Thursday, November 27, 2008

Because I can't stand to see a shivering bottle of liquor: Mom and Dad's Xmas presents

I'm only buying one present for everyone on my list, anything else they get is going to be handmade. Mom and dad's bought present is alcohol. A bottle of coconut rum for mom and a bottle of whiskey for dad.

I wanted to make bottle cozies, mostly because I wanted to go on a bit of a stash busting expedition, and also because they're just do darn pretty. Knitty had a pattern ( ) but it's knit flat, and I hate sewing seams. I also had no idea how to wrap my head around that i-cord base thing. The knitted embelishments look pretty in the pictures, but blah, I didn't wanna do that. Instead I did what I usually do and cruised some knitting blogs and found this one: This person has a couple of really pretty wine bottle cozies, and they're knit in the round. She seems to share my hatred of seams. (Ahaha!) The pattern is really similar to Knitty's, but it's easier to read (At least I find it is)

Mine are knit in that cheap-o Wal-Mart Sean Sheep wool. It mighta been cheap, but I like the colour-ways. The Green is for dad, the purply-pink is for mom. The ties are made out of a length of Lion brand Thick n' Quick with the ends split into 4 pieces and beaded.

I also knit a few teeny-weenie-beanies. These can fit over the top of a bottle, or you can hang them as Xmas ornaments. They're made of white Paton's divine for the brim and pom-pom, and Bernat Softee Chunky for the rest of the hat. Because they;re so small, I knit them flat and sewed the seams. theyr'e pretty easy to make:

cast on 20 stitches with Paton's Divine
knit 3 rows.
change to red softee chunky
work in stockinette stitch for 17 rows.
row 20: p2tog to end
row 21: k2tog to end
thread yarn through stitches, BO.
Sew side seam
Make pom-pom and sew to top.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Trigger Mittens: The Brudder's Xmas Present

Since my brother, Danny, found out that I can knit he's been asking me to make him a pair of trigger mittens. When I told him I was knitting Xmas presents he said "Trigger mitts for me? Green and Black ones???"

Well now that you went and got all specific, I suppose so...

So I set to making trigger mittens.

I couldn't find a pattern that I liked. I found a few that were really traditional Newfoundland patterns that involved a lot of colour-work, but honestly, I'm not ready to dive into colour-work yet. I like stripes. They're nice. They're simple.

After searching for a pattern to no avail, I decided to alter an existing pattern. Since I had already made Knitty's "Cigar", I decided to stick with that basic concept. I changed the rib from k2 p2 to k1 p1, instead of two rows of thin stripes I did one thick stripe, and instead of binding off half a finger and thumb, I knit a full finger and thumb, and just made one big ol' mitten section instead of working 3 more fingers. It wasn't difficult at all when I thought about it. I just stuck to the basic stitch count, and improvised where I needed to.

Trigger mitts are traditional in Newfoundland. I think it's my brother's memories of home-knit trigger mittens from our Nan Attwood that made him want a pair. We had lots of these mittens as kids, sometimes we called them "finger mittens" too. Always nice to have that one finger free, yet you've still got the snuggly warmth of a mitten.

I made Dano a beanie to go with his mitts. Unlike my dad, Danny is young and hip enough to be able to rock a beanie without a fold. It's my own design, based after a hat that Danny used to have that I liked (I do believe I stole it from him and lost it...) Its a k3 p2 rib. I think it's quite suitable. They're knit in Green and black Paton's Canadiana

Monday, November 24, 2008

My First Gloves: Dad's Christmas Present

Gift giving occasions where I have to find something for my father are more often than not, painful. I feel bad if I don't give him something, yet he always says "I don't want anything". He's the kind of parent that really actually does appreciate homemade gifts, but I've given him enough paintings and drawings that my parents living room looks more like an art gallery. The stand-bys on store bought gifts always include a bottle of liquor and chocolates (dad is a mega chocoholic)

So this year I can knit. I could knit last year too, but I was only just starting, and wasn't brave enough to attempt any project that involved circs, dpns, anything other than straight needle knitting and knits and purls. This year I'm far more daring, I'm able to follow patterns and make simple patterns of my own, so I decided that in order to fit my meager Christmas budget, each member of my family was getting hand knit items.

I spend hours scrolling through the internet looking for patterns. Knitting pattern central and I are tight. I eagerly anticipate each seasons issue of Knitty, and spend hours each day lurking the boards at Craftster. I wanted to find really cool pattern that would suit each of my family members, and I wanted something that would be a new experience for me to knit, so when I was scrolling through back issues of Knitty and saw "Cigar" I thought "Cool! This is perfect!" Check out the pattern here:

While I don't condone my father's smoking, he does it. He's always been a smoker, and he doesn't plan on stopping anytime soon. So the "Cigar" pattern only seemed to make sense, but not just on a smokers level, but on the level that my dad, along with his brothers, are just picky. They need to be picking at something ALL the time, whether it be some sort of engine or whatnot, dads always got his hands into something, and more than one pair of his gloves has the finger tips ripped out of it. These gloves seem like just the thing to have when twisting spark plugs and picking up screws and bolts.

This was my first time casting on with dpn's. For some reason before this the concept seemed completely foreign to me, but I sucked it up and did it. Now I'm an old pro and can't believe I ever thought this was difficult.

I encountered a few problems along the way, at one point I counted my stitches wrong and ended up with one finger much too wide, I changed the pattern a little because I thought it would be too big, but ended up changing it back (I can be a nay-sayer at times) After one glove, I didn't want to do the other, but I went to work, and got the second finished in no time.

I wanted to make a hat to match too, and I'm an expert on hats, as its mostly what I've been knitting over the past year. I decided on a k2 p2 rib with a roll up brim, because dad thinks the new fangled beanies with no roll up brim are goofy looking. He's just not ready for a world where there are hats that don't roll up... I cast on 120 stitches and knit away till I had a hat.

Both items are made out of Paton's Canadiana, and I think i did a fairly good job. I haven't seen any mistakes, and I think they look pretty good.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Always look at the knit as half finished, not half frogged...

Well, a month ago I broke my foot in an alcohol related accident (an intoxicated friend fell on an intoxicated me…) and I’ve pretty much been home on my couch, knitting while I mend. (haha, theres a pun in there somewhere, I just know it!)

One would think that breaking your foot would be a bad thing, but for me it has been tremendously beneficial as it’s forced me to sit still long enough to actually complete a project. I have successfully completed Xmas presents for my father, sister, brother and a friend, and am currently working on my mother’s Xmas and Birthday presents.

Not only Xmas presents, but I have also made myself a wonderful scarf (can be seen in my blog title banner) out of yarn that I was given as a birthday present from my friend and fellow knitter, Diane, and this evening accidentally made a slipper that I can wear over what I used to refer to as “this God-forsaken cast”.

As usual I was perusing the internet for knitting patterns and came across a super simple beginner pattern for slippers that looked pretty darn comfortable. (Here’s the link: a very simple pattern great fro a beginner, and even though I’m more advanced, I was being lazy and decided that it would be nice to knit something that didn’t take too much thinking. And these would be nice to go with my Mom’s Xmas present.

So I hobbled my way to the craft department at Wal-Mart and bought a skein of Red Heart Light and Lofty.

For some reason that now makes no sense to me, I decided to make the largest size. After knitting up one slipper I realized that they would be MILES to big for mom, cause they're gigantic. They will however fit ME while being able to wear a pair of socks underneath which is FABULOUS because my basement apartment with laminate floors and electric heat here in Western Newfoundland gets COLD!!!

Even better is that the slipper stretches to fit over my cast!!!

I can't even begin to tell you how happy this makes me because the cast is open toed, (and yes, bright pink) and my toes have been FROZEN for the past 3 weeks! I am a person who always wears socks in the fall, winter and spring, so I am totally pumped to have this awesome new slipper. :D My last 3 weeks with “this God-forsaken cast” will be warm and cozy.

In which she speaks of blogs, crafts and addiction...

I decided that it was only obvious that I should have a craft blog. I spend so much time doing crafts and lurking the knitting blogs of so many people, that it seemed absolutely necessary that I begin blogging my adventures in crafting.

Last week while Xmas shopping I accidentally found an EPIC YARN SALE and realized that I had no one to brag about my find. Distraught, I brought my yarn home and sat there cuddling skeins and experiencing that "body-stoned" feeling that I get after buying fibres.

Yes. I am a yarn junkie. A movie about my life will most likely be called "Yarnspotting"... possibly "Requiem for a Stitch"...

I like to create fun and functional items, I love bright colours, I love natural fibres and materials, and I love learning new techniques and mediums.

When it comes to arts and crafts I: Draw, paint, knit, make jewelery, work with polymer clay, refurbish furniture, and do an ever so slight amount of sewing, with hopes to learn more in the future.

I am on Craftster (KrisCreates) and DeviantArt (Kris-13)