baby blanket (a lot of inches)

progress on knitting a baby blanket

We are two weeks until Christmas, and my niece is already born. I need to kick it up a notch.

I’m into the third section of this blanket, and it’s going pretty well. I’ve knitted past the ruler, so I’d guess I’m at maybe 21 inches or so?

I think I knit looser than the pattern, so I run out of yarn faster. This can be an issue because the instructions use up a whole skein for each color of stripes. So, I cheated. In the last stripe for the red, I left out two rows. It’s a little bit of a bummer because it’s such a nice big project and I of course want it to be just right–but also, probably, no one will notice but me. And it would also be a bummer to have to buy three to four new skeins of yarn just to finish one or two rows. So here we are. I bet the baby won’t mind. I’ll see how it goes for the rest of the colors, but I’ll probably do the same thing. If I had planned on it, I would make the middle stripe of each color the one that was a little bit too skinny.

I’ve been trying to knit a row here and there when I have time, but my favorite way to knit is to settle in with a TV show or movie and get to it for while. I was watching Orphan Black, and that was the only time I really messed up a row. I think I was paying a lot of attention to the show (it’s really cool!) and definitely not enough to counting stitches. To fix that row, I cast stitches on until I had the right amount again. And then I just kept going. And no I won’t tell you what color it’s in, so hopefully no one can find it.

Alright. Gotta get back to work.

knitting baby blanket

You can see previous progress on the blanket at baby blanketbaby blanket progress (4 inches)baby blanket progress (a note to baby girl), and baby blanket progress (11 inches).

yarn cross-stitch pillow

cross stitch pillow on rae's days

I have really enjoyed sewing pillow cases for the pillows on my couch. I like picking out the fabric, and I like that they are personal to me. Plus, sewing smallish pillow cases is a generally quick project with a large payoff. This particular pillow project, though, I’ve been sitting on since I saw this photo on Apartment Therapy’s instagram.

apartment therapy instagram inspiration

I love these designs. And I love that they use cross stitching, which I’ve been exploring lately with my embroidery. But this cross stitching is on a large, fun scale. It took me a while to figure out how I could do something similar on my own, but over the weekend I finally got it together.

cross stitch pillow tutorial grid

I started by using some felt I had on hand. It was important to me to use felt because you don’t need to finish the edges for felt, so any holes you create in the felt won’t fray. I knew I wanted it for a 12×12 inch pillow, so I cut my fabric 13×13 inches to allow for a half-inch seam allowance. once  had my square, I used a fabric pencil to draw half-inch grid lines. And then I started hole punching.

hole punches

Figuring out how to create (mostly) evenly spaced holes, and how to cut out many, many tiny circles was the biggest challenge. But would you believe my little hand held hole punch cut through felt? It did. To cut each hole, I folded the fabric along each grid line so that my hole punch could reach the marks where the lines crossed. And then I got to punching. This part took a while, but I think it’s definitely worth it. Once I had my hole-punched canvas, I started stitching, using some extra yarn I had on hand and a large yarn needle that I normally use to sew in the dangling ends of my knitting.

cross stitch pillow

I decided on “hi.” It’s welcoming, casual, and fun. (And also very easy to map out for cross stitching.) After that, I measured and cut fabric for the back of the black felt and the back of the pillow. Once I sewed it all together–leaving a hole to stick your pillow in–I was done!

hi cross stitch pillow

I am really excited to see what else I could do with this idea. There’s unlimited colors and words or patterns I could play with, and it’s just too cute.

cross stitch pillow on couch

baby blanket progress (11 inches)

baby blanket

At about 11 inches, I am a little more than a quarter done with the baby blanket I’m making for my niece (pattern from the Purl Bee). I feel like I really turned a corner once I started a new color.

baby blanket rae's days

It’s gotten a little bit chillier here in New York, and it’s nice to think about this blanket keeping a little baby warm. This stage in a knitting project is nice because you can start to really see what the final product will be. But it’s also hard to know there’s so far to go. I like that the blanket is striped because I don’t get bored with one color and it makes it really easy to mark progress. One stripe done, two stripes done, and on and on until you have several stripes in several colors.

baby blanket stripes

I think it’s coming out so lovely, and I can’t wait to keep going. Since colder nights are coming quickly, I am sure I can hunker down with a warm blanket and get more stripes done in no time. And I better hurry–the baby’s due date will be here before you know it!

You can see previous progress on the blanket at baby blanketbaby blanket progress (4 inches), and baby blanket progress (a note to baby girl).

project wish list

I’m a person who reads knitting patterns for fun. You know, like how people read recipes? I like to see the different stitches and try to figure out what works and what doesn’t. I like to look at complicated patterns and remember that everyone starts learning just one stitch before they can do all the rest. Reading a bunch of great projects, though, means I have a large backlog of things I’d like to make and patterns I’d like to get to.

My dream projects right now are from the Purl Bee, a blog I am totally in love with.

purl bee coasters

  1. I love these fun coasters. The colors are great–they’d be so cheery in my kitchen. These are pin loom coasters, and you can pick up the kit right here from Purl Soho.
  2. These coasters have a similar pattern to these dishtowels that I also love. Their examples are all in blue, but maybe I could do pink orange to match my new coasters. They have a kit to make these available, too.
  3. Once I’m done keeping my kitchen clean with my new coasters and dishtowels, I’ll settle in with this luxurious scarf. I daydream about this scarf. It’s that good. It would be a dream to wrap up in these bright colors to stay warm on a cold day. (Here’s the kit for this one)
  4. You all know I love handmade things for my apartment. I still think about these cool round crocheted rugs. I’d love to layer some of these under my desk area.
  5. And this pillow is so cute. It is handmade, crocheted, and incorporates my love for needlework in a fun new way. You could make it say anything you want!

purl bee pillow

I love all these projects. Even though I’m in the middle of several things, it’s nice to take a break and get inspired for the future.

baby blanket progress (a note to baby girl)

wrong side baby blanket
Baby Girl,

Twelve years ago today a Big Bad Thing happened. It will be years before your parents tell you about it and many more years before you’ll begin to understand it.

I hope you never experience anything like we did 12 years ago. But I can’t keep bad things from happening, I can’t keep your heart from being broken, I can’t keep you from pain.

I can promise that you are loved. Me and your Auntie and your grandparents and your parents and your cousins and people you haven’t even met yet all love you so much. And if a Big Bad Thing happens, and one day something will, I hope you hold on to that love. I hope you know that despite all the bad things, you are a good thing. And love is stronger than evil. And love will last.

So, Baby Girl, I hope when you wrap yourself up in this blanket, you also feel wrapped up in love.

Love, Aunt Rae

You can see my previous knitting progress here: baby blanket progress (4 inches). And I’ll write more on how it’s going later.

baby blanket progress (4 inches)

baby blanket knitting

A while ago I started on the baby blanket I’m making for my niece. I am happy to say that I have made some progress. About four inches of progress!

baby blanket knitting inches

I have finished the very first stripe of what will be many stripes of several colors. I still have a long way to go, but each row is getting easier and quicker already. I won’t kid you guys, my favorite part of any project is when it is finished and you can look at this cool thing you made.

But my next-favorite part is when you start to first see what it will become. I started with a bunch of yarn and some needles, but after several rows, I started a contrast color stripe and the Vs of the chevron started to appear. And it started to look like I was making a chevron striped baby blanket. I get this feeling when I sew or embroider, too. If you put enough pieces together or stitch enough stitches, there’s a moment you can start to see what the final image will look like. And it’s very exciting.

baby blanket pattern notes

When I use a pattern like this, it helps me to print it out and mark off as I go. (I’m following the chevron baby blanket pattern from the Purl Bee.) Each time I finish a row, I mark a dot. And I use different color dots for different color yarn. You can also count, of course, but marking them down helps me stay on track easily. If I ever need to stop in the middle of a row, I mark down somewhere what I just finished. For example, I’ll write k10, if I just finished knitting 10 and am ready to go onto the next stitch after that. As long as I’m consistent in how I mark things off, I am able to stop and start without getting confused.

knitting striped blanket

I’m thrilled with how this is looking, and I can’t wait to knit more. I was a little worried about learning two new stitches to make this blanket, but thanks to YouTube lessons and some practice it’s been going really well. More updates soon!

baby blanket

yarn for blanket

A few months ago we learned of the exciting announcement that my brother and his wife are expecting. And now I’ve promised my little baby niece a baby blanket. I am following the pattern for the chevron baby blanket from the Purl Bee, one of my favorite knitting/sewing blogs.

Continue reading “baby blanket”