Tuesday, January 28, 2014

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a toddler cape!

Somewhere along the way, I got it into my head that I should be making new projects for all those babies who got blankets and socks and whatnot when they were born, now that they are toddlers and preschoolers.  And what do small children like?  Capes!  (Honestly, we all like a cape when you get right down to it.)  Who doesn't want to be a superhero?

An internet search led me to Thread Riding Hood, who posts not only the pattern for making capes out of felt (best fabric ever for kids' dress-up stuff) but a quick tutorial.  She recommended Googling for Superman logos, which led me to this website.  I decided to start small by getting enough materials to do four capes, in case this turned out to be a goat rodeo and I ended up Freecycling most of it.  Which is what happened when I tried to a project that involved satin.  We will not speak of satin, fabric of the devil.

Anyway, I bought a couple yards each of light green and light blue fabric (very gender-neutral), coordinating squares for background color, and some white stick-on felt to make the letters.  I cut out the letters, stuck them to the shaped squares, sewed them onto one side of the cape, sewed up the other piece, added Velcro, and got this:

The inside of this cape is the same shade of green as the background for the M.  I cannot tell you how pleased I am with how this came out.  It took about two hours to make, but I think that was because it was the first version.  After sewing the two pieces together, I did have to trim around the edge because they were not exact mirror images of each other, but that was a quick fix.

Deep winter is birthday time for many of these toddlers & preschoolers.  Guess what everyone's getting this year?  I'm a little sad the pattern only goes up to 4T.  I could use a cape myself.

Friday, January 24, 2014


Christmas has come and gone, and I have just about recovered from my crazy knitting spree.  In the middle of the scheduled Christmas knitting, my husband threw me for a loop by asking for a new hat because his was itchy.  I dutifully knit him a new hat in non-scratchy yarn but it bumped my mother's birthday socks out by a few days, and she ended up receiving only one sock for her birthday.  No matter, she was happy with them, when I managed to get her the other one five days after her actual day:

The pattern is called Winter Wheat by Donna Seex.  This is the women's version -I found it in the Love of Knitting Winter 2011 issue.  Check out the pattern either on Ravelry or by Googling it - the photo accompanying the pattern shows a beautiful raspberry color yarn, which shows the pattern off much better.  However, my mother was very taken with this yarn - it's called "Dream in Color Starry" and it has little silver threads running through it, which you can just about see in the photo.  There's also a men's version that is, you guessed it, "too fancy" for Himself but I'm rather intrigued by, so I might knit myself that version as something different.  It has just a little bit of patterning in a 1/4" stripe up one side of the sock.  Scandalous!

Speaking of knitting for myself, I had started a pair of socks before Christmas but had to abandon them due to the accelerated holiday knitting schedule.  I finished them just last Friday, and happily wore them over to my volunteer job on Saturday inside a pair of slip-on shoes so I could show them off:

It promptly snowed an unscheduled 6" of heavy wet snow.  Probably because I was tempting fate with those shoes.  Sorry, fellow New Englanders!

To take a break from all the sock knitting, I made myself some pint-sized pines, which are little knit tress you stick on wine corks (or the top of an unopened bottle of wine as a hostess gift.)  I found them on my friend Dorothy's Ravelry page (she of the, "If you buy the alpacas, I will bring them home in my mini-van if you agree to get it cleaned afterwards.")  I think they are really cute.  I asked a few friends to save wine corks so I can make a lot more for next year, and I have discovered my friends are drinkers.  Which might be why I love them.  Anyway, my little trees on the kitchen windowsill:

So cute.  They take about 30 minutes to make when I am distracted while knitting, and they use just a few yards of yarn - the perfect amount for when you have no other use for that last scrap of yarn.  I am experimenting with making them in a variety of colors.

 I also wove a scarf for my close friend and favorite food blogger, Stella Caroline, using a hand-dyed sock yarn as a base.  (That's the stripe on the bottom as well.)  I also used a coordinating light blue and light lavender to create wide stripes in the weft.  I love how it came out:

Stella Caroline is a petite woman, something I did not consider as I warped the loom and made an extra-long scarf.  When I took it off, Himself looked and me and said, "Are you trying to smother her?"  I prefer to think that I am guaranteeing she will not have any exposed skin in this vile winter weather.  Or she can wrap herself and the children up all at the same time.