Friday, December 30, 2011

New Shrug and Monkey

This one is for a baby girl. Pink and grey work socks, and embroidered eyes (buttons are not safe for kids under 3 years old). I also attached the hat, but it could be easily removed if later the child wants to play dress up. A pink embroidered heart makes it oh so cute.
Sneek peak. And I know, this shrug does not look right over that print tee, but I was Uber-Lazy and put it over the tee I had just made. Better photos and pattern to follow in a day or two when I get back to normal routine (blame it on the holidays and the visitors - who stayed longer than planned :0 , and the hours of holiday decor take-down I have planned for the weekend)
Happy New Year all!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas at the Falls

Lovely blurry photo of Niagara Falls. We parked at one end and walked the whole length looking at the cool lights. Really mild night, great to walk off some of the Christmas dinner!
My favourite light sculpture. See the ferris wheel up the hill on Clifton Hill Road.
Really big Disney display.
Then the lights changed on the falls. Cool...
Perfect ending to a great day. Hope everyone had fun!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Chris Felt like Felting

In an effort to avoid Christmas baking and cooking and panic and stress.... I hauled out my collection of fleece, and tried to make my first pair of wet felted slippers! I sketched a boot shape and mirrored it on bubble wrap....
then layered merino fleece in several colours and different directions under the boot resist. I wet it down with hot soapy water, and laid down the boot. The I reversed the order of colours and laid the top side. After wetting everything and making sure the outside edges were evenly wrapped around the bubble wrap, I added the yarn heart detail (I took a picture, then changed it to a finer mohair yarn because I wanted it more subtle)
Cover with more bubble wrap and roll up . Now roll for 10 minutes, unroll and reverse angle of roll. Repeat until you are really tired of rolling, then roll some more... It's that easy! When it was really solid, I carefully cut it in half, then took both boots to the sink for the hot bath, cold bath routine (alternate with agitation about 6 to 8 times, until the boot is approx small enough to fit your feet). Then after a bit of hand pulling and pressing and using your foot to mold it into shape, you can set it to dry.
Ta da. Next pair I will try to make the instep a bit narrower and the toe a bit wider, but all in all they are really cute!
I would also like to mention that it is really advantageous to sew a sole of ultra suede to the bottom of any felted slippers. One to help them NOT slip on the hardwood floors, and two, so that they last 20 times longer (plain ones run through the soles very quickly!)

Now back to our regularly scheduled stress....

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Upholstery 101

My first attempt of re-upholstery. I have always wanted to try my hand at this, although there is actually very little sewing (and NO knitting required). I found the above chair on kijiji for $15. Since I also had a few meters of red upholstery fabric in my stash, it was a good time to give it a go. Off came the furry orange fabric and all the dusty guts. Then I painted the wood a mat black. I re-padded the seat and back and stapled the new cover over the fresh padding (foam, poly quilt batting, and cotton batting). I used grosgrain ribbon to cover the staples, and finish the edges. The arm pads are envelopes of fabric, filled with quilt batting and wrapped around the arms. Ribbons hold them in place, although I will likely throw a few heavy duty stitches underneath to secure a bit better.

Will I do it again? It was a LOT of work and I think I took more time than I could have, just because I did not know exactly what I was doing... but I do like the end result, and I will keep cruising kijiji for other shabby treasures.
Almost done my gift knitting, and have started to plan my next original knitting pattern! Yeah!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Find the Bird....

Aspen likes the tree that has arrived in her living room. But after a while....

can you spot the bird.... hint, she's the only blue thing on the tree! I am on track with my projects for Christmas, even got the tree up on time (usually about 10 days before Christmas!). No huge family dinners this year, just several small events, so that makes me happy. I enjoy smaller groups, you can really talk to everyone there. Don't you hate big dinners, and the next morning you realize all you did was say hello and goodbye to a couple of relatives? (maybe that's the way you want it to go.... but still... )

oh, and, Happy Birthday Dad! love Chris

Knit an I-cord Necklace

I wanted a thicker cord to mount some cool antique style rings into a necklace, and I could not find a thick one ready made... so... I did find some hemp style cording (soft leather cording would work too), and used a three stitch I-cord to knit the necklace.
Below are photos (sorry some a bit blurry) of three stitch I-cord. Cast on three stitched (I used 4mm -US6 double point needles - you only need two of them). Knit the first row. WITHOUT turning, slide the three stitches from the left tip of the right needle.....
to the right tip of the same needle. This needle now becomes the left needle ...
and you start knitting from that needle. The feed string will close the tube from the back (like magic)...
Continue repeating this one step over and over until full length required. Cast off three, and finish by sewing clasps to the ends (I did this in dark thread so you can see) You may want to do this after the beads are loaded if the beads will not slide over the clasp that you are using. My bar and ring work, because the bar side can slide through the rings.

Here is a close up of the cord, with some extra hemp in a contrast colour wrapped to stop all the rings from sliding down to the center.

Photo of the last few rings before loading them on the cord...

There, you have knit a necklace!

Monday, December 12, 2011

sack boy

I just finished making this....I used Alan Dart's Sack Boy pattern, but made a short row knitted mouth from sock yarn and stitched it in place instead of a thin line of embroidery.
Aspen does not like him, but I do!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

ballerina monkey

As I am still knitting gifts, and cannot show you what is on the needles, I will show you a sock monkey ballerina. She is made the same way as the other monkeys, with girly knee highs and pink netting for the tutu. So cute.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

New yarn and Jewelry design

I received a box of yarn from Elann, the Cyber Monday special. There were lots of sock yarn balls, and black lace mohair, and a mixed fiber grey (with silver sparkles).
In the photo are also a couple of necklaces that I made today. The black one is large rings on black fabric, with a pendant that also has a large ring mount. The tan one is hemp string knit in a three stitch I-cord, strung with rings and a pendant that came with lots of charms attached.
Still knitting like a maniac to finish gifts, but one big hurdle is done and I have packaged the gifts for far away relatives and they are going in the post today!
Getting there...