Dove Knits

Friday, December 21, 2007

You know it's cold when... step outside and see this:

Penguin invasions are always a problem this time of year. You know, they only LOOK cute, but stay away if you value your fingers.

(Pattern by none other than Jean Greenhowe, from Knitted Animals. I think there are only 2-3 patterns from that booklet I haven't done already. It's just packed with cuteness. And the little "trees" are Habu stainless steel wool, sent to me by a friend. Don't they look like little Christmas trees, though?)

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Baby shrugged

Finally a knit to show y'all: a baby shrug/bolero by Debbie Bliss (pattern here) out of my last ball of Classic Merino Wool in royal. Solid red trims.

Not much to say about this one. I'm not crazy about the color pooling, but I think it's cute anyway. It'd be even cuter with a baby inside.

I knit it in the 12-18-month-old size, but my gauge was so loose that I followed the 6-month old sizes. It seems a little big, still, but DB likes her baby knits loose, so I think that's why.

Not alot else to say. I'm very tired: I'm trying to write up and publish my research (and finish said research) so I can graduate in June. When not at work, I'm scrubbing down my house, because my parents are coming to visit at the end of the month, and I've gotta get it all done by next weekend. And, of course, I'm finishing Christmas gifts. Thankfully, this was one of only 3 knits I planned. Burridge is getting left until my BIL's birthday in April, so that's a bit less of my plate. So, yeah, very tired.

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

New directions

I've been dying to try my hand at quilting for a while. Pretty cottony quilts have been popping up on so many people's blogs, and they're just so sweet and cheery even when sophisticated.

It didn't help that I found a big huge quilting book on sale over Labor Day. And bought it. And drooled a puddle over it.

So this was bound to happen eventually. I grabbed my Joann's gift certificate, and a sale later I was the proud owner of this:

A Friskars cutting board, ruler, and rotary cutter set, and some quarter flats. I know they're not the fanciest, bestest fabric, but it'll do just fine for my first quilting attempt, no?

You know you want to see the fabrics up close:

My husband picked out this set. I love the way they go together.

I haven't yet decided if I will use all of them in one big quilt, or just use the trios to practice making squares. We'll see. Right after Christmas, and right after all my outstanding (meaning unfinished, not wonderful) gift knitting (Mom's jacket, BIL's Burridge) has been finished, I shall quilt.

Also: I collect erasers. If you've ever wondered what an eraser collection looks like, you can see for yourself here.

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Monday, December 03, 2007

A solution for the frazzled holiday knitter

Silly knitters. Every year, we race against the clock as we knit gift after gift. As the result, our loved ones are flooded in dish cloths, and we have ulcers.

It's quite simple, really. Even the fastest, smallest knitted gift, like a hat, dishcloth, or bookmark, takes, what, at least three? five? hours. It's hard to accept, but sometimes, there just isn't enough time to knit a gift for everyone you love.

That's often my problem. I love giving handmade gifts, and most people I know love getting them. However, most people I know have no use for small knitted projects. For some reason, everyone I know has conspired against me to never wear hats, use knitted dishcloths, or like mittens. It's all about the more time-consuming gifts for them -- which I'm happy to provide, but not last-minute.

Here's where I brag. Last week, I went home, pulled out my beading box, and in the matter of three hours or so, I made gifts for 7 people.

Earrings for coworkers:

(Left: green jade and Bali sterling silver. Right: porcelain, Bali silver and Swarovski crystal. Both with sterling hooks and wires.)

(The best shot I could get of these Swarovski crystal beauties. See how they swing.)

Bookmarks for friends:

(Sterling, Swarovski, fluorite, and green jade, from left to right.)

And a pearl and crystal necklace for a great little girl. However, I've already given her her necklace, and the only pictures I had of it were awful, so you'll just have to imagine.

So, the moral: next time I'll remember about my beading supplies sooner. Plus, this saved me quite a bit of money, since I already had all the supplies, and they were quite inexpensive then, too. I think each pair of earrings, made in high-quality materials, cost as much as a ball of Sugar'n'Cream cotton.

ETA: That's not to say I'm not knitting gifts this year. I'm making a nativity set for my in-laws (remember that project? Still haven't finished. They're just getting the Holy Family, and I'm gifting them the rest of the characters over the next couple of years.), a shrug for a dear friend's beautiful baby girl, and a sweater for my husband. On a whim, I decided to try and publish the sweater, so I'm not showing it here, but he's SO excited about it. He got to design it -- he picked the color, style, and stitch pattern. He goes over and pets it, and gets a nice dreamy look on his face when he's thinking about it. It's the cutest thing.