worth all the fuss!

Is there something in the water?! Everyone around me seems to be getting prego! It is all making my ovaries hurt a bit! Recently my BFF, who by the way is a high powered career woman that has no kids nor wants to have children, came to me to ask if I would be willing to knit two little baby boy gifts for two co-workers who's wives were due in May with their firsts. I generally don't knit for strangers, but well, it's my BFF and since she doesn't plan on having a family of her own, I guess the least I could do is make her look like a rockstar at work with adorable baby handknits! I picked a cute, quick baby cardi pattern (Baby Sophisticate), found just enough stash yarn, and got to knitting. Unfortunately, I decided that it might be fun to also look on Pinterest for ideas on wrapping it all up and maybe a small little sewing project to add to it all. OMG! I should not have done that, and while I was browsing I remembered that another close friend of mine was also having a baby boy and that it's probably better that I get started on her present as well, which I knew was going to be a Gramps Cardigan. It all kind of snowballed from there! The Gramps present got finished and put together first, so here's some lovely eye candy that was worth all the fuss...







Pattern: Gramps Cardigan
Designer: Kate Oates
Yarn: I purchased this DK yarn and hand dyed it myself.
Colorway: Charcoal
My Rav project page here
Modeled by: Lovely living room side table (bought at a discount in a boutique because of a large crack, which I think just adds to its charm).

I can't even explain to you how much I love this sweater pattern. Kate is such a talented designer! If you remember I knit the adult size for myself awhile back, and I've had the mini version in my Rav library just waiting to be knit for the perfect recipient. I did make a modification to the collar. You can find my detailed changes in my Rav project.

The DK yarn I purchased specifically for hand dyeing. It's a beautiful MCN blend in a DK to light worsted weight. Since, I didn't have the right yarn in my stash for this project, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to dye some yarn in just the color I envisioned. It turned out fab!

Now, let me give you links for everything I did in addition to the knitting and dyeing, in case you're interested. The bow ties are this super adorable tutorial I found via Pinterest! I did end up handsewing my bows instead of gluing them together and I personally think the bows are more sturdier and the backsides are more finished that way. I also made one of these cute, mini handmade envelopes to put the extra snap ends into. I did however take the template and used a copy machine to make it 75% of it's original size. The extra ends are the bow ties' snaps counterparts and are included so the mom can sew them onto other shirts or tops. I did purchase the onesies in a 5-pack at Target and split the bundle up among the three gifts.

After the sweater was knit and bow ties and snaps were sewed, I thought to myself that I REALLY needed to make the packaging unique and handmade, or the whole gift would be ruined! Down the Pinterest rabbit hole I went... I ended up combining a couple ideas. I loved this packaging the most, but thought the fabric pom pom on the end of the clothes pin was a bit girly, so I opted for a yarn pom pom which for some reason has a more "manly" feel to it in my head (probably only in my head). There was this pin, this pin, and this pin to inspire me on that. I ended up having the darnest time finding a plain box in the right size to put it all into. The shirt boxes I did find, were cheap and I didn't have time to order online or search Seattle all night and day for that matter! My solution: a $3.99 photo box from Hobby Lobby. Originally it wasn't what I was exactly looking for, but in the end I think it turned out even better than what I had in mind! Not only did the little tab in the front allow me to put my handmade with love tag in it and the index card separators add a nice touch to the inside, but it's also a sweet keepsake to store baby pictures in afterwards.

I think that's it! The yarn for the pom pom and the clothes pin I had on hand (I just painted the pin a pretty aqua), the tag I had as well and stamped with a saying I also found on Pinterest, and the wide burlap ribbon I found at Hobby Lobby while looking for the boxes. That's a dangerous place to go when shopping for only one thing, my friends! Oh yes, the pretty cylinder container on top with the flower and the last picture up above is a handmade candle that I made last week while my good knitting friend, LittleLippyEwe, stayed with me on her way up to Alaska. The flower on top of that gift is one of those handmade flowers using fire to melt the edges of a synthetic fabric and then all sewed together to make a pretty flower. I do not have a link for the candles or the flower, because the candles I kinda just read and sourced info about all over the place and the flowers I made a million years ago! What do you think? Was it all worth the fuss?!

Hugs & Stitches!


P.S. If you wanna follow me on the time suck that is Pinterest, here I am! Maybe my pins can inspire you to make crazy hand labor intensive baby shower gifts!

P.P.S If you wanna see what I'm up to on a more daily type basis, follow me on Instagram!


katherinelynn_04 said...

I honestly think that it was. I'm sure that people will be talking (and thinking) about your gift for a while. I always try to make the wrapping special, it's the little extra touch that everyone remembers when they get a gift from me.

amchart said...

I love the bow ties!!

andri. said...

Very cute sweater! The packaging looks so professional!:)

Luv2CUSmile said...

Awww... I think your BFF is going to be thrilled! Everything looks amazing and you definitely went above and beyond. Love the gramps sweater and the box actually is a perfect fit so she can actually use it to keep baby keepsakes in... like the hospital hat., name card from the hospital nursery and armband... all those "little" things that many dont think about. I still have all 5 of my kids things in their own "welcome to the world" boxes.
A very heartfelt gift from you! Gorgeous!

Maryse said...

How cute and thoughtful of you! It all looks amazing!

Andrea said...

I love this gift --handknits, onesie outfits, and packaging!!!

UmmRania said...

Its so beautiful, man I would love to be you BFF, or I guess even a friend of your BFF. Awesome job.

lincannon said...

I think that what you came up with is awesome, although I do agree Pinterest is a big time suck, but I am one of your followers on it so I can't really put it down too much. But oh the ideas are great. I didn't realize there was a Hobby Lobby in your area. That is a good hour and a half wander around. I only go to the one near me once in a while.
Love, love the onesies and the bow ties. And especially love the Cardi, they will be so perfect together. Love the yarn in the picture.

Ana - Toil and Trouble said...

Oh my goodness, HOW ADORABLE!!!

Reneelynn said...

It absolutely was worth all the work!!! Sweater was fab!! little bow ties precious! Presentation was icing on the cake!!! Your BFF is one very blessed friend ;)

Iva said...

Absolutely adorable....well done!!

Anna D. said...

Oh, My! So cute!

Amy @ Beads and Brass said...

I love the Gramps Cardigan, and your's looks fantastic! I also really love your packaging, so clever.