Friday, January 19, 2018

Felting and other adventures

A while back I ran into my boss and his wife out shopping. She was wearing a gorgeous felt hat. I told her that I liked her hat. She told me how much she loved it and that she wished she had thought to buy more in different colours. I told her that I could make a very similar hat and asked what colour she would like. 

I’ve worked for this man and his family for over 20 years now and no one has ever asked me to knit anything. I was happy to make something for his wife (it helps that she’s a total sweetheart and really appreciates hand knitting). 

I finished the knitting. The hat was huge but thankfully it felted down to the correct size. I’m always pleased and surprised when I get such great results using my front loading washer. But looking at the plain grey hat, I realized that it needed something. Needles felting was the answer! 

I’m very happy with the final result!! My bosses wife was thrilled. And now I’m debating making one for myself   

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Christmas Traditions

This is the fourth year that I’ve made Christmas ornaments for my four grandsons. This year I made them each a little knit bird. 

From left to right - Cooper’s red bird. Reagan’s light blue bird. Morgan’s bright blue bird. And Max’s charcoal grey bird. They really liked them!  It always surprises me when they like something so much that they will fight over it. You’d think I’d learn after four years that I should make them EXACTLY the same so there would be no one ornament that is better (in their eyes) than the others. 

Here is a reminder of the ornaments from previous years. 

Year 1 

Year 2

Year 3 

Looks pretty great seeing them all together. My original goal is that by the time my grandsons are grown and move out on their own, they will have a bunch of handknit ornaments made by their Nan that they can start their own Christmas traditions with. And of course they will always have a tangible reminder of how much their Nan loves them. Four years in and it’s looking pretty good. I’ve already got ideas for next year. 

In other Christmas knitting traditions - I’ve knit my annual socks for my daughter’s boyfriend. I started doing this the first Christmas that he came to visit. So this is his fourth pair of socks.  

Max loves knitted socks. He loves them so much that he wears them year round. He wears them so much that the first pairs are developing holes. He wears them so much that he only wants to wear handknit socks and because he only has the four pairs or so that I’ve given him - he’s decided to knit his own!! How amazing is that?  I knew this kid was a keeper. 

Friday, December 29, 2017

Secret Santa

I don't know why I do this but every year I participate in the annual secret Santa gift exchange at work. I hate it. I usually get someone I don't know very well and it is so difficult to get a decent gift for a work colleague that you don't know very well. And let's not forget that the gift has to be in the price range of 20$ - 25$. It's not easy. 

This year I nearly cried when I saw whose name I had drawn. At least it was someone I know very well. I picked my BOSS!! Don't get me wrong. He's a wonderful man, but he is a man. He is well into his seventies. And he is pretty well off so anything that he needs or wants that falls into this cost bracket, I'm pretty certain he is well equipped to get it himself. 

So what's a girl to do?? I decided to do something that I know he can't do himself. I decided to do something that I don't think anyone in his immediate family could do for him.  I decided to make him something unique - that wasn't mass produced and couldn't be purchased in a department store. I decided to knit him a hat with the logo of his favourite NHL hockey team. 

Here it is with the knitting all finished. There wasn't a pattern online that I was satisfied with so I used the graph for the logo from a scarf pattern that was published on Ravelry. 

As you may be able to tell, I didn't knit the logo into the hat. This technique is called duplicate stitch and it makes for a much neater design.

I must say that I used to hate to do duplicate stitch until very recently.  Remember the little knitted birds from a few posts back?  They made me competent in duplicate stitch and as a result they made me fall in love with the technique. 

It's hard to get a decent photo of the whole logo because it is so big.  I decided to add a pompom too. 

Overall, I'm very happy with how my gift turned out. I think my boss was happy too. 

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Arrow Caterpillar

Arrow Caterpillar may sound like a strange title for a blog post. It's the name of the pattern of the sweet little shawl that I just finished.  The original name is 'die Pfeilraupe' I think that's Swiss but I could be wrong. The pattern is by Ravelry user Alpenrose. She has a few patterns available but this one is by far her most popular

I had a couple of goals when knitting this project. One was that I wanted to try this new fade technique that is popping up in knitting patterns everywhere. The whole point of this technique is to alternate your colours in a certain way when transitioning from one colour to the next. The colour change is meant to look gradual and nonjarring. 

The second thing that I wanted to achieve by knitting this project was that I wanted to use up some odds and ends of handspun yarn that I had left over.  I managed to do this! I used a lot of my odds and ends were just too precious to part with. 

I made a major modification when knitting this shawl. It was meant to be a much deeper triangle. The length is correct but I didn't get it to the specified thickness. Halfway through the project I miss placed a stitch marker and made an educated guess as to where it went. I have no doubt that I guessed wrong, very wrong.  As a result I didn't do nearly as many short rows as I should have there for the end where the holes are aren't as deep as it should be, I'm actually missing a hole.  But this may be a happy accident as I'm very pleased with the final project. It's just right. I love the many ways that this simple little garment can be styled. I think that I'll get plenty of wear from the Caterpillar shawl

Friday, November 03, 2017

Sketch box

Back in September I decided to treat myself to a little birthday gift. I decided to subscribe to something called "SketchBox". Each month subscribers get a box of goodies that are of interest to artists and sketchers.  I've gotten two boxes since then and I must say - they are so much fun!! I'm trying products that I'd never have tried before and I'm loving them.  I love the idea of these subscriptions. My girls gave me a Yarn Box subscription last year for Christmas and I loved it. I think I'm gonna spread the love this year and perhaps get my nephew Riley (who loves to draw) his own sketch box subscription for Christmas. 

Here are a few of my drawings and quotes so far.  

Friday, October 27, 2017

Something a little different

I saw these wreaths and how to make them on Facebook - in particular George Takai's Facebook! I love him for many reasons. I wasn't expecting to be introduced to a new craft by him! (he posts a lot of cool and interesting things). I made one for myself and one for each of Kevin's girls. I'm crazy about them!! I especially love the eyeballs one! It's perfect.  I bought most of the supplies at the pharmacy! crazy right?? They cost next to nothing! I foresee a wreath for every season - that's how easy they are. The trick is to make them full. The centre one isn't as full as the other two and isn't as aesthetically pleasing.  Next up - Christmas wreaths!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Knitting friends are the best!

My friend Flo gave me this great little book. I'll be honest, this is not a book I would have purchased on my own.  It is a little more whimsical than the books I  usually purchase.  I was so thrilled when she gave me this book. She gave me this book for no reason. It wasn't my birthday, I wasn't sick, I hadn't done her any outrageous favours. This was a gift in the purest sense. She saw the book and was so tickled by it that she bought one for herself, one for me, and one for our knitting friend Jesse.

I don't need too many excuses to be distracted from whatever current project I have on the go. Believe me, there are many current projects on the go. When I saw the little birds in this book I just had to cast on for something.

The wonderful thing about this book is that the projects are finished in a matter of hours, they knit up that quick. You get to try out some different techniques on a very small scale. That way you won't feel as though you've wasted hours of your time trying a technique that you hate or knitting on  a project that you can't stand. 

So here is the first of what I predict will be many knitted birds. This guy features the sweetest little ear flap hat with some duplicate stitches on the tail for good measure. 

I adore him!!!

Those are knitting needles propping him up. The book shows how to make these adorable wire feet/holder/base-type-thing. I'm sending Kev to the hardware store tomorrow to get some of the wire for me and I'm gonna recruit him into making these wire type feet things for me (and possibly Jesse and Flo too). 

Edited!! I did the feet. They really make him even more special