Friday, May 09, 2014

Little Bird Proto-Ornament

Given my general lack of downtime recently, I have been searching for a potato chip like project. Let me introduce my new Tiny Stocking Ornament kit I picked up recently.

The first one I started went really quickly, although it had been so long since I worked on a cross stitch piece that I managed to forget which way to cross my stitches halfway through. Oops! I still need to sew it into a little felt backed stocking, but the stitching is done.

Photo by Catherine Wechsler

I was particularly inspired to work on this one, as we had a very friendly chickadee follow us around when we were out hiking at the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary. He came right up to us and posed for several minutes before heading off on his day.


Thursday, February 06, 2014

Ruffle Ribbon Scarf

Chiquita recently did something that she has not done in years. She requested a handknit item. She saw one of those ruffle scarves at Michaels and nonchalantly mentioned that she wouldn't mind one of those. You know, like you do when you are a teen.

I don't have a lot of brain these days. (Did I mention that I started taking graduate classes again?) Garter stitch is still within my capabilities though. And so after a day of knitting, we have this selfie:

Yarn:  Red Heart Boutique Ribbons
Yarn Supplier: Jo-Ann Fabric & Crafts
Needles: US 9 / 5.5 mm
Pattern: garter stitch, 6 sts wide

This ribbon novelty yarn is weird stuff. I knit every other space. The teen seems happy, although I am not thrilled by how the metallic threads seem to get caught easily.

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Crocheted Snowflakes

Happy Boxing Day to those who celebrate. To everyone else, happy Thursday!

Everyone tends to be busy during this winter holiday season, but this last stretch until New Years is a welcome break at least in Academia. I celebrated by taking some time for myself on the couch, crocheting a bunch of snowflakes which I have wanted to do for ages. My mom had gotten me a book of snowflake pattern ideas (two years ago?), but I hadn't managed to get far. I am super glad to have some for my tree now.

Pattern Source: 100 Snowflakes to Crochet by Caitlin Sainio
Yarn: Payette by Loops & Threads in color 07005 (icicle)
Yarn Supplier: Michaels
Hook: F or G hook (which ever was handy at the time)

One of the things that I like best about this book is that it is roughly sorted by complexity. So I feel good about handing it to an adventurous new crocheter to play with. Also the patterns are both written out and charted, so that you can use which ever method makes more sense to your brain. I love that sort of thing!

Some of the patterns were more to my taste than others, but with so many to chose choose from that was not a problem. And it is super easy to modify the patterns into new variations if you like.

#1 Barber

#2 Frost

#3 Stellar omitting long points and adding a rnd of sc

#4 Spring Snow

#5 Nevada omit round 3

Pattern: #5 Nevada 

#7 Droxtal

#9 Narbonnais

#13 Snow Mist

# 14 Sikussak

#16 Arctic Mist

About a dozen was just about right for our little tree. I didn't starch these mostly due to the time frame in which I wanted to get them on the tree. So the patterns done were chosen for approximate size and relatively little floppy/saggy-ness.

Thanks blog folk for visiting again this year. I look forward to the next one with you all. I hope that your coming year is full of opportunities for your creative spirit, people worth surrounding yourself with and just enough challenge that you appreciate your blessings.


Monday, December 16, 2013

Chistmas Bulb Wreath Tutorial

On Friday, Chiquita made a fabulous wreath with the expert guidance of Jasra. It was super simple to do, but came out fabulous. So I figured we could share as a last-minute decorating idea.

First step: bend a wire coat-hanger and untwist the top hook so that you can slide Christmas bulbs on it.

Then add Christmas bulbs on until it is pretty densly full. Then retwist the hook. (Ideally use pliers to get it nice and tight.)

Afterwards you can fine-tune with smaller bulbs glued in to hide bare patches and/or a bow on top. A glue-gun will be needed for the late-addition bulbs, but the bow can be slid over the hook.

Last step: hang it up and enjoy!

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Cabled Baby Sweater

Remember that charming young man, I was privileged to meet this past Spring? Well I am very excited to get to see him for the holidays, and given that he still had not received much in terms of handknits just for him, one was overdue. Alas it may be too small. Why do babies grow so fast?!

Yarn: J√§rbo Garn Raggi Multi in color 1548
Yarn Supplier: Mind's Eye Yarns
Needles: US 9 / 5.5 mm
Pattern:  Pembroke Vest by Kirsten Kapur (free pattern)

And now for a gratuitous picture of the buttons on top of the left shoulder. Because seriously, babies have giant heads, and it is just easier to dress them that way.

This ended up taking just over one skein of yarn. (I may have cursed a bit when I realized. Fortunately I was able to acquire more.) Given the yarn is a bit heavier than the recommended, I am hopeful that this still might fit briefly, but if not the fact that it is machine wash and dry makes it easy to pass on to someone else.

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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Germany socks

It has been quite a while since Salvbard got a new pair of socks. (Apparently the last pair was finished in February 2012, blogged in March that year.) It isn't that I hadn't started a new pair. I just kept not finishing them! At last though he has his Germany socks, which are particularly welcome with the colder weather rolling in.

I have many skeins of this yarn that I bought when it came out that Regia was going to discontinue it. Salvbard is very proud of his German heritage, as his father is a German citizen. This pair of socks took almost exactly 2 skeins, with some additional black yarn used for the heel flap and first couple of rows of the gusset to preserve the striping sequence as much as possible.

Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Sockotta in color 13 (black) & Regia Nation Color (discontinued) in color 5397 (Germany)
Yarn Supplier: Little Knits & Windsor Button (closed), respectively
Needles: US 1 / 2.25 mm
Pattern: cuff-down with heel-flap, gusset and wedge toe

The week of Thanksgiving also means that it is the anniversary of us going to the Justice of the Peace to be legally married. After four years of marriage and home-ownership together, I am just as smitten as I was when we started dating twelve years ago. I am so glad to share my life and home with you. The least I can do is make sure that your feet stay warm.

As an added bonus, we are blessed to have Salvbard's father down for Thanksgiving for the first time this year. Given how much more of this yarn I have stashed away, maybe he could use a matching pair...

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Friday, November 22, 2013


Remember a few years ago when everybody was knitting a Clapotis or three? Yeah, me too. Holy crab-cakes, we are coming up on it having been out for ten years. I have no idea how that happened.

Anywho, so it is only this past spring that I have managed to bring myself to knitting one. (Yes, I know, bad blogger.) I had several skeins that had been sitting on the shrine of precious yarns too long and it turns out this was the perfect match for the six skins (822 yards) of highly variegated kettle-dyed yarn. These were from among my final purchases at the Knitting Room, which was long ago in East Arlington.

Yarn: Mirasol Yarn Hacho in color 304
Yarn Supplier: The Knitting Room (long closed)
Needles: US 5 / 3.75 mm
Pattern: Clapotis by Kate Gilbert

The actually knitting was every bit as fantastic as has been claimed by everyone else on the internet, so I have nothing ground breaking to report there. It was perfectly mindless, with highly amusing interludes to do the dropped stitches. Good times. I increased for the end triangles until I used up one skein, knit straight until I had only one skein left, and then decreased back down to the final corner with the last skein. I didn't both alternating skeins. Other than making sure that I alternated the skeins that happened to have a slightly brighter chartreuse accent, I let the yarn do what it wanted. The combination of bias and dropped stitches hides most of the sins there.

In the spring, this was fantastic with my wool coat. In the summer I wore it as a light shawl in over-air conditioned buildings and public transport. And now that it is getting chilly again, I find that I wear it more than ever. This is absolutely my most used hand-knit that I have ever made, which is high testimony!

This last photo was taken out hiking this Fall. Have you ever noticed that knitters wear uncoordinated knitwear more than everyone else? (Also in this picture is my blue spiral hat, which Chiquita had long-abandoned and I use a lot now.) Well at least I am warm!

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