Thursday, December 22, 2011


At the last possible moment, I finished the second teacher gift. This one for the teacher's aide.


Both gift have been given, and very much appreciated.

This year I used gift tags from Jill AKA Kniterella. Kniterella makes great gift tags, and has a whole line of funny ones, but I chose to go with the more traditional. If you ever saw her funny tags and thought, it wasn't quite right for your occasion, then you should know that she also has these (and lots of others too!) and they look really elegant.


The pattern is Fishtail lace scarf this one in Knit picks Shimmer. I used a size 4 needle.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


I know I'd be doing terrible at the posting every day thing, but I set my expectations LOW! Post more often and when you sometimes go weeks without posting even once a week is more often.

I've been a little panicky on my gift knitting, so I need to get back to that, but I wanted to tell you al about the OTHER gifts I'm making this year.
You see, I'm making clothes for each of my daughters' 18 inch doll. I bought a few patterns when Joann's had them for $2 a piece. They were out of the one I really wanted that had PJs and a bathrobe and underwear(!), but I really wanted to make PJs. Because I had this great flannel I wanted to use.

And so I have been sewing away on doll clothes. And so far the only completed outfits I have done are the jammies. As everything else either needs snaps or buttons or to be finished. I'm thinking three outfits for each daughter. Jammies, a coat and pants, and a jumper dress with leggings and a shirt. And so I present to you the jammies


The panda flannel is perfect for this daughter:
panda jammies

And pink monkeys are a great choice for the other:
monkey jammies

I can't decide if the closures go in front or back. Maybe they look better as fronts, but the pink monkeys came out a little crooked.

Anyway, I still have snaps to sew on the coats (and buttons) and one jumper dress and one shirt to finish and some snaps to sew on both jumper dresses. And ten days. TEN. Plus a scarf to finish.

Monday, December 12, 2011

operation upgrade wreath

I am feeling really rushed on one of the presents I am knitting for Christmas. Panicky even. So I'm taking time out to tell you about something I did when I could have been knitting. In fact I'm taking the 15 minutes of knitting time I have this morning to tell you about the 45 minutes of knitting time I "wasted."

See, my outdoor wreath (plastic) is old. In fact we bought it at an after Christmas sale in 1997. And frankly I was tired of it. I wanted a new one. However, a trip to Michael's told me that unless I wanted to shell out $50 for one now or take my chances and try to get it after Christmas for $25 that I was stuck with my old wreath.

Thankfully I was not alone on this shopping adventure. The intrepid FinnGarian was with me and she pointed out that all the Christmas ribbon and floral doo-dahs were 50% off and gave me all the moral support I needed. Also she sent me a webpage to learn to tie my own Christmas bows. Plus she clued me in on the need to buy floral wire. So really this was her fault! But less than $10 later I had supplies for my very own do it yourself operation upgrade wreath.

So I dragged one (I actually used to have a matching set) out and took the before shot:

I removed the blue bow and a possibly real pinecone (which fell out when I removed the bow) and set to work.

First, I played and played and played and finally got the bow tied the way I wanted it. (see This site is what I eventually used. Then I played with placement of the bow vs two "things" (one was a silver bird and the other a purple fern thingy) and got them where I wanted. Argued with my daughters on placement and then wired them in. I think it looks great:


Purples don't always read true with my camera, which also highlighted to me that the purples were just a tiny bit off. Still I love it and it is now hanging up outside and I'm happy. Plus I have learned that if the purples feel dated to me next year a change out is as easy as 40 minutes and a few $ at the craft store.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

ipod sock

Normally, I probably wouldn't post this project, but I am trying to update more this month to jump start me into the habit of updating more often all year long.

So I finished this tiny little ipod cozy. I made it out of leftover sock yarn that is knit picks, and given to me by the lovely Karen, but I've lost the ball band. It is discontinued at any rate. I just wanted something to keep my ipod from getting scratched when it is in my purse. It also gets cold in my office which is very chilly, but I only notice that when I slip it into my pocket.

I didn't follow a pattern, I just basically cast on "enough" stitches and used a 2X2 rib until it was long enough then kitchnered the end.

The reason I probably would not have put it up here is this: it looks a little wonky. In fact it looks really wonky like my tension was uneven or something. At first I thought it was because while I am usually pretty good about not getting loose stitches between my dpns, I'm not so hot at that when the first stitch on the new needle is a purl. And that happened a bunch until I said--look let's fix this. I don't mind how it looks, but you know it was a little disappointing.

Then I was between projects, as I had to order yarn for teacher gift the second and I had a day where I needed something to knit. So I started some socks. Just some basic toe up jobbies out of some knit picks felici. I decided though to knit these a little tighter than normal, but only after I had about 1/2 inch of toe started. So I unravelled and then looked for my zeros, since I was sure that the needles I was using, which had come almost directly from the ipod sock were ones. But my needle case had both sets of ones missing (you know there are two mm sizes to size 1 needles right). I decided to see which ones I was using, because maybe if I were using the big ones, the smaller ones would be enough. And that's when I discovered it.

On my ipod sock, I used two different sized needles.

wonkiness explained.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Teacher gift the first

I am a really indecisive person. I am. This has carried over a lot to my knitting. There are many times that I can't decide on the patterns, the colors the yarn and times I can't decide if I like the gauge I have.
Probably the think I worry the most about is gift knitting.
I like to make a Christmas (holiday) gift for the teacher that my daughters have. And I also make a gift for the classroom aide if there is one. Even if she's assigned to help a particular student, because I know her presence makes the class run smoother.

When they were in Kindergarten, I made scarves for both the teacher and the classroom aide. I made the same pattern from different yarns, and I ended up liking the aide's scarf better. And I think she liked it too because I saw her wear it many many times. In first grade I made the teacher a scarf that was a bit more dressy. I don't think I ever saw her wear it, but that's ok because she has a teenage daughter who may have worn it or she may not have been a scarf person. In second grade, I got on the necklace kick and made a ton of necklaces including one for the teacher and the aide in the class who was by coincidence the same aide who had been the kindergarten aide.

This year the teacher is very young/hip and so for once I didn't really worry too much about her gift. My daughters assured me she "wears lots of scarves and not all of them look warm." So I bought some Shadow Tonal from knit picks (with color help from my girls who really do have an eye for color) . OOh I see that Blue yonder, the color I used, is being discontinued.
Anyway, I had a pattern picked out to use with it, but when I was searching ravelry for um something anyway, I came across this free knit picks pattern called Fishtail lace scarf.
It is a quick pattern that knit up really fast:

Lace scarf


Have I mentioned how much I want to keep this for me?

Next up: the girls have the same instructional aide as LAST year and kindergarten so this is her third handmade item from me.

Friday, December 02, 2011


So, I had this crazy idea that perhaps I was behind enough to try to put up a post every weekday in December. But then Dec 1 came and went with no post from me. And I had the best of intentions too, I just got a little too busy working on the doll clothes I'm sewing for Christmas, and then I spent my "designated blog time" agonizing over a decision that I need to make. (career wise rather than knitting, so it is kinda boring).
But I did prepare for blogging by photographing my recently finished sweater!

New sweater

The sweater pattern is Estelle and the yarn is Lark in crocus from Quince and Co.

I can't remember the needle size but ravelry tells me I used a size 6. I could have made this a size bigger I think. It doesn't quite close in the front, and while the length looks fine I was thinking if it were maybe an inch longer, I'd feel better about it. But no way am I ripping out the 350 some stitches I picked up for the edging to add an inch or two. I did rip out both sleeves because I initially made them too long and this time got them just about the perfect length.

I don't think it is supposed to close in the front, as there are no buttons, but it does make me feel a bit chunky to not have it close. At any rate, I like it and it is warm. And warm is good as we got our first snow of the fall (winter) and I'm feeling very chilly. In fact this got so warm that I had to take it off when I was cleaning up after dinner because it was a might too warm. But earlier int he day I ran into the grocery store with out a coat (41 degrees) because I just felt warm enough with this sweater on.