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December 21, 2006

Off we go!

We're leaving town folks! I'll be checking in occasionally, but you may not hear from me until we get back on January 6 or so.

Happy Holidays everybody! Keep the blog warm for me.

December 20, 2006

Finished: Heirloom Bag

Those of you who have been hanging around here for a while may recall that this bag was started over Labor Day weekend 2005 by my sister Rae. She crocheted the doily-bits and, feeling the collaborative enthusiasm, I got going on the bag part.

Shortly after Rae went home I chucked it back in the basket. Mostly because of the colors (I may or may not have used unkind words to describe them). Regardless, Rae would occasionally ask me about the bag and when I planned to finish it, mentioning that she would like to have it if/when it was ever completed. So, in a heartwarmingly Christmassy effort of sisterly love, I have finished it. I may have taken over a year to do it, but here it is:

heirloom%20bag.jpg

The Specs:

-Heirloom Bag, from Rowan 37.
-Yarn: Knit Picks Shine in apricot, violet, cherry, and grass (originally purchased for Anouk)
-Needles: various size 3s.
-Tassels: pattern from Last Minute Knitted Gifts.
-Notions: green fabric and thread for the lining.
-Start to finish: September 2005 - December 16, 2005.
-For: my lovely sister Rae.


inside_hb.jpg
more excitement inside!

Notes: A pretty quick and easy project, once I actually got going on it. The whole thing is really very sturdy since the handle is double-thick in addition to being lined. My only changes to the pattern (well, aside from a different yarn with a completely different gauge) were to add a pocket and some tassels, just to up the fancy-factor.

I'm particularly proud of my finishing job on this bag. It may look like a circus tent, but it's a really, really well-made circus tent.

Final Verdict: A bit bizarre. But to quote Bridget Jones' mother: "...that's lovely, isn't it - 'bizarre'?"

December 18, 2006

Finished: Korknisse Ornaments

So some of the Korknisse are finished. I decided to do a FO post since I've started to give some of them away (and besides, they all look about the same). So far I've made 13 of these little dudes. By the end of the holiday season I will probably have made close to 30.

nisse.jpg
we are legion


The Specs:
-Pattern: Korknisse, from Saartje Knits.
-Yarn: various aran and worsted weight yarns
-Needles: size 3 dpns
-Notions: corks*, skinny ribbon, permanent black marker, little teeny-tiny jingle bells and sequin pins.

*after I first posted about this project, Nova sent me a whole big bag of corks (along with an awesome Christmas mix). Thanks so much Nova!


nisse_tree.JPG
ornamentized


Notes: I love this little pattern. On average, it takes about 35 minutes to complete a single nisse. That includes knitting, sewing in the ends, drawing the little face, sewing the bells on and attaching the ribbon. So it's one of the quicker gifts I've come across. Even when you add up how long it'll take to make 30 of them (17.5 hours) that's not too bad...and I'll have thirty cute little gifts when I'm done!

The only change I made to the pattern was to cast on three extra stitches when using worsted weight yarn. This makes it a bit larger to compensate for the thinner yarn and the hat decreases still work out nicely. I'll also admit to shortening a few of the larger corks, since I think they look a bit cuter when they're short and squat.


red_nisse.jpg


Ornamentizing: Most of these pics were taken before I attached the ribbons, but all of these have since been turned into ornaments. All I did was attach a 9-inch piece of ribbon to the top of the cork with a couple of sequin pins (those are the extra short ones they stock in the sequin section) and then thread the ribbon though the hat using a darning needle.


row_of_nisse.jpg

Final Verdict: korknisse for everybody!

December 14, 2006

Creeping up on Christmas

Thanks for all the very nice comments on Beau, everybody! You do realize that Thunk is going to be nearly impossible to live with now, right? If he leaves me to run off to New York and start his modeling career it will be All Your Fault. I’m just saying.

In other news, I’ve still got a few smaller projects to finish up before I take off for Christmas...and exactly one week in which to finish them. So here’s what I’ve got going:

Korknisse, the advanced guard

korknisse_1.jpg
hello. we are a boy band.

There are actually more of them now…I took the picture last Sunday. I still need to add little eyes and things…maybe some spangles. The goal is to have the whole army ready by Saturday.


Branching Out

b_out_rad.jpg

This will be Mum’s Christmas scarf. I started it on Sunday and I’m currently about a third of the way done. The yarn is Elizabeth Lavold Silky Wool. Nice stuff. Good pattern. I am pleased.


Heirloom bag:

Sorry, no picture of this one. But I'm finished with all the knitting and just have to figure out how to line the danged thing. And here you thought it was a permanent fixture on the WIP list. How wrong you were...


And in the finished category we have...
Etched Glasses for Rosser

ross_glasses.jpg

Nearly impossible to photograph, but you get the idea. These are for the other BIL. In case you can’t tell what the pictures are supposed to be, they are: the Greek flag, the four suits, his initials, the Parthenon, a skull and crossed hockey sticks, and a cricket.

They were a lot of fun to make…who doesn’t like playing around with acid and an exacto knife? The hardest part was deciding what to put on them. Instructions for making your very own can be found here.

That's it for now! Back to work with me...

December 11, 2006

Finished: Beau

Beau_tracks.jpg


The Specs:
-Pattern: Beau, by Kim Hargreaves from Rowan Vintage Knits.
-Yarn: Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Aran.
-Skeins: a little over 7 skeins in the color Muffin.
-Needles: size 6 for the ribbing, size 7 for the rest.
-Buttons: vintage, from the stash.
-Start to finish: November 4 – December 8.
-For: my brother-in-law Natey for Christmas.


Beau_back.jpg


Notes: I knitted the second smallest size and, apart from having to go down a needle size to get gauge (something that rarely happens since I tend to knit tightly), I just followed the pattern as written. Man-sweaters are just big squares, so there isn't much to change.

The Yarn: I really like the way the fabric knitted up. It's an aran weight but it's still nice and light. Also, even though it's not a yarn I'd necessarily classify as soft (it's just plain old wool from what I can tell), it's not itchy. You could knit with this stuff with no pants on, if you were so inclined. To bad they've discontinued it.

The Pattern: Easy-peasy people. The design is interesting without being technically challenging and it's not so fussy that your guy'll refuse to wear it (well, I'm sure there are some exceptions out there but we can't please everybody all the time). I might have to make one of these for Thunky sometime. I do have that RYTA I was going to use for Finn.

Knitterly Confession: I set in both of the sleeves wrong-ways out. But you would never have known if I hadn't told you, right?

Final Verdict: We won't know for sure until Christmas, but I think we can safely call this one a winner. If Natey doesn't like it I'll knit him something else and give this one to Thunk.


Thunk_Beau.jpg

We couldn't resist doing our own Rowan hottie shot. Here's the original for comparison. All we're lacking is some ivy, a few days stubble and a French accent.

December 6, 2006

waiting for the light

Beau is all put together! All I need to do is sew on the buttons and steam those sleeve cap seams a bit. I've been putting that off in favor of some spinning since we won't actually be able to get any photos with natural light until this weekend. Beau deserves more than a bed shot. Ick. For now you get a teaser:

beau_blw.jpg
sunlight courtesy of me sleeping in yesterday morning...

The brown lambswool there will (hopefully) become another Christmas gift. Depending on how the yarn turns out, it could be any of a number of things. I'm in as much suspense as you.

And, in case you doubt me about the light thing (which I'm sure you don't, because it's probably just as dark where you live), here's what the sky looked like at 5:30 last night:

evening_sky.jpg
Dark. Pretty, but dark.

December 4, 2006

Warning, slow finisher

Here's where Beau was around 1:30 yesterday afternoon:

Beau_blocked.jpg

In case you had any illusions that I am a fast finisher, here's how the rest of the day progressed:

2pm - 5pm: attached shoulders, knitted on collar and one button band. (So for those of you keeping score, that's: 2 three needle bind offs, 8 cm of ribbing for the collar, and a few cms of knitting for the first button band).

6pm - 11:30pm: knit other button band on, set in two sleeves using newly found miraculous technique called "backstitching” (am VERY slow backstitcher). Mattress stitched one side seam. In here you can also count the three times I dragged Thunk into the kitchen for fittings so that he could tell me how nice the sweater looked at various stages.

So...that makes my to-do list for tonight:
-mattress stitch other side seam and both sleeve seams.
-sew down button bands.
-weave in ten million ends.
-locate and sew on appropriate buttons (may require venturing out into cold night air. pray for button stash treasures).

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