Saturday, December 31, 2011

At Year End... A look back at 2011

2011 was a HUGE knitting year for me!

Here is my list of completed projects and Ravelry links in order of completion:

1. Helen's Gray Mittens
2. Teal Baby Socks
2011 March Jelly Bean
3. Helen's Summer Sweater
2011 March Helen's Crochet Sweater
4. Group Project Cowl
5. Easter Lamb
2011 April Lamb 2
6. Purple Stripe Shorties
2011 April Stripe Shorts 3
7. Purply Vanilla Soaker
2011 April Purply Vanilla 1
8. Test Knit Little Johns
2011 June Johns 6
9. Nephew Nate's Hooded Vest
Nate's Hooded Vest
10. Clare's Newborn Hat
11 & 12. 2 Vanilla Super Soakers
2011 July Vanilla 1
13. A Shawl for My Mother
2011 July Mom's Shawl 1
14. A Small Vanilla Soaker
2011 Oct Small Vanilla 2
15. Test Knit Union Suit
2011 Aug Union Suit 10
16. Helen's Fall Sweater
2011 Aug BTS Sweater 8
17. Priceless Friendship Scarf
2011 Sept Friend Scarf 4
18. Bronwen's Baby Sweater
2011 Oct Bronwen 18
19. David's CARTER Hat
2011 Oct Needles 4
20. Clare's Iowa Hat
21. Helen's Iowa Hat
22. My Leafy Sweater
23. Helen's Blue Sweater (sewed up by Nana)
24, 25, 26. Hats for my Nephews
27 & 28. 2 Marine Helmet Liners
29. Helen's Christmas Dress
30. Clare's Christmas Dress
31. A Hat for my Niece (finished last night!)

oops! I forgot 32. Clare's Car Blanket
2011 April Car Blanket 1

I have BIG PLANS for 2012, so stay tuned!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Because Someone Asked: 2012 Knitting Goals

2011 March Bonnet
Here are some goals I know I can keep:
  1. buy more yarn
  2. start more projects
  3. miss more deadlines
  4. spend more time on Ravelry
  5. love knitting even more, lol.
(my real goals in addition to these "attainable" goals still to come)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Here it is: My Sweater

Completed in time for our trip to Iowa, this warm sweater only slightly makes me feel like a big brown bear who forgot to hibernate.  I am so proud to have actually completed a real sweater for myself, and other than the bear bit am very happy with the outcome.



The pattern is Leaflet from Knitty, and I have knitting details on my Ravelry project page. I also wrote about this project today over at my favorite local yarn store Yarn Extraordinaire.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Increasing Family Connection with One Simple Rule

Breakfast Table

All Eating and Drinking Happens at the Kitchen Table. No Exceptions.

A rule that was born out of the honest frustration of dealing with a toddler running rampant with a sippy cup, has become a habit that is bringing us together as a family.  Don't get me wrong, we have always eaten and enjoyed our meals at the table.  Even before we had children, David and I ate the majority of our meals together at the table.

But now it is different.  Last night after cleaning up dinner, we found ourselves sipping coffee and enjoying dessert around the table.  Helen was sitting with us and long after dessert was finished we were all still there. We were talking; Helen was quietly putting together one of her favorite puzzles and making "hats" for us out of her toy farm fencing. Clare was bouncing on knees, and we were just together. It was nice.

I thought it would be a struggle for me to follow the new family rule - to not carry my own glass of water around the house with me, but honestly it has been nice.  If I want a drink I just get it in the kitchen, have a seat, and usually... someone ends up sitting there with me.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Econobum, your secret is safe with me...

or is it?

I can't pass up a great cloth diapering deal, and when I saw that during the month of November Econobum cover and prefold sets are buy one get one free... only $9.95 for two onesize covers and two prefolds (with free shipping from to sweeten the deal) I just had to order!

Now, I wasn't expecting much... how great could a economy diaper cover really be? Well, let me tell you... I am impressed. On the smallest rise setting these fit my 3 month old over my GMD prefolds beautifully and with the two other settings still available, they should fit until she is out of diapers.

The PUL is much thinner than the PUL of Thirsties diaper covers, but I kind of like it because is stretches over the prefold like a layer of skin.  I have been very careful when pulling the snaps apart because I am afraid if I pull too hard they might rip out of the PUL, but other than that they are awesome!

They do not have leg gussets, but fit snuggly enough that they hold everything in and that is the main purpose of a cover right? Just hold everything in and you are doing your job!

I haven't prepped and tried the prefolds out yet, but they look nice.  They are narrower than GMD prefolds because they are designed to be trifolded - not snappied. But seriously, even if I never use them... two covers for less than $10! That is awesome! So, if you need more covers, or are looking to cloth diaper on a tight budget these Econobum diapers might just be the perfect choice.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Banana Cream Muffin

I finished my sweater, but before I share that... I wanted to share this:

Banana Cream Muffins

1 cup unbleached white flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup very soft butter
2 ripe bananas

1/2 cup raisins
  • Preheat oven 400F, grease standard muffin pan
  • In a large bowl, mix together first four dry ingredients
  • In a medium bowl, gently beat together next five ingredients
  • Stir the wet ingredients into the dry just until combined
  • Gently fold in raisins
  • Spoon batter evenly into muffin cups
  • Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Turkey Hand Print Thanksgiving Cards

2011 Nov Handprint Turkey 2

It is time for Thanksgiving crafts! Thanksgiving has always been a personal favorite of mine... something about the crisp fall weather, the friends and family, and all that delicious food.  We can't always have the perfect Thanksgiving with all our family due to how spread out we all are, so this year we wanted to share a little Thanksgiving Love with our family we won't be able to see in person.

Helen and Clare both assisted in making these cute Turkey Hand Print cards.  Helen provided the hands (and a tiny bit of help with the gluing) and Clare provided one of her cute little feet to make the turkey's body.

2011 Nov Handprint Turkey 3

All you need for this super-easy Thanksgiving craft is some construction paper (White, Yellow(or Gold), Orange, Red, Black, and Brown), Scissors, Glue, a Pencil, and a Black Marker. We used blank white note cards  though you could just fold some white paper for the card.

Trace the hands and foot, cut out all the pieces, glue together, and use the marker to draw in the Turkeys' eyes! It is really as easy as that! It was so funny, for some reason Helen was very concerned about the turkeys' eyes, she kept picking them up off the table and trying to put them on the unfinished turkey bodies while chattering about them.

2011 Nov Handprint Turkey 1

Our mass-produced Thanksgiving cards! So cute!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cloth Diapering Products I Love

Here is a quick wrap up of the cloth diapering products I can't live without:

Charlie's Soap Powder
I have used Charlie's Soap to wash my cloth diapers since we began cloth diapering last January. I couldn't be happier with how it cleans our diapers and the rest of our laundry! Plus, the price is unbeatable - especially when you Subscribe & Save with Amazon.

Snappi Cloth Diaper Fasteners
Snappis are the ultimate solution to the pins that scare so many people away from cloth diapers.  These are so easy to use that after just a few diaper changes you feel like a pro.

Magic Stick All Natural Diaper Ointment
Cloth diapers require special diapering creams when baby has a rash. My favorite is the Gro-Via Magic Stick. It smells great, glides on smoothly without you having to get your hands dirty, and lasts forever! Plus it clears up redness on baby very quickly.

Kissa's Antibacterial Pail Liner
I have two of these pail liners that get rotated every wash cycle. I love the elastic at the top that really works to give the liner a snug fit in your diaper pail. These have been laundered at least once a week since January, and they still look new!

Fuzzibunz Diaper Tote
Going out with your cloth diapered baby? You need a diaper tote to stash the dirties in after changes.  This tote comfortably fits 2 to 3 dirty diapers, blocks smell, and keeps your diaper bag dry. Plus you just throw them in the laundry with the dirty diapers - what could be easier!

Dr. Bronner's - Organic Baby Castile Soap
I mix a squirt of Baby Castile Soap with water and little bit of baby oil to make my cloth diapering wipe solution. My toddler used to get horrible rashes from the soaps and strong scents in commercial wipes, but with gentle Dr. Bronner's, our baby's bums are happy.

Cloth Wipes
I made my own set of cloth wipes out of flannel and terry cloth, and I love them! One wipe with a little bit of wipe solution does the job of 10 commercial wipes. We still keep some unscented wipes around to do touch-ups, but it takes so much longer to use up a package than it used to - I love saving money!

Please, do not reproduce any content from this site without my written permission. You can reach me directly at lonestar(dot)knits(at)yahoo(dot)com. Thank you.