Fuschia, not Fuchsia

How’s it going out there? I’m seeing a lot of whining out there from those of us in the northern hemisphere about the winter that won’t die. Here it is April 18th and we’re supposed to get an inch or two of snow tonight! You won’t hear any complaining out of me though — I love winter. I can keep wearing sweaters and mittens! ;-D

When we were in Utah a few weeks ago, I dragged SweetiePie to a little yarn shop and asked her to pick a color of yarn so that I could make FinallyAGirl a new little sweater. I was lucky enough to be a pattern tester for a cute little size 2 sweater, designed by an Australian Instagram friend.  I LOVED knitting this cute little sweater, even though it felt like I took forever to get it done.

Thimbleanna: Pink Sweater

I mis-read the pattern and made a mistake when I got the yarn, so my gauge turned out a little large.  It’s ok though because we’re going into summer here, so I’m hoping this sweater won’t fit until next fall/winter.  The yarn is Louet Gems in the Fuschia colorway. (And, yes, I know that’s spelled wrong, but that’s the way it’s spelled on the yarn band.) It’s a machine washable and dryable {gasp! I would never!} 100% merino yarn.  I was using needles that were really too small for this yarn (trying to get gauge LOL), so it was a little hard to work.  I love the final result though — the texture is soft but still firm, so I think it should hold it’s shape well.

Thimbleanna: Pink Sweater

The pattern will be released soon and it’s called the Daisy Basket Cardigan.  Debby made the original with really cute little daisy buttons.  I found some daisy buttons, but I didn’t like their color with this hot pink, so, when I saw these little kitty buttons, I couldn’t resist.

Thimbleanna: Pink Sweater

I love how Debby divided the bottom from the top of the sweater.  That row of slanted stitches is just so sweet.  And the basketweave pattern has such a wonderful texture — I just want to keep fondling it LOL.  I think this little sweater will be so cute with dresses and blue jeans — I can’t wait to see it on FinallyAGirl.

Thimbleanna: Pink Sweater

And look at this cute little book that I found to give her with her new sweater.  It’s all about how much Grandma loves her little Bunny.

Thimbleanna: Pink Sweater

When I saw that Grandma knits, wraps her little bunny in pink quilts AND makes cupcakes, well … I knew this little book was coming home with me!  I MUST give this book to MY little bunny!

Thimbleanna: Pink Sweater

Ok, back to work boys and girls. I’ve been painting trim in the house and as much as I love to paint, it hasn’t been that fun. It’s taking too long — bring on the weekend!

XOXO,
Anna

Happy Easter!

Thimbleanna: Happy Easter

Holyyyy Cow!  How can it be that so much time has passed since my last post?  And that we’re 1/4 of the way through this year already???

I hope you’ve all had a Very Happy Easter!  I had a hard time getting computer time this weekend to post — TheManoftheHouse hogged the computer ALL weekend for Work work.  And I was busy in the kitchen all day.  We had our usual Easter fare – Ham (I think the troops are all ready to revolt though — half of them don’t really like ham and were voting to discontinue the tradition), Cheesy Potatoes, Carrots, Green Salad, Deviled Eggs and Dinner Rolls.  There would have been a beautiful Miette Lemon Debutante Cake too, but I had a MAJOR cake fail.  I had to make the cake twice and then, the icing failed too.  I’ve made these cakes several times before and never had trouble — I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.  It made me sad though — I’ve been craving cake all night LOL!

It’s been a busy six weeks here in ThimbleannaLand.  Work, work, and more work.  TheSecondChild has been back at home for several months and we just moved him to a new apartment and job in Indy — I’m so excited for him.  And us too — he’s only 2 hours away, which is SO much better than 16 hours away.  I’m looking forward to seeing him a lot more often.

Then, in the middle of it all, we went to see TheFirstChild, SweetiePie, and our little cherub for a week.  We had a really relaxed week — I didn’t even take my big camera!  Oh how fun it was to play with our little doll — she’s 20 months old now and so much fun.  I made her a little dress before we left and I was so excited that it fit her just right.  Here are a few iphone pictures that I posted on Instagram.

Thimbleanna: Little Doll

The dress is the Aliana dress from The Freckled Pear and the fabric is from the new Kinder line by Heather Ross. I had this cute little apple print in my etsy shop but it sold out right away, so I should have some more (plus the red apple print) arriving this week. (Btw, I have sooo many cute new fabrics that have arrived this spring — I need to find more time to sew!)

Thimbleanna: Little Doll

I’ve been working on other projects too, but no big finishes yet.  I’m doing a little test knitting for an instagram friend.  I’m hoping to finish up this cute little project in the next week or two.

Thimbleanna: Pink Sweater

And, after a too-long break, I’ve been working on the little quilt for FinallyAGirl again. I’m about 3/4ths of the way through. I’m such a slooooow hand-quilter. I need to get with the program though — FinallyAnotherGirl is due to arrive this September, so I’m going to need to start another quilt!  We’re SO excited!!!

Thimbleanna: Pink Quilt

Hopefully it won’t take me so long to get back here this next time. Maybe I should just post on holidays. Or chocolate holidays LOL.
Happy April!!!
XOXO,
Anna

A Little Valentine Cardigan

Happy Valentine’s Day Little Lovies!  I hope your day is full of CHOCOLATE LOL.

I finished the little sweater that I made for my littlest Valentine this week. It’s been a fun, fairly quick project and hopefully it will fit her ;-D.

Thimbleanna: Baby Sweater

The pattern is from the book Baby Knits for Beginners by Debbie Bliss and it’s the “jacket with moss stitch bands” in the 12-24 month size. The pattern calls for size US2 and US3 knitting needles, but, because I’m a fairly tight knitter, I had to go up one size to US3 and US4. I went to my local LYS to choose a yarn, and they recommended Bossa Nova Sport by Molly Girl Yarn in the Sandcastles colorway. It’s a superwash merino mix, so it’s very soft and the finished knit has a really nice drape. But, to be honest, I’m not really a fan. I would have preferred something, I don’t know … maybe a little more “crisp”? If that makes any sense at all. The stitches don’t seem very well defined, and to my eye, just not as pretty as, for example, the little baby dress I knit for FinallyAGirl a few months ago. Plus, the yarn had a few little green marks in it that I couldn’t get out. I would have taken the yarn back, but I didn’t discover them until I was half-way through knitting the back of the sweater. It looks like someone took a little green ink pen and pressed it into the back. Oh well … no picture, but if you see it in person, don’t look LOL.

Thimbleanna: Baby Sweater

I love the simple look of this little cardigan, and hopefully FinallyAGirl will be able to wear it with some of her adorable little dresses and tops. I tried a new-to-me technique for sewing up the seams.  I usually just hold the pieces right sides together and hand stitch them, like you would fabric, but I’ve never liked the way the seams look.  This new method is a bit tedious and time-consuming, but it gives a seamless look and I love it. I’ll definitely be using this method again.

Also, I thought I’d made a mistake in knitting the buttonholes, as they’re to the side of the seed stitch button band instead of the middle, but I double checked the picture in the book, and that’s the way they’re supposed to be. My OCD self is a little bugged by it — I like that they’re off center, but then I don’t. Not sure if I might change that if I were to knit this little cardigan again.

Thimbleanna: Baby Sweater

This project is a little Valentine present for our little cherub. I played around with a few different ideas for wrapping it up before I sent it off to her, but in the end, there wasn’t enough room in the mailer with the other little goodies that I sent, so I just sort of squished it into the envelope. Wrapping Fail. ;-(

Thimbleanna: Baby Sweater

Oh well.  Everything can’t be perfect LOL.

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day!
XOXO,
Anna

 

Randomly in February

  • Happy Eat Ice Cream For Breakfast Day!!! Really. It’s a thing. And definitely a thing on a COLD winter day in February. Sprinkles are mandatory in the middle of winter ;-P.

    Thimbleanna: Ice Cream

  • It’s FREEZING out there. But that didn’t stop us from having our patio doors replaced yesterday. I had no idea anyone would want to replace windows/doors in the middle of winter. When we planned this in the fall, the installers were backed up into January. I thought we might have to wait until spring, but they said no, they work all winter. It was 15 degrees Fahrenheit yesterday while they were working. Poor Guys! Here’s an in-progress shot (don’t I have a lovely crop of frozen plants?)

    Thimbleanna: New Doors

    And here are the windows all finished. Those old doors were so hard to open, lock and unlock.  And the seals were broken on several of them, so they would fog up between the layers of glass. I’m so excited for spring so we can really use these new doors!

    Thimbleanna: New Doors

  • My winter sprinkle kick started a week ago when I made some cupcakes. Then I threw some thimbles in there and made a new blog header — because the Christmas header really needed to go. It seems pretty obvious that after 11 years of blogging, I’m running out of header ideas LOL.

    Thimbleanna: Sprinkles

  • There has been knitting and sewing going on around here, just nothing finished to show yet. I’ve been steadily working on quilt blocks for the The Happy Flower Quilt and I’ve been working on a little sweater that I’m now blocking. The instructions said to sew the shoulders together, but I really didn’t like the way mine looked. So, I undid the shoulder bind-offs and kitchener stitched them together. I’m a little worried that it’s going to look funny without a shoulder seam — I guess we’ll see when I get it all sewn together.

    Thimbleanna: Blocking Knits

  • And finally, lots of pretty, pretty fabric has been arriving in my little Thimbleanna Etsy shop!

    Thimbleanna: Floral Fabrics

Happy February! I’m off to clean a little — this place is a disaster!
XOXO,
Anna

Memory Quilts

Sometime right before Thanksgiving, MyDadLovesMeBestSister and I were looking at a few things of BigDaddy’s and we decided (maybe in a fit of madness?) that we should make quilts from his shirts for his 5 grandchildren.  We decided on a simple 4″ patch quilt pattern and spent a few weeks sorting and cutting.  We worked away at our little project and by Thanksgiving, we had the quilt fronts all pieced.  As the mother of 2/5ths of the grandchildren, I lucked out and only had to make 2 of the quilts.

Thimbleanna: Memory Quilt

I tried to compensateMyDadLovesMeBestSister for her extra work by piecing all the backs.  BigDaddy was known for some of his funny sweatshirts, so we decided to include a few of each on the quilt backs.  (My favorite was a shirt with a dog skeleton that said “In Dog Years … I’m Dead.”  Or, “If a man is talking in the forest, and there is no woman there to hear him, is he still wrong?”  Classic BigDaddy!)  We chose a blue flannel for the main part of the backs, and I used my embroidery machine software to digitize BigDaddy’s signature with a message that he’d left on a card to one of the kids.  We also included a pocket on the back of each quilt, and into each pocket we tucked a few treasures for each child (now young adults) from their beloved Grandpa.

Thimbleanna: Memory Quilt

I chose to big-stitch the two quilts that I had to finish, but MyDadLovesMeBestSister knew that she’d never get three quilts hand quilted, so she decided to tie hers.  I love them both ways!  I also bound my two quilts with a print from MeMum’s stash — to add a MeMum touch to the quilts, and I love how they turned out.

Thimbleanna: Memory Quilt

Quilts made out of shirts aren’t that fun to make and they’re certainly not at all pretty.  I mentioned these quilts to Jan shortly before Christmas and she compared this sort of quilting to sewing on buttons or hemming pants.  Indeed.

Thimbleanna: Memory Quilt

But.  Sometimes the payoff is really BIG.  MyDadLovesMeBestSister and I predicted that there might be some tears on Christmas morning and we nailed it. I had big plans to take lots of pictures of all the kids holding up their quilts, etc. but the flu wreaked havoc with the rest of the week.  It didn’t matter though — I took a few photos when the quilts were opened.  The one below is my favorite — you can see at least two criers in this shot and there were more to follow LOL.  It was a really fun and special Christmas morning.

Thimbleanna: Memory Quilt

Now Christmas projects are all over and we’re at a new year.  A clean slate.  Are we working on UFO’s or new projects???  Decisions, Decisions!

XOXO,
Anna

P.S. The adorable Puppy Love fabric by Anita Jeram (the illustrator responsible for those darling little P.S. I Love You Rabbits!) has arrived in my etsy shop. It’s accompanied by an adorable minky-style plush puppy spot fabric. Oh, the possibilities!!!

Thimbleanna: Puppy Love Fabric