More Critters

September 13, 2014 at 12:04 am | Posted in gifts, projects | Leave a comment
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After I made the rat and the bear, I made a hippo, a different bear, a turtle, a beetle, and two hedgehogs. Knitting animals is super fun! All of the animals are now living with my nephew, except one of the hedgehogs, which I gave to my aunt. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the second hedgehog, but maybe my sister can get a picture of my nephew playing with it.

Next I am going to make this cat: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/the-nursery-cat, probably to send to my grandmother.

But right now I am taking a break from animals to work on a few shawls, plus a special project for a wedding present.

Here is a shawl that I finished while I was on vacation a few weeks ago, and I just wore it for the first time today because it was perfect weather for a fashionable cotton neck-wrap! I totally love how this turned out, and I look forward to wearing it frequently.

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It was made from this pattern, with a few minor modifications. The yarn is reclaimed from a thrift store sweater that I dyed purple before unraveling.

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critters

July 21, 2014 at 6:50 pm | Posted in projects | Leave a comment
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I have found a new obsession for the summer of 2014. Knitted animals!

I made a bear:

And I made a rat:

And now I am working on a hippo, with plans to make another bear from a different pattern, and maybe another rat from this same pattern, and I also found some interesting-looking patterns for sea creatures–a leafy sea dragon and a prawn. And also a dragonfly. And a toad. And….

There is so much knitting to be done and so little time!

update on Mrs. Bale

May 3, 2014 at 9:17 am | Posted in projects, sewing | 2 Comments
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After an extensive search of the Ravelry pattern database, I found two scarf patterns that I like and that I think are similar to the lace of Mrs. Bale’s sweater. So I am making one of each!

Mrs. Bale #1 is from this pattern (with a few modifications): http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/best-friend-scarf. I am using some bright golden yellow linen thread that I got for Christmas.

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Mrs. Bale #2 is from this pattern: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/manchester-scarf. I am knitting it with a collection of wool scraps that I had been saving to dye, but S saw them together and said she liked the colors, so I said I would make her a big fat scarf for next winter.

 

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The second pattern is shaping up to be a little more similar to the inspiring sweater, but I am happy with both of them and I can’t wait to see them when they’re all finished and blocked.

Also here are some gratuitous pictures of two zipper pouches I made recently. The lawnmower one I made for my dad’s birthday and the triangular one is completely pointless. I just wanted to use that fabric and zipper, but I didn’t plan ahead before I started sewing it, so it turned out rather imperfect. And also, what do you put into a triangular pouch?

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not quite satisfied

March 14, 2014 at 10:26 pm | Posted in projects | Leave a comment
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Well, some projects just don’t turn out as awesome as you had thought they would. I had high hopes for this knitted hood-hat, but the finished item has left me feeling rather “meh.”

You can’t know until you put something on how it is going to fit, and the fit of this hat was just a little bit off for me. I don’t like the way the earflaps hang, and I wanted the ribbed edging to be a little snugger over my forehead. I could make some modifications and try again, but I have already moved on to other creations.

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My brother thought it was funny. Here he is modeling correct and incorrect methods of wearing it:

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I guess I shall post it on facebook and see if anyone else wants to try it. The colors are nice and it is very warm!

Two Shawls

February 28, 2014 at 2:09 am | Posted in projects | 1 Comment
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It has been a very cold winter here in Vermont and I am feeling pretty ready for it to be over! But at least I can make warm knitted garments to make the cold a little more bearable. Here are two shawls that I finished recently. They’re both made from old sweaters that I unraveled.

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The first one is a VERY old ufo that I finally finished. Amazing! I think I originally started it seven years ago, maybe even closer to eight. I have always loved the yarn, it has an interesting thick and thin texture with little slubs here and there. It started out all a sort of muted red and I over-dyed sections of it each a different color. The reasons it took me so long to finish the darn thing are: A) The yarn is thin and there was a lot of it, so knitting it was slow going compared to the chunky yarn that I use a lot of the time and B) I wasn’t thinking when I started the project and I just started knitting in garter stitch, which I do like the look of, but it is really monotonous. So I got bored and stuffed the project away in storage. But now it is rediscovered and FINISHED! Yay! And I am really happy with the completed product. It is huge and the colors are lovely. I even bought a shawl pin to wear it with. I’ve never had a shawl pin before.

Shawl number two, the pink and black one, doesn’t have nearly as long a history. Well, the yarn might have some history, I don’t remember when I acquired it, just that it was from an unraveled sweater. It’s honestly a little strange to me that I had this yarn in my stash because I really don’t like that shade of pink. But it is a nice soft cotton, at least, which is why I selected it to make a wrap with. This project had one single purpose: to be something easy to knit while I am at work answering phones. I picked out this pattern: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/sueno-lace-wrap because it is pretty but also really simple. You only have to count to three, and there are only two different rows to repeat, just the pattern row and then a purl row. Super simple. Even so, I did mess up a little on the first inch or so because I misread the instructions but I just kept on going and the mistake isn’t very noticeable. I would have liked to make it a little longer, but I ran out of yarn, so that was that. But it turned out to be just the right size to drape over your shoulders and I added a button to hold it in place.

Here’s my chair modeling it for us:

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This will be the first project to test my new policy of rehoming orphan finished projects to whoever on my facebook feed wants them, as discussed in my previous post. I am sure that there are plenty of folks who do like that shade of pink, so I am hopeful that it will find a happy home. And if none of my friends are interested, I will donate it somewhere. So, happy ending either way.

And here’s another picture of the first shawl so you can see the yarn close up.

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UFO landing

October 21, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Posted in art, projects | Leave a comment
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Life is a little crazy right now! S and I have been sorting through absolutely everything we own so that we could clear out space for my brother to move into our second bedroom. We have opened up every single drawer, cupboard, or box in the entire house, and we have emptied out most of those compartments and evaluated each item inside them. We have donated a ton of stuff to thrift stores. I already brought one bag of books to the used bookstore to sell for credit, and I have six more boxes of books waiting to be gone through. We had so many scarves and hats and mittens that we filled an entire garbage bag with ones to donate, and we still have two drawers full that we elected to keep. The bedroom is empty and ready for my brother to move in tomorrow, all that’s left in there is furniture and some of his stuff that he already dropped off. If you saw my living room, you would think we were hoarders, though, because there is still a rather large untidy pile of stuff needing to be sorted! But most of it has a plan, thank goodness. We will be putting a few things into my brother’s storage unit, getting rid of a significant portion more, and the rest will find a home in the closet or in a plastic storage bin.

It has been both stressful and really refreshing to sort through all our stuff like this. It is a thousand little decisions, what to do with each small object, each article of clothing, each book, each piece of fabric, each skein of yarn, but our closet has never looked so amazingly organized, the space under the kitchen sink is no longer a pit of despair, and we now have space for three people to sit down at our table, instead of just two!

One side effect of all of this is that we have found lots of things that were buried and forgotten about in the back of a cupboard or the bottom of a basket, and that includes a ton of unfinished knitting and crochet projects. The inevitable UFOs that every fiber artist knows all too well. So many projects get set aside because you get bored or frustrated with them, or because you started working on another project that you’re more excited about. But now, these projects are rediscovered and newly interesting. Time has erased the boredom or the frustration and inspiration can return!

So, here is a project that has been sitting unfinished for a very long time, and is now finally completed! It’s a wall-hanging made mostly from unraveled sweaters. One of the sweaters is very sentimental to me because I used to wear it all the time when S and I first started dating fourteen years ago. The sweater eventually got very ratty, but I had unraveled it and kept the yarn, and now I finally have this art on my wall where a small part of that sweater is preserved.

 

 

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taking pride in finished projects

September 17, 2013 at 1:25 am | Posted in gifts, projects | 4 Comments
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Not proud of how long it took me to get around to posting pictures, but hey. This is still awesome and I felt very accomplished when I finished it. And it is actually the first sweater that I have ever knitted! I’ve crocheted a sweater before, but never knitted one! So, here it is, the adorable creation I made for Lewis’s first birthday:

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This is the pattern I used: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/bear-tracks / http://www.redheart.com/free-patterns/pattern-correction-baby-bear-hoodie

I didn’t do the pockets from the pattern because I think they make it a little too busy. It’s cute enough with just the ears, and I felt like the pockets would detract from the overall look. Besides that, I followed the pattern and I am quite happy with the finished product. The buttons are wood.

When my aunt saw this, she asked me if I could make one in an adult size exactly like it! I said yes, but I’ll have to find a pattern. I have confidence in my knitting, but not enough in my design skills to take a baby-sized pattern and modify it for a grown-up. But I’m sure I can find a similar hooded cardigan and add ears to it.

Also, here’s another recently finished project, the latest scrapghan. I’ve lost track of what number this is.

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Cheddar of course had to help me take a picture of it. And he is sitting on my lap while I’m wrapped in the blanket right now! It’s a nice thick one because I used three strands of scrap yarn. I like using three strands because the color effect is a little more subtle and blended than it would be with just two strands. Of course, three strands also takes more yarn to get to a finished blanket, but my coworker Sara has started gifting me her scraps from her crochet projects, so at least I have a new source to feed my scrap yarn addiction!

sequence of events

June 10, 2013 at 12:04 am | Posted in projects, yarn stash | Leave a comment
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1. I had yarn left over from that cotton afghan I finished (see previous post).

2. I left the bag with said yarn in it sitting on the floor in the living room. Lazybones.

3. One of my dogs knocked my cup of coffee off the table and the bag got a little wet.

4. Luckily, the yarn itself didn’t get any coffee on it. I made a little pile of yarn on the table and put the bag into the laundry.

5. I was feeling fidgety, so I picked up the yarn and started winding it.

6. A small pile of assorted skeins became a giant ball.

7. I felt the need to knit something immediately!

8. I am making a lacy cotton shawl, perfect for summer.

 

(Projected future event: the yarns are all cotton or cotton blends, the colors are two different yellows, a red, and a peach/pink. Once I knit the entire shawl, I could dye it. Blue dye would look good combined with yellow and red and pink. Maybe I will do that.)

ufo, completed

May 22, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Posted in projects | 2 Comments
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Last post, I mentioned that I had a total of four unfinished afghan projects sitting around my house. After I wrote that, I kept thinking about it and feeling a little bad about it. So. This is the oldest one of those projects. I dug it out and finished it! Yay!

100% cotton, two strands throughout. Crochet. One strand was unraveled from a striped sweater. I combined that with a progression of white, gray, black for the main body of the blanket, which is a giant granny square. Then I made a single crochet border with yellow and one row of red.

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It turned out great, but now I am faced with my perennial problem. What do I do with it now? Keep it? We have so many blankets already. Give it to someone? But everyone I know already has at least one and probably more than one of the blankets I have made. I just love to create them and I cannot stop!

Thomas likes it:

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a crochet spiral

April 14, 2013 at 12:50 am | Posted in projects, yarn stash | 6 Comments
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I went to Goodwill on Wednesday because I happened to be nearby and I ended up shopping there for two hours!  Clearly, it was a good day for thrift shopping.  One of my finds was some cones of yarn.  Someone had donated a whole bunch of yarn on cones, the type that’s used for knitting machines.  There were tons of them, a whole shelf-full.  I looked through them for a while and eventually decided to buy just two of them, even though they were only four dollars each.  But unfortunately most of the colors were kinda ugly, and I also didn’t want to have too much to carry because I was taking the bus home.  So, after much deliberation, I decided on a fuschia and a turquoise.

And then my itchy little paws wanted to start making something with it right away, so I spend almost a whole day at work (in between phone calls) looking through patterns on ravelry trying to decide which one I wanted to try.

Here’s the one I finally settled on: http://morepjs.blogspot.com/2009/08/baby-blue-spiral-baby-blanket.html

And here are some pictures of my progress.  First it looked like a doily, and now it looks sort of like a large jellyfish, but I am confident that it will start to look like a blanket eventually.

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