Category: alipyper likes to knit

crocheted totoro & knit shaun the sheep

{G} just finished crocheting this armless Totoro. We were short on stuffing so he’s armless and a little lumpy. My Neighbor Totoro has long been a family favorite and she needed a break from the mandated summer reading list the Mr. and I have imposed on her. Now her first knitting project, Shaun the Sheep has a friend!

Totoro free crochet pattern on Ravelry. The Patons Shaun the Sheep knitting kit is discontinued (check ebay!), but here is a free crochet pattern.

knit baby cable sacque

Ahhh, I finally finished the baby cable sweater that matches my Knit Pixie Cable Hat. I’ve been working on it for the last eight months. I’m glad my sister, who commissioned it, has be a very patient patron. She’s watched as project after project was given precedence over this little thing.

I only had to rip out the top part 4 or 5 times before I got it right. That’s not TOO bad, right? I re-sized and adjusted a vintage pattern and now will re-write it to have it knit from the top down instead of from the bottom up. But not just yet.

It might take me a few months before I’m ready to wrap my brain around this pattern again. Yarn specifications can be found on my Ravelry project page.

slow progress

I haven’t blocked the sweater yet. It’s amazing to see the difference once it’s blocked – it will lay completely flat and the cables will pop!

It’s been slow going on this little baby sweater pattern. It will match my knit Pixie Cable Hat pattern (available here or here). I’ve started knitting it from the bottom up, but I think once I work out the dimensions for the shoulders and neck I’ll re-write the pattern to knit from the top down. What I’ve worked out so far is the easy part and I’m dragging my feet to  work out the hard shaping part. Sigh. It’s so cute and I want for it to be done, but I’m afraid of getting the dimensions wrong and having to rip out the stitches and re-work the rows. Moaning and complaining about it won’t make it easier. I’ll just have to buck up and finish!

warm weather

The Mr. and I took the kids south for the President’s Day weekend. {K} had a soccer tournament in St. George. It didn’t go so well for {K} and his team, but hey! we all enjoyed the break from work, school and freezing temperatures.

I’m not supposed to point out the fact that the Mr. is wearing his reading glasses on top of his sunglasses so that he can see his fishing line. Oh, it’s so sad to get old!

The Mr. hasn’t been out fishing all year. The poor Mr.! Too busy with work and family. It was pure heaven for him to stand in the sunshine and cast to his hearts content this weekend. It doesn’t bother him if nothing bites, he’s just glad to be outside with a fishing pole in his hand.

It’s interesting to note that {I} is the one that has received the fishing gene from his father and grandfather. He can’t sit still through church or school to save his life, but get him out fishing and he is calm and focused for hours. Magic.

I didn’t want red sand in my yarn so I stayed in the car to wind my skein of MadelineTosh Prairie lace weight yarn the old school way. I’ve been designing a child’s sweater pattern for months now (in betwixt all the distractions of the holidays) and have another sweater pattern swirling around in my head but the thought of bringing either of these projects, which require a tremendous amount of focus and attention, gave me heart palpitations. So I brought the MadelineTosh yarn I purchased at Loop Knit Lounge while in London and I got started on the Swoon sweater pattern found in Juju’s Loops.

Pure bliss.

Ravelry project page here.

liberty of london

Okay, so I returned to the mother ship today (do you see the ship on top of the building?!? Really, there is a ship on top of the building!!).

Oh, Liberty, I love thee.

It was gorgeousness overload. But outrageously expensive! Yikes! Their signature fabrics are of the highest quality and the cotton is almost as soft as silk, but since I didn’t have a specific project in mind I couldn’t really justify expanding my fabric stash. Never fear! I did pick up a souvenir and I was ridiculously happy to sign up for their loyalty reward program.

Down the street from Liberty was a cute little yarn shop called All the Fun of the Fair.

Loved the eclectic yarn, haberdashery, and gifts. Super lovely.

Again, not far from Liberty and very near Hanover Square, I discovered MacCulloch & Wallis, a three story fabric, notions, trims and ribbon shop first opened in 1902. It was chock full of the nitty gritty supplies needed for dressmaking – full of substance and not much fluff. It was perfect. I’m sure that if I lived in London I would be there very often. Probably more often than the mothership, Liberty, I’m forced to say. I do have Scottish blood running through my veins and those thrifty genetics do occasionally force me to be practical.

I ran out of time, so I couldn’t continue my tour up towards the Marylebone High Street, but I’m hoping to get back downtown early next week to check out VV Rouleaux, The Button Queen, and the largest Cath Kidston store in London. Can’t wait!

mademoiselle brongniart

Elizabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun: 'Mademoiselle Brongniart'

I only had about an hour at The National Gallery the other day. I’ll have to go back because I did not do the museum justice. I picked the most famous paintings and went directly to them – so touristy of me! As I was rushing between rooms I was stopped in my tracks at this Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun. In the turbulent summer of 1789 at the beginning of the French Revolution, Le Brun took refuge in the Brongniart home. I thought how poignant it was for Le Brun to have painted a child with her knitting, perhaps as a way to counter balance the turbulence and horror swirling around her at that time, perhaps as a way to repay the girls parents for their generosity. In any case, I thought it was one if the most personally significant paintings I saw all day. Absolutely lovely.

loop knit lounge

Oh, oh, oh, I was in the most glorious yarn shop today. Loop Knit Lounge, located in London’s borough of Islington, was a complete delight, from top to bottom. Charming and helpful staff (co-owner Susan Cropper was behind the counter), the most glorious selection of yarn imaginable, books, magazines and lovely gifts – I could have stayed in the shop for hours, slowly moving from one spot of inspiration to the next. It was absolutely worth every single tube station change I made to get there and get back.

baby blessing vest

I was able to knit a blessing vest for my grandnephew (boy do I sound old having a grandnephew!) in between all of the other things I was making during the holidays. I took this free pattern and adapted it to have cables coming up the front. It was a pretty fast knit and I think he looks pretty darn handsome in it!

Check out my Ravelry project page for the pattern specifics…

doll clothes for emily

Last year I made a little doll for my godchild who lives in London. She named the doll Emily. It was such a fun thing to make!


For Christmas this year I made a couple more outfits for the Emily and mailed  them to her before Christmas. I had to make another doll, whom I’ve named Freya, to get the dimensions right for the clothes. Every second I worked on the outfits was complete joy.

There were lots of adjustments as I worked the fabric to make the clothes fit. This next year I’ll actually make re-usable patterns so that making clothes is not such a bespoke endeavor.

I think that the embroidered cross-stitch heart on the inside pocket of the coat is my favorite detail. It was also super fun to adjust my Knit Pixie Cable Hat pattern to a doll size and make matching mittens.

Little Emily will now be ready for her New Year’s Eve celebrations!

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