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She’s here!

16 Apr

Quinn Marian arrived on April 9, 2013!

Here is a sneak peak at some newborn pictures featuring the sweater, hat and booties I featured in previous posts!IMG_0132IMG_0090IMG_0136

With those long fingers, she just might be a concert pianist…and most definitely a knitter. 😉  We are so very happy and blessed!

Hat and Booties

9 Apr

I finished knitting the hat and booties I had planned to go with the Wrap Sweater I posted about a few weeks ago.  Just in time with less than a week until my due date!

I found both patterns in Natural Nursery Knits by Erika Knight, the same designer of the wrap sweater, and knit them with Baby Ull yarn. Here is the finished result:

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And a preview of the complete outfit:

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I’m ready whenever you are, baby!

DIY Rosette Headband

2 Apr

Some of the items on my baby prep to-do list includes some cute accessories to have on hand for those early newborn pictures.  I decided I should try my hand at creating a cute little “I’m a girl” headband for her to wear.  While unpacking and putting away some baby gifts this weekend, there were a few things that caught my eye that I figured I could re-purpose into some rosettes for a headband.  I gathered them up along with some other items I had in my stash:  Cute ribbon from sweetly wrapped packages, some left over fabric from projects past, and the fabric pouch that a crib sheet was packaged in.

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To make the rosettes, I cut the fabric into about 1 -2 inch wide strips.  Next I cut out a circle from some left over felt to use as a base to the flower. I took my glue gun and added a dab of glue in the middle of the felt circle, and adhered the corner of the fabric to the center.   I let it sit for about a minute for the glue to harden everything into place.

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I then twisted the fabric, and started to wind it around the center, using my glue gun to glue the fabric down every inch or two as I wrapped it around and around.

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Once complete, I trimmed away the felt base from the edges.

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I created several different rosettes using this same method. You can see that the different materials created slightly different looks, and I also played around with how tight or loosely I twisted the fabric or ribbon.

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I also hunted through my jewelry box to see if there were any old earrings or accessories that I could use for embellishing a rose or two.  I came across the hair pins that I wore for my wedding, and thought it would be fun to incorporate one of them into one of the flowers.  The gem was attached to the hair pin with some wires, so I simply clipped and unwound the wire to remove the gem, and then glued it into one of the rosettes.

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To create the headband, I picked up some elastic at JoAnn Fabric. They were a knit texture with a sort of lace pattern that was softer than the other elastics, so I thought it would be nice and soft for a baby’s head.

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I had used a tutorial I found on Pinterest to create the headband at http://thesassypepper.blogspot.ca/2011/02/headband-tutorial-and-bitsy-band.html. It referenced this headband measurement guide:

Newborn (13 1/4″)
3-6 Months (14 1/2″)
6-12 Months (16″)
12 Months-Teen (17 1/2″)
Adult (18″)

So I measured out 13-1/4″ of the elastic for a newborn size band, and glued the ends into place on the back of one of the rosettes.

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The tutorial recommended a 1/4″ overlap.

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Once the band was in place, I cut another circle of felt to glue a final base on the back of the flower.

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I made three different versions with the rosettes I made:

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After I had finished them up, I came across an orphaned earring and did one more add to the grey polka dot headband.  Can’t wait to see how they look on our baby girl’s head!

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Breastfeeding Cover

28 Feb

I’m always on the hunt for fun projects to make for gifts for friends and family.  A week or two ago I saw this breastfeeding cover on the blog Freshly Picked and thought it would be fun to try.

I followed the directions step-by-step and it really was quite simple to make. I skipped the pocket and the terry cloth figuring most moms will use a burp cloth to wipe up spit-up or milk vs. the cover.

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It was hard to get a sense of what it looked like hanging on the wall, but Fred and my stuffed animal friend Froggy stepped in to play the role of mom and baby for me for this photo!IMG_1314

How I love my fiance who is man enough to pretend to be a woman nursing a baby all so his fiance can snag a photo for her blog!

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Although I think he might have said yes to this photo just to brag to Gina’s husband that he made the blog again. 🙂

What is it?

22 Feb

It only goes to show when you have several blogs ready you will forget to schedule them!  I was at it again last week making onesies for some friends expecting a little one. Do you know what this is? I’m curious to see if you can discern what I was attempting to create in a flannel applique on a onesie!

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And just for fun I’ll show you the booty (as my niece calls it) and a clue. It’s a famous landmark where they met. Does that help?  Let me know if you figure it out (and if you needed my clue).

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You can read the original post on my applique onesies here. Next week I PROMISE a new project!

Baby Wrap Sweater

19 Feb

I finally got started on some baby knits for my little bambino. Or should I say bambina? I was looking for the perfect ensemble to knit for her first pictures or possibly the coming home outfit. I borrowed a book from a friend called Simple Knits for Cherished Babies by Erika Knight, where I found this sweet little kimono style wrap sweater pattern.

The original pattern has a ribbon tie that wraps around and ties in the back. It is very sweet, but I decided that some simple buttons might be a bit easier to handle on our little peanut (buttons also make this pattern less feminine than ribbon, so this could be made for a boy or girl). I didn’t bother with button holes but added small loop holes by braiding three pieces of yarn into the edge of the sweater.

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I also added a simple tie on the inside of the wrap to keep her snug as a bug.

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I used Baby Ull superwash merino yarn in a smoky lavendar color and size 3 needles. This would be a great beginner garment pattern for a newer knitter – it only requires knit stitch and an increase stitch. The sweater is knit up in one piece, and then you just seam up the sides and under the arms. It is also a pretty quick knit for a garment – I was able to complete it in about 2 weeks of leisurely paced knitting.

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Next up are coordinating hat and booties that I found in another book I picked up – I didn’t realize until I got home that it was the same designer – I guess I like her style!

Oh, and I still haven’t forgotten about my unfinished herringbone cowl – I have a pact to work on it between my baby knit projects! Knowing me, I’ll probably be finishing that thing up during labor. ha!

Nursery Room Art

17 Jan

Gina, another friend Krista, and I hosted a baby shower back in November (or was it October!?!) for our dear friend Debi.  She was due right before Christmas with a little one, but the gender was to be a surprise.  Debi asked us to reign in the creative minds of the “Park Girls” (the name we call ourselves-we all met our freshman year of college when D was our Resident Assistant) to create some art for the nursery.  She mentioned maps and we started pinning up a storm.  This photo on Pinterest became our inspiration. Now that her little girl Audra has made her appearance we thought it time to post about the Park Girls nursery art.

Gina found silhouettes of animals on the internet which she printed off. We cut these out and then began tracing them onto maps. Not just any maps, oh no! Gina had contacted Debi’s hubby to find out the places special to them so we made sure to have those printed off for use. We had a U.S.Road Atlas on hand as well.

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Some of the animals were more complicated than others. Our friend Anne, above,  made a beautiful but complicated Dolphin using several different maps.

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Gina’s hippo utilized two different maps. If you look closely you can see the North Shore of Minnesota!

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We mounted each of the animals on white cardstock cut to size for some cheap IKEA frames (free to us since they were left overs from a project my mom never completed and handed over to me). We weren’t sure if Debi would like the wood look, so our offer still stands to paint them as she wishes.

Here they are all complete!

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Aren’t they spectacular?  Because I can’t get enough of them I’ll give you close ups of each one we made at the shower that you haven’t seen above.

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Dolphin

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Giraffe

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Elephant

This last big guy, the elephant, was one of two that I made. I had to hold myself back from sneaking him out of the stack to find his way home with me!

The Lion and the Elephant

6 Nov

I’ve  touted Susan B. Anderson’s Itty Bitty Hats knitting book in a previous knitting post.  Another great book in her book series is Itty Bitty Toys.  I’ve made several of the toys in this book, but this was the first time I took on one of  the adorable reversible toy patterns.  I chose to make the reversible Lion and Elephant toy for my friend D’s baby shower.

I used KnitPicks Comfy Worsted yarn, a super soft and smooth pima cotton blend yarn.  Each animal is knit up separately. The bottom of the body is knit up like a small baby hat, and the head, ears, tail, arms, and legs are knit separately, stuffed with fiber fill, and sewn onto the body.  Here is a front and back shot of both animals.

To attach them together, you flip the bodies inside out and stitch the centers together towards the base of the heads.

Then the bottom edges are whip stitched together.

Here’s the final product!

If you are a knitter or crocheter and haven’t tried making a stuffed animal, I highly recommend it!  They make for fun projects and great gifts!

Double Layer Receiving Blanket

1 Nov

As I’ve mentioned in this blog before, many of my friends have babies.  This double sided receiving blanket has become my go-to gift along with the personalized onesies I wrote about in this post.  In those photos you could see this baby blanket project accompanying the onesies.

What I love about this project is that it allows you to play with color and find the right fabric for the friends or baby at hand.  And I absolutely love that for one of my friend’s kiddos the blanket he received from me is HIS BLANKET. As in that blanket goes to bed with him every night and is dragged here there and everywhere and has apparently has had many a repair.  That particular flannel blanket had a crazy mix of puzzle pieces and baseballs on it- perfect for this particular baby’s baseball loving parents.

Sometimes I make the blankets square, but most often I buy two yards of corresponding fabric and go with it. Sometimes I’ll buy an extra quarter yard to make matching burp rags or an appliqued onesie, but for the blanket alone I purchase two, one yard pieces of flannel.  Flannel typically costs (at regular price) between $6 and $12 a yard.  I wait for sales at Jo-Ann Fabrics to buy the majority of my flannel.  For those of you looking a head a few weeks, the mega flannel sale at Jo-Ann fabrics is the day after Thanksgiving. This is when the price drops to $2 to $3 a yard.  Last year I spent TWO  AND A HALF HOURS waiting for them to cut my fabric. So long that I found a nice little corner and settled in to work on a one of the pumpkin hats I make mentioned in this post.  Yes, my cart was so full of flannel I stacked it on the bottom.

Let’s get to the details. Using a cutting matte and rotary cutter, I make sure that the fabric is cut as square as possible and that both pieces match up.  Despite the fact that I have purchased a yard of both they might be different widths of fabric so I’ll make sure to square them up and make them the same size-depending on what the width of the fabric was 36″ by 45″ or 36″ by 54″, etc.

I then pin them together with the RIGHT side of the fabric facing in and towards each other.  I leave an opening twelve to eighteen inches where I don’t pin.  At the last pin I double pin it to remind myself that I’ll need to stop at this point.

I then sew around the perimeter of the blanket save the eighteen inches mentioned above.  I typically sew a 1/2 seam along the edge to make sure I’ve caught both sides of fabric in my seam.  At the corners I put my needle down then turn for a tight 90 degree turn.

When I’ve sewn 3 and 3/4 sides of the blanket I then trim the corners and turn the blanket using a scissor to carefully poke the corners out.


It is easiest then, to lightly press the edges of your seams down making sure that the fabric isn’t folded over too far and the seam is at the edge.  Turn in the remaining 12 to 18 inches of fabric that is not sewn and carefully press down and pin so that this section appears to have the same size seam as the other that was previously sewn. I use this opportunity to add a little personalized “Made by Tashia” tag to the blankets.

I then stitch around the entire blanket, beginning with the area that is pinned.  I keep this stitch fairly close to the edge leaving only the distance between the needle and the edge of the foot as the distance from the edge.

These blankets are great gifts on their own or paired with the applique onesie found in this post.

What about you? Have you braved the Black Friday sales at Jo-Ann to score some flannel?  Despite having a stash from last Thanksgiving I did go to Jo-Ann this week to buy specific flannel for a friend whose baby-shower I’m hosting this weekend and paid FULL PRICE on most of it because it was absolutely perfect for them.  If you follow The Craftery MN on facebook, I’ll try to post an updated photo of those blankets when I finish them. Happy November!

Pumpkin for your little Pumpkin

26 Oct

Since the Halloween/Autumn/Thanksgiving season is upon us and I’ve taken up my crochet hooks again for the winter I thought I’d show you how to make my version of a pumpkin hat for a baby or toddler that I mentioned in this post.

It seems like I could crochet one of these these hats in my sleep, and for simplicity’s sake, a basic tutorial on how to create the single crochet baby hat can be found here. I’ll show you an updated photo of this hat there, but first we must crochet the stem and leaves that really make it a pumpkin hat!

To begin this process I chain 5 or 6 and then link the chain together using a single crochet stitch.  I continue stitching a single crochet in each stitch until a small tube begins to form.  I believe I was using a needle sized  “J.”  Continue to repeat this process until you have a small tube the desired length of your “pumpkin” stem.

When you have reached your desired length single crochet twice in each stitch.  This will expand the size of your stem and make the base of your stem.  I typically double stitch in each stitch two complete times in a circle.

You now have a pumpkin stem.  From there I create a chain through the last stitch about 25 to 30 chains long.  This will be your pumpkin tendril.  When your tendril is the desired length long begin single crochet in each chain link back to the stem of the pumpkin.  This tendril should begin to twist and look like a pumpkin tendril.

It is now time to create the leaves.  In the stitch next to your “tendril” single crochet along the stem for 4 to 6 stitches. Chain once and turn your piece adding in two single crochet stitches every other stitch. This will grow the width of your “leaf.” When you reach the stitch before the tendril-  single crochet twice then chain once and turn your work again repeating the process.  I repeat this process until the width of my leaf looks about right typically 4 or 5 lines.

At this point I need to apologize for my shoddy photography work (smart phone)  and lack of photos.  I was so caught up in leaf making I forgot to grab a mid-leaf shot.  So, now that you’ve seen the leaf let me explain my decreasing method.  When you want to begin decreasing your leaf, first chain once  to turn your work, stitch a single crochet in the first stitch, then skip a stitch and single crochet. Skip another stitch and single crochet again and repeat until you’ve made your way across the leaf skipping every other stitch.  Single crochet in the last stitch on that row, chain again, turn and repeat process until you are down to a single stitch on you last row.  Cut off 3 to 4 inches of yarn and using a large tapestry needle, work it through the last loop to tie off.  You can them weave a small section into the piecing underneath to make sure it doesn’t come loose. Cut off the extra yarn.

To start your second leaf I skipped a stitch next to the leaf that was just completed.  I then created a loop through the stitch where I wanted my next leaf to begin. While holding the loose end taut I followed the directions to begin a row of single stitches as I did for the leaf above.  The loose end near the stem can be worked into the underside of the stem with a larger tapestry needle. Cut off the extra yarn.

I then stitch the stem and bottoms of the leaves onto the hat with the tapestry needle.


A view from the top of the pumpkin.

And a better side view.  Unfortunately, these photos don’t do it justice. I think this is cutest when it is on some little punkin’s head.  I’ll search for some photos of this in other shades as well- it makes a good berry if you eliminate the tentrils and add in an addition leaf or three. Happy fall!