Archive for November, 2009

Presto Chango Baby Sweater

Our friends Louise and JP (who live in London but are Danish and Dutch, respectively) just had their first baby, a little girl named Caya.  I have been hoping for the opportunity to knit items for baby girls, so I jumped on this one!  I have had the pattern for the Presto Chango sweater in my Ravelry queue for ages now, and after knitting it, I highly recommend it for any knitting skill level.  It is simple and quick, but with the buttoning front panel, you can go wild by making multiples to change out (in case the one the kid is wearing gets messy) in various stitch, lace, or cable patterns.  So far I’ve made just two, and am making a little seed stitch bordered hat to match (see Robin’s Egg Blue Hat.)  I have yet to buy buttons for the set, but when I do I’ll post an updated picture of the final product.


I knit this with Vanna’s Choice Baby in colorway Goldfish, which is a kind of salmon (arctic char?) pinky-orange.  It looks girly without being blatantly, predictably PINK.  My only other experience with Vanna’s Choice was the original version, which was not as soft and caught on your hands while you knit.  Her baby yarn, on the other hand, is quite soft and squishy, and machine washable.  The sweater took up almost an entire ball of Vanna’s Choice Baby (maybe 10 yards left?) before I knit any front panels, so I would recommend 2 balls if you use this yarn, with which you’d have plenty to make multiple front panels, a hat, booties… and make a great set for under $10.


More paper cutting fun

I took the advice (stole the idea?) of a friend who uses cut paper in her art and bought some of the Canson paper she uses to try for myself.  I believe the line is called Mi Tienes or something like that.  The paper worked well- it’s rich and strong- but it also dulls my blades faster than the thin origami paper, and it doesn’t have a white side on it, which is helpful for laying out your design.  I’d like to find some origami paper in single-color packs and large sizes so I could buy just what I need, but I haven’t seen anything like that in any stores I’ve checked.  It’ll probably have to be an online purchase.

Anyway, my first experimentation with the Canson paper is shown below.  The watercolor background is a place holder at the moment, until I make a background specifically for this piece.  I’m unhappy with the little leaf that goes off the edge of the lower right side of the piece, but I still consider all of this practice.  My mother wants something utilizing cut paper for Christmas, but she wants it to be more along the lines of 24″ x 36.”  This newest one is about 4″ x 8.”  We’ll see.

More hubby socks…

I had intended for these to be socks for me when I bought the yarn, but as I was mindlessly knitting them in front of the TV they became longer than was appropriate for my foot.  I tried them on my husband, and drat, they were the perfect length to start the gusset.  So they became socks for him, as I hate frogging even a few inches.  They’re a little snug in terms of the width, but I think blocking them will help.  They’re a little bright for him, but I think he’ll wear them regardless… Next time I knit socks, they’ll be with one of my most girly-colored  balls of sock yarn, so that no matter what, they’ll be for me.

These were knit from Plymouth Encore Sock self-striping yarn, which is a DK weight yarn that I knit with size 2 needles (though 3s would also be appropriate.)  I knit them both at the same time, from the toe up on one circular needle.  There are about 3″ of twisted K1 P1 rib at the top, and I bound off in pattern on size 5 needles.  (They were too tight on 4s.)

Scherenschnitte Beginnings

Today an old friend, who is a rather prolific artist on the side, made me feel pretty pathetic about my lack of art creation in the past few years.  Scherenschnitte, the art of paper cutting, is something that has interested me for a while now, but it kept getting pushed aside for other hobbies or mundane tasks with which I was better acquainted.  But today, I decided to finally try my hand at it, and am excited to do more.  I only had one partial sheet of black origami paper (which is, from what I’ve read, one of the best types of paper to use) so now I need to go to the local art supply store in search of more!

Check out my first foray into scherenschnitte below.  It measures about 4″ x 8″.


…and this is my 2nd.  It measures about 4″ x 4″.


16 Week Chicks

Today the girls are 16 weeks old… we should be getting eggs from them any time now!  I’ve posted some pictures and a video of them spending time out in the yard for the first time in days… it has been raining cats and dogs for the better part of a week, and they’d been cooped up the whole time!  Finally it’s starting to dry out, though, so they will be spending more time out scratching and pecking around in the lawn.


Check out that waddle!


Goose stepping.


Striking a pose.

New Caique Cage for Penny and Perry

New Caique Cage

We decided to put our 2 kakarikis (New Zealand parakeets) into the big aviary with the Bourke’s and Scarlet Chested/ Splendids (Australian Grass Parakeets) so they would have more room to fly, now that their clipped wing feathers have grown back in, and so Penny and Perry could have their old cage.  The former kakariki cage is an HQ Double Flight measuring about 3 feet tall (on top of a 2 foot tall stand), 18″ deep and 6 feet long.  We went to work giving it a thorough cleaning, putting all of Penny and Perry’s toys and bed into the cage, and removing the perches that had been in there for the kakarikis but were too small for caique feet.  Once they got inside, they stayed in one small area and seemed a bit freaked out, but now they seem to be enjoying the increase in space and toys.  Their old cage was taller than it was wide, and due to the way they play, there was a lot of wasted space.  We also had to put only a few toys in at a time, since there wasn’t room for more than a couple.  Now they have every toy we have bought for them (that they haven’t destroyed) in the new cage with them.  We can also see them better now, as the bars on this cage are thinner than on their other cage.  We’ll hang onto their former home, though it’s probably better suited to a bigger, less active bird.

Penny and Perry are still pretty quiet, but we KNOW that won’t last!  Hopefully, though, they will be more entertained with all the toys and wrestling floor space while we’re at work.

15 Week Peeps

The ladies are 15 weeks old today.  I know I’ll have to stop taking weekly pictures sometime since there aren’t as many obvious changes each week anymore, but I figure I’ll keep going at least until they start laying eggs.  Besides, there’s no way they weigh more than 4 pounds now, and they could reach up to 8!  So I guess there are still some changes they have yet to undergo.  Check out Ruth’s developing waddle and comb… Ilse’s is still pretty nonexistent.

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