sweaters and more

Despite the lack of posts, things are still thing happening on these fronts. There is a bit of sewing, a lot of sweater making (some big, some small), and a lot of sweater pattern buying – which is ironic given the latest thing going on – word that we are spending some time in the United Arab Emirates over the next year.

On the crafting front, we made our round of handmade teacher gifts, and I’m super happy with how they turned out. We made little bird and garden angel ornaments from the book Scandinavian Stitches by Kajsa Wikman.030teachergift

On the knitting front. I made a second Alberta vest, this time for my Dad’s birthday. I also managed to squeak out a cardigan for my sister’s new baby…whom I had the pleasure of visiting right after she was born. Its nice to know I am knitting for a girl, and I did a little stash diving to find a cute yarn perfect for the little sunnyside cardi  from Tanis Fiber Arts. I also got to see Mia in the Puerperium Cardigan I made for Christmas, which was fun.

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In the past two months I’ve filled up my queue with sweaters, purchased the patterns and skeins up on skeins of yarn…and managed to finish my very first adult sized just for me sweater. I love the pattern, the color and the concept. I made a stupid judgement call on joining the yarn, and I can see the places in the sweater which bugs me. I also have never knitted with this type of yarn before…and I’m curious to see how it all holds up. They yarn itself is knitted strands – I have not idea what that is called, but it seems to easily snag on things. It worked out okay, but I am not sure I’d use that type of yarn again.

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So, here I sit with a queue full of sweaters and a closet full of wool. Rumor has it I may need a sweater or two for the air conditioning, but more likely…in addition to reorganizing our lives, my favorite pastime may need a major overhaul along with my Ravelry queue and list of favorites. Oy  vey!

So, this little upheaval in conjunction with the enjoyment of summer life in general is part of the reason I’ve been putting this blog (and some crafting) on the way back burner and I anticipate that will continue to be the case…at least until we get settled and figure out how life in the UAE works.

WIPs

Sadly, I haven’t been knitting much, as I have been rather busy with a project for my daughter’s amazing preschool. It has been great fun working on the school’s annual fundraiser (the event is this evening), but a lot of work too. Despite it all, I have been sneaking in a bit of knitting here and there.

I started this lovely Autumn Blush shawl with some pretty alpaca yarn my mom sent me for Christmas…but have abandoned it as I think the “paints” yarn is a bit too busy with the pattern, and part of what I love is seeing the double seed stitch which wasn’t really happening. This is my first go at using variegated yarn, and I’ve been a bit unsure of how best to show off its lovely color. I settled on this here Maraa shawl. I will tackle the Autumn Blush again, but either with the yarn it was designed for, or with some Malabrigo silk merino I have in my stash.

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In the meantime, I am knitting up another gifted item. I received a Brooklyn Tweed Guernsey Wrap kit from my mother in law. I love the pattern, how something so pretty and interesting can develop from simply switching between knits and purl stitches. While this isn’t my first Brooklyn Tweed pattern, this is my first time around using their yarn. I’d have to say I am enjoying working with it, and it looks just perfect in the pattern. It also kind of makes we want to make the Rosebud hat again using their yarn.

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Last fall I had a color and style crush on an image I saw via Pinterest – well specifically the GIANT raspberry colored cowl the gal was wearing in that image…and I kind of cast on in the hopes of making something like it for myself. It has been my having a conversation in the car while driving up to ski knit. I think my rows are tighter, I was using the suggested needles size for the yarn, and if I look at the image it is likely knit up a bit more loosely. Ah well. I am only a little bit into it all, but not feeling overly enthusiastic about working on it, especially since I have other interesting things to be working on.

I have also finally pulled two of my long, long, long hibernating projects out, dusted them off and started a bit of work on them here and there…those two projects would be the Calla Cami and Motif 8. I know…I still have the rest of the motifs to work through so I can get my blanket done! And…as it turns out, this is the perfect time to finish up the Calla Cami so I can wear it and enjoy it this spring (assuming I’ve got the right size going, etc.).

So, there you have it…my knitting round up.

I see a trip to the fabric store in my near future. I have a few things cooking, and I have been feeling the need to change things up a bit.

Handmade Holiday 2012

Wow…how is it mid January already?! The holidays were a whirlwind of family, fun, the flu and some serious movie marathons as we struggled to get healthy. The little people in our house were even sick Christmas Eve, and sadly my son spent much of Christmas day with a bucket at the ready. Despite it all, it was a nice time, and this year’s crop of handmade gifts were well received. I was not quite as ambitious as last year, but still managed to pull together a nice collection.

Most of the gifts were knitted this year, but I did sew up some pot holders for my sister, and Nana and I collaborated on a reading tent for my daughter, which she is pretty excited about. The knit list included these honeycomb mitts, and each of these lovely hats from purlbee.com. I did the wide brim one for my dad and the smaller simple brim one for my father in law in the larger size mentioned in the comments. I made a cowl and slouchy hat for my niece. The slouchy hat was this pattern here, and I tried something of my own for the cowl, a big twist. As I mentioned in my last post (a long long long time ago) the design can use some work, but as a first go, overall I was pleased. I pulled together a few quick cowls (drop stitch cowl and big lace scarf (which I turned into a cowl)) together for friends – in my book nothing says happy holidays like a big ole snugly cowl. Here is a sampling of the projects.
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My sister is expecting which is super exciting and having a baby to knit for is making me giddy. I had an especially good time making this little cardigan for the little bean. It is the Puerperium Cardigan by Kelly Brooker of knit.so.quaint, and can be found on ravlery.
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So, that is the handmade holiday 2012 wrap up.  I am looking forward to more handmade gifts this year, and continuing on my journey to become a better knitter, learn more about sewing and doing it well, and pick up the always lagging photography aspect of my little mission. Hope you had a great holiday…and all the best for a crafty new year!

Warm Wishes: Knitting for those Impacted by Sandy

Like many people, I have dear friends that were impacted when Sandy came tearing through the East Coast. In talking with one of them, I mentioned wishing there was something hands on I could do. With the cold weather approaching, power outages, and loss of homes and possessions, and she cleverly suggested knitting hats.

This I could do!

I roped another friend into joining me, and we spent the past week knitting up a storm. We put together a little care package with 6 hats, 3 scarves/cowls, 2 fingerless mitts and a couple of head wraps. We used the handmade tags found here, and included a little note. The package is in the mail, en route to my friend in New Jersey who will bring the knitted goodies to those in need.

I hope this is just the beginning. I will be making and sending more hand knit goods. Uniquities Yarn Shop, a yarn shop in my Mom’s neck of the woods got wind of our little project when my mom went in to pick up some supplies to help further our cause and they expressed interest in getting involved, and my often mentioned friend Katie her community was heavily hit as well) just put a call out to her circle of knitters to make and send knitted goodies her way for distribution.

To my friend MJ who got this whole things going…thank you for a great idea, for giving me a way to help out and let the folks in your community know we are thinking of them, and for distributing our hand-made goodies to those in need!

Grab your needles or your hooks, rummage through your stash or visit your local yarn shop, whip up a special hand-made warm accessory…and send a warm wooly hug to someone impacted by the storm.

*if you want to knit, I can get you connected to folks for distribution – just leave a comment!

Little Gifts for Little Girls

While I have not been doing much on the sewing front, I did manage to sew up a set of small tote bags for two of my daughter’s friend.

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We will be giving the sock monkey one away tomorrow, and I hope it will be enjoyed and carted around. At my daughter’s request, we are putting a bunch of nail polish, lip gloss and bubbles into it.

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The alberta vest in all its finished glory

Drew likes it (yippe) and it appears to fit (woohoo)…and I completed my first adult garment! Of course I will have to wait until the fall to see him bust it out. I finished the vest several weeks ago, but have been slow in getting things off my camera. Truthfully I’ve been slow at many things on the crafting and blogging front. With summer here and Drew home, our whole schedule and routine was shaken up a bit. We are enjoying summer to the fullest, and my craft time has taken a back seat to swimming pools, bike rides and good old fashioned summer time family fun. I have squeaked in a bit of knitting. I am almost done with motif 6, and have about 10 repeats down on the Rock Island with a long road of lace edging ahead.

Happy Summer!

Camp Out Mitts

I finished my camp out mitts, and handed them over to my lovely neighbor. I brought them over to her place one night, and knitted while we were handing out. She spotted them, and promptly announced they would be hers. I love that she abducted my mitts, i think its hysterical. I love even more that she made me a funky pair of my own. I hope it is cold enough in California for her to wear the camp out mitts occasionally, and when she does that she will think of me. I know every time I see this hot pink and bright bright blue,I will smile and think of you Natasha.