Cherry Bomb Baby

I live in a pile of bricks with a fire puter-outer, a Halloween enthusiast and a pretend lemur, who sometimes admits to being my second son. I have a kitchen for flowers. I know all the lyrics to the Spiderman theme song and (am forced to) sing it everyday. I cook with color. This was a blog mostly about yarn spinning and natural dyeing. Now, it is fair to say, it lacks direction entirely.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Continuing the Parade of Finished Objects

This is turning out to be the year of honoring friends with knitted gifts. Yes, and I did say friends and not just their children! So, kids-this may be the year I make you happy with legos because I'm saving the weird and crafty goodness for your moms this time around.

This one I had planned a year ago and it just didn't get done-or even begun. The story begins with the amazing store, Paxton Gate. Who sells this amazing ($124) item that one of my best friends fell in love with on a visit. Now (spending the amount of time on the computer that I do looking at weird things) I happened to know that the item was created from this pattern, that is all of $4. I knew what I must do-I bought the pattern right away and then sat on it-and did nothing. After incubating my plan for a full year I knit this very poorly and gave it to her full of love!

Yes, its a bit of a poor job. (I realize my Chinese side really comes out in these posts where I first dis everything I do and then show it to you anyways.) I didn't enjoy beginning at the bottom with 6 stitches in the round on size 3 dpns. It wasn't pretty and I started over a lot and still totally screwed it up but declared it good enough! It is a rat butt after all and the yarn is very hair like so won't it all just look round and fuzzy once I stuff it? Good Enough is totally my knitting mantra.

It was my first attempt at needle felting, which was fun and this was an easy thing to begin with-felting little blobs. Can do! I did end up removing the first organs that seemed too 2-dimensional (see above) and beefed them up a bit (see below). Its not anatomically accurate but I tried to allude to certain organs, a heart? For sure. A lung? Maybe that weird purple thing could be it, who knows? Our rat might have been a victim of vivisection before its posthumous dissection and so could be missing some crucial stuff. I guess my shoddy representation of rat anatomy is what I get for walking out of our 10th grade biology class. I'll just never know what it all that gunk really looks like.

I enjoyed looking at all the Lab Rat projects over on ravelry. A lot of folks seem to have loose interpretations of rodent anatomy and the results are all pretty cool. Although I could stand to practice some of these knitting techniques again I did enjoy the end product quite a bit-Happy Birthday Court!

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Lets talk F.O.s

This was a recent F.O. for my mother-in-law's birthday. Her birthday is conveniently located 2 months after Christmas and so this year I didn't feel the need to crunch in a pair of holiday socks when I can make birthday socks that are still season appropriate.

These were economically done with Patons Kroy sock yarn. I generally avoid superwash yarns but something came over me in the store when I decided to make 4 pairs of socks this winter. I had just pushed my way through a very large monochromatic pair of socks on size 0 needles when I saw this cheap and exciting 3 ply with so many colors and still with a self striping scheme. I bought 6 balls and made 3 more pairs of socks. The self striping pattern turns out to be rather wishy washy, a subtle color change which I got tired of. My favorite part of the sock was where I ran out of yarn on the first ball and had to join in the new one. Now there is the color change I was looking for.

I followed my usual go to sock pattern: Cat Bordhi's "Simple Sock in Three Sizes" from Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles. I always knit my socks on two circulars. I knit these on my size 3 addi turbos. They are a little big on my foot but hopefully fit the recipient who wears about a size larger shoe than I do.

There are no pattern modifications except to the toe. I always do a rounded toe with evenly spaced decreases down to the end rather than decrease along the two edges of the sock and then grafting the last 8 stitches. I never do that part very prettily and why would you kitchener stitch when you don't need to?

Here they are wrapped back up in the yarn wrapper, washing instructions included. I did think folks might like a washable sock, not that I mind hand washing hand knit socks. Doesn't it look like I might have bought them at REI?

I am starting to feel overwhelmed by all the projects out there that I want to make (darn you ravelry!) and so I might try to focus on what I've actually been able to complete this year. There is only so much time but I am actually able to get a good amount of simple knitting done. I feel like I should step back and look at what I have been able to do and not just the pile of U.F.O.s awaiting me. So be on the lookout for more posts where I pat myself on the back and show you the things I've recently finished!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Day that must not be named

We've just started crafting our ideas for a certain day that my 4 year old refuses to say. Or write. So A Happy ______ Day it will be.

I think we'll be doing two sets of ______ Day cards this year. I'm trying to keep it to materials we have on hand. We'll see if I can stick to that.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I'm back

I hate apologies from bloggers who abandon their blogs. And I do love everybody else and their grandmama's blogs and so, for the sake of friends who love to be bored by my knitting. I am back. This goes in the 2011 FO pile, although it ought to have been done for a beloved friend in 2010. Its the reversible cable scarf pattern available for free on Ravelry. The super simple cable pattern was great travel knitting, so very easy! I knit it with Malabrigo worsted in the pearl colorway.

And knit it.

Until, better late than never, it was finished!

Monday, June 14, 2010

For my tiny birthday my mom made me this fox

We recently celebrated J's 4th (or "tiny") birthday. This was his present on the morning of the big day.

I don't really know what he meant, "his tiny birthday," but it was very cute. And to celebrate the tiny-ness of it all I did make him this fox. I wanted to do something from Knitted Animals, a different pattern than I've been working on lately (not to mention faster), but he wanted something like previous stuffies I've made. So, I just improvised a few modifications to a Debi Birkin pattern. I think I added length to the face of the cat pattern and then just added increases to the cats tail and then sharp decreases at the end of it. It didn't really look foxish at all until the nose and ears went on.

This time I went with non embroidered eyes, yes, plastic! I tend to enjoy the simplicity of these handmade items. My hand knit toys and my home sewn cloth diapers, I want them to be "pure" and perfect. I like to think that if I were to bury them in the yard there wouldn't be bits of plastic left hundreds and thousands of years later. I like them to impact the earth in a very minimal way. But I am breaking my own rules this time for a damn cute little nose I got from 6060. Curse you etsy! I totally stocked up adorable plastic bits at that store.

Lately, when he is feeling extra affectionate, J has been wearing these almost too small woolies I made last summer. (Another color blending experiment.) He sings to me: "Look what I'm wearing Mom..." And he has been dragging his fox and other hand made gifts around with him for the last week. So, this time around, the extra effort that went into hand making something felt very worthwhile.

Happy Birthday little imp.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Smaller Project

Helping me prolong the denial that my dream yarn is not going to work for my dream sweater are these, knit tulips:

Doesn't everyone a few of these? Especially 1st grade teachers, don't you think especially first grade teachers need more knit flowers? I sure hope so because that is what our wonderful 1st grade teacher is going to be getting this June. I was gifted a small bouquet of these tulips for a birthday present last year and I almost peed on myself I was so excited. But now I am second guessing myself-I am already the type of person to get excited about this kind of thing. Not to mention that I also easily pee on myself a little, but I totally blame my kids for that. Do you think everyone gets excited about knit flora? Or is it potentially a granny-ish thing to be into? Our teacher is young and modern and cute as all get out, but I'm not so sure about crafty. I think of knitting non garment items as fun and whimsical, but its entirely possible that these would be just dust collectors for many people. Perish the thought. Because I love this project. It is easy. And fast. And uses up scraps!

I knit these with worsted weight yarn because its what I had the most colors of. The bouquet I was gifted (knit by my friend Emanuela) was done with sock weight yarns and those were a little more elegant looking with their smaller sized stitches. Still, the first one I knit with worsted weight yarn got the Good Enough! stamp from me and I forged ahead. The top (darker) pink flower was the first and was knit on size 7 needles and it was a little too big. I realized that I should be knitting this a little tighter so I moved down to 5s. That was better but notice I'm not ripping that first one because I am nice and lazy like that. Like I said, it is Very Good Enough!

Whether or not you have to be crafty or a granny to appreciate these I hope she will feel genuinely appreciated when I attach the kid to them.

Friday, May 14, 2010


Most of my projects are so small scale that not much swatching is necessary. But here I am on the verge of a larger project, if I can just pick the yarn.

I want it to be this yarn, because it has been in my stash for years now and it was a yard sale find and it is heavenly. My only problem is that its not the worsted weight yarn that the pattern calls for. Now I am sitting on the fence on whether or not to knit it double stranded (but will it turn out too chunky?) or work out the math to make this yarn work. The other issue is its obvious whiteness, and just when I said good bye to the dye pots too.

While I think about this I'm letting myself be distracted by some smaller projects. As usual.