Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tis the Season for Custom Stockings

Since 2006, I have knitted stockings every December.

Pictured left are the custom stocking produced in December 2006.
Yarn: Lamb's Pride Bulky
Favorite Features: top hem is lined with wide velvet ribbon(more pictures here); the stripes in the heel flap

This red stocking is represents the first of what was meant to be our family stocking set. This one is my oldest son's.
Yarn: Lamb's Pride Worsted
Favorite Features: big fat foot, striped heel flap

No picture of the 2008 commission. They were made from the Ann Norling series of stockings. Finishing them was so down to the last minute that I didn't have time to photograph them. They were cute, though! The order recipients were a new grand baby and a new daughter in law. They were worked in (shocking) Lamb's Pride Worsted. I did some strange hybrid of intarsia and stranding so that I could work them in the round (what won't I do to avoid a seam).

Here is last year's, December 2009. This stocking was a fun one: I was all over getting it done swiftly, I was able to do the whole pattern stranded (yay, no intarsia), and the lady who ordered was tickled pink at the results. A fairly new knitter, she had been gifted the pattern and yarn by a non knitter who thought it cute. "Abby" is her son's girlfriend, and, with prospects looking good, she wanted to make a spot on the family hearth for this sweet girl. The best part about making stockings is that I get to facilitate the formations of family traditions.
Yarn: (more) Lamb's Pride Worsted

I bring you this year's commission, December 2010.
Steve came in late last December wondering if we could recreate his mother's handy work, pictured on the far left. She had made it for him while delivering him in 1960. Steve had taken excellent care of his stocking and everything down to the angora beard was in great shape, especially considering that it had seen 5 decades of Christmas eves and mornings. I tend to believe that she really may have been working on this project while actually in labor, as the gauge tighten significantly as you move down from the top hem to the foot. Without a pattern, I reworked the chart and made three new Santa's popping from the chimney tops. The first one was slow going as I worked out the chart, but the following two went at top speed. Some day I will share the chart. The extra good news is that he wants to order another 3 for his son's family which means that my charting will keep paying off. This time, I followed the usual construction guidelines, working it flat with proper intarsia and the foot in the round; I remembered to slip the first st of each row so that I could easily do a crocheted slip st seam. Then, I slipped a lining in to top it all off. He wasn't upset that the size didn't match the original (I didn't think that he would mind a bigger stocking).
Yarn: (surprise) Cascade 220

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Deck the Tree

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

I have had this pattern in the works since August and I am very excited to share it with you this lovely December.

The ornaments are worked in the round from one pole to the next (south pole to the north pole. The cast on is something of a thrill, using Emily Ocker's circular beginning (originally found in Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitter's Almanac). There are four separate designs: stockinette, striped stockinette, simple lace, and a lacey leaf. The next fun part is that you inflate a balloon and apply a starching agent to harden your knitted fabric into an attractive Christmas globe.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Knit loves Crochet

And I love the END of daylight savings time with the return of my missing hour!

I am always so energized by those 60 minutes coming back into my personal clock.

By 1pm today, I had completed the above two knitted towels with crocheted edgings. As pictured, you can see that I machine knitted the centers which took about an hour and a half. The crocheted edgings took about an equal amount of time.

Made 2 dozen banana bread muffins.

And had two loaves of garlic rosemary bread ready to bake.
And kept a certain somebody entertained, meanwhile.
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Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Amiable Amigurumi

These are the amigurumi that I entered last month in the Crochet Me Amigurumi Calendar contest. The winners were supposed to be announced yesterday but no news. Holding my breath still.
You can see a few very cute entries here.
Thing one is called a Smonster. I have made knitted Smonters in the past. Their name arrived in reference to the Smitten, a mitten with two hand holes for lovers to hold hands on a cold walk.

The monkey is named Monkeytoosh. With his features being similar to a sock monkey, I used something like a crocheted sock heel to shape his snout and toosh.

At the bottom, we have the terrifying one eyed, one horned, flying, purple people eater.

If they don't win, then I will make the patterns available on my own. ;) I have to be pleased with their reception around here at least. The boys fight over the Smonster and Dante, who doesn't really care about playing with stuffed animals, has lots of love for Monkeytoosh and the OEOHFPPE.
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Monday, November 01, 2010

Halloween Hits

Halloween is my second favorite holiday (St. Patrick's day rates above it). And it was as fun this year as it ever is. I finished the costumes in plenty of time for all of the day's festivities.
Then, we moved into Kevin's department, leading the pumpkin carving. Both Kevin and Alexander decided to go with the classic Barf-kins. Dante desired an ultra classic triangle eyed, goofy toothed handsome face. Kevin executed his and Dante's jack 'o lanterns swiftly, and Alexander did his best job of cleaning out and carving on his own to date.

Dante dressed as Cookie Monster (a costume that we envisioned for him way back when he was in utero). The two best things about this costume was that other little kids were impressed with recognizing him as Cookie and that a women at nice house was so excited about his cuteness that he got candy and a yummy fresh baked cookie.

Alexander was a Sith lord. Sort of boring, but it was a good opportunity to make him some easy black knit jamas as his under layer to the dark hooded cloak. Kevin ensured that it was more authentic with the purchase of a new red light saber and some black leather gloves. Alexander was very gracious and only occasionally corrected people that he wasn't a Jedi.
We made a treacherous decision to meet friends for trick or treating and left a bowl out.

Some dissatisfied individual smashed our littlest pumpkin in response to the emptied bowl. Jerks. Now, the 2 yr old wants to know where his pumpkin went. At least pictures preserved the fun and appreciation that he had with it. It was a good lesson for the 10yr old to prevent future mischief in witnessing what a bummer a smashed pumpkin can be.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Shawl with the little ruffle

I worked this up in a big hurry after casting on. It has been done for about two weeks (finished in plenty of time for the Fall Show and Tell).
I am deeply in love with this color combination, mustard and turquoise. I had my hand on a different color for the ruffle, but in my mind's eye I really had my heart set on this color of Berroco Ultra Alpaca. The knitter whose shawl I am emulating had a much larger ruffle, probably 4 inches deep, but I only had about 80 g of yarn at my disposal. I have a strong feeling that the bigger ruffle may take as much yarn as the body of the shawl.

Wanna buy a pattern on sale?
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Very Exciting Arrivals

Shortly after I made my entry yesterday, some exciting things arrived.

My first (not-self published) crochet and knit patterns have been put into glossy print! The hat and scarf combo (top) is in the upcoming issue of Interweave Crochet Accessories 2010. Such a thrill to see my work in their publication.

The red cardigan (bottom) is in Creative Knitting November 2010. Let's just say that the contents of the box with my complimentary copies make me feel very motivated to lose weight till I am closer to the sample size (and to submit more often to this magazine).

Not only am I jazzed and re-energized about the submission process, but I am also armed with two issues filled with really great patterns that are making my fingers itch to cast on or chain for.

The special issue of Interweave Crochet Accessories is hitting LYS and newsstands on Oct. 26. The Creative Knitting is currently on sale.

Seen the Sale yet?
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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Finished Hooter (As in an Owl)

I successfully acquired my shopping list shortly after I posted last week and completed the lining process on Wednesday evening.

I found the perfect owl fabric by Robert Kaufman, the perfect ribbon to line the handles, and decently priced buttons for handle attachement and pupils.

I would have showed you earlier but I was suddenly crazy busy making amigurumi toys to send in to the Crochet Me Calendar contest. I don't think that I will show you those items until they announce their decision for the winners on Nov. 1. It is quite a relief that the wait is finite and not too far off. I have so much to look forward to that weekend!

Remember to take advantage of the October Coupon! Also, please be sure to make the purchase through the link so that it qualifies.
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Emphasis on Pink All Over

What is Black and White and Pink all over? My new owl bag. The pattern is from Crochet Today Sept/Oct 2010 and has been calling me to make it since I first flipped through the pages. Intended to be a child's book bag, I am looking at it as a new project bag.
Since, I was assembling it from the hat leftovers, I changed the striping pattern and the color arrangement. I am very happy with its current status.
What remains is the lining portion of the project. Yesterday, I picked up most of the necessary items, the perfect lining fabric, awesome ribbon to line the handles, and buttons to sew on the handles. I just cannot decide how to do the beak. It will come to me - color and technique.
Hopefully, today, I will be motivated to do the lining work so that I can enjoy this fun bag.

Check out the October Discount on my patterns.
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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Handsome Reward

In between checking on 10 year olds who were in sleepover/video game heaven, I quickly whipped up these three crocheted caps. They are to be sent off express with the work of three other hookers for a corporate presentation. As they were a rush job, the person who hired us has been quite generous in many ways; one being that I was allowed to keep the yarn (Red Heart Super Saver). Perhaps, not a dream fiber, but it has allowed me to whip up a few fun things from the Sept/Oct. 2010 Crochet Today. Those projects will be shown in the days to come.

Please remember that there is an October sale going. You do need to make your purchases through for the sale to apply.
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Monday, October 04, 2010


I have a new sale this month to reward my new and old customers. When you have purchased one pattern from me in the past or present, you will receive $2 off your next pattern purchase. So, if you have ever bought a pattern from me through Ravelry, then you will automatically receive this discount during October on all of your future purchases, unlimited. If you haven't gotten a chance to make your first purchase, then you will need to buy one at regular price and then all the rest will be discounted.

My Ravelry Pattern Store

Thanks for looking and Happy Needling,

Friday, October 01, 2010

New Pattern: Still Waters

Color pooling and not enough yardage for a whole scarf from the single ball provided; these are often encountered problems, as we have all coveted some stunning handpainted yarn and, either prohibited by cost or by lacking immediate project ideas, have ended up with a single ball of that fiber art. This scarf cuts the cost and extends precious yardage by bringing in a solid color, stash busts, and provides a speedy gift or personal indulgence. It is cast on long ways as I have always been more enticed by a finite number of very long rows than by an infinite number of short rows to complete a cervical warmth device.

Sizes: Long (Longer, Longest);or S (M, L); or Fingering (Light Worsted, Chunky) Shown in Navy (Medium Blue, Light Blue)
Finished Measurements: Width: 5 inches and Length: 56(59, 66) inches
Gauges: For Fingering Weight: 24 sts/32 rows = 4" in stockinette st.
For (light) Worsted Weight: 18 sts/24 rows = 4" in stockinette st.
For Chunky Weight: 14 sts/16 rows = 4" in stockinette st.
Yarns: 164(150, 108)yds of fingering(light worsted, chunky) yarn in each of two colors; As shown:
For Fingering Weight (Navy):[MC]Claudia Handpaint Fingering [100% wool; 175yd/ 156m per 50g skein]; :Walk in the Woods; 1
skein, [CC] Classic Elite Fresco [60% wool, 30% baby alpaca, 10% angora; 164yd/147m per 50g skein]; 5310: Regatta; 1 skein
For (Light) Worsted Weight (Meduim Blue): [MC]Manos del Uraguay Silk Blend [70% merino wool, 30% silk; 150yds/135m per
50g skein]; 7105:Eclipse; 1 skein, [CC]Manos del Uraguay Silk Blend [70% merino wool, 30% silk; 150yds/135m per 50g skein];
300A: Midnight ; 1 skein
For Chunky Weight (Light Blue): [MC] Misti Alpaca Chunky Handpaint [100% baby Alpaca; 108yds/100m per 100g skein]; CP12:
Jazz ; 1 skein, [CC] Misti Alpaca Chunky [100% baby Alpaca; 108yds/100m per 100g skein]; VR3317: Aquamarine; 1 skein
Needles: For Fingering Weight: 1 29 inch or longer US 5/3.75mm circular needle; For (light) Worsted Weight: 1 29 inch or longer
US 8/5.00mm circular needle; For Chunky Weight: 1 29 inch or longer US 10.5/6.5mm circular needle
Tools: Stitch markers (to help you keep count while casting on); Crochet hook - For Fingering Weight: F/3.75mm, For (light)
Worsted Weight: H/5.0mm, For Chunky Weight: K/6.5mm

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