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Archive for January, 2009

I have always had cold hands.  People comment on it all the time.  I can’t help it–I am just cold blooded I guess.  It is a good thing then that the first two knits of 2009 will help to make my fingers less chilled.  You saw the first of these knits.  Here is the second:

Bella’s Mittens.

So I saw the Twilight movie.  (Didn’t everybody?) I immediately noticed the gloves Bella wore in the scene where she almost gets killed by the car in the school parking lot.  I gave it a couple days and then I went in search of the pattern as I was sure some person had figured it out and posted.  This is how I found Bella’s Mittens (ravelry link).  Oh how I love the internets.

Movie or no, these mittens are just plain cute.  And SUPER fast and easy.  Warm too.  The only drawback is that knitting with bulky yarn on smaller needles makes for some finger cramping moments.

Thanks so much to my friend Teri for modeling these for me and for lending her way better camera to the cause.  Teri is not so much a knitter but a talented multi-crafter so she gets it.  Thanks again Teri!

The stats…

Pattern: Bella’s Mittens

Source: Subliminal Rabbit

Yarn: Berroco Peruvia Quick

Needles: US 8

Mods: The yarn I used was slightly thicker than the suggested yarn.

Notes: The end result is really cute and very warm but the fabric is a little stiff.  Although, once I washed them they did loosen up a bit.  If I were to knit this again I would probably try it with worsted weight yarn to make them a little squishier.  But as is, I still think they will make great snow day mittens.

Oh, hello Teri.

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I am not getting married.  Nor am I Norwegian.  But folks, who really cares?

I LOVE me some Norwegian Wedding Gloves.

I tried on a sample glove at my old Salt Lake LYS over Thanksgiving and fell in love.  When I found out it only took one skein of this super silky soft decadent yarn–well, there was just no other option but to make myself a pair.

My friend Teri (and my photographer for this shoot, Thanks Teri!) asked me where I was going to wear these.  I couldn’t really answer her, I mean, these are not what I would call everyday gloves.  But can you imagine a world where they are?  I would have to replace 90% of the clothes in my wardrobe but it just might be worth it.

So if you can’t tell, I really, really love these gloves.  I love the short hole-y cuffs.  I love the beautiful v-shaped lace pattern on the thumb.

I even love how elegant the underside of the gloves are.

There is nothing not to love about these gloves.  They were even really fun to knit.  I am sure me not liking something about them or some huge mistake I made would make this a more interesting post.  But I got nothing.  I just love them.

The stats…

Pattern: Norwegian Wedding Gloves by Nancy Bush

Source: Piecework, November/December 2008

Yarn: Crystal Palace Yarns Panda Silk Solid, Ecru

Needles: US 0

Mods: I lengthened all the fingers by about 4 rows each.

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Christmas day I decided to cast on for a quick project.  I had brought with me some yarn that I had been wanting to use for a while and my Knit Picks options needles–so really I had a lot of options.  After a little ravelry browsing, I decided upon the much knit Thorpe earflap hat.  My yarn was thinner than the suggested size so I had to knit with two strands and increase to more stitches but in the end I am pleased with the result.

I LOVE this yarn!

This project was super quick and easy.  I finished in two days.  It has cute long braids that make me feel like Heidi.  Very satisfying.  The day after I finished the hat I went out for a day of shopping, lunch, and movie with my family.  While waiting for some shopping to be completed by their parents, my nieces and I decided to play with my camera.  Our game was, the person taking the picture had to say an emotion and then the “models” had to show that emotion on camera.  I happened to be wearing Thorpe that day so in concert with this post I thought I would share some of my favorites.

Very mad:

So, so sad:

Surprise!:

Whatever:

Super fun activity to pass the time.  Okay, back to Thorpe…here are the stats:

Pattern: Thorpe

Source: Kirsten Kapur (free ravelry download)

Yarn: Plain and Fancy Sheep and Wool Co., Sport weight

Needles: US 7

Mods: Used sport weight yarn, knit with 2 strands, and increased until it seemed to be the right size (real scientific I know.) I also decreased a bit towards the end so the brim snugly fit my head.

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Tiny Needles

I am not scared away by tiny needles.  If I want to knit it bad enough, I will knit a sweater on size 1 or 2 needles.  Sure.

My sister Kara sent me a link to a video that has forever altered my thoughts on this subject.  I would wait for Kara to post about this but she has pretty much given up on blogging (yeah, I said it Kara.)  So instead I will introduce you to my new idol.

Click here. (after the trailer–or skip it if you are so inclined–scroll through the films and click on “Miniature Knitter”

Yeah, I know.

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Long time readers of my blog know, I am just a tad obsessed with tall lounge pants.  I explain my frustration in detail here but in summary: I have really long legs, stores don’t make lounge/pj pants in tall sizes, and I hate wearing flood water pants even if no one sees me in them.  I have always been a touch afraid of the sewing machine but I knew that if my dream of long lounge pants was ever going to be a reality, I was going to have to learn.

Well folks, it might have taken me a couple years but I finally did it.  Thanks to my awesome friend Tricia, I learned how to read, cut out, and sew a pattern from start to finish.  I made my lounge pants and they are awesome. You know what else is awesome?  Sewing.  Who knew?

Of course, my obsession didn’t end there.  I had such a fun time making my pair and I started thinking about how much I love them and how I could use like 15 more pairs.  But it was December and in the spirit of giving I thought about Sister’s Night fast approaching (a made-up holiday celebrated on Christmas Eve–and in its 21st year I might add–where my sisters and I celebrate, well, us.)  So I think, before I start sewing my entire lounge pant collection I will make lounge pants for sister’s night gifts!  And then I do!

Bri rockin’ her perfect Lounge Pants

I am on the left, Kara on the right.

And then after, since I had a few hours on my hands I decided to sew a pair for my fellow long-legged friend (she is 6’2!) Holly for her birthday!  And I did!

Can you believe it?  Four pairs of lounge pants and only one of them for me.  (Apparently sewing makes me really selfless.)  Now I have dreams of tailor made skirts, dresses, and of course, more lounge pants dancing in my head.

I think sewing and I are going to have a lot of fun in 2009.

In case you are wondering, the pattern for the lounge pants seen above are all Wide Leg Lounge Pants found in Amy Butler’s book In Stitches.  I LOVE this pattern and think the end result is super comfortable and flattering.  It can’t be too hard either if a beginner like me was able to do it.  Yay sewing!

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For each of the past three years, I have picked a family member and knit them a sweater for Christmas.  I find this to be much more satisfying than knitting loads of smaller projects for gifts.  I get bored you see.  And if the knits don’t interest me, I won’t finish.  I have learned this.  So tackling a bigger project but for only one recipient seems to be more doable for me.

This year, I knew pretty early on who I wanted to knit for.  Ryan, my only nephew and the youngest of my brother’s kids turned 3 this year and is so adorable, he makes my ovaries hurt (thanks to my friend Alicia for naming this particular brand of pain.)  Yes, this year I wanted to knit Ryan a sweater and I knew just the pattern:

George!

I bought a Jaeger pattern booklet for kids (by one of my fav designers Martin Storey) a few years ago and fell in love with most of the patterns in it.  George is easily one of my favorite patterns in the book and I always wanted to make it.  It dawned on me that Ryan was the perfect age for this sweater and so I decided this was the year.

Doesn’t it look like a little grandpa cardigan?  I love it!

Check out one of my favorite features…pockets!

He even did the “turn your head to the side” model pose that is my go-to pose.  (Totally unprovoked by me I should add.)

Here are the stats:

Pattern: George

Source: Jaeger Handknits JB29, 27 Designer Garments by Martin Storey for Babies & Children

Size: 3-4 years

Yarn: Reynolds Soft Sea Wool

Needles: US 2 & 4

Modifications: I used a thinner yarn than the pattern calls for but when I knit up my gauge I realized I could follow the directions for the largest size and it would come out close enough to the size I wanted.

The minute I saw Ryan on Christmas morning, I worried the sweater would not go over well.  He was in a bit of a Christmas gift/toy frenzy and I am aware that it is not every 3 year-old boy’s dream to get a hand-knitted sweater from his aunt.  I would love to tell you this was not the case, that Ryan squealed with delight and immediately tried his new sweater on…alas no, he absent-mindedly put it to the side and then later refused to try it on.  I wondered how on earth was I going to get him to wear it, let alone let me take pictures of him with it on.  But thanks to a little time and a pinky swear we made on New Year’s Day, Ryan suited up and posed for pictures like a champ.

At least for a good solid five minutes.

It’s okay though.  He likes it, looks adorable in it, and he knows I made it for him.  Even if he never puts it on again that is enough for me.

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New Year.

Whew!  Yeah, I know.  It has been a while.  December passed by quickly in a blur of work, feasting, crafting, family, and general festive-ness.  It was great fun and I am sad to see the holidays come to a close.

I love New Years (not to be confused with New Year’s Eve which I find consistently disappointing and depressing).  I love taking stock of my life and my goals, and then resolving to to better, make changes, or whatever else I feel like resolving to do.  So what if I have had some of the same goals for years on end?  If I really want something, I shouldn’t give up right?

So 2009.  Hmmm.  Perhaps first I should do a review of the year that just ended.  Conveniently, I did publicly record some resolutions on my blog.  Let’s see how I did shall we?

…to not eat white sugar, white bread, white rice, or white pasta in the month of January.
I actually did this!  Yay!

…to organize my work/craft room.
Um…pass.

…to travel domestically and abroad.
Does England, France, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Hawaii count?  Yeah, I think it does too.

…to remember birthdays.
Still need to work on this one.

…to sew a pair of lounge pants.
How about 4 pairs?  More on this in an upcoming post…

…to not over-commit myself.
Nope.  I am still doing this.

…to finish things I start.
This is a hard one to define as completed.  Perhaps my next resolution should be to finish things I want to finish.

…to be a more thoughtful friend.
I tried but I have a long way to go on this one.

…to be more bold and less afraid.
Well, I don’t think I have as much a problem with this anymore.  So, I am calling this one accomplished.

…to send cards.
Yeah, forgot about this one.  Sorry potential card recipients.

…to learn a new skill.
Did I mention I made 4 pairs of lounge pants?  Sewing. Check.

…to refresh my blog.
Did it!

…to knit something completely fabulous and challenging for me.
Let’s see…I give this award to Little Birds.  Sadly, my knitting took a bit of a nose dive this last year.  Just not as many finished objects as I would like. Although, I do have a couple new ones to show you that crept their way into the close of 2008…

…to have better abs then my brother-in-law Adam by July.
Um…I believe both Adam and I would prefer not to elaborate on this one.  Let’s just say we had a really great trip to Hawaii regardless of the state of our abs.

So I actually feel pretty good about 2008.  I got to do and see a bunch.  There are some things I would change but not a whole lot.  As for 2009, I have been thinking a lot about what I want to see happen, what I want to accomplish, who I want to be this year.  I have some initial thoughts–most of which will stay private.  Perhaps all I will say for now is that I am excited for the possibilities of a fresh new year, and resolve to record the events of the year by blogging  more.

Happy New Year everyone!

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