Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Mason Dixon Washcloth/Dishcloth

From "Mason Dixon Knitting", by Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne. These two ladies are so funny, and their books are full of lovely patterns and inspirations.

I had a skein of Lily's Sugar n' Cream cotton worsted, so I took an idea from their book - the washcloth - and inserted a locally, homemade soap in it, tied up with ribbon. A tidy little parcel gift.

Right side:

Wrong side:

Insert soap and ribbon:

Tidy tidy!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Did another Tiny Owl Knits Cowl

Like my needles? Yes those are corks on the ends. I needed size 7 for gauge and I didn't have any straights, so I pulled out my DPN's and corked them. I had tried using the DPN's straight up but the cowl is wide enough that it kept falling off the ends. Thankfully the corks did the trick!

I'm guessing needle point holders would work the same way - ? But I don't have any.

In progress...

Another lovely skein of Manos del Uruguay....



Hot water bottle cover

Oh how I love Misti Alpaca Chunky! So soft and squishy and warm. "Buttery soft" is how Yarnmarket describes it. If you've never sunk your hands into a skein of Misti Alpaca Chunky, you're really missing out on something good. Perfect for a hot water bottle cover for my neighbor.

I had some in my stash. I'm not sure how much I used but it was more than one skein. Maybe about 1 1/2 skeins.

I found the free patten here. Very easy. I knitted an i-cord (nice how-to video here on youtube) for the tie instead of a crocheted chain.

I didn't completely sew up the bottom seam in case her bottle has that little tab at the bottom like mine does. The bottom seam was done in overcast stitch on the right side. I had a little trouble with keeping the beginning and the end consistent. One corner is kinda rounded, the other kinda pointy. It bothers me but I couldn't seem to re-shape it. I suppose blocking would do the trick, but I really don't have the time. I seriously doubt anyone will notice except me.

It is SO SOFT! I wish i could show you in squish-o-vision.

I've only got a few more things to make for the holiday, and I'm running on schedule. This Christmas has been the biggest handmade Christmas ever for me, and I'm really feeling pretty good about it. Go handmade!

Monday, December 19, 2011

One fulled pot rest coming right up!

Another Christmas gift to chalk off my list!

I wanted to make a nice fulled (we often misuse the term and say "felted") pot rest/pot holder for my dad.

I knitted garter stitch one 12 x 12 square of Manos del Uruguay (gorgeous!!!!!) wool yarn. Color: Eclipse. Size 10 1/2 needles. 40 stitches across and kept going until 12" long. I didn't use up an entire skein. I'm guessing I used 3/4 of it.

After washing 3 times in a pillowcase (hot water with soap, side-loading washer) along with tennis balls and my regular laundry, all the stitches were closed up tight, all the woolen fibers nice and locked together. Aaaaahhh, I LERVE wool! The final dimensions were 9" wide by 8 1/2" long.

Here is the remainder of the ball along with the post-fulled pot rest. See how lovely the colors blended together? Very painterly. The yarn is heavy worsted weight, but you can see that is is thicker in some parts, thinner in others. I do like that, but of course, once you full it, you don't see that difference anymore.

I'm blocking it because I'd rather it be a bit more symmetrical. I do like the 'organic' look, but for this gift, I'd rather it be more squared off.

(Look at those pins! I'm a messy blocker. But it gets the job done!)

Who's paw is that?

I love how cats talk with their ears.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Tiny Owl Knits Bedknobs and Broomsticks Cowl

Not sure if you know of TINY OWL KNITS but if you don't, I highly suggest you check her out. She's got the loveliest patterns and is oh-so-sweet.

Here is my rendition of her "Bedknobs and Broomsticks Cowl"

It is knitted flat, and joined when finishing. This is how it looked before I joined the seams - with the mattress stitch, which was new to me and a really tidy way of joining:

This is how it looked when I finished it. Also, this is why I don't take pictures after dark. My camera STINKS!! Please ignore the overexposure and look at the lovely pattern:

I love the microbobbles! They're so bobbly! I like how the pattern alternates between bars and bobbles.

Made with one skein of Jiffy by Lion Brand, color: El Paso. Acrylic- very warm and good for those who find wool uncomfortable on the skin.

A very nice gift and a very fun project to knit. :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Mom's Christmas Gift

I finished the cable scarf a couple weeks ago, but it got set aside for some well-needed blocking. I've actually never had to block anything before, so I was dragging my feet. I had to buy some stainless steel pins first, too. Well a couple days ago I soaked the scarf gently in warm water, rolled it up several times in a towel, and then pinned it out onto a mattress. I would not go through all this extra stuff if I didn't need to ("finishing" items is not my favorite part), but the cabling had scrunched the scarf up so much into itself, that the beauty of the cables were hidden. I wish I took a photo to show you the "before", but I forgot.

Anyways, I unpinned it this morning and it looks really good. Here is the "after":

The blocking made a world of a difference. It has a professional look now, and a beautiful drape. I have grown very fond of cables, and look forward to more cabled projects. Indeed, it is not as complicated as I had imagined it would be.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

You have to be careful who you knit for.

That's the thought I've come up with after much ruminating this morning after a knitting/giving/donating fiasco that left me feeling very hurt and unappreciated.

Perhaps other knitters, crocheters, etc., that may come across this post can tell me how they deal with this sort of thing. I take knitting very seriously when I am crafting a gift for someone. I put a lot into it, as I believe one should. It's like cooking a wonderful  meal for company - it's personal, it's a little piece of yourself, a caring and giving sort of thing.

I've had a busy week and maybe I'm over-sensitive right now because I'm very tired. This is what happened: I stopped by my library last week, to return some knitting books. The librarian excitedly suggested I knit something for the silent auction, and she gestured to a table that had some items on it. Crafts, made by locals. "When's the deadline?" I asked. She said Saturday (which is today).

So, this very busy week of mine was spent doing everything I had to do, and then working on knitting a pair of fingerless gloves. Fortunately I already had the pattern and the yarn from my stash. I could not start working on it until mid-week, and then had to frog it because I made a big error. Suffice it to say, I was up til the wee hours last night (this morning, really). I really wanted to do this. I went to bed late, got up after 4 hours, and this morning - the day of the auction - I finished the work. I was weaving in ends an hour before the library opened.

But I made it in time! I wanted to meet the challenge and be part of this effort to raise funds for the local library, to have my work share the table with other local people's work, to have people take a gander at what I made and say "Hmmm. Maybe I'll bid on that. I kinda like it."

So I package it up pretty with a care tag, and off I go. It was 15 minutes til opening time but I wanted to get there early so they'd have plenty of time to do whatever little arrangement needs to be done. This is a small town, mind you, not the Guggenheim, so I don't need to tell you that my jaw dropped when the librarian (a different one from the one earlier in the week) told me "Aw, you're too late."

"But I just finished them this morning!" I was too tired to be angry. I was just plain confused.

"It looks pretty, too." She said, casting a sideways glance, "There's no more room though. The table is filled." I was trying to form a sentence, but she was already into her work, checking in some books. I mumbled, "Maybe next year-", but my words didn't match my feelings, and she wasn't listening to me anyways. I felt thoroughly dismissed and rejected.

My thoughts were falling apart due to lack of sleep and working with a tricky pattern, and suddenly I felt so hurt that I could not think at all and just had to get out of there. I did a quick look at the table - surely there could be a space somewhere on there to set a pair of gloves - ? There was a lot of stuff, but room could be made, I mean, c'mon! Some items were even draped over the chairbacks around the table. Besides the fact that I was told I had until Saturday to donate-? But I was too hurt to argue, and if she didn't want these lovelies, then she could go fffffffffly a kite!

 The pattern is from "Alterknits", made with Manos (so love love) hand-dyed wool yarn. They are rather plain on top in the stockinette stitch, but the eyelet pattern underneath forms holes to draw lovely, girly ribbon through. Which reminds me, I went out of my way to get ribbon for this project! Grrr.