Monday, December 29, 2008

For Next Christmas

I'm getting a bit of a jump on things here. I've made three of these Mary Maxim stockings before so I know how intricate and time consuming they are. Even though it won't be needed until next Christmas I figured I'd get a start on it now and work on it a bit at a time, in between other projects. So far I've got the beads and threads sorted and I've skimmed through the directions.

This stocking will be for our next grandchild, due April 9th or 11th depending on which doctor is asked.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

From Our House to Yours

Merry Christmas!

Last Minute Addition

My granddaughter Kaylen has been playing "Christmas". After pretending to open a present she exclaims gleefully, "Mittens!". I heard about this new development late this afternoon......

.....and I decided that Grandma just had to make mittens for her. I started these at 6 pm tonight, Christmas Eve. It's 4 hours later now and they are ready to be wrapped. I'm a bit behind on a few other things that need doing, but it was worth it.

Ready For Christmas?

I'm nearly ready. The Christmas knitting is complete.

I don't go all out like some. This year the knitting has been limited to one child's sweater, two hats, and a scarf.

I just have to wrap a few that were still blocking yesterday when I did all the rest of the gift wrapping.
Several batches of shortbread have been eaten in the month of December but I've managed to freeze part of one batch. There were buttertart squares, but those have been eaten too. A few ginger crinkle cookies have survived long enough to be hidden away for tomorrow's guests. Yesterday I added (another) batch of tarts and the 2 pumpkin pies for tomorrow's desert.

This morning I did the last of the required baking. The buns for dinner.

Only a few more chores to cross off my "to do" list, some of it being a bit of final house cleaning. We're housebound by the snow and poor road conditions so our plans to do a bit of Christmas Eve visiting have been scrapped. I guess I'll have to relax and take it easy tonight. Just as well I suppose. Tomorrow will be a big day.

For the Birds

A white Christmas! The first to reach all across Canada since 1971. While we do occasionally have a bit of snow here in the lower mainland of BC, it usually doesn't stick around.

While the Canada Geese have flown south we do have birds that stay here year round. They are having a hard time of it in the snow and cold.

You can't tell by looking at this picture of my backyard that I have a LOT of birds hanging around my feeder. They all flew away when I opened the door to take the picture, but I have at least 12 robins that perch in a nearby tree and they are fluffed up like black and orange tennis balls in an effort to stay warm. The small song birds are so numerous that I can't count them fast enough, often more than 2 dozen at a time.

There are a few Stellar Jays that look like they are having a rather tough time finding food. Usually they don't go near the feeders set up for the smaller birds. They don't fit under it's eaves. Perhaps the food, black oil sunflower seeds, isn't normally to their taste either? Now they are desperately trying to cling to the sides of the feeder long enough to grab a seed or two. I've been scattering peanuts for them, which they really enjoy, but with it still snowing the peanuts are quickly buried. I've spread some of the peanuts out under our deck where the snow won't cover them, but the birds are not accustomed to finding them there.

While I can't offer them shelter from the cold, I can at least try to feed them.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Slouchy Hat

I've knit this slouchy hat, the "Meret (Mystery Beret)" by Woolly Wormhead, in 100% acrylic. It is destined to be a Christmas gift for someone who finds wool uncomfortable due to very sensitive skin.


The over sized nature of this design makes it very comfortable to wear.


It can be worn in quite a variety of ways depending on the preferences/personality of the recipient.


I like it a lot and may decide to make one for myself, but in a different colour and a much nicer fibre!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Handspun Sockettes

When attending holiday parties I usually wear thin little nylon stockings with my dressier clothes and then, having removed my shoes at the door, my feet get SO cold! This year I thought ahead and went prepared.

I whipped up these little sockette things from a bit of leftover handspun I had kicking around.

Toasty! The warmth of a wool sock without looking like I'm wearing my husband's work socks.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Elmo Gets A Trimmin'

With the duplicate stitch done in Fun Fur, Elmo was looking a bit too furry.

Extra furry Elmo needs a trim

Okay....he was looking a LOT too furry.

Elmo needs a haircut

So I gave him a trimmin'.

Ahhhhh! Much better!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Elmo Nightmare

Instarsia AND duplicate stitching with "Fun Fur"! What was I thinking?

I was thinking I love my granddaughter very much and she is totally worth the trouble.

Shhhh! Don't tell her. It's a Christmas present.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Amber Revontuli

This was a very different project for me. Oh I've knit lace shawls before. I've even knit them from my own handspun before. The difference with this one though is that I knit the entire thing without a specific recipient in mind.

Admittedly I knit most projects for my own use. After all, I'm the only person who truly understands and appreciates how much work has gone into the creation. This is particularly true when the article was not only hand knit, but also hand spun. The yarn for this particular shawl was all spun on a drop spindle too, which is more labour intensive than spinning it on a spinning wheel.

To add to the labour involved, I beaded a row in each repeat. My oldest daughter patiently sat by my side loading a crochet hook with a bead and handing it to me....every other stitch all across these long rows. Thanks Lisa!

All that work and I did it knowing that this colourway does not suit me at all. I LIKE the colours, in fact my home is decorated in beige and brown, but the shawl is too small to be an afghan.

How odd that I felt so compelled to knit this and worked on it obsessively until it was complete, yet have no recipient in mind for the finished object.

Maybe I will sell it. Maybe I will be inspired to give it away to someone who needs a warm hug. We'll see.

Monday, November 10, 2008

30 Years Later

My mom knit this sweater set for my oldest daughter nearly 30 years ago.

It was worn by each of my 3 children, and is now being worn by my granddaughter!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Revontuli Beginning

First I spindle spun two different, yet related colourways of hand dyed merino/silk (by Fleece Artist). This amber/rust/copper/bronze colourway and a gold/amber one.

Then I plied the two together on my wheel. Turned upside down the glass measuring cups are heavy enough to hold the balls of singles in place and yet the pouring spout is a convenient gap to pull the strands though.

Even though this autumn-like colourway is not at all flattering to my skin tone, I do like it and I couldn't wait to knit something up with it.

I cast on today for the Revontuli Shawl. I'm using one strand of the handspun and one strand of Crystal Palace Kid Merino held together. I may decide to place amber coloured beads in some of the outer rows.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Cute > Cuter

The amigurumi sheep is cute,

but my granddaughter in a sheep costume is way cuter!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Moved to Tears

THIS is so beautiful it moved me to tears. Well worth the four minutes it takes to view/listen to it. ----okay, it Turned out to be 12 minutes because I listened to it three times in a row!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Lamb Costumed Amigurumi

With Halloween coming up soon, I couldn't resist making a couple of costumed kid amigurumi.

The pattern is Lana the Lamb amigurumi doll, by Mia Zamora Johnson, aka "Owlishly".

The white one, Lana, is crocheted in acrylic and stuffed with acrylic yarn scraps.

The second one, Larry, made for a guild challenge, has a head crocheted of acrylic, but the grey wool and the brown "hooves" are my own handspun wool. He's also stuffed with clean, unspun wool.

Larry in a lamb costume.

The pattern calls for purchased animal eyes but I embroidered them on to keep the toys kid safe.

These were great fun to make. I can see why there is an amigurumi craze going on.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Beeby Baby Bee

This little fellow has been patiently waiting for his turn at a blog post. I actually finished him on October 11, took a few pictures, gave him to my little granddaughter, and promptly forgot to show him on the blog.

Poor little Beeby!

Definitely a fun, quick project. I couldn't resist!

There are many more that I would like to do. Who should be next? Annie and Bianca? Bubbles the Fish? What camper should be without Mr. Mosquito? Or maybe Santa Claus would be a timely addition?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Flaming Dumpling

My second felted "Dumpling Bag" (pattern for basic bag is in Interweave Knits, Fall 2008). This one is a little more elongated than the last so that I could fit in the flames.

I used the graph from Melanie Gibbons "Hot Rod Socks" pattern. Given my blog name of "Wovenflame" it was a "must do" don't you think?

SOME day I need to splurge, buy the four colours for the graph in sock yarn and actually make the socks too.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"Roses" progress

I took this photo way back on September 17th. At that time I had progressed quite quickly, getting a lot done in a short period of time, but I haven't picked the project up since.

A lot of other, more urgent projects got in the way, but I hope to get back to the cross-stitch soon.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Cupcake Revisited

Those Cupcake Hats really get around. You might recall that last month I wrote a blog post about the hand-me-down hat? Well here is another one I originally knit in the fall of 2005. The Chocolate Cupcake Hat was originally knit for Isabella and it is now being worn by her little sister Olivia.

Isn't she a sweetie?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Cunningham Tartan Afghan

My son's "moving out" afghan is done. The Cunningham Tartan, crocheted in worsted weight, Bernat Super Saver Solids (100% acrylic), it measures 52" x 72" -----

---- and matches absolutely nothing in his new apartment.

Edited to add:

Although it could technically be called "woven", it was not done on a loom at all. This is a crocheted afghan. You first crochet a mesh of "dc, ch1" (double crochet, chain 1) using the appropriate "weft colors" of the tartan, and then you crochet long chains for the "warp" which are woven by hand in and out of the mesh. This pattern, and many other tartan variations are available in the Australian Woman's Weekly, "Easy-to-Crochet Tartan Rugs" book.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Masters Monday Interruptus

Masters Monday reporting will be going on hold for a while. Oh, I'll still be working on it a bit, at least one baby step forward each week, but reporting in each week just to say I'm reading/researching the history of knitting can get pretty boring. Even more boring than reading/researching the history of knitting. And that's pretty boring!

More interesting blogging will be happening later this week. I'm nearing completion on my son's crocheted, tartan afghan. Planned as a moving out gift, it's a little late. He moved out on the weekend. My youngest offspring* has his own apartment now.

*I was going to say "child", but he is not even close to being a child anymore.

I miss him. But it was time.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Waves of Grain

This was an easy and relatively quick lace project. In fact, the centre portion was so easy that I made a few minor mistakes when my mind wandered. I had to tink back to correct them. I wasn't entirely successfully either, but what remains is barely detectable. Normally I would have ripped back until I was sure they were 100% fixed, but I had a looming deadline as I wanted to use the scarf in a lace blocking demonstration.

The pattern is "Waves of Grain" designed by Rosemary Hill, knit up in Cherry Tree Hill Suri Lace Alpaca. You won't find this colourway in Cherry Tree Hill's stock. It was originally their "Spring Frost" colourway which is very pretty, but I chose to overdye it to better suit my colouring.

I used just enough blue dye to change the base colour (which was pastel peach, green, and blue) to blue and blue green with occasional hints of blue violet. Very subtle, just the way I like it.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Lace and Dumplings

What difference does a name make? None really, we're still the same group of local knitters enjoying each others company, but the new group name will hopefully avoid some confusion that has cropped up.

We'll now be known as the Knitters' Circle to avoid the confusion that our former name, Upper Fraser Valley Knitters, caused when our area college/university changed its status and name to University of the Fraser Valley. We don't want the knitting community to think we are a group associated only with the university. University students are of course welcome, we include any knitter that would like to join us.

This week's meeting went very well, with 9 members in attendance. Very good numbers considering all the road closures in the area that make it more difficult than usual to reach the meeting room at the Thresherman's building on Luckakuck Way in Chilliwack.

After I presented a lace blocking demonstration that went over very well (lace blocking creates such a transformation that it can't help but impress), we moved on to Show and Tell and then discussed the group project, a small felted bag.

We're getting in on the Dumpling Bag craze and, with a little imagination and individual creativity, we will each be making our own little dumpling to tote our mugs to meetings. Or use as a purse. Or give as a gift. Or carry our small projects.

This is my first.

I confidently say "first" because, like eating potato chips, you can never stop at just one. Don't believe me? Just try one. I dare ya. The pattern by Sharon Dreifuss is on page 86 of the current issue (Fall 2008) of Interweave Knits.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Toddler Pillow

My mom isn't able to sew any more so she gave me her sewing machine. My own was 30 years old and past its prime. The new-to-me one is a joy to use. It's not fancy, but it does more than my old basic one did, and more efficiently at that.

One of my first projects was to make my granddaughter two little pillowcases for the small, thin, toddler pillow I picked up at Ikea.

Kaylen loves her new pillow. When she first got it her mommy heard her fussing in the middle of the night (baby monitor --- great invention!), then there was a little gasp of recognition, a bit of rustling, a contented, exaggerated sigh, and she was back to sleep.

Could a sewing project be more appreciated?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Masters Monday - 2.33

Nothing to see here folks. Move along, move along.

Yes, I am working a bit on the Masters program, but I have nothing to photograph or really talk about this week because I'm just been reading about knitting history.


and the argyle sock is in the corner for a time out.

I'm SO darn busy right now that I'm running from one urgent, deadline project to the next. I don't know which to work on at any one time because they are all urgent.

What am I doing on the computer?!......ahhhhhh......must need a time management expert to knock some sense into me. Avoidance of all urgent projects is surely not going to help.

Friday, September 19, 2008

It Takes Commitment

I recently joined a group on Ravelry that is committed to spinning for 10 minutes each day. This kind of thing really works for me. The dedication to doing a little at a time, but being faithful to at least that small amount, is what is getting me, albeit slowly, through the Master Knitter certification program. Turns out it works for the spinning too.

I've had a small basket of merino/silk top sitting with my spindle for months now. In only a few days I've spun this most recent cop's worth. When I add it to the ball I had already, the basket can be refilled with the next project, a similar colourway of the same merino/silk to be combined with this one as a 2 ply.

(I use the tiny needle felted ball use see there as a core when I hand wind balls of singles in preparation for plying).