Thursday, May 31, 2012

Little Lilly's Sweater pt 2

While at a cookout at my lovely sister's house during Memorial Day Weekend I put the finishing touches on Little Lilly's sweater!  I must say total this should have only taken me about a week or two on the outside to kint and finish up.  Much to my dismay half way through the project I dropped the ball of yarn in the mud running from work to the car on a stormy day.  That will teach me not to properly stow my projects before dashing in the rain :) 

Anyway back to the construction of the sweater!  It is so easy to follow the pattern I cannot say enough good things about it. The only time I did not seem super pumped to keep going was before you put the sleeve stitches on holders.  I found myself keep saying and see this will be the side and this will be the sleeves to puzzled looks from anyone I could find to show.  My favorite rows were the ones right after slipping the sleeves on to holders and you go from something that just looks a little blah to instant sweater!!

I picked out some fun purple elephant buttons that I scored from Jo-Ann's for less than 2 bucks.  (Hint:  Check the front of the store for a stand with their weekly fliers...they have COUPONS!) 

I love this sweater and even though it came out closer to the size of 6 mths vs the 0-3 mths I was trying for I already have plans to kint up at least three more for gifts. 

Great grab and go project that will get oohs and awes from anyone your knitting near!

Check it out on Ravelry

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Summer Berry Cookies

The minute I saw these cookie cutters in the King Arthur Flour catalog, I fell in love. I love all things fruit. And blueberries and strawberries are my favorites!!
Of course, I then had to try them out! I used our Favorite Sugar Cookie Recipe.
 The only problem- I can't have food dye. I usually just frost my cookies in plain white frosting or chocolate. But the berries were too cute to just frost white! So I did a little research and a little thinking and decided to try using natural coloring.
For the Blueberry I used a couple of teaspoons of blueberry jam and for the Strawberry I used cherry juice. I suppose I could of made it a bit darker, but I was afraid of messing up the frosting. I tried out King Arthur's Flour Simple Cookie Glaze, which I liked very much. But the consistency has to be just right and I didn't feel like there was a lot of play room. All in all, I would say they are a success! I would like to play with the colorings a bit more, using a frosting recipe I know, and see if I can get different shades.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Red, White and Blue

 In honor of Memorial Day,
 I have decided to post some red, white and blue flower pictures. 
I love anything patriotic and I love the colors so much that
 my room is decorated in red, white and blue.    

I went hunting in the our family pictures archives, which is a BIG external drive, and wanted to share pictures of some of our favorite veterans!

Kenneth-on right- is our great-uncle on our Maternal side.

This is Edward, our Paternal grandfather.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Garden Is In!!

In March, Amanda and I started tomatoes, peppers, marigolds and zuchini indoors. When they sprouted we had a little fan blowing on them to strengthen them for the great outdoors. These little pepper plants are small, but sturdy and ready to grow! Unfortunately the marigolds didn't sprout and we will have to buy "ready-made" flowers.
Can you see me waving?
This was a patch of calendula that seeded themselves, can you imagine? We had to relocate them to make room for tomatoes.

Mom always has to have geraniums in pots, they always have to be red. We snuck a few different shades in this year. There were supposed to be white ones as well, but I took them for my own flower bed. Just don't tell Mom.
 Our Grandpa gave us these beautiful poppies from his garden, aren't they just gorgeous? The color almost matches my nail polish!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Jane Austen Knit Magazine

Have you seen the new Jane Austen Knits? We are all crazy about it! But not just because it is a wonderful knitting magazine.......

I am published!! Isn't that amazing! I am still getting over the shock. For more pictures visit my blog. You can also favorite it on Ravelry!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Vintage Style Magazine

I usually don't buy magazines, but as a treat I picked one up last week. We were in a book shop, it was too tempting! I have enjoyed browsing through it so much. First off the cover really caught my eye as the curtains are made of vintage handkerchiefs! Which I was thought was a ingenious idea.
I few peaks at what is inside. I loved this article about the mason jar. So many uses!
Inside there is lots of decorating ideas and gardening tips. A wedding- vintage style! Kitchen make overs, ideas on how to use vintage fabric, flea market finds and crafty/decorating ideas. So inspiring!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Linen Market Bag Part 1

 This is the next knitting project I started. A linen market bag for my sister. She had bought the yarn awhile ago and tried to knit one, but didn't like it. 

So I decided to try knitting one for her. I think it is more fun to knit for someone else! 

She got three different colors of yarn, I think they were on sale. I thought  I would knit it in strips. 

I have ripped it out a couple of times, but now I think I have got the pattern down now! I like it! I was hoping I could make another bag out of the yarn too!   

Pattern from:
Knitting 24/7: 30 Projects to Knit, Wear, and Enjoy, On the Go and Around the Clock. 
Needle size: 5 
I am using a long circular needle. I just used the magic loop method for the beginning.     
Yarn: is MaggiKnits Maggi Linen
52% cotton 48% linen 

If you want to see more about it check out my ravelry account.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

English Paper Piecing-Hexagons

On my blog, Apron History, I showed you how to make Grandmother's Flower Garden using the paper piecing method. Here we will talk about making the paper templates.
The first question I thought of when I decided to venture forth on this project, was where do I get a hexagon? It isn't like a circle, just browse through the kitchen until you find a size you like. Not may objects are hexagon in shape. But I knew who to call, my brother! He is a beekeeper and fascinated with all things bee. And as we all know, honeycomb is hexagon shape. Which according to my brother is the most efficient way to use space. Bees have so much intelligence built into them, it is amazing. Don't we have an awesome Creator! Here is how he told me to make a hexagon.

1. Using a protractor, draw a straight line. Mark the center.
 2. Keeping the center mark lined up with the center of the protractor, draw a line 60 degrees from your first line.
 3. Draw another line 60 degrees from the previous line. You should now have three intersecting lines.
 4. Determine how big you want your hexagon, measure the width and mark. I made mine 1 inch wide, which also happened to be 1 inch from the center. Mark your width on all lines.
 5. Connect the marks to make your hexagon. (Oh dear! My hexagon looks a little crooked, didn't measure something right!)
 A  pattern to cut fabric pieces with and a stack of hexagon templates .
Of course, you can also use an online hexagon generator, which I didn't think of until yesterday!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mothers Day!!

Happy Mothers Day to all the mom's out there.  Today I baked up a special treat for my mother and grandmother.  It is the cake featured in Better Homes and Gardens May 2012 issue. 

Pink Lemonade Cake

This recipe was a fun to put together.  Rather than being able to just add ingredients to the mixture right away there were several steps where you mixed like ingredients together and then alternated adding the mixtures.  The only trouble I had was getting the batter pink enough.  I did not add enough food coloring to the first half to get a pretty pink after baking.  The batter tastes delicious.  Cooking time should have been 35 min but it took 45 min.

The recipe calls for a Lemonade Buttercream frosting made from 2 cups of butter and 2 16 oz jars of marshmallow creme which I did not have in the house.  So instead I went online and found a Lemon Butter Frosting from the Better Homes and Gardens website. 

Lemon Butter Frosting

This is a simple to put together recipe for frosting that complements the cake.  It uses the same ingredients as the cake so everything should be on hand and it leaves enough lemonade concentrate to mix up and drink. 

Make sure you share with friends!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Pincushion Jars

I saw these online one day and when I got home from work I had to try my hand! I thought they would be handy when quilting. We like to quilt at all odd moments, while catching up on the days news,  resting for a few minutes between chores or cozied in for the night watching a movie. That means the quilt gets moved around a lot from one spot to another. With these little pincushion jars to help us stay organized we won't have to go searching for the needle and thread or leave a trail of safety pins behind us.
 They are quite simple to make. You may either use a sewing method or a non-sewing method.
What you will need:
canning jar with lid and ring
scrap of fabric
fiber fill
cardstock or shirt cardboard
hot glue gun or craft glue
needle and thread (sewing method)

1. Draw a circle on wrong side of fabric about 2" bigger then your lid. Cut out and sew large gathering stitches around edge.
2. Place fiber fill on fabric. Lay lid on top and pull up gathering stitches. Check to see how firm and how puffy pincushion is by putting the ring over lid, arranging fabric so there are no large tucks. When just right, knot thread. (For the non sewing method, glue the fabric directly onto the lid, tucking and gathering.)
3. Place lid on cardstock and trace. Cut out circle and glue to bottom of lid.
4. Screw lid and ring on jar and let dry!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Spiral Socks

 I was shopping one day with my Mom and this sock yarn just jumped out at me,
 so I had to buy it! I have not knit a pair of socks in a while.

 I saw a free pattern there that was for the Spiral pattern from Paton’s, but they had you knit it as tube socks. I did not like that, so I made a few changes to it.

 I like to knit my socks from the toe up. But I do not like double pointed needles, so I have sworn them off!!
  I knit my socks the magic loop method, this time I tried knitting them two at a time.

 I decided to  knit the slip stitch heel.  But I didn’t have the right amount of stitches!!  So I tried figuring out if there was a formula to use with my number of stitches. I had about 60 sts give or take a few! I thought I almost had it, but not quite!

So I googled it!! And guess what, there was a formula!! I was excited!   
Someone out there had figured it out, it is from Knot Another Hat  It is really cool and I love the heel!

I finished them last night !! 
Well almost I just had to bind off one sock today!  
If you would like to see more about the socks you can look at my Ravelry account. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Little Lilly's Sweater pt. 1

Knitter:  K-Dee
Pattern:  Lillie's Little Sweater
Size: 0-3 months
Needles:  7 US

This week I have had extra couch & TV time staying home from work with a cold.  With all this time I decided to try my first sweater pattern!  So far I have made scarves, a few hats and single socks.  I know that sometime in the future we are planning a kit-a-long (kal) but I wanted to get the basics under my belt before dedicating a gigantic amount of time to an adult sweater.  So with my pattern booklet and a phone near by to call for help if needed, I cast on. 

Gauge -- What is it good for?

I will be the first to admit that I do not like to swatch.  I think mostly because I understand the concept but I never can seem to count the stitches correctly.  For example on this sweater you are to have 4.5 stitches per inch.  I seem to have 4 stitches per inch but the sweater seems to be gigantic.  So we will see.

Kitting up the pattern

I really like this pattern so far.  It has a lot of text which at first was a bit overwhelming but really it is just full of really good explanations.  So far the skills used are: knit, purl, short rows, picking up stitches on an edge and yarn over button holes.  I was a bit nervous about the short rows because up to this point every time I have had to do short rows with wraps that you pick up.  But these are easy short rows that are simple, just my style! I did have to do the short rows more than once because my yarn split a few times and I did not realize it until several rows later.

The other technique that I was not familiar with was picking up stitches on the edge.  I simply have not had to do this on any of my previous projects and of course was over thinking it.  A quick look on YouTube and I found a simple video that explained it concisely and clearly. 

I used this one from knittingtipsbyjudy

I am now finished with the hood and neckband.  Up next is setting up the stitches to begin the raglan sweater portion. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Day Basket

Happy May Day!

The little May basket we made this morning.

We used paper, cut into strips and woven together to make the basket. Then a small canning jar filled with flowers was put inside.

 Lily of the Valley and Violets. Beautiful!