Saturday, January 24, 2009

Want to do a little stash busting?

Each January I take stock of my household and try to organize to bring some order to my chaos. I go from room to room and try and put everything in it's place. I had an urge to knit some gifts for my sister and sister in law. After going through my quilting room I couldn't justify buying any new yarn. I have some yarn in a plastic bin that I have not touched in a few years. Most of the yarn is stuff I bought when I first started knitting. Several pretty acrylics and other novelty yarns. As I sorted through the large pile I was reminded of an old saying that I love. Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without. I love that saying. Because I am knitting gifts for non knitters I had to use washing machine friendly yarn. I searched through Ravelry and found a great pattern. Fourteen is the name designed by a guy knitter. I thought his design was very clever but I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to knit the brioche rib stitch.

I am the kind of person that has to see something before I can learn how to do it. I found a great video on you tube that really helped me master the stitch. Click here to watch the video. It's ever so easy. For this neck warmer I used Lion brand wool-ease thick and quick color claret.

You need to find some bulky or super bulky yarn. For the blue version I used 2 strands of Lion Brand Jiffy yarn held together to use it up! The colorway is midnight blue.

I really like this brioche stitch. Look at the definition. Notice the prop?
After knitting my first neck warmer I made a few changes in the original pattern. Here are the details:

Yarn- any bulky weight yarn or use two strands held together for extra stash busting

Needle size- 13US

Cast on 15 stitches. You must use multiples of 3.

Knit 4 rows.

knit brioche stitch each row until neck warmer measures 24".
*With yarn in front slip one as if to purl, with yarn in front k2tog, rep. from *

Knit 1 row.

K3, yo, k2tog, k2, yo, k2tog, k2, yo, k2tog, k3.

Knit 2 more rows.

Bind off in garter stitch.

Go find some large funky buttons to add some flair to your neck warmer. That's it! I made 2 of these neck warmers in 4 hours.

For this one it's Lion Brand wool-easethick and quick color raspberry.

I hope you decide to do a little stash busting. Let me know if you decide to make a few of these quick projects. I would love to see yours!
Now back to chores!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Rebel With a Cause

Have you ever done something that seems so wrong yet felt so good? I feel a little like a rebel. I was taught from a very young age to never put a wool item in the wash. I was also told that if you made the mistake of washing wool in the machine don't think about drying the wool clothing in the dryer. I have been guilty of shrinking beautiful sweaters down to toddler size by accident. Hmm, that was a long time ago. How things have changed. I have found that I adore shrinking old wool sweaters in the washing machine and then burning them in the dryer to felt the fabric even more. Here are a few of my creations. I had a pincushion swap last month and my mind went crazy with ideas. I was only suppose to make one pincushion. I can never seem to make just one of anything. If I'm going to go through the process I going play and let the creative juices flow.

You start out with some thrift store wool sweaters. Most of the sweaters I purchased were way out dated and already felted.

I found a few really nice wool sweaters from Ireland that I'm not sure I can cut up.

After the washing machine does it's job and felts the wool like magic start cutting.

To make the handle for your tea cup you need to make lots of i-cord. I found this cool tool that makes I-cording at Joannes. Remember to read the directions for the cording tool. You can only use a skinny 100% wool yarn.

You just use the colors that you like and create a cool tea cup or coffee mug. Here is a great video of the pattern here. I love the way this one turned out. I'm sure that if I hit some other thrift stores I could find better patterned sweaters.

I couldn't stop with the teacup. I had to create a sweater pincushion.

This one is made out of a cashmere sweater. I made sure to cut the sweater so I could put the cable to good use. Cashmere is a little harder to felt.
It's cute!
Thanks for stopping by and checking out my little pincushion parade!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy 2009!

Happy 2009 to you! Wow, I can't believe the year is 2009. I feels like we just rang in the year 2000. Time sure marches on. I hope everyone reading had a wonderful Christmas holiday. Our family had an awesome time together enjoying each others company. As much as I delighted in all of the festivities it's good to get back to daily stuff like knitting, quilting and fun sewing. I worked on only one project during Christmas. I decided at the very last minute to knit a scarf for my DS's girlfriend Bree. I know I shouldn't have started a Christmas knitting project 4 days before the great day. You could call me a glutton for punishment. Even my DH looked at me and said,"You can't get that scarf done on time." How right he was. I finished January 1, 2009 at 11:50p.m. Ha! So, here are the details of my very first FO (finished object) of the new year......

Scrunchable scarf is the pattern. It's very simple to knit and the stitch definition is great. I modified the original pattern. Here are the details:
Cast on 26 stitches.
Slip the first stitch as to purl with yarn in front.
K2, P1 until the last stitch K1.

I chose a gorgeous merino wool from Malabrigo. The colorway is velvet grapes. The variegation is stunning.
Needle size: 10 1/2
I love how the color makes a zig zag pattern. I may add some fringe to the edge.

Slipping the first stitch and knitting the last makes a fine edge. It was a nice project to knit. It's been almost a year since I knitted my last scarf. Now I remember why. It seems to take forever to finish.

One of the best gifts I received this Christmas was an Ott light. Boy, what a difference a little more light can be. Here is a shot of my favorite chair with normal lighting. You can see the Ott light but I have it turned off.

Same shot with the Ott light on. What a difference.

Here is a hat I'm working on for my son. Just the floor lamp is turned on.

My project illuminated by the great Ott light! The Ott light makes all of my close up work including reading more vibrant. It's a great tool. Not real pretty but who cares when you can see good! I have lots of fun felting projects to share with you this week. Please drop by again. Happy 2009!