Blogging Gift Exchange

Jan 31, 2012
When Casey posted earlier in the month that she was hosting a blog gift exchange, I jumped at the chance! I love gifting fun things to folks, and any chance to befriend a fellow blogger is always a good thing!

I was partnered up with Nikki of Super NoVa Mom, and after spending some time getting to know one another we sent off packages. Early this morning, a package arrived on my doorstep, containing the above cookies.

Nikki bakes - man, does she bake! She has an at-home baking business named Noms By Nikki, and wowie are her treats good! If I lived in the DC-area, I'd be ordering items from her ALL THE TIME.

You can bet I'll be munching on these cookies all day long, not eating anything else - and hopefully one or two will last until Zach gets home from work, but I make no promises!


This blog gift exchange was so much fun - can't wait to do it again!

Lately

Jan 29, 2012

Lately I am waking up before 5:30am everyday, thanks to an early-riser son.

Lately I am working out a new hat pattern (shown above) which I'll be sharing here next Friday!

Lately I am swimming in half-finished knitting projects, looking forward to finishing them up.

Lately I am excited for the start of February, the shortest winter month of the year. Owen and I have big plans for some simple Valentine's Day decorations!

Lately I am using my meal planner from Miki.O Design to feed my little family in a healthier way.

Lately I am marveling at my son.

Lately I look at my husband and cannot believe how lucky I am.

Lately I am imagining big things for my friends, and am so excited for it!

Lately I am editing as many photos with Picnik as I can - I cannot believe they are closing their doors in April.

Lately I am partnering with Amy of New Nostalgia - exciting!

Lately I am longing for my hair to be super long again ... mostly so I can cut it off, donate it, and rock a pixie cut. (I have a long way to go)

Lately I am paring down my time online to only those most important things, and letting go of all the rest.

Lately I am already thinking about Owen's first birthday party (not happening until August) and all the ways I want to celebrate this miracle of a babe.

Lately I have been trying to get into Dr. Who (but am unable), and have fallen in love with Downton Abbey and Sherlock.

Lately I have put eight books on my Kindle but have not dipped into one of them.

Lately I've been feeling thankful that the winter weather so far this season has been mild and wonderful.

Lately I'm grateful for the large extended family I have here in town, and how often we get to see them.

//

What are you doing/thinking/feeling/reading/watching lately?

010 // sparkle on a dreary day

Jan 25, 2012







pattern: Jane Hat, by Jane Richmond
yarn: I Love This Yarn! sparkles, in black sparkle (approximately 150 yards)
needles: sizes US 8 / 5.0mm and US 10 / 6.0mm 16" circular needles
made for: Chicago Food Pantry

Winter has officially arrived in Omaha. Sunday night it snowed about an inch, not a lot of snow but enough to make us sure the balmy days we had at the beginning of January are now gone. Most of our days will be spent inside now, as most days we're a walking duo and mama is a wimp!

With that in my mind, I knit up this sparkly black Jane hat. Just enough pretty and shine for the dreary days I know are ahead!

five months with owen

Jan 23, 2012
What a whirlwind month it's been! From Christmas and the New Year to snow and even 70 degree days, your fifth month of life has been super exciting!


Big this month was eating food - no more bottles only dining for you! so far you have tried, and loved:
  • rice cereal
  • bananas
  • sweet potatoes
  • green beans
  • prunes
  • carrots 
  • oatmeal (instead of rice cereal)
  • apples
Not once has it taken you more than one or two spoonfuls of a new food to smile and open your mouth wide, ready for more! I can't wait for you to get a few teeth so you can start chowing down on everything from bits of chicken to Cheerios and whatever else you can get your hands on! We're big on letting you try anything and everything you want to once you can chew it properly - I'd much rather you eat like your father, who will try anything, than like me!


You started to get a touch of stranger anxiety this month as well. We didn't notice it until your four-month check-up, but you definitely need a second in mom or dad's arms before going to just about anyone else (including your grandmas, much to their dismay).

On the plus side, you are now sleeping through the night on a regular basis. Like, we put you down by 8:30pm and you don't wake up to start your day until almost 7am. I'll admit now that putting you down awake in your crib and letting you learn how to soothe yourself to sleep was the right decision (although I fought it like mad).

You are someone who needs to wake up in the same place you fell asleep, so falling asleep in mama's arms and then waking up somewhere else was making you a bit upset! Once we figured out that you needed your own space to fall asleep and wake up in, and you figured out you liked just rolling to your side, sticking your thumb in your mouth and drifting off (it took you one night; it took me six), we've been rolling along with much better sleep for the whole family.

A bonus to this sleeping? You are eating better, napping better, and are all-around happier throughout the day.


You got an exer-saucer for Christmas, one of the greatest things ever. After you eat you spin yourself around in it for at least an hour, moving from the parrot to the froggie to the pandas to the piano to play some music, and back again. You love to stand up and squeal as you re-discover a long-forgotten friend (usually the froggie) and then lean back lounge-style while we talk to you about the animals.


There are still hard moments to be sure. When you don't want to take a nap or you don't want to be put down or you ... that's about it really, and not all that hard when I think about it. Your smiles are perfection, you love new things and new experiences, and every day I get to spend with you is a gift.

Happy five months my love - can't wait to see what you've got in store for month six!

Crochet Hats For Men

Jan 22, 2012

I love the connections you can make through a blog. On my Waffle Hat For Him post, new friend Hannah commented about crocheting her husband a hat, and some of her frustrations with finding the perfect pattern. Because I am who I am, I shot her an e-mail back with a few fun patterns I'd found on Ravelry. Then I got to thinking - if Hannah is in need of some good man-friendly crochet hat patterns, I bet others are as well!

With men's hats, simple is always best - in my experience, men don't want frilly or lacy, and unless they pick it out themselves using a neutral color and the most basic of stitches tends to be the way to go. While this can feel boring to crafters, seeing those men in your life actually wearing the items you've made for them definitely trumps any crafting boredom you may feel! After getting her permission to share this little tidbit, I set about rounding up ten of my favorite man-friendly crochet hat patterns from Ravelry.


Reversible Strands (free Ravelry download only)


Truffle Shuffle Skully (free pattern!)


Grizzly (free Ravelry download only) - mitts are designer's Paws pattern


Ribbed Winter Hat (free pattern!)


Colonel (Ravelry purchase only)


Onederlan (Ravelry purchase only)


Streetwise Brim Hat (free pattern!)

New To The Shop - Jane Hats!

Jan 21, 2012

Just in time for the winter winds to blow and bluster, I've added the Jane Hat to the shop as a MADE TO ORDER knit! I have a great relationship built up with pattern designer Jane Richmond (which I'm so grateful for), which allows me the privilege of knitting items from her patterns to sell in my shop on a MADE TO ORDER basis.

The double-fold brim on the Jane Hat makes this hat particularly warm in the winter-time, and I'm knitting it up in 100% wool for the shop (with a vegan-friendly option coming soon!) to add even  more warmth! The keyhole design to the main body of the hat is both gorgeous and comfortable, but does not allow for warmth to escape from your head. I wear my Jane Hat everywhere during colder months!

This latest addition is just one of many I'll be adding in the next few weeks - check back in with the shop or here on the blog to see what else is coming!

009 // Waffle Hat for him

Jan 19, 2012

pattern: Waffle Hat, by Gail Bable
yarn: Stitch Nation By Debbie Stoller Full O' Sheep
needles: size US 9 / 5.5mm 16" circular needle
made for: my husband, Zach!

He hates to have his photo taken, and so when I told him I wanted a shot of him in the hat, he made sure his face wasn't in it. I don't get it - he's absolutely gorgeous to me - but I let it happen because he's my love and I don't want to make him uncomfortable!

This is his third handmade hat. The first was a simple 2x2 ribbed hat made from black acrylic. Did the job, but not my best. Second I made him a Space Invaders hat, which he just loves. But he wanted something more basic, something he could wear to work and out when he was a bit more dressed up. Besides, that last hat was made in February 2010 - it's been two years since I've made him a hat!

I had picked up a different black wool, something with less loft to it, with the thought of making him another basic ribbed hat. This hat was going to be donated somewhere else. But he grabbed it almost as soon as I was done with it and put it on his head, commenting on how comfortable it was - how do you say no to that!

My goal is to have a huge pile of hats to donate to others for sure; but my other goal is to have a huge pile of hand knits by the front door all winter long each year, full of things I've made for my two men. I think this is a good start!

009 // Waffle Hat for him



pattern: Waffle Hat, by Gail Bable
yarn: Stitch Nation By Debbie Stoller Full O' Sheep
needles: size US 9 / 5.5mm 16" circular needle
made for: my husband, Zach!

He hates to have his photo taken, and so when I told him I wanted a shot of him in the hat, he made sure his face wasn't in it. I don't get it - he's absolutely gorgeous to me - but I let it happen because he's my love and I don't want to make him uncomfortable!

This is his third handmade hat. The first was a simple 2x2 ribbed hat made from black acrylic. Did the job, but not my best. Second I made him a Space Invaders hat, which he just loves. But he wanted something more basic, something he could wear to work and out when he was a bit more dressed up. Besides, that last hat was made in February 2010 - it's been two years since I've made him a hat!

I had picked up a different black wool, something with less loft to it, with the thought of making him another basic ribbed hat. This hat was going to be donated somewhere else. But he grabbed it almost as soon as I was done with it and put it on his head, commenting on how comfortable it was - how do you say no to that!

My goal is to have a huge pile of hats to donate to others for sure; but my other goal is to have a huge pile of hand knits by the front door all winter long each year, full of things I've made for my two men. I think this is a good start!

peeking into my Raverly queue

Jan 18, 2012

One of my favorite parts about Ravelry is the ability to fill out a queue - a place to store projects you want to make someday, so you don't have to go hunting all over the site to find them again later. While some knitters have only one or two pages of items queued up, I find myself adding any and every pattern I come across that I like a lot - you never know!

Fifteen pages of knitting and crochet patterns can be a bit cumbersome to navigate through, however; thankfully you can do an 'advanced search' for specific things. I took a minute to check out just how many hats I've got queued up on Ravelry, and was shocked to discover I have 170!

One Hundred And Seventy.

That's enough hat patterns for over a year of knitting, if I knit nothing but those patterns until the queue is completely devoid of hats. Whew!

While I've definitely got my favorites (the Jane hat and the Waffle hat come to mind), I want to take the time to knit more from my queue. Maybe get that number down from 170 to under 100 before the end of 2012?

If you're on Ravelry, do you use your queue for just a select few items, or do you use it more like I do? And if you aren't on Ravelry, you need to get there! What a great way to keep track of what you've made, what you want to make, your yarn stash and so much more!

008 // Waffle Hat

Jan 17, 2012




pattern: Waffle Hat, by Gail Bable
yarn: Stitch Nation by Debbie Stoller Washable Ewe, donated by Janette
needles: size US 9 / 5.5mm 16" circular needle
made for: Hats for Sailors Ravelry group, which sends batches of hats to sailors in the US Navy, one ship at a time.

//

After knitting up this hat several times as gifts at the end of 2011, I knew I wanted to work it up for charity. And thanks to my discovery of the Hats for Sailors group on Ravelry, all I needed was some washable wool to make it happen!

When I knit this hat, I tend to knit it on size 9 needles instead of the called for size 8 needles, to give it a bit more loft than my tight knitting generally allows. And after a call put out in another Ravelry group for some washable wool (I had none in my stash!) I am now set up to knit bunches of hats for Naval sailors.

Why this group? I have a cousin who is in the Navy, I have a few friends who have been or are currently in the military, and I quickly and easily found this group. They take donations of any and all handmade hats, in any color or pattern - just so long as the hat is made from WASHABLE wool.

Let's be honest, the idea of WASHABLE wool was a mystery to me. Isn't the whole thing about wool that it's not washable?! Thanks to some gals in my Harry Potter group on Ravelry though, I not only now know that wool can in fact be made washable, but I now have bunches and bunches of skeins of it ready to use! Look for more hats for sailors in the near future to be sure!

//

The pattern itself is a wonderful one ... simple to memorize, no DPNs needed for the top section, and it can be made for either a guy or gal, depending mostly on the color yarn you use. As purple is the color of the yarn that was donated, purple is the color of this hat! It is also meant to fit like a beanie, but as my head is smaller than some, it fits slouchy on me. The brim can be folded up to make it fit like a beanie however, or it can surely be worn slouchy like this, which is how I like it anyhow!

008 // Waffle Hat





pattern: Waffle Hat, by Gail Bable
yarn: Stitch Nation by Debbie Stoller Washable Ewe, donated by Janette
needles: size US 9 / 5.5mm 16" circular needle
made for: Hats for Sailors Ravelry group, which sends batches of hats to sailors in the US Navy, one ship at a time.

//

After knitting up this hat several times as gifts at the end of 2011, I knew I wanted to work it up for charity. And thanks to my discovery of the Hats for Sailors group on Ravelry, all I needed was some washable wool to make it happen!

When I knit this hat, I tend to knit it on size 9 needles instead of the called for size 8 needles, to give it a bit more loft than my tight knitting generally allows. And after a call put out in another Ravelry group for some washable wool (I had none in my stash!) I am now set up to knit bunches of hats for Naval sailors.

Why this group? I have a cousin who is in the Navy, I have a few friends who have been or are currently in the military, and I quickly and easily found this group. They take donations of any and all handmade hats, in any color or pattern - just so long as the hat is made from WASHABLE wool.

Let's be honest, the idea of WASHABLE wool was a mystery to me. Isn't the whole thing about wool that it's not washable?! Thanks to some gals in my Harry Potter group on Ravelry though, I not only now know that wool can in fact be made washable, but I now have bunches and bunches of skeins of it ready to use! Look for more hats for sailors in the near future to be sure!

//

The pattern itself is a wonderful one ... simple to memorize, no DPNs needed for the top section, and it can be made for either a guy or gal, depending mostly on the color yarn you use. As purple is the color of the yarn that was donated, purple is the color of this hat! It is also meant to fit like a beanie, but as my head is smaller than some, it fits slouchy on me. The brim can be folded up to make it fit like a beanie however, or it can surely be worn slouchy like this, which is how I like it anyhow!

006 and 007 // Before And After

Jan 16, 2012






{hats 006 and 007}

pattern for both hats: Jane Hat, by Jane Richmond
yarn: I Love This Yarn! solids in forest green (284 yards total between both hats)
needles: sizes US 8 / 5.0mm and US 10 / 6.0mm 16" circulars

By 9am, before I had Owen, I had:
  • Woken up
  • Showered
  • Had a can of Coke Zero
  • Driven to work
  • Worked for one hour 

By 9am, now that I’ve had Owen, I have:
  • Woken up
  • Changed two diapers
  • Fed Owen a bottle and cereal/bananas breakfast
  • Played in his exersaucer
  • Played in his play gym
  • Practiced sitting up and rolling over
  • Put Owen down for his first nap of the day
  • Worked out
  • Showered
  • Eaten breakfast
  • Had a can of Coke Zero
  • Knitted on a hat
  • Spent 20 minutes on the computer 

It’s amazing what that extra hour or so can give me in my day!

ten things // veggie tales

Jan 15, 2012


01 // Did you know that Veggie Tales are all on Netflix Instant?! We've been watching them since Tuesday, and I'm pretty sure Owen's a huge fan!

02 // The first time I saw Veggie Tales, it was the late 90's, and I was at a friend's apartment. We giggled at Dave and The Giant Pickle as we watched it over and over.

03 // My husband has never seen a Veggie Tales, but still knows at least three of the Silly Songs, thanks to my singing them on repeat since the end of last century.

04 // "I don't know exactly what you mean ... but you are NOT A DOG!" is my favorite line from any of the Veggie Tales.

05 // Except for "Veggie Beat Magazine didn't say anything about this."

06 // The guys who invented Veggie Tales went to college with an old friend of  mine.

07 // The same friend was friends with a girl who dated one of the members of DC Talk, and then married him.

08 // Looking back, I'm not sure that she always told the truth, but I loved her anyways.

09 // I might break down and watch some of the newer Veggie Tales at some point, but for now we're watching the ones made in 2000 and earlier on repeat.

10 // My favorite Silly Song? Oh, Where Is My Hairbrush?, naturally!

peekaboo

Jan 14, 2012



a few minutes of our day. love this kid!

photo friday // quiet moments

Jan 13, 2012

I love the quiet moments in our house. The wind blowing outside, we can't go on walks but want to anyhow. Sleeping Owen, sleeping kitties. In these moments I remember how blessed I am to be home, in these moments.

005 // little things

Jan 12, 2012

pattern: Bailey Hat, from Jane Richmond
yarn: Patons Classic Wool, one full skein (210 yards)
needles: sizes US 7 / 4.5mm and US 9 / 5.5mm 16" circular needles and size US 9 / 5.5mm dpns
made for: Sara Schimmel

I love how the little moments in our days have been standing out so strong lately. Am I noticing more, or are they shining brighter -don't know, and don't really care! A few things I've been noticing lately:

// Owen's smiles first thing in the morning, after a full night's sleep.

// Zach getting up with Owen even though it's early, so I can get a bit of extra sleep; instead of sleeping I lay there and listen to their daddy/son conversations.

// The half hour before nap-time, Owen is Mr. Snuggles. All curled up on mama's shoulder and petting my hair.

// Standing by the front door for 30 minutes, watching the snow fall. After a week of ridiculously warm temps and long walks, winter may have finally come to Omaha.

// Starting a new exercise routine and the sore muscles it brings. 15 minutes, in the family room, 30 days. I think I can commit to that!

// Cuddling on the couch after Owen goes to bed, watching How I Met Your Mother and talking about how awesome our son is. Laughing at how "boring" we've become, spending our evenings talking about how Owen almost rolls from his back to tummy now, and how great it is that he loves trying new foods.

// As for this version of the Bailey Hat, i definitely love it in solid black! So much so that I've added it as a MADE TO ORDER hat available in my shop (which will be getting a face-lift in the next few weeks for sure) (and which, because the pattern is one created by Jane Richmond, I made sure I had permission to do first)!

005 // little things


pattern: Bailey Hat, from Jane Richmond
yarn: Patons Classic Wool, one full skein (210 yards)
needles: sizes US 7 / 4.5mm and US 9 / 5.5mm 16" circular needles and size US 9 / 5.5mm dpns
made for: Sara Schimmel

I love how the little moments in our days have been standing out so strong lately. Am I noticing more, or are they shining brighter -don't know, and don't really care! A few things I've been noticing lately:

// Owen's smiles first thing in the morning, after a full night's sleep.

// Zach getting up with Owen even though it's early, so I can get a bit of extra sleep; instead of sleeping I lay there and listen to their daddy/son conversations.

// The half hour before nap-time, Owen is Mr. Snuggles. All curled up on mama's shoulder and petting my hair.

// Standing by the front door for 30 minutes, watching the snow fall. After a week of ridiculously warm temps and long walks, winter may have finally come to Omaha.

// Starting a new exercise routine and the sore muscles it brings. 15 minutes, in the family room, 30 days. I think I can commit to that!

// Cuddling on the couch after Owen goes to bed, watching How I Met Your Mother and talking about how awesome our son is. Laughing at how "boring" we've become, spending our evenings talking about how Owen almost rolls from his back to tummy now, and how great it is that he loves trying new foods.

// As for this version of the Bailey Hat, i definitely love it in solid black! So much so that I've added it as a MADE TO ORDER hat available in my shop (which will be getting a face-lift in the next few weeks for sure) (and which, because the pattern is one created by Jane Richmond, I made sure I had permission to do first)!

reading // Miss Peregrine's Home For Unusual Children


The story of a teenage boy who discovers the stories his grandfather told him may not be so fantastic after all? Love. Photos sprinkled throughout that were borrowed from real collections? Double Love. An author with a name like Ransom Riggs? Sold.

Recommended to me by my mom, this young adult book tells the story of a typical rich American teenager who, after a life changing event, begins to realize his life is not as normal and boring as he might have thought it was.

Lyrical sentences combined to suck me into the story within a few chapters, and by the end I found myself clamoring for a sequel, which I cannot imagine will not be written. There are stories still to tell in this young man's life, to be sure.

"I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was."




My friend Chris has a new offering available for sale this week - it's called Publish Your Best Seller. For those who have ever wanted to write a book but aren't sure where to start, this is the place!

on paying for knitting patterns

Jan 11, 2012

pattern: Jane Hat, by Jane Richmond
yarn: I Love this Yarn! solids in sage green (142 yards)
needles: sizes US 8 / 5.0 mm and 10 / 6.0 mm 16" circular needles  
donated to: Chicago Food Pantry

A day or two ago I got a public comment on Ravelry about a pattern I offer for sale. The person commented that they enjoyed the knit, but that the pattern wasn't worth paying for - that they could have figured out how to make it on their own. This person did not send me a message, did not make an effort to discuss this with me privately; she just put that out there publicly.

While the pattern is not the most difficult or technical out there, I took the time to figure out the best gauge, needles, and such for the pattern to make it turn out just right; I took the time to write the pattern out, have a few folks test knit it, and even send a few free finished versions to folks to see if it was wearable; I took the time to put the pattern out there, promote it and share it.

That this person said my efforts were "not worth it" hurt me. Most patterns for purchase are written by folks who are supplementing their full-time income or trying to bring a bit more money into their households. They are written by folks who spend a great deal of time figuring their patterns out, and are put into the world with a whole lot of love. I pay for patterns all the time, and some of them (a very rare few) don't meet expectations.

Should my pattern in question be offered for free? That's something I'll have to look at going forward. But I would NEVER have publicly commented like this on a pattern without first seeking out the private audience of the pattern-writer. Note to folks who purchase patterns - the people who write these patterns are just that. People. We put a lot of time and effort into what we're doing, whether we do it full time, part time, or just as a hobby. If you are not satisfied, that is your deal, but give the pattern-writer the courtesy of attempting to contact them privately, kay?

004 // on paying for knitting patterns


pattern: Jane Hat, by Jane Richmond
yarn: I Love this Yarn! solids in sage green (142 yards)
needles: sizes US 8 / 5.0 mm and 10 / 6.0 mm 16" circular needles
donated to: Chicago Food Pantry

A day or two ago I got a public comment on Ravelry about a pattern I offer for sale. The person commented that they enjoyed the knit, but that the pattern wasn't worth paying for - that they could have figured out how to make it on their own. This person did not send me a message, did not make an effort to discuss this with me privately; she just put that out there publicly.

While the pattern is not the most difficult or technical out there, I took the time to figure out the best gauge, needles, and such for the pattern to make it turn out just right; I took the time to write the pattern out, have a few folks test knit it, and even send a few free finished versions to folks to see if it was wearable; I took the time to put the pattern out there, promote it and share it.

That this person said my efforts were "not worth it" hurt me. Most patterns for purchase are written by folks who are supplementing their full-time income or trying to bring a bit more money into their households. They are written by folks who spend a great deal of time figuring their patterns out, and are put into the world with a whole lot of love.

I pay for patterns all the time, and some of them (a very rare few) don't meet expectations. Should my pattern in question be offered for free? That's something I'll have to look at going forward. But I would NEVER have publicly commented like this on a pattern without first seeking out the private audience of the pattern-writer.

Note to folks who purchase patterns - the people who write these patterns are just that. People. We put a lot of time and effort into what we're doing, whether we do it full time, part time, or just as a hobby. If you are not satisfied, that is your deal, but give the pattern-writer the courtesy of attempting to contact them privately, kay?

Simple Slouch Hat

Jan 10, 2012

This slouchy beanie is perfect for first-time knitters. Basic techniques make it a quick knit for all skill levels, and the modern style makes it the perfect gift!

YARN
One skein I Love This Yarn! (100% acrylic; 355 yards/325 meters per 198 grams) 


NEEDLES
US 9 / 5.5 mm 16" circular needle 


NOTIONS
Darning needle for weaving in ends


GAUGE
16 sts x 20 rows = 4" in stockinette


SIZES
baby (toddler, child, adult) = 14 (16, 18, 20) inches wide, un-stretched.

DOWNLOAD NOW

Sharing the Simple Slouch With A Friend



{Simple Slouch Hats worn by Chris Wiegand; photos by Casey Wiegand via Casey Leigh}

While the Simple Slouch hat pattern is just being released to the public today, I have been knitting from it for several months now. After seeing a few folks on Pinterest sharing photos of folks in hats like this I decided to make a few of my own to sell in the Etsy shop.

As I built a friendship with Casey over the late summer and early fall, I knew I wanted to gift a few hand-knits to she and her husband. They were spending a bit of time in Northern California, and I hopefully thought they might need a bit more warmth than they normally need in Texas.

Gracious as she is, Casey lovingly accepted a few items for herself, and a few for her husband Chris. As soon as she got the package, she told me how much Chris loved his Simple Slouch Hats - and over the months since, she's shared more than a few photos of him wearing them as they go about their days!

I love it when folks love wearing hand-knits; I love it even more when those folks are found in unexpected places; blog friends, folks living in warmer climates, and people I've never even met finding comfort and peace from something I've knit is a dream of mine, and it's always such a treasure when I see that dream becoming a reality.

And when a man likes a hand-knit? I feel like I've won the lottery - men tend to be a bit pickier when it comes to clothing and fashion. Simple is always a good bet, and I hit the nail on the head with these hats, it would seem!

Sharing the Simple Slouch With A Friend


{Simple Slouch Hats worn by Chris Wiegand; photos by Casey Wiegand via Casey Leigh}

While the Simple Slouch hat pattern is just being released to the public today, I have been knitting from it for several months now. After seeing a few folks on Pinterest sharing photos of folks in hats like this I decided to make a few of my own to sell in the Etsy shop.

As I built a friendship with Casey over the late summer and early fall, I knew I wanted to gift a few hand-knits to she and her husband. They were spending a bit of time in Northern California, and I hopefully thought they might need a bit more warmth than they normally need in Texas.

Gracious as she is, Casey lovingly accepted a few items for herself, and a few for her husband Chris. As soon as she got the package, she told me how much Chris loved his Simple Slouch Hats - and over the months since, she's shared more than a few photos of him wearing them as they go about their days!

I love it when folks love wearing hand-knits; I love it even more when those folks are found in unexpected places; blog friends, folks living in warmer climates, and people I've never even met finding comfort and peace from something I've knit is a dream of mine, and it's always such a treasure when I see that dream becoming a reality.

And when a man likes a hand-knit? I feel like I've won the lottery - men tend to be a bit pickier when it comes to clothing and fashion. Simple is always a good bet, and I hit the nail on the head with these hats, it would seem!

Bailey hat

Jan 9, 2012
pattern: Bailey, by Jane Richmond  
yarn: Cascade 220 Tweeds in 639 (red) // 93% of skein (206 yards) // donated by Sara Bell of The Traveling PhoBlogWriPher  
needles: sizes US 7 / 4.5mm and US 9 / 5.5mm 16" circular needles, and size US 9 / 5.5mm dpns
charity sent to: nest Maine

Knit between playtimes with Owen, episodes of How I Met Your Mother, and a tiny bit in the car, this hat actually took a bit longer than I thought it would. The bramble stitch pattern looks gorgeous when done, but requires just a bit more focus and attention than I realized - not a bad thing, but something to keep in mind next time I knit this pattern. I love the way this hat turned out, and am excited for whoever ends up wearing it out in Maine (where it will be sent). I can see knitting this hat for several of my friends as well going forward, in tweeds like this for one or two, and in solid black or grey for a few more! I actually can't wait to knit it again and see how it turns out in basic black!

003 // Bailey hat



pattern: Bailey, by Jane Richmond
yarn: Cascade 220 Tweeds in 639 (red) // 93% of skein (206 yards) // donated by Sara Bell of The Traveling PhoBlogWriPher
needles: sizes US 7 / 4.5mm and US 9 / 5.5mm 16" circular needles, and size US 9 / 5.5mm dpns
charity sent to: nest Maine

Knit between playtimes with Owen, episodes of How I Met Your Mother, and a tiny bit in the car, this hat actually took a bit longer than I thought it would. The bramble stitch pattern looks gorgeous when done, but requires just a bit more focus and attention than I realized - not a bad thing, but something to keep in  mind next time I knit this pattern.

I love the way this hat turned out, and am excited for whoever ends up wearing it out in Maine (where it will be sent). I can see knitting this hat for several of my friends as well going forward, in tweeds like this for one or two, and in solid black or grey for a few more! I actually can't wait to knit it again and see how it turns out in basic black!

ten things // the new moms edition

Jan 8, 2012

So many friends are having babies now ... hooray! At least one little boy will be joining the ranks of the gang that's being formed between my friends and I (now there's four and counting ...) and I just can't wait for them to all start playing WITH each other instead of just next to each other!

I don't profess to be a baby expert, but in the almost five months Owen's been here, I've figured a few things out that I wanted to write down, in case anyone else wanted to know!

01 // Go with the glass Gerber bottles. We went through several other varieties (because of me, really) that were plastic but BPA-free and still dishwasher-safe. Turns out we like using the glass ones the best. The Gerber brand cost less (like $5 for three!), can be washed in the dishwasher, and withstand dropping without breaking. Not that I'd know.

02 // Buy the huge box of wipes. We ended up with a few gift cards after the baby shower, and I bought the $15 box of wipes. We're still using them. Genius!

03 // The Diaper Genie is your friend. I wasn't a believer, and then I was gifted one. We were going to just use a lidded trash can. I was such a fool! The Diaper Genie is my savior!!

04 // Bring your camera everywhere. I'm a first-time mom, so I take more pictures than some other moms, but I also carry our big SLR everywhere I go, and I'm so glad I do! We've gotten great shots at grandma's house, on walks to the park (like the one above I took on our walk this week when it was like springtime outside) and even at Target!

05 // Register for the stuff you'll want/need at four months to one year. I didn't do this, and we got lucky that Owen had Christmas when he was four months, so we still got some of the big stuff. You'll want that high chair and exer-saucer before you know it!

06 // Speaking of high chairs, unpack it immediately. Did you know most are made to recline for newborns now as well, so you can set them inside it while you're dancing around the kitchen?! We didn't, and when I finally unpacked ours I was dismayed to learn I could have been getting him used to it from day one!

07 // Grab the hospital nose-sucker. It works better than anything you get in those health care kits. Trust me.

08 // Zip-up footed sleepers. Clearly the folks who make the ones with snaps have never had to change a wiggly newborn at 3am - the zippered ones will become the first ones you put on each night, even if you don't like the patterns as much!

09 // We bought two six-packs of white socks; do the same. All those cute baby socks with the adorable patterns are great, but they don't actually go with any of the clothes you'll end up with. Having a dozen pairs of white socks has worked out great!

10 // Don't buy any blankets. You will get ten thousand of them, whether you register for them or not. Fleece blankets, swaddling blankets, thermal blankets, handmade blankets; we have so many blankets we have a bin of them we haven't even used yet! You will use blankets all the time, don't misunderstand me. You just don't need to buy any!

ten things // the new moms edition


So many friends are having babies now ... hooray! At least one little boy will be joining the ranks of the gang that's being formed between my friends and I (now there's four and counting ...) and I just can't wait for them to all start playing WITH each other instead of just next to each other!

I don't profess to be a baby expert, but in the almost five months Owen's been here, I've figured a few things out that I wanted to write down, in case anyone else wanted to know!

01 // Go with the glass Gerber bottles. We went through several other varieties (because of me, really) that were plastic but BPA-free and still dishwasher-safe. Turns out we like using the glass ones the best. The Gerber brand cost less (like $5 for three!), can be washed in the dishwasher, and withstand dropping without breaking. Not that I'd know.

02 // Buy the huge box of wipes. We ended up with a few gift cards after the baby shower, and I bought the $15 box of wipes. We're still using them. Genius!

03 // The Diaper Genie is your friend. I wasn't a believer, and then I was gifted one. We were going to just use a lidded trash can. I was such a fool! The Diaper Genie is my savior!!

04 // Bring your camera everywhere. I'm a first-time mom, so I take more pictures than some other moms, but I also carry our big SLR everywhere I go, and I'm so glad I do! We've gotten great shots at grandma's house, on walks to the park (like the one above I took on our walk this week when it was like springtime outside) and even at Target!

05 // Register for the stuff you'll want/need at four months to one year. I didn't do this, and we got lucky that Owen had Christmas when he was four months, so we still got some of the big stuff. You'll want that high chair and exer-saucer before you know it!

06 // Speaking of high chairs, unpack it immediately. Did you know most are made to recline for newborns now as well, so you can set them inside it while you're dancing around the kitchen?! We didn't, and when I finally unpacked ours I was dismayed to learn I could have been getting him used to it from day one!

07 // Grab the hospital nose-sucker. It works better than anything you get in those health care kits. Trust me.

08 // Zip-up footed sleepers. Clearly the folks who make the ones with snaps have never had to change a wiggly newborn at 3am - the zippered ones will become the first ones you put on each night, even if you don't like the patterns as much!

09 // We bought two six-packs of white socks; do the same. All those cute baby socks with the adorable patterns are great, but they don't actually go with any of the clothes you'll end up with. Having a dozen pairs of white socks has worked out great!

10 // Don't buy any blankets. You will get ten thousand of them, whether you register for them or not. Fleece blankets, swaddling blankets, thermal blankets, handmade blankets; we have so many blankets we have a bin of them we haven't even used yet! You will use blankets all the time, don't misunderstand me. You just don't need to buy any!

letting go

Jan 7, 2012

I'm guest posting today over at Amy's blog New Nostalgia - won't you head on over and take a look?! I've shared a few things I'm going to be letting go of in 2012!

organizing my knitting supplies

Jan 6, 2012

One of my 101 goals is to organize my knitting supplies a little better. I took some time over the last few days to get a handle on things, and ended up with these three cases.

In the square green case on the right, all my circular needles. The case is from Namaste, and I've had it for a year or so now. I love how easy it is to keep my circulars on-hand and within reach, but also untangled and separated out. I knit almost exclusively with circular needles, so this case has been a huge help to me!



Most of my knitting and crochet supplies are organized in these three Gussy bags, pictured above. In the larges (at the back) I keep my two smaller Gussy bags, my needle gauge, my scissors, and my tape measures.

In the smallest Gussy bag (at the right), I keep my stitch markers, my cable needles, and my darning needles. These were always getting lost in my bag before, and this Gussy bag is the perfect size for them all!

In the Gussy bag to the left of the photo, I store all my crochet hooks. It is the PERFECT size for them, and they don't clang around or get lost anymore!


In my final bag, I have all my double-pointed needles and my pom makers. The bag is too large for them, but it serves my purposes well and I am able to find all my dpns (which are organized into simple toothbrush cases!) and pom makers without trouble!

reading // The No-Brainer Wardrobe

Jan 5, 2012
The No-Brainer Wardrobe, by Hayley Morgan of Tiny Twig Goes Out On A Limb.

Learning to dress for my style sensibilities, my current job (SAHM) my body-type, and most importantly WHO I AM is a goal of mine. This book, simple and a quick read, has given me a jumping-off point for the next few months of culling, figuring out, and maybe a bit of shopping.

MY NOTES//

build my wardrobe out of ESSENTIALS first, then ADDITIONS, and finally FINISHERS.

pick out clothes for my wardrobe based on my life right now, which is a SAHM. i can dress well and still be someone who chases after kids and spends most of her days with a baby and/or in the house.

Go-To Outfit: Have an outfit I can throw on and feel amazing in, no matter how short I am on time. Hers involves black skinny jeans and grey riding boots - what can I find in my wardrobe that’s like this?

I like that her go-to outfit isn’t a complete outfit at all, but a base - her skinny jeans and riding boots. She can add any top to this and feel great.

Triangle Shape // more detail and interest on top, neutral on bottom. I already do this by default when I wear darker wash jeans, neutral shoes, and layers/color in my tops. Continue this trend.

// Steer clear of skinny jeans and thigh-skimming tops! They actually accentuate my hips! I can get a skinnier boot-cut pant, and get the same sort of look! (that photo of Nicole Richie in her boot-cut jeans, white tee, black jacket and scarf can be my inspiration, even if she is NOT the same body-type as me)

My action steps: go through my closet and let go of the things that don’t fit with my current lifestyle. Box up what I want to save for when I eventually head back into an office, and donate the rest. Keep only the 50-60 pieces that I will get excited about wearing every day in my current job as SAHM and home manager.

Start getting up early, taking a shower, and getting ready for my day. It’s fine to get ready at 10am like I do now, but I’m betting I’d greet the day happier if I got up at 6am and showered and dressed before Owen wakes up at 7am!

002 // Don't Drink And Knit!

Jan 4, 2012





{hat 002 / 10,000}

pattern: Jane Hat, by Jane Richmond
yarn: I Love This Yarn! solids in pink sparkle
needles: sizes US 8 / 5.0 mm and 10 / 6.0 mm 16" circular needles

So far, my charity knitting for 2012 has been going really well! One every two days means I'll reach my 10 a month with ease, and will hopefully make more like 15 a month!

I knit just about anywhere, and at any time. While Owen is sleeping for sure, but also in the car, in the movie theater, while hanging out with friends, and I've even been known to knit at the bar. One thing I've never done though, is spill something on my knitting.

Until the other night.

We were sitting on the couch and I had just opened a beer. It was the only one I was going to drink for the night, and after one sip I set it on the floor next to the couch so I could grab something. As I stood up, my foot got stuck on my knitting and I tripped a bit, falling over the beer and knocking it to the ground. On my knitting.

So now I've got a hat that smells like beer! It's in the wash machine as I write this, getting the beer smell out of it before I add it to my charity knitting pile, and thankfully the hat is made out of acrylic so it can even be tossed in the dryer and still turn out just fine. I just still can't believe I did that!
 
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