Wrap them up

Hailing from the Boston area myself, I’m feeling a little raw today.  I’m so relieved and grateful that my friends and family members who were watching or running the race are all home safe.  But it really pains me to think of all the families who are hurting today, and I am hurting with them.

I was reading Facebook earlier today, and a high school friend asked how to explain this to his 4 year old son.  One person’s response was to just give his son the facts.  I am on the opposite end of this spectrum.  Perhaps I’m too naive, but if there is anything I can do to protect my two year old and five year old from the terrifying aspects of this world, I would like to do so.  I’m not afraid to talk about life and death, because this is the cycle of life. Yet, their young minds can not truly understand the rational details of such an event; is it really worth giving them “the facts”?  I just want to wrap them up and keep them safe and innocent, just a little bit longer.

There were a few hours yesterday when I was waiting to hear if my brother was safe; what an unsettling time.  Thankfully, I had to remain present with my kids.  Ella and I had a fun photo shoot, showing off her new Regina (to coordinate with mine – so Hanna Andersson!).

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Wrapping her up.


* This post shared on Yarn Along and Keep Calm Craft On.

Instant Gratification

So I went looking for instant gratification, and here’s what I found: Regina.

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Regina!  What a great pattern by one of my favorite designers, Carina Spencer.  So unique in its construction: first you knit the band, lengthwise like an itty-bitty scarf, then you pick up stitches from the brim, join in the round, and knit the hat inside out to minimize purling.  It’s warm, it’s cute, it’s a great stash-buster, and best of all: there is no gauge swatching!  Seriously – you just measure and do a little bit of math and you’re all set to knit! (Did I mention it’s also a FREE download).  Go download this pattern now!

My Ravelry notes are here.

* Joining Keep Calm Craft On and Yarn Along

Little Oak

It’s done! I think this is the most lovely sweater I’ve ever made, and it’s a shining example of what happens when you follow directions and do everything right (which is unfortunately NOT usually how I roll when knitting!).  I knit a gauge swatch, I carefully took Ella’s measurements, I adjusted the sleeves and length up a size, I blocked the finished garment.  And it’s fabulous.

So, without further ado, may I present the Little Oak Sweater…

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The pattern is the Little Oak sweater, part of the Coastal Kids collection by Never Not Knitting. Ella picked out this lovely Malabrigo merino yarn, and the buttons are handmade by my very own husband; they are made from locally harvested Osage Orange wood. (My Ravelry notes are here).

And now I’m off to select an easy, instant gratification project for me!

* Joining the crafting fun at Keep Calm Craft On


It’s hard to believe that winter has almost come and gone, and I’ve hardly a knitted item to show for it.  This fall, I seriously imagined that I could start and finish a sweater for Ella in time for her birthday on the Winter Solstice.  Nope.  Then, I imagined that Valentine’s Day would be a great goal.  Wrong again.  So I set my sights on a Spring Equinox sweater. And I do believe I may just achieve this goal!

What has changed?  Well, first off all, I finally finished the sleeves.  While I am grateful for the opportunity to have learned and practiced using the magic loop method to knit two sleeves at once, it took FOREVER!  But, the sleeves are the exact same length – something that has probably never before been achieved by this knitter!  (Just check out the sleeves on this sweater for proof!)  And second, and perhaps more importantly, we had grandparent visitors.  The kids so love their grandparents that dear old mama was able to just park herself in the cozy recliner and knit, knit, knit (as evidenced by this photo, taken by Ella)


The pattern, by the way, is the Little Oak sweater, from the Coastal Kids collection. I do believe it may be the most gorgeous item I have ever knit.  The oak leaf pattern was a pure delight, and so motivating!  And when the sweater is complete (next week, I promise!), it will be the most beautifully fitted three-season garment.  I can’t wait to see it on Ella.

What are you knitting these days?

* Joining the fine crafty folks at Frontier Dreams for Keep Calm, Craft On!


Birthday vest, take two!

I had to do it. I simply had to make Everett a new birthday vest to make up for my gross error in improperly sizing his Milo vest.  So I searched for a super cute, super fast knit that I could whip up for his special day, and found the gloriously simple and adorable Plain Vest by Pickles.
Pickles is a rocking pattern and yarn shop, in that they offer one size of each of their many patterns for free!  The 12 month version of the Plain Vest is free on their website, and it was easy to upsize it to fit my 2 year old pumpkin (see Ravelry notes here).

Everett was very happy with his new vest, and so was I!


Joining the fine crafty folks at Frontier Dreams today for Keep Calm Craft On


Stash Busting

It is officially birthday season.  Me, Everett, and Ella all in November and December (oh, and a few other significant holidays thrown in there too!).  And with my sincere efforts to give my children handmade gifts, I have been knitting like crazy.  Drum roll please … I have FINALLY completed Everett’s birthday vest.  Just a few days before my sweet pumpkin turns two.

It is the Milo vest, a totally cute and very easy pattern (my Ravelry notes are here).  What made this vest great fun for me is that it was a stash buster.  So I got to revisit several yarns that I have used and loved over the past year.  The garter stitch shoulders – these fingerless gloves, the light blue Cascade 220 – the oh so cute Manda Ruth cardigan, the sapphire and brown – two Pebbles vests for very special little boys.  Such sweet memories. (Not to mention the fact that now I have a total free ticket to yarn purchasing!)
The only problem with this wonderful project is that it is too big for Everett.  SUPER big.  Like, it’s even a bit loose on almost 5 year old Ella.  And why? Because I was too darn stubborn to do a gauge swatch.  I HATE to gauge swatch!  And that, my friends, is what keeps me from being a really great knitter.  So now I have a total ethical dilemma on my hands:  do I let this superb sweater languish in a drawer for two years, or do I give it to Ev for his birthday, then let Ella wear it until he grows into it?  She sure looks cute in this vest!

What would you do with the vest?  Help me out here!!

(*check out more crafty fun at Keep Calm Craft On)

Manda Ruth

Hello! It’s been a mighty long time since I’ve written here.  We’ve had a visitor, lots of rain, and oodles of homestead work.  I’ve been diligently working in the garden, planting the last of the veggies into the ground.  Thanks to our winter and spring efforts, the sweet reward of harvest begins: Asparagus, peas, lettuce, spinach, kale, Swiss chard, new potatoes, carrots, beets, and today, our first ripe strawberries!  It feels so good to be able to once again craft our menu around what is ready to eat from the garden.

Noticing that sweet Everett was growing bigger and bigger, and that my sweater-in-progress was not, I decided to make a strong push to the finish.  Thank goodness I did, because this 24 month sized sweater fits my 18 month boy just perfectly.

It’s the Manda Ruth cardigan, minus the hood, and you can find my Ravelry notes here.

Can you believe those cheeks?  I just want to eat them up, they are so chubbilicious!

What are you creating today?

* Yarn Along-ing today with the fine folks at Small Things.  Check it out here.