Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve Business

Well, here it is, the day before the new year.  And here is my resolution:

I will not buy new yarn all year.  I will be shopping from my stash - both for yarn and fabric, I expect.  I don't know how long it will last, but hopefully, I'll be spinning more.

I've also joined a Craft-along on Craftster about doing 50 projects in the course of the year.

Here's the list, which I'm sure will be revisited often!

1. spin purple/red sock yarn
2. spin yellow/orange yarn
3. spin green/black yarn

4. crochet wagon wheel bag
5. pink woven scarf
6. giant pinwoven wallhanging for baby's room
7. cat quilt
8. rainbow bag
9. hat for myself

in the queue:
10. make lap loom
11. sun and moon modpodge screens for screen printing

12. two or three abstract screens for screen printing
13. scarf for baby
14. skirt for older child
15. decoupage boring spindle(s)
16. woven creature with pile technique
17. mitten pattern for size 2 needles (& resultant mittens) 2-3 pairs?
18. worsted weight linen stitch mittens from scrap yarns
19. mittens from silk/wool yarn
20. mittens from pink yarn
21. turquoise socks
22. mittens from purple yarn
23. rainbow lace socks
24. spin up lots of brown/blue batts - weave into army of creatures
25. comb and spin romney yarn
26. comb and spin lincoln locks
27. weavette scarf
28. ghost screen for screen printing
29. rag rug (or 3)
30. spin up orange roving and make into mittens (what else?)
31. spin up remains of Shetland fleece
32. tiger screen for screen printing
33. dye yardage

new/resurfacing ideas:
34. pouch for business cards
35. use new placemat loom (!)
36. paper making
37. dishtowels
38. dpn storage
39. felted sweaters into stuffies
40. portable knitting kit
41. green child sweater
42. red roving rug
43. knitting project bag
44. weave kitchen curtains
45. scarf loom
46. beaded santa kit
47. crochet snowmen
48. upcycle green sweaters into christmas trees
49. dye silk scarf
50. redo sewing room

Some of that has been on the list for years, so.... not sure it will happen now. I'm only surprised there is so little sock knitting!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Crafts - Part 2 - shirts

These were made for my nieces and nephew.

purple, green shirt with alligators

Printed, eyes waxed, then stitched shibori style, then dyed green, unstitched, soy wax applied to alligators, and finally dyed with a light purple.

green shirt with slug
same basic process, except overdyeing color was blue.

pink ladybug shirt

Waxed eyes, then shibori stitching, then pink dye.  It didn't get a second color because the shibori was too good at keeping the dye out...

These are prints of my own design.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Crafts - Part 1

lion toy
growl... roar!
I didn't do much Christmas crafting this year; my parents and a few others decided not to exchange gifts, much to the relief and surprise of me and my sisters.  And it has cut down a great deal on what I had to do, my initial list was much more complicated...

First - the knit and crocheted items:

Mario Brother's Mushroom
dee dee dee...

The pattern is here. Mine is much larger, I've added rows (basically I crocheted three rows for every two in the pattern) and increase it to about 100 stitches around at the widest point.

lion toy

This lion was for my youngest child.  I started the mane three times, and swore that if the third did not work out, I'd do it with crochet, but I managed it at last.

The pattern's ravelry page is here. But I am not really recommending the pattern... it's alright, but I went my own way with the face. And the ears are too big!  Also, the back of the head looks a bit- under designed.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve dessert

Every year I intend to do a Buche de Noel.  I'm not certain I manage often.  There was one last year, and I at least remember making it at my mother-in-law's house one Christmas when both I and my sister-in-law were pregnant (with our respective elder children)... and carting the recipe to Texas, but being stymied by the lack of jelly roll pans.

This tradition is a French one, an idea I caught a passion for in French class (perhaps the only thing that remains with me from French class...)

At any rate, one bakes a flat cake - my recipe is basically a sort of meringue - the cake is only eggs and sugar with cocoa powder and vanilla, and then one puts a layer of flavored whipped cream in, roll it up, then ice it.

Buche de Noel (yule log cake)
you have labored to produce...

Technically, it should look realistic, but while I puzzle and sweat over the notion for a few days beforehand, in the end, I just dye some coconut green for moss, and make lines in the frosting with a fork, and sprinkle sugar over it (this one has four colors of fancy sugar, plus powdered sugar on it, plus snowflake shaped sugar decorations).

same, after dessert
Merry Christmas to All!  And to all, lots of sweets.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Close encounters of the clawed kind

My family and I went out of town last weekend to see more family before Christmas.

My aunt and uncle always have at least three, generally two (large) dogs and a cat; but these days, there are two dogs and two cats.  The cats are siblings, and just around a year old; a male and a female.  Skinny little shy things, and you'd hardly notice they were there, most of the time.

Unless you're a knitter and you leave your knitting bag unattended.  And, say, go to bed.


I was working on a pair of fingerless gloves, as it is a quick, small project - perfect for travel, and I use my size 3 dpns, of which I have two sets, which I like to keep together.  I had one glove mostly completed, attached to the ball of yarn.

In the morning, the yarn was broken into a few balls, and sitting on the kitchen table, having been gathered from the far corners of the house by my aunt and uncle, and not only that, two of the needles were chewed straight through!

The glove itself was in fairly good shape, and once I was sure all the stitches were there, and had substituted new needles for the broken ones, I packed the bag up again, and put it somewhere so I could have breakfast. Two minutes after that, a cat went over to it and stuck its head in.  :P

My aunt, somehow, is no longer doing much knitting... she's had to throw away skeins and skeins of yarn due to tangles beyond human patience.  They wait until no one is looking and steal yarn and then drag it to the basement, and chase it about.  And it doesn't matter if you button up your bag (which I did!) because they just ooze in around the sides.

I locked my bag in the suitcase that night.  And I was able to keep knitting (whew!), because I did have those extra needles, though they are not so extra now... I've only two of my original hardwood needles left and I'm too rattled to use them. (The two that were broken were hardwood ones, the bamboo needles were untouched.)

I also, apparently, need a new more catproof knitting bag.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Crafts of the Past -handspun handknit socks

Spinning has been much on my mind, as I've been trying to find time to do it (hopefully, Christmas crafting will soon be over!) And what I've been spinning, recently, is superwash merino.  So.  Here's the result of the first handspun superwash merino I ever spun.


Also, the first socks I ever knit, strange to think that it isn't something I've always done.  The puzzling thing, though, is that although I spun up just 4 oz of the stuff I had enough for just about two pairs of socks!  I have spun more yarn for socks... with in the last year or so, but I have not yet sat down to knit it (them?).

The colorway is (was?) Waterspout from Sakina Needles.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Crafts of the Past - beaded pin

The thing I loved about craft swaps was the freedom to experiment.  The thing I hated about craft swaps was just about everything else.  So, I don't do them anymore.  And everything is fine.  But as I was downloading pictures from my old blog hosting thing (I'm no longer going to pay for it, so I may lose picture hosting?) and uploading everything relevant to Craftster.org and then relinking all the pictures to their new urls (alright, that sentence is not accurate, but you get the picture, yeah?) for hours, I found this little gem, which apparently, I never even posted a picture of...

the word knit inside a heart
knit = love

That pretty much sums up my opinions on the subject.  Made on a bead loom, sewn to some sort of backing, I guess, with a pin.  My memory is foggy!

Also, I apparently haven't posted to Craftster in like 9 months?  so crazy, Craftster was my life for a long time.  Then again, my baby is 9 months old.  A coincidence? Maybe... not.  :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tis the season to ask oneself what one wants

Christmas list!

Placemat Loom from CraftSanity
- and hey, she's got a 12" square loom, I wouldn't mind owning. :D
Crochet hooks in sizes F and G
fancy pretty drop spindle (top whorl only, please.)
(Even if you don't spin, go ahead and look, some are just jaw-dropping!)

I could do with a few more bobbins for my Majacraft Suzy
I'd like to get a sample of California Red, Masham, and/or Polwarth wool for spinning (all available from the Spinning Loft)
I'd like a flick carder
Also: dude we were totally discussing how to build this contraption that one time!  And it's the first one I've seen that I'm not fainting over the price.  :P