Monthly Archives: December 2012

FO: Colvert Cowl

My Jazzercise mentor Linda is really awesome and has been super helpful to me this last year.  I decided to make her a cowl for Christmas.  I used one of my most recently purchased yarns for it.

Rav page here.

Pattern: Colvert by KatyTricot

Yarn: Twist Icicle, 95% baby llama, 5% stellina, about 200 yds of worsted

Needles: US 8 circulars

Start Date: December 21, 2012

Finish Date: December 25, 2012

Mods: none.  I bound off purlwise.  It wasn’t specified in the pattern.  I blocked the points of the cowl out, though they didn’t really stay that way.  The yarn is pretty loose and drapey.

These infinity cowls are nice because you can wear them like a long loop or doubled up.  Some versatility.  Here’s a close-up of the sparkles:

I hope that Linda will wear it.  I made her a shawl when I was first certified.  She seemed to really like it, but I’ve never seen her not in aerobics clothes.  Oh, that shawl was during my huge blog break, so here it is:

It is the Winterthaw pattern, and my rav page is here.

I am excited to do a photo wrap-up post of my holiday vacation.  Maybe once I get all my pictures uploaded.

 

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Cross-stitch FO: Big Bang Theory

Hi! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, if they celebrate it. I went home to my parents’ house in Camas, WA. I had a lovely time and could have spent longer, but I had my cats and real life to get back to!

Here’s the only handmade gift I pulled it together for this year. Well, that’s not totally true, I just finished something else for someone non-family.

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I got the pattern from Wee Little Stitches. They have a bunch of cute cross stitch patterns of pop culture figures grouped together.

My Mom is a big Big Bang Theory fan. I don’t know if she necessarily needs a framed picture of them, but it was surprisingly hard for me to find something else to cross stitch onto. I bought regular 14 count cross stitch fabric and then framed it in a frame I found at Goodwill.

It was fun to do a little cross stitch because it has been years. Luckily I still had a crazy amount of embroidery thread from my dorky childhood days. It’s nice because it’s like embroidery by numbers and you don’t really have to be creative at all if following a pattern. I have had a cross stitch design in mind for years, so maybe I should get on it!

I steam pressed the back of the fabric when I was done, but I couldn’t get that fabric crease out. Now it is all I can see and I wish I had tried harder!

I just google image searched “Big Bang Theory cross stitch” and there are a bunch of crazy ones out there.

Have a safe New Year’s! You might see me here before then…

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Sewing FO: Lined Zippered Box Pouch

Hi all,I may be a little blog silent for a week or so, so thought I should take this occasion to show off something I made a couple months ago.  This ended up being my birthday present to my Mom.  My Mom taught me how to do all of the crafty things that I do, and has even enabled new things since I’ve been an adult, like spinning.  She is definitely worthy of receiving all my handmade items because I know that she appreciates the time that goes into them!

Part of the reason I wanted a new sewing machine is because I wanted to make up cute little project bags.  I made my little drawstring bag and wanted to move on to box pouches.  I love these little zippered pouches for holding all my works in progress.

I had found a few tutorials online, but finally settled in on this one.  I liked that the final pouch is fully lined.  I found the finished pouch a little small for my liking (3″x4″x7″), and would make it a little bigger next time.  This one would probably fit a sock in progress or hat though.  I used an Asian-style print that was in my stash from years ago when I was in college and thought I would sew all my clothes.  I tried to make a pair of pajama pants from this fabric and they ended up like harem pants.  And then I was done with sewing, except for Halloween costumes.

I am trying to learn something new with every project.  This was my first time sewing in a zipper.  I used my zipper foot and everything!  Not that hard!  It has also inspired me to sew in a zipper to my next knit cardigan, though I realize that is a different skill set.

I even tried out some fun stitches from my sewing machine for the little zipper tabs.

I need to make one for me now!  Sadly my new sewing habit is messing with my knitting progress.  I bought a quilt kit (here’s a link to the pattern) from Connecting Threads and am working on my first quilt.  I could probably have picked out my own fabrics and started with a basic quilt, but I wanted to jump right on in and get started.  I have some of my blocks finished already.  It’s a little traditional, but the nautical prints are so cute!  Maybe I’ll be more willing to experiment after I finish my first one.  So much is dependent on fabric choices that it’s a little daunting.  An interesting pattern can easily be a real mess if it’s too busy.

Also, I managed to like pinch a nerve in my shoulder or something just cutting out fabric!  I was really pressing down on that ruler!  My fingers were kind of numb for over a week.  Maybe I should have stopped a lot sooner instead of cutting out fabric for five hours…

I’ll pop back on soon.  Happy Holidays everyone!

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FO: Ruby Slipper Socks

I started a pair of socks for my friend Christina, um, about a week before her birthday.  I guess I knew that I wasn’t going to finish them on time, but I could have just been delusional.  She is a huge Wizard of Oz fan, so when I saw this pattern a couple years ago I knew that I needed to make them for her.  But I never remembered until right before a gift giving situation.  But this time I made it happen!  They were only a few weeks late…

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Rav page here.

Pattern: Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers by Melissa Dominguez

Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Glimmer in Fiesta and Knit Picks Stroll in Wonderland, less than 50gms each.

Needles: US0 DPNs

Start Date: November 18, 2012

Finish Date: December 7, 2012

Mods: None.  I maybe should have made them a little wider though because these were a little snug on my feet, and she is a couple shoe sizes larger than me.  I would also knit the cuff for longer than 5″ so that it is a little taller when folded over. 

I had thought about making them Wicked Witch socks instead of Dorothy socks and striping black and white instead of the blue.  But I kind of forgot, and I had already bought the blue.  These are using the “intarsia in the round” method.  Which means that when you get to the colorwork section, you begin knitting back and forth in rows, but kind of connecting the sides together as you go (using yo’s and decreases).  I realize that sounds not totally clear.  It is real intarsia, but kind of fake circular knitting.  Which means that half of these socks were purled.  That’s fine, but I find I get a sore spot on one of my fingers when purling with small gauge needles.  It slowed my progress a little bit.  When you finish knitting the sock, it just looks like you are wearing a flat (only a U shape in the front), but you duplicate stitch the bow on.  This is a little tedious, but made the knitting much simpler with only three balls at a time at most.  I meant to get an interim picture but forgot.

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I think they turned out cute.  I used to knit socks all the time and have been kind of out of it recently.  I don’t know if this turned me back on to it, to be honest!  Sometimes they just feel like so many stitches to put into just a pair of socks.  I’m going to work on some garments for a while, and then maybe I’ll get back to them. 

As for my other crafty holiday projects?  One is completed and a total success and the other is a sewing project that I was too ambitious on.  I spent a bunch of hours on it and am probably just going to throw in the towel.  Maybe I need to head out to the mall to get a present to replace that one…

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Daisy’s new home

Check out Daisy and her new brother!

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She is very happy in her new home with a 9 month old pit and a loving family. The other puppy is named Spooky, which makes me a little uncomfortable. It’s a bit of a gang-type name, but the family has been thoroughly vetted.

In fact, Spooky is the name I use when I joke about the Art Laboe show on 92.3 Hot Jams. If I ever call in a dedication, I’m going to say, “I’d like to dedicate this song from Tamalita to Neckface. I don’t care if you hurt me, just please come home.”.

But also I love “old school jams”.

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FO: Fremont Bridge Coffee Cozies

I’m still going on with my parade of knitting for other people.  What is with that?  I am totally ready to get selfish.  If only there weren’t other handmade items I was thinking about making for Christmas.  Aaargh!

I saw a notice on Ravelry a few weeks ago that Portlandia was looking for crafters to make coffee cup cozies for them to distribute as a promotion for the show.  You had to submit a picture of your creation to them, and they would decide if they wanted to commission any cozies.  They said you could make up to 20, and they would pay $10 each.  But if you read the fine print, it also said that they owned the design.  I just decided that that was dumb and didn’t act on it.  But when I mentioned it to Lucas, he suggested making something so Portland themed that I wouldn’t want to do anything else with the pattern.  He came up with the idea of using the image of the Fremont Bridge.  It is a somewhat iconic bridge in Portland.  Of course I basically grew up in Portland and I said, “which one is the Fremont Bridge again?”  So “iconic” is up for debate.

I submitted my design a few days before Thanksgiving.  I wasn’t totally happy with it, but I was just a little dejected when I didn’t hear from them.  But at least a week later I heard that they were interested.  At some point they had changed the maximum to 10 instead of 20.  But I only had a week to get them made, blocked and delivered to IFC!

I made 10 of them in about 4 days.  That doesn’t sound like that much, but it was a little tight with work and all.

Project ravelled here.

Pattern: my own

Yarn: Knit Picks Telemark in Fjord Heather and Cascade 220 in Natural, I used about 200 yds of the MC and 60 yds of the CC, for all 10 cozies.

Needles: US6 DPNs

Start Date: Nov 27, 2012

Finish Date: Dec 1, 2012

I wish it was easier to see the whole design from the front of the cup.  This is a bit of a panorama.

I also don’t know why I always design colorwork that has to have giant floats.  It’s pretty obnoxious.  I am really not sure if IFC owns my design or not.  I noticed other people sending in cozies that they had not designed in any way.  If anyone is interested in my pattern/chart, I’d be happy to send it to them.  I wish the cozies were getting distributed in Portland so that maybe the recipient would have a chance of knowing what the image represented!

Not my greatest accomplishment, but it’ll be pretty sweet when they send me that $100 in 4-6 weeks. 🙂

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Tasty Tuesday: My Favorite Baking Tools

Hi all,

If you’re like me, you just did a fair amount of cooking and baking for Thanksgiving. I just tasked myself with pies this year. I made a pumpkin pie and a triple chocolate chunk pecan pie. I think they turned out well, but the people I was with weren’t really dessert people, so I basically ate the pies myself for the next week.

To start off my tiny round up of favorite baking things: my favorite cookbook!

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The Best Recipe book by the Cook’s Illustrated editors. The latest version available here. I have been using this cookbook and others in its series for at least ten years. The recipes are sometimes very elaborate, but I feel like there is no way I’ll find better recipes for these staple items. Before each recipe is a page of information about all the different versions that the test kitchen tried and how they came to their final recipe. It is my go-to cookbook, and I have tons of cookbooks. Though for pies, I have gotten pretty sucked into Ken Haedrich’s Pie cookbook. (No linking because I’m on my phone and that’s a long subtitle)

Speaking of pies… Here’s an item that seems like a bit of a gimmick but that has been a godsend. I have spent years making pie crusts that are amorphous in shape and never perfectly round. I watched cooking shows and was so envious of everyone rolling out perfect circles. Maybe I don’t let my crust warm up enough out of the fridge. But gone are the days of tearing a piece off one side and mashing it on to the other side and trying not to toughen up the dough.

Enter, the Pie Crust Maker!

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At the time of this writing, one is on sale for 50 cents on Amazon! Go here !
This is basically a flat zippered bag. You put in some flour and your pie crust and zip it up. Then use your rolling pin and roll the dough out to the edges. Voila, a perfect pie crust! The 11″ size is a good one for most pie pans. I have the 14″ one as well, but haven’t used it yet. So a little silly, but so useful for me. No more pulling out my old Tuperware mat with the circle sizes on it. You can roll your dough out on any kitchen surface.

Taking a detour from pies. A handy kitchen tool for cookies is a little scoop.

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It looks like the kind you use for ice cream, but is only about an inch in diameter. These are great for drop cookies. It makes it so quick to ball up cookie dough, and it really helps to keep your cookies in uniform size. You don’t have to get your hands dirty at all because of the release lever. I only have this one size, probably a heaping tablespoon. I think it’s a cheapy Farberware one from the outlet stores. This is an old trick, but it really changed how I think of making cookies. It is still a struggle to get me to make rolled and cut out cookies.

What’s your favorite kitchen gadget? I have a cookie party to go to on Saturday so I have to settle on a recipe! I’ve got a hunch they’ll be drop cookies of some kind…

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