Some holiday knitting… and weaving

I had a pretty low-key holiday this year, but did manage to bang out a few handmade gifts.

First, a headband for my sister-in-law. The pattern is Chunky Turban Headband by Lorna Watt, and the yarn is Sheep Shop 2.

Chunky Turban Headband

The headband thing was inspired by my mom, who wanted one of those flowered ear warmers. So I made her one. The pattern is Knit Earwarmer with Crochet Flower by Ashlee Prisbrey, and the yarn is Manos del Uruguay Wool Clasica.

Knit Earwarmer with Crochet Flower

And then there are the nieces. I bought some Mini Mochi years ago to make them some striped gauntlets, but never got around to it. So this year I wove them striped scarves instead. These are based on the knit Noro Striped Scarf by Jared Flood, but of course woven. I used Valley Yarns 8/2 tencel doubled for the warp and alternating skeins of Mini Mochi for the weft.

Mochi Striped Scarf Mochi Striped Scarf

And lastly, I participated in a Top-Secret Santa gift exchange at work this year. I know this will reveal my secret identity as this person’s gift-giver, but I’ll share anyway. It’s a beanie using the Case of the Mondays pattern by Haramis Designs. The yarn is Three Irish Girls Galenas Chunky.

Case of the Mondays beanie

That’s it! Amazing what one can do when they stop being so lazy!

Oh no ewe didn’t

This is a dramatization of actual events in my household today, starting with a typical exchange in which I ask my husband if any mail arrived.

“Did we get any good mail today?”
“No, just the usual.”

*** hours pass; hubs comes to me with a package ***

“This came for you.”
“You told me nothing good came.”
“I forgot.”

Of course, this has me wondering whether there’s a stash of forgotten packages somewhere in this house.

Anyway… the package contained prezzies from a faraway land, from my friend Ewenique.

Gifts from Ewe

We have a very pretty Christmas card, some chocolates, a tea strainer (because this American barbarian didn’t own one), sticky notes, wee note cards, crane scissors (just like my grandmother’s, you have no idea how special this is!), beautiful cotton yarn, and a pair of gorgeous handmade bags. I love bags. Thank you so much, Ewenique!

I have to do these pictorials whenever Ewenique sends me something, because they’re so thoughtfully put together and really fun to touch and look at. I am truly fortunate to have a friend like her. :)

Best husband ever

Back in February, at Stitches West, I took a weaving class. I pretty much knew then that I wanted to add weaving to my repertoire of fiber hobbies, but I held off getting a loom till I was sure. Well, Thursday night, my hubby surprises me with an early (2 weeks early!) birthday present: A 24″ Kromski Harp rigid heddle loom with stand. I’ve already started a project, too.

My new loom

Is he not the best ever?

Now you’ve gone and done it

Once again, my friend Ewenique has stunned me with her generosity and creativity. She sent a wonderful Christmas gift from across the pond and I love it, despite the efforts of Royal Mail and/or the United States Postal Service to delay and destroy it. Just look!

Prezzie

Let’s see. There are some chocolate macaroons (completely uncrumbly, I might add), and a sweet little case that’ll be great for stitch holders. My jaw just about hit the floor when I saw the Wollmeise yarn, but even that was overshadowed by the splendid box bag. (Wollmeise upstaged? Yes!)

It was all accompanied by a lovely card and a Silly Bandz (dragonfly-shaped to match the zipper pull on the bag, naturally). Even the wrapping paper was amazing. Ewenique, I am thoroughly delighted and enchanted by your gift and by the fact you made that bag for me. Thank you. It’s perfect!

My husband gave me a strange look when I started hugging the bag with a blissful smile. But you understand, don’t you?

Yikes

A forum I’m on held a craft kit thingy, where we were challenged to take items from a kit and turn them into something. The kit was kind of geared towards papercrafters, which I’m not, so I decided to do something with fiber. Meet FestOoned!

FestOoned

This gaudy monstrosity started out as some Corriedale wool top, which I spun with fabric bits from the kit into a bulky art yarn. I knit it into a tube to fit around a glass vase I had, and fastened more kit bits to it. There were fabric flowers in the kit, so I turned them into… flowers!

Spinning singles FestOoned
Finished knit and vase More bits

This was a swap, so I foisted it off on someone else, and in return, someone sent me theirs. I got crabs! Aren’t they cute?

Crabs at the Beach

Ewe darling!

I received a lovely care package in the mail from my friend Ewenique. I love prezzies! What did I get? Well…
 
 
It’s full of love, I can tell. There are tins of strawberry and apple teas from Fortnum & Mason (a company that’s nearly 70 years older than my country); delicious lavender shortbread cookies (this keyboard was relatively crumbless until these came along); a "Mrs. Beeton Traditional Housekeeping" bookmark (yes, I must be a very good housewife with all the recreating I do); two gorgeous bone crochet hooks; a wonderfully fuzzy felted bowl (or very small hat), and an amazingly soft and squishy hank of plum Fyberspates Scrumptious 4-ply silk/merino yarn (did I mention it was soft and squishy?).
 
All arrived lovingly cradled in a darling fabric pouch. Ewenique, did you make it? The pattern is a repeating squared hearts motif, but if you squint a bit, it looks like a flock of wee sheep. I see the hidden message now: wool = love. ♥
 
Thank you, Ewenique!
 

More projects

Thought I’d share some recent projects. Just some small things.
 
 
The pattern is Slouched Tuva Hat by Turvid. I made this for a friend at work. The yarn is SWTC Bamboo. It’s very soft and drapey. Maybe a little too drapey for a hat, but it’s cute.
 
 
These fingerless gloves were made from a pattern and yarn I got on the 2009 LYS Tour. They’re Evergreen (Everpink!) Mitts from Renaissance Yarns, and the yarn is Punta Yarns Merisoft.
 
My mother came to visit last month. When she saw a felted booga bag I made a while ago (pictured at left, below), she had to have a camera case just like it (duh, at right). Fortunately, I still had the yarn, Paton’s Classic Wool Merino.
 

I measured her camera, knit a bag 2-3 times its size (items shrink when felted!) and tossed it in the washer. It felted down perfectly. I made a little stretching frame out of wire hanger to make it dry square, and voila! For the fastener, I attached a black elastic hair tie to the flap before felting, and added a plastic button after it was all done. I even cut a hole in the top for her wrist strap to poke through. It worked great, and it was finished in time for her to take it home.
 
While my mother was here, I took her to my LYS, Renaissance Yarns. She’s not a knitter, but I think she appreciated it all the same. She saw a little neckwarmer they had on display, and of course I had to get the yarn (Elsebeth Lavold Silky Cashmere) and pattern to make it for her.
 
This brings me to a side rant, a common practice by LYSes that bothers me quite a bit. The pattern for the neckwarmer is presented as a shop pattern: Silky Cashmere Neck Warmer. It’s free with purchase of the suggested yarn. When I went to find the pattern on Ravelry, I found an almost identical pattern called the Paddington Neck Warmer, a totally free pattern available for download on Ravelry.
 
What the yarn shop had done was to take the Paddington Neck Warmer pattern, swap in a different name and yarn, adjust the measurements (the original pattern was meant for bulky yarn, the shop pattern for worsted/aran), and print it as their own, down to the shop info on the sheet. The wording of the pattern itself was the same. Even punctuation and capitalization was the same as the original pattern. I love this shop, but as far as I’m concerned, they have plagiarized the pattern. They are profiting on another person’s work–by making money on the sale of the required yarn–without the designer’s permission. It’s unconscionable.
 

So of course I give full credit to the original designer for this pattern: Paddington Neck Warmer by Roxanne Wood, proprietor of Windy Spirits Woolery. Great pattern!
 
 
And finally, here’s a bubble hat, or, if you prefer, Boblehuen, byt Vridd Vrang. (Yes, it’s written in Norwegian, but there is an English version available for download on Ravelry.) I made this for a friend at work. The yarn is Jojoland Rhythm.
 
So, we’re all caught up for now. I’m currently working on a new shawl for myself, but who knows when I’ll ever get around to posting that! ;)
 

Look at the pretty

My mom’s birthday was last month. I decided to knit her a shawl.
 
 
The pattern is Swallowtail Shawl by Evelyn A. Clark. The yarn is Mirasol Yarn T’ika, a soft pima cotton yarn I found at Tuesday Morning. I also bought a shawl pin from Nicholas and Felice to go with it.
 
 
My mom’s not generally a shawl person, so who knows if she’ll wear it. Doesn’t matter, I enjoyed knitting it anyway, and could think of no one who deserved it better than her. Happy birthday., mom.
 
 

Catching up, again

I had some additional projects in the works over the last few months, but never got around to posting them. So here they are.
 
First, in May, I knit a cute little cotton sweater for Trixie’s new baby.
 
 
The pattern is Offset Wraplan by Sara Morris, knit in Cascade Yarns Cotton Rich DK. I really liked the yarn, nice and soft.
 
Then, in June, I knit a chemo cap for my uncle.
 
 
Pattern is Marsan Watchcap by Staceyjoy Elkin, knit with Star Castle Fiber Mill Alpaca Sport. I got the yarn at Alpacapalooza earlier this year, and it’s super soft. Star Castle is a small mill in Oregon, and the fiber came from two alpacas, Mystique and Willow, at Camp David Alpacas, also in Oregon. It’s kind of neat to be able to trace the fiber back to the animals from which it’s shorn.
 
I’ve been working on this scarf for half a year. It was my take-along project, kept in a small bag that I’d take out when I was stuck somewhere with free time. That didn’t happen very often, so progress was slow, and I just finished it in July.
 
 
The pattern is One Row Handspun Scarf by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, the Yarn Harlot. The yarn is Black Bunny Fibers Mohair/Wool, which I’d won as a major award for a Ravelry fundraiser. Glad to finally finish something with that yarn!
 
I also joined my first yarn club earlier this year, and I finally made something with some of the yarn. It was a pretty quick project that took about a week of crocheting in the evenings. I just finished it last weekend.
 
 
The pattern is Queen Anne’s Lace Scarf by Khebhin Gibbons. The yarn is Three Irish Girls Wexford Merino Silk in Cherry Blossom, an exclusive colorway just for the club.
 
Looks like I’ve been busy. Didn’t seem like it at the time, but I guess I was!
 

Awww.

After I gave that scarf away, my friend came back and gave me a beautiful little pot that she made herself. I wasn’t expecting anything in return, but this was very nice.
 
As you can see, I put it to good use. That’s the same yarn I used for the scarf.
 
 
It’s almost like they go together. Thanks, Jen!