FO: Secret Baby Sweater

We’re home!  It was wonderful to get away, spend good time with family, and just relax into a daily rhythm revolving around fun.  Today is catch-up day around here: laundry, sorting through mail, errands, chores, and blogging, of course!

This project has been done for a while, but I wanted to keep it a secret until I could present it in person.  As soon as I saw these colors together, I knew the little cardigan was destined for my sister’s new baby and got knitting right away. Then it was all about waiting: waiting for my little niece to be born, then waiting to make the trip to Idaho to see her for the first time.  The wait is over, and it was all worth it.

Of course, I knit the sweater to fit baby M this fall and winter, so no photos of a cute sweater on the cute baby; we’ll all have to wait a few months for those!

This sweater was a fun knit, though a bit fiddly (isn’t that true of most tiny projects involving more than one color?). Early on I realized there would be about 10,000 ends to weave in, so I took care to weave some of them in batches so the finishing didn’t seem as daunting.

The yarn was heavenly to work with. It was smooth and bouncy, and the colors were delicious. I really love this yarn and am already looking for an excuse to buy more. The good news is that after knitting up the sweater kit, there was quite a bit of yarn leftover. I made the bunny nuggets and still have enough to make a wee hat, I’m sure.

When sifting through my stash in search of the right buttons, I was delighted to find these sweet little pressed flowers. They match perfectly! The only problem was I had just 2 buttons; after a heart-pounding trip to the craft store, I happily found another card of 2 buttons and was set.

All in all, an extremely cute project. And the sweater’s okay too. ; )

Vintage Goodness

Last week I was on a vintage button-buying spree on Etsy, looking for interesting things to spruce up my crafting. I did a search for “vintage buttons” and many, many things turned up. It’s a bit overwhelming to look through all the results, but when I filtered through I ended up finding two things that really caught my eye.

The first came from the seller Vintage Necessities, who has a ton of buttons to choose from. It looks like they are sorted by type and color into various sized lots. I was really drawn to a small bundle of green, white, and yellow plastic buttons. When they arrived, I was not disappointed.

Each one is different from the next, but they all relate to one another. I can see them working well on a simple cardigan or baby sweater at some point.

My next find came from a seller called Wistful Supplies that specializes in all sorts of jewelry-making supplies and miscellaneous whimsies. I found these vintage wallpaper and fabric inspired buttons. Silly me: I didn’t notice the descriptions said they were “pin back buttons” and was expecting something else.

Pins or buttons, they are really fun and I’m sure I will find a use for them. In the meantime, I keep trolling the local thrift shops looking for a fun mixed bag o’ buttons to start building a collection. All I have so far is a little jar full of all those extra buttons that come with new clothes: buttons from jackets, shirts, and trousers that I own. These have been fine, but I want to diversify my portfolio, so to speak!

Do you have a button collection? How do you find your buttons? How do you store them?

It Felt Good At The Time

As I was listening to my iPod this weekend, I decided that he looked awfully cold and electronic. Stan the Nan as we call him, just dangles from the ears in a tangle of white cords looking like every other nano on the block. So I decided to delve into my scrap stash and whip up a little something cozy.


Cozies BEFORE felting

As I was finishing up, I remembered someone in my knitting group once suggested using a kitchen mixer to felt smaller items. So, I put a kettle of water on to boil and pulled out my trusty KitchenAid mixer.

Mixer felting

Set the speed to low and let the cozies agitate in boiling hot water for about 15 minutes. Do not fill the bowl too full or put the speed up too high, or you will have hot water dangerously sloshing everywhere!

I squeezed the excess water out, stuffed them full of plastic wrap, and let the cozies dry overnight.


Spike wanted to help choose a button


In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that the 2nd cozy didn’t turn out so well. It seems that the main yarn wasn’t feltable wool as I had assumed, and strange things happened to it during felting.


You can really see what happens when you mix wool with acrylic and felt it; the wool shrinks up and pulls the stitches surrounding it inward. I’m calling this one Frankenfelt.