Monday, February 16, 2009

fruits of my labor has been an exhausting couple of weeks, culminating in an even more exhausting weekend. my brother and sister-in-law are expecting their first baby (i get to be an aunt!) in about six weeks, and i hosted one shower at my house for friends, and helped host a second shower for family members at my mom's house. two showers in one weekend--i think that is officially my limit! the above pink cookies were my first attempt at french macarons (well, actually third attempt. the first two batches failed!). these were cherry vanilla, and were a hit! i might be a little obsessed with these now.

before all the cleaning and baking, i first did some crafting for the baby. my main gift was an apple-themed baby quilt, which i hand quilted. the fabric was green and yellow apples on one side, and red and white polka dots on the back
. it turned out really cute, but alas, i didn't get a proper picture of it before i gifted it. have i mentioned that i hate quilting? i think i am officially retiring from it after this one, which i finished at midnight the night before the shower. i don't think i've felt that kind of relief in a loooooooong time.

to go with the apple quilt, though, i made a matching apple hat--a much more pleasant, and quick, experience. so cute! i love this hat (i kind of want a red one for myself!). you can also see the quilt in the background here.

pattern: apple of our eye
yarn: debblie bliss cashmerino aran, almost one whole ball of the light green, and just a tiny amount for the leave. i used some scrap brown yarn for the stem
needle: size six and size 8

i can't wait to see my little niece wearing this!

the baby showers weren't my only excitement this friend and i hit up target on friday for the release of the orla kiely collection. i had been eagerly awaiting this day more than i care to admit...and i may have bought a lot of stuff. this isn't all of what i bought, but isn't it cute! i'm a sucker for those pears.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

rubber hubby*

this winter, i've been cold. really, really cold! we've had less rain than normal, but the good thing about the rain and clouds here in seattle is that they kind of act like a blanket over the whole city. it's actually pretty nice. so less clouds, paired with no functioning heater in our bedroom, means that i get pretty chilly at night. my husband is no help...he always has freezing cold hands and feet, so he actually makes things worse. i decided that what i absolutely needed was a hot water bottle. requires no electricity, is easy to use, and will never, ever be mean and torture me with its cold perfect solution. and what does my new hot water bottle need but its own little sweater!

i found a free pattern on ravelry, and chose some pretty kool-aid dyed yarn that jenna gave me for my birthday two birthdays ago. i held the yarn double to achieve the called-for chunky yarn, but knew almost immediately that i was going to run out. i also immediately decided to make a lot of changes to the pattern, namely not doing a ribbon/eyelet at the top, and instead doing a button band at the bottom. i knit until i ran out of the pink stuff, then switched to a sort-of matching browny purple cascade 220, which is obviously lighter weight, but it didn't really matter, since i ended the cables with the pink and started up in seed stitch. i can't tell if it looks weird like that or not, but overall i am happy with the end result.

and guess what? this thing really does keep you warm! and wool feels so much nicer against the skin than rubber, so this is one project that is very useful and will be very much appreciated for winters to come.

*while working on this at knit night a week or so ago, amelia informed me that in australia, a hot water bottle is referred to as a rubber hubby. i found that kind of hilarious, so that's what i'll call it from now on too.

pattern: toasty hot water bottle cosy (links to PDF)
yarn: mystery sport-weight wool, dyed with grape kool-aid (and still faintly grape scented!), two skeins held double, plus about a quarter of a skein of cascade 220
needles: size 8
mods: omitted eyelet row, added a seed stitch button band, made six button holes at end, and did not close up the end with the three-needle bind-off as called for.