Favorite Thing Friday: Blanket and Booties

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Over the last few months, I found out two of my friends are expecting. Even though a I’m not a baby person (unless they have four legs and fur), the knitter in me was excited to dig into my baby gift patterns.

Initially, I thought about making little sweaters, but then it hit me that we live in a desert. It’s hot almost all of the time! Even it got a little cold, the kid would probably outgrow it before he got a chance to wear it. So, I decided to make much more practical gifts that could be used no matter how fast the baby grows.

It turns out I had a great pattern for a car seat sized baby blanket. I figured this was perfect for use as a quick snuggle and for when there’s a chill in the air (it’s been known to happen from time to time). Plus, it’s relatively small, so it isn’t a struggle for a new mom to stuff it in her diaper bag. I settled on a simple basket weave pattern with a garter stitch edge.

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Some turtle love for a Basket Weave Baby Blanket

The yarn is very soft and cuddly, but I honestly hated working with it. It constantly knotted up thanks to the fuzzies that made it soft. My working yarn was almost constantly entangled, which made it difficult to keep a steady pace. I will never buy Yarn Bee Effervesce, again!

At the last minute, I decided to make a pair of booties. I had some leftover sock yarn that I thought would make excellent lightweight, soft baby socks. I pulled out my trusty sock loom and whipped out a pair of tiny booties. These booties are for a baby boy and I think the colors couldn’t be more perfect!

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Teeny Tiny Baby Socks

I kept it simple, by constructing a tube sock instead of turning heel. This way, they’ll continue to fit as the baby grows. The yarn is a silky soft alpaca fiber, so no worries about itchy baby feet!

As for the January baby, I’m still pondering what to make for that bundle of joy.

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What’s your favorite thing this week?

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c.b.w. 2014

 

For My Friend

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We must have seemed odd
to those who passed by
Opposites in every way
except on the inside
No need to explain Party of One
I understood you,
and you understood me
as no one else could
Over countless cups of coffee,
we pondered the meaning of life
and other silly things
And let’s not forget the music,
Junip and jazz still sing in my head
We read Maisie Dobbs and F. Scott Fitzgerald,
along with Willa Cather and Steinbeck, too
Ah, the books we treasured
and the stories we shared
I don’t have your picture,
but I’ll never forget your face
Nor how you taught me
the real source of strength
Without you there is an empty space
Thank you for being my friend,
until the very end

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Recently, a dear friend of mine passed away. While the sadness is sometimes overwhelming, so is the joy I have in the memories of the moments we shared.  Our friendship was something really special and I already miss it.

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c.b.w. 2014

Favorite Thing Friday: Embossed Leaf Socks

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I never thought knitting a pair of white socks would be any fun, so I surprised myself when I decided I needed a pair of white socks for the days when what I have to wear doesn’t match up with the socks in my drawer. This happens a lot at the end of the week or when I slack on getting the laundry done!

Thus began the great white sock pattern hunt! I wanted something simple, yet pretty to make my white socks anything but boring. As soon as I saw the pattern for Embossed Leaf Socks, I knew I found exactly what I was looking for. While the pattern looks complicated, it only uses five stitches. If you can knit, purl, knit 2 together, knit 2 together (through back loop), and purl 2 together you can make these socks!

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Embossed Leaf Socks – These are definitely not boring!

The pattern itself is extremely well written insofar as it does a really good job of describing what stitches go on what needle. Needle knitting socks can be tricky as you’re usually fiddling with three or four stitch needles and one knitting needle. Sometimes patterns assume you know how to move stitches when splitting the heel flap and adding gusset stitches. This pattern, however, is very specific and assumes nothing!

One of the things I really love about these socks is the toe. Instead of a plain stockinette stitch, purl stitches are peppered throughout the toe to create a petal pattern that nicely compliments the leafy lace of the sock.

I made one adjustment in that I chose not to do the twisted rib cuff dictated by the pattern. Instead, I went for the easier 1×1 rib. This was mainly because I started these socks on vacation and it’s tough to learn a new technique when I’m not in my usual craft space.

While I now have a pair of white socks that go with everything, now I have the problem of being afraid to wear them! They are so pretty and I don’t want them to get dirty! I’m sure I’ll get over it as I always do.

With my socks done, I’m now busy knitting baby blankets. Two of my friends are expecting – one in September and one in January. At first I thought about making a baby sweater for each, but then I realized we live in a desert and the kid will outgrow it before he/she can wear it. So, I decided a lightweight blanket is both universal and practical. Perfect.

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What’s your favorite thing this week?

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c.b.w. 2014