Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Brown County Outing

A few weekends ago we escaped to Brown County Indiana for a getaway. Patrick was on "spring break" from his IUPUI teaching gig and I didn't have any classes that Saturday. We went down on Friday night to make the most of the weekend. That night we ate at their new little brew pub and went back to watch the NCAA games. (BTW: It looks like I will win this year's pool with PK. The pay out? The components for the Know It All bag (see the new issue of Knitty). Finally, after him winning for the past three years!)

On Saturday, it was beautiful weather so we walked around to all the little shops. I was on a mission for a front door decor for spring/summer and a wall hanging for the large spot on the 1/2 bath wall that needed a sunflower. Success! Here's what I found. The front door one really makes me smile when I see it welcoming me home. If you have never been to Brown County, it is a great place to go. The area is known for the beautiful fall leaves, but the spring and summer are great too.

It is made out of a thin metal that is flexible. You pull the petals to the shape you want.


Of course, I couldn't go on an outing without a yarn shop visit...check in later for that update....

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sneak Peak at the Baby Petal Afghan

I've been inspired by spring and warmer weather. Although I avoid floral prints for my own clothes, I love using flowers in knit/crochet designs. Right now is the perfect time for all things flowery. After finishing up my Flowers of Spring Hat design, I went back to the Petal Baby Afghan. I had written this pattern in the midst of The Gina Shawl pattern design, but hadn't yet knitted it up and tested it out. It is moving right along and should be released within the week, but I thought I'd share a sneak peak. It's a fantastic knit for a baby girl shower gift.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Flowers of Spring Hat Pattern

I finished a new pattern! The Flowers of Spring Hat pattern is done and up for sale in both Ravelry and my etsy store. It is sized from newborn to woman's M/L, so there is something for everyone! Although the pattern as written combines a knitted hat with crocheted flowers, you could knit the hat and use a silk flower for embellishment if you don't crochet. You could also use boy colors for the guys in your life and instead of the flowers, leave the hat plain or sew on a fun sports-related button. I will also be making these hats for sale on my etsy site (all of the ones pictured here are for sale and will be up for purchase shortly).

 Yarn used: Jeannee DK by Plymouth
US Needle: 6 (okay, I used a 5 but because I knit loose, I suggest a 6 per yarn label)

Include just one flower or put them all the way around the hat.
A side note, these little heads were ones I received for Christmas. I think I need to name them! Suggestions? I have one lady, one man, and one child. I thought about Luke, Lorelei, and Rory!




The pattern also includes instructions for these little leaves. Fun!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Swap Packages - Sending

I recently sent out my Seasons of Swap package and my Economic Stash swap package. I hope that my new friends, Gillian and LeiLani, enjoy them! It was fun to put the items together. I SO wanted to keep some of the stuff for myself. The great thing is that I got wonderful packages from both of my partners!

Gillian's Seasons of Swap package
Creatively dyed yarn
Yarn bowl
Pattern/pattern sleeves



The spring item--flower stitch markers

LeiLani's package--this one was to be $10 max with everything else from your stash.
Yummy yarns
Notion things
Sidewalk chalk (for her grandkids)


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Seasons of Swap - Spring Package Received

One of the swap groups I am in is centered around the change of the seasons. I was assigned a fantastic swap partner who lives in Boston. She was lucky enough to be in a group that organized a yarn crawl to 10 different yarn stores in one weekend. How fantastic and fun would that be!!!! I felt like I got to participate because she shopped for my swap package during her crawl. After a long work day on Monday (it felt like years for some reason), I came home to find a package at the front door.


3 skeins of Dream in Color Classy in Lipstick Lava
Pattern for lacey cowl
Yarn card

A candle with the outside label explaining How to Eat a Lobster. Too funny.

Stitch markers--they remind me of the evil eye charms from Greece to keep your safe!
Maybe they will keep my yarn safe from dropped stitches!

Thanks so much, Gillian!

Friday, March 19, 2010

FunKnitter's Gina Shawl

Each time I see someone make a garment from one of my patterns, I get butterflies in my belly. The fact that you get to be creative and share it with others and have them actually like what you do...well, it amazes me and leaves me in awe.  With social networking sites and the Internet, you can reach SO many people and you get to see what people make with your patterns. How lucky to design in this era!

Here are some pictures of a Gina Shawl knitted by Cordula (Ravelry: funknitter). What a great job!

Yarn: Silky Ombre Gradient in 5 Ply Wool/Silk/Bamboo
Isn't it beautiful? She dyes the yarn herself. AND, you can buy the hand-dyed yarn!!!
http://www.yarncollective.com/store.php?SS=29  

Check out the Wooltopia blog post about the Gina Shawl...


Thursday, March 18, 2010

PK's Birthday

Happy Birthday to the LOVE of my life. Last year, I listed off reasons why I love Patrick that were knitting-related. I was trying to think of something clever for this year. I think my creativity has run dry! So, instead, I decided to post some of my favorite pictures.

"I'm a flip flop convert."

My favorite picture of Patrick ever. It captures his care free side that most of the world doesn't see all that often. I'm lucky that I get to see it each and every day. It didn't occur to either of us that he was the only one to jump in until we got back and worked on the scapbook. All the other tourists walked down the ladder. Patrick just went running off the boat and into the air!

So handsome...

Being silly in Greece. 

The thinker and poet.

The friend...

The world traveler.

I love you!!!! Happy Birthday!!!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Namaste Circular Case

Just got in my Red Namaste Circular Needle Case. I plan to use this when I travel or take needles to the store for my beginning knitting classes. It is a bit smaller than I expected. Wondering what others think of it? The price is really great and I think it would serve knitters with a smaller collection of needles very well. Thoughts? Opinions?

On another note: Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Kitchen Sink Lands at the Kanouse Home

I designed The Kitchen Sink blanket and have knitted several. FINALLY, one of them is in my house and here to stay. It is living in Patrick's den on his leather chair. He shares it with Kennedy--who refuses to sit on the leather unless there is a blanket!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Knitting Jewelry

As mentioned yesterday, I had a little shopping adventure for knittng things. Although the bulk of the purchases were for organization and the greater good of sanity, I did get a few items that were just for fun. As many of you know, I LOVE stitch markers. I have a bad habit of "carting" things in etsy and Ravelry and then waiting months before clicking the commit to buy button. Well, I finally gave in on a few things...

I just LOVE The Big Lebowski!!!!!!

Some fun Lantern Moon markers. SPRING!

A glass knitting ring from Bread and Badger.
www.BreadandBadger.etsy.com

Sterling Silver and from recycled knitting needles
Sassafras Creations

Purl
I got the darked haired crazy looking one since that is how I felt at the moment.
She's keeping me company during the closet reorg!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Shopping Spree: Closet Reorganization

I had been doing really, really well about not spending more money on yarn and other knitting-related items. For a full two months, I held myself off. Well, a few weeks ago I hit a massive rough patch in life. When I was in high school, I remember this kid who was running through the parking lot at night. Our school had just put in speed bumps to slow down all of our teenage driving. Well, he forgot about these and literally hit the speed bump on foot and went down face first. Poor guy took a lot of ribbing for that one. Whenever life slaps me in the face, I always think of that event and how much we laughed about it. It gives me hope in some of my darkest moments that I will be able to look at the event and giggle and move on.

Like many people, I tend to either spend money shopping or eat to fill up a void during tough times. That is why they call it comfort food, right? Anyway, I gave in to some shopping and I'm happy I did. I was still wise about it and if all goes well, I'll recoup all my money in the process. Curious? Well...

This is my craft closet. What a mess...and this only shows 1/2 of it!

The majority of the money I spent was on these items to organize the closet.
A DPN, Circular, and Crochet hook case.
2 Stitcher's closet organizers

I'll let you know how that all goes. I will have lots of cross stitch and fabric up for sale. If you are into one of these crafts and would like a first look, let me know. Prices will all be VERY reasonable. In addition, I will have a lot of clothes up for purchase. I have 5 tubs full of items to get rid of...




Saturday, March 13, 2010

Progress on the Saturn Circular Lapghan

After some frogging, I am back on track with Baby Klunk's lapghan. This blanket is so much fun to knit. Just when you get used to a stitch pattern, it switches to another pattern--and, often, in a new direction.

First you knit short rows in garter to get the pie shape.

Then, you pick up stitches around and put on a dividing line and a garter ring.

Next, you cast on additional stitches on the tip of one needle and knit them together with the existing live stitches. This section also has some puff stitches in it for some entertainment value.



On a side note, my SIL put together this post about the hats I made for my nephew Jack. So many cute pictures of him that I had to post a link!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Crochet Scrubber Performance

I made up a bunch of crocheted scrubbers for a charity project. I decided to make up a few of these for my own use to see what I thought of their performance. When your husband is impressed with how well they clean, you know you are on to something. I made mine with a combo of yellow and red colors to give the kitchen some early spring pop in color. I plan to make up a bunch more of these for our own use.

Yarn: Sugar & Cream (partial skein)
Hook: H
1 medium-sized yellow scrubber

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Free Pattern: Crochet Cuddle Blanket

These are perfect cuddle blankets that are great for little kiddies to carry around. Made out of super soft yarn, you will want one for yourself! They are small, so they aren't really meant as a cover up, but a cuddle up instead. They are a great size for dolls, too. I hope you enjoy the freebie!

Yarn: 2 balls of Plymouth Oh My!
Crochet Hook: K

Loosely chain 36.

Half Double Crochet (HDC) in the second chain from the hook and each one across (35 stitches). Chain 1 and turn.

HDC in each chain across. Chain 1 and turn. Repeat this row until you have 28 total rows completed, including the final Chain 1 and turn.

Single Crochet (SC) around entire blanket (on RS). Finish off and weave in all ends.

I've made six of them. They take about 60-90 minutes, depending on interruptions. 

A close up view of the stitch.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Mistakes...Chances to Learn

I teach a lot of beginning knitters and I am often asked about when they will stop making mistakes. Well, I have a two-fold answer.

The first is that I tend to look at "mistakes" as opportunities to learn. Every time I make a boo boo, I learn something from how it happened, why it happened, and how to fix it. It makes me a stronger knitter--even if it isn't such fun in the moment. Does it tick me off when I get behind on a project because of a mishap? Absolutely, but it is all part of the process.

The second answer is that even the most advanced knitters I know continue to make errors. It is just less frequent than when we first start out. The more you practice, the better you get. The more you practice, the more you understand the different techniques and this understanding leads to better performance.

So, why am I blogging about these "chances to learn"? Well, you guessed it, I made a BIG error the other day. I got all up and thought that I remembered a pattern that I hadn't worked on in a week. I finished up that portion and kept on knitting. Knit, knit, knitting along and I'm to the next section that used that technique. I look at the printed pattern and realize that I had done it all wrong. Now, I evaluate my mishaps to decide how much it bothers me. If it does, I fix it. This was a big bother, so I frogged it WAY back. Lost 4 days of knitting in the process. I'm slowly working my way back to the point where I was...thinking the entire time that I get more $ out of the yarn this way, right? :) Good thing the little one isn't due until June!

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Gina Shawl Variegated

For this project, I did two things that are unusual for me:
  1. Used a BRIGHT variegated yarn.
  2. Steam blocked.
I wanted to knit a variegated version of The Gina Shawl so that everybody could see how the pattern looked with different colors. I purchased it the night before we flew to the islands, so I was in the warm weather/bright color mood. After picking several options off the wall, the ladies talked me into this one--and I'm glad they did! It is beautiful and I can see myself wearing it throughout the spring and summer.

 
I steam blocked this because I wanted to get more of the point on the center and for the wave on the sides to be more prominent, well, I also wanted to wear it that night. It worked really well to steam it! The wave on the sides stands out better with this method. The other thing I realized was that I didn't need the top to be a straight line. With how you wear a shawl, who cares if it is at a 45 degree angle or even? This realization also helped me to give more fabric to the wave area. Ah ha!

 
Here is a close up of the lace pattern. I love how the color changes worked into the pattern. Completely random...I think variegated yarns with either short runs or inconsistent runs would work best for this pattern.

 
US Needle: 9
Yarn: Prism Saki (1 skein; enough left over to make baby booties!)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Totes?

Hi everybody in Internet land. I picked up this suitcase at Stein Mart. I thought it would be no big deal to find other pieces for the set. Well, I can't find them anywhere! It is the 25 inch upright and I would like at least the carry on size to go with it. Made by Totes the color is Highland Plaid. Anybody have a a suggestion?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Scrapbooks

As much as I enjoy the fiber arts, I get overwhelmed with the paper arts. I love the beautiful handmade cards the my MIL and Aunt Dory do. I love all the great scrapbooks that others do. I walk into a scrapbook store and I want to run away. I just don't know what to get and what to do. The problem is that I want to put together all of my pictures into this little format. So, I do the best I can. I also have to do them right after a trip/event or they sit in a box for years! Here are the Turks and Caicos scrapbooks...

 
I went with the 8 x 8 format this time around.

 
And despite the fact that we only went for under a week, we had enough to fill up two books!

 
I tend to load up the pages with photos of different sizes and very few stickers and things.

 
I do like to put on backing formats around the smaller photos to frame them.
I also like to put facing photos in, like a good journalism major!


 
This page of Sally the Conch cracked me up...

 
The Iguana island spread...I used the description out of the guide book on the page.

 
I do journal every now and then. I don't want to forget all the funny stories.

 
I also tend to pick colors for the background that go along with the content of the pictures.
All done and ready to look over when we need a good laugh and a smile. I also used up a lot of scrapbook stash. How did I end up with so much of this stuff when I do it once a year!!!!!???!!! Now, back to knitting. After all this crocheting and scrapbooking, I can't wait to get back to my knitting needles!