Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Nicks and Knacks

A bunch of little things have happened this month, and I think combined they all equal a blog post.

I made this jewelry dish out of air-dry clay and copper acrylic paint. 

I got this *beautiful* yarn bowl from Andersen Pottery on Etsy.

I made this little Twin Lens Reflex Camera from a kit at Photojojo. (One of my non-knitting resolutions this year is to shoot more film.)

This is a fair-trade, handmade journal from recycled paper from Raven + Lily. Love the fern pattern!
The pen is hand-turned from DNWoodCrafters on Etsy as well.

These are commissioned arm-knit infinity scarves for two of my mom's coworkers. The yarn is a Merino wool/Nylon blend from KnitPicks. So cozy!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

First FO of the year!

I finally finished my catkin. It actually turned out great, and not at all what I was expecting. That Galileo yarn stretches a lot. I swatched before hand, but I think it overstretched even that. And I didn't even pin it! I washed it and laid it out to dry.  It would be really beautiful on a shawl with a lace pattern (...must resist urge to add to my queue). Definitely not for me in terms of garment knitting, though.

I used gosling and comfrey for this. About 4 balls of gosling and 2 balls of comfrey. I only went about 60% of chart A on the edging, before doing a garter stitch edging and calling it quits. (I had to end this thing, put myself out of my misery.)  This is going in a box tomorrow to get shipped out to my Aunt for a belated Christmas gift.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year's Resolutions

I'd rather look forward to next year than do a recap. Not that 2014 was bad, it was actually pretty good, but I'm more of a look-a-head than a nostalgia person. The older Olivia gets the more I like her, and I'm glad I got a job this year, as that pretty much saved my sanity (plus its a job I actually like, so even better!) We did technically move in to this apartment last year, but since we've only been here about 3 weeks it feels like my last apartment was 2014, and this apartment is our 2015 one. I'm excited about starting school next week (well, its only one class, but its the start of starting school, so thats big).

As far as craft things go, I'm surprised at myself that when I lined up all my plans for this next year, I had more sewing goals than knitting goals. Which, I know my knitting always slows down during the summer, and while I'm an accomplished knitter (if I do say so myself), I'm still fairly a beginner sew-er, so that is a skill I want to get better at. Especially when it comes to garment sewing I really don't want something that looks handmade, I want it to look like its store bought. Plus sewing is a little more versatile in that I make a larger variety of sewn things than knit things. So:

Rather than the A-line coat I picked out, I want to use that houndstooth fleece for this cape/wrap. I think it'll be great to wear over fancy dresses in the winter. I also love this 3-season trench from Vogue. That'll really push my sewing skills, but I want to give it a try anyway. I'm really into the dress-casual look lately. Not only do I think it looks great, but its also awesome for a smaller wardrobe. I love wearing button up shirts and nice pants. On that note, I already own this Thurlow trouser pattern, and I want to make more use of it this year (also, if I sew some of these in a sturdy double-knit, I bet they'd be incredibly comfy, too). I actually made a pair earlier this year, and they fit beautifully, but I committed a cardinal sin of not pre-washing my fabric, and they ended up a solid size too small (sob). But now I know I can do it, at least. As far as the small wardrobe goes, I want to churn out several sets of these Mary Knickers and Baseball singlets by Measure Twice as undergarments. I know sewing a set of plain white tees sounds boring, and probably is, but they'll be incredibly functional, so. And if I'm feeling especially adventurous (and magically have lots of free time) I'd like to try my hand at bra sewing and shoemaking, but I'm not officially putting those on my list, as I could probably spend a whole year on just those two.

For knitting I want to make a couple more vests, like my Splitstone, to wear over those button ups I love so much. This button front vest is a nice alternate to a pullover one. I also am into stranded colorwork at the moment, and this argyle vest is really pretty (fortuitously, I already have the yarn, I just need the time to knit it). I also want to knit 6 pairs of wearable socks this year. I was going to do a dozen, but I didn't want to commit to a pair a month right off the bat. I feel like this way I have a little more flexibility if I decide to to some fancier socks. Fair warning, I'll probably be knitting a decent amount of plain black socks to go with my work clothes, but I'd also like to whip out some color work in socks as well, like these argyle ones. (I really like argyle, OK?)

Yesterday Amazon had a big sale on a lot of digital books, and I picked up Knit Your Socks On Straight for $1.99, so I'll be trying out some of those techniques on my sock knitting as well. I also got Cast On, Bind Off, which I've heard knitting raving about for years, so I figured it was time to check it out myself.

Happy 2015!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The non-knitting holiday update

Whether you've finished celebrating your winter holiday or are still in the middle of it, I hope it is going well or you! We've been pretty good about sending out cards every year since Brad & I got engaged, but this year, with the move and everything, I didn't have the time. So I whipped this up with an iPhone selfie and some Photoshop.

Every year I make sure our card in non-denominational, as we celebrate Christmas as a tradition more than anything religious, and we have friends who celebrate many different things. Which was awesome for us, as a friend of our threw a 'Hanukkah party' with all the traditional food like brisket, kugel, latkes, and some kind of jelly donuts I can't pronounce. We spun a dreidel, but then also played Cards Against Humanity and DDR, so maybe not -completely- traditional :) We went up to Detroit to visit Brad's family for actual Christmas Day. Since Brad's mom is Polish, we had kielbasa and oplatek instead of goose (For us 'tradition' is a very loose term). On Saturday we got to meet up with my Dad's side of the family, which means about thirty people from age 80 to 13 months (Olivia being the youngest) all stuffed in a room. It was the general barely organized but happy chaos that you hope to have when getting together with extended family. 

My 'Christmas' knitting will extended well in January (I still have a whole sweater to make!) But's hat's fine, as I looking forward to life slowing down here a bit, and I have a whole list of New Years Resolutions lined up already (Mostly knitting and sewing things, of course!).

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

I don't have time for this.

Last week was Thanksgiving. Lovely! We got to see lots of extended relatives who live states away, and relax and eat lots of food. Also we celebrated Olivia's first birthday. Brad's brother came down and we all tailgated the OSU game that weekend, too (go bucks!)

One of the few people who can make me feel short (I'm 6' in this photo!)

I am feeling the stress of overbooking myself for Christmas gifts. I have to finish my Catkin (about 75%), my Color Affection (75%), another pair of Snowflake mittens, and a whole sweater. I've resigned myself to not being able to finish it all. The Catkin is going to be mailed, so I think I can wait until a little after Christmas, and if I can get the sweater done by New Years, that'll give me an extra week. By the way, did I mention we're moving in 2 weeks? To an awesome new apartment we're super excited about, but that means half my knitting time (at least) is now packing time. On top of which I'm working an extra 12 hours this week. Yay for a bigger paycheck, but also, more knitting time gone. Brad and Olivia both have colds, but they'll have to fend for themselves while I'm a blurry knitting and packing machine. I've pretty much given up sewing anything before Christmas. I'll just be cold for the next few weeks, because elective sewing isn't going to happen anytime soon. On the plus side, I discovered Essie's Shearling, Darling nail polish matches my Splitstone Vest perfectly!

Friday, November 21, 2014

I might have done a bad thing.

So, winter is here. This week has been in the thirties, and we have about 4 inches of snow. It's lovely, especially since the little shop I work at is practically Santa's Workshop anyway.

The other day I literally thought to myself "I have such a good handle on my Christmas knitting. I'm right on track, and I haven't overexerted myself at all." Well, pride does come before the fall. Since it is freezing outside, and I didn't think to get a winter coat, I was scrambling to find layers. I still have my Color Affection scarf I knitted last year, but my coat is no thicker than a hoodie, and I don't have any gloves. Eshakti has a couple coats, but none that are really 'me'. I browsed around, and I really like this A-Line coat. Its simple, chic, and I think I can make it myself without too much difficulty. I ordered some fabric from Mood (how fun is that! I feel like I'm on Project Runway) and as soon as it gets here I'll start. 

As for mittens, I definitely wanted to knit some, I was thinking something with a stranded colorwork anyway, because the floats on the inside of the mittens are another layer of warmth. I found this knit-flat mitten pattern. Knit flat fair isle is definitely less intimidating than in the round. 4 needles and 2 strands of yarn? That's still a little much for me. But I could totally knit them flat. It only took a couple days, and right now they are drying out waiting to be seamed.

On Sunday my mom & I went to see one of our friends play in a jazz band preformance,  and I told her about my mittens, and I said I thought I ought to knit some for my aunt. How cute would that be! And then I could knit and inverse pair for my uncle, too!  Sounded awesome, but now I'm thinking, wait, I just signed myself up for two more pairs of mittens? Even if its only a week a pair, that's three weeks of knitting.  Um.... did not think that one through. I think these will end up in the gift pile, and I'll knit my pair last. But they are awfully pretty.

On the plus side, yesterday was Olivia's first birthday! We are going out to dinner with the extended fam tonight. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Much ado about nothing.

I'm about waist deep in WIPs, which unfortunately makes for boring blogging. It's nice to have the option of variety, but they're all on a deadline which is a little stressful as well.

Fireside sweater for a friend. I meant to have it done by the end of October, but obviously that didn't happen. I want to get it done at least in time for Christmas though, so she can wear it this winter. It goes fast, but I don't have a lot of motivation to finish it, I think because I so recently finished my first Fireside sweater.

Color Affection for my mom for Christmas. I like the colors she picked, and its going fairly speedy so far, although I ran out of blue yarn, so I'm waiting for more in the mail.

Catkin. I made one in worsted weight several years ago, but I seemed to have either lost it or donated it when I donated a lot of clothes & knit stuff. I wanted one a little more sleek and classy, that I could wear out dressed fancy. This one will be the gorgeous galileo yarn by knit picks, a bamboo and merino blend. I think I might make it a gift for my aunt for Christmas, though. She's the kind of lady who would wear the hell out of a classy shawl. Also this one is waiting for more yarn. (I got one skein of Galileo to try it out, I knew if I wanted to make a project out of it I would have to buy more.)