Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Nautilus Hat: Wendified

My camera broke awhile back and my phone kinda sucks for pictures (I'm sorry Steve Jobs, but it's true).  So my friends Megan & Jared met me in Saugatuck and we took a bunch o' pics.  We had a great time!  Here is the 1st project from the batch:

The Nautilus Hat--Wendified 
(like modified, get it?)

I made this hat TWO summers ago!  I made it on a trip to California during the summer.  I was sweatily knitting away in the car outside the post office when this tough guy drove in on a big ole' motorcycle.  "Isn't it too hot ta' be workin' with wool?" he asked.  It's never too hot for wool.  The hat was just too big.  I loved it (especially since it was the 1st hat I'd made), but wanted to get real use out of it instead of its current job: blindfold.  This past fall I took it to a chili cook-off in Baldwin and added the black around the bottom and the flower.  It has become one of my favorite hats, now.  

(BTW-please ignore the orange scarf, I forgot I had it on.)

Monday, October 18, 2010

iPad iPad iPad

Geesh, I have been a horrible blogger!  Once school starts, I feel like I can barely catch my breath.  I have found time to continue knitting however (of course).  There is barely a spare moment that knitting needles or a book aren't in my hands.

A couple weeks ago, I had the privilege of spending the weekend with the fabulous Nora J. Bellows of Noni Designs at Needle in a Haystack.  She is amazing and her patterns are incredible!  If you haven't seen her work, definitely check out the link.  Her bags are awesome!

I loved every minute I spent at the workshop.  I found out about it last minute (on a Friday stop-in at the LYS), yarn was thrust into my hands and I was told to have my project knitted and felted by the next morning.  Well . . . it was Friday after a LONG week of school, so I fell asleep with my needles in my hands and woke Saturday with my project only about half-finished.  It wasn't a problem, they just let me learn while I knitted at the workshop.  I had my iPad case finished, felted, zippered, and flowered by Sunday.  I could not be happier with the results and love love love my new carry-case!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Arielle Continued . . .

I keep pluggin' away at Arielle and finally finished the back.  I really hope I can finish by September so I can play along with my Ravelry friends.  

I didn't get much knitting done this past week because I had another fun "vacation-at-home" with my mom & niece Carolyn.  My future sister-in-law Megan also joined us for the weekend.  I loved having all of them here and can't get enough creative inspiration from each of them.  We had a true Michigan-fun time.  We picked blueberries, played at the beach, visited lighthouses, skyped with the cousins, had a picnic, and a beach fire with s'mores.  Elli, the most amazing German Shepherd ever, learned how to body surf, too.  Speaking of Elli, she seems to love Caro's stuff.  The last trip it was Barbie (8 of them) and this time her little pink purse.  We worked as a team to fix it.  I bought the yarn Caro picked, my mom used the french knitter to make a new handle, and Megan sewed it on the purse.  Teamwork!

Bummed that summer is almost over, but have loved every minute of this one.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Blue House Birthday

I think I may have had the best birthday ever this week!  Wednesday was a great day filled with all kinds of love from friends and family.  Going to the Blue House on Tuesday with my good friend Megan (Calla's mom) made it even better.  Blue House is this great art studio in Ann Arbor.  We drove over in the morning and met with Libby who taught us how to make a paper collage pendant.  It was so nice to spend the day with Megan.  She is a great friend and excellent listener.  Thank you, Megan, for letting me go on and on about new things in my life.  ;-)  Here's the pendant I created.

So, this may be ridiculously creepy, but there is an awesome antique/junk store called Sunset Junque here in South Haven.  I feel the need to go through this gigantic place every now and then scouting for treasure.  Uh . . . I found one.  Check out this awesome antique head.  She's perfect for modeling my hats for me and, yes, she is kinda creepy, but really cool all the same!  She needs a name.  Post a comment with a name for her and your name may be just the right one.  If so, I'll send you something cool.

I made this hat awhile back.  It's a slouchy hat with a picot edge.  I used Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, so it's a cashmere/wool blend that is super soft.  It was a really fast pattern, so it was a nice project to slip in between some of the bigger things I'm working on.  

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Baker Allegan Studios Rocks!

So I've been playing with the idea lately of spinning and dyeing my own yarn.  In an effort to learn how to do this I searched for a place in Michigan that could teach me and stumbled across this amazing studio.  I saw that they give weaving classes, so Margaret (the art teacher I work with) & I immediately signed up.  It was a 2-evening workshop and I loved every minute of it.
Debbie & Joe, the owners, are great people who truly love what they do and are completely committed.  The first night Debbie taught us how to use 7 different types of looms and create patterns while we're weaving.  These are a couple of pieces that I worked on.
The second night I brought my favorite skirt from high school.  It was one of those long hippie skirts (I pretty much wore hippie skirts exclusively for about 2 years).  I have always loved this particular skirt, but it's totally out of date and way too big, so I hung on to it hoping I'd find the right project for it.  Debbie taught me how to rip it into one big long strip of fabric.  Then we loaded it on to the shuttle and I made myself a laptop bag/knitting bag . . .
The thing I like best about my skirt into bag is that, while I can't see the detail from afar, I can still see all of the things I loved the most about this skirt when I look at it closely.  Not sure how I feel about those long tassels, but I'll give it some time and decide whether or not they need a trim.  Margaret cracked me up trying to take this video with my phone, but here I am working on the loom.
Finally, at the end of the night, these are the things I had accomplished and got to take home.  None of them are official projects (except the bag), but a great sample of different weights of thread and fabric and looks that one can get from weaving.
On a side note, Debbie had just gotten 6 new spinning wheels, and when Margaret & I walked in, she whipped out her credit card.  She bought an amazingly sweet, modern-looking new wheel.  I didn't spend much time spinning, but I got to try it out.  AND--Margaret let me take her old wheel home so I can practice!  Fun stuff!
If you find yourself anywhere near downtown Allegan, I encourage you to stop in and say hello to this great couple at Baker Allegan Studios.  Their studio and art gallery are fabulous!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Workin' On This

I thought a few updates were in order.  You'd think I'm obsessed with this frog hat, but I'm not, I promise.  I just wanted to post my redo, because I think it's so much better than the original.  Learning how to embroider, for real, made a big difference.

My latest project is Arielle, by Kim Hargreaves.  We are doing a knit-along in one of the Ravelry groups I belong to, "Sexy Knitters."  We have to be finished by September, so hopefully I can make the deadline.  Here's my start.  It looks a little rough in this picture, but really it looks gorgeous in person.  No, really!  This is the back.  I have it about 3/4 of the way finished . . .

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Love Combining Crafts

Embroidery has been my "new" craft of the summer.  I started to embroider tags to add to my knitting projects and today I decided I should embroider a card for my Australian niece who is turning 19 next month.  The thing I love about these cards is that I can be as creative as I want to be and they look so complex, but it really isn't that difficult!

 I started by sketching out a quick design, then I did a little revising.  Doing my best, I copied my idea onto a piece of card stock and threaded the needle!  
I made 2 Eight Petal Daisies using the Detached Chain stitch and a Bullion Loop in the center of each flower.
I made the stems using a Back Stitch, the leaves using a Seed Stitch, and the embellishment with simple French Knots.

I put the card together using scrapbooking eyelets and then used some of those Pop Dots to affix the embroidered piece to the card.  The Pop Dots are great because they leave a bit of space between the 2 pieces so all of my back thread doesn't make it appear wrinkly.

Happy Birthday, Miss Emma!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

My niece was here visiting this past week.  She modeled my frog hat for me and looked so stinkin' adorable I decided I had to make her one too.  So, I showed her the animal hat options and she (of course) chose the pink bear hat--which is perfect since I nicknamed her Princess CareBear.  ;-)  Here it is!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

How Sweet Is That?

Since I'm on a roll with baby hats, I thought I should post this one I made awhile back.  I actually made this Nautilus Hat for myself, but made it way too small (1st hat I'd ever made).  I added the little flowers and made a pair of mittens to match for my adorable little friend Calla.  I could never have done justice to this hat like she does anyway.  

Thank you to Calla's mommy for letting me post these pics.  I absolutely love them.  It's like seeing a commercial--the girls are so stinkin' cute.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Help, Please! I Need Your Opinion

So I posted my frog hat the other day and then I had this crazy idea that if one is going to have a frog hat, they need frog mittens, too.  I set to work looking for a pattern, but could only find sock patterns (thank you to my friends at Ravelry who helped).  Here is what I came up with in trying to alter the sock pattern into a mitten.  I need your opinion, and please be honest.  Does this work or should I keep trying?
(Made for a baby, hence the small mitt.)