Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Handknit Christmas 2009

I know it's been FOREVER since I blogged, but at least I had a semi-good reason (well, that's what I've been telling myself). I have been so busy working on Christmas gifts and I didn't want to risk anyone seeing them before the big day. :o) Now that Christmas has come and gone, I can post away.
I decided to knit gloves for each of my sisters-in-law and my mother-in-law this year. Around thanksgiving 2008 one of my sisters-in-law made a comment that it would be so nice if I would make her a pair of gloves. That got me I worked all year and made 7 pair of gloves! Can you believe it?!?! 7 pair!
Details on each pair can be found on my ravelry project pages.
I think they really like them! :o)
I also made 3 of my nieces (Jacqui, Anna, and Emily) a pair of fetching fingerless gloves. I personally have never understood why so many people love them...I feel like a hobo when I have them on. But since almost 14,000 pair have been made I figured it must be only me who feels that way. :o) I only have a picture of the pair I made Jacqui...
Finally, I whipped up a butterfly hat for my momma. She picked out this pattern way back in February or March...right after she lost the hat I made her last year. :o)

I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas!

I can't wait to get started on all the fun projects I have planned for've been warned..........

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Baby, it's (getting) cold outside

My daughter has poofy pony tails every day. EVERY DAY. And since we live in Michigan, it's getting cold. (Of course as I write this, it's sunny and almost 70 degrees, but since it's Michigan, the weather will be below 50 degrees in just two short days. Gotta love it.) Anyways, since she has the poofy tails, finding a winter hat has been a complete chore. I've tried many, many, many hats on her, and of course, she has hated it every step of the way. I finally decided to just wing it and make her a hat...without a pattern. Yep. That's me. I'm a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kinda crafty girl. :o) I used some malabrigo yarn that I received in a swap last winter. I've never used this yarn before but I now know why so many people love it. It's sooooooooo soft and the color variations from the kettle-dying process is just beautiful. Now I want to make myself a sweater...ahem...but of course that's going to have to wait since I just might have 4 sweaters waiting to be made...and I have the yarn for those 4 sweaters upstairs in my craft room waiting for me. So...yeah. I'm just going to have to wait before I buy a sweater's quantity of malabrigo. Drat.
I used the heart design from this sweater that I found on Luckily for me the design repeat was 12 stitches, and the hat was 84 stitches around...woo hoo! I didn't have to manipulate the design. I love when that happens.
Now if I can just get her to keep it on her head we'll be all set. :o)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

and baby makes four...

So we're becoming parents again! This time around, the adoption went even quicker than it did with Madelyn. We got a call last tuesday letting us know that a birth family had chosen us to
be the parents of a baby boy that was born on Sunday. !!!!! We were shocked and excited and speechless and nervous and happy all at the same time. We had so much to do within a very limited amount of time, but of course I was able to find some time to make the little guy something special just for him. I found this pattern while searching for ideas on Ravelry. I was able to make it in 2 days...perfect in the amount of time that I had. I really, really, REALLY like how it turned out. I used size 5 needles instead of the size 6 suggested in the pattern since baby Andrew is so little. I think this is just what he needs to wear when we're able to bring him home, which will hopefully be in the next few days...we're just waiting for the judge to sign the papers. Then our busy little house will get even busier! But, you know, I wouldn't want it any other way. :o)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Pumpkin Hat

I know, I know, I'm a dork. I think we've already established that when I made this bunny hat when Madelyn was first born, or the turkey hat for Madelyn's first thanksgiving. Well, why not keep up the tradition of making crazy hats? That's what I say.
I found a really cute pumpkin hat pattern last fall at my local yarn shop, The Knitting Den. I knew I already had way too many projects going on (but what else is new??) so I bought it so I could make it for this fall. I decided to start it Wednesday and I finished it yesterday, so it only took 2 days! If I'd known that when I bought the pattern, she would have had one last year. I used some Vanna's Choice yarn, which is very out-of-the-ordinary for me. I usually like to use wool but the price couldn't be beat. Plus, it's a kid's hat that won't get worn that often, so Vanna's Choice it is.
Do you think she likes it?
Here is my ravelry link.

Friday, July 17, 2009

where has the time gone?

My little girl turned 1 last week. 1!! I can't believe it. She's growing so fast!

I had tons of project ideas for her party. One of them was to make a happy birthday banner. I used this tutorial as a guide. I changed the shape of the flags and didn't add extra embellishments to them. I thought the fabric I chose was busy enough. I used an Oh! Cherry! Oh! charm pack and layer cake. I love this fabric line so much that I bought some yardage to make Madelyn a dress (I still need to make it. Hmm.).
For her party, I also made layered jello and a watermelon bombe from justJENN. (I love her blog. You should check it out.) In all of my party-planning craziness, I forgot to take a picture of them. Our 50 guests loved them though, along with my strawberry cupcakes. All in all, it was a great party and I'm so happy to be a momma to this little girl. :o)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Watermelon Dress

So I had this great idea one night a little while ago while I was trying to go to sleep. I pictured this way-too-cute a-line dress that looked just like a slice of watermelon. I knew I had to make it. I was heading to visit a good friend of mine on the other side of the state and she also has a daughter who is just a few months younger than Madelyn AND she's a big crafter too, so I told her about my dress idea. She loved it! We decided to go to the mall and we went into a children's clothing store and then I saw it. The dress. MY dress. I was so bummed! But I knew I could make it for a lot less money than what they were charging. Plus, I'd be able to make it how I wanted. :o)
So, here's what I ended up with. I didn't use a pattern. Nope. This one is all from my noggin. It's fully lined and it snaps up the entire back.
At first, Madelyn didn't know what to think.
But then, she liked it! I had to fight to get it off of her! I'm so glad she likes it!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What? Organization? Me??

Yep. You read that correctly. I, Amy, have made something that is kinda sorta organizational. Whoa! That's totally not me! But I'm tired of stepping over Madelyn's toys in the living room so I thought it would be a good idea to make a fabric box with my leftover curtain fabric. I found this tutorial from all buttoned up, which is another really fun blog (seriously, how many fun blogs are out there?? I find tons each and every day! And I'm loving it!!). I had to change the dimensions A LOT to make it functional for a toy box, but otherwise I followed to directions pretty closely, which is another thing that's weird for me to do. :o) It was a fun project and I was able to complete it in 2 hours, or a whole naptime for Miss Madelyn.
She had fun helping Momma put her toys away. See? Ahhhh. My feet are happy! No more plastic-y landmines in the living room!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Madelyn's new best friend

I don't know why I haven't blogged lately. I guess I've been busy getting ready for Madelyn's birthday party. Eeeeeeeeeeeeek! She's going to be 1 in less than 3 weeks! Where has the time gone???

One of the many projects that I have been working on is Molly Monkey from one of my all-time favorite blogs, mmmcrafts. Larissa has soooooooooooooooo many cute ideas! If you haven't checked out her blog before, you really need to. Did you hear that? YOU REALLY NEED TO! Especially since she has most graciously offered the pattern for Molly for FREE!!!! The pattern is really well written and very easy to follow. I was hoping to give it to her as a birthday present, but since the pattern was so easy to do, I made it in under 2 days. And being as impatient as I am, I just had to give it to her early. She loves it! When she sees it, she starts kicking and clapping and laughing. It's too cute!

I haven't sewn the beret on yet, mainly because it covers up the little sprout of hair I added. When Madelyn plays with it, of course the first thing she does is take off the hat. Oh well. Molly is cute with or without the beret!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happiness Is....

...buying beautiful yarn with your birthday money!

I turned 30 (eeeek!) on April 18. I have to say I was not really thrilled with the idea of turning 30. But it really wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I think that the fact that my in-laws giving me birthday money helped out. :o) Usually I don't do anything special with it. I just put it in my wallet and end up spending it on groceries or whatever. But this year I decided to do something just for me, something I don't normally do. I decided to spend it on yarn and make a nice sweater for myself. I did a ton of research and decided to make the February Lady Sweater by Pamela Wynne. I am using dream in color classy yarn (which is bad news because now I have a FAVORITE brand of yarn...look out, wallet. You're gonna be gettin' a workout at the yarn store!) in the happy forest colorway...very pretty.

I ordered the yarn from my local yarn store, The Knitting Den. They told me that it usually takes a while to get yarn from dream in color because they hand-dye everything themselves. I was okay with that because, come on, I have tons of projects going on ALL THE TIME. After a few weeks I called to check on it. The lady said she had just talked to the dream in color lady and it was still going to be a few weeks. Two days later, the Knitting Den called and said my order was in!!! Woo hoo! Of course, I rushed right over and picked it up. I swatched and got gauge right away and then cast on. Here is my progress so far:
I have fallen in love with this pattern and yarn. It's such a cute sweater. If you haven't made it yet, you should. I'm just sayin'.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Felted Bag Swap

A while ago I joined in a felted bag swap on Ravelry. I had just figured out how to felt in my front loading washer and I became obsessed with felting. I thought this swap would be a ton of fun and it has! My partner had a list of felted bag patterns she liked and this was one of them. It is a really pretty bag, plus it's even a free pattern, which makes it even better. It knit up pretty quickly and I like how it turned out. Here's a picture of the finished bag:
I added a lining with a pocket since you can never have too many pockets! My partner really likes the bag. That makes me happy! :o) I'm still waiting to get the bag made for me. It should come within the next week or so. I'm so excited to see what it looks like, especially since I have no idea what pattern or yarn was used. Yay!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Test Knitting

I found two fun groups on Ravelry called "the testing pool" and "free pattern testers". Basically, a designer can find people willing to test their patterns to see if there are any issues with them. I've done a few test knits, but one of my favorite ones was for Abstract Fiber. They sent me a skein of yarn and I could knit whatever I wanted to with it. I then send the item back to them to display in their store. How cool is this? And that's not even the best part...once they receive my item, I can pick out any skein of yarn for FREE!!! Yay! I love free yarn!

Since I love to make hats, I decided to make one for this project. The only problem was that I had to find a pattern that used sockweight yarn. Hmm. I eventually decided on this pattern from the Spring 2009 issue of Knitty, a pattern called Reverie. It was a lot of fun to make, especially using the awesome yarn I had. :o) I have never used handpainted yarn before and now I know what the fuss is all about. It is absolutely beautiful! I can hardly wait to get my hands on more of this stuff! Luckily I'll be getting more soon, with getting the free skein and all. ;o)

Here's what the hat looks like:
Isn't this yarn beautiful??

Saturday, April 4, 2009

a few firsts...

.....not only for me, but for Madelyn as well! This is her first Easter and I was excited to make her something special. I decided a while ago to make her a bunny blanket, similar to this one I found on the Oh, Fransson! blog. I guess I got a little too excited when I bought the fabric to make it because I had a lot left over, enough to make her a dress. I have to say that I'm not very good at sewing clothes, mainly because I don't like to follow instructions. But the pattern I chose was very straightforward. I didn't even need to call my seamstress sister once to help decipher the sewing jargon! :o) Here's what the dress ended up looking like:
I added the ribbon trim along with a piece of fabric that I cut out from a coordinating fabric. I also made the ribbon rose with some leftover trim I used on the bunny's skirt. By the way, here's the finished bunny blanket...
...complete with a signed back...
...and one happy little girl! :o)

Happy First Easter, Madelyn! :o)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Little Tote Bag

My 7 year old niece Peyton asked me if I could teach her how to knit. Well, of course I can! But a girl can't knit without her own knitting bag, am I right? :o) I found this tutorial from The Longest Year (which, by the way, is an excellent blog) earlier this morning and I whipped one up in under 2 hours. I used my stash, which makes it even better. But, of course, I couldn't leave it plain. I added some applique designs to the front. I just printed off a "P" from Microsoft Word in a fun font and used that to trace onto some fusible web. I found the flower applique pattern here. Can you tell what her favorite color is? :o) I'm going over to her house this Sunday to start teaching her. Wish me luck!

I even put a pocket on the inside. I love pockets!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Secret Pal 13 Finale

I got my final package from my secret pal, Jane Schumacher. Here is what she sent me:
I got 5 skeins of yarn, some crochet pattern books, and a fabric covered journal. Thank you!

I had a lot of fun doing this exchange. I can't wait to sign up again. :o)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

felting in a front loading washer

It works! It really works! I have always liked felted bags but I never thought I could do them since I have a front loading washing machine. But something got into me a few days ago. While I was on ravelry, I found this really cute pattern for a little purse with beads and I just had to make it. I made it for someone, but I can't say who yet because it's not time to give it to them yet! :o) I used some cascade 220 and my 10 1/2 dpns. It knit up really fast. I have never knit or crocheted with beads before. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be. Here's how it turned out:
Pretty cute, huh? Now I wanna find a pattern for a bag for myself, maybe to use for my knitting. Do you know of a good pattern? If you do, lemme know!

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Remember a while back when I wrote about wanting to make this blanket for Madelyn's first Easter? Well, earlier this week I finally found some time to get started on it. Of course, I had to change it a little bit, mainly because they aren't supplying the pattern anymore. That's okay. Here's what I have so far:
It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. It's just an applique with layers of clothing on top. I must admit that the skirt was a little more difficult though. You can lift it up and see her legs underneath. I am also planning on making an Easter basket filled with colored eggs. Hopefully I'll find some time this week to work on that.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Ribbon Tag Monster

Madelyn is really into getting her hands on anything she possibly can. I made her a ribbon tag blanket when she was first born and she loves it. I found this pattern for a ribbon tag monster a while ago on CraftSchmaft but I was busy doing other projects. I finally found some time this morning and I was able to make it while Madelyn was napping. Here's how it turned out:
But could I actually follow the pattern? Of course not! I added arms and made it look more girly with eyelashes and fuzzy pink minky fabric. I also added some jingle bells inside. I like how it turned out. I think Madelyn does too. She hasn't let go of it since I gave it to her!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Secret Pal Package

First off, I'd like to apologize to my secret pal for taking so long to post about the latest package. Sorry!

I received the latest package from my secret pal when I got home from vacation. It was perfect timing! Here is what I got:

I got a really cool crochet pattern book, 5 skeins of yarn, and a knitted book cover. There are lots of cute patterns in the book that I would love to make, but they are going to have to wait a little while. I have other projects that need to get completed before I start ANOTHER one. :o) Thank you secret pal!

I think I might start sewing again. Ken bought me a new sewing machine for Christmas but I don't know much about the features. I was supposed to take a "getting to know your new machine" class earlier this week but they cancelled it due to the snow we got. Now I won't be able to take the class until February 10. :o( I don't know how to attach the walking foot to the machine (that's the main reason why I want to take the class). Once I learn that, I want to make Madelyn a blanket similar to this one for Easter. The pattern used to be available on oh fransson's blog but it isn't anymore. That's okay. This gives me more room for creativity. Maybe I'll add a little basket to the quilt top. Hmm. We'll see. Now I just need to find some Easter fabric. That's turning out to be a lot harder than it sounds.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a little girl that needs some attention.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

happy (but cold) at home

My hubby and I survived our first vacation with little Madelyn. We drove to Florida (yes, that's right...DROVE) from Michigan with a 6 month old. Yep. We're that crazy. It took us two days to get to Orlando. We didn't have that many stops the first day. The second day was another story. Madelyn was getting tired of being in the car seat (but who can blame her??). We had to stop a few times more but overall, Madelyn was SO good! Ken and I are really lucky to have her as a daughter. Of course, we knew this way before vacation, but spending 9 days with just the three of us really hit home to me. We are a family. I love both of them so overwhelmingly much that it takes my breath away.

While it was cold (by Florida was in the fifties most of the time we were there), we still had a great time. We went to Seaworld and Madelyn LOVED Shamu. :o) We went to Longboat Key to visit Ken's parents. Madelyn had a good time sitting with Grandpa on the beach and getting her toes wet in the Gulf. I wouldn't have traded this time with them for the world.

Of course, driving to Florida gave me lots of time for knitting. I haven't had time to take pictures of what I made yet...mainly because of the laundry that is begging to be done. I'll be sure to get the pics of it up soon though.

Friday, January 23, 2009


I just wanted to do a quick post to say that I haven't fallen off the face of the earth...we're on vacation! I'm busily working away on some knitted projects that I'll post about when I return home. I better get back to the sunshine! Don't be too jealous...

Friday, January 9, 2009's still a surprise........

So my friend Jo had a birthday this past Monday. I won't say which birthday it was, but that it was a pretty big one and she's older than me :o). She's an avid scrapbooker (she actually is to blame for dragging me into yet another craft) and while she doesn't knit herself, she appreciates the work that goes into it.See? She likes the turkey hat I made Madelyn this year for Thanksgiving. A little while ago she requested me to make her an earflap hat. I thought her birthday would be the perfect opportunity to do just that. The day she asked me to make her the hat, I had on a pair of fun socks (I just LOVE fun socks...just to wear...not so much to knit) that were red and white striped. She told me she loved them! I thought it'd be fun to make her a hat similar to my socks. Here's how it turned out. I won't be giving it to her until next Friday. So if you see her, try to keep your mouth shut, okay? Okay! :o)