Big and Little Sister shirts and sweaters

Well, I managed to get the girls into their Big Sister / Little Sister shirts and sweaters last week, but somehow they didn’t get into any photos in them TOGETHER…

BUT, the shirts and sweaters (and especially the girls) are cute just the same.

Here’s Olive in her outfit:
Olive in her knit set

little sockie

little sister

…and here’s Mazie in hers (with Nate’s mom):
grandma j and big sister

The yarns are all Lorna’s Laces swirl. Olive’s is DK and Mazie’s is chunky. I’ve had lots of requests for the patterns, but as yet haven’t had a chance to write them. It’s on my to do list, though! So far the most complex task I’ve managed is showering. A c-section, a newborn, and a toddler will do that!

I’m also receiving several emails and Ravelry pms a week requesting an upsized version of the whirligig shrugWhirligig Shrug that I designed for the recent IK Weekend issue. I’ve requested permission from IK to create a version of the pattern with expanded sizing, and will let you know when it’s ok to release it. For now, though, it’s also been relegated to “The List.”

We're home from the hospital!

Olive in the hospital

Olive Beatrice Japel was born on February 15, 2010 at 8:14 am.
Weight: 7 lbs, 6 oz
Height: 20 inches

She has red hair and brown eyes and is just perfect! Click on any of these pics to go to the Flickr photoset.

Olive has hair

Mazie reading to Olive

Mazie is really interested in Olive and tells her “I love you” and gives her kisses, brings her toys, and reads to her! I couldn’t be happier with how the girls are getting along! I’m so amazed at how Mazie is just rolling with this…she really is excited to be a big sister and seems to totally understand what’s going on. (WHEW!)

Nathan’s parents are in town for a month to help out, and it’s been great having them! Mazie is really over the top with happiness right now! She gets to go to the circus tomorrow…what a lucky girl!

Design Your Own Shawl Class: Two Student FOs

In my online “Design Your Own Shawl” class, I guide the students through the shawl design process, give them the basic structure, tools to create their patterns and charts, and they do the designing themselves. Each student ends up with a complete pattern.

This one is by Jennifer Hansen of Knitting Like Crazy blog fame. (Here’s her shawl blog post.) Jen’s shawl came out beautifully! I love the way that her stitch patterns work together and create a wonderful flow from top to bottom.

Here’s a closeup of Jen’s border stitch pattern:
jen_hansen_fo2.jpg I just love it! I can't tell you how cool it is to see such a wonderful, professional finished student project!

The second FO from class is by Gina Kanouse, who writes the awesome Brownie Knits blog. (Here are her shawl blog posts 1, 2.)

Gina’s shawl is a real standout, in that Gina used just one stitch pattern, but she used it so effectively! It’s just strikingly beautiful.

Gina Kanouse FO1

Gina Kanouse FO2

Gina’s pattern is already available in her Etsy shop!
Gina teaches classes at Stitches and Scones in Westfield, IN, and will be teaching several upcoming classes on her “Gina Shawl!”

Go Gina!

And, here are Mazie and I with “our” finished shawlette from class:
Mazie and me
It’s both of ours, because she definitely made appearances in this class! Mazie is a great helper, with blocking, making videos, and just all-around making things interesting.

You’ll see several more finished projects from this class! We are all working at different paces, and doing different things with varying levels of difficulty…so the FO photos will keep trickling in. I’m SO impressed with my students!

Here are just a few student reviews of the class:

From Paula: The class is superb. It is giving me the skills I need to share and possibly sell my patterns. Each step of the process is carefully outlined. The videos and handouts have been right on target. Stefanie has done a great job of simplifying a complicated process. I highly recommend the class to anyone interested in designing and marketing patterns.

From Gina: The Design Your Own Shawl class was fabulous! The videos and handouts are highly informative, and Stefanie was supportive and encouraging throughout the process. The inspiration provided by the class, instructor, and other students will leave your head spinning with new ideas and you will LOVE it. I left this class with a pattern in hand, a design I adore, and lots of new friends. I will be taking many more classes from Stefanie via the site.

From Stephanie: It has been an awesome class. I would keep telling my friends that I was taking an on-line shawl design class and they really couldn’t understand my enthusiasm. I spent hours and hours pouring over stitch books and lace patterns. I even had my sock pattern books out for patttern inspiration. But after lots of swatching and thnking and learning, I closed all the books up and charted out my own design using the free KnitChart software that Stefanie linked us to. The whole class was well organized with lots of hand-outs and videos. We had scheduled chats each week. I am hoping to take my design and make it in several weights of yarn. I know each one will be different. I am sort of a production person. I was even thinking tonight that it would make a great blanket knitted in the round. And an easy top-down raglan also! I now have more new internet knitting friends. I will be checking their blogs and web-sites to keep in touch. Thanks again Stefanie. Can’t really believe your will be having your second child in less than 2 weeks. Keep us posted.

From Judy: This is my 3rd on-line class with Stefanie and I’ve loved it! I’ve learned a lot about combining stitch patterns that I can envision using in other projects besides shawls. I’ve also simply learned how to build on my skills! Designing for me has always been intimidating as I consider myself mainly “left-brained”; but I’ve learned that this process can be logical, too. So, this class has helped me be a more fearless knitter and I commend Stefanie for that aspect of it. As always, her classes are exciting and interactive (live chats, forums), informative (handouts), and very visual (videos). I always feel like I’m being welcomed into Stefanie’s home during her videos and I just love that her little daughter Mazie makes an appearance once in awhile. The whole experience besides being informative, is also very personal and friendly, and as a knitter I really value that. I look forward to more classes, Stefanie!

I'm officially on Maternity Leave!

Well, as much on leave as one can be while working from home, any way! I’ve just finished teaching two online classes to two wonderful groups of people. The Shawl Designers are finishing up their projects and getting patterns written and edited, and the “Fit your Knits” students are transforming any pattern you can think of into custom-fit knits! It was a really great month, thank you to all of my awesome students!

I’ll be posting the new spring schedule of classes in a couple of weeks. I want to make sure that we all settle back into daily life smoothly once Olive comes home from the hospital before setting all of the class dates. In the meantime, I’ve got two ongoing self-guided classes (UPcycled Tshirt Yarn Class and Fitted Raglan Shawl Class) that you can sign up for at any time.

Our new baby (who we have named Olive Beatrice) will be delivered on the 15th! SO we have exactly a week to nest and get everything all ready for her.
Here’s a little peek at some of what I’ve been working on:

I finished the Black and White quilt top:
Black and white quilt top

…and I”ve been making a few “Sisters” projects, too. Here are two little sweaters. I made the tiny one a few weeks ago, and recently finished a Big Sister one for Mazie. I love that the sweaters are similar but not identical…they share some traits but not all. And neither is overly saccharine / girly. I’d wear eitherone of these if it was in my size. (I contemplated making a Mom version, but would that be too much?)

The sister sweaters together

Both are Lorna’s Laces Swirl, one is Chunky and one is DK. Both are from Jimmy Beans .

A sweater for Mazie

I also made the girls matching tees:
Sister Tees

And even Daddy is doing a little last-minute nesting:
Coat of Paint!

…there are still some rooms that we’d meant to paint when we moved in, and that we KNOW we won’t get to for several months if we wait to do it. SO…he’s painting realllyquick this week.

A teensy bit more nesting…

I scraped some time together this weekend to do a little bit more nesting.

I worked on my black and white quilt:
(mostly) black and white quilt

And made a clutter-hider curtain for my studio closet:
Clutter-hider curtain

And a valance for the window:
Little Valance

There’s so much more I’d like to do, if it wasn’t for work and sleepiness. Trying to get a few last-minute patterns written and samples knit in these last few days. All of the sewing is late-night / early morning pregnancy insomnia crafting. It’s really strange: I’m tired all day, and then at about 10pm I totally wake up and can’t get comfortable and end up at the sewing machine. I don’t really have the brainpower at that time for math (pattern writing) but I can stitch straight lines!

And look…it’s 1:45 am right NOW and I didn’t even realize it!