Monday, December 31, 2007

It's about time ~

I can share more {but not all!} of the Christmas crafts and some pictures of the great Christmas snow we've experienced in Colorado.

As I mentioned before, there was a lot of new learning that went into the crafts this year, mostly involving sewing.

There were more aprons::
One for each of my siblings to accompany a family cookbook I put together. The aprons are made from tablecloths used for many years on our table.

The cookbook is full of family pictures and some of our favorite recipes. Although, with a look to the future, this cookbook is by no means comprehensive, leaving room for a full family cookbook series. I made the cookbooks using This was my second book from blurb, and I've loved the results both times. The software can take some time to get used to and does slow down if you try to do too many manipulations of your work, but I find that just quitting and restarting the program keep things running smoothly.

There were also some pj pants for C {I modeled them before they were wrapped}::

These were a great project {almost easier than the precision needed with the aprons!}, and I'm sure I'll make some more in the future ~ for everyone in the family. I finished these quickly and didn't reinforce the seams, which is really a necessity with pj pants. I had a lot of fun using rivets instead of button holes for the tie area. I used twill tape for the ties, unfortunately, I could only find it in white, so in the future, I might dye it to compliment the fabrics.

There are a few more presents that haven't been mentioned, but that just prolongs the season! I also haven't shared many of the crafty gifts & projects that I've started working on over the break.

In other news, we've had amazingly snowy trip so far. There have been flurries or full on storms at least every other day since we've been in Colorado. The skiing has been great, and we've even tried out some AT skis ~ they have "skins" on the bottom allowing you to go uphill and get a great workout. After a long hike/ski up the hill, you take off the skins and glide down!

A sign as we passed through Nevada {but really, where are the Casinos?}::

And of course, a Christmas road trip is not complete without dressing up the van with a chandelier and a wreath::

Friday, December 21, 2007

Guest Crafter ~ My Mom

{Hi Mom!!}

Since I can't post any more projects until they are given for Christmas, I thought we'd mix things up a bit. My mom is an amazing crafter ~ we always go to her with our crafting questions, when we need ideas, or when we need supplies. I leaned on her a lot for the sewing projects {soon to be revealed} that I worked on this Christmas.

Since it's Christmas, I thought the perfect feature craft would be our Christmas stockings... hung by the butcher block with care!

She made them by cross-stitching the designs onto burlap. All of the cross-stitch is done with cotton yarn. The stockings are lined and backed with quilted christmas fabrics. You'll notice that each stocking has a different Christmas design {santa, tree, snowman...} and word {joy, hope...}. Along with each person's name, they also have the year we were born.

These stockings are large ~ so the bottoms are usually filled with some oranges and nuts and then topped off with some of the stocking basics {shampoos, lotions, other fun stuff}. If you have any questions, I'm sure my mom would be happy to answer them. Mom ~ thanks for sharing, hope you enjoyed the surprise!

Now, back to your previously scheduled, pre-Christmas frantic shopping and crafting. I hope your final gifts are made and wrapped before the big day and that you have a very merry Christmas!

I'm off on a Christmas road trip with C. We're heading to Colorado to visit his family, then up to Wyoming, then back to California!

I'll leave you with the sunset from my plane window::

Monday, December 17, 2007

More Christmas Crafting

It's been an eventful week, filled with dodging the storms, crafting, and finishing the semester.

I've been working on a variety of crafty projects, learning many new skills and practicing some old ones.

Some friends received (or will receive), little packages of homemade apple butter and mini loaves of oatmeal bread::I planned ahead and made the apple butter while I was home for Thanksgiving. In the past I've used a big electric roaster to cook down the apples and cider, this time I used a counter-top frying pan. The frying pan worked really well, but there was more of a chance for burning that didn't exist with the roaster (I think because of the water layer that's between the roasting pan and heating unit).

This was my first time canning{new skill!} and it was easy as pie! I'm hoping the apple butter will become a yearly tradition.

The knitting has been really eventful this season, there were a few projects I've had planned since September, and others that I didn't see coming until December, but they've turned out perfectly and I think the recipients will be happy!

For example::This picture includes both the Counterpane Carpet Bag {a project that was requested in early December} and a baby sweater {that I had planned since October}. Well you'll see below that I had no problem finishing the counterpane carpet bag, but my baby sweater was another story. I decided to change directions completely, but I'll leave those details for another day!

I just shipped out the finished Counterpane Carpet Bag from Holiday Knits::

And as a fun detail, I changed the color of one of the scallops::

The bag was accompanied by an apron {practicing my meager sewing skills!}. I'm making some aprons this year ~ from old tablecloths that dressed our tables for a few years. I'm finding the material to be just perfect for aprons! It's a little bit thicker than typical cotton prints, and so it seems that it will be a bit more absorbent when it comes to messy cooking projects.

This apron had a few fun details because it's recipient is anything but average. Here are the best shots I could take without an assistant::

*The flower is removable for easy washing and the feathery bottom is machine washable on the delicate cycle.

Now, I'm having a great afternoon, staying cozy and crafting with my sister while the ice begins to melt::

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Cozy joy

That's what I'm feeling this morning. The weather report's calling for snow (anywhere from 6-12 inches!).

I have a fresh cup of TJ's Winter Blend coffee. Liesel's blocking. Some candles are lit, and the best news of all:: I can stay put! Our department suggested we finish all business at school before noon today ~ by fortuitous accident, I have all the articles and files here at home that I need, so I decided to just stay warm and cozy at home.

It's almost as good as a snow day, though there's still work to be done!

I'll be back with some more crafty news soon*

Sunday, December 09, 2007

A propper post, pictures and all!

Before another week gets underway, I thought I'd share some proof the "doing" that's been going on behind the scenes here. Here's a short sampling of the Christmas gifts under way::

These two hats look amazing together. The deep red with the ice blue are perfect compliments, especially with a background of snow!
Red Hat Details ~
Yarn:: Plymouth Yarn, Baby Alpaca Grande, one full skein
Pattern:: 3x3 ribbing all the way, decreasing around the top in a way to keep the ribs
Size:: should fit any adult head because it's super stretchy
Needle size:: US 9

Blue Hat Details ~
Yarn:: Rowan Calmer
Pattern:: Shedir from Knitty '04
Size:: baby/childish

Then we have some manly jaywalkers::
Details ~
Yarn:: Knit Picks Swish Superwash in Squirrel Heather
Pattern:: Toe-up Jaywalkers, with my own short-row heel
Size:: men's 8.5
Needle size:: US 3

And a last minute scarf::
Details ~
Yarn:: Knit Picks Palette in Marine Heather
Pattern:: Liesel
Needle size:: US 7

And finally, some beautiful winterfoliage from our front yard::

Have a great week, and I should be back soon with some more Christmas goodies!!

Monday, December 03, 2007

I have plenty to say and share

but I'm keeping my lips zipped as I prepare the Christmas goodies! Every minute I'm not doing regressions I'm knitting, or scheming, or brousing the internet and local stores for some craft and non-craft gifts. It's so much fun when I need a break from school work and can't read another paper!

I've also done some fun baking ~ a delicous vegetarian lasanga with butternut squash, mushrooms, and some greens. I'll share the recipe when I have a few more minutes.

And it snowed last night! I think I was up until 4 in the morning, between trying to finish up some presents (I'm not ahead of the game, they require shipping, so I have to hurry hurry), and being excited about snow, I couldn't sleep!

So, yes, there's a lot going on, and I'll have to take some pictures of the lasanga and snow to share since everything seems to be a secret. Won't you be lucky.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

the goods

--these bowls
--a year of being mooned
this silky merino wool
{if anyone's ordering pick up two skeins of the Lemon Chiffon for me!}

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Holidays

I can't believe it's been a week since my last post. I've been knitting away, but have little to share because I'm turning this::into Christmas presents!

I'm very excited about this Knitpicks purchase. I ordered a couple of new yarns ~ CotLin, Felici, and Palette. As well as an old standby ~ Swish Superwash. The beauty of the purchase is that I have enough yarn for 6 gifts and it cost me a whopping $45.33 (free shipping!). A great deal for this knitting grad student! This means that while I'll be busy knitting, I can't share much of the progress (psst ~ if you want updates check out my Ravelry page).

The weather has been beauty at my parents, clear skies and the last of the fall foliage::

And, of course, the kitchen has been busier than Santa's workshop::

~Pumpkin Soup, in the pumpkin~

~Apple Butter, canned for giving~

I hope you had a relaxing Thanksgiving and are able to enjoy the weekend before heading back to work. I'm headed to NYC tomorrow with my mom and sister ~ they're going to see The Prarie Home Companion at Town Hall while I wonder around, do some Chrstmas shopping, and probably stop in a cafe to take a load of and do some research (fingers crossed).

Saturday, November 17, 2007

If Handmade Knits Glowed...

This picture would be blinding::

On me ~ Tilted Duster & Foliage

Oh Soph ~ lil' pumpkin hat & baby bolero (both patterns I threw together)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Happy Birthday

We interrupt this knitting to bring you some art and give a Happy Birthday wish to Georgia O'Keefe.

There's a birthday slide show at Slate::

This summer I visited the O'Keefe museum when we stopped in Santa Fe for the day ~ a beautiful place and definitely worth the visit. While there I picked up one of her biographies and read it as we continued on our road trip. Her life is a great story of a passionate artist who painted from her soul and surrounded herself by a landscape that she loved. A good read if you have some time.

If every house had one O'Keefe, would it have a calming effect? Maybe. Hopefully it will also push our creative buttons, get us talking, and make us look closely at the flowers*. happy birthday.

An appropriate painting for this time of year~~Autumn Leaves, Lake George~

Friday, November 09, 2007


Finished Knits, Finished Objects, FOs, call them what you like, I'm happy to share two today.

The first is a wee pumpkin hat for an amazing little pumpkin that I'm going to see this weekend. I used some of the same green in the stem that I used in her Sweet Pea Sweater, so they will make a perfect combo ~ if she still fits in the sweater!Pattern:: My own, simple bottom up hat {if you want more details, just let me know!}
Needles:: Size 6, 4mm
Yarn:: Knit Picks Merino Style (my not be washable, but it's squishy and comes in nice oranges and green)

The second is my Tilted Duster! I'm still in my PJs, so I"ll leave the actual model shots until this weekend.Pattern:: Tilted Duster, Fall 07 IK
Size:: Smallest
Needles:: Size 9, 5.5mm (I think it calls for 10)
Yarn:: Berroco Peruvia
Buttons:: Ceramic from Briar Rose
Changes:: I knit the sleeves in the round, I also knit them in the next bigger size because I had heard a few reports of the sleeves running small. Finally, I stopped the skirt just three rows short because I thought it was long enough, and I was excited to finish it!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Graviton Warp Drive*

I finished the Tilted Duster, and if the sun cooperates I'll have some pictures to post very soon.

I also finished one of my Thrummed Mittens! I'm really excited about wearing these all winter... ditto on the sun and promise of pictures.

I also placed a Christmas Order to Knitpicks, purchasing lots of yarn for a few projects I hope to finish over the next month. After I placed the order, I was a bit intimidated about the amount of work that might be required to make the gifts happen, but after sleeping on it, I'm sure the gifts will get done with plenty of time to spare {fingers crossed}.

So, while there's plenty of knitting and project planning going on, I have nothing to show you except a little trip back in time with the Graviton Warp Drive*.

A year and a week ago I was in England celebrating a kickass wedding and loving the fields of sheep::

*Graviton Warp Drive: n. What a special someone calls his time machine. Although, I've heard that it only takes one into the future. So, there will be no "swinging by" England to check out last year's sheep on the way to the sun.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

This post ends in a {blur}

This has been a thoroughly relaxing weekend, we started with a late Halloween party on Friday. I don't have any pictures of myself, but here's a sense of the spooky silliness that was had by all::

On Saturday, we only ventured out for bagels, and then spent the rest of the day inside while the storms of Noel attacked. I used the time well to finish up a few knitting projects and start up some new ones. And this, my friends, is the blur of pictures. It's sooo hard to take good knitting pictures with little sunlight, but I'm promising to make more of an effort to take some better pictures over the coming weeks::
~Felted Bowl~ {My own pattern, just think of it as a very simple top-down hat (hint! or as one half of the Christmas balls in the Holiday Knits book, just made a little larger). This one is the perfect size to hold jewelry on your dresser or change on your desk}

~Tilted Duster~{once it's done blocking, I'll sew on the buttons and share the details}

~New Knits~{On the right is the start of a Thrummed Mitten and on the Left is a simple ribbed hat in alpaca, for someone who desires the perfect hat}

After all of that fun, there was nothing to do, but get back to work today. But tonight, there's definitely some time for apple pie and last week's episode of The Office. Cheers

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

~~Happy Halloween~~

My costume's coming along, luckily I have until Friday for our party! Thanks for your brilliant ideas. Kris - I'll work on the 365 degree head turn for you:)

Saturday, October 27, 2007


It's been a long week, but I'm finally sharing some of the good stuff last weekend.

First, ~ my Rhinebeck goods::

I had a great time looking at the wide variety of yarns at the festival, but in the end I walked away with some lovely worsted weight tweeds from one vendor. Some Rhinebeck attendees may be shaking their heads in shame, that I could be surrounded by all of that yarn goodness and only buy this, but I'm so excited about this yarn! It's soft, I love the colors (all of her colors were great), and it was such an amazing deal.

I'm going to use the indigo skeins to make a new sweater (more on that later). The greens are going to be used, along with the balls of roving, to make some thrummed mittens.

A little public service announcement about thrummed mittens:: DON'T BUY THE KITS. I know kits are nice, they come with the yarn and the directions, all you have to do is knit. But seriously, why pay over 30 bones for materials that you can pick up for about 8? All you need is about 200 yards of worsted weight yarn, and 1-2 oz of roving (my pattern calls for 1oz, but I've seen some patterns call for 2oz). As for instructions? I know you can find some great info on Hello Yarn, and there's a nice pattern in the Winter '06 Interweave Knits ~ which is the one I'm going to use.

And finally, my sheepish, but non-knitting finds::

Some ceramic buttons for my tilted duster, a mini sheep, and a sheep photo!

We had a great discussion with the photographer of this picture. He's the farmer on the farm where this pic and many others were taken. My friend bought an amazing shot of a rooster crowing for her kitchen. Our friend, the farmer, runs this farm full of animals and veggies and he takes the pictures in his spare time ~ it sounded like the perfect life (don't get me wrong, I know it's full of manure and early mornings), but still, I told him I was envious of all of the photo material right outside his front door!

Now for some knitting::

My tilted duster just needs some sleeves! I'll probably work on the sleeves and my jaywalkers while watching Game 3 tonight.