Secret project reveal!

Well, my package of secret projects arrived at its destination on time!  That is, everything arrived at my sister’s house time for my niece’s baby shower, and now I can show you the gifts I made.

There was this tiny (newborn size-ish) sweater, the Easy Baby Cardigan from More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts.  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/easy-baby-cardigan-3  It really was an easy project, and quick!  It only took a few days and less than a skein of yarn.

The pattern called for 1/2″ buttons, but I had trouble finding that size, and also the pattern doesn’t call for buttonholes, so I went for slightly smaller buttons that I thought would be easy to jab through the garter stitch.  (Next time I’d consider adding buttonholes– new parents don’t need that one more thing to slow them down.)  The yarn is Plymouth Encore Worsted, which is machine-washable, a huge bonus for baby knits.

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Next up is this baby quilt I made to match the quilt I sewed for my niece’s wedding last summer.  I was able to use only fabric left from the first quilt.  I had to piece lots of smaller bits together, but that is part of the fun for me– to see if I can make it work!  And I did!  It also helped that I found a good amount of the polka dot fabric after I’d prepped most of the squares already.

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As you can see, I’m still working on cutting straight.  :/img_6175

I also sent along three of the pink stripey baby hats I’d made recently.  I forget which of the Magic Coffee Baby hats, but they included one or more of these, plus the Marley on the right.

With my deadline crafting done, and feeling a bit tired of hats, hats, and more hats, I’ve finally started a new cardigan for the Wee Boy.  It’s the Child Sophisticate.  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/baby–child-sophisticate I always liked the Baby Sophisticate, but never made it while my kids were small enough for it.  And now the pattern has been expanded up to size 10!  Handy!  I’m using pea green Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino from my stash, and navy blue Cascade 220 Heathers from last year’s Stash Exchange.  This photo was taken yesterday when the lighting was good, but I’m further than this now.  Tonight I separated the arms and am working my way down the torso.  So far it’s a quick, easy knit, even with the limited time I’ve put into knitting on it.

Carpal Tunnel has still got me down, and I’m trying very hard to listen to my hand and wrist and not overdo it!   Computer work also irritates it, so I’ll stop here for now!  Good night!

A hat, a sleeve, and Jack London 

Recently I found in my “Hiking in the Bay Area with Kids” book a short hike in the Jack London historic state park. I hadn’t known such a place existed! My husband was as interested as I was (we’d both read London books as children) so we decided to check it out at the next opportunity, which was today!

On the way there and back, I made a non-fussy Magic Coffee Baby hat. I cannot praise this pattern highly enough. If you need a quick, easy, great-fitting, free pattern for a baby hat, look no further!

  
Now, some pics of the park, the ruins of Jack London’s dream house, and the cottage where he lived and wrote books.

  
Wolf House burned down about a month before London and his wife were to move in.    
  

The cottage where London wrote novels and entertained guests.  
 

Apparently he tried raising cacti to feed cattle, unsuccessfully.
  

Back at home, I finished the first sleeve of my French Toast sweater.

  
It fits! I did the “continental purling” that a friend reminded me of. We went to a talk/book signing by Ysolda Teague a few years ago, where she’d mentioned it. Instead of wrapping the yarn as in a normal purl, you wrap it the opposite way. It worked! My purls are neater and much nicer. I’ll be reknitting the hem ribbing this way. 

  

Sea Otter Classic

This morning we didn’t leave quite enough time to get to the kids’ race on time. Oops. But staff was so kind and gave the kids medals anyway. The Wee Boy had a great time on the course.  

you did your best to get here on time, little dude.

  

wheee!!

 

We got so hot and dusty- all we wanted were cold beverages and shade, which we found on our way out.

shade, lovely shade.

it looks small from here, but it’s an immense maze of exhibitors, and this is just the Expo. the races are widespread.

Later we enjoyed a walk near the hotel, which led us to a cool playground.

 

  

 And then, of course, something for Mommy:

knitting in the blind- hoping this BSJ is taking the right shape!