Friday, November 26, 2010

Baby Surprise Jacket

This is the first thing I knit for the baby. I'm tragically behind on updating the blog, this growing a baby thing is had work! I'm due in ONLY FOUR WEEKS, so i don't know how well I'll do on updating it AFTER that either. Still, writing down details makes me happy, so I'll keep on with it.

This was a stashbusting experience knit with three different colors of Rowan's Yorkshire Tweed DK. I just followed the Baby Surprise Jacket pattern. Here's a ravelry link to the project:

This jacket is really warm and I'm hoping it fits for her second or third winter. She'll barely be a newborn for the first winter, so I know it will be way to big for her now.

All finished (but less the buttons):


Halfway folded up:

Even though garter stitch takes FOREVER because it's so dense, the fabric sure looks nice!
BSJ closeup

Sunday, November 21, 2010

socks again

This is the second pair of socks I ever knitted, and my third ever knitting project (the first was a ribbed scarf). I got the chance to "visit" with them again when my mom brought them over to be darned.

They are a very basic pattern, I think it was a "knitting pure and simple" pamphlet. Both this pair and the first pair were the same pattern, same yarn (although different colors). The yarn is the Brown Sheep Wildefoote sock yarn. It's pretty darn durable considering these are a few years old and were knit on size 2 needles (now i usually use 1s or 0s for socks).

first socks

first socks

Thursday, November 11, 2010

more socks

Another pair of socks knit quite some time ago... These are out of the Cascade handpainted sock yarn, I forget the specifics. I bought it on impulse since I was on a "yarn crawl" event and totally unsuccessful at NOT buying at least one thing at every store. I think I was also trying to convince ellie that I was capable of buying yarn that did not include in some way teal, lime green, or dark purple. What can I say, I have a problem, at least lately, with overpurchasing of items in these colors.

Anyway, these are a garter stitch rib (2 knit x 2 garter) with 2x2 ribbed stitch cuffs and are pretty uneventful otherwise. They do fit me nicely, and I am working to get over the extreme pinkness, but they're still fun.

Birdseye view:
Pink Socks

From the side, showing the very simple/basic heel, the flap is knit in the same rib stitch as the rest, and I find that picking up the side stitches in garter leaves absolutely no ridge on the inside of the sock, unlike when I try to pick up a stockinette or slip stitch selveage:
Pink Socks

Closeup of the stitch pattern. I have convinced myself that the small amount of yellow in there is enough to keep them from being too girly:
Pink Socks!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Lots o' socks

I've been busier knitting than posting as of late... Plus since March I've been growing a baby, which seems to take an incredible amount of energy.

Anyway, I've been knitting up a bunch of socks, on and off, and finally got around to uploading some pictures. I think, in order to get them up, I'll do them a pair at a time :)

First, blue socks I made for hubby. These are in Dream In Color sock yarn, which is DELICIOUS. Knit on size 2 needles (a bit bigger in gauge than I typically like for socks). I hope they last a while. So far, it's been a bit over a month and they're looking OK. I also have a ton of extra yarn, so I can darn if I need to. A basic ribbed leg and top of foot, a square heel, and a basic toe. All improvised, no pattern. Hubby likes them very much.
blue socks
blue socks

Friday, April 2, 2010

everything is cuter when it's for a baby

I have a feeling that I'm going to be doing a lot of gifts for babies and small children in the next few years, so I'm delighted at how well these came out. Sooo cute! I started these before I knew if they were for a boy or a girl... figuring that if it was a boy I'd buy an incredible hulk T-shirt to go with it and call 'em an outfit. It was a girl though, so no incredible hulk t-shirt.

baby pants

This is the elizabeth zimmerman pattern for knit longies, done up as pants. They were a very easy and straightforward knit. They are super stretchy and seem like they'll be comfy for baby. I did them up with the esprit, which is almost all cotton with a touch of elastic. Should be comfy and somewhat easy care.

The elastic kind of crinkles up the cotton, so the knit fabric has a really nice texture. I also knit it at a pretty firm gauge, the yarn recommends a size 7, but I used a 4. Hopefully that will also add to the durability.

baby pants

baby pants

I bought a ton of this on a "full bag" sale, so I had 10 balls of each color. Plenty for a ton more baby pants, but I think I'll be waiting for something else to call to me as the perfect project.

Knitting tip: When I switched from the purple too the ribbing at the bottom edge, I did the first row of green in plain knit which gives a plain clean line on the transition instead of the color breaking you get on the purl side of the fabric when you do stripes. It makes the top and bottom ribbing both look equally clean and tidy.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

squirrely squirrel sampler mittens

I finished the Squirrel Sampler Mittens! Yay! I really had a lot of fun with this pattern, but I'm not sure how often I'll be knitting lined mittens. They are very warm, but it's quite a bit of extra work... plus I don't live in a climate where you need wool mittens that often, let alone lined wool mittens.

In either case, they are super duper adorable! I knit the outside of the mittens with KnitPicks Palette which is a fingering weight 100% wool and knit the lining with KnitPicks Alpaca Cloud wich is a lace weight 100% alpaca. They are pretty luxurious feeling on the inside and pretty hearty feeling on the outside, which is why I guess lining mittens can be pretty awesome. They are knit on size 0 needles. They are extremely snug on my hands, but they aren't for me. This is the first xmas gift completed for 2010 and the giftee has much smaller hands than me. :-)

squirrel mittens

squirrel mittens

and here are some shots that show off the lining. First as it's being knit:

squirrel mittens

and then what you see once it's finished:

squirrel mittens

So soft on the inside.

I am thrilled to bits with these mittens. They are adorable and they make me happy. It's probably a good thing they don't really fit (that's me wearing them, but there isn't enough ease for them to be comfortable).

Saturday, March 20, 2010

spinning on a WHEEL!!! YAY!

I'm borrowing a wheel and chugging away. I've actually spun up quite a bit of yarn, but taking progress pictures of all the steps isn't going so well. Here are a few I've managed to take.

This is the yarn as singles (before becoming 2 ply). It's from lorna's laces wool top and it's the "tahoe" colorway. Also in process is another batch of the same wool top in the "bittersweet" colorway.

I spun about 1/3rd of the tahoe on my top whorl spindle, and the remainder on a spinning wheel. I can't decide which I like spinning on best, but I do know I like plying on the wheel much more. The wheel may be marginally faster (but right now, not much). I'm not sure if there's a trick to it or what, but I can't seem to get an even consistent yarn at anything thicker than a sport or maybe DK weight in 2 ply. Is there some secret to spinning bulkier yarns? In any case, while I try and figure that out... here's what I've got for the singles. This is the very first batch I did on the wheel:

spinning singles

wound singles

More to come... including pictures of it all plied up!

Sunday, March 7, 2010


My friend and I decided to have a bagel cooking day. We teamed up to make a batch of homemade bagels. They were DELICIOUS. For sure something I'd make again. The particular recipe we used was from Vegan Dad, but I think if I make them again, I'll pick one that takes you from start to finish in one day and see if they work just as well. I'm less likely to do something that you have to do over two days. Anyway, they were dense, chewy, and absolutely delicious. In my opinion the best two were the plain one and the one I topped with smoked sea salt. I like a salt bagel and the smoked salt was truly fantastic.

here are pictures:
regular salt bagel is in the top right corner, the smoked salt bagel is in the bottom left corner. The others are two sesame seed and two plain.

here's a glamor shot closeup of one of the plain ones. It sort of feels silly to take pictures like this of bagels, but it seems to be what you do.


Friday, March 5, 2010


I've still got old projects from Christmas to post, and even some new ones for this christmas started. I'd wanted to do the Knitting Olympics, and I did, but I totally did not finish. It certainly didn't help that I was TOO SICK TO KNIT for an incredibly long FOUR days. It hurt to be upright. It hurt to try and hold my hands aloft, it hurt to try and lean over to read a chart and painstakingly try to follow it (especially with a pattern that has no repeats). So, in short, the Squirrel mittens are not finished.

I did manage to decorate a pretty darn cool cake for a friend's baby shower, so I'll share that instead.

Her nursery decorations are for the most part either from or inspired by the lilac sparrow collection from Dwell Studio. So, because of that I thought it would be fun to do cakes inspired by the same.

First, I was going to bake the cake myself, but since I was sick (see above) the week before, I didn't have time. Whole Foods to the rescue as they were very cooperative in making some "custom" cakes for me that were free of any decoration at all. Their berry chantilly cake is to die for, and when I picked it up, this is exactly what I'd ordered:

shower cake before decorating

The sparrow pattern is basically some birds sitting on brown tree branches with purple, pink, and brown flowers and leaves. I started by coloring some marzipan brown and adding it to the cake like branches:

shower cake before icing

Then I added the leaves and the flowers and a simple border along the bottom edge:

closeup of shower cake

shower cake

and a small marzipan bird:

shower cake closeup

here is the finished cake along with the inspiration pattern. I was pleased as punch with the results:

shower cake with invitation

Sunday, February 14, 2010

still posting xmas - lace shawl edition:)

So... that big pink lace sampler shawl from Victorian Lace Today... I did finish it on time to send out to California for my grandmother to open it on Christmas Eve. You can view all the details you could ever want to see about it on the ravelry page here. Aside from that, this thing is humongous. Almost two feet wide, longer than I am tall (so, 6+ feet). Light as a feather since this lace was 1450 yards/100 grams. Used just a little bit less than one skein, held single. I was worried about running out of yarn and my calculations said if I followed the pattern I would just barely have enough. To compensate, I took one stitch out of the garter stitch border along each side and I omitted the pointed border from the long edges (I still did it on the short edges). Grandma loves it. I know she will never wear it, but I think she has it on display in her house somewhere (probably in the china cabinet). Anyway, here are some of the seemingly endless numbers of photos I tried to get of it before packing it off.

lace shawl

lace shawl

lace shawl

lace shawl

lace shawl

lace shawl

And there are still a few more christmas projects remaining for 2009, all gifted on time, but just not posted yet. I think I'm down to a small handful... 1 clapotis and 1 dickey/cowl.

Xmas 2010 is already in full swing over here at Claire Creates too! I'm doing the Knitting Olympics and hope to finish up a pair of Squirrel Sampler Mittens, plus if I'm really going for it, a second pair of plain mittens! :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

still catching up wiht xmas... weaving edition

so... I did finish all of my xmas gifts on time, but posting them is a different matter all together. Hopefully I'll get thorough it all before next xmas.

I'm so excited at how well this scarf came out. It was fast too (well... compared to the lace shawl I was making with this yarn before I frogged it to make this beauty in just a few days)... The yarn is this gorgeous silk I got from ArtFibers. Here's a link. I would definitely use this yarn again for weaving. It's just a simple plain weave at 12 ends per inch, and then I lightly ironed it after washing. I had to wash it at least three times, this yarn bleed like crazy. Like, poured a bottle of food coloring in the water bleeding. But... pretty!

It really is a dark purple closest to the shot where I'm wearing it, but I was having a hard time getting good pictures right before I had to pack it up and ship it out.

silk scarf

silk scarff

silk scarf

Lightly ironing it seemed to line everything up and bring out this incredible sheen that was there, but only just barely, before ironing. I was very careful about overdoing it though.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

more xmas knitting

Here's another scarf I made as a gift for Christmas. This time it was an alpaca scarf for my father in law. I used a simple fisherman's ribbing stitch pattern and a 100% alpaca sport weight yarn (the now discontinued "Pure Alpaca Fina" from in one of their 10 ball "full bag" sales). I've never used fisherman's rib before and I'm amazed at how thick and fluffy this scarf is considering the weight of the yarn. It's alpaca to boot, so it's incredibly warm, perfect for someone who lives in the cold of Colorado. A winning stitch pattern I will use again for sure!

alpaca scarf

alpaca scarf

alpaca scarf