Sunday, April 29, 2012

FO Delancy #2

I finished this sweater the same time I finished the other Delancey. I made this one for my sister Jessi, for her birthday after she complimented mine in progress. I finished this sweater at a rapid pace because I was hoping to have it done for the knit-along goal. I was just a day short for that. It is currently blocking after I added fabric covered buttons.
fits before blocking!
Almost everything that I have knit these past few months have had short-rows incorporated in some way. I was impressed by the lack of seaming in this pattern, seeing as seaming is Hell for me. I loved that the sleeves were knit by picking up stitches at the shoulder. This was great for getting the length of the sleeve right. I was able to try it on and see if it was where I wanted it to fall. I knit this in Knit Picks Brava Sport using the extra skeins of yarn from my first Delancey and my mother-in-laws Delancey.
before blocking
Alexis Winslow, designer of the Delancey and author of the blog Knit Darling, did such an amazing job with this pattern. The finished sweater looks so much more complex than the actual construction, which is always nice for showing off. I decided to change up the bottom band for this sweater for two reasons. The first being that Allyson did and the second being my lack of my main color yarn. I actually ran out of gray yarn for the collar and was forced to use some of my left overs from the Umbre Lovre. This worked out well because the grays were the same weight and so similar in color. I think I will be the only one that can notice where the change occurs. I am excited to see how my sister like this! I will add pictures of her wearing it as soon as I get some of her in it.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Butterflies and Babies

Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park is one place that West Michigan is so lucky to have. My first trip was yesterday. Adam, the beebs, my mother-in-law, and I went their mainly to see the butterflies (or at least me and my mother-in-law went for that reason).
The butterflies really loved this flower
 The butterfly room was really popular and very hard to manuever around. It was amazing to see so many butterflies though. Definitely worth it. There was one butterfly that especially caught my eye. It had gorgeous blue wings and it wouldn't sit still for me to take a picture of it. It was really big too. The butterflies are at Frederik Meijer Garden until April 30th.
Sitting on some leaves
We were drawn to the Children's Gardens fairly soon in the day as well. It was an amazing feature here. Nolan had so much he was able to do and Ryenn was happy to see all the other kids. Nolan's favorite part was the Great Lakes area. He was able to run around with other kids ad play in water. He did keep taking the older kids' boats which was kind of funny. He also really liked the brideges and stairs that you could walk around.
Ryenn was a happy girl
Nolan playing in the water
We also checked out the Sculpture park. The featured artist was an amazingly talented artists named Deborah Butterfield. She created horses out of metals, different pieces of wood, and other objects. I wasn't able to take pictures, but it was a great exhibit. Her exhibit runs until April 29, 2012.
Nolan and the bear
Ryenn by the tulips

Friday, April 20, 2012

Tulip Festival without Tulips

Holland, Michigan celebrates Tulip Time Festival every year. This year it is scheduled to be celebrated from May 5 to May 12. However, this year, it may be celebrated without the tulips. Due to the unseasonably warm weather we have been having here in Michigan, everything is blooming early. This includes the tulips. I have been wanting to see the Tulips for quite some time and today we did! The rain cut our trip a little short, but we were able to visit Veldheer's Tulip Farm before the rain came. I am a sucker for tulips (I prefer them to the very cliche roses when receiving flowers). So imagine my excitement to see 5.5 million tulips in one location! Adam and I are planning a second trip, seeing as the rain prevented us from seeing more. I took so many pictures. Here's a few of them:

Nolan riding in the storage basket of the stroller with Ryenn
Pink with white tips
Yellow tulips
Gorgeous right? White and Pink Tulips
Purple Tulips (a.k.a. my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE)
Loved the multiple colors together
Fuschia tulips
Pink, partially open tulips
The two cutest kids in the world
Pink and white tulips
Striped tulips

After just this one day with all these tulips, guess what this girl is buying come this fall? You guessed it, TULIP BULBS! I want an area filled with tulips! The first on my list is the deep purple tulips. This place was so packed with tulips. I can't wait for us to go check out some more places. Nolan really enjoyed running around in the grassy areas. He did slip and fall in the mud at one point, which was not a highlight of the trip.

Monday, April 16, 2012

FO Delancey #1

This week was an extremely busy week. Knitting wise, it was busy but with only two projects. Both of which were Delancey cardigans. Both of which are finished! I was invited into the Sweatshop of Love's fourth knit along by my sister Allyson; the third in which I have participated. When we voted on the sweater to knit with our last knit along, I voted for the Delancey. We knitted the Aidez sweater, but I really had my eyes on this baby. It was the second place winner, so it was chosen for this knit along.
I loved knitting this sweater! The construction of it was so unique and turned out so amazingly. It was also my first time knitting a sweater using ALL Knit Picks yarn. I again felt spoiled knitting with such great yarn. The color is so rich and the yarn itself is so flexible.
Diagonal stripes
I knit this using Knit Picks DK Swish yarn in Garnet Heather and Brave Sport in Dove Heather. I was unsure of how much I would like this sweater when I initially started, but the further along I got, the more I loved it. I have yet to block this sweater (as we all know, my favorite part) but it fits pretty well as it is. I need to block it in order to lengthen the sleeves a tad bit and get the collar to stay folded down. Im completely loving this sweater! I will share the sister sweater for my sister later this week.
Back of the sweater

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Hoppy Easter!

My husband works on Sundays so any holiday that may fall on a Sunday is rescheduled. It worked out great this year to celebrate Easter on a Saturday with our family seeing as my mother-in-law didn't have to work that day either. That gave me one less day to get Ryenn's dress done. I am a huge procrastinator and waited until Friday night around 10 or 11 to actually cut the fabric! Why would I do that to myself? I never know. I did the same thing with her Christmas dress. I bought the fabric earlier this week (along with a bunch of other fabric for some other projects). The choices were very slim at the Hobby Lobby I went to. However, it was fine because I fell in love with a pastel yellow, floral print! It was exactly what I was looking for. I paired it with a pastel pink fabric for the bodice of her dress.
Floral and pink!
I decided to make her dress without a pattern because they can get super expensive. I decided to make a simple skirt with an even simpler bodice. When I finished, I felt it needed straps to make it look more like a baby's dress. I cut and sewed on two strips of the floral fabric I used for the skirt and decided to make them cross in the back.
Finished dress

I got the dress done around 1am and then Ryenn woke up to play. It worked out kind of nice because I was then able to try the dress on her! It fit better than I expected. The straps were a bit big but the fabric didn't have much give to it so it was a bit difficult to get her in and out of it.
Pretty girl in her dress
Loving the grass
It was a great Easter! The kids got completely spoiled by the Easter bunny and my mother-in-law. When we saw the Easter baskets all put together, it looked more like Christmas morning than it did Easter. We spent all Saturday at the in-laws, playing outside, playing with the new toys, and eating a great meal. Now we are spending the actual day of Easter resting after such a busy day.
Kid's Easter baskets
Nolan playing with some of his new toys
He loves it outside
In her bunny ears

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

12 Blankets in 2 years

My sister Allyson posted a 20 Sweater FO's in Review blog that did just that; went over the 20 sweaters she has knit, frogged, fixing, on her needles, etc. It got me thinking about my own knitting. I was recently thinking about my upcoming projects (which include blankets) and their deadlines when I got to thinking about all the things I have recently knitted. The majority of my workload? Blankets! And a lot of them. I decided to tell all about the blankets I have knit, in the process of knitting, and will knit.

1) Khloe's Blanket. The second thing I knit was a blanket. I started knitting in November of 2009 and my niece was born in December that same year. I decided I was going to be ambitious and knit her a blanket. I bought the most beautiful yarn and knit the thing in less than a week! It was a velvety yarn in a variegated pink, purple and white style. She still uses it too!

2) Caiden's Blanket. I worked with a girl at Uccello's and we were both pregnant and due around the same time. After whipping Khloe's blanket out so fast, I decided to knit Caitlin's son a blanket and matching booties as my shower gift to her. This one took me quite a bit longer than the first. I used the same pattern, which was a simple garter stitch blanket that was knit diagonally with an increase in the beginning few stitches on both the wrong and right sides. It was mint green and very soft. I got bored with the color but got it to her.

3) Nolan's 1st Blanket. After knitting a few blanket for everyone else, I decided to knit one that would stay at my house. I knit Nolan a blue blanket in which I used three different yarns to achieve a striping pattern. I used a variegated blue yarn throughout the whole thing and alternated between a navy blue and light blue. I loved how fast this blanket knit up! The striping kept it interesting.
Nolan's 1st Blanket
4) Nolan's 2nd Blanket. After the first blanket, I knit another blanket using the same pattern. The first blanket was so heavy that I wanted something lighter, seeing as he was a summer baby. I kept the same striping but only used 2 yarns, the alternating striping colors. I chose a light yellow and an olive tones green.
Nolan's 2nd Blanket
5) Hallie's Blanket. I fell in love with this pattern and ended up knitting another in the winter of 2011 for Hallie. I chose to knit the blanket with 2 strands throughout without the striping. Her nursery was decorated in pinks and browns so those were the 2 colors I picked. It was gorgeous! When I found out that I was having Ryenn in July, it was hard to part with it.

6) Ryenn's Seed Stitch Blanket. I found this amazing photo of a baby with a blanket and matching hat. Well I thought to myself, "I HAVE to have it". Instead of paying the ungodly amount for the set, I attempted it myself. I got the hat done without any problems (pom-pom pigtail hat). The blanket is still somewhat unfinished. The majority of the blanket is complete, but I am lost with what to do for a border. What I originally had planned didn't look the way I wanted it to. So it sits unfinished.
Seed Stitch Blanket with no border
7) Ryenn's Patchwork Blanket. I spent a lot of time creating this blanket. Without deadlines, it has been a fun project. I started it back in May of 2011 and wanted it done before Ryenn was born. That didn't happen, but certainly was not going to be needed. This summer was really hot and blankets were rarely pulled out. The pattern called for 5 colors but I couldn't settle for just 5. I ended up using a deep purple, green, hot pink, teal, orange and yellow. The colors were amazing together. Each square was knit in a different pattern according to color and then put together to form a pattern. I still have yet to decided what to do in the ways of a border for this blanket as well. The pattern didn't call for a border, but I think it looks unfinished. I am leaning towards a thin border in seed stitch using the deep purple.
Ryenn's Patchwork Blanket
8), 9), and 10) Throw Blankets for sisters. Christmas was blanket knitting season for me this year! I attempted to knit a total of 5 blankets as gifts. I knit 3 cozy throws for each of my sisters and they were a big hit. Their gifts actually added a few of them to my knitting list. I used size 50 needles for the first time and it was amazingly awkward. I knit each blanket in a matter of hours. It was helpful seeing as I knit these in 2 weeks before Christmas.
Jessi's Blanket
Katie's Blanket
Kelli's Blanket

11) Mom's Patchwork Blanket. I loved how Ryenn's patchwork blanket looked. It made me want to knit another one. I found a pattern for simpler squares so I could knit it up a little faster. I started this blanket in June and didn't finish until Christmas day, and even then I had 2 other people helping me seam it up. It turned out beautifully. It was a little smaller than what my dad wanted, so I am eventually going to knit up additional squares in order to add onto the existing blanket.
Mom's Patchwork Blanket
12) MIL's Blanket. I also started a patchwork blanket for my mother-in-law that I wanted to have done for Christmas. I fell way short of that goal, because it still sits unfinished. I am working on finishing this blanket as soon as I finish my Delancey cardigans and the next blanket, which is going to be a throw like I made my sisters for Amiyah.