Holiday knitting

This post will be told mostly in pictures, but I’ve been busy mostly working on knitting & crocheting holiday gifts for the family.

My goal was not to shop at the mall & give all handmade gifts. I made that goal, but did have to buy a couple gifts online.

This year was all about the hat & scarf sets. I made a bunch. The only regret is that I didn’t get an earlier start, so I could enjoy more of the holiday season in peace.

image

I crocheted this hat & scarf set for my coworker who said she liked pink. It was a quick crochet with puff stitches throughout. The hat turned out to be a little too big but she was able to adjust the size with a brooch pin.

image

This set was made for my sister. The scarf is a knit pattern I found online but couldn’t find an equivalent knit pattern for the hat so I decided to go with the puff stitch hat in matching yarn.

image

These two sets I made for my niece & another sister in their favorite colors. My sister was surprised to get a set in her favorite green color, when I reminded her she not so subtly hinted she wanted me to make her a hat & scarf. The blue scarf is a crochet pattern I found online, the green I randomly made up by alternating rows of single & double crochet stitch. I made puff stitch hats for both because I was getting short on time.

image

For my nephew & brother in law, I knitter their hats & scarves in  fisherman’s rib. My nephew works for the MTA so I used the gray & blue colors to match the uniforms he has to wear to work. The brown & beige for my brother in law were just randomly chosen as nice colors for a man’s garment from the selection at Michael’s, lol.

Finished another scarf yesterday as well but will add that in a later post once it’s blocked & given to its recipient.

Rhinebeck 2015

Didn’t mean to wait this long but last week I made the annual trek upstate to what is officially known as the Dutchess County Sheep and Wool festival. But knitters, crocheter & yarn spinners everywhere know it simply as Rhinebeck.

image

For the last few years it has been an annual pilgrimage for myself and Nicky from D’NALI. Nicky decided not to travel this year, I have missed encouraging her to splurge on yarn, wool and such.

Rather than ride the Amtrak alone, my family decided to make the trek upstate with me. So it’s my mom, sister, niece & 4 year old nephew loaded up in a huge truck rolling upstate for the 2 hour ride.

Since I’m the only knitter in the group & would be the one yarn shopping, I directed them to the food pavilion. Then made a beeline for the yarn shopping. I didn’t aim to buy too much since I still have a lot of stock left over from previous years & recently bought a bunch of yarn from Michael’s to make holiday gifts.

Always a bargain shopper, I did manage to find these great deals though.

image

On the top is handspun yarn from one of my favorite vendors, Fessler’s Spinning & Weaving out of PA. I’ve managed to buy yarn from them almost every year without fail. What I love about them is not just their yarn, but for the price they give a lot of yardage. This time I bought 3 skeins of worsted weight eggplant purple yarn that will be a future shawl, maybe a sweater, not sure yet. I’ll decide when I’m ready to work with it.

The orange multicolor yarn I found in the discount bin from

BitsyKnits

Fiber Arts. I didn’t mean to buy anymore sock yarn, but this was too nice to pass up for the price.

The pink yarn is from Rose Spring Farm, also out of PA. I bought on a whim simply because it looked so pretty. It’s worsted weight which is my favorite to knit with. The sellers offer a 10% discount on your next purchase when you bring your knitted project at the next fair they participate in along with their product label.

image

The folks at Harrisville Designs, from New Hampshire were running a clearance sale on this yarn the entire weekend. By the time I found their booth, this was all that was left. Skeins were reduced to only $5 each. This was totally an impulse buy. I saw all those blue skeins & instantly thought there’s enough to make a sweater.

While my sister & niece fawned over the pastries in the food pavilion, I headed straight for the wines.

image

The Cocoa Island & Wellesley Island White are favorites of mine from last year that I bought from Thousand Island Winery. I’m happy to report their wine is stocked at one of the local wine shops I frequent but not these varieties. Raspberry Isle is a new dessert wine flavor that literally tastes like raspberries, which I’ll definitely enjoy during the winter months.

If you’re there on sundays at the food pavilion, later in the day, vendors will begin to discount their prices to move produce on perishable items. I bought 3 large pastries for $12 when normally they sold for $7 each.

image

Sis & niece claim they will return next year, for the pasties no doubt. The best part of going to Rhinebeck though, besides the yarn is to view the autumn leaves.

image

Knitting Challenge

It all started when I heard about the warehouse sale at the local Save-A-Thon stores they have periodically every year.

10394487_733365246705479_396564699944201724_n

I’d been wanting to check out their warehouse sales in the past and never had a chance to go. For the first time I got the chance to go this year, and my primary intent was to check out their sewing machines and fabric, since I have a renewed interest in getting into sewing in addition to knitting. Where I’m gonna find the time to do both? I don’t know, I’ll work it out somehow, LOL.

I had no intention of going home with any yarn, but then my mom reminded me that one of my aunts, who briefly was into crocheting had expressed interest in me making a cowl or scarf for her when she saw me knitting a cowl for myself. So ok, while I’m here, I figure I’ll take advantage of the discounted yarn prices & see if I can find some yarn to make a project for her.

My plan was to make the scarf for my aunt as a Christmas gift. Yes, not even summer yet and I’m thinking about Christmas in June. But then this happened…..

20140615_195450

You’re looking at that picture & probably wondering what kind of shenanigans I’ve gotten into. Well, what had happened was…. somehow one aunt turned into 3 aunts, an uncle, a cousin, my two sisters, my brother in law, a niece, nephew, and my mom. I figure I’ll get a jumpstart on them since I’ve now committed myself to an iron man knitting challenge; doing 11 projects by Christmas. The upside of that at least is come this year’s holiday season, I’ll be cozy in my home sipping wine and knitting while you folks will be battling it out at WalMart like this woman on black friday:

And the sewing machine? Well I did see one I’m interested in buying, but found a better deal for it online. And bought some really pretty fabric too. But more about that in another post.

Pottery Class….The Results

I almost forgot to post about this. Been busy the last few weeks prepping for a cruise with the family that turned out to be a well needed vacation. In between, I got the email from La Mano pottery stating that the yarn bowl I made was finally ready for pick up. That episode almost turned out to be drama in itself.

I receive the email over the weekend, and made plans to head there the following tuesday. When I get to the studio, I tell the receptionist at the counter I’m here to pick up my pottery. I give her my name, and date of the class and she proceeds to search. She’s looking through all the bags of student projects stored on the shelves and she cannot find it. Another worker joins the search, they go to the back, downstairs in their basement. Still no pottery. My heart is slowly sinking. All kinds of wild thoughts are going through my head. What if it broke? Did they mistakenly give it to someone else? Twenty minutes I’m standing there and staff can’t find it. Finally she apologizes and tells me to follow up “Damien”, the staff member who emailed me to pick up my bowl in the first place.

I follow up later with a “dude, where’s my stuff?” email to Damien, he replies it’s been found. I return to the studio two days later. I encounter another receptionist and some different staff, which included the instructor I had for the course. In the midst of another 10-15 minutes of not knowing where it is again, the owner, a middle aged woman with a pleasant manner appears. She remembers my yarn bowl, remarking on it’s size. “It’s so big, students don’t usually make anything that large in the wheel throwing classes.” What can I say? The class was at half capacity being it was Easter Sunday, so there was extra clay to work with. She also recalled having worked on the finishing of the piece itself, noting she had to do repairs on the cylinder portion which had separated from the bottom.

After all that drama, they finally present my piece. I’m pleased with the way it came out for my first project. It’s got some sharp edges on the inside so it won’t work for practical use as a yarn bowl, but it’ll make for a nice display piece in my crafting room. They glazed it a cobalt blue. I’d have preferred a mix of colors or some accent colors, but students were not permitted choice in coloring.

And now, the pictures. So tell me, did I do a nice job or what?

20140530_103314-2

20140530_103331

20140530_103347

20140530_103404

Finished projects

Look what I’ve made over the past couple of weeks…

20140112-171259.jpg

I posted about this project a few months ago while a work in progress that’s finally done. Actually, I finished it a long time ago, but somehow never got around to finishing off the seam.

IMG_0483

The original pattern I think was made with a softer yarn so it doesn’t lay as flat. The wool is a little bit scratchy at the moment, hopefully it will soften after I wash it & look forward to wearing it when cold weather returns.

IMG_0488

One of my aims was to get back into doing some crocheting this year and I did with this pattern I found on Ravelry. I used some thick Lion Brand wool yarn I bought at Michael’s a few years ago that I couldn’t quite find the right pattern for.

IMG_0489

This will be perfect for those really cold days. It’s so thick I will have to wear it outside my coat. Still have some leftover yarn, maybe enough to make a matching hat.

This baby blanket was made at the request of a coworker who was pregnant. It’s another pattern I found on Ravelry, it’s a pretty design & the ease of the pattern directions made this a relatively quick knit. I didn’t finish knitting in time before she had the baby and it still needs blocking but since it’s acrylic, and machine washable, though I would not advise it with this pattern, she’ll still get plenty of use out of it when she receives it.

IMG_0490

close up of pattern:

IMG_0491

Next up, I’ll be attempting to make pottery, and soon I’ll take a stab at spinning my own yarn. And of course, I’ll still be knitting and crocheting in between.

Why I knit…

20140112-171259.jpg

This is my current work in progress, a large cowl scarf. I could’ve taken the easy route & bought something from a department store, but it probably wouldn’t be a design that I wanted or a material that I would like. Plus I’m one of those folks that looks at something in a store and start mentally deconstructing the pattern thinking, why should I buy this when I could knit it myself, LOL.

I came across the article below while reading my facebook feed. I’d never heard of the term “slow clothes” movement before, which advocates being conscious of where & how clothes are produced. It’s sort of a spinoff of the “slow food” movement that promotes knowing where your food is grown. I can identify with all the reasons the author listed. My primary reason for knitting though is because I often can’t find what I like in the stores. Necessity being the mother of invention I guess.

It’s a short, concise read. I think you’ll agree. I like the idea of making something with my own hands that’s higher in quality than the same item mass produced by machine of often cheaper materials. Though sometimes it’s higher in cost, the time & effort put into creating your own article of clothing, regardless of how small it is, is worth the investment.

What about you? Why do you knit, crochet, sew, quilt or whatever is your hobby?

Why bother knitting a scarf?

Crochet vandals do graffiti

Thanks to spinster’s compass for the link.

“Captain Hook” is a crocheter who uses her skills with yarn to decorate public fixtures with her creations, like this bear in a Los Angeles park.

Crochet On A Bear Statue from Jennifer Sharpe on Vimeo.

Read more about her here at NPR

Blog Stats

  • 11,832 hits