Monday, January 28, 2008

Waking Up To Snow

Woke up this morning to a phone call from my hubby saying that there was no school. In a sleepy daze I pealed open my eyes to see snow covering the rooftops. I listened as he talked about the terrible traffic conditions and the 1.5 hrs. he'd been sitting in the car trying to get to work. I sat up enough to see that the fences and yards covered in about 5” of snow. I wanted to go and wake up my girls but my better judgment decided to sit and enjoy it while I was talking with my hubby. Not long after we hung up my youngest came pouncing in the room, thrilled to see the snowfall. Today reminded me how much I love the snow as a child. Of how great snow days were. My daughters and I had hot chocolate and played with paper dolls most of the day. The photo is of the tree next to our driveway.

First Finished Cables Project!!

I got a new winter coat Black Friday morning. It's brown wool and has a cream and pink lining. It desperately needed a pink scarf to match, but I was having a terrible time finding the right pink yarn at the right price. For Christmas I received a gift card to Ben Franklin's and there I was able to find some awesome yarn. (at least I thought) I bought two skeins of “Armytage” 100% wool in the colorway Very Grape. It has a great handspun look to it that I really loved. From the looks of the skein it had 3 colors, bubblegum pink, dark pink, and grey purple. And it was on sale!!! I used the Double Cable Skarf pattern from the book “One Skein”. The only alterations that I did was make it longer. When I started knitting I was very excited. The striping went dark pink, pale pink, dark pink, grey purple... then it went to a wine purple. At this point I stopped and looked at what colors the skein had been hiding. Tons of wine purple and grey purple. I was dissapointed. I really loved the pinks. I kept knitting though and finally finished the scarf last night. It's the perfect length at about 62”. I loved working up the pattern. Lots of fun with the cables. I'm still wishing it had more pinks in it. But, all in all I'm pretty happy with it. It's been growing on me. The scarf took me about 3 weeks to complete. (during spare evening time) I do have enough to make some fingerless gloves to match. Those will be cast on tonight or tomorrow.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Fabulous Felt Food

So... A few months ago I discovered children's felt play food. I was instantly addicted. I made a few pieces in November, thinking I would give my girls an entire supermarket full of food for Christmas. Well... as December came around I found myself at my parents house working on the Barbie dream house that I was building. (That post is yet to come) Needless to say.... I never finished all the foods that I wanted to give them, so I put it all away under my desk for another time. Another time came this week. I decided to give the foods that I had made to my girls and see if they liked them enough for me to make more. Indeed they did!!! They immediately went about taking orders from whoever may be in the house at that moment. They also started to list off more things that I just “Had” to make. Over the past week I've added lots of fruit, veggies, breads and bags to store it all in. I still have a list as long as my arm of items to make.

I love how easily felt works up. It's very forgiving, and because these things are for my kids to play with, I'm not trying to make them “perfect”. They are fine with them being sewn on the machine. Which makes me happy, because when dealing with projects like felt foods I need instant gratification. I think these foods have been appealing to me because of the diversity of colors and items that I'm making. I've never been one to sit and make 20 of something in a row. I've always needed a change of scenery. That's definitely why my knitting basket has 5 things that I'm working on all at once. Anyways... I'm getting off track. Here's a list of the items that I've made so far. (no particular order)

6 Slices bread, 3 pancakes with syrup, 3 pieces butter, Bow tie pasta, Spaghetti sauce, 3 meatballs, hamburger patti, 2 strips bacon, 2 fried eggs, 2 slices mystery sandwich meat, 2 slices cheddar, 2 slices swiss, peanut butter & jelly glops, 1 bag doritos, 1 bag potato chips, 6 sprinkled sugar cookies, 4 tea bags, 4 slices of oranges, 4 slices of apple, 5 cherries, 1 stem of grapes, 4 slices banana, 2 slices kiwi, 5 beaded strawberries, 3 slices of lemons, 3 slices of limes, 6 soybeans, 3 slices cucumber, lots of lettuce, 4 slices pickles, 5 baby carrots, 2 whole carrots, 3 slices tomato, onion slices..... Whew.... and to think I still have lots to go!!! I also made up 6 lunch sack style bags to hold it all in. I cut out color full felt squares and free cut the letters. I then used free motion sewing to sew down all the letters using a rainbow thread.

I'm currently crocheting up some cupcakes to go with all this. Eventually I want them to have a whole bakery full of sweets.

Oh!! I forgot to mention that I didn't really use patterns for anything. I just sorta winged it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Hand spun, Hand knit, Stuff Bag

I finally got around to knitting up something with my first ever spun yarns. (see previous post about those) I decided to make a free form tote. I started by knitting a square, then picked up all stitches around. I ended up knitting this bag twice. The first time, I knit a full square about 9”. By the time I ran out of yarn the sides of the bag was only about 7” tall. Oops!!! I decide to undo all but half of the original square and use the remaining rectangle as the base. I knew I needed more yarn If I wanted to bag to be deeper. So I went to the store and bought 100% wool thick and thin yarn. I stopped knitting when I ran out of my hand spun yarns. The bag is pretty tall now. About 14” or so. I then through it in the washing machine to felt it a bit. I was surprised that it didn't shrink more. I pulled some chocolate brown denim to use for the lining. I'm planning on making the bag have a divider inside with some pockets. I'm also thinking about paining the handles another color. The plan for the bag so far is to use it as a knitting tote.... But, my plans seem to change often, so we'll see.

Goodwill Haul!!

I stopped by the local Goodwill yesterday. Bargain shopping is one of my favorite things to do. All pink tags were $1.28. I was on the prowl for wool jackets and knit sweaters that I could unravel for the yarn. Boy, did I hit the jackpot!! I found 5 wool jackets in various colors. Including a really pretty fuchia and black one. One was Pendelton wool and another was from someplace in Ireland. I will almost feel guilty about ripping out those two. (Just almost hehe) The lining on one of the jackets has a great pink paisley print on it. After I cut these jackets apart I'm going to dye some of them into co-ordinating color ways. I've been itching to make some wool art dolls and some plushies. Maybe even a new purse or needle caddy. The sweaters I found were all 100% cotton. I couldn't find any wool ones on sale. Maybe next time. I love cotton for scarfs, hats, and sweaters. I may also try putting some on Etsy at some point.

Catching Up

After a long December, I'm finally back to a somewhat normal schedule. My hubby is back to work and my daughter went back to school. So, I now have some time to catch up on all the blogging that I've missed.

December was a crazy busy month over here. I was busy making most all our Christmas gifts. I made lots of reusable grocery bags, knit socks, and a huge Barbie doll house that we made for our girls. (still in shock that we finished it on time) I will be posting about most of these soon. As soon as the new year was over, orders started coming in again on DoA. So, I've been sewing for the past few weeks.

The chilly weather has been making a perfect environment for me to sit and knit while watching it rain out my widows. I love the rain. I know... weird. But, it's true. I love the rain. I told my hubby the other week that all I had been wanting to do is curl up with my knitting, a hot cup of coffee, and warm blanket. He told me to do just that!! So, I've been trying to make some time to sit and knit during the day for at least 30 min. I also knit during the evenings while watching tv. I've been making things like socks for my daughters and hubby. And, working on a scarf for me that I've been really wanting to have. I'm also working on unraveling sweaters to reuse the yarn. And, of course I have a list as loon as my arm of projects that I have been really wanting to work on. Hopefully over the next few months I will carve out some time to do those things.

Photo is from a cabin run that my hubby and I made this last month. (my parents own a cabin near the ocean that we visit as often as we can) On this trip we decided to go for a drive down the Columbia to explore the local towns. This view is from Astoria. Which we completely loved. It was a great day of driving. Perfectly peaceful.