Custom yarn bowl

I’ve seen yarn bowls around, really liked them, and never pulled the trigger on buying one. I had handy project bags that I bought with my Tom Bihn Swift knitting bag (I have the kiwi/black one – LOVE IT!!!), so I didn’t need anything specifically for knitting at home.

And I still don’t need one. But Mr. Snips and I went to one of those paint your own pottery studios this week while we were off for the holidays. I didn’t really need anything, but I saw what they called a “tall cereal bowl” and a sheep stamp. So I decided to make my own yarn bowl. Sure, there is no fancy cut out to string my yarn through, but more than likely I’ll have it on the floor while I’m knitting on the couch (I always have my yarn on the floor…), so I’ll need it to pull from the top anyway.

I’ll forewarn you that this is a amateurish paint job. I have no patience with sitting down for any craft but knitting or crocheting, so I tend to rush at the end just to get finished. But hey, we’ll call it rustic, homemade, and more proof on why I should stick to fiber crafts.

Outside view of yarn bowl Inside view of yarn bowl

Side view of yarn bowl

The beautiful yarn featured in this bowl is from Three Irish Girls Glenhaven Cashmerino Fingering weight in Nora. It is much prettier than the bowl. 🙂

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Recipe for a reindeer scarf

Today, we put away all of our Christmas decorations. It makes me sad, but it has to happen at some point. My only general rule is that everything has to be put away by New Year’s so we can begin the next year fresh.

However, when it comes to Christmas decorations, I am a sucker for reindeer. I think it has something to do with my fondness for the 1964 claymation version of Rudolph. Whatever the case may be, I had my mom pick up these beautiful vine reindeer for me in the after Christmas sales last year.

Reindeer

One day very close to Christmas this year, my mom said she thought my little reindeer needed wreaths around their necks. To which I said – no, they need handknit scarves!!

So I set about creating my recipe for reindeer scarves.

I decided to begin with leftover yarn from when I created our stockings way back in 2007.

For the little one, I chose the color scheme from my stocking and decided to make it a stripe the long way. To cheat and not have to make a gauge swatch, I just pulled my stocking down and checked it. It looked to be 8 stitches per 2 inches.

Checking gauge for stocking

Then I put a little bit of yarn around the reindeer to estimate how long I wanted the scarf to be and then measured it.

Measuring the length of the reindeer scarf  Measure to 24 inches

So, doing a little math (!!), I decided to cast on 96 stitches with my worsted weight yarns on size 9s. My little reindeer scarf pattern was:

CO 96 with grey.
Knit 2 grey rows.
Knit 2 green rows.
Knit 2 purple rows.
Knit 2 green rows.
Knit 2 grey rows.
Bind off loosely and add some fringe!

It ended up being a little bit longer than I anticipated, despite my best math efforts, but only by a couple of inches.

For the larger reindeer, I decided on a simple solid red scarf using some leftover yarn from Mr Snips stocking. I made it with bulky yarn on 11s. The pattern for that was:

CO 6.
Knit until 36 inches long.
Bind off.
Edge with single crochet in contrasting color.
Add fringe!

Reindeer with scarves

I think they look very handsome now! And it also means I’m likely to leave them up past New Year’s in order to enjoy them, since they only just got their beautiful neckwear.

Christmas knitting

This year, I was a Bad Knitter. I only knitted two Christmas gifts and both were for my parents.

In my defense, I did a somewhat insane amount of knitting for last Christmas, and it went largely unappreciated, so I decided to scale back considerably. Last year, I made 31 dishcloths, two pairs of slippers and a hat.

I made three dishcloths per person for 10 of my female relatives. I started in June to make sure I had time to finish them all and not have to neglect my other knitting in the process. Each woman got a Christmas colored one, a solid one that had her initial on it, and a multi-colored one that matched the initial cloth. I tied them up with beautiful Christmas ribbon and put them in little Christmas tins. I didn’t even get thank yous for all of them.

So that accounted for 30 of dishcloths. Then I made my parents one, since I was on a roll. My mom and my boss were the recipients of the slippers, and that hat was for my dad. These last four were appreciated.

So this year, I decided less is more.

I’m an early Christmas knitter starter, so I began a shawl for my mom in July. It’s made of an awesome cotton/bamboo blend that I purchased from The Weavers Loft at the Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival. I saw the yarn, bought a brown/blue/purple color for my mom, and walked around the rest of the booths petting my lovely yarn. Then, before I knew it, I was back at the same stall, buying a different color for myself. After looking for a simple but warm pattern (the reason my mom needs one is because her office is very cold), I settled on the Talbot Hill Shawl.  I think it turned out beautifully.

Shawl

Then, later in July, my parents bought a new house. They had lived in their previous house for 27 years, and it was the only house I ever knew growing up, and they built most of it with their own hands. So it was quite a big move for them. And for me, as they ended up moving much closer to us. I wanted them to have something lovely to commemorate their first Christmas in their new home, and the Cable Comfort Throw seemed like a great blanket to curl up on the couch with. I made it with it with Lion Brand Hometown USA, nothing luscious, but you can wash it and dry it (which is important for something you cuddle with all the time), and it is soft.

Though I started the throw early (in August), I realized quickly that the 9 skeins I bought would not be anywhere near sufficient when I was only getting 4” in length from each skein! On size 19s, with a goal of being nearly 6 ft long, this was not going to work. I went back to my local JoAnn’s, and they had no more of my dye lot. Panic set in.

I called a different location about 30 minutes away, and they had some. I drove there after work one day and bought all they had of that dye lot. I used the trip to justify a stop at a nice yarn shop nearby that I don’t get to visit very often (and just couldn’t leave without purchasing some Addi Turbo needles). Despite the nice detour, it still wasn’t going to be enough for my throw. I called another JoAnn’s, about an hour away, and they had more of my dye lot, too. I sent my dad to get every one they had. He had no idea it was for his own present – I made it seem like it was a secret for a gift just for my mom, so he didn’t ask any questions. 16 skeins later, I was finished. I think it turned out pretty well.

ComfortCableThrow

And my parents really know how to receive knitted gifts. They oohed and ahhed over the throw like no one’s business. My mom immediately wrapped up in the blanket. They commented on how beautiful it looked with the colors in the house. It was enough to warm my little knitterly heart.

So all in all, it was a merry, merry Christmas. I think next year I will continue with my less is more approach. Unless I get sideswiped by a motherload of kitchen cotton again.

A new beginning

Hello, all! Welcome to my first blog post.

I’ve been a knitter in earnest for about 6 years now. I learned from my mother, who is a crafter extraordinaire. Though my first project was an ill-fated Harry Potter Gryffindor scarf about 9 years ago, I’ve found great yarn, great needles, and a much better knitting rhythm.

I’ve been thinking about starting a blog off and on now for about 2 years. Something always stopped me – I didn’t think I knit enough or made anything impressive enough or that I would have enough time to keep it up. I kept reading other’s knitting blogs, saw their projects,  and kept wishing I was sharing my creations, too. But now, I feel the time is right. Starting tomorrow, I’ll be sharing photos of my projects.

Hot Chocolate

Today has been a lovely day, filled with a walk out in the first snow (it’s strange for Indiana that we’ve had to wait so long for snow!!) painting my own pottery (which you’ll get to see later this week), and drinking hot chocolate.

I’m now off to work on a sweater project next to my roaring fireplace.