Monday, December 20, 2010

a little something sort of silly

I'm not much of a tea drinker. Coffee is definitely more my thing. But I do love tea in the winter, and it got cold surprisingly fast this year. (I keep hoping it's going to warm up soon and, when I tell people this, they look at me funny because it's December and we live in Maine.) I bought myself a teapot last year and found myself wanting to knit a teapot cosy. I don't know where this want came from. But I wanted a quick and easy project to work on this weekend and so I found some scrap yarn in my stash and cast on.



The pattern is Teapot Cosy by Alexis Layton. The pattern is free, very well written, and start to finish the entire project took me under 2 hours.

I'm in love with my little teapot sweater. While I don't know that it will actually keep my tea warmer longer, it will at least keep my hands from getting burned when I hold the teapot. And just looking at it makes me feel a bit warmer.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Low Tide Convertible Mittens

I am very excited that my most recent design--the Low Tide Convertible Mittens--has been published by Three Irish Girls! My inspiration for the design came last winter and spring when I was walking the beaches in Maine. I was looking for sea glass but every time I stopped to pick some up, my fingers just ached from the cold. I wanted a convertible mitten, but I also wanted to incorporate a lace design that reminded me of the water. So the Low Tide Convertible Mittens were born.





I knit the sample for this design in Three Irish Girls' "Zephyr" colorway on Springvale Super Merino. It's a beautiful, soft yarn that's machine washable. She's released a number of new colorways and patterns--all available to see in the Fall Lookbook.

To purchase the pattern for the Low Tide Convertible Mittens, visit Three Irish Girls' website here: http://www.threeirishgirls.com/product_p/p-lowtideconvertiblemittens.htm

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

there's something about garter stitch

I find myself knitting a lot of garter stitch lately. It's an "in between" activity for me: in between more complicated knitting projects, in between the stuff of daily life when I'm looking to make a transition from one activity to the next. I mean, I love KNITTING (meaning knitting as a hobby), but I also love the knit stitch. It's easy and mindless and I can just go on and on and not have to pay attention to what I'm doing.

So I've undertaken 2 garter stitch projects recently. One simple and quick: the wham bam thank you lamb! neckwarmer designed by insaknitty. I think it took me 3 hours to knit. This neckwarmer will be a gift for my daughter's kindergarten teacher. This would have made a better gift in December but I hope she enjoys it next fall and winter when it gets cold again. Let's not even entertain that idea.





The other project is simple and not so quick: the Moderne Baby Blanket. I'm giving myself 5 months to get this done! I've wanted to knit a log cabin blanket for quite some time now, and our family's newest little niece or nephew is the perfect reason. Just yesterday I got the first 2 blocks done: that's 4,320 knit stitches. Only 8 much bigger blocks to go!



Not only do I love the process of knitting garter stitch, I love the effect: the simple way that the knit stitches and purl bumps combine to make ridges that look like little waves. And these rows of waves create a fabric that is pleasing and calming to the eye, at least to my eye.

Knitting garter stitch is perfect when I want something to do with my hands and not my brain.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

some recent customs

I've been busy working on a few customs as well as finalizing the Lucia Sweater pattern.

I crocheted 2 newsboy caps for the children of a customer, who is also a dear friend of mine. While I've used traditional cotton in the past, I experimented with using organic cotton this time. Since the organic cotton I used shrinks vertically, I modified the pattern and then washed the hat to make sure it shrank like I thought it would. I tried it on my daughter and this picture just makes me giggle. She looks like she's thinking, "You want to mess with me?"



My friend requested pink flowers to go with the hats. I crocheted the flowers and sewed them on to a button so that they could button the flower onto the hats or remove them whenever they wanted. The cotton is a naturally occurring camel color and should go with almost anything.



I also just finished knitting a soaker for a customer using ...a time to dye's "Eden" colorway on Blackberry Ridge merino. This is a cheerful and bright colorway that will make a perfect summer soaker.

"eden" soaker

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

a big thank you to my test knitters!

I've been working on releasing the pattern for my Lucia sweater and it's finally available today! In this process, I got some help from knitters online who offered their time and resources to test knit the pattern for me. I'm incredibly grateful to these women for offering feedback, suggestions, and most of all their knitting talents to me.

In no particular order, I've got these knitters to thank:

Lisa of Winsome Whatnots. Find her at http://hyenacart.com/WinsomeWhat-nots

Jennifer of Scentsory Creations. Find her at http://hyenacart.com/scentsorycreations

Genevieve who blogs here: http://blueberrywinter.blogspot.com/. She's also working on opening at Etsy shop.

Stacy of Nurturing Threads. Find her at www.nurturingthreads.com

There are also a few more knitters who don't have a website: Liz, Amanda, Sarena and Kari.

Liz is a local knitter friend of mine. We met at the park last summer when I saw her knitting a pair of socks. She's an amazingly talented knitter. Liz let me borrow her sweater so that I could use it to take pictures, and I'm hoping to be able to take some soon.

Amanda gifted her sweater to a girl whose grandmother is named Lucia. She's hoping for a women's sized sweater, so I'll take on that challenge soon.

Thanks again to you all!

Monday, May 10, 2010

"Giant Peach" Lucia Sweater

I designed a sweater for my daughter this spring and wrote about it here. But I wanted to change a few things about the design. I came up with a design I'm really happy with, and it's currently being test knit by some wonderful knitters. The pattern will be available for sale soon.

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This is the sweater I made while writing the pattern. The sweater features a wide neck (for easy on and off). I designed it to be worn over short or long sleeved shirts.

Friday, April 30, 2010

newborn sweetness

I just finished up this custom set for a sweet mama expecting a baby girl this summer. They're knit with "Birthday Girl" by Mosaic Moon.

"Birthday Girl" newborn longies



The booties were a little extra something for her. A quick little knit for some teeny tiny feet.

"Birthday Girl" baby booties

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

fun little recycling craft for Earth Day (or any day)

My husband is creative when it comes to playing with the kids. He and our oldest daughter spent Saturday morning together and built a factory out of an old card board box, some plastic lids, and some yarn. The kids have been playing with their factory ever since.

On Saturday afternoon he spent some time with our middle daughter and this is what I came home to:

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A food collage picture for everyone in our family!

They used some of our old magazines to clip pictures of food, then glued the pictures together to make people. Super cute and a great craft for little kids who love to cut and glue.

Here's a close up of my collage. I have chocolate cake for my body. I love it!

IMG_1546

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

a sweater for my baby

I've been thinking about designing a sweater for a while now, and had an idea for one I wanted to knit. I finally found the right yarn and enough time to sit down and figure it all out. I ran out of yarn before I could finish it up exactly as I wanted to, and now that I've knit it once, there are a few things about the design I would change, but I'm happy with it.

So here's her sweater. And she's adorable, if I do say so myself.

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Monday, February 22, 2010

reverse rice stitch cowl: free pattern

I designed a cowl for myself late last fall. Read my first post about it here. As promised, here's the pattern.

cowl side 1


Reverse Rice Stitch Cowl

Yarn: 1 skein DK weight wool. I used a local alpaca, 150 yards to the skein.
Needle: size 7 16” circular needle
Other materials: stitch marker, yarn needle

Gauge: not terribly important, but approximately 5 stitches per inch in pattern

Finished size: 18” around and 8” high

CO 90 stitches using a stretchy cast on. I used the german twisted cast on method for this cowl, but the long tail cast on method would work too. Here's a video teaching the german twisted cast on: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfFadEumBak

Join in the round being careful not to twist stitches. Place marker.

Row 1: Knit all stitches
Row 2: *K, Ptbl, repeat around

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until cowl is desired length and end on row 1.

Bind off using a picot bind off that creates a 2 stitch picot. To do this, cast on 2 stitches using the cable cast on method. Bind off 4 stitches. Slip the stitch on the right needle onto your left needle and repeat casting on 2 and binding off four until you've come to the end of the round.

I found these directions in Knitty to be very helpful in illustrating the picot bind off: http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEfall06/FEATfall06TT.html

Weave in ends and wear!

This is the first pattern I've ever written down. If you find an error, please let me know.

©2010 Pumpkin Pie Baby.

I'm happy to have crafters hand knit finished objects from my patterns to sell. I only ask that you please provide credit to me in your listing as follows:
This cowl is knit according to the Reverse Rice Stitch Cowl pattern designed by Pumpkin Pie Baby. You can find her patterns here: http://pumpkin-pie-baby.blogspot.com.


Please do not sell copies of the pattern or make copies for distribution. Thank you.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

some recent customs

I'm having a great time knitting lately. I've finished 2 customs within the last couple of weeks, and I've even made something for myself.

The first custom is a Juliette skirty knit with Mosaic Moon's "Selah" colorway on Cestari Superfine.

"Selah" Juliette skirty



The second custom is a pair of shorts knit with Southwest Spectrum's "Fall Fiesta" colorway on BFL. I hadn't knit with BFL in a long time...what a treat!

kate's shorts



This final picture is a Baktus scarf that I made for myself as part of Ravelry's Ravelympics. If a knitter completes a project during the Ravelympics, he or she is awarded a medal and named a Ravthlete.

my baktus



I need to be completely honest with myself. This is the closest I will ever come again to being an "athlete." As an aside, the first time I came close to being an athlete was playing softball in middle school. After catching a ball right between the eyes playing right field and striking out multiple times, I ended that career. The second time I cam close to being an athlete was running track in middle school. I finished dead last in every race I ever ran. Maybe once I finished second to last, but probably only once.

Here's one of the medals I received for my scarf. I love Bob the Boston Terrier...reminds me of the little devil of a boston terrier that I grew up with, Trixie. If I were still a child, I'd hang this medal right next to my dancing and bowling trophies. Yes, I have a couple of bowling trophies.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

just finished custom

I am in love with these woolies...they are my latest custom. So they don't belong to me, and they're a bit too boyish for us. But I love them anyway.

woodland in spring longies

woodland in spring longies



The colorway is "Woodland in Spring" by Mosaic Moon. The yarn is Cestari Superfine merino. After a quick soak in some wool wash, these longies are super soft.

The owl pocket is a free pattern from Wooly Wonder. I offered to add them to these longies because the colorway just seemed to call for a little owl.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

i shouldn't have asked, although i'm glad i did

Tonight I read my girls "The Cat in the Hat" before bedtime. As you probably know, the Cat in the Hat and Things 1 and 2 make a huge mess of Sally and her brother's house while their mother is out. The Cat in the Hat manages to clean up the house before their mother comes home, and he leaves no trace that he was there. The book ends:

Then our mother came in
And she said to us two,
"Did you have any fun?
Tell me. What did you do?"

And Sally and I did not know
What to say.
Should we tell her
The things that went on there that day?

Should we tell her about it?
Now, what SHOULD we do?
Well...
What would YOU do
If your mother asked YOU?


Every time we read this story, my girls answer the same way. The wouldn't tell me what had happened.

But tonight my oldest said, "I would probably tell her that the tissue box fell into the toilet and we got it out, dried it off, and put it back on top of the toilet."

And since I wasn't fully paying attention to what they were saying (because they give me the same answer every time), it took me a minute to catch on.

So yes, the tissue box fell into the toilet, my girls wiped it off, and then returned it without telling anyone.

I guess this is why they recommend reading to your children for 20 minutes each day. Had I not read to them tonight, I would never have known.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

a late Happy New Year (and a coupon code)!

I'm always running late...but here's a sincere wish for a happy new year!

As a thank you to all of my customers, and to those who read my blog, please use code "blog5" (but without the quotation marks) for $5 off any order at Pumpkin Pie Baby. This will even work on sale items. The code will be good through 2010.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

if only i could knit and read at the same time

There are people who can knit and read at the same time. I'm not one of them.

I signed up for a book group through my library that starts this Thursday. I've known about it for weeks, but given that I'm almost always scatterbrained, I didn't pick up the book until yesterday. So now I'm faced with reading A Passage to India by E. M. Forster by Thursday. It's 362 pages long, and I have three children ages 5 and under who won't tolerate listening to a book read aloud this long without pictures. I don't know how I'm going to make this happen. I've been reading East of Eden by John Steinbeck since November and I'm only on page 280.



Now I'm an adult, and this is just a reading group. I won't be graded on this. But it's being led by a professor. And I imagine myself and how I felt 15 years ago when I used to sit in my undergrad English classes and hope that the professor wouldn't call on me because I hadn't managed to read the book. I can remember this anxiety so well that this morning I briefly entertained the idea of taking No Doz and staying up all night Wednesday.

I only did this once by the way, taking No Doz that is, and while I managed to read an entire book on Anais Nin in one night, by the next morning I couldn't remember a thing I had read, and I felt like a tape running in fast forward. This was also a time period where I indulged in making mix tape upon mix tape...but that's another post.

So I wish I could read and knit at the same time, because I have this compulsive need to knit something new right now. And I get itchy reading--wishing I could be knitting--and I get itchy knitting--wishing I could be reading.

So I looked up a pattern for a bookmark and found this lovely pattern. I don't have any sock yarn that isn't being used right now, so I cast on in worsted weight cotton and figure I'll make my mother a dishcloth out of it. And since the library gave me a perfectly fine paper bookmark, I figure I've got that base covered for now.



Now I don't know what to do with myself--finish the book or the dishcloth--but I'm planning an all-nighter tomorrow.

Monday, January 4, 2010

I almost kept this one.

One of the things I love about knitting for others is that I get sent all kinds of beautiful yarn to knit. Last month a customer sent me a large bag full of wool scraps to be knit into pants and a hat for her son. I had made my husband a stocking cap a couple of years ago so I offered to make her one, scaled down to size for her son.

This is the resulting hat:

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I absolutely love this hat. I'm not entirely sure why, but I wanted to keep it for my own children. I have girls, and the older girls are into be "girly," so neither of them would have worn it. But it's got the sweetest shape and I love the mixture of colors. I wish I had taken a photo after I had attached the pom pom, but I forgot.

These are the pants I posted about last month. They are now on their way to their new home, and I did send the hat along too.

k's mixed longies

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