Sunday, February 27, 2011

Knitting with Friends

2011 Cowl 2
Our first group project: A broken-rib cowl

I have come to the conclusion that it is just as important to have people to craft with as it is to have people to craft for.  This probably isn't a new concept to those of you out there who spend time creating.  Most of my life I have tried to plant little crafting seeds in those around me, offering lessons, learning how to do their craft, and just sharing the love of making things for a pretty selfish reason: I love to craft as a group! Whether two people or twenty it is always rewarding.

Knitting, crocheting, sewing, quilting, cooking, or anything else takes on a whole new attitude when shared with others. You encourage each other to learn new things, to finish projects, to solve problems. You share your craft, your stories, and your lives.

Many years ago, my mother taught me to crochet and sew.  This was the start of my love of working with others. In elementary school, I taught my entire fifth grade class to crochet.  In high school, I taught french braiding to friends in the marching band. In college, my roommates and I started a knitting and crochet club.

As an adult, I found a small group of ladies who met at the local yarn store and would join them every Wednesday during my lunch break to sit, knit, and listen to their stories. I love hearing about their families, about raising their children, job experiences, and love of knitting and crochet.

I found a home on Ravelry in the "Knit While They Nap" group with other moms of small children. I enjoy swapping craft pursuit stories with my sister-in-law, making greeting cards with my dear friend Laura, and continuing to craft with my mother.

Recently, I was shocked to discover that four of my friends wanted to learn to knit.  I couldn't get them started quick enough!  Scheduling lessons around jobs, babies, and husbands is a challenge, but the opportunity to knit with others is worth it. Our new group is underway and I couldn't be more pleased.

We should all take the time to do something nice for ourselves - and find a friend to knit with.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Knit for Baby: Socks & Diaper Wrap

2011 Baby Socks 1

Knitting for babies is pure joy. (Helen's doll is modeling)

2011 Baby Socks

My sister-in-law sent me the newest book from the owner of Purl Soho for Christmas this past year.  More Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson is beautiful to look at and a pleasure to knit from.

2011 Baby Socks 4

Two sizes of baby socks in peachy orange and limey green knitted up in less than a week.

2011 Teal Wrap 2

Another quick baby item was this diaper wrap.  Knitted in pure wool - teal for a boy or a girl - and awaiting lanolizing to turn it into a magic cloth diaper cover.

Many more baby items to come as we await many new babies.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentine Pillows

As an alternative to cards or candy, this year I made this set of monogramed mini-pillows for Helen's daycare class. I chose 6 fabrics leftover from another project.

I made a heart template out of card stock, and cut out 2 from each fabric.

These I mixed and matched until I found 6 combinations I was happy with.

With wrong sides facing out, I sewed around the edge twice, leaving a one inch hole for stuffing.

I flipped the hearts right side out and stuffed until semi-firm.  You could also use rice or small beads to make beanbags instead.

I sewed up the opening with thick quilter's thread - and yes my hand stitching in not too awesome! 

I finished them off with a monogram for each child.  These I just drew on with pen and then satin stitched over - also not very professionally, but, it works! Helen has already found these fun to carry around and slobber on, so I think her little friends will love them as well.
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