WIP Wednesday: Lipstick Granny Ripple 

For this weeks installment of work in progress Wednesday, I’m featuring my Lipstick Granny Ripple blanket. I started crocheting this blanket last year as a side project for myself to work on between my shop orders. With the rush of Christmas and birth of my second daughter in February, it got pushed aside into a closet. But as April 20 approaches, I wanted to finally finish this blanket that’s been 9 years in the making. 

The reason why April 20 is significant to me is because that is the day my sister Heather died 8 years ago. I had originally started knitting a blanket for her with this yarn to give her for what would end up being her last Christmas, but unfortunately I never finished it in time. The project sat in a bag for many years and several moves before last year I finally decided to repurpose the yarn into a different blanket for myself. The original pattern I picked wasn’t a good fit for this yarn, but for 6 years I didn’t have the heart to undo my work, even if it never made it to my sister. 

Now as the 8th anniversary approaches, I have a strong desire to finally finish this blanket so I can wrap it around my two babies. It’s sad they never got to meet their Aunt Missy, but there are traces of her everywhere in our house. 

The Lipstick Granny Ripple will be just one more memory to add to our family and remember the one who isn’t here. Working on a yarn project has always been a way for me to cope with hard things in my life, so it seemed appropriate to work on such a special blanket this time of year. Someday I hope to tell my girls about the story behind this blanket as they pull it out to play with and cuddle under year after year. We love you Heather, forever in our hearts! 

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Photo Friday: A Late 30

 I forgot to post a few weeks ago that I officially turned 30. It’s weird to think that this is my actual age, when sometimes I feel like I am still 23. It’s amazing how much my life has changed and how much has happened in the last decade. The morning of my birthday I was awake early before my daughter got up, and I decided to start the day with some Bible journaling. Psalm 30:5 “…weeping may tarry for the night but JOY comes with the morning.” It would be easy to dwell on all the bad things that happened in my twenties and be fearful about the future, but this verse was a great reminder that with God there is always joy to be found. Only He can bring the type of joy that “turns mourning into dancing.” God has brought me a long way, and He is always there for me, so I am happy to say I have lived 30 years of life!

Ombré watercolor in purple, owl stamps, flower washi tape, and heart tab. All my favorite sort of things.

An Update

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Wow, it has been a long time since I have written a post, but I have had a very good reason: my husband and I welcomed our first daughter, Elinor Sadie on August 10th, and I have been adjusting to my new role of mommy.

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Ellie came two weeks early, and was itty bitty for awhile, not even fitting into a “newborn” hat I knit for her. Now she is three months old, and I can’t believe how much she has grown!

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As you can see from the pictures above, my little girl has no shortage of handmade items in her life. I have slowly been getting back into crafting, and just now feel as though I am nearly back up to my usual speed, especially since Ellie has finally outgrown her colic and has a regular naptime and bedtime. I have been taking orders, mainly for Elsa and Anna hats (available here), and I will be participating in my first ever Craft Fair on December 6th (more details on my Facebook page here). Now we’ll see if I can get back into blogging.

Vintage Circus Nursery

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Yesterday my husband and I put together the crib for our little girl, which means the nursery is now complete! I’ve been working on putting together this Vintage Circus Nursery since the beginning of this pregnancy, so I’m excited to share the official reveal.

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My main inspiration was a clown and circus animal mobile that my Grandma crocheted for my nursery when I was a baby, and I was thrilled to be able to use it for my baby.

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In the first trimester I got into an embroidery kick and made these two hoops. The designs are freehand and now hang above the crib with some other hoops with colorful fabric.

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The quilt hanging above the chair was hand-quilted by my great-grandma, and even has a few scraps included that have happy little clowns on them. I love that I was able to include handmade items from 4 generations of women in my family.

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I had leftover yarn from the rainbow blanket, so I was able to wrap the wooden letters with yarn and make the granny square bunting that hangs above the shelves that hold books and toys from my childhood.

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I was able to find a vintage circus valance on Etsy to hang above the window and matched the bright primary colors I used for the rest of the nursery. And of course no nursery is complete without a handmade sock monkey.

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Lastly, the blankets displayed on the front of the crib in the first picture were crocheted by my mom (the daisy one) and myself (the pink lace one; I couldn’t just make one baby blanket for her). The pink blanket I made will be a separate post because there is a backstory.

Thanks to generous hand-me-downs from family and friends, as well as the numerous handmade items, the total cost to set up this nursery was right under $100! We can’t wait to bring our baby girl home to her vintage circus nursery.

Rainbow Baby

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I’ve been working on a very special baby blanket for a very special baby: mine! That’s right, my husband and I are expecting a baby in August. We are hopeful this is our “rainbow” baby, since I’m almost halfway done with my pregnancy and baby has been doing great so far. For those who may not know what a “rainbow baby” is, here is a great description:

“A rainbow baby is a baby that is born following a miscarriage or still birth.

In the real world, a beautiful and bright rainbow follows a storm and gives hope of things getting better. The rainbow is more appreciated having just experienced the storm in comparison.

The storm (pregnancy loss) has already happened and nothing can change that experience. Storm-clouds might still be overhead as the family continue to cope with the loss, but something colourful and bright has emerged from the darkness and misery.”

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The first handmade object I finished is this rainbow baby blanket. I wanted something bright and cheery to greet our new baby, our rainbow after the storm. We find out next week if we are having a boy or a girl, but we decided to stick with a gender neutral themed nursery, because we hope to have more than one baby someday. The theme is vintage circus inspired, so I’m using lots of bright colors and vintage handmade pieces from my grandma and great-grandma, as well as favorite books and toys from my own childhood.

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Our other big news is that we now have a furbaby: an 8 month old black lab/border collie mix named Rosie. She’s a good little dog who keeps me company during the day and seems to really like blankies (likes to chew them too). She even shows interest in crocheting by trying to take my hooks and play with yarn. I’m happy to have a new crochet buddy (wink, wink).

A Book and Some Mittens

I have another pair of finished mittens to show off. These ones should look familiar because I’ve made them before, but this time they went to my mom for her birthday. So far, I’ve been giving away Christmas gifts for the intended recipients’ birthdays instead, so I have to come up with a new plan for Christmas gifts.

 
{Strawberry Mittens by Spilly Jane
US Size 1 needles
Scrap fingering weight yarns
Mods include changing thumb pattern}

My mom has several out of state trips planned this fall and winter, so I figured she could put these to good use now rather than waiting until Christmas. When I made this pattern for myself awhile back, my mom wanted them immediately. Unfortunately, it only took me a year and a half to make her a pair for herself. Better late than never, I guess!

Besides celebrating my mom’s birthday this month, we are also celebrating the release of her first published book, My Porcelain Doll. This book is special to our whole family because it details the cancer journey of my sister and how our family fought alongside her. This week it is finally available on Amazon (My Porcelain Doll), so if you are interested, you can buy a copy now.

Leaves

The mornings are chilly when I leave my apartment for work. I keep a cardigan with me all the time now, but sadly not quite cool enough for a hand-knit one (new goal: knit a lighter-weight cardigan). The Christmas stockings I’m knitting are coming along nicely; I just wish there were more hours in the day to knit. Yesterday I was enjoying being outdoors on my lunch break, and I noticed the different green shades of the leaves on a nearby tree. Seeing the variations of color made me miss living somewhere that the leaves truly do change color; it also inspired me and now I want to make a graduating green something out of yarn. I love this time of year.

Home-Making

My roommate and I are settled into our new apartment now, and it is truly starting to feel like home, now that all the boxes are unpacked and the furniture arranged and things are actually hanging up on the walls. Since we wanted to entertain right away, it was definitely great incentive to get everything set up as quickly as possible. We haven’t even been in our apartment two weeks yet, and already we’ve had people over 3 times. I love having a place to extend hospitality and just hang out with friends.

Our spacious apartment (read: over 1200 sq feet! no joke!) is great for having people over, and great for accommodating two adult roommates (with lots of stuff, since we are well passed the teenage years). I’ve also enjoyed my opportunity to use the kitchen and bake yummy things.

 

It’s also nice to live closer to each of our workplaces. Our church (where I work as a full-time secretary) is literally less than 2 miles away, so I’m able to come home for lunch. It’s great having the flexibility to do a load of laundry or empty the dishwasher or just watch a little television (while knitting, of course) on my lunch break. And now that I’ve cut down my commute time from almost an hour a day to about 10 minutes, I’m able to squeeze in more time for yarn, even with the added task of making dinner every night.

 

And I truly underestimated how nice it would be to have 2 separate closets in my room. Clothes, etc in one, yarn in the other. My stash has never been so organized, or all in one place, and it makes me ridiculously happy.

Another thing I love about my room is that since I downsized to a twin bed, I’m able to use a quilt that my grandma and great-grandma made by hand. Growing up, my house was always very homey, so I’ve always wanted my place to feel the same way. Having plenty of handmade touches definitely does the trick.