Saturday, May 31, 2008

End of Earth

We are coming to the end of the Project Spectrum 3's "earth" theme. I realized that most of crafting for this theme was also Slytherin colored. What can I say, green and silver/grey are a great combination.

PS3 Earth Crafting Mosaic

I am a little disappointed by my own turn out for this round, because I do love green and brown so much (though I am not so big on the metallics). I am not sure how much more you will see from me on the theme of "air" though either.

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Pink Sweaters

For some reason I found myself knitting not one, but two pink sweaters. This strikes me as absolutely bizarre. I am not a big fan of pink, even often avoiding it in baby items in favor of other colors. Yet the needles don't lie. 

The first is so very fluffy, but is not my favorite thing to knit.  The color is fairly bright though, and I haven't decided if I should leave this as a vest to lessen the visual impact. I am trying a sleeve now, and I will figure out what I think after a few inches.

The second sweater is just lovely to work on. It is Mind's Eye Yarns DK Merino in Ashes of Roses. The base yarn is nice and springy, but it is the color that great. I can't decide what this colorway reminds me of most. At first I was thinking strawberries, cream and caramel, but now I am thinking more about clouds at sunrise.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Long Weekend

Where did the time go? Chiquita and I headed to the shore again this weekend. We didn't spend the whole long weekend there, but we did stay long enough to prepare for the summer temperatures back home.

Monday we spent in, working on some neglected sewing projects. You will get to see the results next week though, so you can see the whole project to best effect. Curious on what we were working on? Think colonial.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Slytherin Ripple Afghan

I have an announcement. They Slytherin ripple afghan is finally done. I am so incredibly happy with it! I can't believe that this took me 9 months. It just goes to show that projects finish a whole lot more quickly when you actually work on them regularly.

Hook: J / 6.00 mm
Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver in Grey Heather and Dark Sage
Pattern: Easy Ripple Afghan

Modifications: I cast on more stitches than the pattern to have a 66" wide blanket. (Sorry I don't remember the exact number.) Although I plan to use this blanket on a twin bed I really like extra to either side so that I am not left with drafts when I roll over.

This is my second crocheted afghan (the Sampler afghan being the first), but I am so much happier with this one. It is the perfect size, not too busy, but with just enough visual interest. Plus it is in great colors. What is not to love?

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Holly Berry Socks

Today's socks are another project from swapped yarn. I only received 67 g og fingering weight, so I wanted to knit these socks toe-up to get the full yardage out of them, especially since the yarn is not machine washable to put in the memory blanket.

Although these aren't mostly green, they seem like a good Project Spectrum project with their flora color inspiration. I was a little worried that the Holly Berry colorway would strike me as too Christmas-y for year round wear, but I find I really like it. If the yarn was not long discontinued I would consider purchasing more. It makes a nice soft sock without too much pooling.

Yarn: Knit Picks Sock Garden in Holly Berries (discontinued)
Supplier: Somerville Yarn Swap
Pattern: Two At Once Toe-Up Socks
Needles: US Size 1 / 2.5 mm

I didn't actually follow the above pattern specifically, but it is the same construction method. I did these two at once, toe up with a peasant heel. I know I did a different toe, because I did my weird provisional wedge toe-thing, but the concept is essentially the same.

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Ripply Retro Socks

Wow I am totally swamped at work. I took a day off yesterday to go out to the Webs Tent Sale with two blogless, but Ravelry-enabled ladies. It was so kind of them to let me car-pool out with them, and I had lots of fun. This afternoon I need to go process a bunch of research data (yay data!), but before I do I thought I would quickly post an FO from last week. I finally finished up the Sock Madness Round 5 socks.

Pattern: Hippy Ripply Retro Socks
Yarn: Crazy4Dyeing SlenderSock in Slytherin
Supplier: HSS3 package
Needles: US Size 1 / 2.25 mm

This Sock Madness Round 5 pattern has been made available by the designer for free at the link above. Also as a PSA, they have released the Round 3 pattern as a free Ravelry download if anyone as interested.

I really liked working with this yarn. It is quite sproingy, and the yardage was quite good. Unlike many Hogwarts house colored yarns, this yarn is dyed as a variegated rather than a self-striping. A definitely winner, and I would recommend it to those in the market for Hogwarts yarns.

I have more to share later, but for now back to the data.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Slytherin Spiral Hat

I realized recently that although I own many magazines that I had never actually made anything from any of them. Well no longer! This cute hat was in the latest copy of Interweave Crochet that I picked up from Mind's Eye Yarns at the Gore Place Festival. (Speaking of which, love it! Great job Interweave.)
Pattern: Spring Spiral Hat by Chloe Nightingale
Pattern Source: Interweave Crochet, Spring 2008
Yarn: Cascade Fixation
Hook: F / 3.75 mm

I really like this hat (in Slytherin colors no less), which I had planned on something to throw on when I ran out of the house for quick errands. Chiquita loved it though and seems to have claimed it. I guess I will just have to make another one for me.

The Fixation is great to crochet, which I hadn't tried before. That is great to know, since I have a bunch of it, and it is not my favorite yarn to knit.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Owl Landed

A few weeks ago I was a little sad that I hadn't heard anything from my HSKS4 pal, but I had such fun making up the package I sent out and I got such a generous package from HSS3 that honestly it was okay. Then I got an email from Minerva Kwikspell that she was going to be my "angel" for the swap. Knowing that she herself hadn't received a package from her pal, I could not believe her largeness of spirit over the whole thing. I admit I was already planning a secret return angeling once I got her address on my package when I saw that Ravenclaw house had surprise angeled her. It could not have happened to a more deserving person.

The owl arrived yesterday, but I didn't get a chance to take photos since I slept off most of the afternoon and evening. (But I feel much better now!) Having remedied that I can now share with you how above and beyond the call of duty she went.

I am so incredibly touched by all the time and thought she put into this. Everything from the beautifully printed pattern (which is totally in my queue) to the intricately beaded book thong and stitch-markers to the "Kwikspell Konfections" was so incredibly thoughtful. This would have been amazing package from anyone, and to have been gifted such an amazing package by an angel simply blows me away with its generosity.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Exchange Bag

I had a bunch of leftover yarn from Chiquita's birthday poncho and wanted a quick crochet project idea for something to do with it. It isn't my favorite yarn by any means, but it does make a nice stiff fabric perfect for a small bag.

Pattern: Exchange Bag
Pattern Source: Happy Hooker
Yarn: Red Heart Ltd. Super Saver in Medium Purple
Supplier: Play Time Crafts
Hook: G / 4.0 mm

This was actually my first completed project from this book, which my sister had given to me last Christmas. I did modify this bag to be 2 shell repeats smaller around, but I was still surprised by how realitively little yarn this bag used up, only about 200 yards.


Thursday, May 08, 2008

Stripy BSJ

A few weeks ago when we were visiting Falathwen, I noticed that her daughter was knitting a lovely garter stitch vest in Ravenclaw colors. Something about seeing her project made me really want to cast on a Baby Surprise Jacket with stripes.

Yarn: Ella Rae Amity
Needles: US Size 10 / 6.0 mm
Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman
Buttons: Style #44334 from JHB

This is my second time knitting this pattern, but the first one was without stripes. Although last time I had seamed up the top of the sleeves with a crocheted slip stitch seam, this time I did a regular sewn seem, which I am a lot happier with. It is has a little less body and better suits the squishiness of the garter stitch.

The yarn is a worsted wool/acrylic blend that I picked up at the Somerville Yarn Swap. The finished size of a BSJ depends on the yarn weight used, and since this in a worsted weight it looks to be toddler sized, which should be just about right for my niece next winter.

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Partway Through

Although I am often guilty of having several projects partially done, usually I only work on 1-2 projects per craft in a week. I finished the thumb of the the baby Latvian mitten, but I haven't cast on the second one yet. In fact I haven't decided if I will, or if this first one will just going to become a Christmas decoration. I did enjoy the process, but I don't know if they will fit anyone I know who might want baby stranded mittens. Feel free to chime in.

I am still knitting the Round 5 Sock Madness socks. I like them, but I find myself dreaming of stockinette. Since they are toe-up I could stop anytime, but I do like a longer cuff and have plenty of yarn. Right now there is only 4" of cuff.

The crocheted bag is a quick crochet pattern that I am really enjoying. The yarn was leftover from Chiquita's birthday poncho. It is funny, but yucky acrylics that I wouldn't knit, I will crochet with no problem. I guess I should do that to use up the rest of the cheap acrylic in my stash.

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008


I put this ATC in the mail a week ago, but then I realized that I had never posted about it here. April's prompt for the Creative Mom Podcast Artist Trading Card Swap was "listen."

2B pencil on cardstock

Some cards I really struggle with how I want to do them. What medium should I use? What should I make? How should I lay it out? From the time the theme was announced I knew exactly what this one would look like.

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Monday, May 05, 2008

Community Art Show

Warning: photo-heavy post ahead. Recently Chiquita's school held their annual community art show. Every year I am completely blown away by the talent of all the kids, parents, and staff at this school. This year was no exception.

There was a surprising amount of work in clay, which I thought was really cool. I loved that there was so many pieces at all different levels of experience. This little dragon in particular I thought was super spunky.

And this snake was really neat too. I'm sorry that this photo doesn't show the texture better, because it was such an interesting combination of smoothness with minor dimpling mimicking the scales.

There were wonderful paintings in acrylic, like this incredibly peaceful one:

And more in watercolor, like this quirky iguana:

There were several paper sculptures made from origami, like this beach scene:

They didn't stop on the small scale though. This model of the titanic, made mostly of paper with some plastic and wood, was over 4" long.

There was even some collage work, like these two images of tulips made entirely from greeting cards. What a great idea of how to use these!

I saw more fabric work than last year, perhaps because of the popularity of Laura's Sewing School. I saw a few mini quilts in addition to Chiquita's blueberry skirt that we submitted to the show.

I think my project next year will be knit or crocheted though. There were not many pieces of these types. The major exception was this whimsical crocheted trout by the local artist, Mara Bradford that I absolutely love. Free-form crochet is so amazing.

Every year I walk away from this event feeling super inspired, and it so cool for the kids to see art valued this way. I am full of ideas I want to try and things I want to make now.

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Sunday, May 04, 2008

HSKS Sign-ups Open

Psst... muggles and wizards not signed up for HSKS5:
Sign-ups are still open for the latest round of the Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap. Since this is the 5th time around, the theme is centered around the 5th HP book - The Order of the Phoenix. There are only a few spots left, since each house has a maximum of 25 students. So go and check it out soon if you are interested. A warning though - it will be a very active swap. It looks to be lots of fun and is open to sock, scarf and bag knitters - not just sock knitters!

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Merry May

Last year today I was visiting the Keukenhof for May Day, which was wonderful, but I admit to being a little sad at having missed this wonderful Cambridge tradition.

This year Chiquita and I were up bright and early for the start of May. We made it to the Charles just in time for the sun-rise. We had made garlands to wear from silk flowers, copper wire, and trailing ribbons. I was amused that I just happened to everything in my craft stash to make these.

There was of course a maypole:

And morris dancers:

Lots of music, dancing, and fun in general abounded. All that, and we still got to school on time. Merry May everyone!