A Baby Owl For a Baby

When I was recently invited to my friend's baby shower celebrating the birth of her new baby son born only 3 days before my own.. I was a bit concerned. Not about attending. But about getting her a gift.

These days, I rarely get out of the house.. Not only does it seem to take half the day to get myself ready to go anywhere, but between lugging around a huge diaper bag, and a baby carrier containing a baby that may start screaming at any moment.. shopping is a bit nightmarish at this point. Not to mention.. my first attempt at grocery shopping with both children last week has left me traumatized to the point in which I may never recover...

So I am very happy to say that with a little ingenuity and the help of the internet..  I put together a clever little baby gift (if I do say so myself) without leaving the house. 

In keeping with the "owl themed" baby shower, I purchased these sweet hand-painted little owl shirts from this awesome etsy shop. A onesie for baby Logan and a little tee shirt for his older brother, Cole. 
I just love these..

I then found a stray envelope and handcrafted a personalized card using the computer and some of my daughter's construction paper.

And then comes the cutest part.

Using some scraps of yarn, felt, some left over buttons, and this pattern as a guide,
I created this cute baby owl as a present topper...

..and attached him to the box like this..

All of the wrapping materials were recycled as well.. 
(because I am one of those people that carefully folds up and hoards 
wrapping paper and ribbons when I receive a gift.)

So there you have it.

An owl themed gift created from the comfort of my own home.

And by the way.. she loved it. :)


Behind The Scenes of Coastal Knits

Over the past few weeks I have gone through my pictures from the photoshoots for Coastal Knits and was reminded of how much I enjoyed that experience. For those of you familiar with our book, you'll know that it isn't me modeling my designs, it's actually my former babysitter and friend Andrea.

Hannah and I had originally intended to model for the book ourselves, but since I ended up pregnant during the time the pictures were taken.. I wasn't exactly feeling or looking very "model-y".
It really worked out well however because not only did Andrea make for a perfect model, but now I have a super cute and squishy baby too! :)

We spread the picture taking over three separate days using the evening time for the best light. 
My husband, daughter, and Andrea's fiance, Hunter accompanied us each time. 

On a side note.. Both Andrea and Hunter are two of my most favorite people and couldn't make a cuter couple! 

In fact.. you podcast listeners might be interested to know that Hunter is also the voice behind the Never Not Knitting podcast theme song! We have known Hunter for years. He is an amazing and talented guy, and proved to be a great help on the photoshoots as well. He worked the second camera for me and helped us carry coats, props, and even my daughters pink sippy cup. What a guy.

We were able to capture some really pretty model shots of Andrea for the book, but it wasn't all serious work all of the time...there were definitely some silly times too.

Additionally.. Andrea was such a great sport because I made her do all sorts of uncomfortable things.. like model in front of onlookers. 

That's the awkward part about photoshoots in public places. :)

I also made her climb eucalyptus trees for the Rustling Leaves Beret photoshoot.

and instructed her to stare at them lovingly...

Which she actually did. 
Poor girl. I really put her through it. :)

We weren't the only ones who had fun though.. my daughter LOVED exploring our coastal locations with my husband while we were busy taking pictures.

She walked the flower fields of Shell Creek Rd...

Ran through the waves at Morro Strand Beach...

Climbed the gnarled oaks in the Los Osos Oaks State Reserve...

And walked the Moonstone Beach Boardwalk with us.

And had a fabulous time with Andrea as well. 

Andrea started babysitting for us when my daughter was only 8 months old and the two of them have a very special relationship. My daughter looks up to her so much. It is very sweet.

What a fun experience it was creating this book with friends distant and local. It was a lot of work, but I will always look back on the process with fond memories.

Thank you again to Andrea and Hunter for all of your help with our project. 
We couldn't have done it without you!


1 Month

Someone that I know is now 1 month old...

...and has gained 3 pounds...and grown 2 1/2 inches...as you might have noticed.
I haven't wanted to mention it to him, but his Owlet sweater is already growing a bit snug around his tummy. And lets not even get into the double chin situation. :)

The month has gone by all too fast. I can't believe how much he has already changed and grown.
The past few weeks have reminded me of how unbelievable time consuming newborns can be.
It is amazing how much I work and how little I accomplish. At the end of the day I try to remind myself that this is the most important job I can be doing right now.. taking care of my little chubby guy.
The rest can be put on hold for the moment because this special time won't last long... and in a year from now I will miss this roly-poly baby in his handknit sweater sitting on the couch with his big tummy and multiple chins.

Somehow between all of the feedings, diapering, and soothing.. I managed to knit up this stripey little hat for him a few weeks back. I'm a bit surprised that I actually got this done. I rarely have time to myself anymore, and when I do.. Instead of knitting, I find myself exhausted and staring blankly at the living room wall. I know that when we get into more of a routine, I will have more energy and get my creative enthusiasm back.

This little hat was knit from two stray balls of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, and I made up my own pattern using Kate Oates awesome Math For Hats book as a guide. 

I love the way this little project turned out and I think baby does too... maybe.. I dont know.. It's kind of hard to tell. :)

It just feels good to get something off the needles. It makes me feel productive.



Gnarled Oak

Since the release of our Coastal Knits book, it has been so fun for me to see all of the pictures of the book projects that many knitters have completed and shared on Ravelry. With the amazing selection of knitting patterns now available, I'm always so flattered when knitters decide to make something from a pattern that I've designed. 

Out of all of the Coastal Knits patterns that I contributed to the collection, my favorite is the Gnarled Oak Cardigan. This design turned out exactly as how I had envisioned it. 

I love knits with texture. The cable and oak leaf motif in this sweater yoke is fun to knit and really stunning with its embossed appearance. 

This sweater was inspired by a very special location on my coastline. 
An eerie, ancient forest of oak trees that are completely twisted and bent with age. 

The kind of trees that you would think only exist in storybooks. I've never seen oaks like this anywhere else.

I am very attached to this particular location and knit, so when I saw another knitter's beautiful version pop up on Ravelry... I was thrilled.

This Gnarled Oak was knit up by Mary (dextermaine on Ravelry). Not only did she do a fabulous job on the knitting and take beautiful pictures.. but she chose a seriously gorgeous colorway as well! 

Such a beautiful color for autumn.

As many of you already know, all of the Coastal Knits patterns are offered in a nice range of sizes. The Gnarled Oak Cardigan for example is available in sizes 32"- 61.5" 

It was nice for me to see how my cardigan looks knitted up in a larger size than the sample pictured in the book. I think it fits her perfectly and looks wonderful. Thank you Mary for letting me share your photos.

I originally planned for this sweater to be worn with 0-2" of positive ease.. but in Hannah's latest blog post, she shows how cute the cardigan is worn with negative ease as well! Check out her photos here!

For anyone interested in knitting the Gnarled Oak Cardigan from Coastal Knits, I hope you will join us for the Gnarled Oak Knit-A-Long taking place in the Coastal Knits Ravelry group!