Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Green

Loving my porch this year. Most of the inside plants are living out there for the next few months. Every morning the dogs and I go through the process of watering, talking to, and dead-heading them.


We found this old iron piece at a little antique store for cheap. I like to look out for these finds because they can be spray painted for a few dollars and you end up spending 20% of the cost of a new piece.






They really do walk back and forth to the door while I water...so cute!


Monday, May 28, 2012

Central Park Hoodie Update

As I make projects for the Etsy store/orders, design a few things, and test knit, I've also been working on my CPH for fun. Normally, I prefer to knit my sweaters in the round (top-down preferred), but knitting this cable sweater flat is turning out to be very enjoyable. It feels like going back to the roots of knitting. I will admit that the rib/cable drawing in and knitting it out of wool has me looking at the pieces and pondering if my gauge swatch was correct, but I'm sure it will all block out fine.



This is being knitting on US 8 needles (I skipped the US 6 for rib) and is the 40-42 size (I added 4 sts into the design on both front sides to add some extra room). The Cascade 220 Heathers yarn is lovely to work with and is knitting up quickly on the 8s. So far, I have completed the back, left front, and most of the right. I'm hoping to finish at least the sleeves by July 1, if not the entire thing. It is all stash yarn, so I consider that a free project!!!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Crocheted Hats

Sometimes as I knit, I feel like grabbing the crochet hook and zoning out. There is a different rhythm to it, it goes faster, and you get an instant gratification. I received an order for some "matching" hats with a reference picture of something they liked. I changed up the stitch pattern of the hat overall, worked out the math, and came up with these two hats.



I crocheted these on US hook size H with worsted weight yarn. The pattern was my own and exists in my head for now. They are sized at 17 inches around (6-12 month size). The flower is a stacked flower with three layers that I did on auto-pilot. Can't wait to see them on the little ones!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Atalaya

Last weekend, we went to a local art market to walk around and enjoy each other's company before PK had to travel on business. I loved seeing all the girl booths and had to pull myself away before I grabbed up too much! I did pick up a super cute dress for E for Christmas.

It was blazing hot! Our spring in Indiana has been more like, Summer Part I. (Not that I am complaining as I prefer warmer weather.) It has been in the 70s or more since early March, which is very abnormal. It didn't stop us from splitting the oh-so-not good for you but oh-so-yummy pork tenderloin that abounds in IN at any kind of fair.

Our big purchase of the day was a piece of art for the mantle. We love to support up-and-coming artists, especially ones who do something unique. That is how we met Atalaya. She is a "junk fairy," meaning that she was created from recycling old pieces. Isn't she adorable? The use of an old deck of cards to tell her story, which is also creative, is so ingenious.






This particular artist also has an Etsy store that you can all check out: 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Help Me Celebrate!

Last month was the one year mark for working on Brownie Knits full time! How fast did that fly by?!? May also includes lots of birthdays in my family. So...we have a gift for you, too. Get 10% off your order on our Etsy shop between 5/17/2012 and 6/17/2012. At your check out, enter this coupon code to get your discount:

BK201210

Happy shopping!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Beachband Pattern!

In the summer, I hate doing my hair--especially on vacations when we are in and out of the water a lot. Years and years ago, we had the fortunate pleasure of vacationing in Greece. While there, I discovered fabric headbands that you could wear scrunched up or spread out to cover your hair or keep it under control. Over the subsequent years, these bands have gone on all warm weather vacations with me. While thinking and planning for summer 2012, I thought it would be fun to design my own knitted versions of a band. Thus, the Beachband was born.


You can wear it as a headband when it is scrunched up. This one is knitted using Berroco Lago (1 ball in Citrus), which is a viscose and linen thick/thin yarn. I knitted them up in an afternoon and they are addictive. I've already made three and I have plans to make several more for myself and friends. Wouldn't they be a fun item to give to your girlfriends during a vacation weekend getaway?




Here are some pictures with the band stretched out to cover your hair. Simply get out of the pool/ocean and pop this on top and head to grab lunch! The summer blend yarns are great for this project to make sure you stay cool and to grab the water from your hair and dry fast in the sun.


Knitted from side to side, it is a one-size-fits-all pattern...no really, it WILL fit all adult heads! The garter section buttonhole and button band portions allow you to button it wherever you need to fit your head.


This one is knitted using Knit Picks Cotlin (1 ball in Conch), which is a dk weight. Gauge for the pattern is 5 sts per inch on stockinette stitch on US 7 or size needed to get gauge. It uses one 3/4 to 1 inch button.

The pattern is available from Brownie Knits shops on Ravelry, Etsy, and Craftsy for just $1.99!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Visit with the Fam

This past weekend we got in a visit with my side of the family. In celebration of Mother's Day and my Mom's birthday (same day this year), we had a little lunch and spent the day being entertained by R. He is at the non-stop age where you GO! With the camera on active speed, I got a few non-blurry shots!



I love this one...he has a concentration about him when he plays. It reminds me so much of Matt when he was little. And who doesn't love those big eyes of his!?!


Playing with Grandma



Aunt Gina has the camera on me!

I also received a very special card that I am sure will go in my memory box for ages. An aunt card for Mother's Day! Hallmark hit the mark with this new era of aunties. Genius marketing and I felt special. This little heart necklace was inside. I LOVE IT!


On another topic, this is my new shorter hair for summer. Another great cut from Diane at C Avery Salon!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Yard Work

Last weekend we spent Saturday working in the yard. Over the years, I've come to like taking care of my indoor plants. I cannot say the same for outside gardening. It is a despised part of the spring/summer that I otherwise love so much. Several years back I solved the front of the house issue...put in tons of tulips and hostas. That has worked out well for this lazy gardener! My tulips now come up in two staggered batches and while those are fading, my hostas grow in. Other than those nasty sticky plants, it is very easy to care for each year. $0 money spent on it this year--woohoo and goal met! (I do have some pansies on the front porch, but I can handle those. And, after a week of that I added some potted petunias and two hanging ferns.)

The back yard is a difficult section. It is the south side of the house and gets lots and lots of heavy light and heat. We had a small area next to the back patio where we had planted 5 shrubs when we first moved in. Then, I added two more, taller, bushes about 5 years later. The first 5 never got bigger and were just ugly. The other issue with this bed was that the dogs LOVED to run through the mulch (or eat it) and run inside. During a visit with Carol, I mentioned that I needed to weed that bed. That was when I thought, "Why don't I pull out those shrubs I hate and put down rock?" Two trips to Lowe's and lots of hurt muscles later, it is done. Simple and easy to care for--nothing to weed or replant.



Then there is the LARGE bed around the tree in the back yard. That stupid bed that I wish we had never put in. I had grand dreams of this bed having tons of gorgeous flowers that came back on their own each year. Yeah...that didn't work out. Everything I put there promptly burned up. Year after year I would toss money at it only to have it last for a few weeks and poop out. SO FRUSTRATING! Last year, I thought maybe it was getting too much shade for all these sunny plants. The tree had gotten a lot larger than years before, right? Tried hostas...epic fail. So...this year I went in with the idea of chicks and hens. I like how they look, they are heat and drought tolerant and are supposed to spread like mad and come back year after year. Water once a week...I can do that when mother nature doesn't. So, 28 plants and 4 different varieties later, we have a succulent garden around said tree. Here is hoping that they last and solve that location's issues.




This past weekend, I cleaned up another small bed I have in the yard. Put in a bunch of petunias and have one more bed to do. I even transplanted some loner plants that had popped up in the two beds I worked in last weekend. I hope that my muscles are a little easier on me this time! Last weekend was killer!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Central Park Hoodies

I've had the central park hoodie on my list of things to knit for years and years. As I was knitting the Molly Ringwald vest, I came across the CPH pattern in the same magazine issue. Thinking some cables sounded fun, I went to the yarn stash and pulled down a nice denim blue in Cascade 220 Heathers. This will be an ongoing project that I do while starting and completing other projects. My goal is to have it ready to wear in October.



After seeing a FB post about this, Katie fell in love with it and I have SO much of this color that I have enough to make her one for her birthday, too. We will be twins! I have until December to get that one done! I also noticed after loading this photo to FB that a lot of other knitters mentioned to me that they have all the yarn to make this, too. Maybe we should all try to knit as much as possible on it during the Olympics?!?

Friday, May 4, 2012

When Plants Attack

Last week I got taken out of the knitting game! It was H-O-R-R-I-B-L-E!!! One of the plants in the globe terrarium just never bounced back from the cold it experienced in shipping. So, as I was watering and pulling off dead leaves, I pulled the dead plant out of the globe and tossed it. About 90 seconds later I realized this was a mistake. My fingers started feeling like they had 100 little knives under the skin. I couldn't see anything and the plant looked like this one and didn't have anything to "stick" me with...at least not to my eye. By the next morning, the pain was still there and my fingers were turning red and purple. They looked beaten up and THEN they started to swell. THEN, it started traveling to my other fingers and up my hand. After consulting the pharmacist, I put some medical cream on and drugged up for DAYS on Benadryl until it was mostly gone. The moment I didn't take Benadryl, they would puff back up. After four days, it was back to normal enough that I started knitting again. Unfortunately, that wasn't before I slept through knit night! Ugh...


Lessen learned...wear gloves no matter what the plant is!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Birdies

A few years ago I went to VA on a girl trip. My friend Nan took us to her childhood town and we visited with her stepfather. He had tons of birds in his yard and lots of little homes for them. He gifted each of us with a wooden bird house and I tossed it up in the back yard, put out some food, and planted a few more plants. To my surprise, the birds came in droves. We picked up another bird house at an art fair. The many bird families kept fighting (all year long!) over the houses. So, last year I asked Nan if she could wrangle a few more houses for me. Roy was very nice to make me a few more. I decided I would paint these some bright colors.




The bottom picture shows the original one. The birds keep knocking it crooked and I don't wan to disturb it while there are eggs in there! Can't wait for the new ones to dry so we can hang them up.


AND check out this picture that PK took with his iPhone! This is a little bird feeder swing. I complained all last year that the birds refused to eat the food I put in it. Guess they had other plans! Aren't the eggs beautiful? These little ones will come into the world in style!