Friday, March 21, 2008

Another stocking

Scarf complete!

The scarf for the husband is complete! Here are some pictures. I felt so proud when I saw him wear it to work on the first day of spring. I thought to myself, "hmmm, he probably won't be able to wear it for much longer this season." Then, this morning, we awoke to snow, snow, snow. Maybe finishing a scarf in March in Wisconsin is perfect timing afterall.

The lace scarf is up next to be finished, but I have now been sidetracked by preprations for a conference presentation next week in NYC. With us being out of town for the holiday weekend, I forsee many late nights in my future, and not much knitting.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Kitty Cats

Last week I got one of the Peter Rabbit DVD's from the local library. My older daughters (identical 2.5 year old twins) can't get enough of them. They especially love the stories with "kitty cats." They love the kittens so much that they have taken to acting like kittens - almost all the time. This has created a convenient excuse for some of their antics, such as "Who threw all the books on the floor?", repsponse (in unison), "Kitty cat did!" You can only imagine what this charade has done to my knitting stash of rolled yarn balls. I fear they will never be the same again. Currently there are strands of 7-8 different yarns stretched and scrambled across the living room, 4 toddler legs, and my coffee cup.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Stuck on Scarf Island

Here's the progress on the two scarves in the queue. I'm certainly not breaking any speed records, but I think that I have made some respectable gains. Obviously neither are blocked - and won't be for some time - but this gives you and idea of where I'm at. The other picture is of a current project that is eating up some knitting time. I borrowed the book from my Mom. It's a great read so far and intriguing enough to keep me from my needles. Tonight is movie night for me and Dad, so maybe I'll make a move towards getting off this island.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

...make an advent calendar.

Here's the update on the advent calendar: 15 of 25 complete! As you can see this is getting to be quite the project. I took the inspiration from the hats and mittens advent calendar that I saw in Garnet Hill magazine. I really wanted to purchase this one for my family, but couldn't justify the cost - especially since I am a knitter myself! So instead I resolved to wait a year and knit one myself. Here are some of my project notes so far:

*I have decided to go for a more uniform look and do 25 socks, rather than a combination of mittens and hats.

* I haven't numbered them. This is mostly because I don't have an order determined yet, but I also prefer the look of the socks as is. I am not sure how I will compensate for this in the presentation.

* To get these perfect little socks/stockings, I modified the "sockadelic" knit child's two-color and striped socks pattern from the spring 2008 issue of Lion Design (free from However, I did find a great deal on Lion Brand Wool-Ease (the recommended yarn for this project) from and went crazy on the color selection.

* I am casting on 24 stitches over 3, size 6, dpns. I start with 6 rows of k1p1 rib stitch for the cuff, 14 rows of st to the heel, do heel shaping with short rows, and another 14 rows of st to the toe shaping. The toe is finished with alternating k2tog and k1 sl1 k1 psso every row to 8 st remaining. I graft these last stitches together.

* I let my older daughters have their pick from the box of yarn and knit up some of the socks with their color choices. For 2 1/2 year-olds I have to say they have an impeccable appreciation for color and design!

* These are a quick knit too! I have found that I can cast on and complete one sock in just 2.5 hours. The perfect remedy for those days when it feels like I can finish/accomplish anything (whether it be reading for class, edits to various manuscripts, getting my daughters to use the big girl potty, or the laundry).

* I have consulted my husband about how to display the finished socks and we haven't come to any agreement yet. I could hang them from a line (like the one in the catalog), but we could also hang them on a board from numbered hooks or something. We've agreed to wait awhile on making this decision or brainstorming further.

Monday, March 3, 2008

...I will sew something.

Well, I have been making sporadic progress on the scarf for my husband, the lace scarf for myself and the coin purses. No new pictures or anything worth posting about yet. I did complete another stocking for the calendar though - I love that project because whenever I feel like I can't finish a project I put it down and knit a quick stocking. Problem solved!

Instead of making progress on the scarves Sunday night, and instead of doing my reading for Constitutional Law, I dusted off the old sewing machine and got to work on a new project. In fact, I started and finished the project in one evening - a wonder for someone that is used to taking weeks to complete a project. Sewing sure does move faster than clicking my needles together.

I cannot take credit for this baby toy - other than the sewing of this one. I picked up the idea from the baby shower that I went to. A friend of the mom-to-be gave her a stuffed cube and it was the cutest darn thing I'd ever seen. I let the idea roll around in my head for a week or so and then realized that making one of my own would be a great way to use up some of my fabric stash. So I cut 6 8x8 squares, embellished each one and sewed them up into a cube. I stuffed it and even put a rattle (actually a small metal container with extra screws from my husbands workshop - it is secured with duct tape so the screws won't fall out) in the middle to make some noise. Each side is different: a swirl pattern, a removable fleece triangle (velcro is a wonder), a flower, some felt rectangles, a ribbon accent and a burber fleece rectangle. I completed the look with some ribbon "tags" which are on many of my kiddos toys, and were featured on the baby gift.
The more I think about this project, the more I love it. Maybe an alphabet cube, number cube, designer cube - so many options!

To give full credit where credit is due, the orignal cube that I saw was created by Ellen Carlson of Bluemchen Design. While she does have an store, it doesn't seem that she is selling these cubes (but she should!) What she does sell are the cutest knot hats. I picked one up at Happy Bambino for my youngest. She'll be sporting it this spring!