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1  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / sideways wrap on: April 28, 2005 08:08:41 AM
For Mother's Day, I knit my mother a shawl/wrap/scarf/thing. It's knit end-to-end, instead of sideways, out of cheap-but-super-soft Red Heart Symphony in River Blue. Through the drop-stitch stripes, I wove a variegated ribbon yarn, ONline Linie 15 Orlando in Lost Lagoon. (Not only does that add visual interest, it also gives some stability to the long and very stretchy wrap.)



The fringe is so light-weight that it floats in the air as you move.


2  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / super-simple capelet, with tutorial/pattern on: February 06, 2005 02:03:40 PM
Yay! I made a capelet!

Bonus features:
- Incredibly soft, and not itchy
- Washable
- Affordable yarn
- Easy enough that a beginner like me can manage it (all you need to know is knit, purl, k2tog, and yo)
- Big needles, so it knits up quickly
- Unlike a poncho, it's not going to drag in my food when I try to eat
- Also unlike a poncho, it doesn't make me look like a tent



I started out trying to make a poncho from a freebie pattern put out by Red Heart, but it was using far more yarn than it called for, and I couldn't get my hands on any more of the same yarn easily, so I decided to change the pattern around. I've never written a pattern out before (this is only my fourth knitting project) so bear with me. I hope this makes sense! If something's unclear, let me know and I'll try to explain it better...

Materials:
8mm/#11 circular needles
1 1/2 balls of Red Heart Symphony (fuzzy acrylic --- hooray for cheap yarn!)
Ribbon

Pattern:
Cast on 175 stitches.
Knit 5 rows, then purl a row, knit a row, and purl a row. Repeat. This creates a ridged effect, like this:



Knit in pattern for 18", ending with 4 knit rows (i.e., finish the ridges, then stop here before you start knitting the next stockinette/flat section).

Using stitch markers, divide the 175 stitches as follows: 25-50-25-50-25. The 25 stitches on either end will form the front of the capelet, and the 25 in the middle will form the back; the groups of 50 in between will be decreased gradually to form shoulders.

Continue to knit in pattern, but in the shoulder sections, *k1, k2tog* in every RS row. (Just knit normally for the front and back panels.) Continue this way until the shoulder sections are down to only a few stitches apiece.

Begin the next ridged section by knitting one wrong side row, but instead of knitting the next right side row as in pattern, do eyelets all the way across (*k2tog, yo* --- by my count, you should end with a k2tog).



Knit 3 more rows (wrong side, right side, wrong side) to make a little wee collar, then bind off.

Weave the ribbon through the eyelet, and tie in a pretty bow! You've made a capelet!





(I apologize for the not-so-great photos. It's hard to take pics of yourself in a mirror while posing and not using a flash! The colour in the close-up shots is closer to the real colour of the yarn, but it's a little less purple-y.)
3  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / "Masala" crazy quilt on: February 02, 2005 01:01:44 PM
I'm just getting one of my wall-hanging quilts ready to enter into a student/staff art show at my university, and I realized that I haven't posted it here. This is a quilt I made for my parents; I made a second quilt with many of the same fabrics for my fianc, and posted it here: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=7659.0

I call this quilt "Masala" because of its spicy colours. One of the main features of the quilt does not, unfortunately, come through in photographs: namely, all the fabrics (and even the ribbons and rick-rack) are highly textured, so it's a very tactile piece that invites touching. There's corduroy, velvet, microfiber, satin, you name it! One tricky aspect of using so many different fabrics is trying to get everything to lie flat where there are joins; it's also sometimes harder to do the embellishments, because some fabrics are woven too tightly to allow embroidery, so the designs have to take that into account.



The individual squares were pieced by hand, to a fabric backing, and then embellished with ribbon, rick-rack, and lots of embroidery. The entire quilt was then sewn together by machine: I don't trust my hand-sewing to follow straight lines over a distance!

Details of the panels:

















I'm trying to kick-start my energy to get back to quilting. I have a half-pieced quilt that I'm currently working on, but it hasn't progressed much in months. It's going to be a similar 8-panel design, only instead of just abstract colour and design, it's depicting a view of rock and water and sky --- based roughly on the landscape of the English coastline in West Somerset, where I lived once... The whole thing will be overlaid with lots of beading and embroidery and trim-work, for sparking water, rain, and so on.

(ETA: link to the other quilt.)
4  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Proud mama: baby blanket (and first-ever project) on: January 23, 2005 09:56:39 AM
I learned to knit just after Christmas, and decided that for my first project I'd make a baby blanket for a friend who's expecting this spring... (Flat, no shaping required, basic stitches only.) It took exactly three weeks to knit up (though I haven't yet dealt with the loose ends or blocked it out). I basically made up my own pattern, which was 121 stiches wide, with a seed stitch border (10 rows, top and bottom, and 8 stitches on either side) and stockinette in the centre. I'm so thrilled with the result! It's not quite perfect (there are a couple of little holes, I'm not entirely sure how they got there but I think I can mend them invisibly enough) but hey, for a first project, I'm happy!





5  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Favourite knitting or crafty blogs? on: January 20, 2005 10:00:56 AM
I'm a new knitter, and I'm fascinated by the phenomenon of the knitting blog. I'm amazed by how many there are, and how interesting they can actually be to read, now that I have a vocabulary of knitting terms and can actually understand what the heck they're talking about! So, which blogs do you frequent? What's coolest about them? Link me up!
6  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Easy baby blanket (or other shower-appropriate items)? on: January 05, 2005 12:24:09 PM
I just learned to knit over the holidays, and have been experimenting with various stitches and so on --- but I have yet to make anything other than long strips of samplers. A friend of mine is pregnant, and we're having a baby shower for her in February, so I thought that a simple baby blanket (or something of that ilk) would be a good first 'real' project for me. To that end, I've been casting around (er, no pun intended) for a pattern. I've found a few that look manageable, but I'd love some recommendations from more experienced knitters... Which of these is most likely within my ability? Which is the best blanket, babywise?

What I've come up with so far:

http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/khs-diagonalBabyBlanket.html

http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/kpl-bafg.html

http://www.nancyhearne.com/drawingboard/littleblankets.htm (I like the basketweave one, and would make a full-size version, not the doll-sized one...)

http://frugalknit12330.goeserv.com/homepage/funstitch.htm (a more complicated one, but all stitches that I've mastered --- counting would be the only real challenge!)
7  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / uber-easy felt ornaments on: December 06, 2004 06:42:05 PM
I've been making little felt ornaments as stocking stuffers/gift tie-ons for family and friends. Most of them follow the same basic shapes, but they're lots of fun...

First, for my penguin-fanatic friend:



Then, there are two little sets of snowmen --- one for my mother, and one for my mother-in-law (the all-white ones, to go on her all-white-ornamented tree):









And last (for the time being) but not least, a little milk carton made out of felt for my brother-in-law, whose name begins with M and who drinks milk like it's going out of style:







(This was an idea I got from another crafter's website --- she sells stuffed milk-carton toys. I don't have the link on this computer, unfortunately, but she deserves credit for the idea! I modified the shape a little, and made it into an ornament...)
8  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / sheer, shimmery poncho with beads and a flower! on: October 17, 2004 08:43:58 AM
I finally finished this, just in time to wear it to a wedding yesterday.



It's a fairly lightweight organza fabric , turquoise shot through with antique gold. It's almost completely handsewn, with little tiny stitches --- I french-seamed the two places where I joined the fabric by machine, but hand-rolled the rest of the edges and hand-sewed the beaded trim (though I didn't do the beading myself!). I also made a matching fabric flower to go with it, following the same technique as my other flower, here: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=7448.0#msg58328... The poncho itself is based on the second pattern in my post here: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=14039.0#msg111846.

Lots of fun to wear, and I like that it's light enough to wear with summer clothes (it looks great over a cami-style top) but suitable for winter too. I wanted something sheer because (though it doesn't show up too much in this pic) I'm fairly large-busted, and if I were to swath myself in something heavy and opaque, I'd look like I was wearing a tent. This, being sheer, actually had the opposite effect, accentuating curves nicely and making me look (if anything) slimmer than usual. Yay for anything that does that!  Grin
9  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / super-cool time-waster on: October 12, 2004 07:39:00 PM
A friend of mine (a computer science major) sent me this link, and I'm hooked.

http://www.penguinhosting.net/~jpeck/Grappa/GrappaWH_White/

Basically, the screen loads white, but when you left-click and drag, you draw these amazingly beautiful, pypnotic patterns. (Right-clicking clears the screen so you can start again.)

I am desperately trying to think of something crafty to do with this, because I'm sure that something this pretty must have some kind of application... But even if it doesn't, it's fun and soothing to play around with --- so enjoy!
10  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Other Image Reproduction Techniques: Discussion and Questions / carved erasers as rubber stamps? on: August 12, 2004 09:46:09 AM
My mother bought me a little stamp a while back when she was at a folk festival, and it appears to be carved out of a basic white vinyl eraser. It seems like a fairly simple thing to do, either with an exacto knife or (preferably) fine carving tools like you'd use for lino cutting. I was just wondering if anyone has tried this, and has any words of advice, before I jump in and start slashing up erasers?
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