Last year I started an ambitious knitting project with new techniques and skills I had never tried. The 16-page pattern seemed complicated and overwhelming. I spent a lot of money on 7 skeins of fingering weight wool and purchased new needles all while doubting whether I could really knit a sweater that looked good and fit me.Read More
Those who know me even just a little know that I'm a Broncos fan. Some might say a Broncs fanatic. A few of my friends that don't like football come over to watch me watching the game. I'm guaranteed to yell. I often jump and sometimes lie prostrate on the ground. I throw my own penalty flags. I often make a comment immediately before the announcers repeat the same insight. I typically don't eat or drink unless it's halftime. Drinking a beer during the game puts more beer on me and the ground than in me.
I can't remember a time in my life when I didn't love the Broncos. One of my earliest Broncos memories is from Super Bowl XXII in 1988. I was almost 5 years old. My parents threw a party and when the Broncos were destroyed 42-10 by the Redskins, the adults decided to start a bonfire out back and burn all the Bronco gear in disgust. I remember telling my mom that I didn't want to throw my gear into the fire. She assured me that I didn't have to burn my gear while throwing in decorations from the house.Read More
It's pretty well documented on this blog that Fall is my favorite season, but that doesn't mean I don't like Summer. I love the long days, summer thunderstorms, bike rides, sunscreen, pool time, fresh fruit and veggies, hikes and BBQs.Read More
Yes, Easter was over 2 months ago. I'm sure it's the last thing anyone is thinking about now, but I'm way behind on posting and wanted to share a few pictures of my pysanky eggs from this year.
Some years I struggle to make any eggs worth keeping. Last year was one of those years. I tried several designs that didn't turn out looking as I had hoped. In desperation, I ended up keeping my last egg so I had something to show for my efforts. Each year I like to keep at least one egg. I have 5-6 at any given time displayed on my bookshelf. I replace them if I make one I like better in another year.Read More
I recently finished a few knitting projects and as I thought about what I should cast on next, I realized I have so much yarn in my stash. Leftover yarn, skeins I bought with no project in mind, stray projects I abandoned--I have enough to fill up a couple of cubbies in my IKEA cabinet. Instead of buying new yarn for new projects, I thought I would challenge myself to at least make a dent in the stash I have now. I've been knitting quite a few hats this winter (for me and for gifts). Many one skein projects are for hats or baby gifts or dishcloths. I tried to find some that looked fun and interesting and didn't all fit under the traditional categories.
It will be nice to try a few of these quick projects. What's your go-to project to use up leftover yarn?Read More
I have some fun knitting projects to share soon, but haven't had time to download the pictures off my camera and post about them. During my upcoming two week vacation, I plan to get the projects ready to share (in between a trip to Costa Rica and days on the ski slopes in Colorado). Stay tuned for a Denver Broncos hat pattern (and more generally a tutorial on how to knit words) and a new baby blanket pattern.Read More
I teased this pattern back in April when I first started designing it. It took me a few trial and error swatches to finally get the pattern I wanted with repeating triangles.
I used Cotton Ease yarn for the gray, knitting portion. I love Cotton Ease for baby blankets because it's soft, washable and durable. It's a cotton / acrylic blend that feels more like full cotton.
I liked the blanket after finishing the knitting portion, but something was missing. It needed a little more color pop. When I started knitting the blanket, I didn't know if my friend was having a girl or boy. After the baby was born and I found it it was a girl, I decided to add a colorful border.
The border also uses an acrylic / cotton blend, but it isn't Cotton Ease. I didn't like any of the Cotton Ease colors for the border, so I used Knit Pick's Comfy Worsted in Rose Hip. The border is crocheted, so this blanket requires a basic knowledge of both knitting and crochet. (Or you could leave the border off and just do the knitting part.)
Enjoy and if you have any questions before buying, post them in the comments!
This Spring I started designing two new baby blanket designs. I should know better than to buy yarn and start two projects at once. I was making great progress on the first blanket until the yarn came for the second one. At that point the new yarn distracted me and I couldn't resist starting the second blanket.
It didn't help that both babies were due in the same month. Which one should I prioritize? Turns out it didn't matter since I didn't finish either before the babies came. But it's summer. So we'll call these 'winter' blankets and not 'protect-you-from-too-much-air-conditioning' blankets.
Starting a new job, working on two side projects, biking a century and various other day-to-day life excitement left me with notes scribbled on papers with hash marks that I was finally able to translate into a readable pattern.
I present to you (blanket #2) the English Rose Tweed Baby Blanket.Read More
There's something so satisfying about knitting baby items. They're as close as it comes to instant gratification with knitting. I love projects that are simple, beautiful and finished quickly.
This pattern is all of those things. It looks more complex than it is because of the self-striping yarn, but you only need basic knit and purl stitches. Most of the pattern is made with simple stockinette. Even though I used sock yarn and size 1 needles, it's pretty fast since the hat is newborn sized. And the finished product is functional and cute. You won't need too much yarn for this project, so it's perfect for any leftover sock yarn you might have around. Isn't the little tassel cute?
I made this in a weekend for a friend whose baby is due any day now. He'll probably come today since it's 7 below and snowing here in Denver. But at least he'll have this to keep his little head warm.
September 1st marks 4 years for me blogging here at Painting Lilies. I started this blog as a side project when I wasn't feeling challenged at work. I learned some basic coding, Wordpress and other skills to get my start. I didn't have a plan and didn't expect anyone other than my friends to read this blog.
And at first, that's what happened. Friends and family read my posts. I took photos and knit blankets and cooked. Little by little I learned how to blog. I had fun working on my tiny space in the internet and blogging world.
Eventually, more people started finding my posts. Google started picking up my popular ones. I started an email list. And sites like Pinterest, Ravelry, StumbleUpon, Craftsy and Craftgawker sent many of you my way.
Now there are many more "strangers" who read than friends and acquaintances. I'm so glad that I've been able to provide patterns that you've used to make hand knit gifts for your friends and family. I love receiving pictures of what you're working on. I still read and reply to all my emails and blog comments. And it's still really exciting to get blog comments 4 years later.
So let's celebrate my 4th year of blogging with a giveaway! (You might notice that I also designed a new logo and changed the look and feel of the site recently...it's fun to do a make over every now and then. Plus I'm much better at this than I was 4 years ago.)
4 of you will win all 4 of my paid knitting / crochet patterns (Tunisian Tweed Baby Blanket, Linear Cowl, Knobby Cowl and Sand Cable Blanket) I'm working on a new project right now. When that's done, you'll get that pattern for free, too. 5 free patterns!
How to Enter
- Leave a comment on this post and let me know what you're most excited about this fall.
- Pin this post on Pinterest and leave a comment with the link to your pin.
- Do both #1 and 2 for 2 entries.
You have until the end of the day on Monday, September 2nd to enter. I'll choose a winner on Tuesday, September 3rd.
Good luck and happy Labor Day Weekend to everyone!