Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tiny scarf for charity

My church has a giving tree --- you pick an ornament, purchase the gift written on the ornament, and return it to the church. The gift goes to one of the children of a needy family in the parish. The ornament I chose said a hat, scarf, and gloves set for a 4 year old boy.

I found a hat and gloves set in navy with a pale blue stripe that were perfect, but I couldn't find a scarf. So.... I made one. I had some nice warm wool in a pale blue, and cast on 21 stitches. I knit in a mistake rib -- it looks like ribbing but there's an extra stitch so it becomes thicker than a rib, and has a nice look to it. I knit for about 2.5 feet, the bound off in pattern. Voila! A nice simple scarf for a young boy in need. :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Another market bag by Oat Couture

I paused in working on my Mythos sweater the past few days to whip up a Stow Away Shopping Bag by Oat Couture. It is by far my favorite market bag pattern and was well worth the pattern purchase, as I've made a dozen or so as gifts over the past two years. Not only does this bag expand exponentially when stuff is put inside, but when not in use, it can fold into itself like one of those parkas that you turn into the hood and snap in place. It's so cool and compact!

This time the bag is for Christine, a student and my neighbor across the street. She loves pink and purple, so off I went to Joann Fabrics last Saturday, to purchase some cotton yarn in those colors.

(Side note: I prefer to knit this pattern in cotton or linen. It just makes sense to knit a "tool" for organic living from organic fiber. I didn't always make that mental connection, so if you use Ravelry and check out some of the other market bags I've made, I used some synthetics and blended fibers. But now that I really thought about the whole purpose of these reusable bags, cotton or linen is all I use. Besides, it's good for these bags to be washable, too.)

So back to my original story, I purchased Lion Cotton in purple, and Sugar N Cream cotton in a variegated pink. I realized when I took it from the bag Sunday afternoon to start her bag that the Sugar N Cream said "Scents" on the label, because the yarn is scented like laundry sheets. Hmmm.... Novel, but a little strange. It wasn't a bad scent, but after knitting with it for an extended period of time, I got a bit tired of having that scent IN my nose all the time. I think I would pass on the "Scents" line in the future.

I decided to use the purple for the base/pocket, and the handles (which I made about 6 stitches larger than called for so Christine can put the bag over her shoulder if she wishes), and pink for the rest. But as I began the bag body, I felt rebellious and changed back to purple for a single 4-row pattern repeat, so there is now a stripe in the bag. I rather like it that way, and can imagine doing more 2-color bags in a similar fashion.

The bag itself always knits up rather quickly, which makes it the perfect project to grab when I'm feeling impatient (hahahaha) or recently unproductive. Three days after casting on, I have a bag! All that is left to do is attach the pink button to close the pocket, and tie off the yarn ends. I know it's often considered cheating, but I simply tie the loose ends into a knot (only on these market bags!). I wove in the ends on my first one, but within a dozen or so uses of the bag the ends were already slipping out (and I hadn't washed the bag yet). I don't want that to happen to someone who doesn't know what to do with ends. So I tie them; at least the recipient knows for certain that the bag won't unravel.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Warm Wooly Winter Wear

I'm working now to add some warm wool items to my Etsy website for sale. The cold is coming! Be prepared with unique knitted hats and scarves. Thanks to dawn and Dennis of dawn elizabeth photography for sharing these awesome pics showcasing my work!

Blue and beige mohair scarf

Stormy night wool hat & purple cashmerino scarf

Skittles wool hat

Purple cashmerino scarf

Monday, October 18, 2010

Rhinebeck rocked!!

My loot! :) Clockwise beginning at bottom left: handcrafted dpn needle holder, yellow/green/pink superwash merino from Sliver Moon Lake, turquoise/brown merino from Ellen's 1/2 Pint Farm, pink/red/brown/grey merino/tencel blend from Ellen's 1/2 Pint Farm, 2 skeins of harvest colored superwash merino from Persimmon Tree Farm (for a Mythos KAL with reluctantMANGO), 2 skeins of brown/pink handpainted angora/llama blend from AngoraOnline, and a skein of lightweight burgundy superwash merino sock yarn from Socks that Rock.
 An alpaca
 A tiny baby alpaca
 Angora rabbit!! So fluffy! He was at the shop where I bought my angora/llama blend yarn.
 Ravelry party - table of cupcakes. Yum!
 Jenferkel, reluctantMANGO, and I at the Rav party.
Casey, Jess, and crew giving out awesome prizes at the Rav party

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sock progress.....

One sock.... ready to knit the toe. I estimate another hour of work on it, just because it's been quite awhile since I've done a toe.

The second sock, still back at the heel. Ugh. It's not looking promising to finish. How fast do you think I can pack for my weekend at Rhinebeck, so that I can knit before work today?

Here's a pic of the sock to the toe.... gotta run and pack!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Now I remember why I prefer to knit.....

Lately I've been hit with a clean/organize bug. It's led me to pull out all my old started projects, no matter what the craft, and sort through. The ones I've acknowledged I'll never go back to, for whatever reason, I've let go; now they can't taunt me and make me feel guilty whenever I uncover them.

The ones that still have a chance, I've put into two large baskets (one for fabric, one for everything else). Every time I feel like working on a project, I've decided I have to pick from the basket. That in and of itself is difficult enough. Just last night I was updating some pictures of my FOs (knitted Finished Objects) on Ravelry (read: social networking for knitters/crocheters) and the next thing I know, I have inadvertantly found no fewer than 3 more knit projects I'm just itching to cast on! I even caught myself up in my craft room, staring at my yarn stash, debating which wool would be best for the cabled pidge I loved!

However, I shook myself out of new project reverie and headed downstairs to open my project basket for something to occupy my hands while watching the Viking/Jets game. Out came a small cross-stitch piece of a tiny teddy bear holding a stork sack --- a piece for a new baby. It's over halfway done. So I set out to make some progress.... and was quickly reminded why it is that I prefer to knit: because you can see progress! Granted, there are some knit projects that just never seem to grow (like the socks I blogged about the other day), but usually you can see something happening. On the other hand, cross-stitch grows at a painfully slow rate!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Socks.... can I finish them before Rhinebeck??

Usually projects for me to wear are set aside in favor of items to sell for Smile Creations Crafts, or for gifts for family and friends. This pair of socks is a prime example. I started them in October 2007 (three years ago!!!) while at a book signing by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. Since then I have picked them up every few months, worked an inch or two, but always had to leave them to work on other projects.

Well this time they are destined to be completed!! Knitters love wearing their own knit creations when in the company of other knitters. Wearing knit items provokes the question "did you make that?" and can be a simple way to begin conversation with a veritable stranger. Since several friends and I are traveling to Rhinebeck, NY this weekend for a HUGE wool/yarn festival (Dutchess County Sheep and Wool Festival, to be exact), I am determined to complete these socks to wear while there.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I'm back!

Yes, after a very long break in posting (during which I did quite a bit of crafting, but got very lazy about sharing with everyone), I'm back. I'm sorry to all my fans and followers who missed me in my absence. My goal is never to leave you hanging like that again!

For today I'd like to share with you pictures of the Baby Surprise Jacket I've been working on obsessively. I added a hood to this jacket (not in the original pattern) to keep the little one extra warm in the cool autumn breezes.

It's for a friend of mine, who's wife is pregnant with their first child (and due very soon). He's stationed in Iraq; I'm not even sure he'll be able to come home for the birth. I hope seeing this tiny little sweater will bring a smile to his face.