Thursday, December 19, 2013

Sweaters for Esther

If I didn't have a blogging backlog I could probably write a whole post about each of these sweaters that I knit for Esther... but as it is, I am glad that I have managed to get photos of her in each of them and excited to share with you!  I finished basically all the knitting on these sweaters before Esther was born but didn't finish any of them all the way before she got here... I think it was similar to her quilt, it was as though by not finishing the sweaters all the way she wouldn't come yet.  Doesn't quite work that way though, huh?

This yellow kimono style sweater was simple to knit and luckily only required a few buttons to finish it up after she came - I knit it in a newborn size but it was stretchy enough to fit her from a few weeks old until she was several months old.  Worked out perfectly that I only made her this one tiny sweater since she was spitting up all the time and I didn't really want to put her in a sweater too often.  The pattern was quick and easy, I can see myself making it again either in a bigger size for Esther or as a small one for another baby.

Yellow Baby Kimono

Speaking of how these didn't quite get finished before she arrived - here's a photo of the sweaters blocking that I took four days before she was born.  I remember it being a bit awkward crawling around on the floor getting them all pinned!  Not totally intentionally, the other three sweaters that I made for her were all about the same size (9-12 months)... but it worked out great, since she has finally stopped outgrowing her clothes every 3 seconds and is actually getting a good amount of wear out of them.  Plus they ended up fitting just right for the cold season, hopefully they will still fit through most of the rest of winter/spring.

Blocking Sweaters

This stripey green sweater is from the same seamless yoked sweater pattern that I used for this yellow baby cardigan.  It's a fun pattern and a quick knit, I may make it again!  The yarn is some fun liberty wool that I picked up on a trip to Olympia, WA - I bought three balls and managed to match up the patterning in the yarn so that the sleeves fell at the right point in the pattern and matched eachother!  I had just enough yarn for the sweater.  It's a little psychedelic but I really like how it turned out and she looks so cute in it!

Green Yoked Sweater

This pink provence baby cardigan is the one that tripped me up the most of all of them.   I guess I have gotten spoiled by knitting so many sweaters with no finishing that having to seam all the pieces, and then pick up stitches for a collar and button band, was just too much for me (especially when very pregnant and then when Esther came along).  It didn't help that I outsmarted myself by knitting the body of the cardigan in one piece rather than separate back, left front, and right front pieces - and then that made the seaming to insert the sleeves trickier.  But I finally powered through it and finished up the sweater a couple weeks ago and I love how it looks on her.  And it just now is starting to fit her well so I don't feel too bad about taking so long to finish it.  Also I have to say I think this photo is the cutest.  I love the look on her face and also how she somehow managed to get her pants leg pulled down over her foot.  It's all about the pulling up and standing around here lately.

Provence Baby Cardigan

This grey offset wraplan sweater also gave me a bit of a tough time, but I finished the knitting so long ago that I can't totally remember what the issue was.  I think they had you pick up the neckline after knitting the sweater and it just annoyed me because it could easily have been knit in one piece.  And I maybe had issues with the button band (I think I overcompensated and have too many stitches, which made it kind of wavy, but it's not really too bad).  I love the offset opening on this, but the width of the neckline irks me - you can always see her onesie underneath like you see in the photo below.  This sweater is actually still a bit big on her so hopefully as she grows into it more this won't be as much of an issue.  I was pretty determined to make her mostly gender neutral sweaters/clothes when I was pregnant - since I'm not super into girly stuff and so that we could still use them for a potential future sibling no matter that baby's sex - although of course now that she's here it seems kind of silly and I don't mind dressing her in girly things.  But these basics are nice too, and this one strikes a nice balance with the purpley buttons.

Grey Offset Wraplan

There's actually a funny story about this sweater.  When I was knitting it, I showed Lawson the pattern a few times, which has an octopus appliqued on the front.  I was describing the sweater to Lawson and the idea of an offset cardigan wasn't ringing any bells, so I reminded him that it had an octopus on it in the pattern (but I wasn't going to put an octopus on the one I was making).  The first time we talked about it he asked why not (I just didn't feel like it), and the second time he responded with "I still haven't received a good explanation for why there won't be an octopus!"  So we joked about him wanting the octopus but he did give it up.  Plus we got a cute octopus onesie as a gift at our baby shower so that helped too.

If you're interested in what yarn I used for each sweater or those types of details, the info's all in my ravelry projects as always!

Sunday, December 08, 2013

New Pattern Prices and Discount Until New Year

I haven't mentioned my PDF sewing patterns in a while here, but they are still available for purchase in my Meylah shop and in my Etsy Shop -- and now automatic digital download is available from both shops, so you can get sewing right away! 

I have been thinking for a while that the $6 price for the patterns did not reflect the complexity of the patterns, or the current market for these types of patterns.  I am proud of these patterns and put a ton of work into writing them, and I would hate for anyone to think that the low price was a reflection of a lower quality product.  So I have decided to raise my prices to $8 per pattern, which I think is still a great deal!  

For one last chance to buy the patterns at the old price, use the coupon code "NEWYEAR" on Etsy for 25% off (bringing the price for each pattern back down to $6).  This coupon code is only good until December 31st, so if you have been thinking of buying one of my patterns now is a great time to do so!

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Picking Holiday Cards

This is the first year that Lawson and I are getting photo cards for our holiday cards - with our cutie-pie to show off, how could we resist?  We took photos this past weekend on a beautiful hike (just before the temperatures dropped this week, good timing), so we thought we'd use those photos for our card.  I think the family photo turned out pretty well since we were relying on the kindness (and photography skills) of strangers, but it isn't the best photo of Esther ever, although it does reflect her inquisitive side (she really could not stop staring at the waterfalls).  Luckily we'll be able to include some additional cute photos of her on the back of the card.  Also, I kind of love that everyone in our family is wearing something I knitted in the photo.

I have always admired the cards at TinyPrints, both ogling their options online and seeing the nice baby announcements and holiday cards that we've gotten from friends.  I'm super excited to be partnering with them for our cards this year and I had fun playing around on the site mocking up some cards.  There are tons of cute options, but I narrowed our choices down to this selection.  What do you think?

joyful holly card front

This joyful holly card is my favorite, I think - love the square shape and the cute motifs.  Plus, pure joy pretty much captures our sentiment this year I think.  They have an option for a cute patterned back, but since we'll be putting photos on the back I think it looks less cluttered with the solid red background.

joyful holly card back

I also love this cozy feeling card - another square option.  The back would look pretty much the same as the last one except with a solid blue (or there's a red or green option for the card and back, too).

cozy feeling card front

I think this card (delightfully dotted) may be more traditional than we are going for but the dots are fun!  Plus you can see more of the waterfall in the photo.  Speaking of which, I really appreciated how easy it was to zoom/crop your photos on the TinyPrints site - it makes it really easy to customize each card, particularly when you are trying different photo orientations and also want to customize what looks best with each card.

delightfully dotted card front

I actually think the patterned background on this one looks good with the photos!

delightfully dotted card back

Speaking of playing around with photo placement to see what looks best with the card... I was bummed out that our photo just really didn't work well with this joyous heart card.  This card was one of my favorites but the waterfall is definitely not compatible with the name placement.  I'd be more disappointed if I didn't like the other options so much, though.

joyous heart card front

So what do you think?  Which card is your favorite, and what are you doing for your cards this year?

You may have seen that TinyPrints has been having some great black friday week deals - if you aren't going to get your cards picked out this week, though, you can still get 20% off and free shipping using the promo code TPH85Z - the code expires 1/31/14, so there's still plenty of time to get your cards for the holidays.  Just paste the code in the "promo code" box at checkout and you're good to go!

Disclosure: I am excited to be partnering with TinyPrints on this post and they will be providing me with some of our cards.  All opinions expressed are my own.
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