Once again, I am in a cycle of baby knits for friends. In early February I cast on this project anticipating that it would be for a May baby; however, the recipient ended up being another cutie – baby Grady, a sweetheart of a little guy who made his debut on Valentine’s Day. In March I had the opportunity to meet baby Grady as I dropped off a gift bag and some treats for his Mom & Dad. My Sunday afternoon was delightful as Grady snuggled onto my shoulder and snoozed as I listened to his parents share the story of how he came to join their family. I was definitely smitten with this little cutie and have offered to babysit whenever they need.
What a treat to check email this week and see pictures of Grady snug in his kicking sack – I never tire of receiving pictures of babes in/on the hand knits that I’ve made for them!
This was a great project to knit & I definitely plan for more of these bags to come off my needles this year – what a fun way to use sock yarn. The details are on Ravelry.
(By the way – lovin’ the new “share” links on Ravelry that don’t require signing up to access.)
Recently I had the opportunity to meet Baby Luke, the late July arrival that had me diving into my dishcloth cotton. I dropped off a meal so his Mom didn’t have to cook and also gifted a few baby knits. His Mom and Grandma (who was visiting from CA) are both knitters & immediately wanted to know the details about the projects. I’ve knit the bib a couple of other times; however, this was the first time that I knit up the burp cloth – it was a simple pattern that turned out great. I can see using the burp cloth pattern again in the future – maybe even as a kitchen towel.
Project Details – Baby Genius Burp Cloth in Swimming Pool & Baby Bib O’ Love in Hot Blue; no modifications; glittery silver star button from my stash.
Since Baby Luke would have been swallowed by the bib (he’s still a wee one) I thought I’d share some pictures of babes in Artisan Knits from this year.
Double Blessing Bonnets – This is a project that I never blogged about as I knit earlier this year. Earlier this winter a friend had adorable twin girls. I knew that I wanted a “classic” bonnet pattern & I found this one while browsing Ravelry. Since Jane had chosen sage & pink as the baby/nursery colors I thought it would be fun to use those colors to make complementary bonnets instead of matching bonnets. These were a quick knit – both were finished in a weekend. When I delivered a meal & the bonnets a few weeks later, Grace & Gwen immediately put them to use.
Project Details (x2) – Pattern: Feather & Fan Bonnet by Larissa Brown; Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in pale mint & pale green (less than 1 skein each); Hand dyed silk ribbon in the perfect shades of pink & sage from My Sisters Knits; Modifications: I knit the neck edging in the contrasting color
Corrie in Bloom – I knit this hat quickly one evening in January because I wasn’t going to be able to go to Deb’s baby shower. In a “it’s a small world” moment, a friend of Deb’s “found” me on Ravelry because she saw my project out there & had seen the hat at the baby shower – neither of us knew the other was a knitter. Deb posted this picture of the hat in action several months ago – so fun to see the hat being worn instead of being modeled on a mixing bowl!
I’ll wrap up this parade of babes in handknits with my buddy Sullivan wearing another Baby Bib O’ Love. He was the recipient of an Artisan Baby Blanket last year.
I enjoy knitting for new babes – seeing these cuties can’t help but bring a smile around!
Wednesday afternoon I received an email that a friend had delivered a healthy baby boy. Now, the reality is that is was not an unexpected event – hello, I’ve known for several months that a little boy would be arriving this summer. But, had I done anything knitwise for them? Um, no. So my immediate thought was “what to make?” – that was quickly followed by “bibs” and visit to my cube of dishcloth cotton. Fewer than 10 minutes after receiving the email yarn had been selected & I had cast on for some quick gifts.
As I told my Mom, if I ever felt like I needed to justify why I’m always picking up assorted skeins of dishcloth cotton this is a reason why. A quick dive into the cotton & I’m on my way with some quick knit gifts. More details once they are finished & gifted.
I have always liked flowers – both in nature and in art. Whenever I visit a museum I’m apt to pick up a postcard or print of any flower art that I’ve seen. On one bedroom wall is a collage of assorted prints from Redon, Renoir, Redoute and Cezanne. In the dining room, the floral bouquets of Jan van Huysum decorate the walls. When I see these prints I’m reminded of fun trips to the National Gallery of Art, the Getty Museum, and more. When given the chance, I enjoy planting flowers outside & watching them bloom. Summer visits to the farmers market mean coming home with armloads of assorted flowers & making flower arrangements to enjoy inside. Trips to the botanic gardens in Chicago, Atlanta and Dallas have been filled with fun times and photo ops with family and friends. Sunflowers always make me smile.
This time of year, I enjoy watching amaryllis (actually hippeastrum), paperwhites and hyacinths bloom indoors. This week it has been fun to see the 3 blooms emerge from this year’s bulb. The cheery red blooms brighten the room.
B is for BLOOMS & BLOSSOMS
As the blooms have been growing in my living room, blooms and blossoms have also been growing from the knitting needles.
Bloomin’ Baby Hat
A friend is having a baby girl in a few weeks. I wasn’t able to make it to her baby shower; however, this little hat was there. Since Baby T will be joining a big brother I knew I wanted to give a decidedly girly gift & I wanted to branch out from the standard baby patterns that I’ve done before. Enter Ravelry – a search on baby items yielded the hat pattern. With the pattern in hand I dove into my stash & found a fun yarn combination. Within an evening the hat was on & off the needles. Once it was finished I knew it needed a little “something” extra – the original plan was to crochet a few flowers to add to it. Instead I knit a morning star flower from the pattern in Last Minute Knitted Gifts and then attached it to the hat with a button I had pulled from Grandma’s button box.
Details: Lilly Hat by Larissa Brown; Jaeger Matchmaker Merino & Koigu Kersti held together on size 9 DPNs.
Cherry Blossoms Neckwarmer
When I was in My Sister’s Knits earlier this month I saw this yarn & immediately thought of cherry blossoms. Many people think of the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC each spring – my first thought for Cherry Blossoms is Macon, GA – in high school and college the Artisan family always enjoyed the great festival that celebrated the early blooms of spring. My original plan was to knit the skein into the Ribs & Ruffles scarf from the vendor website. Once I got the yarn home and was looking through my Ravelry queue I decided that a neckwarmer would be a great use for the yarn.
The details: Cherry Garcia from Hello Yarn; Misti Alpaca Chunky handpainted on size 10.5 DPNs.
Before too long, it will be time to pick up tulips from the store & bring cheer to the house…and then it will be time to think about what gardening will occur on the deck and in the flowerbed this year.
As someone who enjoys knitting and other handicrafts, it is obvious that I’m drawn to the handmade in life. The last week has provided me with an assortment of A Mano moments.
A co-worked recently returned from a vacation to Peru that included home stay lodging. As a way for the host families to recognize their guests, the mothers knit hats for everyone. Not only did the hat provide a signal in Peru, Stacey is using her hat to keep away the chill here in Chicago. I was in the office on Wednesday and had a chance to see this beautiful hat up close & personal. In a word – wow! The colors are so vibrant, the colorwork is so perfect. What a great way for her to remember this great trip. This handmade colorwork piece is definitely something to aspire to.
Another year, another birthday. To celebrate my birthday on Wednesday evening Greg, Jen, Kristy & I enjoyed a fabulous evening at a new restaurant in Chicago – A Mano. We were ‘drawn’ to the restaurant because it was part of the Bin 36 restaurants that we enjoy, it featured Italian food and they made many flavors of gelato in house. The evening didn’t disappoint. This is a great place to go with friends and share items off the menu – in fact, all of the pastas can be ordered as half portions – all the easier for sharing. As the name suggests, the menu focuses on the handmade – from the starters of celery root salad, prosciutto, mole salame and a lamb meatball/eggplant pizza to the hand-cut pastas (gnocchi, lasagna Bolognese, pumpkin ravioli, pappardelle with boar & raisins plus a mushroom risotto) to the gelatos (we sampled chocolate, vanilla, chocolate-hazelnut, pumpkin, mascarpone, coffee, and a cranberry-apple sorbet) everything was delicious. They have a nice Italian wine list and were helpful in pointing us towards a “new to us” wine that we absolutely loved – a white Pinot Noir. Instead of a candle in the dessert, they brought out half glasses of a rose’ prosecco for us to toast my birthday – I thought that was a nice touch. It was an all around great evening and we all agreed that we needed to come back again soon to enjoy more of the A Mano specialities.
The last couple of weeks have been filled with some secret knitting. This weekend it was gifted and can now be revealed. My friend Kristina is pregnant with her first baby so one my Artisan Baby Blankets was in order. The gender of Baby C is not known so I went with a gender neutral color combo that also didn’t fall into the traditional baby colors. This blanket was knit with Cotton-Ease in the Violet & Almond colorways held together on size 10.5 needles. This was my first time working with Cotton-Ease and it was a great knit – I think it will be able to handle the task of being a well used baby blanket. I hear that the blanket is in the bassinet awaiting the arrival of Baby C.
With the holidays just around the corner my hands will be very busy in the coming weeks with the assorted handmade gifts that I’m hoping to finish up. (Hmm…my sweater may be taking a back seat to other projects for a while…) I also hope to spend some time in the kitchen making some handmade Christmas treats to share. What about you – what handmade experiences are you having these days?