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January 2011

January 12, 2011

Well friends, it’s been a bit since the last post, due to the usual holiday madness. Let’s talk about crafting!

Book Corner

I crafted many, many gifts, a few of which I am excited to share with you! Amalie looks just like Little Red Riding Hood in this adorable hoodie that I knit from the Raven pattern in the Rowan Story Book of Little  Knits. The book itself is adorable, and has a story inside that you can read to your little ones.  All the characters are wearing wonderful little knitted items, and the patterns are in the back.  I knit Raven out of the QED yarn from The Sanguine Gryphon, in a rich crimson red.  I loved knitting with this strong, hard-wearing yarn with super stitch definition. Winter perfect!

In addition to the hoodie, I ventured into knitting a toy.  Never having attempted to knit a toy, I was pleasantly surprised at how well it came out, and how quickly it knit up.   I knit the Princess and the Pea from the book Itty Bitty Toys by Susan B. Anderson.  I did however, make a few changes.  Amalie’s little dolly features dark brown hair (just like hers!) instead of red hair.  I used mostly my own hand spun yarn for the blanket and the nightgown.  I also decided to use up some vintage fabric scraps and sewed the mattresses and feather beds rather than knitting them.  My favorite part is the bed my husband and I built.  I found some wooden scraps, and cut them to the dimensions of the mattresses.  After my husband assembled and sanded the bed down, I glued on tiny pea pods, blossoms, leaves and vines that I molded out of an air drying polymer clay from Michael’s.  I then gessoed the entire bed, and painted on a few coats of acrylic white paint.  I mixed up a peach-y pink color of acrylic paint and painted all the details.  Quickly wiping off the still wet paint left a hint of color in the crevices, adding a nice “shabby chic” look to the bed.  I finished up by highlighting with a pearl acrylic paint.  At the foot of the bed, I hand painted a replica of a castle from Germany.  It really is a wonderful toy that I hope Amalie will someday pass down to her own children, should she have any!

My daughter wasn’t the only one to receive a knitted gift, my brother received a pair of hand knit socks!  I used a simple ribbed pattern from the book, Toe Up! Patterns & Worksheets To Whip Your Sock Knitting Into Shape.  The beautiful Sanguine Gryphon sock yarn in the Port color way was part of a long-ago color club that I belonged to when I first began knitting.  I think the colors in the sock are manly and sophisticated.

Great Knitted Patterns

After finally finishing so many holiday knits, I settled down to some selfish knitting!  I quickly whipped up the Tea Leaves Cardigan, knit from the Siren Two Worsted Yarn by Pigeonroof Studios.  While I don’t yet have a picture to show you, the final product is satisfying in every way.  The yarn, sublime, soft, yet firm and bouncy with great stitch definition.  I tossed it in the washer AND dryer (gasp!), and it emerged in perfect condition.  The colors are beautiful and subtle, a hallmark of Krista’s style of dying.  The pattern itself is a fast, easy and enjoyable knit.  A wonderful first knit for 2011.

Other Crafts

As well as knitting, I put to use a new skill I taught myself: jewelry making.  I crafted pins and earrings for all the female members of the family.  I am happy to report that they were well received!

On The Needles

Currently I am involved with a project for Amalie using the Paper Dolls pattern by Kate Davies.  It is a sweater, knit in the round, featuring color work, and comes in many sizes.  I decided to teach myself how to use The Philosopher’s Wool Method, that my designer friend Ana Lena uses so effectively.  It is essentially two-handed knitting, with the main color held in the left hand, and the contrasting color held in the right hand.  The knitter knits Continental style with both hands.  What a humbling experience!  I once again remembered what it was like to learn how to knit for the first time.  My right hand, which really is my dominant hand, seemed to have either far too many, or far fewer fingers than usual, and none of them followed my directions.  Slowly, I eked out a few rows, only to discovered I was somehow knitting a Möbius!  Frogged, and started anew.  Second time around I got a bit farther…another mobius!  Perplexed, I frogged and started again.  By now, my right hand was catching the hang of this two-handed knitting stuff, and I managed to finish the ribbed, two color band along the bottom without any more errors.  Phew!  Now I am knitting the one color body in the usual method.  I can hardly wait to start the color work yoke!  One of the reasons I chose this pattern was because I could use yarn I already have.  This is known as “stash busting” in the world of knitting. I only cheated a little bit, buying two skeins of yarn for the color work.

New Yarn

I am really excited to be using the Chickadee Yarn from a new yarn company, Quince &Co.  Their yarns are produced from American wool, in an American mill,  Not only are the colors delicious, but the prices are Oh, so reasonable!  The Chickadee yarn is a sport weight yarn and is bouncy, with good stitch definition and some tooth, perfect for color work, just as promised by Quince & Co.  What I didn’t expect is how wonderfully springy the yarn is as well.  I am really excited to have found this company, and plan on making the Castle top from their line of patterns some day.  Here are the two colors I am using for the color work: Clay and Bird’s Egg.

In my next post I hope to show you photos of the completed project!  Happy Crafting!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 12, 2011 6:49 pm

    Your bed is amazing!!! No pressure Amalie but you better give your momma a grandbaby to pass that family heirloom down to. Or send it my way. Either way. 🙂

    And you cast on Paper Dolls? Yay! It is such a cute pattern. I can’t wait to see how it turns out. After frogging the Tulip Cardigan for the second time any colorwork is on hold until I figure this Philosopher’s Method out.

  2. Christy permalink
    January 12, 2011 9:17 pm

    I always love your sense of design and style.

  3. Angela permalink
    January 13, 2011 12:50 am

    A lovely post! I can’t believe that bed and doll set! So cute! And don’t tell me that you “quickly whipped up Tea Leaves!”. I am still working on my Henley with a Twist for pete’s sake. Darling earrings too.

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