Wednesday, December 29, 2010

WiP Wednesday, On the Fly!

I was sick all of last week and when I couldn’t find my card reader (the Hubster had swiped it!), I punted. So here are my pics from last week

Christmas Present #1, Knucks

Christmas Present #2, Watch Cap

Those were both finished in time and gifted last Friday. Hooray!

Massively Stressful Project was finished in time and handed over to the client. Double Hooray!!

I’m in California at the moment. Tigger and I took a hike yesterday. I have more pictures and will blog that trip, possibly tonight. Here’s a teaser:


And here’s what I’ve been knitting since I’ve been away from home. A “reverse colorway” pair of Northman’s Mittens! They’re flying along and I lurve them!


Expect my end-of-year wrap-up post to be much later than Friday. I’ll be on a plane all day that day, plus I have a crapload of finished projects I still need to blog. I’m gonna do it (I like the simple reference for all of my finished projects on an annual basis) and I’ll probably just blog a bunch of them and set them to post daily while I’m watching ALL THE GAMES on Saturday. Can’t wait!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Ho Ho Ho?

I can't find the card reader for my camera, so no WiP Wednesday for you.

I have a massive Friday-deadline project that is sucking the life out of me. I have zero Christmas spirit and am starting to think I won't have time to find it any time soon. That doesn't even touch the shiny new freelance workload. Which is a good thing that started at a tough time.

I'll be back. Once I have a few spare minutes to rub together. See you then.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday Spirit

I’m freaking out a little bit about the holidays. It’s not the knitting, it’s an in-trade quilting gig. I’ll get it done. I just need to buckle down.

In other news, I’m knitting a pair of gift Knucks.

Pardon the crappy indoor photo. It was a busy day today.

The replacement scarf is finished and in the hands of the USPS with its cohorts.

The tree is decorated and I got a wreath I really liked today (no picture. It went up after dark.) But here’s the tree!


And here’s a picture of one of my favorite ornaments. Way back when we first moved to Pittsburgh, I blogged about our scantily clad Christmas tree (we were low on ornaments. We've been picking up ones we really like slowly, as we find them). A dear friend from my Bruin Softball days took it upon herself to purchase a UCLA tree ornament and send it to us. Makes me smile when I think of all the friends I made during my eight years in Bruin-land.


That’s about it from here. I’ll try to keep the finished scarf blogging going. I have two more to show you!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Purple and Gold

While the commission scarf I showed you last week was a disappointing failure (only because of the color miscommunication), there has been other successful weaving progress around here.

This purple and gold scarf (college colors of the recipient) was the first of the commission trio that I put on the loom. It’s the same yarn as the Navy/Green scarf, but I guessed wrong on the sett (weaver’s rough equivalent of gauge) so it’s a little bit stiffer than I had hoped. Hello, weaving learning curve!


Fortunately, a nice bath loosened up the fabric and it drapes much better now.


Again, the scarf sports some twisted fringe. I just love the way twisted fringe looks in these multicolored warps!

Speaking of stripes, this was my first attempt at a plaid. I'll admit to picking the brain of one of my weaving heroes, but it really wasn't that tough (yay!). I used some graph paper and sketched it out and I think it turned out just fine!


This scarf will be on its way to my client later this week. I hope it is used and loved by its recipient!


Karen's Christmas Scarf

Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash Sport
Colors: Royal Purple and Daffodil
Quantity: 4 skeins Purple, 1 skein Daffodil
Width on Loom: 10”
EPI: 12
Finished Size: 69x8.25” excluding fringe
Pattern: Plain Tabby/evenweave
Started: 28 November 2010
Finished: 1 December 2010

Thursday, December 09, 2010

For Sale

If you know me IRL, you’ve heard me yammering on about a trio of commission scarfs I have been weaving. I needed to get them all finished up so I could fold up my loom for the rest of the year, since it lives in the spot where the Christmas tree goes.

I finished on Friday night.

Then, yesterday, I discovered that my favorite of the three scarfs has the wrong complimentary color.

So if you know anyone who would like a handwoven scarf made with a superwash wool, here’s your big chance.


It’s roughly 64” long and 8.5” wide, excluding fringe


Speaking of which, it’s a twisted fringe.


A plain tabby weave in a simple plaid pattern. Very subtle, and I think it would easily be man-approved. It was the second scarf of the trio that I had on the loom for this project and was my favorite the minute I took it off of the loom. And then it softened up even more with wet-finishing. It’s very soft and lightweight. And yours for $50!

Honestly, I’d keep it but I have a gazillion scarfs around this house and nobody on my gift list that “fits” for this particular scarf. I’d like to recoup the cost of the yarns with a little extra thrown in for my time. New scarf goes on the loom pronto. Once I figure out where the loom can be used in the living room with the Christmas tree already in place.

The "flecks" in the above picture are itty bitty snowflakes, not dirt or imperfections on the scarf.

Navy/Green Scarf (For Sale)

Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash Sport
Colors: Navy and Hunter Green
Quantity: 3 skeins Navy, 1 skein Hunter Green
Width on Loom: 10”
EPI: 10
Finished Size: 64x8.5" excluding fringe
Pattern: Plain tabby/evenweave
Started: 1 December 2010
Finished: 2 December 2010


Wednesday, December 08, 2010

WiP Wednesday

I haven’t touched the Musique socks.

I haven’t touched Nonpareil.

No weaving is happening … I finished the commission stuff so I could put the loom away and get a Christmas tree.

Oh yeah, the tree!


Tree is in the house, in the stand and sucking down water like there’s no tomorrow. But it’s not decorated yet. We’ll get there. Eventually.

I desperately need to buckle down and do some commission sewing. But I don’t wanna. Which means I’m getting a gold medal in procrastination.

But I have been putting in some good time on my last scheduled piece of deadline knitting. Bagstopper #4 is well into the second skein. Yay, quick knits!


Since it’s Weaving Wednesday and the loom is on the shelf until after the first of the year, I’m going to lock myself in the dungeon and sew. All. Day. Or until I’m done. Whichever one comes first. Gotta turn these into a pair of quilt tops.


Send cookies.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010


I don’t remember when, exactly, I started collecting penguins.


I know it was before I moved to California in the spring of 1999, but I can’t pinpoint it more closely than that.

In February of 2000, I was a bridesmaid in the wedding of one of my best friends from college. She and her hubby had taken their honeymoon months before the wedding, going to New Zealand and possibly Australia (I don’t remember if they did both or just NZ). Our bridesmaids gifts? Glass penguins from New Zealand.

My Kiwi Penguin is the small one in front.

As we finished up our master bed/bathroom renovation nearly two years ago, one of the last steps was plaster patch and painting of the living room ceiling to fix the water damage from the shower pan failure that precipitated the renovation (got all that? There will be a quiz later!)

All of the sub-contractors our contractor brought into our house were fantastic, and I would hire all of them again independently. Somehow, when I put away all of my penguins for the painting process, some of them were left in a vulnerable position. We lost a couple beaks that day. I’m not quite sure how, but it happened.

The bird that was most obviously damaged was a cheapie I’d picked up somewhere along the line, I'm pretty sure he came from a cigar shop in the Eugene, Ore., mall. Not a big deal and certainly not worth trying to fix the smashed beak (although our contractor offered to try!)

Broken beaks! Sad!

The other casualty wasn’t noticed for nearly a year, and was much more disappointing. My Kiwi penguin had also chipped his beak. Sad! But the damage is so subtle, he’s still displayed with my personal colony.

Fortunately, my parents spent November Down Under, visiting both Australia and New Zealand. When they left, I showed my mom my poor injured flightless waterfowl. She found two of his countrymen to bring home!

New guys on the outside with my "old" Kiwi penguin in the center.

One penguin is even a Penguins fan, sporting a bit of gold along with his snazzy tuxedo.


The other is slightly shorter, but just as cute.


Many thanks to my parentals for bringing such cool keepsakes back from their trip to the southern hemisphere!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Give a Hoot

This is a very picture-heavy post. This was possibly one of the most photogenic things I’ve made and I simply couldn’t narrow down which photos to use.


A few weeks ago, I was perusing a stack of new magazines at the store while doing some mindless store sample knitting. When I got to the back of the KnitSimple Holiday 2010 issue I knew I had found a Christmas gift for my year-old nephew.


I’ve knit Susan B. Anderson toy patterns before. You may remember last year’s A Hippopotamus for Christmas, and last week’s Snake was also from Itty Bitty Toys.

The Owls hangin’ in their birthplace, the Blue Sky Worsted cubby at Bloomin’ Yarns.

All of her toy patterns are written for four DPNs, so you’re knitting in a triangle. Aside from the rapid increases on the owl-butts, they are simple and quick knits.


I did make one departure from the pattern. You may have noticed that these owls have no feet. I knit all six feet, but the more I looked at them, the more I didn’t like them.


After polling my audience both at Thanksgiving and at the store during our Black Friday sale, I was happy with the decision that the owls did just fine as Weebles. They have poly pellets in their butts (poly pellets are contained in a piece of knee-high stocking, so no choking hazard), so they stand up just fine on their own.

Owls with most of the rest of the store menagerie.

Dealing with some of the other small bits, including the pupils, required some manual dexterity, but all the pieces went on to the owls quickly and easily. No complaints on the construction at all.


This parliament of Owls is currently terrorizing Bloomin’ Yarns until they need to fly south to Little Rock, where they will hopefully be enjoyed by our nephew for years to come. Another A+ project from Susan B. Anderson!


Give a Hoot

Pattern: Little Owls by Susan B. Anderson
Source: KnitSimple Magazine, Holiday 2010 issue
Yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas Dyed Cotton
Colors: Drift, Pumpkin, Aloe, Toffee
Quantity: Scraps of all. I used the most of the Toffee.
Needles: US 6/4.0mm Susan Bates DPNs
Started: 13 November 2010
Finished: 26 November 2010
Mods: Skipped the feet. These dudes do just fine as Weebles. Especially for a 1-yr-old.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

WiP Wednesday: Random Edition

There’s been some weaving, but I’m between commission scarfs at the moment. I’m also a bit limited in mobility today. Did you know that some couches have six legs instead of four? With a hidden front-center leg lurking behind the skirt? Yeah, I didn’t either. Until I kicked the crap out of one last night. Ouch.

Meanwhile, the Musique socks are getting good “waiting time” knitting.


And I cast on another Christmas present. This one for my sister in law. It’s an Everlasting Bagstopper since she has admired mine. Here’s hoping she likes it! I know it’ll go quickly.


In other news, as much as I hate LeafWars and fought the (hopefully) last battle of the year on Monday, with the weather yesterday and today, I’m glad I took the time then. Looky what I woke up to this morning!


With all the rain yesterday, Santa and the tree lights shorted out twice last night (the rain popped the safety switch on the outlet). With the switch to snow, here’s hoping they behave properly from here on out. Have a great week!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Snake, Not on a Plane

People sometimes ask about instant gratification projects. Toys are always very high on my list for that particular topic.


This was an extremely fast project. As with all of Susan B. Anderson’s toy patterns, it’s written for 4 DPNs. This particular snake was knit with a single 50g skein of self-patterning sock yarn.


I did one more set of increases, working the body of the snake over 30 stitches instead of 24. I though 24 looked a little puny, but that was a pretty simple mod. I also ignored the suggested length and just knit until I was nearly out of yarn. I also skipped the “force the snake to curl” step. I figure this way he can be whatever shape he wants, whenever he wants.


The tongue was knit from a teeney little scrap of sock yarn I found at the store. I figured sewn-on yarn eyes wouldn’t stand out on the orange/black background of the snake head. So I used some invisible thread out of my quilting stash and two white sequins from a $0.99 package at JoAnn’s.


This guy is headed to my niece for Christmas. Gotta love handknit toys for the under-4 set!


Nate the Snake

Pattern: Curly Snake by Susan B. Anderson from Itty Bitty Toys
Yarn: Zitron Lifestyle
Color: 1863 Multi
Quantity: 1 skein/169 yards
Needles: US 3/3.25mm wood DPNs
Started: 19 October 2010
Knitting Finished: 30 October 2010
Embellishments Finished: 26 November 2010
Mods: Knit over 30 sts rather than the 24 directed by the pattern. Ignored length guidelines and did not forcibly curl the snake.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Worth the Wait

Last September (as in September 2009), I got my needles busy and zipped through the “base layer” of the Felted Door Mitten from Two Old Bags. Then I felted it in the top-loader at the Lake and handed it over to our needlefelting teacher at the store.

Yes, I could have taken Peggy’s needlefelting class, but I have a rather strong belief that we all have different types of creativity. My various talents do not extend to drawing anything. Peggy’s most certainly do.

So a week or two ago, Peggy sent my finished Felted Door Mitten back to me. It’s perfect. No, it’s beyond perfect. Here, have a look:

As soon as Wreath Season is over, this is how my front door will look for a few months.

Uh-huh. Seriously awesome.


In addition to a seriously awesome hat and scarf, Mr. Snowman has a killer 3D nose. Here’s a side view


How awesome is that? And no, I have no idea how Peggy did that.


He has a great snowscape at the bottom of the mitten, and the tree is pretty cool too.


Snowflake buttons and a redbird in the tree! Oh, and the tree even extends to the back of the mitten!


How freakin’ cool is that? Again. There is absolutely no way I could have done anything half this cool on my own. Know what you are and know what you’re not. I could not have done this.

Peggy did an amazing job needlefelting this mitten. I’m sure I’ll enjoy having this on display for many, many years to come.


Felted Door Mitten

Pattern: Felted Door Mitten by Two Old Bags/Katie Nagorney and Anne Swanson
Yarn: Cascade 220
Color: 9543/Midnight Blue
Quantity: 1.5 skeins/330 yards
Needles: US 10.5/6.5mm
Started: 4 September 2009
Knitting Finished: 7 September 2009
Embellishment Finished: November 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Buckling Down

There’s some holiday stuff I’ve been busily crafting away, but can’t show you. You’ll get over it. Meanwhile, here’s what else I’ve been working on.

I’m totally addicted to my crochet project. I think someone may have to hide it from me until I’m finished with my deadline/Christmas crafting.


Love it. Must step away from the crochet.

In other news, I’ve been knitting away on my owls.


I started sewing features onto the owls last night, only to discover that the instructions for the owl feet had confused me. And I like the look in the picture much better than the look of the goofy-looking feet I’d created. So I may be re-knitting some owl feet. Grr.

But the good news? That’ll go quickly and I am already planning a really fun FO-to shoot in my head.

And finally, I think the towel-in-progress on the loom will polish off this warp. Hooray! Then I can move along to the commission weaving that should be pretty quick.


I have a great finished project to show you. Hopefully I can get that post written tonight to post tomorrow, but just in case I don’t manage to do that, Happy Thanksgiving and thank you for reading my blog!