Friday, 18 January 2013

The 'Hungry Caterpillar' Cardi

This little project has been a long time in the making but now that it is finally finished I am excited to share this little cardigan with you.

I started this project way back in the summer - It's a Rowan pattern from Miniature Classics, called Sunny - I have been in love with this pattern for a long time and knew I would make it for Little Man at some point. However, it combines three of my least favourite things when knitting... tiny needles, 4-ply yarn and cables. These three things together make for very slow progress... I'll feel like I have done loads of knitting and then look down and the piece is only a cm or two longer.

I decided not to use cotton as suggested in the pattern because I wanted something softer and lighter for a newborn. I went for white as it goes with everything and when it came to buttons decided to go for something completely different and jazzy - polka dot buttons! The colours on the buttons remind me of one of my favourite children's books - The Very Hungry Caterpillar - which is also the theme of Little Man's nursery (and the book I am sharing with my class this week), so I just couldn't resist.

So with the colourful buttons and the squiggly cables, this cardigan has quickly become known as Little Man's 'Hungry Caterpillar' cardi.

Knitting for Emily's Star

Since I am a crafting hoarder, and can't stand to throw precious crafting supplies away, I have a big bag full of yarn left-over from past projects. I have often wondered what to do with it all but never come up with anything exciting. But... I have finally found the answer.
I recently heard about a fantastic local charity called Emily's Star. This charity is still in it's early days, but has big plans and needs lots of help... why not pop over and see what it's all about?
One of the many things the charity does is to provide neonatal units with welcome boxes for premature and underweight babies, including preemie outfits. And what better way to use up all that left-over yarn, than to whizz up some preemie cardigans and hats!
Here's my first preemie project...

A cardigan and hat set for a 3-4lb baby boy. I used less than 25g of each of the yarns and completed the project in a couple of evenings so definitely a worthwhile endeavour!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

A special little quilt for a special little boy

On the 30th December 2012, my baby nephew finally made his entry into the world. And so I can finally share photos of his quilt...

I actually made this quilt back in August when I had a good few weeks off work for summer holidays (there are a few perks to being a teacher). I've put off blogging about it though, as I didn't want my brother and sister-in-law to see it before the little man arrived.
I decided to go for bright colours, rather than the ususal baby blues. And after much umming and aaahing, decided that I would avoid kid prints, as I want this to be a quilt that lasts. Although the sonographer said the baby was a boy from the scan, I decided to play it safe and choose gender-neutral(ish) prints. There are stripes, gingham, polka dots, swirls and one floral-ish print (but it's not too feminine, I hope!).
Being nowhere near a perfectionist when it comes to sewing, I decided to cheat and use white sashing. That way, if the corners aren't quite aligned it is less noticable. Also, I like the way the white sashing makes the other colours pop out.
The backing is a bright blue with white polka dots/ splodges, to contrast with the white sashing on the front. I quilted by machine stitching vertically down each column of squares. I also did a row of sticthing at the top and the bottom.
I looked everywhere for a bright, bold binding that matched the colours of the quilt, but couldn't find anything I liked. So I decided to use the left over fabric from the squares to make my own binding. It was a lot more effort, but I am soooo happy with the way it has come out.
Hopefully when the little man is older he will like his quilt as much as his big sister likes hers. My sister-in-law recently apologised for the fact that my niece's quilt spends a lot of time on the floor, but it plays a major role in her favourite game - making a tower out of scatter cushions and rolling around in her quilt over them. As long as it's enjoyed, I don't mind what she does with her quilt (it is her quilt after all)!!!