When all this Christmas craziness is over I want to get Leethal's new kit for myself. She just came out with Connect-the-dots Stitch Sets and they are so neat. And the theme of one of the sets is Cryptozoology... That's so cool!
Photo from leethal.net
She revealed one image (this unicorn) but the kit includes four other mystery images that are revealed as you embroider and connect the dots. Yes, I think that will be my after-Christmas present to myself.
The theme for Pip's meme this week was chosen by Sandra. She chose the theme "The 'Me' Wardrobe". She wants people to think about what we have in our wardrobes that we will love no matter which way fashion trends go. Something that will be kept and worn and loved from season to season and (hopefully) year to year.
Something I have in my closet that I really love is my red and white coat. My good friend Sunny gave it to me and It's really special to me. It's warm and cozy and I almost always hear a comment about it when I go out. I've been told I looked like a Christmas present and also like Mrs. Claus. Both of which really made me smile.
A few weeks ago I made a doll to donate to a local Waldorf school to be sold at their Fall Fair. I wasn't able to make it to the fair but someone did email me a photo of all the dolls together, waiting to be sold.
Do you see my little red-head girl in the front row? I heard that a little boy got her because he really liked her purple underwear. It's true!
On Friday Norel and Anna and I decided to hit the road for the day. We drove to Long Beach in Long Island (in Norel's red Mustang) and walked around on the beach. It was really cold and windy but so beautiful.
In more relevant news, I'm working on a special edition of horses (possibly a unicorn or two) made with some of my own hand-dyed yarn. I'm really excited about this.
Maybe you didn't know I knit horses? Maybe you would like to try knitting a horse yourself? Did you know I'm selling kits now? I'd love for you to check them out here and here! Christmas is coming up and I honestly think these could make great gifts either as the kit itself or the finished product.
I'm going to try to have a couple new Small Friends in the shop by this weekend. Wish me luck.
The theme for Pip's meme this week is "Wherever I lay my hat, that's my home" which was chosen by Myrtle & Eunice.
I was thinking about what I would need to bring with me if I was moving around and what makes my little apartment feel like a home. Logan and I have a collection of silly wall stuff that makes me feel really happy.
Here it is.
Each one has a story behind it but there are two items of special note:
My dad bought me the bejeweled crucifix at a yard sale in Wisconsin and the embroidered unicorn is from my mom. She wrote on the back of it in pencil. It says "Follow your dreams". She's a really nice mom.
Last night I went to the Luv-able and Hug-able show at Gallery Hanahou. This is the third year they've done this show and I think I've been to every one. It's so much fun to see what all these different people have imagined up.
I really fell in love with the work of Hine Mizushima. I took a couple photos of her awesome felt octopi. You can see more of her amazing work here. Seriously, go look at her stuff.
Just a few quick photos of some projects I'm working on.
First, some super simple mittens for my niece Olive. She's turning 3 next week! I'm so in love with her...
The yarn is Lion Brand Alpine Wool in the color Bay Leaf. I love the color. The yarn itself is... okay. Not great. I wish the twist was a bit tighter but I think these will turn out nicely. It's actually my first time knitting mittens flat (i.e. not in the round). The pattern can be found here. The only change I made was that I'm picking up four stitches when I start on the thumbs instead of decreasing one. And I went up one needle size for the body of the mittens. I think that's it...
I'm also working on these socks in Lion Brand Sock-Ease. I'm not really a sock knitter but I was at the Lion Brand Studio a couple weeks ago and I just thought the Rock Candy color way was so pretty. Then when my friend Josie came over the other night she saw what I was making and told me that she's working on socks in the same color! Hopefully some day we will be sock twins...
And lastly, this little embroidery. I wanted to make something quick and easy and this was what I came up with. A little snail with what is pretty much just the first word that popped into my head - Molasses. Logan was working on some embroidery as well. He's making a portrait of our friend Greg and it looks really cool. I'll show it to you another time.
So here it is; my first tutorial. Well, sort of a cross between a tutorial and a pattern... Anyway, I'll do my best here. I'm going to show you how to knit a circle scarf that is really basic, knits up quickly, but also looks quite chic. I also think it's a great length to be worn long to look kind of fashion-y or double wrapped for warmth. And it only takes one skein of yarn so it makes a great, inexpensive gift! With so many neat things about this scarf, how could you resist making one?
Here's what you'll need:
-1 skein Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick yarn ( I used the color Cilantro)
-Size 17 29-inch circular needles
-1 stitch marker (I just used a piece of yarn tied into a loop)
The first thing you do (as with most knitting patterns) is make a nice little slip knot.
Now you start casting on. Use a nice stretchy cast-on method. I like to use the knitting cast-on. I'll give you a description here but if you want to watch a video you can click here.
With your slip knot on the left hand needle, insert the tip of the right hand needle into the loop from the left to the right.
Hold both needles in you left hand so that you can use your right hand to wrap the yarn around the right needle from the back to the front.
Use the right hand needle to pull the yarn though.
Slip this new loop of yarn from the right needle to the left needle. Now you have two stitches cast on!
Keep going in this fashion until you have 70 stitches on the needle. Remember to cast on loosely, don't tug on the yarn.
Now switch the needles between your hands so that the needle with the working yarn is in your right hand. Place your stitch marker on the right needle.
Now it's time to get down to business! For the first row, purl all stitches. Then, when you get back around to the stitch marker, slip the marker from the left to the right needle and knit all stitches. Alternate between purl rows and knit rows until your piece measures about 6 1/2" from cast-on edge. Remove stitch marker and loosely bind off all stitches. Weave in edges and you're done!!!
I'll show you photos of my finished product tomorrow when the sun (hopefully) comes out.
Oh, circle scarves. They are all over the place right now.
Most experienced knitters can probably whip one of these up without any help. But I figure there are probably some beginner knitters out there who would like a little help... right? So I'm working on a tutorial right now to show you how to make a nice chunky circle scarf. It will be here for you on Monday so check back then!
P.S. The scarf is shown doubled in this photo. When it's just wrapped once it goes down to just around my belly button.
So, Pip over at Meet Me at Mike's has a really sweet meme called "My Place & Yours" which basically encourages people to show off little bits about where they live and create and whatnot. I've been wanting to play along for a while and this week I'm doing it. The theme this week is "That's Nice, That's Different, That's Unusual", chosen by Little Suitcase. And here I go!
Something in our apartment that I think is unusual but also very nice is the huge umm... piece of art we have in the living room.
Logan found it in the West Village and brought it home. The face of the blue person used to be a pretty lady but someone had drawn a mustache on her. So Calder just painted over her face and one leg to make her a zombie (I think). And this thing really is huge- it takes over the wall and you can see it from the street. I love it.
Something else that is unusual but not quite so nice is our poor little green chair. Are you wondering what the yellow thing underneath it is?
It's a huge cone of yarn... and it's literally holding up the chair.
We bought the chair at a stoop sale for cheap and it had already been mended a couple times. Now it's a bit of a hazard. But it's a really cozy chair so, for now, it stays.
So... I had been wanting to make these slippers for a long time. They were in issue 5 of Craft magazine and were also featured on the Craft blog a little while back. I had some purple and pink yarns (kool-aid dyed) that look really nice together so it seemed like the timing was right to finally make these super-cute slippers.
I only knit one because it actually took quite a long time and because I wanted to make sure it would all work out before I knit two of them. And it was HUGE. It was so huge that I was able to fit it on my head and convince my friend that I had knit a really weird hat (it seemed funny at the time).
We don't have a washer and dryer at our apartment so I tried felting it by hand with hot soapy water... It hardly shrank at all! In fact it's still this big.
See how big it is compared to my foot?
I guess I'll have to use a proper washing machine to really get them to felt enough. We'll see how that goes...
For now I'm just going to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and knit with... cashmere! I bought my first cashmere yarn ever and it's so so so nice. It's white and lovely and I'll post photos of what I'm making soon. I just have to be careful not to get any peanut butter on it in the meantime...
First of all, I now have hand dyed yarn in the shop. Hooray!
I have to say I really think they are so pretty... and I'll have more coming out within the next couple weeks.
I also want to tell you about something that i think is really neat:
I am very lucky to get to hang out in Central Park a few times a week (because of babysitting). It's such a beautiful place to spend time and it's especially beautiful in autumn.
So, behind the Metropolitan Museum (which is in the park) is this huge vent that blows out a ton of warm air, and the kids from the school play this game where they all get a huge arm-load of leaves and throw them on the vent at the same time.
The leaves shoot way up into the air and all the kids shout and scream and it's actually super exciting. If you're in nyc you should really try it sometime.
Here she is! I'm pretty pleased with how this little doll turned out. I hope she'll go to a little kid who will give her a lot of love.
Here she is in her little body suit (I decided to make her a body suit so I wouldn't have to make her a top and underwear). It's made out of a sock. Isn't that neat? It was so quick to sew up and I really like the cheerful color.
And here's a detail photo of her little sweater. This is the fourth project I've done with this felted sweater. I've also made two pairs of mittens and an iPod cozy, and the sweater only cost $2! And I still have a lot left! I've gotta buy more funky wool sweaters.
Right now I'm finishing up making a doll to donate to the school of the kid I babysit. She is a Waldorf-style doll and they are really fun to make but it is a lot of work. I made one last year as well and I thought I would remember more about the process this year but... I didn't. Maybe the third time will be the charm?
Here she is right before she got arms
I really like how the doll itself turned out- she's really cute! I used a different process for the hair this year, in which yarn is attached to the head using pins first and then sewn on. It's relatively quick and very sweet. I'm having trouble with her outfit though. I wanted to make a little girl but her clothes are making her look more like a middle aged woman... maybe it's my imagination. So far she has a little cap knit from remnants of some Manos del Uraguay yarn, a sweater made from a felted sweater (from a swap meet in VT), her shirt is from a cut-up sock, and her skirt is from a sleeve I cut off a dress. And she doesn't have any shoes yet. Or underwear. And it's a school rule that dolls with skirts and dresses need underwear... Tomorrow I'll post some clothing photos.
Also this week, I finished up a hat for myself. Kind of...
I used yarn I spun from some really beautiful merino/tencel blend I got from Cloudlover69 on Etsy. It's really pretty yarn and the tencel gives it a cool shine that is difficult to photograph properly. But I think I used too small needles and tried to decrease too quickly at the end because the shaping just wasn't good and it was too stiff... so i ripped it out.
And lastly I finally gave this little beanie to my niece Olive. It was knit with handspun from some lovely merino roving from Rawfish that I spun last winter. Actually that was some of my first handspun... it might have been done on the drop spindle... I've gotta start making more notes...
Look at the expression on her face. She is such a ham. I love her for it.