Friday, December 31, 2010

My Year in Knitting

2010 Montage

It was a truly prolific year for me this year! Wow! I finished 36 projects, some that I blogged and some that I didn't. 

3 Pairs of Slippers
4 Pairs of Socks
9 Hats
12 Stuffies
26 Hearts for Charity
6 Hats for Charity

Wow... I'm amazed at all the work I did. Can you pick out the projects that were a secret up until now? (Hint:  There's 5.)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Crafty Math


Have you ever dreamed of a craft project?  A few nights before Christmas, I dreamt of this quilt.  There was a little boy with curly blonde hair and blue eyes wrapped up in it, sitting in some green grass, grinning.  And that was it. 

Of course, after I got my sewing machine I had to make this quilt - though I've never quilted before and have very little idea of what I'm doing.  I bought the basic materials to make the top - yellows and oranges for the center of the flowers,  and blue for the background, and different prints for different flowers. I even nominated fabric from my gigantic stash of fabric to serve as flowers.


Today, I sat down and drew out templates, deciding how big my pieces will be.  I want to make a queen-sized quilt, so I'll need a lot of fabric.  I don't have all the stuff I need (batting, or backing, for example) but I figured this is going to be a long project, so I can buy more stuff as I need it.  No point in spending mucho dollars on something I won't use for ten or eleven months, I thought.


Yes - I bet understand quilting takes a lot of time. I thought about this as I hunched over on the floor of my childhood bedroom and measured and cut.  Hey, maybe I should cut all of the pieces first, that seemed to be a methodical way of doing things.

So I took out my paper and pencil, and did some calculations.

To make a 100x100 quilt, I will need:
40 edge pieces
100 center peices (the center of the flower)
80 petal pieces

That's not hard math. That's 220 squares!  I'm a little intimidated.  I think the actually sewing is going to be a ways off, while I contemplate how I'm going to tackle this task. I think it's kind of funny that I decided to do this quilt with squares with a ten inch diagonal, instead of squares with a 5 inch diagonal, which was my other idea. That would be even more squares!

Monday, December 27, 2010

And Thus Another Christmas is Conquered!

The presents are delivered.  Everyone loved them! I'm pretty excited that this Christmas went so well, especially since I made more hand-knit items then ever before this year - five!


Even the slippers, which I was really nervous about, were well received.

As for me, I made out like a bandit.  I got a new sewing machine, some rocking boots, and books, to name a few of my favorite gifts.  I'm already planning to quilt a bit, having little experience in quilting but a lot of experience reading about quiliting... so here's hoping.


Also in the realm of my life... my Dad's  computer got hit by a pretty nasty virus, and I'm having some very bad family problems.  I don't like keeping secrets, but the women of my family gathered around a table today and made the decision not to tell certain people in the family things "so that they can enjoy the holidays."  I'm happy I got to sit with my family and give my input, but I don't believe in keeping secrets.  I'm pretty bummed out about it - can't post here, of course, it wouldn't be a secret - but if  you could spare a prayer or a kind thought, I would appreciate it :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Presents of the Non-Knitting Variety

Each year, my college friends do a secret santa - freshman and sophomore year, it was run through our floor, but this year, we did it ourselves.  I got a cool kid that likes war-like things, and pokemon.  So I went and made him this:


What is this?  It's a snowglobe! I made it with hot glue and army men :) It only cost about 7 dollars, too!


I wrote "Merry Christmas" in German (I don't speak German, but I looked it up) on the bottom.


I hear tell he had a total unwrap attack when he opened it! My roommate said she would film it, but she hasn't posted it up yet and it's been a few days, so I don't know if she ever will.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I Don't Know If I Should be Proud of Myself or Ashamed!

Yes, it's almost ten days until Christmas.

No, I still haven't started the last pair of slippers!


Instead, I've started this pair of socks.  Why? Well, because I just couldn't take it.  I see W in his socks almost every day, and now my mother has socks, and my brother... why shouldn't I have a pair? So, I'm making some toe up Jaywalker socks, and gosh darnit, I'm going to enjoy them!

The yarn? Opal Prisma which I bought at Rhinebeck.  I wish I had bought more, because it's such an amazing yarn and it's been discontinued! I guess I'll have to spend my Christmas money on some on ebay.

Tonight, though, I get my needles back from Ash and start on those slippers! Viva la Christmas!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas is Almost Here - and the Knitting is Almost Done!

Yes, that's right - I finished my brother's slipper socks. 

I cast off for the second sock, wove in all the ends, and knitted up the heels while at Ash's house for an awesome slumber party :)  We ate delicious beef stew, hot cocoa, and raspberry peppermint jello with whipped cream! Oh, and of course, did girly stuff like read magazines, laugh at reality TV, and hang out with the best bunny on the planet:
(Okay, I didn't have my camera with me last night, so this is a picture of Sammy from last week, when I picked him up from the vet.)

I also got some work done on the sample for my January pattern - and cast on for a new knit toy! It's about time I started working again to bring my designs to life.

I've also started saving loose ends for the Totally Useless Stitch Along from It's Daffycat! I thought about waiting until the new year, but while digging through my bag today I found these yarn bits, and I figured that I might as well - I have a bit of a disadvantage to cross-stitchers, since I don't have as many ends (but, they are bigger... hmm.)

Anyway, if you're interested in joining, you should check it out here! It'll be a lot of fun, and there will be PRIZES! There are already 75 bloggers participating, which is exciting.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Exciting News and Ideas!

Several good things are happening to me lately!

1.  It seems that I WON'T kill myself this Christmas with handmade gifts.  Assuming that I can finish the final pair of slippers before Thursday of next week... this might all work out!

2.  I want to start a pattern collection.  Lately I've been thinking of nothing but knit pencil cases for some creepy, strange reason... so, I'm going to challenge myself next year! Put out a pattern every month!  January will be the slouchy hat that I'm currently having test knit, but after that it will be pencil cases :) A set of 11 pencil cases for your knitting pleasure.

3.  And I'm making English muffins from scratch today, that can't go wrong.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

How To: Make a Cut Paper Garland


This whole week I've kind of been obsessing about paper.  Paper snowflakes, paper garlands around my apartment... so, I thought I'd do a tutorial.


This post will show you how to make a dancing hedgehog garland using two sheets of paper, scissors, and tape! You can also do whatever design you'd like, but if you want to make my dancing hedgehogs, I've included the template here. 

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