piece of molding
12 12”x12” Cork Tiles (optional but they help keep the track from sliding all around)
8 Furniture Sliders
1 Bottle of Guerrilla Glue
2 Cans of Spray Paint
And here is how you can make your own:
1. Measure your clearance under the bed. For our toddler bed we had 50” and 30” deep. Because most of the train layouts were at least 32” deep we opted to pull the bed away from the wall a little. If need be cut plywood to dimensions that will fit under your bed. Tip: Most home improvement stores will cut boards them for you.
2. Cut molding to fit the long side and glue to the outside edge of the plywood and allow to dry.
3. Cut molding to fit over the short side and the ends of the the long side of the molding. Glue edges together and allow to dry. Using a hack saw cut ends of the molding to match the profile of the long edge of the molding.
4. Sand and calk edges.
5. Prime and paint.
6. Glue cork tiles on the top cutting tiles down if needed.
7. Flip over and attach furniture sliders evenly across the bottom.
And you are done. Have fun playing with your child and shoving the mess under the bed when you are done.
When Robyn of Minimalist Knitter contacted me last week saying she was doing a write up on my Baby Shell pattern I was thrilled. Robyn has been writing about what she sees as essential patterns for knitters — basic patterns that you could knit again and again each time making it your own. This was exactly what I was going for when I originally designed the baby shell.
As a special treat Robyn and I are offering a give away on her blog. Just check out her post and tweet, post on facebook and comment to enter.