Wednesday, May 31

more finished projects

I finished this a few days ago, the Anthropologie Capelet from Peony Knits. Yarn was hand dyed 100% wool from Irish Baby Knits in the Donegan colorway, knit mostly on #9s ( I think i messed up a bit at the beginning, but we ended with 9s). It turned out a little bit more 'crunchy' than the look I was going for, but over all i like it. I think I'll need to do her Circular Shrug as well, I was reading through the craftster forum on this thing and all the fos look very cool (is it me or are all the members over there skinny and good looking?)

Sshhh - its sleeping. mini moopy. You can find the pattern here. Very mini and very cute. It was a bit fiddly to sew up for my novice sewing skills, but the boy doesn't seem to mind a few messy seams. and it's so cute how he says, "moopy is sleeeeeping. sssshhh"

Tuesday, May 30

recycled sweater

I have this one wool sweater that has been my favorite for years. I got it at a sample sale for $5 while I was working at Burton Snowboards. Green, boiled wool -- it wore like a tank. A friend had the same sweater in blue, she swore by it as well. Years have gone by, and when I wore the sweater this year i noticed that the sleeves were now 3/4 length and the body was getting shorter. I contemplated donating it, but couldn't bear to truly give it up. After studying it for a little while, I decided to try to alter it to fit my little boy.

I believe it's what you call raglan style, so I cut the sleeves down and cut the body down. A little bit of stitching and voila - my favorite sweater is now a size 3T. I purposely sewed the seems on the outside and then tried to make them as neat as possible. I like the look, really casual.

Thursday, May 25

Swap goodies

Yesterday I had a wonderful surprise as my Knitters Tea Swap buddy sent me a package. She (Wendy) had already sent me a little card in the shape of a teapot as a little 'get-ready', so I was so stoked to see this package. She sent some yummy Republic of Tea Spring Cherry Green Tea (lucky too, because i had run out of tea that very day!) and some packages of Walkers shortbread to go with it.

AND she sent a skein of Noro, which i've been wanting to try for the longest time. A skein of sugar and cream cotton, which just that very day i had been thinking about getting so that i could work on some more dishclothes. And a booklet on tea and a whole bunch of patterns. Pretty darn cool.

So thank you Wendy! This was a great swap, and if there's another I definitely want in again.

So, with my new ball of Sugar 'n Cream in hand, I cast on for another Mason Dixon dishcloth. The contrasting color is Blue Sky Alpaca's dyed cotton . Now, everyone says mean and nasty things about cotton yarn, but I love this Blue Sky Alpaca stuff. It's soft and resiliant and i enjoy knitting with it. Not so much the Peaches and Cream - that seems a bit like knitting with kitchen string, but that's okay for dishclothes. I ordered more Blue Sky today because I wanted to have some on hand for any random project that should come up.

Finally today I received my package from Jimmy Bean's Wool - it took forever (forever!) to get here. Does it always take that long from them, or is USPS having a bit of a slowdown. So, my big, long circular needles are here and as soon as i finish this here dishcloth i can go back to my shrug. better get knitting.

Monday, May 22

Swiffer Cozy in use

Thank you for all the wonderful comments on my Swiffer cozy! Someone asked me to share it all covered in hair and dust - here you go (warning might be TMI for those who can't stomach the leavings of a dirty household):

it works like a charm. after sweeping up the dust bunnies just turn them loose outside and throw it in the washer.

Sunday, May 21

whiplash - color


It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do for this week. Not for lack of ideas, mostly because my ideas were too lofty to be 'whipped up' in a weekend. Finally, on Saturday as I pulled out my old, plain, off-white cloth diaper and my Swiffer(probably a registered trademark here) - it dawned on me.

I hate cleaning. There's not enough hours in my day even to clean my tiny little house. I wish we could have a cleaning person, but it's not in the budget right now. The Swiffer is very handy as we have hardwood floors and a dog and a cat - so it works quite well. Only, I refuse to buy into the idea that I need to purchase packages of disposable pads for this thing. I've been using the cloth diapers, and they work pretty well as far as picking things up, but I haven't been able to tailor one to the Swiffer.

And then I connected the dots and was inspired. You know that dishcloth pattern in Mason Dixon Knitting? Wouldn't that make a great Swiffer pad. Add some tabs and some buttons and make it really colorful and out of washable cotton and all of the sudden cleaning is not such a dull chore.

I think that bright cheery colors are really key with this project. It can be hard for the mind to embrace using three very bright colors together like this - but I think it works. I know this works fabulous for cleaning - after all, what attracts cat hair like a handknit?


ETA - the pattern has now been written out and you can find it here.

Saturday, May 20

soap updates and backtack

lots of things got done this weekend, and I still have one more day to go. First off, the rain. It's been raining here for over a week. The stream in our backyard is quite a torrent, but thankfully it's far enough from the house that it doesn't threaten us. Here's a picture of what is normally a gentle, easy stream:

In other news, I finally added the bath salts to the store. I purchased some cute grosgrain ribbon and I really like how these have come together. The bath salts smell divine, I'm really pleased with these as a complete package. I have three single-serving samples to give away. If you'd like to enter the drawing just leave a comment!

Also, the Lemon Mint Soap is done curing. Most went to the new graduates of the Community College of Vermont at their party last night, but I have a few bars available to the rest of the world.

Finally, I finished my back tack III project. Here's a little taste:

Truthfully, I had a lot of crafters anxiety with this project. I see other projects out there and it becomes painfully obvious to me that I've only been knitting for two years. That it's been fifteen years since my mom taught me how to sew. That I'm just not quite 'that' good. I had a lot of ideas, and if I would have pursued them all this little softy would have been quite the hussy. I forget who said it, but said, "before you go out, look in the mirror and take one thing off." and that's the advice that I followed when puttting this together. Only there were about five or six things that I thought of that I didn't complete. I hope my partner likes her, the intention is there.
For the kitty, I chose to use a vintage tablecloth that I had picked up at a yard sale in La Mesa, CA when we were living in San Diego. It had been embroidered by someone, but not particularly well, and hadn't been that well taken care of. The cloth had burn holes and so forth, so I never used it but couldn't bring myself to get rid of it. When considering my options for this softie it popped right into my head and I knew I had to use it.
In order to get the designs on the body, I had to enlarge the pattern for the body about 20%, which thankfully made it a bit easier to turn out. She has a lot of character. First I was thinking that she was some sort of punk rock kitty, but after the eyes were done I learned that she was really a diva with a naughty side. Her mohair cape, large red rock and bling brooch are her well-groomed side, while her 'ink' shows the naughty side.

This week I'll try to take some better photos, I hear the sun might make an appearance after Monday and put together an awesome package for my pal.

If you have a chance, check out Abby's jewelry at Handmade by A Fish. In addition to putting up with my hellion son three days a week, Abby makes handcrafted, hand beaded jewelry. I always get tons of compliments when I wear her stuff so I'm happy to spread the word about her new website.

Saturday, May 13

Whiplash - To the Moon!


The theme for Whiplash this week is 'Yarn'. I decided to interpret this as the other definition of yarn, "a narrative of adventures, especially a tall tale."

A few years ago I wrote a little childrens story and i even went so far as to sketch out the illustrations and page layout. my plan was to get really good with Adobe Illustrator and realize this super-cool book that I could read to my little boy. Well, I've never got that good with Illustrator (though i bet if I did these illustrations it would help a lot) and the story just sat there at the front of my big blank book. when this theme was announced i ran through a lot of ideas in my head, but kept coming back to the idea of telling a story. and i settled on making a small, handmade book to tell the tale of a little boy who went to the moon.

I present to you, To the Moon a mixed media book featuring paper, fabric, paint and bound with embroidery floss (a type of yarn...)

To the moon! To the moon! I want to go to the moon.
I'll build a rocket and fill my pockets to go all the way to the moon.

Up into the air I'll zoom, away, higher, further, than my room.

Lots of stars I'll pass as I go by very fast on my way to the moon.

When I get there I'll walk around looking at all the neat rocks I found.

After a while it's time to return. Fire up the rocket, get those engines to burn.

Up into space, fly away from the moon.

Bring me back to my favorite place, my room.

Thanks for checking out my 'yarn'. I had a lot of fun with spray glue and paper and am happy that I was finally able to get an entry in whiplash.


Thursday, May 11

Holy Moly - have you been to the Knitters Tea Swap blog lately? Everyone has been flashing their tea stash and there are some amazing collections out there. I guess I need to get on it, though my stash isn't very grand because tea just doesn't hang around that long. I drink a (small) pot of green tea every morning. Usually gunpowder, but sometimes Jasmine if I need an extra pick me up.

I used to buy it in bulk at the local natural food store, but often I would forget and run out and then they would be out and I would be sad. Then someone turned me onto Adagio Tea. It' s friendly site with loads of selection and trial sizes as well as big sizes. The best part of all - order before 3 pm and the stuff is at my house the next day! They're in NJ, and I would think it would take longer than that. But apparently Fed-Ex ground has a direct connection because it's always really fast.

My swap buddy should be receiving her package in a few days. It has officially gone out and I hope she's able to enjoy the goodies and the yarn. I sent her my favorite as I know that not too many people out there make the investment that's required to possess this particular hand dyed type of yarn.


Tuesday, May 9

dishcloth and back tack

dishcloth from the Mason-Dixon knitting book. Blue Sky Cotton - I know, that's pretty swanky for a dishcloth. but i'm trying to knit through my stash and i had some leftovers that worked perfect for this project. I see more of these in my future and I'm also contemplating working a log cabin blanket for my little boy.
see here? back tack is well underway. kitty is constructed out of a vintage tablecloth, the ideas in my head are coming to life just as i had pictured them. today i stole a few minutes to go to our local 5 and dime (yes, we have one!) and get some trimmings. i got ric-rac! since i was 5 i've been trying to find a way to use this stuff, and here's my chance.

sorry such a short post. lots of orders for hug-a-dub-dub have been coming in this week, so I've been busy crafting and packing and shipping. lots of people wanting the sachets, I made a huge pile tonight and meant to take a photo, but didn't remember until they were neatly tucked inside of their packages awaiting their new home.