Thursday, March 12, 2009

A finished knitting project!!!!

Two posts in two days... what is going on here?!? Ha ha!

I just wanted to put up a super quick post about my latest FO! I have finally managed to finish up my Mr. Greenjeans. I'm happy to have it off the needles, not just because I hate having something lingering around for so long (makes me feel guilty when I start a new project) and also because in a freakish way of weather that I'm sure can't be only here on the Prairies, it's been fricken fracken freezing out there again. As in -30C and below with that wind which seems to always be whipping around out there these days. Brrr. So I was in need of a good warm cardi - have to dress in layers you know as despite the fact it's artic air outside, in the office it feels like the tropics. Layers, baby, are the answer!

Anyways... enough rambling! Here is my version of Mr. Greenjeans!

Not a very accurate show of the real colour, but I thought it showed the cables nicely!

I did a few modifications to it - really just in length - longer in the body and of course full sleeves. I used Briggs and Little Heritage in Purple Grape (gifted from Anna) for it. The yarn is a great, rustic, warm wool. Although some skeins were so "rustic" that I figured eventually I would come across not only a great many bits of straw and grass, but perhaps somewhere in there would be the whole bloomin' farm (sheep, farmer and all!), but no - just grass and straw. I did find it worth the effort though to pick out as much as I could as I went. I'm really quite happy with the final product!

And because of the great one button design of the sweater, it still fits! Even over my six month (seemingly large) pregnant belly. Although I will admit the button is pulling and will probably not do up at all by next week, but that's ok. I figure it will fit post-pregnancy quite well and that's really what counts! Because after all, it is mid-March and how much longer can winter last in this frozen place that I live in? I wasn't really expecting to get any wear out of it until fall anyways!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Getting ready for baby : or a tutorial on what to do with less than a metre of flannel

Where does time go? It seems to be flying by at a somewhat alarming rate to say the least. I'm now at the six months pregnant mark (seems like just yesterday I was waiting for a call from my doctor to tell me if I was expecting or not!)

I figure it's about time to start getting ready for this wee baby. Of course I have a few things left over from J, G and N's baby days, but only the special knits and things like that. None of the day to day necessities. So I high tailed it over to the fabric store with the knowledge that flannel was on sale half price this month!

I've been on a receiving blanket, burp cloth and face cloth rampage. Last night was sewing night. The last few days before that were cutting out time - I kept getting too tired to drag my machines out. This is a ridiculously easy project (I promise even if you're new to sewing you too can make these in the blink of an eye!)
Purchase .7 metre of printed flannel, .5 of co-ordinating terry toweling (I got this 60% off so a good bargain too). I also bought 2 metres of white diaper flannel and some rickrack and ribbon trims in the same trip, but I'll get to that in a moment!
To start off, pre-shrink your fabrics. Wash and dry everything the way you're going to wash the finished product.

To make the receiving blanket, simply take one corner of your printed flannel and fold it over in a triangle to make a perfect square. Mark your cutting line and cut this piece out. Serge or do a narrow hem along all four sides of your square. Voila! Receiving blanket!
To make the burp cloth take that piece of flannel left over from the receiving blanket you just made and cut it to size. I think 10" x 20 " is a good size - this is just to throw over your shoulder to catch any yuckiness when baby is being burped so you could actually guage how wide your shoulder is and adjust to make it smaller or bigger depending. I tend to have shoulders like a line backer so if you're somewhat more daintily sized than me, you may want a bit narrower cloth. The choice is yours.
Cut a matching piece of terry towelling. Turn each piece right sides together and sew around the outside edges using a 1/2" seam allowance and don't forget to leave an opening for turning. Trim your seam allowance and clip the corners to reduce the bulk and turn right side out. If you want you can press the cloth at this point or just flatten it out with your hands. Top stitch about an 1/4" from the edge all the way around your rectangle to close up your opening and as well to add a bit of strenth to it. Now you've made a burp cloth! Sit back and admire your handywork! :)

The face cloth is simply done by using any left over piece that you feel is a big enough size and cutting a matching piece of terry. I used my serger to finish the edges all around, but if you don't have a serger you could either do them the same way you made your burp cloth or even easier than that, just zig-zag around the edges. It's a facecloth afterall... no need to get terribly fancy!

A finished set - receiving blanket, burp cloth and face cloth

So - back to that white flannel and ribbon I bought. Not all flannel, as it turns out, is the same width - or some shrinks more than others. So I ended up with a few pieces that were too narrow to be a burp cloth on their own, but waste not want not, I decided to get a bit fancier. (I have to say, so far - these are my favourite ones!!) Cut your white flannel into the same size as your other burp cloths were (again I used the 10" x 20"), then cut your left over printed flannel to a size you like for a center decorative panel. Lay the printed piece on the center of your white flannel - right sides both facing up. Zig-zag closely to the edge of the printed flannel. Then pick out your ribbon or trim that you are going to use and lay this over top the zig-zagged stitches. Sew with a straight stitch close to either edge of the ribbon if using ribbon or one line down the center if using rickrack. Your top piece is now finished and you can proceed with the terry as you did with your other burp cloths!

A work in progress...

And a finished product - this one's my favourite so far!

Most importantly... Have fun picking out the flannel, terry and ribbon! There are so many choice out there that the options are pretty much endless. You're baby will be spitting up on the cutest cloths around! :)

So between that and working on my Amy Butler Nappy Bag - yes - that is a cat inside the bag! Dora seems to have a predilection for "helping me" while I'm sewing!

Peek a boo Dora!

And finishing it, I've had a very productive time at my sewing machine as of late (of course all this baby sewing hasn't left time for the two huge projects I need to accomplish - a new highland jacket and a national vest for Ms. G, but all in due time I figure. Her old ones will do for this weekend's competition!)

Diaper bag, change pad and storage bag

So until next time, I hope you have fun with your knitting or sewing or whatever it is that you do to fill up your free time.