Made By Michelle Relaunches

Please visit my new blog at http://www.madebymichellec.com/

Thanks for reading!

michelle

Cute Caps

While these days I mostly blog about the creations that come from my kitchen—stay tuned for my sparkly new blog and logo, which I will hopefully be unveiling next month—I’m still doing quite a bit of knitting, especially since I have a lot of pregnant women in my life right now. And I love when new moms send me pictures of their babies wearing their MBM accessories. Just the other day my cousin Heather sent me a picture of her son, Will, wearing the hat I made for him.

How cute is he?! As you can see these hats make great gifts and I am happy to make one for the babies in your life. The hats are made from Mission Falls 1824 Wool and are super soft. They’re $25 each. Email me at madebymichellec@gmail.com or leave a comment if you are interested in purchasing one.

Baby Dress

One of my first posts on MBM was about a baby dress I was making for my husband’s goddaughter, Noelle. Dresses are not a mindless knit. They take a lot of concentration, which is why I’ve been working on this project in between others. But I finally decided that if I wanted Noelle to be able to wear the dress while it still fits her, I needed to get my needles in gear. I really love this pattern, which was written by one of the women who work at my favorite yarn shop, Downtown Yarns. I knit it once before, for my friend Pam’s daughter, Julia, but this time I chose malabrigo sock yarn in eggplant. Malabrigo is hand-dyed wool and I love the subtle variations of color throughout.

Truth be told, this is only the front of the dress. I’m still working on the back panel, but just as I was about to start the neckline, I ran out of yarn and had to order more. You can get the general idea though of how it will drape.

The detailing of the bodice is done using a yarnover, P2tog, followed by an inch of seed stitch and then another yarnover row. Simple, yet stunning.

I am contemplating selling these dresses, so if you are interested, please contact me at madebymichellec@gmail.com or leave a comment here and we can discuss.

Baby Blanket and Hat Set

For the past few weeks I have been working on a baby blanket and matching hat for my cousin Heather, who is due to give birth to her first child in a few weeks. Heather’s an avid reader of this blog, so I couldn’t post pictures until after her baby shower, which was killing me a bit because I am so, so happy with how this set came out. I used Mission Falls 1824 Wool in Basil, with Pistachio, Amethyst and Damson for the stripes. The hat is made from Pistachio with Amethyst and Damson stripes. Both pieces are machine washable (key for babies!) and super soft. (Mission Falls yarns are manufactured in Canada and are an Aran weight, Merino Superwash Wool.) The blankets measure 24″ x 24″ making them the ideal size for car seats or strollers, as the baby will stay warm and look adorable in their matching blanket and hat!  I’m selling the sets for $100, in whatever color combination you choose. I can also do solid blankets, if stripes aren’t appealing. To place an order, leave a comment here or email me at madebymichellec@gmail.com.

Finished Products

I stayed indoors all day yesterday, and from the way the wind and rain were pounding against our windows, I think this was a smart decision. It also allowed me an uninterrupted block of time to finish up various projects. Below, is the completed hat that I started the other day for my cousin’s Sally baby. I love it and I hope she does too. I also made another cooking video of me baking the coffee cake I wrote about yesterday. Click here to watch it. After a brief reprieve, the rain seems to have picked up again here in New York. What’s your favorite way to spend a rainy day?

Sweet Stripes

A couple of days ago, I started a new hat for my cousin Sally’s baby, who will be born at the end of March. Sally, if you’re reading this, sorry for spoiling the surprise, but I love how the colors are blending together and I couldn’t resist writing about them. I’m making the hat large enough for the baby, whose name will be Michael, to wear next fall and winter. I began with a black brim and am creating stripes with Mission Falls 1824 Wool in Basil and Arbor. A thin black stripe in between creates a cool contrast between the colors and makes the blue really pop.

Yarn Market

When the weather warms up (it’s supposed to be 63 degrees in NYC today!) it can be hard to find the inspiration to knit. Yes, the spring temperatures make me want to find the nearest playground and plop myself down on the swings. There are few things more freeing than soaring for the sky on a swing set. But, I have two new little cousins about to be born in the next couple of months and I want to give them handmade gifts. (A, because I think people really appreciate it and B, because the thought of navigating Babies ‘R’ Us makes me want to run screaming for the nearest kid-free zone). To get myself back into a stitching frame of mind, I need look no further than my basket of yarn which is brimming with brightly hued wool. I’m starting a new hat and I love playing around with color combinations. Black with mustard and cornflower blue striping?  Oh the possibilities are endless. But first, I need to find that swing set.

The Key to Casting-On

One of the first things you’ll learn if you ever take a knitting lesson is how to cast-on stitches. You can’t knit if you don’t have a cast-on row because the yarn would have no way of attaching itself to the needle. But casting-on can be tricky, especially the Double Cast-On method, which is what I was taught when I took classes several years ago. At first I was like, I’ll never be able to do this, but once you get the hang of it, it just clicks.  A lot of people use the Single Cast-On, but I find that it doesn’t create as tight of an edge as I would like. In any case, while it can be tricky, you gotta learn how to do it. Otherwise you’ll never be able to start a project on your own. I’ve taught many a new knitter how to cast-on, and last night at knitting group, I gave my fabulous friend Sarah a quick refresher. (In addition to being a generally fantastic person, Sarah also lent me her photography skills by taking the product shots of MBM accessories that are on this blog. She also took the photos below last night).

Once Sarah felt comfortable with casting-on I taught her how to knit in the round, a technique used for knitting hats. She’s making a slouchy style cap, and though we didn’t have a pattern, I think I came up with one that will work. All in all, it was a fun evening at Jessica’s with yummy eats. (Grape leaves, dill dip and spanakopita, oh my!) The peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies were also a huge hit.  And while they may be addictive, Jess, I promise they don’t contain crack. 🙂

It’s All In the (Dress) Details

A few weeks back I wrote about a dress I was making for my husband’s goddaughter, Noelle. I’ve been slowly working on it in between projects, but now I’m trying to focus on it full force, lest Noelle turn two before she receives it. The pattern was designed by a woman named Irina who works at Downtown Yarns. She’s a seriously good knitter and the pattern is relatively easy. Making the skirt, which I am doing now, is a bit tedious with row after row of stockinette stitch. (The first time I made this dress I was so happy to have completed the front, only to realize that I still needed to knit the back. Sigh…) But the monotony is worth it. Once it’s complete, the dress drapes beautifully and will see Noelle through at least two seasons. Here’s where I’m at so far. I’m planning on working on it more tonight when our knitting group meets, although how much knitting will get done remains to be seen, what with all of the catching up and noshing to look forward to!

Below is a closeup of the hem, which gives the edge of the skirt a nice flounce.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I freelanced at Country Living a couple of years ago, I quickly became a part of their Thursday Knits group, which met (almost) every Thursday at lunchtime. Since most of the members were new knitters, it really gave me a chance to hone my “teaching” skills should I ever decide to start giving knitting lessons. Since then, some of the girls and I have banded together to form our own knitting group, and after a few month’s hiatus, we’re meeting up tomorrow night. My friend Jessica is hosting this time (Jess was my intern when I worked at Teen People, and has now grown up to be a very talented editor at This Old House, of which I am very proud) and a knitting gathering is never complete without some sugar, preferably in cookie form. I’ve been dying to try this cookie recipe I found on a wonderful blog called Brown Eyed Baker and knitting group seemed like the perfect opportunity. The cookies just came out of the oven, and oh do they look tasty. (They weren’t kidding when they warned that I wouldn’t be able to resist sampling the dough.)  Knitters: you are in for a treat!

« Older entries