A few weeks ago, I asked Silas what we should make for Papa (my dad) for his birthday. Silas said we should make him a big big ocean. Since an ocean is a little difficult to package and ship 2000 miles, I made a tiny felted ocean scene instead. It's maybe 4 by 3 inches at most. My father said they will hang it on their tree.
I am becoming increasingly familiar with sea creatures and needle felting techniques. Papa's tiny ocean was just a warm up to the big December project I'm in the middle of. I will take some pictures and talk more about this project as soon as I can...
Below, Silas helps get the tiny ocean ready to send to Wisconsin, along with a dishcloth. My parents use the other dishcloth I sent to them and requested more. This one is Diamonds in Your Dishrag, by S.M. Kahn. Much more knitting/felting to do for the Holidays...
I have been meaning to post pictures of these fingerless mitts for over a month, and I figure I better do so before I get too involved in December/holiday crafting and baking. I wanted to donate something handmade for my son's preschool auction fundraiser. I have wanted for some time now to make some felted fingerless mitts, so I made up this pattern. The body is just a basic pattern. The cabled cuffs were added on after the rest of the mitts had been felted. I am so very fond of the Arts & Crafts movement, so when doing the needle felting embellishment, I wanted my motif to be stylistically in keeping with motifs from that era: I'm kind of wishing I had a pair of these...hmm.
This is not the only felting project I've been doing as of late. I made a wee giftie for my dad's birthday, and I'm in the middle of a project for my son's December/Christmas Tree/advent thingie. Both involve sea creatures. I will share more in my next post.
Can you imagine how excited Silas and I both were last Monday when the snow began to fall? Silas was into it, because he's a kid and loves the snow: Me, because I knew I'd be able to get some pictures of him wearing his new cabled sweater in the falling snow!
This is the Robin Hood Jacket from Zoe Mellor's Adorable Knits for Tots. I've had this book for most of Silas' life and have wanted to make this jacket for several years now.
Posing for pics, before the storm: Cables and seed stitch together: you can't really go wrong. Things I did differently: First of all, this pattern calls for bulky yarn, but swatching in bulky yarn was a disaster. The sweater would have been big for me if I'd proceeded with the yarn type called for in the pattern. Instead, I went with Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride worsted. It ended up being the perfect yarn for this project. I made the body of the jacket two inches longer than called for, and also lengthened the sleeves (he's inherited my monkey arms, so a little extra length is a good thing). It appears he'll be able to wear the jacket for several years. Woo-hoo!
Instead of binding off and then sewing the top of the hood, I kept the live stitches and used Kitchener stitch to create a much flatter seam. Other than the issues with gauge, this is a wonderful pattern. Once you get the swing of it, it's quite simple. As is the case with cables, they really do most of the work for you. I don't think I've seen the end of cabled jackets. My husband wants one now too. And I think I've been meaning to make one for myself for several years now...
December is usually a big crafting month, so I'm gearing up for that. I will be posting pictures of some felted fingerless mitts I made for my son's preschool auction. After that, I've got some super secret felted objects I'm working on for Silas. Stay tuned!
For previous Halloweens, I've basically chosen Silas' costume for him. But this year, he knew what he wanted to be months in advance: a hermit crab. So, I got to work, made felted claws which are really just elongated and pointier mittens, and then crafted a hat with googly eyes. There wasn't really a lot on Ravelry or the Internet to go on in terms of patterns, particularly for the hat, so I made it up as I went along. I had all the yarn in my stash already (brown sheep lambs pride), so it was also a low cost costume.
The costume was a joint effort with my husband. He took a bike helmet (same one we used to turn Silas into a turtle his first Halloween) , and used papier mache to sculpt it into the shell you see below. This last picture was taken weeks before Halloween, when I had just finished his mitts and hat. He was very excited to be a hermit crab and would grab my hand and gently pinch it. "See mommy, I'm a nice crab!" Yes indeed.
Okay, only a month or so behind... This is the butterfly bag I made for my niece's birthday. Like all of the Lucinda Guy patterns I've done, I am quite pleased with the outcome. The bag is knit flat in two pieces and then crocheted together, giving it a picot edge. I lined the inside with some scrap material: Moving on, I turned the heal on the latest pair of socks for Drew, and then set those aside to work on Silas' Halloween costume. He wants to be a ghost hermit crab monster. Yeah. So far, I've completed one felted claw, and I have a basic plan in place for the rest. It is totally doable to have it done before the end of October, provided I don't procrastinate too much.
I wanted to whip up a birthday present for my sister while my parents were visiting, and this was the result. It's Couvercle, from Knitty, summer 08. The yarn is nothing special, but it was from my stash and was looking for a project to knit itself into. It was the right gauge, was soft and will be easy-care. It was the right yarn to do the job! Drew says I should knit one for me too :) On another note, I hit a knitting slump hard this summer. It took having a solid deadline to complete this project, plus another small gift that I will share in another post, to get me out of it. While I'm knitting again on a daily basis, this blog will most likely not see a whole lot of activity. I will share my finished projects, but that's about it.
My bathroom is probably the least favorite room of my new house. It's small, awkward, and could really stand a remodel. But that's not going to happen for...I don't know how long. In the meantime, I felt like it could stand for a hand knit touch. We still use the garter stitch bath mat, which has actually held up pretty well for the 5 or 6 years we've been using it. But I wanted something more...a hand towel perhaps. Enter the Bubble Up Towel by Susan Luni. I thought this was such an smart design. As far as I'm concerned, anyone who can use bobbles elegantly has my vote. Needless to say, I'm very happy with the result. Now, if only I had a totally remodeled bathroom to hang it in :) In a continuing effort to knit from my stash, I've started a short sleeved raglan cardi using some Wool-Ease thick n quick procured at a Rotary Auction ages ago. Not really my favorite of yarns, but the price is right and I know my bank account will thank me for my stash-busting endeavors. Anyways, you can see the newly cast-on project in my son's hands. What you can't see from this still shot is that he's about to bring the needles up to his mouth and pretend that they are slugs, yummy, delicious slugs that he just can't resist eating. Thankfully, no needles, or yarn were harmed in the making of this photograph.
Did my Paloma photo shoot last weekend... Here is the link to my project page on Ravelry, if you'd like to read about how excruciatingly long this project took me (despite how fairly straight-forward it is and the fact that each sleeve has only 4 rows).
In non-knitting news, my mom and I are getting an old White sewing machine from the 1940's up and running and we will be making drapes while she's in town. Will post about that later on...
Just finished Paloma last night. I couldn't help myself: I skipped blocking and wore it today. Kinda love it. This image was a rush shot taken before I left for work this morning. I'll take some more this weekend and will post about Paloma again...
Pictured: A corner of our living room, featuring a table that traveled down the Erie Canal with Drew's ancestors (early to mid 19th c.) and flowers from our garden.
We are all moved in, and have been for just over a month, which if you've read my other blog, is not exactly news to you. I have only been working on one knitting project since moving, and that would be Paloma from French Girl Knits (shown above). After working on this project on and off for almost a year, I am now nearly finished and am looking forward to wearing it. But Paloma isn't really what's on my mind at the moment. It is a lovely pattern and a fun knit, but it exists now as a project within a project...the house itself is the real work-in-progress. Since closing on March 18th we have torn up most of the carpets, put cork down in three rooms, replaced a broken fridge, built a raised bed and planted seeds and starts, torn out baseboard heaters, dealt with electrics, replaced two-prong with three-prong outlets, painted rooms (the living room got painted three times until we decided it was the right color), etc. We are gearing up to replace the last two non-energy efficient windows and Drew is working on making new 8 inch high baseboards. Meanwhile, 18 yards of linen arrived recently, and when my mom arrives next week, we will work on sewing drapes for the 7 enormous windows in our living and dining rooms.
All of this, along with the job and the boy, throw on top of that the unpacking and making the house homey, and you can see why my attention has strayed from the knitting a bit. But I'm not complaining. Looking into the architectural design and age of our house (craftsman/1916), Drew and I decided that we wanted to renovate and decorate with the Arts and Crafts Movement in mind. While we aren't purists, we have been looking into the sort of colors, elements, shapes, etc. used during this movement. Our future plans include Drew doing some stenciling, and me picking up another fiber-related skill --embroidery, in order to add some Arts and Crafts motifs to our home, such as this one: I will still be knitting and crocheting of course (I've got a crocheted afghan planned for our couch), but expect more house-related and potentially non-knitting posts in the future as we restore our Arts and Crafts home...
I have yet to do a proper photo shoot of Drew wearing his hoodie. With all of the craziness of our upcoming move, I'm not sure when said photo shoot will take place. But the important thing is that he is wearing it. In fact, he's worn it quite a bit. I think he knows that if he doesn't wear this sweater, there will be no more hand knit sweaters for him ever, just as there certainly will be no more hats (made two, he never wears them). It does appear, however, that he genuinely like this sweater, which makes me breath a big sigh of relief. I believe I see a cardigan in his future...
My two boys, saying "cheers" over glasses of vitamin water. A not-so-great shot, but I couldn't resist a candid picture in which they both happen to be wearing the sweaters I knit for them.
Silas thought all the hoodie needed to be complete was a bit of paint (pretend paint, thankfully).
Finally, we are at the last stage of the Hubbie Hoodie (aka the Hacky Sack Hoodie). Blocking is absolutely essential to the fit of this garment, as the gauge given in the pattern is post blocking, and quite in contrast to the pre-blocking gauge achieved when knitting. This stark difference in gauge is one of the only thing I don't like about this pattern, which is otherwise pretty cool.
I am still nervous to try it on Drew. But, it turns out that that moment will have to wait a bit longer. I forgot to cover it and the cat used if for a nap after coming in from the muddy wilds. Damn it. It will need to be cleaned and possibly re-blocked.
Pictures of the finished product, hopefully by this weekend.
...pictures of our new house! We close on March 22nd and so far, everything with the sale has gone smoothly. But it's still a hectic time, and my knitting is suffering as a result. I should have finished Drew's hoodie a while ago, but after completing the sleeves, he said he would like them to be an inch and a half longer. This was a reasonable request and easy enough to execute. I could have fixed them both that very same day. But did I? Nope. Instead, I put the sweater down and didn't knit for a week, which may be the longest I've gone without knitting, well, since I taught myself how to knit in 2002. I am going to attribute this behavior of mine to new house/first-time home buyer jitters and not judge myself too harshly. Today I ripped out the ribbing on one of the sleeves and began to add on that inch and a half. So, all is not lost, and his hoodie will be completed before we change addresses at the end of next month.
...and I'm finally posting to this blog for the first time this decade. I'm in a wee bit of a knitting lull. Drew's Hubbie Hoodie (Hackie sack hoodie from Son of a Stitch n' Bitch) really could have been done by now. It's easy-peasy, mindless knitting. But even after the holiday knitting came and went along with my excuse for not hurrying the hell up on this project, I still haven't been giving it the time it deserves. Today, Sunday, I didn't knit at all. Not on the ferry to Seattle, not at Drew's poetry reading, not in the car on the way back. Not even while watching Julie & Julia this evening. What's wrong with me? This is the perfect project for me right now too because it uses next to no brain cells and is therefore an anxiety-buster, rather than the headache-inducer a more complex project might be.
That's not to say that I haven't made any progress. I'm almost to the front pocket, and mind you, this is a top-down project so the hood is already completed. There is really no reason not to finish this project post-haste. I will let you know when that occurs, hopefully before another decade draws to a close.
As you can see, a certain toddler is my biggest (and best!) excuse for my knitting lull, though he does occasionally indulge me by letting me get a few rows in during cuddle time :)