Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Newborns are so much fun to knit for!

Be Wise My Sons: I have just finished my 2 newborn sleep sacks for Jackson and Gideon!

These were made from the pattern by Teresa Cole published in her blog "Comfort Wool Blog".  It's called the 'Owlie Sleep Sack' and the 'Owlie Hat'.  The pattern is written out so nicely that even me, a cable needle newbie, could figure it out. 
The owl detail was fun to see working out on the needles:

The sacks were done on a size 7, 16" circular needle then to close the sack I switched to dpns (double pointed needles).  My first time using dpns.  It was a bit of a challenge to get things right, and I struggled a bit with them on the first sack, but I breezed thru on the 2nd.  The advice I would give on switching to the dpns is to switch in between markers not at the marker.  That seemed to work for me and to do 2 'owls' per dpn, 2 or so.  If you have an easier way, just let me know.  The closing off by drawing the yarn tail through the remaining stitches and pulling tight was great!  I did enjoy making the sacks.
The Hats:  I've never knitted a cap before so this was fun.  The owl pattern is reversed, and easy to do.  They are so cute and little! 

 The patterns are free at Ms. Cole's blog, so go ahead and try them!

Oh, and the name:  Be Wise my Sons.  That is from a scripture at Proverbs 27:11:  "Be wise my sons and make my heart rejoice, so I can make a reply to him that is taunting me." 
Since owls are considered wise, I thought this is a nice wish for these 2 newborn boys to grow up with - be wise!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It's Totally Tubular, Man!

Doesn't it seem like the word 'Man' needs to follow Totally Tubular?  Well that's my newest sock pattern - Totally Tubular by Samantha Roshak.  The pattern is only $2.00 and comes with video links.  It's kind of cool!  The premise is that you can knit a total tube from cuff to cuff, snip to unravel in half, then add a toe to each half, then add an afterthought heel.  It sounds complicated but it's very easy and a great sock to take along.  Here are my results:

 That one was for my daughter and I didn't get a picture before she headed back up north.  She did say tho, that she loved the feel of the heel - which is just a toe.  As you can see in this pair for my son-in-law, they look kind of funky with two toes, but they both say they are very comfortable!

Then I made another pair for my son.  On all these socks I borrowed from Cat Bordhi's book, 'Personal Footprints' the method of cutting out a pattern of their foot on the inside of a cereal box.  It's so nice to have that on hand to add the heel in the right place. 
All in all, I really do like this Totally Tubular way of making socks.  I like doing an afterthought heel.  The drawback was, though, that there are a lot of ends to weave in.  But, as I now am enjoying making contrasting heels and toes, there are a lot of ends to weave in doing that the traditional way, too. 
One thing that may help if you try to use this method.  The 2nd cuff.  Binding off a cuff needs to be very stretchy.  I used a method I saw in the Let's Knit 2gether video podcast.  It was in the March 2009 show.  I'm adding a link, but the website is  Here's the link I use:  I use the first one, but I'm not a very tight knitter.  She has a few to try, pick the one that suits you!
Behind the yarn:  This is my section of things I'm doing that don't use yarn.  I got a new gadget, or toy.  It's a Soda Stream Soda maker!  It carbonates water and you can make your own sodas.  I tried their brand of syrups to add to the soda water, but I wasn't super impressed.  I like to drink plain club soda with lime and this works great for that.  I can make it fresh and it doesn't lose it's fizz by sitting around in a big 2 liter bottle.  I also love GingerAle - the real stuff.  I found a great real GingerAle recipe online at  .  I tried it, with first making his recipe for simple syrup, then using my juicer to make the ginger juice, and it was fantastic.  I'm a fan of Reed's Ginger Beer and I just hadn't found something I could make similar until now.  This GingerAle has just the 'bite' I was looking for and I love it!  If you like Ginger, then this recipe is for you.  All in all, again, I think my soda maker was a great buy and works well for us.