Posts Tagged 'craft'

Secret Projects do not make friends

Or good blogging. (See contest below!)

Man. I have been totally absent lately. There are two big reasons for this. The first is that I’m working on lots of secret stuff. And I can’t do progress shots for various reasons. I’ve got a graduation gift for the sister, a blog reader, in the works. Another present for a friend who also reads this blog. (Actually, both of these can be viewed on Ravelry for those interested). Gifting. Reason number one for boring blog death.

Reason number two? Designing.

First… I’ve got this super, awesome fantastic sock pattern that I’m designing for the Three Irish Girls new and exciting sock club. It’s a really, really great design that I’m super proud of – inspired by some of Cat Bordhi’s ideas… with a twist, of course. Hahaha. That’s funny. Anyway, so that’s a secret for a few more weeks.

And then I’ve got 2 other designs mostly worked up. One is a great anthropologie inspired scarf, and another is a non-sock pattern requiring two skeins of sock yarn (because we all have tons of that around).

Being Silly

Reason number 3 for blog death? Lack of photos. I hate blogging without photographic content. I feel it’s boring. Here’s an arbitrary photo of silliness just to add some visual interest.

And then… Of course, there’s this big project that my knitting group and I are starting to think about… and of course that has to be a secret until we get all the kinks worked out! Oh. And lets not forget that I’m going to be test knitting for both Huan-Hua and Kalani! So many secrets!


I had to get your interest somehow. Photos work. That’s like design 101.

So what can I blog about? Well… I guess two things… and we’ll make it a contest just for fun. Winner gets a custom dyed sock blank in the colors you specify (if you so wish – I can also surprise you) and a copy of my BASKE mitten pattern and maybe a few other exciting things. How can you enter this contest? In the comments below, do one of the two options (or both, in two separate comments for double the chances)!

  1. I’ve got to make some dishcloths for a wedding shower present. There is no dishcloth like the Ballband pattern and so that’s going to be the pattern I use (unless you can convince me otherwise). I have no idea about colors though. I feel like I did the rainbow thing really well last year… Name a few color combinations that would work well together.
  2. I think it’s about time for a free pattern. But what should it be? Pick one of the following options and explain why you want that one: A). A sock pattern. B). An argyle hat pattern. or C). a quilting inspired scarf pattern. In any case, I’ll document for ya’ll step by step what the design process is so that you can follow along and maybe learn a few things (keep in mind I’m no designing expert – but I do think I’m getting better).

Ps. How cool is this?

Pps.  I’ll use a random number generator to pick a winner on my favorite day of the year.

The Problem with Knitting Groups


So, I have this new knitting group. It’s pretty f’ing awesome… except for one thing. Everyone at my group always has such cool stuff… and my knitting ADD prevents me from finishing objects at a pace with which I can also brag. It seems like every week someone has something new to show off… except me. It’s really quite a problem and it makes me feel insecure. I’ve contemplated doing the whole “one project at a time” rule, but I’m just not sure if that’s realistic. So, in a bit of a fit of inspiration, I make a scarf. A rather nice scarf, actually:

two row scarf

It’s a basic scarf pattern, one you’ve seen millions of because of the inspiration of Jared of Brooklyntweed.

I liked the scarf though. It’s probably the warmest scarf I own, totally versatile (look at those colors!) and it goes great with both my corduroy and denim jackets. And it was a delight to knit. It’s one of those patterns where you keep say “oh, just two more rows” or “let me get into the purple and then I’ll stop” and then before you know it, you’re done!

Two row scarf

Specifics (I want to be lazy and just link to my ravelry page, but not everyone’s on ravelry.)

Yarn:  Lamb’s Pride Worsted in Black.  Plymouth Boku in a warm, mix of colors
Needles:  US 7s, Bamboo
Time Spent Knitting:  One weekend (started Friday night, finished Sunday night)
Pattern:  See links to Jared’s page above
Mods:  None.
Love:  Tons.  It’s definitely not the softest scarf – but it’ll definitely be something I reach for on those windy days.
Regret:  I wish I’d bought more of the Boku in that colorway.  I wanted to take advantage of the color changing and make a set of winter wear… with maybe some mittens like this.  I should know better.  Always err on the side of too much yarn.  *stupid, stupid, stupid.

Also – super kudos to the first person who can correctly NAME the part of the IU campus where I took these photos.   It actually has a name, not just “over there by that one building.”

Braids made easy!

I’m sorry. I’ve moved blogs. You can find the post you’re looking for here.
Add Braid Here

I’m honored to announce…

I had so much fun at my knitting group last night! We’re a fun bunch. Last night there was Elli, Leigh, Kalani, Huan-Hua, and Kathrina, all people who I would not know if it were not for knitting (I like being able to go and turn off my job, turn off schoolwork and turn off stress). It was great. I was working on my last bird-in-hand mitten and professing my love for the pair.

At one point, I was explaining how much I love them and that if it were possible, I would marry these mittens. Of course, someone mentioned how such ambiphilia (love having to do with mittens and gloves, a word I made up just now) was illegal in most states. *laugh. (I know, that was a bad joke.)

One little birdie

Then… I kept messing up the chart and the colorwork. I missed some increases on the thumb gusset, clearly because the company was so great. In expressing my frustration, I whined, as usual. I also exclaimed that obviously I had gotten married too soon. Then, in a bit of perfect comedic timing, Leigh piped in that we should have lived together first. It was funny. Probably in a way that only knitters can truly appreciate.

Flipping the birdies

Another reason why I like having real live knitters to talk with is because we can be crazy together (like above). Last night, we talked about how sometimes, we stay up really late because we want to finish a project. Last night, I was seriously contemplating staying up to finish the mittens – particularly because I had an 8 am meeting that I knew would involve a freezing transport to and from. But I did the math and I would have had to stay up until like 3 am… and with an early meeting, that was just not a good idea.

So, I went to my meeting. And then I came back and had 2 hours before meeting number two. So I knitted on the mittens a bit and got to the last thumb. And then I came back and had 2.5 hours before an inservice training session thing. So I knit some more. I pretty much finished the pair! And I got to wear them to my inservice thing and brag to everyone. It was great. One girl even said that I could walk into American Eagle and buy them for like 20$ (she meant that as a compliment).
Bird in Hand Mittens

The Details:

Pattern: Bird in Hand Mittens, By Kate Gilbert.
Yarn: Cascade 220 in two colors carried by my LYS that matched my jacket.
Needles: (and therefore size) – 3 aluminum
Time to knit: First one didn’t really get fair amounts of work until about 1/10/07. While it is true that I started them before christmas, Christmas knitting and some test knitting prevented me from doing anything productive on them. The second one I finished in about 4 days.
Mods: I did the braids a little different on the second mitten (much easier in fact). Look for a tutorial later today or sometime tomorrow.

Again, I’m going to be posting a “helpful” post on these mittens next, so be sure to check it out! In the meantime, now that I have some mittens, I’m now back in the knitters club.
Peek a birdie


Isn’t funny how things repeat themselves?

If you’ll remember, last year, around this time, I was cold… and I only had one sock. Now it was a nice, warm, sock, but it was only one sock, nonetheless.

This weekend, the temperatures are supposed to drop into the single digits. And while I have a kicking, fantastic bag… I don’t have any mittens. I’m on probation in the “real knitters” club…. knitters are not allowed to have cold hands…

So, I’m working on some mittens. They’re pretty!
gorgeous fair isle pattern

Isn’t it nice? No mom, you may not have them.

The pattern is the Bird in Hand Mittens from Kate Gilbert.

I’ve finished one mitten… now I need to hurry the H up and finish the other one! I’m feeling inspired by the array of mittens at Saartje Knits. I want a spread of mittens! Last night I stayed up a bit late perusing ravelry and queuing and favoriting a bunch of mitten patterns.

Here’s another photo…

Bird in Hand Palm


This is definitely the MOST bad-ass thing I’ve ever knit. Check it out:

Brea Angle

This was the first pattern in… the history of me knitting that was worth lining. If I was going to do this, I was going to do this right. And oh, how right it turned out! The knitting itself was pretty fun… the pattern grows in a real cool progression, so it’s a really fun knit. I had to re-knit the gusset (after going 1/2 way and realizing that the stitch count was supposed to increase a bit – oops!) and while it’s shorter than the pattern calls for, it’s perfectly functional. And check out the inside…

Brea Peak-A-Blue

I love it, love it, love it. I’m going out to dinner tonight and I cannot wait to bring this and get tons of compliments! You’ll notice that this bag has a nice inside… and a zipper…

Yea, I bought a sewing machine. I know, I know, kind of an expensive impulse buy – but I had some extra christmas money and its one of those things that a crafter should have… and it’s the reason why I haven’t done the steeking thing (which is the one remaining knitting technique I haven’t done – that I can think of anyway).

Brea Bag

I had some trouble with getting the sewing machine going. I kept getting the bobbin thread stuck. Luckily one of the RAs I work with has LOTS of experience with a sewing machine and since she owed me, she helped me out. I even sewed the zipper to the knit piece! I’m like a sewing fool now 🙂

I know you probably want some more details, but I wanted to give you another photo to drool at.

Brea Button

Pattern: Brea Bag a free pattern from Berroco
Designer: Norah Gaughan
Yarn: 2 hand dyed skeins of Lion Brand Lion Wool
Needles: US 7
Lining: An old skirt that I had from a few years ago
Strap: Thiefed from old Target handbag
Button: From the stash! yay for buttons!
Pattern Mods: The gusset was worked 1 stitch narrower and shorter than the pattern called for
Time: Cast-on Wednesday, Bind off and other finishing done by 4 am last night (yea, I know that was pretty late… I’ll pay for that later, I’m sure).

Want one more photo? OK!


…it’s like I’m nesting…

After knitting a TON of Christmas gifts for people (and looking at 2 other gifts I need to work on), I didn’t really want to do anything except knit stuff for myself. And since I have an apartment and all, I was feeling all domestic. See for your self. (By the way, these were all finished yesterday.)

First up, was a swiffer cozy – a la Green Mountain Mama.


I asked for a swiffer for Christmas specifically so that I could make this cozy. It has buttons! It’s environmentally friendly! It’s a twist on the Mason Dixon Ballband Dishcloth! It’s a recipe for success! I raveled it here….

The best part is that it works! Want proof?

The next thing I made was to solve a problem… when I wash dishes, I tend to get water everywhere. And by everywhere I mean… everywhere. The problem is that when my counter gets all full of water, it pools and then drains right at my feet. Obviously, this sucks. So, I had to make a rug!


Isn’t it great? Want to know how to make one of your very own?

  1. Get a pair of US 19 circular needles in long (mine were 35 inches).
  2. Collect a bunch of crap yarn that you don’t know what to do with (all feltable, no superwash for you) in colors that seem to go together.
  3. Cast on 65 ish stitches.
  4. Knit until you almost run out of yarn, then cast off.
  5. Throw in the washing machine until desired size is reached.

Easy huh? I know! And look how great it turned out:


I’m really serious about the crap yarn part. Want to know what went in mine? (I had 6 strings going.)

  • 3 balls of what remained of a sweater’s worth of brown Paton’s Merino Classic. (I broke it up to knit my dad some brown slippers for Christmas). This was the base – I had two strings of this in the blanket – but since I didn’t have 4 balls, which would have been ideal, that third ball was spun into 2 smaller balls with some random bits of other browns mixed in.
  • A big skein of random bits of matching-ish crap tied together to stripe: 3 different partial balls of knitpicks browns, about 6 yards total of yellow (split into 3 different pieces), about 6 yards of orange, and 110 yards of black.
  • a skein of knitpicks dye your own merino sock yarn – that I’d dyed into a variegated skein of blues.
  • A skein of knitpicks shadow laceweight in a maroon color balled together with a skein of alpaca laceweight (also knitpicks) in an oatmeal color.
  • A skein of Blackberry Ridge Woollen Mill lace weight (75% wool, 25% silk) in a green almost tweedy color. This was gifted to me by a secret pal…

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. Next up, some curtain tiebacks. I was inspired by a pattern in Suss Cousin’s Home knits. As you can see, the ones in her book are super cute, and have a button!


So I was inspired to make my own… I used some Berrocco Suede and look what I came up with:


I’m thrilled with the results. I got exactly two out of one ball. I LOVE how they look. They’re all elegant and functional and …. perfect. I’m sure that I’ll be able to use them for a long time. And I think the button choice is perfect.

So look at that! Three items, for me, well, my apartment anyway. It’s almost like I’m nesting or something. Next up… a baby sweater!  NO… I’m not pregnant.  The baby sweater is for my boss. And the nesting thing is just cause they were things I needed.


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Stuff on the needles – to complete, sometime.

Christmas Gifts to Finish
Mom's Sweater (the body is done)

Socks in progress...
Grandma's Socks
Koigu Scruncher
Raindrop Lace

Lace Leaves Scarf from Scarf Style
The Behemoth Log Cabin
The Swallowtail Shawl
Stupid Ugly Mitten
Felted Clogs


December 2019
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