Friday, December 24, 2010

Wedding Craft: Cake Topper

For dessert at the reception, we had some super delicious cupcakes and a simple little cake from Safeway for us to cut (superb deal, let me tell you!). I spruced up the little cake with this nifty cake topper.

Two wodden R's, painting blue and lime green. For the heart, I searched high and low in the craft store for a wooden heart but came up short. Instead I purchased a little paper heart-shaped box and used the lid--it worked splendidly! I used a bit of hot glue to connect the heart to the R's, although one side did come unglued on the big day. I also used hot glue to attach a bit of bamboo skewer to the back of the R's to help anchor them to the cake.

This craft project came together really quickly, if you don't count the time needed to let paint dry between coats, and probably cost less than $6. And now we have the cake topper on our bookshelf, a pleasant little reminder of our party.

Wedding Craft: Fabric Flag Garland

(I know, I know, it's been ages...I'm sorry. Things have been busy and stressful in the lead up to Christmas. It's surprising to me we don't have more patients in the hospital presenting with "I was overwhelmed by all the holiday crafting I had to get done and it drove me to _______.")

I'll start posting some of my recent projects after the big day tomorrow, but for now, how about another wedding project? :D I was inspired by a friend's wedding in early August that used a simple little garland for decoration, and I decided to whip up a similar one for my wedding.

I cut out the triangles and squares at work on a couple of quiet nights (stash buster, indeed!) then sewed them together with a simple running stitch, leaving a little space between each flag. It was simple, mindless work, but the result added a nice kitchy touch to the wedding location.

And I've saved the garland so that I can re-use it for decorating for parties or whatever else. Yea for re-usable projects!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

WIP Wednesday

Perhaps due to Raj being out of town this week for business, I'm slightly more on my game with the WIP post. I've also had a bit of startitis (never mind that I STILL haven't seemed up the Katarina cardigan...)

hats for wee humans

First, progressing on the 3rd Hat for Wee Humans. This hat uses some old Louet Gems that I used to make a cowl for a friend years ago and some Collinette Jitterbug in Monet that I used on these socks. Also pictured, you see HWFH #2 which features Zauberbolle (sp?) yarn from a shawlette I gave to Raj's mom, charcoal yarn from a hat I made for my dad, yellowish Socks that Rock yarn that I used in these socks, and some Noro Kureyon. These hats are so fun. I'm planning to line them with fleece to make the more wee human friendly.

copycat hats

Next, another Copycat Hat. I went with some of the modifications I mentioned before. I think this one's going to be truer to the original.

stripey socks

A pair of socks that I knit on last night at work. It was a really slow night. I think that I was may be 10 rounds in when I left for work. And now I'm working on the gusset. There's a fun little cable detail on one side (not pictured, unfortunately). These will probably go into the gift pool.

Socks for skinny legs

More than 75% done with Raj's skinny leg socks. These things are great! They're so tight, he'll never be able to complain about them falling down. Let's just hope they don't cut off the circulation to his toes... hehe.

Stocking progress

Lastly, I'm back in the saddle again! The stocking would appear almost done. Pretty much all that's left is the tree decoration, but I do not think I'm exaggerating when I say the tree decorations could take me almost as long as everything else. It's a ton tiny, intricate ornaments and lights. Ugh.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hats for wee humans

I had the knitting equivalent of an ear worm yesterday. The idea of knitting hats for babies and kids out of left-over sock yarn. So I hauled the large bag of sock yarn remnants to work with me last night, and voila!

The first hat in a series of Hats for Wee Humans. This hat is a rip off of Ripley, and *in theory* it will fit a baby about 6 months old. I've cast on for HFWH #2 and in theory it will be toddler sized.
This project is a fun stroll down memory lane/quiz game. What project did I use that tan yarn in?? Oh yeah! These socks that I gave to Melisa. The green yarn actually remains a might be some Cherry Tree Hill that I used way back, but I'm really not sure.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

FO: LOVE wallhanging

I put the finishing touches on the LOVE wallhanging a couple weeks ago and it is currently winging its way to western Africa.

LOVE wallhanging

You can see the quilting better in that above shot. This below shot shows the color a bit truer.

LOVE wallhanging

(Maybe I would get better pictures if I took them someplace besides the guest room shower...)

My second real foray into free motion quilting, and I'm moderately pleased with the result, though I still feel like I'm at the bottom of the learning curve. I did include a bit of a hidden message:

LOVE detail

Can you see it there? KH + MD :)

Let me say, what I lack in free motion quilting skills, I think I make up for in binding skillz. I should have taken some pics, but I used black binding, and it probably wouldn't have photographed well. Just take my word for it.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Copy-cat Hat

Last week while hanging out with friends from college, one of them was wearing this cap:

I was fascinated by the color choice and the pattern of the hat. So fascinated that I snapped a pic of the hat. This hat has been floating around in my head all week since then. So yesterday evening I set out to recreate it. I studied the blurry iphone pic and made notes, and counted stitches and made notes. And this is my result:

I like the hat I made, but I'm a bit disappointed that it's not a perfect replica of the original. Where I think it went awry:

  • The yarn choice. I used Cascade 220 superwash, the economical powerhouse. I did not really get a good look at the yarn in the original, but based on that above pic, it definitely has a different character.
  • Gauge. Maybe with a wash, my hat will relax a bit. We'll see.
  • Number of rows between reverse stockinette sections. I counted over and over in that blurry pic and I thought there were only 4 stockinette rows between reverse stockinette sections, but perhaps there should be 5?

I'm going to try again. I used size 6 needles for the band and 8 for the rest of the hat. I'm happy with this. But I might try using size 9 for the bulk of the hat. And I'll try adding in that 5th row in the stockinette sections.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


It's after 2am on Thursday...and here's this week's WIP Wednesday! Sorry it's delayed, but I'm sure the awesomeness of this post will make up for the tardiness.

First up! The Katarina cardigan is off the needles! Temporarily, anyways.

I'm in the process of blocking the pieces, then I have to seam it up and work the collar and sleeve cuffs. Kinda worried I might run out of yarn. I have maybe 1.5 skeins left. We shall see.

Next up, the TTL Mystery Sock. Coming along nicely. Last week's clue was the heel flap, which btw seems really long to me--I didn't even do all the rows called for in the pattern and I'm still thinking it's too long. Oh well. This is a fun pattern. Maybe I'll make another pair sometime.

Sunday, after the sweater was off the needles and I finished the heels on those mystery socks, I needed a new project stat before going to work. Thank goodness I rememberd to grab this yarn and needle because Sunday night at work was dead; so dead that I watched a movie AND 4 episodes of the Office (Season 2; IMHO, the best season) on my phone (yea for the Netflix app!) and got lots of knitting done.

These socks are for Raj, aka Chicken Legs. I wanted a pattern that would keep the sock nice and snug on his legs. I also worked a few decreases on the back of the leg in the hopes of snug sock. I did a model fitting (pretending we're on Project Runway now) and so far so good. The pattern I worked is something like this: *K4,P2* for 10 rounds; *K1, P2, K3* for 10 rounds. I wanted to continue the pattern on the heel flap, so I'm working the heel like this: RS: sl1, K1, P1, sl1 wyf, *sl1 wyb, k1, sl1 wyb, k1, sl1 wyf, p1* sl1 wyb, k1. WS: sl 1, p1, K2, *P4, K2*, P2. I'm happy with it.

Finally, I dug the baby sweater I started while we were in Maui out hibernation in the hopes of finishing it. I put it away when it was probably more than 95% done, I just wasn't sure how to end it. Like a novelist who just can't decide on the end of the book...hehe.

Well, I started working on it once I got to work tonight and I'm proud to report that it is now off the needles!

I just need to graft the underarms and wear in the ends and it will be done. I've decided to leave it without any sort of closure. I thought about putting ties at the top but nixed that idea. I heart Noro. And I heart the hipstamatic app.

I did some other crafting yesterday before coming to work. Hopefully I'll be back soon to tell you about it!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Eye Candy Friday--Around the 'Hood Edition

I took a walk this morning. Fall is coming to Ballard. :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

In the nick of time!

There's still a bit of time left to get a WIP Wednesday post out on Wednesday. So, briefly:

I'm nearly done with the 2nd clue of the TTL mystery socks. I'm liking it so far. I had been working both socks simultaneously, but that was proving to be a bit of a slogfest (I think the part that slowing me down was having to change yarn strands each time I got to the other sock). Since I separated the socks, things have gone much faster. I'm enjoying the pattern enough, though I have some concern about the finished size of these puppies.

Still plugging away on Katarina. What you see is the first sleeve. I've got about 7 or 8 inches done, I'd estimate. I just finished the last increase. HOWEVER, I may add another increase or two. I'm worried that the sleeves will be too tight on my muscular biceps (ha!).

That's all in the way of actual progress for this past week. I have LOTS of things floating around in my head, though. The advent of cool weather here has really stimulated my creative neurons. Hopefully I'll get some free time this weekend to get some of my ideas going.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A quick warmie

Yesterday evening I whipped up a quick wheat warmie for a friend at work. This project makes an easy, literally warming gift.

A little muslin
A little bit more flannel
Wheat berries (from the bulk foods section)
Whole cloves

For this wheat warming, I aimed for a finished size of about 8"x14" so I started by cutting a piece of muslin ~14.5" by ~16.5".

I sewed up the sides of the piece, filled it right side out then put a seem down the middle of the pouch to help keep the wheat berries evenly distributed. I filled the wheat berries from the open long edge, threw in a small handfull of whole cloves into each side , then just folded it over about 1/4" and topstitched to close it up.

As you can see, I used 1 lb. 13 oz. of wheat berries in this wheat warmie. Now, why whole cloves? Well, the wheat berries on their own, when heated in the microwave, tend to smell a bit barn-ish. The cloves are a nice disguise for that barn-y smell. Some dried lavender would probably also be great.

To make the wheat warmie extra cozy, I made a little case out of flannel. I cut a long strip of flannel, about ~9.5" x ~35", finished the two short edges by turning them under and stitching. Then folded the fabric with right sides facing--first about 7 inches from one end, then about 13 inches from the other end, so that the shorter flap would end up on top when turned right side out.

To insert the wheat warmie into its case, fold back the shorter outer flap, slide the wheat warmie into the flannel...

Then flip the shorter flap back over. Et voila!

To enjoy the warming wonders of a wheat warmie, microwave for 2-2.5 minutes.

WIP Wednesday

The main WIP continues to be the Katarina cardigan. I've returned to where I was pre-dye lot debacle, currently about 1/3 done with the second front section. I've got the yarn wound for the sleeves--hopefully I'll get to them tonight at work.

As an aside, remember when I mentioned how cool it was to learn the Bias Bind Off? Here's what it looks like--this is the top of the first front section. Look at that neato, almost-smooth bound off edge? :)

My other WIP is the TTL Mystery Socks. I've got a blurry iPhone pic up on Ravelry, if you want to see. :) I'm using Dream in Color Smooshy in a lovely leafy green color (?Happy Forest--I can't remember exactly what the shade is called). I'm awaiting the release of clue #2 on Friday. I made the TTL mystery socks last year and enjoyed the suspense of not know what comes next.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Houston, we have a problem...

And that problem is dye lot. Ugh!

See? Right there!

From what I can tell, this yarn either doesn't have defined dye lots, or that information just isn't contained on the label. :/ I'm working on the second front section, about half way done with it, but this will not work.

I examined the other 2 skeins I have, but neither of them appears to be a suitable match for the previous skein. The first two skeins seem to be less black--as you can see in the back section of the sweater below, there's lots of slight variation, which I really like.

So, here's my plan. I frogged both front sections--the one side that was done, and the other which was half done. Small sacrifice, I think, since I certainly cannot have the two fronts of the sweater looking different from each other--that is NOT my look. I'm going to knit both front sections from the same skein. Then I will knit both sleeves from another single skein. Then I will have one skein left to do the collar, and depending on how things work out, maybe I'll throw what's left of this lighter stuff in on the collar. We'll see.

For now, it's back to square 1 for the front sections. (Cue sad trombone sound.)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Eye Candy Friday



Flowers spotted in Victoria last weekend

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bias Bind Off

Working on the Katarina sweater, just reached the top of the back section, and the directions call for using Bias BO. This is a new technique for me.

I love learning new techniques. :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

FO: Most Lovely Hat

The Most Lovely Hat is done.

Most Lovely Hat

Love it.

Most Lovely Hat

I need to weigh how much yarn I have left over...there must be enough for another hat for myself.

Most Lovely Hat detail

Look at this new fabric that I picked up at Ikea last week.

new Ikea fabric

The floor person there said it was just put out that morning! It's decor weight. Not sure what I'll use it for--perhaps tote bags. Wood grain tote bag, anyone?

WIP Wednesday!

Two items hot on the needles this week:

First, the Katarina cardigan is coming along at a nice clip! The official start of Fiber Gallery's KAL is 10/10, but I won't be able to attend the kick off party, and I couldn't wait until then anyhow. :) I just LOVE the yarn--Dream in Color Classy. The iphone actually did a decent job of capturing the color, a mottled black. What you see above is the back up to the point where you cast off for the armholes. All of that is less than one skein of the Classy. The pattern calls for a rolled edge, but that's not my look, so I'm going to do a hemmed edge. I worked the facing one needle size smaller in the hopes that it would be inconspicuous...this is a bit of an experiment

Second, the most lovely hat; significantly less blurry in real life. This Manos Del Uraguay Maxima is one of the most beautiful yarns I have ever seen. I will definitely have to make something for myself with the left over--perhaps just a plain stockinette stitch hat to really show off the colors. In the above blurry pic I am just to the point of starting the crown decreases. And in real life, I'm nearly done with the hat, but as of this writing, it is still a WIP, at least for the next little while. :) The pattern, btw, is Armando (pdf of pattern), a hat pattern I have knit twice before. I'm really fond of the result.

The stocking is up in the craft room closet, in time out. Hopefully I'll have renewed enthusiasm for it in November.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday Likes and Loathes

Like: the Manos Del Uraguay I'm knitting with right now. It's lovely beyond my descriptive abilities (even if I wasn't sleep deprived, I'd still have difficulty describing its beauty).

Loathe: these darned hives.

Like: Too Beautiful to Live, my new favorite podcast. I read about the host, Luke Burbank, in one of the Seattle magazines we subscribe to, and I've been listening for about the past week. They put out a new episode EVERY day. And they're entertaining, sometimes informative.

Loathe: sleep deprivation.

Like: our day trip to Victoria BC on Saturday. What good weather we lucked into!


Loathe: did I mention the hives?