a stitch in lime

stumbling into creativity

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In progress: Shhhhh…

It’s a surprise!  But I can tell you it’s a hat. For someone. Not for me, and not for baby A. I just cast on today. Oh, the suspense is killing you, right?

I’m knitting it as part of the Warm Up to Winter knit along (KAL) over at luvinthemommyhood. If you want to join, you have until February 8th to do so. Just click on the handy button below for details.


Now, can I get my project done in time? I’ve come down with a serious case of ‘startitis’ and have three projects on the needles right now in what I call the ‘5% club’ — I’ve just barely started them and my Ravelry progress bars are all set at 5% completion. (I even have a sewing project very much in progress, to boot.)  I keep getting distracted by some new project that must be done right now and tossing the current project aside in favour of the new, shinier one. I think I have the knitter’s equivalent of the ‘eyes too big for your stomach’ thing. What would that be? Eyes too big for your borderline-arthritic finger joints? Doesn’t have the same ring to it…

But this KAL should keep me going. Deadlines are good for that. Plus, when this hat is done, it’s being sent out in the mail to its recipient (there is also a deadline for that, but more on that later). So my motivation may need to get comfortable hanging out with this one thing for a little while instead of doing its usual ADD thing.

Edit: Here are my other two ‘in progress’ babies:

Liesl by Cocoknits

An attempt to copycat my favourite (purchased) hat. See how far I got? So brave.

They all look sort of similar, don’t they?


Shannon cowl

So, for my last installment of “check out this shiz I made for Christmas!” (which should really stop now, since it’s January and all), I present to you the Shannon cowl I knit up for my dad’s girlfriend. The pattern is one of Jane Richmond‘s recent releases and knits up so fast, you want to make a billion of them. Thank you super-bulky yarn and giant needles. The perfect Christmas craft for the frazzled knitter.

This is kind of a neat one for me because I recently joined up with Jane and her knitty pals at their weekly knit night. One of the other die-hard knit night members there is Shannon from luvinthemommyhood, after whom this lovely cowl pattern is named! So I know both the designer and the namesake of this cowl pattern — how cool is that? Fairly, I’d say.

This project was neat (do the kids still say ‘neat’ these days?) for another reason: I successfully knit cables for the first time ever! Very exciting. And given how simple this pattern is (along with the huge yarn/needle situation), it was the perfect way to learn how. I don’t know why I’d been putting off learning cabling for so long. It only looks fancy — it’s actually very easy to do! So well done, self, for learning a new skill. Back pats for me.

Here is another shot of me wearing the cowl before I sent it off in the mail. I think the cowl’s rich red wine colour is a bit truer in this picture, though I still manage to resemble an albino giraffe.

Well, with that I’m officially embracing the new year. Hello 2012!

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Skin brightening toner

It was a Christmas miracle. My dear pal, Anya, was my randomly-chosen Secret Santa gift recipient for the second year in a row, guys. The powers that be were like, “Jana, one year is insufficient! You must get Anya another secret gift!” and I was like “okay!”

Thankfully, Anya is just about the most easygoing person I know, and she loves all kinds of stuff (and has a nicely organized Pinterest account, to boot), so she’s a pretty sweet name to draw for a gift exchange like this.

Some may remember that I used my knitting powers to craft up Anya’s Secret Santa Surprise Scarf last year.

This year, while I didn’t knit for her gift, I did make part of it! I mixed up a batch of Shwin & Shwin‘s lemony Skin Brightening Toner, which Anya had helpfully pinned (so I knew she’d like it). I even made my own label for the bottle, using the image from the original blog post. Though I realized that I spoiled the “secret” component of the gift exchange by printing my name on the label. I forgot that our group of friends typically open our gifts and then try to guess who gave it… oh well! Mama brain strikes again? How long can I go on claiming that?

Unfortunately, baby A was not coping so well at our Christmas party, so my husband and I had to take him home early. This meant that we missed out on the big gift exchange portion of the evening, and so I didn’t get to see Anya’s reaction live and in person! Lame!

Possibly less lame is the rest of Anya’s gift. I paired the toner with two terribly cheesy (and trashy!) thrifted romance novels (which I really hope she loved, because one of them was all about chasing rainbows and the cover was even rainbow-coloured and full of clichés about how rainbows are so hard to catch… seriously amazing) and two jars of dark chocolate sauce that I hope she drank straight from the jar drizzled on something divine immediately.

Merry Christmas, Anya!

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Pillowcase dress for a new little friend

My lovely friend A had her baby girl, Z, in early June, and I decided to head straight into On The Ball mode and make her daughter a shower gift (she was having a post-birth shower so we had the advent of knowing the gender). So I made her this pillowcase dress from that same vintage pillowcase I’d used for the baby doll smock misadventure. It’s the same Prudent Baby pattern that I used to make my original (and still lovely, though not from an actual pillowcase) baby dress. Which, since I had a boy —

INTERJECTION!!  I haven’t mentioned the baby on here yet!  We had our lovely baby boy, A, at home on July 24th. He is perfect and the chubbiest. We are so in love. He is 9 weeks old now and can lift his head like it’s nobody’s business. He rolled over just the other day. He is about 15 pounds already. He is wonderful. Interjection over.

— since I had a boy, I will be saving in my stash of girly clothes for a potential future daughter. I can’t part with it just yet.

Forgive the lack of ironing in the above photo. I had to snatch it back from my friend A after giving it to her in order to snap this shot of it on her living room floor when I went to visit. I was not feeling bloggily inclined as I finished off this project and I hastily wrapped it up, proud of my impressive On The Ballness, having put together a complete gift (with a card and everything) ready for her shower well in advance. Like, the day before. That’s well in advance for me anyway. I was On The Ball! Also, I had a newborn myself, so really, to have sewn anything was pretty good form.