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11  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / My first earrings! on: June 28, 2007 02:19:03 PM
This week I made my first beaded earrings.  I used a kit that makes four pairs.  I followed the instructions exactly, not much creativity involved, but I am happy that I got a chance to learn how to use the tools and how all the pieces fit together.  Now I can go on a bead buying spree and create my own!

The group shot:

My favorite pair in action:
12  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Is static from cozies harmful to electronics? on: June 21, 2007 11:07:55 AM
So, I've done a few searches on this issue but I can't find a decisive answer.

When you knit a cozy for an electronic device do you need to worry about static electricity hurting your device?  I'm specifically planning to knit one for my new digital camera, but I don't want to hurt it.
13  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Gauge for Suede Yarn? on: May 31, 2007 11:23:15 AM
So, I want to knit a friend of mine a pair of armwarmers/fingerless gloves that he can wear under his regular gloves when he rides his motorcycle in winter.  He always tries to tuck the sleeves of his jacket under the gloves (actually, he makes me do it) and half the time they slip out and he gets freezing "wind-bite" on his wrists.

Anyway..... I'm not sure what yarn to use.  I'd love to use the faux-suede because that's sort of "manly" but I've never seen in in sport/DK and I'm concerned that I won't be able to knit it at a tight enough gauge to keep the wind out and fit under another pair of gloves.  Has anyone tried to knit suede yarn at a super tight gauge?  Results or guesses as to what might happen?

Any other fiber suggestions?  I'm leaning away from wool because (a) it could be too itchy and (b) I have fears of it felting on him if his hands get sweaty and he'd never be able to get them off.... lol.  Also weary of cotton because it's probably not warm enough.  Although, if I knit it super-tight it might at least block the wind if that ends up being my only option.

14  KNITTING / Projects from the Stitch 'N B**ch Books by Debbie Stoller / My Chinese Charm Bag on: May 29, 2007 08:20:51 PM
Here are some pics of the chinese charm bag I just finished.  I've been wanting to make this since S&B first came out, but I never really got around to it until I decided to make this one for my swap partner.  I'm in love with the way it turned out!  I used 1.5 skeins of Moda Dea cache and it gave the bag a nice gleam.  I just got the charm at the craft store, it was a pendant for a necklace - and I liked it hanging better than sewn on.  Then the lining fabric is a really pretty brocade, but it was such a pain to work with because it kept fraying.  So, without further ado, the pics:

The bag:

Close up of the charm:

The lining (with an added pocket!)

15  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Stitch And BOTCH / If Mrs. Darcy was missing a hand... on: May 11, 2007 01:42:05 PM
I have been knitting the fabulous Mrs. Darcy cardigan by indieknitter for weeks and I just finished it up last night only to find out that one sleeve was about 6 inches shorter than the other!  D'oh! 

Here is a picture of me looking sad:

16  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Vacuum Sealing Your Stash: a good idea? on: April 10, 2007 08:44:07 AM
So, I saw on an infomercial for the food saver that you can use it to vacuum all the air out of your yarn and reduce your stash to a neat little flat slab.  Has anyone tried this??

I am moving soon and I'm definitely planning to do this short-term for packing, but I'm concerned about the long term effects if I were leave my yarn vacuum-packed for several months.  Will it poof back out to its original gauge and luster?  Will it be all wrinkly?  It sure would be nice to store away all my wool until the cool weather returns. 

Any fiber experts want to weigh in?  Or any brave souls who have already tried this?

-- update 4/12/07: the experiment --

So I tested out some yarn in my mom's foodsaver with positive results (see pics below).  I opened the bags a few minutes after sealing them and the yarn poofed back out to normal.  One thing to remember if you try this is that the yarn becomes pretty hard and completely inflexible once you have sealed the bag, so you should try to arrange the yarn while the air is being sucked out so it gets to be the shape you want it.

one ball of yarn before vacuum sealing (appx. 3.5 inches tall):

one ball of yarn after vacuuming: (a little over 1 inch tall):

and here is how small a big pile of yarn can get (this was about 7 skeins):


17  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Flirty Skirty! on: March 29, 2007 06:34:16 PM
Is anyone else a DIY network Knitty Gritty addict?  Well, I am.  When I first saw them make this skirt on the show I thought the idea of a knitted skirt was totally hideous - why would you want to wear a hand knit across the widest part of your body?  But then I read on Vickie Howell's blog that the stitch pattern is based on a pattern for a little girl's mermaid costume and I instantly became obsessed with making my own mermaid-inspired skirt.  Isn't it funny how one little detail can totally make a project irresistible?  Anyway, here's a pic:

And a closeup of the stitch pattern:

Not only is this my first knitted skirt, but it's also my first non-accessory wearable.  Yay!
18  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Rebel Alliance Reverse Applique Pillow on: March 10, 2007 09:07:31 PM
I saw a "reverse appliqué" pillow on Knitty Gritty where you machine-sew two knitted pieces together and then cut out the front part so the edges are all frayed and the bottom color shows through.  Since I love frayed jeans, I figured this was a technique I had to try!

The original pattern used a fleur de lis image, but I decided to geek it up a bit with the rebel alliance symbol from Star Wars.  I think I'll make a companion pillow in blue and black for the empire.  I also nixed the piping trim because I'm lazy.

If you decide to try this technique out, let me underscore the importance of putting the tear away stabilizer on the WRONG SIDE of your work.  I put mine on front without thinking and then I had to go through the whole design with tweezers and pull little bits of stabilizer out of the stitches.  What a pain!!

Here's the pattern from DIY's website: http://www.diynetwork.com/diy/na_knitting/article/0,2025,DIY_14141_4842335,00.html   

[edit 5/2: changed links to pics to embedded pics]
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