Thursday, October 31, 2013

Thirteen Buttons For Baby

One of the absolute delights (among many) of working at a yarn shop, is having the pleasure of dealing with a handful of the "Grandparents-To-Be" of the world. There is truly NO ONE happier than someone who has just found out that they are about to become a Grandparent- even if it IS for the 39th time! The novelty appears to just never wear off...

So "baby stuff" is always a GO at Mary's Yarns. We could simply never have enough samples of baby knitting, so when people start requesting certain tiny garments, we do our best to listen up.

Which brings me to... this sleep sack, or "snuggle bag" as the pattern so aptly refers to it as.

Word on the street is that lots of babies are no longer taking their "blankies" to bed with them for safety reasons. I know that our nephew who is almost a year and a half now crawls into his sleep sack each night to cuddle down, and that kid sleeps like a log. His parents might very well argue otherwise... but I suspect that if he does kick up a fuss, it's not his "snuggle bag" that's the reason for it.

Snuggle bags? They're cute! A miniature sleeping bag with straps! Even the coldest of hearts out there will warm at the thought of such a thing... I know it!

When we knit anything for baby, for some reason we just assume that it's going to fly right off our needles. And while this is often the case... we neglect to take into account that there is usually a good deal of finishing involved. In this particular instance, lots of buttons and seams.

Thirteen buttons in total.

Not only am I superstitious... I don't particularly love sewing on buttons.

But I did.

Because I knew that the end effect would be so worthwhile.

But if buttons on a baby makes you sort of uneasy, you go right ahead and sew a zipper along that bottom curve. I just suggest that you don't turn to me for advice on how it's done however... As I will surely lead you astray.

I know that this is something that would get used again and again and again- (had it been knit for an actual baby, and not just the shop). Every night, in fact! It would fit a child from right out of the womb into the early days of toddler-dom.

So it's worth it. Totally and 100% worth each one of those thirteen buttons.

Details for all of you happy Grandparents-To-Be out there

Yarn- 6 balls of Peter Pan Merino Baby is shade 3035. SUCH good stuff. Well priced, washable, and 100% merino! That about nails it... 
Needles- 4mm, 80 cm Addi Turbo
Pattern- Baby Snuggle Bag from Peter Pan Baby Merino book 355

So stay warm knitters.

And a very happy and safe Hallowe'en to you all.

May your "treat" today, be a good block of time to do nothing other than...


Thursday, October 24, 2013

House = Warmed

 A good reason for my less-than-chatty ways on this blog as of late, is that we are still living out of boxes and I am feeling completely and utterly disorganized. As my mom put it not too long ago "It's like we're camping". And she's right.

We're totally camping.

Except that... our roof doesn't leak and we have a thermostat to control these chilly nights that have recently come upon us. Thank goodness for that!

We are still in the process of trying to sell our old place, so we have the minimum amount of furniture with us in our new one. And I mean... MINIMUM. People came over this past Saturday evening, and we actually sat on the living room floor. We have one table, two kitchen chairs, two Ikea Poang chairs, our TV, a bed... and that's pretty much it. LIVING ROOM FLOOR. Such terrible hosts...

The thing about a house with no furniture- particularly an old house- is that it can be pretty chilly. Especially as the cooler months make their imminent presence more apparent to us.

Back in late September, my long time friend Carolyn came over to check out our new digs and... sit on the floor with me for a visit. It was one of the first REALLY cold nights of Fall and just so happened to be the night that I turned on the heat for the very first time.

She showed up at our place, not only with a bottle of wine and a beautiful handmade card in tow, but also with a STUNNING handmade blanket. A housewarming gift, in the most literal sense of the term.

Thick, chunky, 100% wool.

And it is without a doubt, 100% beautiful.

We wasted no time putting it to VERY good use, that very night. Such great timing!

While I had been informed that this blanket was going to happen, she picked the colour all on her own. And it's perfect. A rich teal that will keep us cozy on the coldest of days.

And a beautiful lace pattern that will be a pleasure to look at, no matter what the weather.

Don't believe me that someone could love us this much?

I don't blame you... I'm having a hard time believing it myself!

But here you have it.

This blanket makes me feel less like we're camping, and more like we're "glamping"
So now, I would say that we are fully 'covered' (pun intended), should you decide to pay us a visit in our new/old house.

I am warning you beforehand that you just might get chilly- so wear your woolens.

But should you forget... I am sure that between this, this and now this... you will be able to find yourself something cozy to curl up under.

Even if it is on the living room floor...

Warm and Knitterly Details For All

Yarn- 13 balls of Cascade Lana Grande in shade 6049 (I think...)
Pattern- Jared Flood's Umaro
Needles- Hm... not so sure. 10mm I'm guessing??
Mods- My buddy ran out of yarn just shy of two repeats. I told her just to do the border, and cast off. It's the perfect size, and continuing to knit onwards, just because the pattern told her to seemed silly.

So thank you Carolyn!

Our house and our hearts are now warm to the max.

No matter what our old thermostat says...

Stay warm friends!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

And... Onto The Next Pair

 Have you ever finished a project not because you actually wanted to finish the project... not because you actually needed whatever that project was (in this case... a pair of socks)... and not even because you have a deadline looming (even if you actually do!) but you finish simply because you find yourself REALLY wanting to use the needles and project bag for something else?

For example... this week, I decided to pull out my #1 fave project bag that my good buddy Tara made me when I got engaged back in May of 2012. Hidden within that project bag, was a pair of socks that I had started in the Spring that I have been chipping away very slowly at. Don't some socks seem to feel like they take FOREVER to knit, while others just fall off the needles??? No matter how amazing the yarn is? Or is that just me?

I had a new ball of yarn in hand that I was all keen to get rolling with, but this roadblock stopped me right in my tracks. I couldn't very well evict the perfectly good socks that were SO close to completion, just because I had the urge to cast on something else!

As for the needles- let's be real. I have access to a yarn shop at any hour of the day, but in a way to try and tame that wild woman within me that wants to grab a new pair of needles for every project that I ever make... I have been trying my hand at just FINISHING the odd project so that I can use those needles, rather than always reach for a new pair. This certainly doesn't always work, but it's a start.

So, after a few terse words with myself (when a girl wants to cast on, a girl wants to cast on!), I sat down for a few good hours, finished these socks and promptly turned around and got rolling with what was next on my "TO KNIT" list.

I sort of love when yarn pools all crazy-like on a pair of socks
 It was worth it. Right? A black and white pair of socks for yours truly with little pops of pink. 

I love it.

And while I grumbled at the thought of having to finish them (so ridiculous), I'm pretty pleased that I did. 

While there is nothing fancy about these puppies... There is also NOTHING better than a freshly knit pair of socks.

Info For All of You Nosey Sock Knitters  

Yarn- Manos Allegria in shade 8105 "Cabaret" (Set to land at Mary's Yarns sometime in the next few weeks!)
Needles- 2.5mm 80cm Addi Turbo- I made the switch! I think I'm an official "Magic Looper" now! (Who AM I!??!?!)
Pattern- The one that I keep stored in my head where I should really be keeping other useful information.

As for the project bag... You're with me, right?

Cutest. Bag. EVER!

Happy Fall to you all!