March 20, 2015

Shalom for a Little Girl.

So!  I knit my girl a Shalom Sweater:

Shalom sweater
But... wait.  I have to start at the beginning.  See for the March installment of Kate and Jeanne's Road Trip Yarn Club we wanted a bulky yarn with pops of colors.  The inspiration was Wildflowers on the Great Plains.  I love how the finished colorway/pattern turned out.
Wildflowers on the Great Plains
 There's a couple of extra kits for this pattern up on the Destination Yarn Etsy Shop along with some other colorways on the new bulky base.

But!  It was a new base for me.  And a completely new dye technique that I had never tried before called stipple dying.  It was SO FUN to experiment with.  But it took some serious getting used to.  And after I screwed up one skein... and then another... and then another I threw my mistakes in the dyepot with a bunch of leftover dye and was all FINE.  YOU WILL JUST BE PURPLE.  STUPID YARN.

However my fit of rage lead to some really gorgeous yarn.

Shalom sweater
I figured it would end up as a cowl or something.  But my daughter claimed it.  And I had just enough to make her this:

Shalom sweater
It's the Shalom Cardigan pattern that everyone, myself included, knit a few years ago.

It knit up crazy quickly.  Then on one of the MANY snow days we had she asked me to make a skirt to match.  So we dug out some fabric and cranked out a Lazy Days Skirt.  Easy.

Shalom for my girl
Literally that morning by 9:30 we had made a skirt and the boys had watched a movie and IT WAS ONLY 9:30 WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DOOOOOO.  There were a belligerent amount of snow days in a row this year.

The finished outfit is just darling.  A photoshoot after her art class at the CMA was necessary.

Shalom Collage
I love LOVE the yellow buttons.  She picked them out herself from the button box I inherited from my great-grandmother.  I'd guess the buttons are older than I am. 

Shalom for my girl
90cents for buttons?!
The yellow against the purple is just so kicky and perfect.

Shalom sweater
As far as modifications go it was pretty easy to take this down to a kid's size.  I started with 51 stitches on a size 10.5 needle.  I only did 3 knit stitches on either end because the 5 the pattern called for was a bit much on a little kid.  Other than that I knit as written until the divide for the arms.  After the 2nd increase I had 101 stitches and after the third I had 129.  When dividing for the arms I K23, BO21, K43, BO 21, K23.  Then cast on 9 under each arm.  I omitted all of the waist shaping and just knit straight down from there.

Shalom sweater
I actually had to do the divide for the arms twice.  The first time she didn't like how tight it was across her back.  So I ripped it out and adjusted my stitch counts.  That's one of the best things about knitting.  Make a mistake?  Don't like how it fits/looks?  Rip it out and use the yarn again.  No problem.
Trying her new sweater on for size. She seems to like it! 😄👍#knit #knitting #indiedyer #destinationyarn #yarn #handdyedyarn #knittersofinstagram #instaknit #sweater #Regrann from @destinationyarn
Overall I'm just thrilled with this.  The whole thing started as a mistake and turned into something really beautiful.  She's worn it to school often since it was finished.  I think that's about the best compliment I can ever receive.

Shalom sweater
Also she turned 6 this week.  Which.  DUDE.  It goes so fast.  I'm actually writing this because I'm procrastinating getting the house ready for her Frozen Birthday party tomorrow.  It's amazing how much festivity you can create with a few streamers and some balloons.  Anyways in honor of her birthday here's a side by side of Shaloms from when I was hideously pregnant with her:


Yay for Shalom Sweaters!

March 11, 2015

Lake Erie Thaw.

Edgewater park in the fog.

So Lake Erie is starting to thaw!  It was 45 and sunny today!  Spring might actually be a thing that is possible!  And it's all causing some crazy awesome Great Lakes weather.  Of course I had to take the kids to check it out.

Edgewater Thaw

We stopped by Edgewater Park on the way home from school today.  And it was basically an alien landscape. 

Edgewater Thaw
The blue skies and sunshine against a crazy thick fog and still iced over lake well... I really wish I had brought my good camera:

Edgewater Thaw
Edgewater Thaw

Edgewater Thaw

Although I probably had too much to manage what with 3 small kids and the dog...

Edgewater Thaw

They were super into climbing on the rocks.  Which was all sorts of fun:
Edgewater Thaw
Edgewater Thaw

Edgewater Thaw
Although 2/3 kids have NO FEAR which... yeah it made for a bit of yelling when the girl was determined to climb to the lake. 

Edgewater Thaw
Seriously, child.  You are making me nervous.
I don't think she quite realized that Lake Erie was the giant ice cube in front of her.  Once that was clear she wanted to walk on it.  Which, no.  Not with little ones.  Not during a thaw.

Edgewater Thaw

Although we did check out the beach.

Edgewater Thaw

Kindof.  I realized that sand + melting ice = a terrible plan.  So we drove around to the pier and checked that out instead:

Edgewater Thaw
On the way home we stopped off at our city view place taking bets along the way about if we would be able to see the sky line.  It's usually a great view - Lake Erie in the foreground, Cleveland in the background.  I've posted that shot here many times.  I figured it was about a 50/50 chance of seeing the city.  Turns out I was right.  We could see 50% of the city:

Edgewater Thaw

 My daughter thought it looked like someone erased the bottom half.  Word:

Edgewater Thaw
Yay for spring!

March 5, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Home from the Hospital.

So today Matt's brother and sister-in-law are bringing their second child home from the hospital.  We talked to them for awhile last night about the logistics of all of it.  It brought back a whole slew of memories.  So how about a Throwback Thursday Home from the Hospital style.

Here's Round 1 back in March of 2009:

headed home
I remember starting to go down the road of "I can't believe they are letting us take this baby home!" and Matt SHUTTING ME DOWN.  His take on it? "Yeah she's OUR kid.  Of course we are taking her home.  No one can care for her better than we can.  Period."  And that was it.  No more jitters.  Because he was completely right:

headed home
Then Round 2.  When I thought our girl would want to ride on my lap with me out of the hospital.  Yeah not so much:

She wanted to help push because she was a BIG GIRL.  That was pretty much her attitude from there on out.

We were also super worried that time about our dog.  She was pretty new to our family and kindof a crazy pooch:

The big introduction.  She was fine with him pretty quickly.
Round 3 was completely different.  We were outnumbered!  And I COULD NOT WAIT to get home.  The hospital stay - being on my own away from the other two and under the care of nurses who had AGENDAS - was awful.  We couldn't get out of their fast enough:

Bringing tiny home
Run! Don't even stop for a picture just GET. ME. HOME.
The Dude did want to ride with me.  He wanted everything with me.  He was not so into being helpful or acknowledging his sibling at all:

Bringing tiny home
The girl helping me give her new brother a bath while the dude sulks in the background.  Pretty perfect summary of the day.
He got over it eventually and now they are best of friends - they are literally racing cars together under my legs as I write this.  The dog introduction was very different this time around as well.  Tiny got dumped in the middle of the kitchen while we were unloading/taking care of the other two.  And then we were like oh, right.  Someone should have told the dog:

Bringing tiny home
I think she sniffed him once and moved on with her life.  Babies aren't that interesting to dogs until they get in a high chair.  My biggest memory from that time, though was that sometime while I was in the hospital the girl took a huge chunk out of her hair.  It was BAD.  So I left my Tiny, hoped he wouldn't need to nurse in the hour I was gone, and took my daughter for her first haircut.  MILESTONES:

She had her first haircut ever today.  A few inches shorter and it's a lot curlier! #redhead #picstitch
It was a good introduction into the world of trying to manage THREE.  So yeah.  Those first few days home - especially with other kids in the mix - are INTENSE.  Intense and kindof magical. 
There's just something about a newborn.... #love #siblings

We wish them well!

March 3, 2015

Tiny Dude Hat.

So.  Tiny has a new hat!  And I have a new free hat pattern to offer you guys!

See for awhile there I thought we had lost the Red Fish, Blue Fish hat that he had been wearing.  Yes it's a hand-me-down from his brother but well... so is everything he owns.  I was pretty devastated it went missing - have you guys ever lost a favored handknit?  HEARTBREAKING.  Luckily we found it (under his sister's bed.  I don't even know) but in the meantime he got a new one.  There are some perks to having a knitter for a mother:

Tiny Dude Hat

For the design of his new hat I started with the Dude's Slouchy Green Hat.  We receive compliments on it all the time and his brother basically lives in the thing:

Tiny Dude Hat

So I wanted something that complimented and riffed on that.  Similar but not the same.  A brother hat.

Tiny Dude Hat

So I kept the 3 row stripes.  I also kept the long, lazy, cable.  But I used it in a different way - repeating it across the body of the hat for a more preppy look.
Tiny Dude Hat

 I also made this hat fitted.  He's a more serious kid and therefore needed a more serious hat.

Tiny Dude Hat
I love how it came out!  And the two of them are adorable frolicking in the snow in their almost but not quite matching hats:

Brothers hats

 I wrote up the pattern for you to enjoy.  Yay for Brother Hats!

Tiny Dude Hat Pattern

Finished Size:  8" wide by 6-3/4" tall or fitting a 12-18 month old

Worsted weight wool for Main Color (MC).  I used Patons Classic Merino in Black
Worsted weight wool for Contrast Color (CC).  I used Patons Classic Merino in Bright Red
Size 7 (or size needed to obtain gauge) double pointed needles
Tapestry needle for weaving in ends
Stitch marker (I usually have the end of round break at the end of Needle 4 and keep track of it that way but if you are using circulars you will need a stitch marker to mark the end of round.)

Gauge:  10 stitches and 15 rows = 2 inches.

MC - Main Color
CC - Contrast Color
K - Knit
P - Purl
K2tog - Knit two stitches together, decreasing 1.
K1fb - Knit in the front and the back of the stitch, increasing 1.
PM - Place Marker
SM - Slip Marker
C5B - Cable 5 Back - Slip 5 stitches onto a cable needle, hold to the back of the work, knit 5, knit the 5 from the cable needle.
C4B - Cable 4 Back - Slip 4 stitches onto a cable needle, hold to the back of the work, knit 4, knit the 4 from the cable needle.
C3B - Cable 3 Back - Slip 3 stitches onto a cable needle, hold to the back of the work, knit 3, knit the 3 from the cable needle.

Using Main Color (MC), size 7 double pointed needles (or size needed to obtain gauge), and the long tail cast on method, loosely cast on 80 stitches dividing stitches evenly onto 4 double pointed needles.  Slip as to purl the first stitch from needle 1 onto needle 4 and slip the last stitch from needle 4 over the slipped stitch and onto needle one being careful not to twist stitches to form a smooth join.

In MC: [P2, K2]  Repeat around.
Repeat Ribbing round for 1” or 7 rounds.

Set Up Round:
In MC:  [P1, K3, K1fb, K1fb, K3, P1, k6] Repeat around.

Main Pattern:
Round 1:  In MC:  [P1, K10, P1, K6]  Repeat Around..
Round 2:  In MC:  [P1, Cable 5 back, P1, K6]  Repeat around.
Round 3:  In MC:  [P1, K10, P1, K6]  Repeat Around.
Rounds 4-6:  In CC:  [P1, K10, P1, K6]  Repeat Around.
Rounds 7-9:  In MC:  [P1, K10, P1, K6]  Repeat Around.
Rounds 10-12:  In CC:  [P1, K10, P1, K6]  Repeat Around.

Repeat Main Pattern Rows 1-12 one more time, 2 times total.  Knit rounds 1-6 one more time.

At this point you should have ended on a CC round, and have 5 CC stripes and 3 cable crosses.

Decrease Rounds:
Round 1:  In MC:  [P1, K4, K2tog, K4, P1, K6] Repeat Around.
Round 2:  In MC:  [P1, K9, P1, K6]  Repeat Around.
Round 3:  In MC:  [P1, K4, K2tog, K3, P1, K6]  Repeat Around.
Round 4:  In CC:  [P1, K8, P1, K6]  Repeat Around.
Round 5:  In CC:  [P1, K3, K2tog, K3, P1, K6]  Repeat Around.
Round 6:  In CC:  [P1, K7, P1, K6]  Repeat Around.
Round 7:  In MC:  [P1, K3, K2tog, k2, P1, K6]  Repeat Around.
Round 8:  In MC:  [P1, Cable 3 Back, P1, K6]  Repeat Around.
Round 9:  In MC:  [P1, K4, K2tog]  Repeat Around.
Round 10:  In CC:  [P1, K5]  Repeat Around.
Round 11:  In CC:  [P1, K3, K2tog] Repeat Around.
Round 12:  In CC:  [P1, K2, K2tog]  Repeat Around.
Round 13:  In MC:  [P1, K1, K2tog]  Repeat Around
Round 14:  In MC:  [P1, K2tog] Repeat Around.
Round 15:  In MC:  [K2tog] Repeat Around.

Cut yarn and thread through remaining stitches, draw together and tuck in end. Tuck in the rest of the ends.

Here's the link to the Ravelry Page for the Tiny Dude Hat and link to the Dude's Slouchy Green Hat in case you want to make a matching set!
Tiny Dude Hat
He is absolutely about to throw that at his brother.

March 2, 2015

Clothe Ohio Giveaway!

So I was contacted by Clothe Ohio about doing a promotion on this blog.  Humorous Ohio Pride clothing for a good cause?  YES.  Check out their statement:
Local Ohioans are in need! With each order, we are able to donate a new T-Shirt or Sweatshirt to an Ohioan in need, helping them stay warm and feel loved. We all need to look out after each other in times of need, and now's the time! Pick up a sweet new Ohio item for yourself or that Ohio lover in your life, and together we’ll help Clothe Ohio.
 Plus their shirts are pretty awesome:

There are shirts specific to all of Ohio's cities.  I'm a Clevelander but I went to college in Cincinnati so some of the 'nati shirts are very tempting.  I especially love the West 513 one.  A whole bunch of our college friends were (are) Cincinnati Westsiders and I"m thinking this shirt would be perfect with a westside cooler (doubled up shopping bag filled with ice and beer):

They carry baby, toddler, and children's versions of their clothing.  Very fun and stylish!  I think the dude would be adorable in the fountain square shrit:

It's especially nice that you can browse their site by city - and even some of the smaller cities are represented:

Youngstown.  What up
Anyways!  I'm happy to be giving away one of their awesome T-shirts!  Enter below before midnight on Friday, March 6.  I will choose and email the winner on Sat morning.  Yay Ohio!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer:  I received a sample shirt from this company in exchange for this promotion.  As always all opinions are my own.

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