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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Amateur Photography Hour

Today I took the camera and two of my designs down to Teeny Bee Boutique and played photographer.  I had an absolute blast, even though our usual child photographer has no reason to feel threatened!  A friend of mine who used to teach at the studio with me - Kristie - opened the boutique roughly a month ago.  It's stocked with some of the cutest baby clothes and brands I've seen in a long time but for my purposes it had something else I needed - a baby *g*

Connor is too big to showcase some of my designs for the younger set and I just finished a pair of baby legs and matching sweater for a twelve month old.  I wanted to get pictures of them to include with the pattern.  Kristie's baby Faye is a little younger than that, so the sweater ended up being more of a dress, but she was still a great model.  She smiled, cooed and kicked in the front store window - a live display at its finest!

The baby legs are obviously too big for her, but I still loved how they looked, especially with the adorable hot pink diaper cover that Kristie had in stock.
Faye rolled from her side onto her back and struck a pensive look for me.  Look at those gorgeous eyes!  And I love the roly-poly legs.  Can you tell I miss having a little baby around? 

Then we put on the matching sweater and she hung out in Mommy's lap.  It's definitely too big for her, but I do like how the ruffle on the bottom turned out and the seed stitch button band.  When I was working on the design I struggled with the puff sleeves and how much material needed to be folded together - I think I ripped and knit three different versions - but the little puff shape I ended up with is exactly what I wanted.  Faye is wearing a little bow that matches the diaper cover and an amber teething necklace, one of Kristie's most popular items.

And one final shot of the cardigan front.  The yarn I used was Sensations Cuddle from Joann's, and it only took one skein to knit both the baby legs and the sweater.  It's machine washable, which is a necessity with baby clothes!

Who can resist a baby nomming on hands?!?!  A great big THANK YOU to Kristie for letting me borrow her baby and her store to take these pictures.  Faye couldn't have been better behaved.  The patterns are called the Sweet Sugar Cardigan and Sweet Sugar Baby Legs and they'll both be going up on ravelry by the end of the week.  On ravelry I'm dmstoll, if you need to find me.  I'm so pleased with how the designs turn out, I hope everyone else likes them, too!

- D

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Longbourn Mitts, Jane Austen Knits 2012

When I saw that Interweave Knits was publishing special issues devoted solely to Jane Austen I might have squealed a little bit.  Okay, a lot.  Like most die-hard romantics, I adore Jane Austen, plus I've found that they do a *much* better job with pattern variety in their special issues than in their regular publications.  One problem that I have with their regular issues (I'm a subscriber) is that they focus a lot on larger projects - sweaters, skirts, wraps, etc - that use a lot of yarn and thus cost a fair amount to make.  But in their special issues they'll include more smaller projects that are less expensive and take less time.  Given that I have a toddler 'less time' is a good thing.

This pattern is actually from the third Jane Austen Knits, the 2012 issue.  I'm always looking for some cute mitts and these fit the bill.  The issue's release also coincided with a Knit Picks sale.  Lucky me *g*  Here's the finished product;

As you can see, I didn't go with the i-cord laced through the holes.  I didn't like the way it looked so I went with a satin ribbon instead.  I  really love the way it turned out, and the smaller bows mean that I can wear them while typing and not be irritated by something dragging on the keyboard.

Something else I liked about the pattern was how it continued up the thumb - I thought that was a nice touch.  I recommend putting markers around the lace repeats - don't skip this step or you'll end up ripping out and starting over *ahem*

 All in all I'm very pleased with how these turned out.  The yarn was great to work with - didn't split, felt nice in my hands.  I adore Knit Picks worsted weight yarns, they're never scratchy or uncomfortable and this one had a nice sheen..  I wore them at work in the winter and a co-worker made a crack about Charles Dickens - I told him he had the wrong British author *g* 
- D