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1  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Handmade Advent Calendar on: December 07, 2017 09:34:01 AM
A couple years ago, I made a tree advent calendar, with felt ornaments for my kids to hang.  My sister loved it so much, she asked if I could make one for her some day.  And here is hers, in all it's glory!

I had hoped to finish it in order for the parcel to reach her by December 1st, but ill health prevented that unfortunately.  In fact, one piece of the calendar was not done by me - my mom attached the binding as I've injured my hip and can't use a sewing machine.

First we have a star (always hung on December 1st!), then a snowflake and letter to Santa.
  

Next, a Christmas Hedgie, Carol music, skating girl (based on Sunbonnet Sue), and a vintage bauble.



Now we have a silver bell (one of our favourite carols to sing together), a Christmas pud (we are huge Harry Potter fans, and love all things British.  Plus Christmas pud is yum!), and an elf shoe.



A gingerbread man (his head turned out a bit small) and a kitty (she loves our kitties).



A puffin (she lived in the Maritimes for a few years, and loved it and misses it a lot), candy cane, and a snowman identical to one on our tree.



Wee mittens, Rudolph, and a cute but slightly ersatz bunny.



An old fashioned Christmas bulb, a lighthouse (again for her beloved Maritimes), and a polar bear (Canada is full of 'em!).



Finally a toque to match the mittens, a little Matryoshka, and Santa Claus - only hung on Christmas Eve!



Here is everything all together.



I am so proud of this project.  It was a slow slog, doing tiny bits at a time, but it is finished, and bound with love by our mom as well.  I hope she loves it as much as I do.

Happy Holidays!
2  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Tiny Mitten Advent Calendar on: September 13, 2017 10:49:50 AM
I have been having severe chronic health problems for a year and a half now, some of the symptoms of which are trouble with hand coordination, muscle weakness, and fatigue.  To try and combat this I've been doing small amounts of knittng.  The Julevotter Adventscalendar is a great project because the fair-isle in particular challenges coordination, and the small project size makes it less frustrating to work on - I can usually complete a mitten a day (sometimes in 2-3 spread out sessions to recover between).

I'd already made one before I started the flare for my mom for Christmas 2015, but my MIL loved it.  I therefore made this set for her.  One Christmas present down!

I didn't make any alterations to the pattern, but I did make one addition.  Before starting the third row, I crocheted a chain of 20 in that row's colour (usually this was the first instance of the contrast colour, but sometimes it was the starting colour), slip-stitched into the first chain to make a loop, then slipped the crochet loop onto the DPN and knit 2 together (the first knit stitch and the crochet loop).  This created a hanging loop that I didn't have to sew in later.  They have been soaked, patted into shape to settle the stitches, and are now sitting with the hanging loops pinned straight (since they like to twist a bit being crocheted).

3  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 119 ENTRIES / Gladiator Flip Flops on: July 10, 2017 07:25:18 PM
As we were travelling to my hometown for a little vacation at the beginning of June, my Grandmother unexpectedly became seriously ill and died.  I didn't have any crafting materials with me, and I was feeling upset and wanting desperately to do something with my hands.  I'd saved the Short Gladiator Flippies on Ravelry, and they presented a perfect opportunity for me!  My Grandmother crocheted regularly, and there was something cathartic in steadily crocheting while watching old home videos of her with my family.



I used a pair of size 6 flip-flops from the local Walmart, and a skein of Bernat Handicrafter cotton from my mom's stash.  They went together fairly quickly, though I had to redo some of the rows several times (due in part to the fact I have less experience with crochet than knitting) and crochet the last round a lot tighter than expected.  However, they are soft and comfortable, and actually stay on my very narrow feet, unlike regular flip flops!

4  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 106 ENTRIES / The gluten-free gingerbread house on: January 12, 2015 09:34:50 AM
I hope this is an acceptable entry!  I have celiac disease so I can't bake regular gingerbread any more, and I haven't really had any success making GF gingerbread with enough structural integrity for a house.  When I saw this pattern for a gingerbread house, I really couldn't resist!

I worked on it every day, as she originally released a new decoration each day in December for 1-21, then 3 days of cookie patterns to store inside it.  Here is my epic project.


The front of the house, with a little porch.  We have two candy canes, a cute little wreath, and of course the snow edging!  I'd still like to add a little sconce-style dollhouse light above the door if I can find one I like, in the right scale.


A little snowman, window (one of three) with what I imagine to be purple velvet curtains, and heart flowers.
The roof has pink and white marshmallows, wrapped sweets, a peppermint (the pattern calls for dolly mixture pieces but I hate dolly mixture, and felt that all gingerbread houses need peppermints), and smarties (of the chocolate variety).  It also features the chimney, which was quite difficult! 


My favourite side, with another wreath with working jingle bells, a post box, and a shiny Christmas tree!


The last side, with a chocolate button tree, Swedish Berry bush (it was supposed to be an allsorts bush, but I don't like liquorice), and side door and more roof sweets.

I'm so happy with it!  It just needs a Santa/Father Christmas!
5  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / The gluten-free gingerbread house - now with celebrity endorsement! on: January 12, 2015 07:27:51 AM
So I am part of the Harry Potter Craftalong, and decided to do an epic project.  When I saw this fantastic pattern on ravelry I knew I had to make it.

I completed the house just before the end of November, but even though I thought I had gauge I guess my knitting had some stretch as I had to recut the plastic canvas larger (I suppose I can make a dollhouse with the smaller pieces?) in order to get the base ready.  The base is just the four walls and the roof, things like the chimney and stuff are added later.

I then worked on it every day, as she originally released a new decoration each day in December for 1-21, then 3 days of cookie patterns to store inside it.  Here is my epic project.


The front of the house, with a little porch.  We have two candy canes, a cute little wreath, and of course the snow edging!  I'd still like to add a little sconce-style dollhouse light above the door if I can find one I like, in the right scale.


A little snowman, window (one of three) with what I imagine to be purple velvet curtains, and heart flowers.
The roof has pink and white marshmallows, wrapped sweets, a peppermint (the pattern calls for dolly mixture pieces but I hate dolly mixture, and felt that all gingerbread houses need peppermints), and smarties (of the chocolate variety).  It also features the chimney, which was quite difficult! 


My favourite side, with another wreath with working jingle bells, a post box, and a shiny Christmas tree!


The last side, with a chocolate button tree, Swedish Berry bush (it was supposed to be an allsorts bush, but I don't like liquorice), and side door and more roof sweets.

I'm so happy with it!  It just needs a Santa/Father Christmas!  Now for the celebrity connection...

I follow Anne and Wil Wheaton on Twitter, and she happened to tweet about how she felt old for going to bed very early.  I replied, jokingly, "I'm knitting a gingerbread house! #partylikeits1875" and she actually responded, asking to see it when it was done!  I did, and, well...

She LOVED it.  She replied privately to me, and then my inbox EXPLODED.  She'd shared both images on twitter, and I got over 200 retweets, favourites, and a few inquiries on how I made it and asking for the pattern (which I passed on, I promise I didn't take credit for the amazing pattern!).  I took screenshots on my phone of the craziness, just to remind me that even people who don't knit can be charmed by the things we love to do.
6  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Cabling without a cable needle - tutorial! on: September 16, 2014 08:59:21 PM
Over in the Harry Potter craftalong I posted a tutorial for cabling without a cable needle so I thought I'd share it here too!

Left-crossing cable:



Knit to where the cable crossing occurs - this is a left-crossing cable, so the first two stitches we're slipping in the next step cross BEHIND the next two.



Yarn in front, THEN slip the next two stitches to your right hand needle purlwise.



Yarn to back



Knit the next two stitches



Slip left-hand needle into the first two stitches FROM THE BACK



Pull the right hand needle out of all 4 stitches, while gripping the work right beneath the needle to keep the two live stitches from dropping.



Pick up live stitches with right hand needle, making sure not to twist.  The stitches are now crossed!



Bring working yarn to back again and now knit the two stitches on the left hand needle (these are the stitches that got slipped at the beginning).



Done!  The completed cross.


Right-handed crossing:



Knit (or in this case, purl) to your crossing.



Slip the first two stitches to your right hand needle purlwise.  Since this is a right-handed crossing, these slipped stitches will cross in front of (rather than behind) the two after.  No need to move the working yarn this time, leave it in back.




Knit the next two stitches.



Pick up the slipped stitches with the left-hand needle from the FRONT.



Pull the right hand needle out of all four stitches, again while holding tightly directly underneath the needles so that the live stitches aren't lost.




Pick up the live stitches with the right hand needle, being sure not to twist.  The cables are now crossed!



Knit the next two stitches (the ones that were slipped at the beginning).  



Done!
7  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Lemony Fresh Apron on: December 20, 2012 02:02:26 PM
I made this apron for my friend using one of the Butterick retro reprint patterns.  I've been hoarding the fabric for awhile (I got it in the States in 2011) but realised that the colours will look a lot better on her!  I mostly followed the pattern, bought used bought single-fold bias tape, pinked any raw edges that aren't covered, and didn't use bias tape on the ruffle inset at the bottom.  I also didn't add a pocket, because really, who uses a pocket on a cooking apron?  I suppose it would be good for holding rings or a watch though.

8  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Winter Twilight wreath on: November 21, 2012 08:27:26 AM
I've seen this Christmas bauble wreath everywhere, and pinned the tutorial myself on pinterest.  I knew it would make a great, simple and classy decoration for our front door (I am so excited to have a front door, it's the first time since I went to University in 2001!)

The tutorial is here: http://www.eddieross.com/eddie_ross/2008/12/no-wire-hangers-well-maybe-just-one.html

I followed it pretty nearly exactly, using an old wire hanger.  I did hot glue the first couple baubles in place so that they would slide as I worked other ones on.  I also didn't include a bow on it, though if I find a nice silver bow I will!  It's made with at least 2/3 of a big tube of 100 shatterproof ornaments from Superstore, which included two different sizes.



We do have lots of snow here!  You just can't see it in the cropped picture.  I'm looking forward to decorating the windows with lights too (need to do it indoors, as we don't have outdoor outlets).
9  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Reversible Sun Hat on: May 24, 2012 09:28:47 PM
So I had to take it upon myself to make my baby girl a sun hat, because we haven't been able to find one that fits her tiny noggin!  She's only two months and was born on time but quite small, so the 0-6 month store hats are simply massive.  I used this really cute pattern: http://www.merrimentdesign.com/baby-sunhat-pattern-with-ruffles-and-ties.php#comment-150484, but used 5/8" seam allowances on the crown pieces to reduce the circumference to around 16".  I also left two little gaps in the seams between the crown and brim, finished with top stitching so that I can pull the straps through to reverse the hat.

It turned out SO cute, and the pattern and tutorial were great!  I really recommend it.


10  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Nursing bracelet/cuff on: May 24, 2012 09:18:35 PM
I made this little cuff to help me remember which side I nursed on last!  We only feed one side at a time normally and it can be hard to remember during the day (since at night we do it side lying, and I can remember which side I lay down on).



It's the Pretty Twisted pattern from knitty, although I altered it some.  It was a super quick knit!  The yarn is scraps of Dream in Colour Classy from a baby sweater my mom made for baby girl.
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