Recently in Completed Category

Good Enough to Eat

Last week at work, Leslie held a brown bag about game design. At the end of the session, we had to come up with a game for the office. Some folks came up with this game about passing a cupcake. We all agreed that implementing the game would be great. But acquiring a constant supply of fresh cupcakes might prove a bit problematic. Enter the crafter.

Strawberry Cupcake

I stopped at Michael's this weekend and picked up a bunch of different colored felt. I found a couple of patterns for felted cupcakes online, so I had a sense of what to do. No offense to all the great crafters out there, but I just couldn't bring myself to pay $8.00 for a cupcake pattern. So I winged it.

Strawberry Cupcake

I originally thought that I'd have pink icing with colored beads as sprinkles. But when it put it all together, it looked really dorky. So I took off the sprinkles and made a little strawberry (with the help of Lit'l Brown Bird's strawberry pattern).

Strawberry Cupcake

I love the French knots as seeds! So clever. I'm about 65% happy with how it turned out. But folks at work are loving it. Which is what is most important.

Project: Strawberry Cupcake
Started: May 31, 2010
Finished: May 31, 2010

Super Sekrit Wedding Project #1

Last night I finished Super Sekreit Wedding Project #1. I'm so tickled about I couldn't wait to post about it.

Super Sekrit Project #1

I started on Super Sekreit Wedding Project #2 last night as well. This yarn is the yarn I tried with the previous pattern that I realized wasn't working. So the yarn is a bit used. It feels a bit different than with #1, but I think it looks okay knitted up.

Super Sekrit Wedding Project #1
Started: January 24, 2009
Finished: June 5, 2009

Cabled Hat for Erik

Egads, has it really been more than a month since I posted here? Sorry about that folks. It's not that knitting and crafting haven't been happening. I just haven't had a chance to photograph the evidence. Let's get you all caught up, shall we?

I picked up a wonderful skein of Malabrigo merino wool at ImagiKnit awhile ago. It was one of their test batches. It's a lovely, lightly variegated blue, in a slightly heavier weight than their normal worsted weight. I figured that I could make Erik a hat with it someday. Well, two Saturdays ago we were packing for our trip to Washington DC to see Obama sworn in as president and we realized that E didn't have a winter hat. 'Lantic oceans! I packed up some needles and grabbed that skein and resolved to have a hat for him by Tuesday morning.

Of course he didn't want a plain hat, he wanted one with a cable. He really liked the Gingerbread Cabled Hat I made for JoAnne and myself, but I was afraid it might been a bit too feminine. So I modified the pattern. It took me three tries to cast on the right number of stitches. His head is much bigger than it looks.

Erik's Cabled Hat

Rather than the ladder bits between the cables that the Gingerbread Cables have, I just did a simple one knit column between the cables. This also allowed me to get more cables in. I cast on Sunday morning on the plane and knit all the way across the country. Then as much of Monday as I could while visiting. His cousins laughed at me and didn't think I could finish it, but by 11 PM Monday it was done.

Erik's Cabled Hat, Detail

Because this ended up being heavier than the typical worsted weight, it meant there wasn't quite as much yarn in the skein. I started to worry that I was going to run out of yarn before completing it. So it has a rather abrupt finish to it, with a knit 2, knit 2 together for the final few rows. I think I will go back and make it a tad bit deeper, since it was a bit small for him.

Erik ready for the Cold

I'm rather proud how this turned out, over all. It's the first hat I've done without a pattern at all. And it's so soft and warm. The color looks great on him too.

Stockings & Hands

I was able to finish E's stocking before Christmas. It was about 11:30 PM on Christmas Eve when I finished weaving in the ends, but hey. It was before Christmas!

Erik's Christmas Stocking

I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. The pattern is quite lovely. And most importantly, E loves it.

I also made a stocking for his mom, since she joined us on Christmas Day. Since I started it on Christmas Eve, it wasn't done in time for Christmas. She had the long standing traditional Christmas Tube instead.

Loree's Christmas Tube

I was able to finish it by the 27th though, so she did see the finished product before flying back to CT. It's amazing how much faster it was just doing the solid color.

Loree's Finished Stocking

The bad news with all this knitting is that I have completely burned my hands out. It started with the marathon knitting at the beginning of the month to complete the shrug. I've tried very hard not to knit anything for the past week. I worked a bit on a hat for me on New Year's Eve and that was enough to send me back into pain. At it's worst, I have numbness in 2 fingers, pain in the joints and bones, and a deep ache in my wrist.

I realized that all my hobbies involve fine, repetitive motions with my hands: knitting, quilting, cross-stitch. It's made the last days of vacation tortuous, as I had been so looking forward to crafting and now I can't. The good news is my hands do seem to be responding to three days of rest. The bad new is that better is not the same as good. They still hurt and the joints are stiff, just not nearly as badly. I've been doing some stretches and am going to see the acupuncturist this week. I'm hoping with another week of rest they will recover. I can't imagine not making things with my hands -- I have to figure out how to take care of them while still using them.

Ester Cabled Shrug

I was able to convince E to take photos of my knitting this weekend. I'm busy finishing up the last of the Kitmas presents so his help was greatly appreciated.

I wanted to show my Ester Cabled Shrug, that I made for the AP company party on Dec 1. Yes, this is the sweater that I bought the yarn Saturday afternoon, took to Carmen del Playa Mexico, knitting while sitting at the pool, and finished just in time for the party.

I originally ordered the yarn online, but there was a snafu at the online shop and it didn't go out in time. This was actually for the best, as I was trying to match colors online, which is always fool-hearty. The yarn that eventually arrived is gorgeous, but completely the wrong color. So I hiked over to ImagiKnit and picked up the Malabrigo worsted in fuchsia, which was a perfect color match.

I worked on this while in Mexico a lot. I brought it with me to the pool. I sat in the common area of the hotel and knit while we chatted over dinner. I pulled it out on the airplanes and while waiting in the aiports (all four of them!). But it still wasn't enough.

For some reason my internal calendar was off and I thought I had an extra day when in fact I didn't. Opps. This led to 14 hours of knitting (with a 3 hour dinner and car riding break in the middle). At 2 am I decided that it would be better to get up early and resume knitting than to knit while that tired. I got up at 6 am (yes, 4 hours later) and knit for another 4 hours. Yes, that made for 18 hours of knitting within 24 hours. I do not recommend this approach.

I blocked the whole thing on the kitchen counter. I sprayed it lightly since I wanted to make sure that it would be dry in time to wear that evening. The length was spot on, but it was significantly shorter on the width. Like, 7 inches shorter in places. I was able to block it to get back all but a few inches in most cases. But blocking on the counter with just masking taped towels was a bit challenging. I got home from work and knit up the sides. Luckily there were only 2 seams.

I love this! It was able to block just fine and is plenty big around the back. The problem is that it doesn't come close to meeting in the front. With this dress I'm able to wear it open and it's fine. But if I were to knit it again I'd try to add more length some how so it could close.

It feels wonderful - so soft. Everyone at the party loved it and was so surprised that I had made it. The pattern was easy to remember (and I'm horrible about remembering patterns) and easy to do. My hands still haven't fully recovered though. My knuckles still ache a bit, and this is two weeks later. Of course, I've been knitting, hand sewing and writing longhand a lot. I need to just let them rest, I know. But it's so hard to do during Christmas.

Ester Cabled Shrug:
Started: November 22, 2008
Finished: December 1, 2008

Bags for Knitting

I never really gave much thought to what I kept my projects in while I'm working on them. Gallon Ziploc bags always seemed to work just fine. But one of our cats, Horus, loves to chew on plastic. He's quite obsessive about it, actually. He knows there is a stash of plastic in my knitting bag, and will poke his head in and chomp away. It was driving me rather crazy.

Last night, as we were driving back from a housewarming, I had the brilliant idea that I could use some of my quilting fat quarters and make some small bags. Easy-peasy!

My technique definitely improved with each bag that I made. The first one I sewed up the sides, stitched along the top to make a nice roomy tube for the ribbon, and completely sealed the thing shut. Opps. I pulled out a few stitches and stuck the ribbon in anyway. It looked, eh, okay. And I moved on to the next one. This time I had the idea that I could put button holes in for the ribbon to stick out of. It took me a couple of times before my button holes looked okay (hey, it's been awhile... I had to get out the manual for my sewing machine to remember how to do it).

By the fourth bag I decided that they really looked better with finished edges at the top. So I went back and turned the ends over on the first three. I also completely redid the top of the first bag, including adding button holes. This is my favorite fabric (the Chinese kitties) and now my favorite bag, since it is the best one.

I'm just tickled over these. It's such a simple thing, and only took a few hours to do. But I love the way they look. And so far no cat chews!

Cloth Bags for Knitting:
Started: November 9, 2008
Finished: November 9, 2008

Lantzilla Likes His Hat

I finally was able to get Lantzilla his toque. He posted this photo this morning.

Photo of Lantzilla with his hat.

I'm glad that he likes it. And it looks like it fits great. Yay!

Lantzilla's Toque

My friend Lantzilla commissioned me to make him a hat, like the lead character in The Professional wears. I did some web searches, and I found a pattern that both he and I liked.

I used Brenda Zuk's pattern for the Roll Brim Hat. It was easy to follow and very quick to do. I would have finished it sooner but I forgot to bring double pointed needles with me to Carmel.

I ended up using slightly larger needles than the pattern calls for, since the Merino wool was slightly finer. But the finished result is very nice. It's cosy and soft. I hope he likes it.

Lantzilla's Toque
Started: August 30, 2008
Finished: September 7, 2008

Remade Into Something Slightly Less Ugly

At some point last year, I picked up some Trendsetter Yarns Blossom yarn at Noe Knits. They had this lovely deep pinky-red color that I fell in love with, but they only had one skein of it. The yarn has flecks of other colors in it though, so I picked up two skeins of the white, since it has the same pinky-red in it. I figured I could make an extra-wide scarf out of it. I'd do a skein of white, then the pinky-red and then the white. It would be long enough so when I wrapped it around my head a bazillion times, it would look neat with the white-pinky-red-white.

However, as you can see from the image below, I did not end up with the lovely, cozy thick snuggle scarf that I had pictured. Sure, it felt nice. But it looked, well, horrible. And it was so thick that I ended up folding it in half first, which made it too thick when it was wrapped around.

A few weeks ago I started the laborious process of ripping out the original scarf so I could make into something that wasn't horrible. Maybe it's because I've been knitting so much in the round lately, but it seems that it's a heck of a lot easier to rip things out when I don't want to actually do it, than when I do actually want to. At a couple of points I was reduced to *gasp* cutting *double gasp* the yarn because I just couldn't get it untangled. Finally I had three balls of this fuzzy stuff.

The pinky-red I decided to turn into a hat. Sadly, this hat does not photograph well. But it sure is soft and cozy. I followed Dawn Adcock's pattern for a Chinchilla Chemo Hat, mostly because I didn't want to have to think about what gauge this stuff was or the best way to decrease the crown.

I did modify the pattern a bit. I have a big head, so I cast on 66 stitches instead of 60 (which added an extra 2 inches). I also started in the round with the first row. I just knit a row then purled for the first 6 rows. Seemed like extra work to knit it flat and then have to sew the edge at the end. I actually like the way this worked up in stockinette better than how it looks in knit. And it was super, super fast to do. The only reason it took me two days is because I started it at about 10 PM and just got too tired to finish it in one sitting.

Then I started on the scarf. The original monstrosity was about 30 stitches wide. This time I cast on 15 and worked it in knit stitch the whole way. At some point I must have done a yarnover and I was working 16 stitches, but eh. Whatever. It looks much better at this width and is a whopping 78 inches long.

This yarn is very soft, but it's not my favorite to work with. It sometimes feels matted instead of fluffy. And it's rather hard to read the stitches through all the fuzz. It goes nicely with my new winter coat through, and I think I will get much more use out of it now, in its new reincarnated state.

Chinchilla Chemo Hat:
Started: August 16, 2008
Finished: August 17, 2008

Knitted White Scarf:
Started: August 13, 2008
Finished: August 26, 2008

Yet Another Dishcloth

Dishcloth. Dishrag. Washcloth. Mapeen.

It doesn't matter what you call them. I seem to be obsessed with them lately. I finished another dishcloth last night. This is the same cotton yarn that I used for the Cap Karma Cap of The Hat Series, the Malabrigo Yarn 100% organic cotton. I'm almost done with the first skein, and I have another whole hank in the stash. I'm thinking there will be a number of dishcloths in my future.

This one was a bit slower to make, since there are two rows of knit 1, purl 1. It also didn't help that I had this habit of switching rows in the middle of a row. So I'd be working on a knit to the end row and half-way through I'd switch and start purling. *shakes head* I guess that's what happens when I try to knit in the car and aren't paying attention.

This one came out nice and nubby. The cotton yarn is so soft and spongy. It seems like it will be quite good at scrubbing. The pattern is fun to look at and feel.

Nubby Dishcloth:
Started: August 16, 2008
Finished: August 26, 2008

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  • One woman's adventure with yarn, fabric and needles.

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