I have been avid­ly knit­ting for about a year now…and I love it! It is so fun dis­cov­er­ing new pat­terns, deci­pher­ing them and pick­ing the yarn to use and mak­ing some­thing use­able or fun.

Lurleen the Laundry Monster..renamed to Maxine the Massage Monster for a baby gift. (Front Side)

My lat­est projects have been knit­ted “Mon­sters” and my first for­ay into gar­ments. A very dear friend is hav­ing a baby and I want­ed to make them a spe­cial hand­made gift. Her hus­band and her have become such dear friends ever since my car acci­dent in 2008. From being a “sup­port group” dur­ing our weight loss, our per­son­al train­ers, our emer­gency mas­sage ther­a­pist, bring­ing free­lance work my way and pro­mot­ing my busi­ness to their clients; they just have been tremen­dous­ly incred­i­ble. So I real­ly want­ed to make some­thing very spe­cial and unique.

First, I made them one of the “Mon­sters” out of my new favorite knit­ting book by Rebec­ca Dan­ger, “The Big Book of Knit­ted Mon­sters”. The mon­ster is Lurleen the Laun­dry Mon­ster. But, the hands remind­ed me of the thai herb balls that my friend uses in her mas­sage busi­ness. So I renamed the mon­ster “Max­ine the Mas­sage Mon­ster” in hon­or of her busi­ness (I chose the name Max­ine to be the female ver­sion of one of their dogs, “Max” who is their mas­cot for their fit­ness cen­ter.)

Baby socks, with matching beanie, with leaf applique

But I want­ed some­thing more. So I found a cute “wee leaf baby set” that con­sist­ed of a hat and match­ing socks. But, again, the gift did­n’t feel com­plete yet…

I hap­pened to stum­ble upon a basic Baby sweater vest pat­tern that had the same width of rib­bing and the same stock­inette stitch. So I used the left over yarn that I had from the mon­ster, hat and socks and cre­at­ed a match­ing set and includ­ed the leaf applique so that it would still coordinate.

Knitted baby sweater vest with applique. Finished and sewed.

The col­ors for their baby were “sea col­ors” of blues and greens. I went to my trusty local yarn shop and found per­fect col­ors for these projects (which is no sur­prise, I always find exact­ly what I need at the Dou­ble Ewe Yarn Shop. I spend so much mon­ey there, that we joke that I am pur­chas­ing “shares” in her business.)

I was a lit­tle ner­vous mak­ing the vest, but it turned out very well for my first gar­ment. To top it off, I even was mak­ing adjust­ments to the pat­tern as I went (some­things just did­n’t make some sense to me, so I changed them to things I knew). It turned out well. I even did my first real “block­ing” process to make sure the stitch­es relaxed and held there shape dur­ing wash­ing. (Block­ing is where you thor­ough­ly wet the peice and then lay it out and pin it to a spe­cif­ic shape and let it dry thoroughly.)

For more infor­ma­tion for these projects, you can check out my Rav­el­ry project page!

Next on my plate:

  • Fin­ish my Lox­ley scarf
  • Fin­ish three “Craft-it-for­ward” gifts
  • Make Amy’s socks
  • Make my cardigan/jacket

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