Wednesday, April 30, 2008

baby quilt & booties

Lots and lots of friends around me are becoming mothers and I've been having such a fun time creating little projects for new babies.



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Here is my latest quilt for baby Elijah, born a little over a week ago.







I've been seeing this pattern on blogs for a while, but creative little daisy happened to post this quilt just as I was beginning to plan out this project.







I used solid brown fabric from my stash and 20 charm squares (5"x5") from the Moda Summer in the City Collection. The pattern from the site is now gone, but basically I cut each square into 4 triangles and then pieced a printed fabric triangle with a solid brown triangle. This created 80 total squares that I then pieced together in the diamond pattern. After sewing the squares together I added a three inch border on all sides. I forgot to measure the finished quilt, but it was 8 squares across and 10 squares down and I'm guessing that it is about 30" x 36".







In addition to the quilt, I also made these darling little booties with the Saartje's booties pattern. This was definitely my kind of pattern (way cuter and way less time consuming than Jon's sweater!). I used Paton's Grace, mercerized cotton yarn and size 3 needles. I first made this project harder than it was intended to be because I thought it was supposed to be knitted in the round. After finishing about 8 rows, I realized that it was supposed to be knit flat and then seamed at the end. It was much easier to knit it flat!





Tuesday, April 29, 2008

morning ritual




eat cereal.



get followed around by a certain cat looking for milk.



give in to adorable face and let her lap up a few licks.



Monday, April 28, 2008

Saturday in Detroit





We spent Saturday afternoon at a baseball game with our friend Joel, and his japanese friend, Okuda-san, who was in town for the weekend (we will always remember our first day in Japan, which was commemorated by this lovely photo featuring sleepy Jon and I and yawning Okuda-san!).







For those of you that know us (and Joel), you'll know that we're not so into baseball (or any sports for that matter). The things that were coming out of our mouths at the game were quite comical:



"What team are they playing?"



"I don't know, the Los Angeles something that starts with an 'A'"



"Okuda-san says that Ordoñez is a pretty popular player" (while totally butchering the name Ordoñez)



"What's a double play?"



"How long do these things last?"



"Is it over yet?"



"What just happened?"



"It would be cool to design graphics for those skinny billboards. It would be like ultra-ultra-wide screen."











I'm sure the super fans sitting around us were laughing at all the comments we were making about the game! We did end up learning a lot about baseball via Joel translating Okuda-san's play-by-plays, though!











After the game, we headed over to Slows Barbecue for some real American food and ended up waiting two (2!) hours for a table! It was almost worth the wait for the delicious blackened catfish, baby back ribs, macaroni and cheese, waffle fries and baked beans. Yummy!





While we waited, we walked over to the old train station and took pictures. One of the great landmarks in Detroit, this building has completely fallen apart and has sat vacant for many years. I can only imagine what it looked like at its peak!





Tuesday, April 22, 2008

bread, dinner, tulips and dish cloths





I jumped on the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day bandwagon last weekend and we've been enjoying fresh baked bread around here. We're both excited about all of the bread possibilities this book brings. There's not much else that I can add to the conversation that's been going on about this book here, here, and here, so just enjoy the pictures! I do have a little warning though: glass pyrex dishes are not safe at 450 degrees! I had one shatter in the oven yesterday while I was baking the bread. The book says to use a broiling pan with one cup of water to add steam to the cook time. I thought my pyrex dish would be a good substitute for our non-existent broiling pan, but it definitely wasn't!











Have I ever mentioned how lucky I am that Jon enjoys cooking so often? Well, I am! He put together this tasty bowl of udon noodles with tofu, scallions and mushrooms last night. Now, if only Jon also had a burning passion to do the laundry...he'd be 100% perfect (sadly, neither of us enjoy this task)!







Our first tulips have finally bloomed! They've been slowly creeping up this spring and they finally made their debut this morning. I'm so happy that all the money we spent on them at the tulip farm last summer didn't go to waste. So far 4 have bloomed, only 96 more to go!







And I so wasn't joking about only knitting dish cloths from now on. I stocked up on the sugar n cream cotton yarn this weekend, and I should have enough to use throughout the summer while I'm sitting outside and enjoying the weather. Now, we just need to put our hammocks up in the backyard and we'll be all set!



Saturday, April 19, 2008

Cobblestone Pullover

I did it! I finally finished my first sweater! This project took forever to complete. I started back in January, set it aside for a while in February and then kicked it into high gear in March and April. I had originally planned to have it finished by our anniversary (3.18), but I think I was only done with the body and half of one sleeve by then.







Here it is in all its glory. The first time Jon tried on the finished sweater, it wouldn't fit over his head (imagine me trying to coax it over his head and Jon writhing in pain). Jon did manage to get it over his ears and his nose, after some stretching and pulling, though. So, I pulled out the neck line and started it before the 5th decrease and made it a bit wider. It's still a little tight, but he can get it over his head with much less pain now.



At first, the sweater was a bit snug on him, but after blocking it, I was able to stretch it out and now it fits nicely with some room to move.



I'm so glad it fits him! Half the time I was knitting this I was worrying about it not fitting Jon, so this project got to be a bit stressful near the end. But, it fits, he likes it and it's finished. Yay!







Here are the details:



Pattern: Cobblestone Pullover by Jared Flood
Yarn: Paton's Classic Wool Merino
Color: Dark Olive
Skeins: 5 (1100 yds. total)
Size: Smallest
Needles: 8US







Pattern Modifications:
My gauge was a lot smaller than the specifications, so I went up a needle size. The gauge was still smaller then the recommended size, but I left it as is because Jon's chest is smaller than the small measurement and he doesn't like his clothes too baggy.



I made the body length 18" rather than the suggested 16" and I made the sleeve length 21" rather than 19" because Jon has long arms and a long torso.



For the body I cast on 166 stitches, rather than 176. For the arms I cast on 48 stitches rather than 52 stitches and did the increases as written. I followed the rest of the directions as written, except for taking out the final decrease.





Monday, April 14, 2008

funny sights

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Can you tell that my dad works in IT? (This is the secure password for the wireless internet at my parents' house).



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or maybe demolition?




Saturday, April 12, 2008

knitting goodness



I took a little road trip last night to see the Yarn Harlot speak at the Ann Arbor Public Library. It was crazy to see so many knitters in one place! I ended up watching her chat from the room with the closed circuit feed because I didn't arrive in time for a seat in the live action room. She gave a great, inspiring, and hilarious talk (she sounds just like her blog/book writing!). And, I was able to finish up my second ball band dish cloth while I listened. I love multitasking!







The Cobblestone Pullover is coming along, slowly but surely. At least now it's looking more and more like a real sweater and not just a mish mash of knitted parts! I think I've figured out the whole short row thing (fingers crossed), so now I've just got to finish up the yoke and pray that it fits Jon! I'm not so sure I've got it in me to knit another sweater, though. Those dish cloths are so quick, easy and instantly gratifying! Maybe I'll change my mind once I have a finished object in my hands...who knows?





And finally, this little treasure came in the mail for me earlier this week. A Matryoshka doll from rosehip. I've been admiring these dolls for a while now and was so happy to have a chance to buy one when they first debuted. It's even cuter in person!



Tuesday, April 8, 2008

potholders



a little birthday present for my Mom, who is celebrating today! Happy Birthday, Mom!

patterns from Lotta Jansdotter Simple Sewing

embroidery design from the Sublime Stitching book



She'll be debuting her new blog soon. We started setting it up together tonight. Once she starts posting, I'll let you know.



Monday, April 7, 2008

Improvisational Quilts



Yesterday afternoon I headed over to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn to check out the current exhibit: "Improvisational Quilts of Susana Allen Hunter." The quilts were beautiful in their simplicity and utilitarian nature. I especially loved her hand quilting patterns. If you are in the area and want to check out the exhibit, it is open until April 27. Here are a few of my favorites and the rest are in this flickr gallery.









After seeing the exhibit, I met up with some friends to see U2:3D. Great show! It was almost like seeing U2 live, but a lot less expensive than the real thing!





Tuesday, April 1, 2008

more progress



Well, my first sweater is slowly starting to come together. I had a hard time getting used to using the dpns for the sleeves, so I had a bit of a hold up in the progress department for a while. I was definitely feeling like I had 5 left hands trying to maneuver the yarn around the needles that were slipping all over the place. Luckily, I have gotten used to the awkwardness and the second sleeve is starting to come together a lot faster than the first. I can't wait to finish up the sleeve and get to the fun part of combining all the pieces to make the yoke. I have got to finish this sweater before spring comes!