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1  Russian Leaves in Knitting: Completed Projects by yofi on: August 17, 2017 06:06:22 PM
I discovered knit designer Katya Gorbacheva on Ravelry, and after I did a KAL of a small shawlette of hers, I thought Id try something a little more ambitious.  Since I dont really like tiny needles, I went with the Forest Haze shawl.  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/forest-haze-shawl

I wanted something that looked like sun-dappled leaves, but I couldn't find or afford the right yarn.  So I bought two skeins of Cascade EcoWool and dyed it myself.  I soaked the yarn in vinegar water, then laid it in a large disposal aluminum pan.  I mixed up several shades of green and blue Rit dye, and essentially painted it on the yarn .  I weighted it down then popped the whole pan in the oven for about 20 minutes.  I cant find the pictures I took of the dyeing process, but heres one of caking it.  That was quite a process, too!

I wouldnt call it a quick knit, but its a lovely pattern, very simple and intuitive.  (And very forgiving of the occasional mistake!)

This is the unblocked shawl spread out on a double bed a better look at the color, altho you can also see the second skein got a bigger hit of blue!

And just for scale, heres me holding the shawl; its over 7 from tip to tip!

Its so big I can wrap it around me on the outside of my coat!

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2  Re: 50 Projects More or Less...2017...Let's Create and Have Fun! in Craftalongs by yofi on: August 17, 2017 05:41:44 PM
What lovely pillow cases!  A great use of the fabric, and I imagine you'll have colorful dreams.

Beautiful journal covers, Always.  You have a real eye for pulling together those disparate elements!

I have a few things to add before the weekend.  these are both from earlier this summer, but I'm slow to post!

27. Russian Leaves shawl

Another Katya Gorbacheva pattern from Ravelry.  I envisioned something like sun-dappled leaves, but I couldnt find any yarn like that or at least that I could afford.  So I dyed my own!  I started with two skeins of Cascade bulky EcoWool, a few different colors of Rit Dye in green and blue, and a huge disposable pan.  I cant seem to find my pictures of the dyeing; this is caking the yarn after it dried.  

The pattern is lovely and very intuitive.  I wouldnt call it quick it took me about 6 weeks but it certainly was pleasant!  Heres the unblocked shawl spread out on a double bed:

And for scale, heres me holding it out.  Its a good 7 from edge to edge!

28. Plum cakes

Im not a bad baker, but I take lousy photos of food.  So, in exchange for some road snacks, I got my niece to take an artsy pic of some of the plum almond cakes I made.  I made several sizes; these 3 ones were the perfect size to share if you're generous, or gorge if youre not!

I got stalled this summer with family needs, so I have a bunch of projects that are just a step or so away from completion.  I need to get them done and clear the decks -- fall is moments away, and that's always when I feel the most creative!

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3  Re: 50 Projects More or Less...2017...Let's Create and Have Fun! in Craftalongs by yofi on: August 02, 2017 12:49:33 PM
The most important creation in my family these days is my nephew and his wifes new baby, Zoe, the first of her generation!  In my new role as Great Aunt, I had to contribute something.  I sent a diaper pail to the baby shower, but that was for the stinky part of the baby.  So, of course, I had to make something for the sweet side...

24. Crib blanket and sheet

I took my color cues from the things on the baby shower registry; lots of coral, salmon, reds and oranges.  I made a simple crib sheet (hemming and elastic at the corners even I can do that!) then embroidered a rectangle of quilted white fabric with bands of  different embroidery floss.  Hemmed the edges and voila!  I think it has a pick stitch look.

25. Peach knubbelchen
As someone once observed, even human babies need chew toys, so I made a little nisse to go with the blanket.

Heres the link for the pattern if youd like to make one yourself. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/knubbelchen  (I got a custom order from a young friend for a ballerina nisse, so I may be posting that effort sometime soon.)  

My niece has gotten me started on the King Arthur Flour monthly bakealong.  This was Julys effort:
26. Blueberry handpies

(Heres a link to that as well!  http://blog.kingarthurflour.com/2017/07/03/blueberry-hand-pies-bakealong/)

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4  Re: 50 Projects More or Less...2017...Let's Create and Have Fun! in Craftalongs by yofi on: July 27, 2017 01:12:47 PM
And that's the best reason to craft, isn't it?
I love those little pompom animals, especially the cats. So expressive!

And I agree - those fabrics are beautiful, TheMistressT!

I have more food to report...

22. Chocolate and pistachio babka

A former New Yorker friend of my has often bemoaned the fact that she can't get proper babka in the midwest, so I thought I'd give it a try.  She said it was not bad for a gentile, which is pretty high praise!

23. Dog snacks
I didn't get a picture of this one, but it apparently has gotten a more enthusiastic reception.  (Less discriminating audience, I suspect!)  I made dog treats to accompany a swap package for a friend who is carefully about what the dog eats.  Made with baby oatmeal, jarred veggies and meats, plus some extra broth, these were really easy.  I made a carrots/beef version and a spinach/chicken version.  They atually didn't taste bad to me!
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5  Re: 50 Projects More or Less...2017...Let's Create and Have Fun! in Craftalongs by yofi on: July 19, 2017 02:15:17 PM
...still catching up on posting some of my activity from the second quarter!

16. Meeting In the Middle shawlette

This cute little shawl was a knitalong from free pattern provided by a Russian designer, who sees a growing divide between ordinary Russians and Americans.  She wanted to design something that could bring people together, even in just a little way.

There were at least 100 people who downloaded the pattern, and most went on to join the KAL.  It was a lot of fun, and I was able to use three skeins of a lovely alpaca blend yarn that have been waiting for just the right project.

17. Fruit kabobs

Because party food should be pretty, even if its good for you

18. Just Peachy dress

A birthday gift for a young friend.  

19. Birthday cupcakes/cakes

And whats a birthday party without cakes?

While they all got eaten, I think theres something about knowing your audience.  The girls mother and I thought strawberry and lime would be wonderful summer flavors, with a tangy cream cheese filling.  They turned out great, but for 6-year olds, I think vanilla and chocolate with the same whipped Crisco frosting you get at the grocery store probably would have been a better bet!

20. Picture Frames

A couple of years ago I got printed several pictures from an artist I really loved.  I always intended to make some rustic frames for them.  I finally got around to doing it.

I had seen frames like this at Hobby Lobby that were surprisingly expensive and not very well made.  In the process of making these I realized neat, mitered corners are not as easy as you might think.  But Im really pleased with how they turned out.

(Now, of course, I cant find the folder with the prints for them!  Karmic justice for copyright infringement, no doubt.)

21. Peach Upside Down Cake

Ive had a bounty of wonderful peaches this summer.  Lots of jams, syrups, pies, and upside down cake! A little brown sugar and butter in the bottom of the pan with the peaches, topped with a basic white cake recipe.

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6  Re: 50 Projects More or Less...2017...Let's Create and Have Fun! in Craftalongs by yofi on: July 17, 2017 05:34:19 PM
Beautiful ring pillow ZombieLili, and I love the Pokeman bags!  You really do have to catch 'em all...

Here's some of the things I've finished since I last posted.  I've been working a lot of hours, and spending a lot of time with my folks - but there's always time for crafting, right?

8. Heart shaped sachets
I had a bumper crop of lavender this year and a lot of sock yarn lying around so Ive made an ongoing project out of knitting little lavender stuffed heart sachets.

 I found this lovely little pattern on Ravelry (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/love-you-forever) and I found I can finish a heart in about an hour and a half of TV time.  I wanted to get a picture of the some two dozen Ive made so far this year but Ive been giving them away almost fast as I make them!

9. Tea blends

I didnt get a picture of this, but when a tea-loving friend was in the dumps, I made her a set of five different tea blends, each in their own little dime-store tins.  I used commercial teas as the base, then added my own herbs or spices, some of which Id grown myself.  It was a simple gift, but much appreciated.

10. Nutella bread

Ive been doing a lot of baking these days, and was particularly pleased with how this braided chocolate bread turned out.  Had one at home, took one to work, and one to my friend the carpenter none of them lasted very long!

11. Upward Spiral cowl
Another Ive got a huge skein of yarn I probably wont use for anything else project.  Simple spiral of alternating knit and purl blocks.  It turned out much nicer than I expected, altho knitting it seemed interminable.

12. Pi Day pies
I work with a lot of proudly self-proclaimed nerds, so its not surprising we go all out for Pi(e) Day March 14.  (My boss bought pizza, too!)

Fluffernutter pie, and lemon curd tarts with blackberries.  Yum..

13. Reeses cup Cake

The chocolate peanut butter combo was so popular with my boss I used that for his birthday cake. 

Chocolate cake, with sweetened, whipped peanut butter frosting, and little mini Reese cup decorations.
This was almost too rich for our crew.

14. Tealight cozy

A woman on a knitting forum is getting married in October, and fell in love with the idea of glittering tealights on each table, shining thru a lace cover.  No one is crazy enough to knit 40 tea light cozies, but when you put the call out to your friends

I made two for her and one for myself, and if I never use #1 needles again it will be too soon!

I also started off the summer baking season with a Rhubarb Strawberry Crumble, with rhubarb from my front yard, but the picture I took was pretty atrocious.

More to post another day - now to catch up on what all you have been doing!
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7  Re: Curiosity Cabinet Swap Round 2 GALLERY in The Swap Gallery by yofi on: March 13, 2017 11:18:57 AM
Im kinda bugging out in the most delightful way! over my swap box from artsycandice, which arrived just when I most needed a little shot of magic!  Wrapped in flamingos and curiosity, Candice delivered the perfect package!

The first item was an embroidered hoopla that, like a lot of great art, was an embellishment of sorts.  Sheepblue had silkscreened the original image.  Then Candice embroidered around it and framed it.  As a reporter, I have to say I laughed at the visual of a fly on the wall!

This delicate item is from a sculpture she carved, then made a mold of, and cast in hydrostone.  This is about 4 inches long.  Isnt it incredible?  It looks like an ancient Greek carving in marble.  

And this guy  I dont know if Ive mentioned this somewhere, ir it was just a happy accident, but I love cicadas!  I hated cicadas when I was a kid; the sound was overwhelming and they seemed kinda creepy.  But as Ive gotten older and Ive learned more about them the 17-year cicadas seem well named  - Magicicada

Heres another view check out the fabulous red eyes and the detailed veining on the wings!

And then, Candice threw in a little lagniappe the tiniest of perfect bird skulls, mounted on its own little plaque!

Heres the whole megillah.

Altogether, a truly wonderful package!  Im so happy, Candice!
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8  Re: 50 Projects More or Less...2017...Let's Create and Have Fun! in Craftalongs by yofi on: February 05, 2017 08:27:26 AM
Welcome back, re-joiners!

I recently came across the file where I keep my final tallies -- fun to see what projects I made and posted back in 2010!

Here's my latest...

5. Pyramid sachets
Using up stash and harvest from my own front yard!

These are big sachets, about 5 tall, made out of old upholstery samples in beautiful satin in blues and greens, then stuffed with lavender from my garden (and a little stuffing, otherwise it would have been about 1 1/2c of dried flowers!)

6. Sofa cover

Doesnt look like much (basically a large rectangle of fabric, hemmed with a length of elastic around the corners to hold the top and the bottom covers on).  But, as the owner of increasingly pissy elderly cats, it possesses a secret joy a layer of waterproof fabric inside

7. Batwing scarf

A fun, fun pattern although I was biting my nails when I dropped the stitches the length of the knitting  The pattern is called Dragon wing, but since I made it for a fan of HP Lovecraft, I see it as an homage to Ol Batwings himself the Great Cthulu

Ive been working on a few things, including a big kitchen project Ive wanted to do for years.  Heres a little teaser on that one

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9  Re: 50 Projects More or Less...2017...Let's Create and Have Fun! in Craftalongs by yofi on: January 21, 2017 06:41:27 PM
I love all the practical bags, and the bee letters are beautiful!

Thanks for all the compliments on the shaving stand.  I had a lot of fun with that.  Also wrapping up from last year, I have another piece of refinished furniture

3. Bestafaders table

Back in the 1930s my grandfather, or Bestafader, made a little table just for my father and his twin brother.  Its seen a lot of use over a lot of generations, but eventually it cracked, and one end broke off.  My sister carefully saved the pieces, and I repaired it and gave it a top-to-bottom cleaning

It's very ingenious construction, knock-down long before IKEA came along.  And the top is mostly bird's eye maple -- beautiful work.  I have a lot of respect for my grandfathers work.  A few coats of finish and its ready for the next generation!

4. The Cobblers Daughters Scarf

You know how they say the cobbler children have no shoes?  Despite all the knitting I do, when single digit temperatures hit the first week of January, I realized I had nothing to bundle up in!  So I used up a whole skein of Scarfie and made myself just that!

I have some more things that are neeeeeearly finished....just need buttons, or some elastic, or a seam... and some time!
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10  Re: 50 Projects More or Less...2017...Let's Create and Have Fun! in Craftalongs by yofi on: January 18, 2017 09:04:01 AM
I have a few things I'm actually wrapping up from last year, so this week I'll have a flurry of posts before I settle down to my more plodding...er... deliberate pace!

January challenge
This was actually not as hard as I'd thought it would be.  For some reason, the mantra of paring down and loving more is getting thru to me -- or maybe it's the fact that I've lived in this house for 7 years now, and there are still areas where stuff is just sitting in piles.
I decided I could get rid of stamps I had accumulated over the years, so I packed the box up to give it to a friend.  Then I decided to go thru it, just to be on the save side.  I figured she sisnt want the ones of my name, or my sisters.  And armadillos are sort of a family joke. and Alice in wonderland is a play on my nameandandand
Ultimately tho I sent my sister the one with her name and put the rest back, keeping only the ones I had carved for Christmas cards when I was a starving grad student, featuring my cat of nearly 20 years.  I have no idea what Ill do with those, but thats for the next round of clearance.

Dont know what craft Ill take up. Ill see what speaks to me!  In the meantime, heres the first batch of things.

1. Refinished shaving stand
This has actually been in the works for a loooong time.  Years and years ago a roommate left me with this ungainly little box on legs with a mirror stuck on top.  I had no idea what it was, but I lugged it along for several moves.  Eventually I was told it was an antique shaving stand, with the little drawers and compartment for shaving paraphernalia.  I began stripping the 4 count em; 4! layers of paint off and found it was a beautiful tiger stripe oak underneath.

Thats all I did with it until last year.  After successfully re-finishing the quarter-sawn oak rocking chair, I brought this stand into the woodshop.  I ended up having to remove, re-glue and rest the top, and sanding it smooth took off a lot of the stain, so I had to trial and error a new stain.  

A label on the underside of one drawer indicates it was made in Cincinnati, where I grew up, by a company that went out of business in the Depression.  Its still an odd little piece, but beautiful as well.  And, with four coats of finish, I know its going to keep looking good for a while!

2. Soft pretzels

I dont think Ive made soft pretzels since I was a teenager, babysitting a large family for long stretches of time.  I couldnt find that recipe, but Alton Brown has a great one.  I managed to get a shot of the last two my co-workers are very hungry people!

A few more projects tomorrow, once I get some good pictures!
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