Review: Tiny Treads

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.

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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.

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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.

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New Pattern: Lion + Possum + Sock = Petite Liossum

Not the most conventional of combinations but somehow it just works.

Petite_Liossum-1

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.

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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.

Petite_Liossum-7

Craft: Knitting
Type: Toys
Published:June 2011Yarn weight: Worsted
Gauge: 22 stitches and 32 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch
Needle size: US 5 – 3.75 mm

Available for $6.00

Hey There

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:

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For non local folks the design will be up early next week here and on ravelry.

Free Pattern: Mr. Hoo

Whenever my husband and I travel an owl follows us home. It started during our honeymoon and for the last 5 years it has continued. One of my son’s favorite toys is the shelf where the owls are kept. Needless to say some rearranging was done so only the study wood ones are in toddler reach. He grabs the 2 wood owls and a wooden sun from that shelf and drags them all over the house. After a few incidences of him trying to take the owls to bed with him I decided he needed a soft owl toy of his own.

Because he loves owls.

So I designed this guy. Mr. Hoo is really quick to make – I was even able to make mine in one nap. The pattern is available as a free ravelry download here. I hope you enjoy.

Craft: Crochet
Type: Toys
Published: March 2011
Yarns suggested:Blue Sky Alpaca Dyed Cotton
Yarn weight: Worsted
Gauge: 20 stitches = 4 inches in single crochet
Needle size: 4 mm (F)

Stay tuned next week. A second free pattern is coming out – this one knit.

Christmas

Christmas!

Reading to the Cat

My husband and I always seem to get very stressed before Christmas as we anticipate the mad rush from one place to another. But when Christmas Eve and Christmas Day roll around we always find ourselves more relaxed than we thought and savoring the moments between dashing.

White Christmas in Atlanta

White Christmas in Atlanta

As as special treat this year is snowed on Christmas day – something I can’t remember ever happening in my life. So we ran around like mad men in the falling snow as the sun went down. Then today we played some in the morning where my son showed that he could throw a snowball. Thanks for teaching him that Daddy.

An Unoriginal Hat

Snowball

Vintage filters feel right for Christmas don’t they? The hat is An Unoriginal Hat by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee made from Malabrigo chunky. Thanks for taking the picture hun.

Pooped and the day had not even started

I hope everyone had a good Christmas.

BOGO!

While it may not feel like it there is still time to knit a great gift this year. To help you out I am offering my patterns BUY ONE GET ONE FREE until December 5, 2010 – including my new Barn Door Pullover. No coupon code needed. Just add two patterns to your cart on my ravelry store and check out.

BOGO - Ends 12.5.2010

Note: Due to some technical issue I was having if you want to buy 4 patterns and get 2 free you will have to check out twice. I am very sorry for the inconvenience.

SAFF 2010

For years I have been hearing my friends around the yarn shops talking about SAFF this and SAFF that. I had always wanted to go but it seemed a little silly for a woman who breaks out into a rash while wearing wool to go to a fiber fair. But after yammering on twitter with Kate (Tot Toppers) and Brandy (PixiePurls) I decided to jump in head first and skip the visiting the fair step and go right to vending.

Tot Toppers and Full of Fluff booth

Sadly Brandy ended up not being able to join us in vending, but Kate and I had a great time. Set up was the hardest part because both Kate and I are sticklers for presentation. I think it took us twice as long as any other booth but it was well worth it. I only seemed to have taken the one photo but Kate has more on her blog.

SAFF 2010 Mess

The first night in the hotel was crazy as Kate and I did some last minute upgrades to our booth. At one point Kate was sewing table clothes wile I was making a spread sheet to track sales. Then we changed out strings on bag until midnight. But after making a huge mess in the room we final got to sleep.

A Friendly Face

After the mad dash of the initial setup it was relatively smooth sailing. We had great weather of cold mornings but mild afternoons. And I loved the fresh air and the incredible fall light. They were the perfect touch to the already wonderful atmosphere created by the friendliness and passion of everyone who attended. I met some really great people and I hope to see them next year.

Big Blue

Also on the good new front: I spent a good portion of the weekend wearing a wool hats with no signs of a rash. Maybe it is time to try knitting with wool again. I have a skein of Spud and Chloë sweater calling to me.

Paper and Printing

Lately my life seems to be filled with paper and printing. Paper from my skecthbook, paper from my business cards, and most importantly paper printouts of my patterns. About 6 weeks ago I started selling printed copies of my patterns in my favorite local yarn store Knitch. The arrangement has been working out well and I love that I can now visit during lunch breaks guilt free. I have also been gearing up for the South Eastern Fiber Fair (SAFF). So I now have 350 copies of my patterns printed, folded and bagged – and a sore back.

Paper

This much paper feels strange in my life. I have always thought of myself more of a digital girl. I grew up with a computer in my house from a young age and for a living I work as a web designer. My new business cards even only list my email and social networking contacts.

Business Cards

But there is something about paper. I love going to the book store and smelling the freshly printed books and leafing through the brightly printed pages. It is tactile experience – just like yarn. While the work of printing, folding, bagging and stacking has been out of the ordinary and not something I would want to do every day there has been a pleasure in seeing my work on paper and not just on screen.

You can find me at SAFF in the Sales Arena sharing a booth with the lovely and talented Kate Oates (Tot Toppers).

If you are a yarn shop and interested in selling my pattern contact me at carey[at]fulloffluff.com

A Taste of Fall

A Taste of Fall
Here in Georgia if you have a few days under 90 degrees everyone starts talking about fall. Appropriately this Labor Day weekend the weather thought a small taste of fall was in order. The slight dip in temperature got me in the mood to finish the sweater I have been working on on-and-off for the last month or so for the boy.

A Taste of Fall
The pattern is my original and still unnamed design that I plan to release as soon as I can write the pattern. The yarn is rowan calmer, a cotton acrylic blend that has a good amount of elasticity that works great for ribbing. I also like that this yarn is warm without being too warm, great for fall and most of the mild winters we have here. For cooler places it would be easy to find a nice wool substation.

A Taste of Fall
The taste was nice but it looks like it is over for now. We are back into the 90s today. But now my sweater mojo is flowing and my hands are itching to work on a sweater for myself. I started a February Lady about a week back. Every knitter has to make one sometime right?

Pattern – Dakk

Dakk - fully poseable robot

Meet my new favorite robot – Dakk. He, or at least parts of him, have been hanging around for a very long time. I first doodled of him almost 2 years ago during an all day meeting at work. On the page was about 20 other robots. While digging in my notebook this winter I found the pages or robots and posted a poll to see what robot my blog readers wanted me to make “for my next pattern.”

some assembly required

Yeah so he was not my next pattern. I got a little distracted by this, this and this. But always in my knitting bag a few robot parts where hanging out.

Dakk - fully poseable robot

Finally after crocheting each part at least 2-5 times I had him the way I wanted him. I hope you enjoy him. And I promise it should not take you 8 months to make.

Dakk - fully poseable robot

Craft: Crochet
Type: Toy
Published: August 2010
Yarns suggested: Dark Horse Yarns Fantasy
Yarn weight: Aran / 10ply (8 wpi)
Gauge: 20 stitches = 4 inches in single crochet
Hook size: 3.5 mm (E)

Available for $5.00 via ravelry.

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