Thursday, December 31, 2015

FO: Sweet November Shawl

I'm excited to announce that I completed a decently large object before the new year rings in. 

Project: Sweet November Shawl by Caryl Pierre (inspired by the shawl in the movie Sweet November)
Needles: Size US 10.5
Mods: Since this yarn is bulky, and to not fret about not having enough fringe yarn, I stopped the increases when I reached 157 sts. 
Pattern Review: It is a very nice, very simple lace pattern for beginners to advanced knitters. I highly recommend this fast knit.

My 5-year old son was the photographer of all of these portrait type photos, except for me in the mirror. He's got quite an eye. He told me to make sure that I hold my wings out strong, like a bird! lol!
 It's a very trendy shawl (or scarf).
On my KUAS facebook group page, I had some requests to show action photos of me blocking this shawl out with my new blocking wires from Knitpicks.

Basically, I stuck the wire evenly throughout the cast-off edge and selvage edge (I needed to use more than one wire per side) and then stretched it out as much as I could and pinned it down similar to how you would without the wires. The blocking wires makes your edge much straighter and less wave-like, so I do recommend trying them out. It was a little bit of a pain trying to stick a thick, blunt wire through wet, bulky yarn though.

What's started on the needles for the New Year?
A chunky Seed Stitch hat using Lopi wool in a steel type of color.
Have a wonderful New Year's Eve and day! 

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

2-at-a-time fair isle gift hats

Pattern: my own 
The pattern needs to be tweaked. It was supposed to be lightly slouchy, but this fabric didn't behave the way I anticipated. I need to alter the type of decreases and add a few extra stitches for the body.
Needles: size US 7
Yarn: 1/2 skein each of Yarn Bee's Fair Isle Yarn, worsted weight
Method: 2-at-a-time, magic loop 

It took my a couple of weeks, knitting this on the road, knitting this a little to TV and also bringing this to my kids karate class twice every session...but they are finally done! Two gift presents to my friends, done!
This one's for my artist friend, Gina Lee Kim. Her son and my kids used to go to preschool together last year. She is consistently featured in the Cloth, Paper and scissor magazine.
This one is for my neighbor, Kerry. Her boy twins are 8 months older than my twins and they are best buds.
I haven't weighed the yarn yet, but it looks like i have enough for one more pair of hats or mittens if I use both of these skeins. They both have blue and grey in it, so it would work well.

You have to love self-Fair-Isle-ing yarn. Fun stuff. 

On to more gift knitting! What are you up to?

Friday, December 04, 2015

5 Minute Dollar Store Advent Wreath

Here's a quick and easy project! Dollar Tree wreath for 9 bucks! You can use leftover materials from previous years, or find materials from a local craft store too... I just happened to be at the local Dollar Tree and was determined to make one inexpensively!


1. One Garland (or better yet--if you have leftover garland at the house, use that! Form a couple layers of a circular shape large enough to fit 4 glass candle-holders in the center)

2. (Two sets of) Holly and Pine Cone Bouquet ornamentation: cut off the bouquet pieces, leaving a long stem for weaving into the garland. You can hot-glue down, but I just shoved it in the garland without further securing it.

3. 4 Taper Candles (traditionally seen in 3 purple candles, and 1 pink). I even bought 4 LED taper candles because I have two little ones around the house.

4. 4 Glass Taper Candle-holders. I like the ones at Dollar Tree, because they are tall and actually very nice for a buck.

Stick the cut holly and pine ornamentation pieces into the garland evenly in a holly-pine cone-holly-pine cone fashion. Place the glass candle-holders in the center of the garland and firmly stick the taper candles into the holders, making sure it fits very snuggly so it doesn't risk tipping over later on. No one wants a house fire. (Another reason I bought the LED ones as well.)

Light a new candle each sunday, as the candles represent each week of advent. They are usually seen in purple, with the single pink one being the last Sunday in Advent. Mine is in red, because it matches...although while researching about the Advent wreath, it is traditionally in red. Our wreath is a table wreath, and does not have the white candle in the center.

About the Advent Wreath:
SHAPE: The circular shape of the wreath, without beginning or end, symbolizes God’s complete and unending love for us—a love that sent his Son into the world to redeem us from the curse of sin.  It also represents eternal life which becomes ours through faith in Jesus Christ.

NUMBER: The Advent Wreath traditionally holds four candles which are lit, one at a time, on each of the four Sundays of the Advent season.  Each candle represents 1,000 years.  Added together, the four candles symbolize the 4,000 years that humanity waited for the world’s Savior—from Adam and Eve to Jesus, whose birth was foretold in the Old Testament. Some Advent wreath traditions also include a fifth white “Christ” candle, symbolizing purity, that is lit on Christmas Eve or Christmas day.  Many circular wreaths can incorporate a white candle by adding a pillar candle to the wreath center.

COLOR: Violet is a liturgical color that is used to signify a time of prayer, penance, and sacrifice.  Advent, also called “little Lent,” is the season where we spiritually wait in our “darkness” with hopeful expectation for our promised redemption, just as the whole world did before Christ’s birth, and just as the whole world does now as we eagerly await his promised return.

Happy Advent, folks! To those who do not share the same faith, hopefully it's still inspiration on what you can do with dollar store goods.

Prism Cowl and eye-candy

Happy Friday, Everyone!
Here's another WIP that's been on the back-burner until I finish a couple of holiday gifts:
It's a simple cowl that is larger on the base and will decrease a little as it's knit. I was doing garter strips that got taller as it is knit up.

I've been saving this skein for years that was gifted to me from a relative who works at a yarn shop in the Seattle area. It's very expensive yarn, and I was contemplating what I could knit that would do it (and the price) justice. Eventually, I just figured that a soft cowl would have to be good enough and to stop saving the yarn for some "worthier project."

What makes this yarn so pricey? Well, they tie several different novelty yarns, along with natural fibers together. There's even mohair in there. Word of warning will see all those tied joins and it will have to be part of your knit look.

The yarn can be a little hard to work with at times, but it's a very soft knit.

It's a very large skein of yarn, so when I wound it up, I had to make two cakes.

It makes gorgeous photos though...