Sunday, February 22, 2009

Introducing Nico

I never thought it would happen, but we got a dog. A tiny 5 month old pomeranian/sheltie mix we named Nico. Because she's only 3 lbs. and it is freezing outside here now, I made her a sweater. Well, also because the way I celebrate things is by knitting something.

Nico's sweater

Pattern: Dogcoat from Garnstudio
Needles: Size 7
Yarn: Knitpicks Swish Worsted

Back of Nico's sweater

The pattern is great- it's worked mostly in the round and has these delicious cables all over it. It took about 5 days, but the process was fun. More time intensive than most dog sweaters, but the cabley goodness is worth it.

Looking outside

The only negative about the sweater is that it's difficult to get on the dog. It is a turtleneck, for one, and even after you get her head in, you have to wrestle her legs into the sleeves. She doesn't seem to mind the sweater once it's on, but getting it on is not her favorite activity.

Front view

Nico herself is something else. She is sweet and lovey, but playful and energetic too.

Okay, you're not going to believe this, but as I type, she just trotted into the room with the sweater in her mouth. She was wearing it five minutes ago when I came upstairs to type this, but that little monkey somehow managed to chew it off. It's pretty much destroyed. These pictures officially show the first and last time Nico wears a sweater.

Laying down

Friday, February 13, 2009

Bamboo Bear

A friend from Miami recently had a beautiful baby girl and I knew I wanted to send a care package down, but it's always difficult to decide what to make for warm weather babies. They just don't need sweaters, hats, or blankets the way that cold weather babies do. Every baby needs a teddy bear, though, right?

Bear reclining

Pattern: Harry Bear pattern from Berroco (Free!)
Yarn: Bamboospun from Hobby Lobby (held doubled). (On sale for $2.50 per skein)
Needles: Size 10
Ribbon: 4 yd spool from Michael's ($1)
Total cost: $6

I know people hate talking about money and think it's super tacky to add up the total cost of things, but I am one of those people who, when complimented on a shirt, says "Thank you! I got in on sale at TJ Maxx for 7 bucks!" So when I can make a baby gift with this level of adorable for $6, I feel the need to share.

I recently went to a Hobby Lobby for the first time and was very impressed with their yarn selection- lots of natural fiber stuff and sock yarn. This Bamboo Spun is 77% Bamboo, 23% Nylon and only $2.50 for 148 yds. I could make another bear with my leftover yarn, which makes the total cost of the project even lower!

Thinking bear
Bamboo Bear ponders the economic crisis while staring out onto the hills of Cincinnati...

This pattern is super cute, especially with yarns that are a little fuzzy or plushy. As cute as it is though, I would only knit it again if I rewrote the directions for working in the round. Seaming this little thing took as long as knitting it- seriously. As always, my seaming leaves a lot to be desired, but luckily this yarn hides lots of mistakes.

Bear sitting up

I actually started making a sweater for Bamboo Bear, but it just wasn't turning out right and it was covering his little belly, which is one of his best features. Then I started knitting him a little scarf, but I ran out of scrap sock yarn before it was long enough. I wasn't sure I liked it anyway. I decided to just go for the simple ribbon because Bamboo Bear is going to live in Miami anyway. Most people down there wear the equivalent of this ribbon as on-the-town attire.

Bear close up

I'm sure everyone is sick to death of me complaining about how I don't know how to embroider, so I won't go into it again. I did get the Stitch It Kit for Christmas, but I haven't taken the time to really learn yet. Too much apron making and knitting and, um, having a job and stuff.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

More aprons

My sister and I sewed on our own this weekend and made more aprons. I found this fun bee fabric and a coordinating yellow fat quarter for the pocket and ties.

Full apron laid out

I'm still working on sewing a straight line- I think I'm making it harder than it should be. It's funny- people always tell me I must be patient to knit as much as I do and I never really understood what they meant. I am extraordinarily impatient in life- knitting actually helps with that a lot. I definitely get impatient with sewing- I can't seem to get things right, so I just want to get it done.

Full apron

I'm going to keep practicing- I just found the Sew Mama Sew blog, which is doing a month-long series on projects to make using fat quarters (which only cost about $1.50, so perfect for practice).

Next up, more knitting. I have a baby present in the works and more of the pretty pretty Marlene socks.