Sunday, January 30, 2011

Don't be hatin' when I be hattin'

Winter is long and cold. Far to long and cold for a girl to wear the same hat for months on end.
Pattern: Kat by Kim Hargreaves (published in the book "Precious")
Yarn: Patons Angora Bamboo in 90010 Sand
Notes/Mods: Despite quite a few boo-boos in my knitting, I knit this one strictly as written.

I love this hat!
Right from the get-go I had the idea to add a fur pom pom. Yup, fur. The controversial fashion material I once claimed was "okay, but kind of icky" and now find riding on my head on a regular basis.

While I've dodged a few trendy fashion bullets (harem pants, "boyfriend" jeans, peep-toe boots), I am not immune to trends. Case in point: I am currently wearing "jeggings". Falling hard for the fur trend, I didn't stop with pom-poms.

Check out the new specs too!

I picked up this vintage hat/hood for $10 and I love it. The first time I wore it I expected protesters to throw red paint at me when I left my house. As it turns out, no one is waiting outside my door paparatzi-style to critique what I'm wearing each day. Hunh!? In fact, I've had a lot of compliments on this furry little number. I especially love this comparison:

I'd guess I'd rather wear fur than go naked (I'll leave the nudity to the models). Don't throw red paint at my blog!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Knitgifts Round-up!

When it comes to holiday gift knitting, I have spent years acquiring the following wisdom:

1: Start early. This does not mean 6 am December 24. Early means summer if possible.
2: Knit only for those who appreciate your handiwork. When you're knitting into the wee hours of the night trying to finish a gift ask yourself; "Is the recipient of this gift losing sleep over my gift?". If the answer is no, put down your needles and pour yourself a whiskey.

And the one lesson I have yet to learn...

3: Take pictures of your knitting before you stick it in a box and wrap it up in shiny paper!

My failure to photograph has left me with only a work-in-progress shot of my brother's Dr.Who scarf:

Pattern: The stripe pattern is from this crazy website
Yarn: A mix of random worsted weight from my stash
Notes: I used my machine - I'm not a masochist! I knit the scarf twice as wide as I wanted my finished dimensions and then sewed up the side to form a tube. The finished scarf is about 7 inches wide and 18 feet long.

Let's just pretend this is my brother wearing his new scarf:

You may remember I've actually made my brother a Dr.Who scarf in the past. Sadly, he lost the scarf along with almost everything he owned in a house fire this past year. (It's a long story, just know no one was hurt and everything is looking up for 2011). The fire is far enough in the past that I can now safely mourn the horrific loss of all the knitting I've done for him over the years. At least I can sleep sound knowing the natural wool fibres I chose would have been self-extinguishing.

So how about some knitting that has nothing to do with house-fires or sci-fi? (Sorry, I couldn't think of a more appropriate segue). I made my super-friend Cathy some thrum mitties!

Thanks for the pic, Cathy!

Pattern: Mostly based on the Midwest style thrummed mittens from No Sheep for You
Yarn/Fibre: Noro Kuryon colour #8 with Natural black Alpaca Roving from Meadowview Alpaca farm

They match her new winter coat, she wears them, she loves them, what more can a gift-knitter ask for?

Well, I suppose I could ask for my friends to give me pictures of themselves wearing my knitting whilst looking like a marble sculpture:

Thanks for the pic, Jenny!

Despite the creamy complexion, I can assure you Jenny is not made of marble. She's just knows how to rock some knit-wear and use her photographic talent to capture it with style.

Pattern: Directly from my brain
Yarn: Band - Estelle Superfine Alpaca (colour 302); Flowers - Patons Silk Bamboo (Apricot); Leaves - Patons Shetland Chunky (Leaf... appropriately)

Another very well received gift. Seriously, do I know who to knit for or what? I really love giving people hand made gifts that they actually appreciate. You can bet these peeps will be on my 2011 knit-list and this time I'll try to remember to bust out the camera before I bust out the wrapping paper ...or at least hire Jenny to bust it out for me.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Kitschy, Crafty Christmas

Hope you had a great holiday!

We went a little crazy this year with our self-designed christmas cards. It would not have been possible without the wonderful camera-work of the talented Jenny Rowsom and the generous loan of a "Jersey Girl" wig (Snooki, Amy Winehouse, Elvira... it's really a multi-purpose look) from Nicole. Thanks guys!

This year marks the first year we got a tree too. A real tree, not the 5 dollar little artificial jobby I bought at Honest Ed's 10 years ago.

Of course a tree measuring taller than 12 inches requires considerably more decorations.
I'm beginning to start a collection of kitschy vintage decorations:

And of course, my tree wouldn't be complete without the crafty decorations too:

Patterns: Free Santa and Reindeer ornaments from the Lily Sugar n Cream website
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter
Hook: 3.5 mm

The mushroom was stolen (or just about) directly from Cara's beautiful christmas tree. You can find info on the 'shroom on her blog here. Thanks, Cara!

Now there's a few things that I just can't resist when it comes to holiday crafting and that's pinecones, Martha Stewart glitter and crocheted snowflakes:
(Pinecones and glitter not pictured)

Pattern: Crocheted motifs from a Japanese book - sorry, not much help there!
Yarn: Phildar Sunset
Hook: 3mm.
Notes/Mods: I really want to make more of these for next year and I'll definitely use a smaller hook next time. Them snowflakes should be toit!

Having a real tree this year made me realize how much I freakin' love christmas trees. I love the bit of nature indoors, the warm glow from lights, the pine smell...sigh. Alas, my living room is neither large, nor the natural territory for a Balsam fir. It's well past New Year's and it's time to get Mr.Tree ready for garbage day.

Happy New Year, guys!