Monday, February 28, 2011

I decided that the best thing I can do these days is keep my hands busy. In practical terms this meant I bounced between three projects this weekend: I started a delightful dog toy from Hop Skip Jump and made this hat from Jane Richmond Designs and I worked on a project that has been feeling like work.

Yes, I have been holding back on you all with this one, I swear I didn’t mean to it just sorta slipped through the cracks. I started this way back, a year ago or so after going to Maryland sheep and wool. The pattern is for a scarf or shawl but of course mine morphed into something else: a baby blanket. If there were such things as guardian angels surely I should sign up for the one that keeps you from biting off more than you can chew.

The wee one that this is intended for is due in the next two weeks which means I have had to majorly step things up. Trouble is this pattern does not lend itself to speed knitting, it is a bit fiddly with each hexagons knit in the round outside in. Each hexagon takes 35 minutes, with no ifs ands or buts about it. I can’t seem to shave any more time off (although I am comforted to read on raverly that I am not the only one with this problem). The real sticky part is that you can’t put the work down in mid swirl or all the yarnovers will pull loose or worse a dropped stitch will take out the whole swirl, there is no picking up once lost. And so I work 35 minutes at a time on this baby blanket. Keep your fingers, toes and nose crossed that I get it done before the kid goes to college!
Of course I didn't help the progress any by jumping ship for shinny new crafts, but sometimes you need to knit something fun and easy to get you through the hard and complicated.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Fair Well to Avice

On Monday my adopted grandmother passed away. Although her death was not a surprise, she was 93 and in failing health, it has still left me with a heavy heart. My sister and I were very lucky to have her as part of our lives, she taught us about what it truly means to be a creative person and has nurtured our creativity. She is in large part the reason I started this blog, as a means of sharing my projects with her even though she lived many states away.

After I got the news on Monday I was somewhat at a loss of what to do with myself. I was filled with relief and sadness. She would have been horrified with sadness and tears and so my guy asked what she would want me to do at that moment, and the answer was simple, make something. And so I got out my sewing machine and finally made a cover for my heating pad. Admittedly there was still sadness and tears but there was also sewing, and I think she would have liked that. In order to be a true memorial to her I should have covered it in Black and Whites (her favorite color combination) but I used what I had on hand.

Sorry for the poor picture, I pulled it out of my bed this morning to take a picture before heading to work so I guess it has the equivalent of bed head in the heating pad world.

Friday, February 11, 2011


My dear friend Rob and his lady recently had a little one join their lives. Rob and I met in high school when we were both interns at the Museum of Natural History. Being a high school student with full access to the Museum was a real treat, we would spend hours roaming the halls and looking at the exhibits.
So the arrival of Hayden (personally I wonder if there isn’t a connection to the planetarium) called for something special: dinosaur stencils. 

I am really please with how well these turned out. I think everything needs a dinosaur stencil now. Of course all this is leading up to a stencil tutorial, promise.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Hello long lost blog world. I am just rejoining the world post stomach flu. Even though it was only last week that I was healthy it feels like an eternity. I am trying to focus on the good things post illness, like how soft your hair is after you wash it for the first time, or the fact that all my pants are looser. Of course I am still pretty uneasy about the food thing but I am sure that will right itself soon enough.

 Before succumbing to illness we made dumplings, I promise the two things have nothing to do with each other. We went on a bit of a dumpling kick making meat and two different types of veggie dumplings- steamed and fried. Basically for a week all my guy and I did was think, make, eat dumplings. They are surprisingly easy to make. You buy the wanton wrappers, in the city you can get them at most Asian markets, I am sure you can mail order them too. There are a ton of recipes on-line. My guy (of course) marinated the meat for the meat dumplings for 24 hours first. All recipes seem to call for napa cabbage, but I am pretty sure you could use regular cabbage too. We made a standard veggie option and then a mushroom dumpling, sautéing the mushrooms first and then sticking them into the food processor with some cabbage and carrots.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Legwamers: fashion forward or fashion Flashdance?

Last weekend I headed down to NC for some time with my adopted grandmother and let’s face it highs in the 50’s was a welcome weather change. The trip gave me a chance for some quality knitting time and I was able to finish up my legwarmers.

These are based on this pair over at pearl bee. There pattern is for a size small (and they aren’t kidding) so I added 2 repeats. I started following the alternating rib pattern but I guess I got distracted because pretty quickly it became a floating rib creating this great diagonal pattern. It is a 3 row repeat of k2p2- which means you knit 2 purl 2 for three rows and then move over one stitch. At the transition some rows may only have 2 rows and some may have 4 but don’t worry it all works itself out.

So now you all have to be honest with me, are they too 80’s? I may be a working girl but I don’t want to relive the movie! I am thinking that between the color and the fact that I plan on having them cover my legs and not slouch down over my ankles I’m okay, but be honest with me people am I bring Flashdance style back?