Monday, January 30, 2012

Beaded Bracelets

I haven't made these in a long time and I've always liked how they came out. I made these a couple of years ago as small gifts for the girls in my knitting class (5th graders).  Here's the pattern I ended up using to get the results I wanted.

Scraps of sock yarn. Beads strung on yarn before knitting. CO 50-52 sts, divide beads evenly somehow you think will look nice. Purl 2 rows, 3rd row purl, slipping sts where you put bead, k until as wide as you want bracelet to be, purl row, slipping sts where you put bead, purl 2 more rows, BO knitwise.

They're so easy and a great way to use up scraps of sock yarn and miscellaneous beads you might have around.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Things I am Learning - One Thing My Husband is Learning

When beading on ornaments I need to knot each bead to have it turn out the way I really want it to turn out.

I prefer cowls to scarves. At least right now. Not so much bulk.

Even if I've knitted something once, I should still read the directions when I knit it a second time (3 hours today on 6 inches of a vest and I forgot to cable. FAIL!)

Malibrigo is awesome.  This Malibrigo hopes to become a Honegart, a cowl and a pair of mitts.
(Lame kitchen webcam photo of beautiful yarn does not do it justice.)

My husband is apparently learning something because Friday when I tried on a sweater that I love and have had for years but never wear he said, "Why don't you just cut it up and use it for a craft?"  He's learning.

Exercise tomorrow - drink beer and craft tonight.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Flying with Socks

I've been spending more time sucked into Pinterest lately than actually knitting or otherwise crafting.  And just now I should be asleep!  2 hour snow delay but since they call me to make sure I know about the delay even though I've already checked it online I'm awake and I can't get back to sleep yet.

I'm still working on my friend's vest as well as picking away at a pair of socks that I pulled out of the UFO bin.  I took them with me last weekend to my parents house when I returned their car to them which we had borrowed.  I then had to fly home on a 12 seat airplane.  Well, I didn't know that they were going to take my largish carry on because there wasn't enough room for my knees let alone a bag.  Thankfully I had my sock knitting right on top of the carry on because I snatched it out and clutched it tightly as I got up into the plane.  I even grabbed the single finished sock.  Why?  Did I think if the plane went down maybe I'd have so much done that I'd need to measure for the toe?  The flight was only an hour long and I had just finished the heel so why I thought I needed the finished sock is beyond me but I was very, very glad to have my knitting and we took off and the Indian Jones music started playing in the background.  The plane was so small that they had to ask one passenger to sit in the co-pilot's seat!  The woman who drew that straw did NOT look pleased about it.  Some other information of note about flying on those itty bitty planes:
  • There's no bathroom so watch your tea intake before the flight.
  • They weigh your carry on.
  • Then they ask how much you weigh. This is not the time to be coy about your weight. I think the person checking us in was keeping a running tally on a scrap sheet to make sure we didn't go over the limit.
  • You feel turbulence much more in an itty bitty plane.
  • Yes, they have "those bags" in the seat pocket in front of you.
  • No, I didn't have to use one of "those bags."
  • On a clear day you can see all of the Adirondacks and Upstate NY geography and it's beautiful!
  • All 4th graders should get a free ride on a Cape Air flight over the Adirondacks on a clear day as part of their New York State studies.  Don't you think field trip budgets would cover that?
  • You see every twitch the pilot makes when you're sitting right behind him/her and you wonder if he's trying to keep himself awake like you do when you're driving and you're tired OR if he's too warm in the sun but he doesn't want to ask the disgruntled woman in the co-pilot's seat to help him pull that first sleeve off while he's driving OR he forgot to use the bathroom at the airport OR he has the shakes for some other, unknown reason that you don't want to speculate about.
Cape Air - I highly recommend it. Good prices, nice people, reliable.
Considering that this is the second time I've flown in 12 years I was pretty proud of myself and thankful I had my sock knitting with me.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Crafting, Crafting, Crafting and Knitting

Don't you love the new year, fresh starts, cleaning and organizing?  So far I got my needles organized and put into Ravelry and today I'm cleaning up the last of the holiday decorations and putting the house back in order and it feels great.  That's not to say that I haven't been knitting and crafting at all.  I'm finally getting back to a great pair of vanilla socks that I can't wait to finish so I can wear them.  I started the Gilet-Chocolate vest for my wonderful friend Donna who traded me a winter jacket that her husband had ordered and didn't like and they couldn't return it for the vest.  I love the pattern and it's both fun and quick to knit.
And I'm still stuck on the crafting of Christmassy ornamenty decoration things out of fabric.  In fact, that's what I'd like to do all day today but alas there are bathrooms to scrub and groceries to buy if we're going to eat next week.  Here are a few more pictures.
Another bird.  I particularly love the vintage buttons that hold his wings on.  I've had only 2 of them for years (1999 maybe?) that I picked up in an antique shop in PA just because they were so cool and finally the perfect spot for them presented itself to me.  The question now is, will I be able to give this guy away?

Not the most successful combination of ribbon and fabric because the greens don't really match. Oh well.

Here's my first cork tree.  I'm really happy with the denim and diamonds look of it and the chenille and novelty yarn for garland worked well too.  It was just a scrap of denim left over from cutting out my last tree but I think it's little slant to the left gives it character.  I'll be making more of these. 

These were this year's Christmas Eve advent guys for the kids that I crocheted on a whim that morning.  The hats with trim were fun to make.  If I knew more about crochet I'd give them more stylized hats and a long, pointy, slanted beard for the long faced guy.  I'll just have to keep practicing!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Yarn Harlot is All Wound Up

I’ve been reading Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s All Wound Up 
which I got for Christmas from my wonderful mother-in-law and I’ve been having a laugh and trying to read it slowly so as to savor it and not use up all the humour in just a few hours.  One of my favorite chapters is crytoscopophilia which is, of course, the act of looking in someone else’s window as you go by and then, to carry it futher as the Yarn Harlot does, make inferences about the people who live within those windows.  We just passed a car on the New York State Thruway coming home from New Year’s Eve festivities and the first thing I noticed in the car was a Woodbridge box.  Woodbridge is a wine maker and that initially made me think of the excellent wine we had on New Year’s Eve.  Then I noticed not just a second wine box, but also a third and a fourth and then the inferences stated piling into my head before I could say Bob’s your uncle. 
  • Thought #1 – “Wow, they drink a lot of wine.”
  • Thought #2 – “That’s not necessarily true, maybe they just packed their holiday gifts in there.”
  • Thought #3 – “If it’s holiday gifts then they and their family must have drank all that wine to have those boxes around.”
  • Thought #4 – “Maybe it’s not holiday gifts. Maybe they’re moving because when you move you might likely go to the wine store to ask for empty boxes to use for packing.”
Then I notice the woman in the passenger seat is smoking a cigarette which, let’s face it, you don’t see as often as you used to see.
  • Thought #5 – “Smoker. I bet they drank that wine or they’re brining it home to drink.”
The Yarn Harlot is right – we do make inferences and judgements based on those inferences just willy nilly when we see things and is that fair?  And that’s what I love about her books.  Besides humour and a good laugh she’s a philosopher of the sort that gets you thinking every day.  Thanks for the great book Ms. Pearl-McPhee!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Digging the Ornament Crafting

Joe's Ornament - from a sweater that got felted.

Donna's Ornament from an old sweater of Derek's/Jimmy's/Cassidy's that got a rip in it that couldn't be repaired.

Cute bird for Shelley B-D.

Felted sweater for Tammy Stroud.

Denim tree for the gift basket since it's January now but I can't stop making them yet!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Ornaments and Chrismtas Knitting

Christmas 2011 Gifts

Bird Ornament for Aunt Lynne and Carl

Katie's Sweater

Trish's Scarf

Will's Blanket

Kathy's Ornament
It was a wonderful holiday.  I'm motivated now to finish a vest for my friend Donna and make more ornaments.  There's not enough crafting time in the world.