Saturday, February 27, 2010

Dragonfly II - WIP

A week's progress on the second dragonfly chart. More "pond" on this piece as compared to the first one. This one will be finished into a needle case, so there's a pink border around the edge. As with the first piece, the backstitched detail help with the definition.  

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sock yarn in a shawl

I picked up this ball of yarn at the same time I got the yarn for the Open Cardi. The colors were soothing and I thought it would make a fun pair of socks. Well... it's been a little chilly here, so I've been thinking of knitting a shawl to cover my shoulders. I'm not sure how the colors will play out in a shawl. I really should stay away from varigated colors. I just don't know how to use them. But we won't know how it looks until I try right?

I casted on for Multnomah, which you can find on this blog. The link to the pattern is on the right side of the page. I made one small change and used less stitches between the yarn overs in the center. So far, so good. I still haven't decided if I like the way the colors are pooling.

The first section knits up really fast, garter stitch with increases at the ends and in the center. Great for knitting at the basketball game. The edging is done in a feather and fan, so it should also go fairly quickly.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

recycled yarn - retry

well, just couldn't give up on the idea to recycle yarn. I'm always looking for inexpensive yarn to knit those hats for hospice. Trying to recycle cotton sweaters didn't work out, so maybe wool sweaters will have better results. I found some 2 wool sweaters at a white elephant sale. The red caught my eye and of course the neutral grey would make great hats. The yarn seems to be one-ply worsted, so I handed over my $ and headed home. Hopefully, this project will have better results...
The red sweater was worked top down in the round. There is some color work in blue. Finding an end took awhile. I ended up snipping off the collar and working down from there. I also had problems with the joins in the underarms that are few carefully placed snips solved.
The grey sweater proved to be more of a challenge. The pieces are seamed together. Easy enough to separate, but it contained intarsia which means a bunch of joins to take care of. I did learn if you work a knotted join carefully into your work, you will hardly notice it. Yes, all the colorwork ends were knotted in. The light grey section was also stitched with short pieces. So after spending some time unraveling one sleeve,  I decided that I would salvage only the dark grey yarn from the sweater. But that will be for another day.

Once that's done, I plan to wind the yarn into hanks to wash and help get the kinks out.
Here's a great link with pictures want more information on how to choose a sweater to recycle.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Dragonfly - DONE

At least the stitching for the dragonfly scissors fob is done. The backstitching really helped the definition of the stitching. Assembly is required, but I think I'll stitch the needlecase and assemble both at the same time. I've misplaced the tassel for the fob, some new cording will also have to be made.

Both pieces are titled "Dragonfly and Pond". The "pond" portion of each piece is just a bit different. The stitching is simple and should go quickly. Luckily, the felt needed to assemble the project was included in the kit, so I don't have to rummage around for backing fabric.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hugo Hat - DONE!

A bit of fiddling to get this one complete. Some parts needed to be ripped back and restarted to get gauge. Other parts were forced shaped gently to fit. The diagrams in the instructions were great. And since it is a 4 color pattern, there were a LOT of ends to weave in. But all in all, I really like the finished product. The mister said he like it. I love the shape of it. I omitted the elastic band, but it still fits well. So without further ado... the HUGO HAT.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It's a pineapple!

A few years ago, I kept the top of a pineapple. I laid it in a pot with all the best intentions to plant it properly, but never got around to it. It took root on its own and has been quietly growing with very little care, other than the normal watering. It even sprouted a keiki. This weekend I planned to pull it up and use the pot for something else. But look what I found!

Isn't this exciting! It'll take a few months before the fruit to mature. I'll keep you updated on the progress.

recycled styrofoam coolers

At the office we sometimes we get perishable shipments that require refrigeration. They arrive in styrofoam coolers. I have learned of a great way to recycle those coolers. Start a container garden! A coat of outdoor paint starts the project, so the foam won't deteriorate in the sun. Don't mind the color. It was the only color available in the 8 oz size. Two coats to be sure that we didn't miss too many spots. Be sure to paint the top and a little down the inside.

After the paint dries, I used a screwdriver to poke a few holes into the bottom for drainage and we have a lightweight container for gardening. The cover of the cooler was broken up into pieces to line the bottom, so we didn't have to use too much dirt to fill it.

In the larger container, I planted gardenias. The plant on the left was transfered from a pot and the one on the right are cuttings that have been rooted in water. These came from Aunty S.

The smaller container contains two strawberry plants are an impulse buy. I haven't had much luck with anything that needs full sun. We get only a few hours of full sun that peeks through the buildings at midday.

This last photo is my first container that I started about 6 months ago. It's full of greek oregano.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Dragonfly update

going quickly, but it sure doesn't look like much. Just the cattails and the dragonfly left. It looks better in the photo than it does in person.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Hugo Hat update

I'm really liking the stitch pattern for the Hugo Hat, but carrying 4 colors is a bit fiddly. Thankfully, the yarn is soft and wonderful to work with. I finished the outer band and the inner lining. Casting on for the brim next.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


No craft updates today, just enjoying the view before a sunset.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Crafting Korean

We have a great library system here. A few years back, the branch near me received a huge donation of Korean texts. Now, I don't speak or read Korean, so I didn't think I would ever venture into the section. However, volunteers spent many hours cataloging the books. That means that the section was arranged similar to the rest of the library with the non-fiction books shelved according to the Dewey Decimal system and the books in the 740 section are all about textile arts.

Look what I found! Some Korean craft books are published with tons of pictures detailing the steps of the project. Granted, there are some books with very few pictures, but I've been lucky to find a few that have some cute projects. Here's one that I borrowed recently. This one intrigued me because all the steps are hand sewn. Like Japanese patterns, the measurements are in centimeters. The photos make written instructions unnecessary.

I think I'll have a grand time looking for new projects in the Korean section.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Since Il bosco is complete, I decided to work on some small kits that I found in my stash. This dragonfly scissors keeper has been calling my name.

I also have the matching needle case, which will be next on my list.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Hugo Hat

Seems like I'm starting a bunch of new projects all at once. I pulled this Hugo Hat kit that I got from Knit Picks. It included 4 colors of their City Tweed yarn in dk weight, very soft and niec to work with.

The instructions seem a bit intimidating (6 pages!). I'll take it one part at a time and see how it goes. But first I think I'll take the time to swatch.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Hot Chocolate anyone?

I got my mug ready -
Mug Jacket pattern by: MK Carrol
Anyone want to chip in for my ticket to NYC for The Hot Chocolate Festival?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Il bosco - DONE!

I'm not sure if I'm stitching faster or if it's a coincidence that I have been finishing a bunch of projects... I am happy to say that the final stitches of Il bosco di Bengtsson has been crossed.

I'm still looking for frame to show this off. Hopefully, I find something soon. I can't wait to hang this one up!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

recycling yarn

A visit to blogland sparked my interest in recycling yarn from sweaters. I live in a place where 70 degrees is considered COLD - you don't see people wearing wool too often. So I didn't put much effort into finding old wool sweaters.
However, on a recent stop at a thrift store, two cotton sweaters that caught my eye. The seams were promising. And, yes, I realize that the stripes means lots of joins, but hey, we all gotta start somewhere right. So for a few dollars I have my next project. I decided to start with the white sweater, since it was one color and had short sleeves.  Got the sleeves off with very little trouble, even was able to find an end without much fuss. But wait, it's cotton... stranded cotton...4 ply... this is not looking good. Since I was ripping out a short sleeve I decided to keep going and see what happens. Well, the unraveling went extremely quickly, but then had a problem getting the yarn into a hank so I could wash it and get the ripples to relax. The strands kept splitting.

Nope, stop right there, I'm not spending hours unraveling this for a cotton, that I may or may not be able to use. So project terminated. Both sweaters dumped in a bucket to be washed. I think, I'll just cut panels out and make some pillow coverings... I better use, I think. Well, that will be a project for another day.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Red - it's done!

3 inches of ribbing stitched and ends are weaved in... it's done! Well, almost done, it still needs to be blocked. But the stitching is done! Here's my Open Cardi in French Red. It took 5 1/2 skeins of CEY Provence. You can find the pattern in CEY's booklet New Harbor. I first posted about it here, with just seaming and edging to go. According to my ravelry project page I started it in October of last year. My seaming skills could use some work, but I'm pleased with the finished product.