Knit~A~Long: {January} February

I'm so excited to begin the year with a new knitting pattern!  I have so many ideas rushing through my brain that it was really hard to choose which one to start with.  I thought I'd go about this like a knitting class; start with the easy projects and challenge ourselves as the year goes on!  Hopefully, by the end of the year we will all have learned something new and had a lot of fun to boot~  

For our first project, I've created a hat and sock set, Aspen, inspired by an early summer hike through Willow River State Park.  The forest opened to a grove of striking Aspen trees striping the skyline under the afternoon sun. Written in a variety of sizes, this set would make a thoughtful baby shower gift or a lovely mama made surprise for the older kiddos!  {If you hurry and knit up the hat in the next three hours, you can call it January.  Then knit the socks later, and call them February!}

Available through Ravelry for $6.50

{Sorry, this pattern is no longer available for purchase.}

I hope you enjoy, and I look forward to a year of knitting adventures with all of you!  Feel free to leave a link in the comments to your finished work or post a photo on ravelry.  You can find me under the username sittingtree!

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A Sweet Duet

Two boys and their very first solo cake ~ a sweet duet.

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Upcycled/Recycled T~Shirt Tutorial #2: Underwear

I don't know if you've ever noticed but in most of the pictures of my boys, they aren't wearing anything but their underwear.  Mike and I thought this would be a phase that would pass, however, after three years and many pairs of underwear later, it has become their primary wardrobe.  They get dressed only to leave the house {this is Wisconsin, in January, after all} and the minute they come back in, everything gets stripped back off again.

In a crazy upcycling ~ brainstorming session one night, Mike came up with the idea to make the boys some underwear out of t-shirts, and they LOVE them!

I used Katrina's Sew Quick Pattern and chose the appropriate size.  I used the XXXL for my 8 year old and the XXL for my 5 year old.

1 men's large size t-shirt left over from Tutorial #1.

My 8 year old has requested elastic in the waistband, but other than that he says they have good coverage and the leg bands are very comfortable!

Here's a few other free underwear patterns for the whole family:

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Gaming by lamplight

Late night gaming by lamplight, waiting for Dad to make his way home from work.

Only Cole and I made it through the wee hours of the night, until the lock clicked quietly in the front door.  A special treat indeed, for both of us. 

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Upcycled/Recycled T~Shirt Tutorial #1: Lavender Sachets

I made some goals.  I gathered up a years worth of cotton t~shirts from the five of us (Yes, it's a lot.  My husband gets a new set for work about once a month.)  I created a weekly upcycled t~shirt tutorial series.  

They smell so good and you can use them for all sorts of things like protecting your woolens from pesky moths, reusable dryer sheets, soothing and calming air freshener for the nursery, bathroom, car, or smelly 14 year old boy's room!  Tie them up with a beautiful ribbon and they'd make a thoughtful, all natural hostess gift, baby shower gift, or {gasp} handmade holiday gifts for next year!  

I'd love to see your upcycled sachet creations, so please feel free to leave a link in the comments of your own photos!

Wondering what to do with the rest of the t~shirt, you ask??  Make sure to stop back next week for the next tutorial series~

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Binding off and Casting on

Many projects have been on and off my needles this week...
First I finished a pair of mittens for a special man who likes to ride his bike to work in the snow...

And then something special, just for me...  My friend and I signed up for a biweekly knit~a~long at our local yarn shop and have cast on for the Clockwork Scarf, by Stephen West.  The first few rows are a bit finicky and I hate having to use stitch markers, but once you get past the base, you can ditch the little devils!  The gorgeous merino from Jitterbug also helps to make up for the monotony of all those tiny stitches~

I'm so excited to tell you that I've almost finished this month's newest pattern!!  It's called Jasper and involves a few cables...  yes, that's all I'm going to tell you.  For now.  More to come in the next few weeks. 
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A year of knitting...

In trying to keep up with my goals of creating new knitting patterns for the shop this year, I'm thinking a monthly knit~a~long might be in order!!  One pattern a month (doable, right?!) and we can all share our pictures on a flicker group.  What do you think?  I'm thinking hats, socks, small stuff... but I'd love to know if you're up for something larger like vests, sweaters, jackets, etc.

Here's my first pattern of the year, Kendall ~ The Basic Slouchy Hat.  I wrote about it here a while back.

I'll post the first knit~a~long pattern on January 31st.
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Road trip...

Only day three into the new year and I'm already excited at the possibilities ahead.  We finally have a new (well, new to us) car after a month of being stranded at home, so of course a road trip was in order this weekend!  Two hours north, we just may have found THE land for our new homestead.  It's in our price range, it's next to a lake, it's mostly high land, and we discovered a small clearing in the middle where only two or three trees would need to be cleared to build the house.   
(I think it's a requirement of 8 year olds to make funny faces in family pictures!)

Checking out the climbing trees ~ They could make or break the deal!

Long private trail that runs through the edge of the property.

Impatiently, we wait for Spring to walk the land again without snow, but keep your fingers crossed that we'll be adding land prep and pouring a foundation to our list of plans this year! 

Wishing you a wonderful week~

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Happy New Year ~ 2011

“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art.  Write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.” ~ Neil Gaiman

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