Monday, December 10, 2012

Holiday Amigurumi

In the past few years it has become a tradition for me to give the kids a little amigurumi for the last day of advent.  The first year I had a less than successful reindeer and a really cute owl.  Last year I made up my own elfy-type patterns.  I think it's about time for me to start thinking about this year's little stuffed guys.

Gnomes are currently my top choice, especially the No Home Gnomes pattern by Phoeny http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/no-home-gnomes.  Some little crocheted snowmen might also be fun. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mini-crochet-snowman.  The crazy thought crossed my mind that I should do some Hobbit amigurumi in celebration of the upcoming movie but that seems like crazy talk and I'm going to stop myself here and now.

Other than the little guys I have some other holiday knitting in the works but I seem to be slacking on my focus.  I'll need to buckle down again soon!


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmassy Crafting

A yarny tree! I'm really happy with it. Leftover sock yarn on the cone then some green with sparkles to brighten it up. I think the trick to these is yarn choice, just like knitting and crocheting.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Weirdness for Halloween

Tonight I was in the mood to crochet except that I can't figure out how to crochet anything flat. So even though I wanted to make a scarf this strange guy is what I ended up with.  My 10 year old helped me choose some of the details although you can't really see his nose and lips in the picture.  She calls him Siri the Alien after the iphone guy (well, on my phone it's a guy) but I call him Booger.

Happy Halloween!

And just to prove that it really is autumn, here's the view out my front door last Saturday morning.  It was amazing.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

When It Doesn't Fit

The best thing to do when it doesn't fit is give it to someone who can wear it.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Voilà! A Hat

I was making this sweater for a newborn cousin of mine when I stopped and thought it looked like it was coming out a bit small, even for a baby. And by the time I looked at it he wasn't a newborn anymore. So this afternoon as I was straightening up and trying to decide if I should frog this I just put it on my head and realized that by closing up the top I could have a great finished object today!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Blanket

Blankets, especially for adults, should never be knit out of anything finer than a bulky. Just sayin.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hiking, Travels, an Old WIP is Finished

Autumn is really here and I love the cool days.  Jogging is better on cool days than summer for me.  The hiking is beautiful and even a drive down the highway is breathtaking.

My husband and I went for a hike at Lake George recently and I took this photo right from my phone.  I was thrilled with the quality and it captures the beauty of the day.

Then we travelled to Virginia from upstate New York to visit family.  The timing was perfect going down route 83 because the farm fields were a beautiful green and there were still many green trees cheering up the autumn color.

Finally, I finished a scarf that I started FIVE years ago in the kitchen in our old house in Connecticut.  I love it.  Here's a shot of graft at the back of the neck which ended up making a nice star-ish pattern.

May your travels be beautiful and your old WIPs get finished.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fall Into Reading 2012

Here's the list of books I'd like to read during Fall Into Reading 2012.

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery.  This one is a little bit of a cheat because I started it over a year ago but got distracted and never finished it in spite of the fact that I absolutely love it!

The other books are series my kids are reading that are both very good.  I've already read the first books of both series but I want to finish the series so we can keep talking about them.  Most people are familiar with the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins.  The other trilogy by Kylie Chan is a great mix up of modern culture and Asian spirit/god fantasy.  There is a lot of action and a strong heroine who, as a character in a book, is very well developed.  I highly recommend it.

Red Phoenix by Kylie Chan

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Blue Dragon by Kylie Chan

Mocking Jay by Suzanne Collins

And do knitting books count?  Well, I read those all the time anyway.  I have one picked out for my vacation in February too but I guess that's really WAY out of fall season and if I can get these 5 done this fall I'll be very happy with that.

I hope you're all reading too!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Single Skein September

Do you listen to podcasts?  Do you listen to knitting podcasts?  And more over, do you listen to Stash and Burn by the wonderful Jenny and Nicole?  They do this great thing called Single Skein September which is a self motivated challenge to knit with as many single skeins (or a couple small double skeins) and get as many finished projects as you can during the month.  It's a great way to power through some of the beautiful single skeins you picked up on vacation over the summer and maybe get some small holiday knitting gifts done early or a little something for yourself for the upcoming cold months if you live in the northern hemisphere.  I am in full SSS mode right now casting on with abandon.  I'm almost done with a great pair of mitts made from some deep stash leftovers.  I have finished a great, super bulky hat that knit up in 2 hours.

It came out cool enough for my daughter to claim it so that's a victory!

But back to podcasts.  I love talk radio having grown up listening to the CBC and NPR.  I still love those stations but I don't live on the Canadian border anymore so I have to get those via podcast feeds.  But I also love that I can look up any interested I have, from knitting to Mac computers, and usually find a someone willing to talk about it.  The one topic that stumped me was some kind of modern day chariot racing that someone mentioned to me one day.  We couldn't find a podcast on that but give it time and someone will come forward to produce it.

In the meantime, I'm off to finish those mitts and maybe one or two more of the single skein projects I've cast on so far this month.

Happy Knitting!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sewing for the Holidays

Mom has been staying with me for a couple of weeks (YEAH!) so I've been sewing lots with her.  Among my favorites are these Christmas tree decorations.




I think it will be so fun to give them as gifts and I would love to cover my whole mantle with them and add some pretty white lights.  This fall weather is helping my holiday focus and it's lots of fun.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Best Solution for those Beautiful Leftover Scraps of Yarn

Do you have them? I have them. Boy do I have them!  Scraps.  Itty Bitty small scraps of gorgeous pieces of yarn that I seem to be constitutionally unable to throw away.  That beautiful leftover bit of green with the strand of pure silver running through it - that's not going in my garbage!  But what do with with said bits?

I've tried scrap blankets because when they work they are really amazing!  Unfortunately I don't have the stick-to-itiveness to ever finish one and they languish in my UFO bin until I throw them out which is what I didn't want to do with my scraps in the first place.  Plus, what about those really, really, really small bits - like a yard - that you can't throw away.

Enter the wrap bracelet fad of summer 2012!  Here are just a few examples of the fun I've been having with my scraps of yarn.







From iCord to wrapping to crocheted chains; beaded, buttoned, bangled and braided, these are so fun!  Thanks to Pinterest for sharing ideas.  More details on my Ravelry page at http://ravel.me/knitstress/syb.  And still more ideas on my Pinterest DIY Jewelry page at http://pinterest.com/CleaStagnitti/diy-jewelry/.  I'd love to see what you're making!


Monday, August 27, 2012

And Now Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Knitting

My husband laughed when I said that one of the things I NEEDED to do on Sunday was take pictures of my knitting.  But I wasn't laughing when I realized how long it's been since I updated my Ravelry page!  And so, I proudly present the projects from Spring/Summer 2012.

Vintage Button and Ribbon modded to not have buttons.

Aleita Shell

The Music Never Stopped - socks for Dad

Althea (Pretty Twisted by Cat Wong)

Cosmic Charlie's Scarf


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Hello Long Lost Blog

I've been busy.  New job.  Busy family.  It's all good but it hasn't left much time for writing or knitting.  However, a few choice things have gotten done.

Music on the dock.

Prizes at the Midway.


Splatter painting with cups on clotheslines at craft camp.

Wrapped sticks at Nature Craft camp were a huge hit. the 4-6 year olds wanted to keep doing this every day.

Coasters from rounds of wood decorated by Nature Craft campers.
Happy Rocks or . . . 

Happiness Rocks.




Eye Candy - Long Lake in the Adirondack mountains of New York.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Baby Knitting

Just a little knitting lately - for babies.  Today I finished and gave away hats to a friend who has just had a daughter and already has a son.  The hats came out really well and were stash/scrap hats which is such a satisfying gift.  Sadly I didn't take pictures before gifting them.  One of them was my own design.  The other was the very, very cute Gooseberry Hat (Ravelry Link) by Suvi Simola.  I'll definitely make more of these.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Cousins

We just got back from our Family Ski Trip.  It's an annual family reunion of 30-40 people who love to ski and hang out.  Each year there's a little something fun and quirky.  Sometimes there's a holiday like St. Patrick's Day or Easter and there's always something fun to do with that.  This year we knew the weather would be warm so one of the cousins brought lei's for everyone to wear skiing.  I've been croknitting those hats (see The Post with No Title) and they go very quickly so I got the harebrained idea that I should knit hats for everyone for next year's ski trip.  I figure I have a year to come up with 40 or so various hats for ages 5-75 and for both men and women.  I'm not under the false impression that everyone will wear a hat but I think it would be very fun to have a bunch of fun hats for people to choose from.  The lady cousins loved the croknitted hats so I'll do some of those and it will be lots of fun to come up with ideas.  40 hats in 52 weeks - am I nuts or is this fun!


Can't you see fun hats next year?



Sunday, March 25, 2012

The 80º Scarf

I work with an amazing, level headed, fun, beautiful woman and I've wanted to knit something for her for some time.  I wanted to make her a scarf because she works out on the playground and we live in the northeast - it gets COLD.  But not this March!  Sometimes we get major snow storms in March and plenty of cold weather but when I finished this scarf last week it was 80º!  I gave it to her anyway figuring she can put it away for next year if it never gets cold enough during this school year.  The colors in this scarf will match her blue eyes and go great with her skin and hair.








The pattern is Chevron Scarf by Joelle Hoverson from Last Minute Knitted Gifts with a crocheted edging.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Bracelets

This weekend has been all about the wrap bracelets - out of braided ribbon yarn, i-cord cotton string and crocheted ribbon yarns.  Some have extra beading sewn on.  I love hand sewing almost as much as I love knitting.  It's very soothing and beautiful to watch the beads adorn the bracelets.




And also St. Patty's day.  Not that we're Irish but 29 years ago my husband met me for our first date.  It wasn't a blind date but it had been arranged.  He was wearing a green plastic hat and carrying a green carnation.   It was one of the best days in my life. 
Here's to 29 more!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spring Homework

The kids are loving the spring weather.
Homework on the swingset.
I'm working away on an out of season scarf for a friend and a lightweight cardi out of sock yarn for myself.  Warm weather can't stop the knitting!

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Post With No Title


I've been knitting hats.
Lion Brand Homespun. Garter brims. Crocheted Crowns.
There's a third, plain blue hat, but my daughter wore it to bed so no pic.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Favorite Stitch

Do you have a favorite knitting or crochet stitch?  Do you have a go to stitch or one that you just love to create, design with, and wear?  Debbie Bliss seems to have a thing for seed stitch.  Elizabeth Zimmerman was a fan of garter stitch.  I'm no Debbie or Elizabeth but I do have a favorite stitch and it's this . . .

K1, yo, K2tog

It's sort of a ribbed faggot stitch although I think technically the faggot stitch is ssp but one of the reasons I love this stitch so much is that it's so soothing to actually knit it and k2tog is smoother than the purl.

And I love the product.  It's light an airy but has enough structure to hold up.  I use it for scarves mostly and to date have knit at least 10 projects using this stitch.

Do you have a favorite stitch?



Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Yarn Speaks

That yarn that jumped out of my stash and spoke to me the other day spoke well, very well indeed.















I might be madly in love with this scarf.  It's very loosely based on a scrap yarn shawl I found on Pinterest.  I really love the single red stripe.  The shawl on pinterest had a small gauge but several row deep crocheted edging on it which was fabulous and I had planned to add an edging like that to this scarf but I like it enough now that I'm afraid if I mess with it I won't like it so much later.  I sort of want to keep it and I sort of want to give it to a friend of mine who found out this week that she's getting laid off at the end of the school year and it's going to be really, really tough for her and her family.  My heart goes out to her.  Lots of us are getting laid off but her situation is worse than some of the rest of us.  When things go badly for my friends I can give them hugs and kind words but so often I find that I give them knitting.  It's what I know how to do and it gives me comfort and I can only hope that it gives them comfort too.  I hope they know that when they wear something I've knit for them they're wearing my good wishes and love, my respect for them and my caring.  A scarf is a small thing but the intentions knit into it are large.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Derailed by the Stash

With a rather large number of WIPs right now I made the mistake, head cold and all, of looking at my stash tonight just before going to bed and all of a sudden 3 oddball skeins of black/grey yarn looked right back out at me and asked their friend red and black to join them and be knit into a lengthwise striped scarf.

Who am I to deny a yarn its destiny?
Here's a crappy picture of the yarn that couldn't wait any longer to be knit even though I have a dumb number of projects started right now anyway.
Check out the beautiful quilt the yarn is laying on. My Mom made it for us. She's amazing.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Grandma Marg

I love this picture of my Grandma.  She was so cool!