Sunday, December 27, 2009

Blue Rainbow Socks

The first of a pair of socks I'm knitting for a friend. The long blue color runs in this yarn hide the triangular structural knitting pattern and just leave the oddly shaped & angled stripes to make one wonder how in the world *that* was managed. Knitted with the Rainbow Sock pattern found in Ravelry's library.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Wee Tiny Sock Swap, December '09

The wonderful package I received in the December 2009 Wee Tiny Sock Swap. :)

Reducio 8 mini sock swap

I received my Reducio 8 mini sock swap yesterday ..... all the way from England! And was I ever spoiled!! You can see one shot of all my goodies, another of the really cool package Ron's contribution (candy!) came in, and the last shot is of the wonderful sock (in Gryff colors, of course!) and the mini Molly sweater as well as the 2 mini skeins of yarn.

The sock & the tiny Molly sweater would have made my day, all by themselves! They are so fantastic! The sock is so small I can barely fit my pinkie into the top of it. And as for the sweater ..... I fell in love with Molly's sweater the first time I saw it & now I have a tiny one of my very own to pet & fondle & show off.

Actually, I've got a trade in process to get a full size Molly sweater of my own - but that won't happen until next month. Until then, tho, I have something I can imagine with. And the yarn on this tiny model is so soft, I expect it to purr when I pet it!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Mini socks, again ......

Okay ... .so I'm addicted to mini socks ..... you can blame it all on Meggles! ::grin:: See ... I test knit for her (one of the best things to happen to me this year .... ) ...... so I get lots of kewl things to try out & patterns to see before everyone else does .......

Anyhow, it sort of bit me in the ..... well, you know where .... and I find myself picking up my size 0 or 00 needles & a bit of yarn to knit a mini sock when I need to chill out ..... so here are the two I did the past couple of nights ....

The one with the soft, muted tones is knit from a Red Heart worsted weight yarn that I split. The yarn is 4ply & I split it into 2 2-ply strands ... gave me just enough to make my mini sock. I really love the colors & I had so little of it left over that I barely managed my little sock.

The other sock .... well, it's a personal pattern right now. See, I have a mini skein of this really kewl yarn in shades of green & teal with some yellow in it. The color stripes aren't really very long and when I began a normal mini sock with it, the colors didn't have time to make any sort of pattern so they ended up looking all muddled. Which I didn't like. And I wondered, you know, if maybe the yarn might look better if the rows were longer. So I wondered if I might be able to figure out how to knit a sock sideways. Yep, sideways. This is the result of the first attempt. Hopefully, with some help, this can become a 'real' pattern that can eventually be shared ........

Monday, November 16, 2009

My birthday gift :)

Mr Wiggles is my birthday gift this year. He's the sweetest, most loving little dog. I used to hate chihuahuas because my first stepmother had one that bit & was a mean, nasty little dog. He's the only one I'd ever had much contact with so I thought that all chihuahuas were like that. They aren't! Mr Wiggles sleeps curled up tight against me, and hates to have me out of his sight.

When we have to leave him locked in the car (like if we stop at the store on the way home from somewhere) he whines & cries & I can just hear him saying 'MOMMY!! YOU FORGOT ME!!!!!!!.' And when we get back to the car, he jumps in my lap & licks my face, like he's saying he forgives me for 'forgetting' him.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Color Me Happy

A mini-skein of yarn I received in a swap ....... which I'm trying to duplicate. Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Another mini sock .....

I actually have a pair of socks from this yarn ...... but for the mini sock, I had to shorten each color repeat, so I'd have more than just 2 or 3 color bands on the sock.

Dragon puppets

Three tiny dragons, come out to play. :)

Ornaments 2

These are the last 2 pieces in my ornament swap ... altho one isn't, technically, an ornament.... still, it will adorn any book it is used in. :)

Then there's the little owl bookmark ... again, this is supposed to be a scroll saw pattern done in veneer (1/32" thick wood), like the ornaments ...... and nearly all curves. I added the yellow stock behind the gray so the eyes & beak would stand out.

And the last one ..... a tiny dried gourd (I purchased seeds from the Baker Creek Heritage Seed Co, which is near us here in Missouri, over in Mansfield, so I can grow some of these myself next year.) The gourd is painted in ultramarine blue acrylic, then over-painted with a glitter glue. Then the snowflake was glued on (monkey glue, again!) - the snowflake is a 3D scrapbook accessory.


These were created for an ornament swap .... the patterns were intended for scroll sawing but I chose to try doing them in card stock with glitter. Some of the card stock is foil covered.

It's much harder to use these patterns for paper crafting than it would be for scrolling, believe it or not. What would be easy on my saw .... drill a hole, put my blade in, quick cut, I'm done! .... is not nearly so easy when using an Xacto blade and paper stock. The blade, no matter how sharp, doesn't cut as easily as my saw blade does ... the paper seems to resist cutting in the direction I want to cut (especially around curves .... and these ornaments are *all* curves!!!) ...... but should the blade slip and cut a straight line where I don't *want* a straight line ..... and it cuts just fine ::sigh::

I did the 12 days of Christmas first, then found the lovely foil card stock when we had a chance to go to the 'big city' (Springfield MO), so just had to add some extra ornaments to the collection so I could use some of it!

And then I discovered that the foil card stock, lovely as it is .... doesn't take well to having things glued to it. The back is plain paper, so it glues *to* something else quite nicely. But for a couple of the ornaments I wanted the foil as the background .... I finally found that 'monkey glue' (clear Gorilla super glue) will do the job. I've never needed Super Glue on paper before!

I had fun creating these .... I hope the (unnamed) recipient will enjoy using them for years to come.

Nov Wee Tiny Sock Swap

My goodies from the November Wee Tiny Sock Swap ....... thank you, Mary!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My new baby :)

Mr. Wiggles is my newest baby. He was my birthday present this year. :)

Monday, November 2, 2009

HSS 6, game time! Nov 1, 2009

First up: XOXO baby socks from the Better-than-baby-bootees collection ........ (X marks the spot)
Next up: Time for a snack - pretzels! (Pretzels are best served warm) .... don't think I'll warm up this set, tho!
Next: a sweater with cables intertwined all the down the front of it ... and a big smile! (Intertwining with a smile)
Next: Stitch markers (hold my place in line, please) pumpkins to hold my place in line for pie!!
And last (but not least!) ...Hopscotch Socks! (I love hopscotch)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Swift 2

Two more images of the swift discussed in the previous post.

Swift 2

Two more images of the swift discussed in the previous post.

My new yarn swift

These are pictures of my new hand-crafted yarn swift. It was so much easier to ball that yarn off the swift than off a chair back (or my poor husband's hands!!)

The swift was crafted of figured Australian cypress. I love this wood! Found 2 planks of it purely by accident several years ago & have saved them ever since for that 'something really special' project.

::sigh:: Well, I used the longer plank for the swift ... and what a poor choice it was! Not that the wood wasn't lovely! It was!!! And so is the swift ...... but ....... this project really needs a wood with a very tight, straight grain. Even pine would be a better choice than the highly figured wood I used. And I could have used a piece of walnut - my husband offered me the choice. Wish now that I had taken him up on it - that would have been a far better choice of wood.

Anyhow, it does work. Just fine, thankyouverymuch. LOL

The base is an inexpensive lazy susan we picked up at a yard sale - I think we paid like maybe a quarter? a dime? Not much, that's for sure. I cut a piece of wood to fit inside the lip, then painted & stenciled it. The stenciling doesn't show up real well, but it is a maple leaf, an oak leaf & acorns, all accented with antique copper paint. The outer design is freehand - I just wanted to be able to see the edge of the base as the swift turns.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

HLBOE 2nd Term Swap Box

Goodies from my swap box for the 2nd term of Hogwarts Little Bit of Everything swap .... I got so spoiled!! I'm modeling my new Dragon Mitts ..... the other picture shows everything except the sampler box of Stash Chai teas ... *that* is sitting in the kitchen because I've already started enjoying them. LOVE the Double Spice Chai - I'm just going to have to break down & see if I can order it by the box online, I guess. I know I can't get in the stores around here.

Let's see ... there's the 4 yards of fabric that everything else is sitting on .... 2 skeins of Cascade 100% wool yarn in wine & deep mustard gold (Gryffs prefer red & gold, you know ...... ), a pumpkin spice candle, 2 fabric covered tubes for storing &/or transporting DPNs, the pen of Aleene's Tacky glue (LOVE that stuff - and she says I can refill the pen, too!), and just one of the wonderful hand-crafted dragon stamps I got ... along with the recipe to make the 'glue' for the back of them so you can really use them on packages (unfortunately, the PO will not accept them in lieu of 'real' postage ::sighs::).

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wee Tiny Sock Swap, October

I received the most wonderful package from my October partner for the Wee Tiny Sock Swap on Ravelry.

The swap package contents are displayed in front of the Welcome sign I just finished, down in the wood shop.

There are TWO tiny socks, one in Halloween colors, the other is pink with the ribbon for Cancer Awareness month. TWO post-it notebooks, one with a mum on it, the other for Cancer Awareness month (this one with its own pen, even!). Handcrafted soap. Sitting on the soap is a very special stitch marker, filled, I'm told, with 'magic glitter' that ensures I will never again have a dropped stitch. Guess I'm not using it correctly, because I've dropped several stitches since I got it ::looks sad:: There are also 2 sets of stitch markers - both very pretty but I'm told the pumpkins are my partner's very first attempt at polymer clay .... and they came out just awesome!

Then there's the teeny pumpkin candle (it uses tea lites which can be changed out!). She rounded out (pun intended! LOL) the box with a round tin of raspberry tea bags, a skein of yarn (love the colors in it!) and some round pumpkin buttons.

Thanks so much for a great swap!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

HSS 6 has started!

We've got our partners ..... I've got a fellow Gryffindor!! Already have yarn in my stash for this swap. Just have to confirm what size sock she needs so I don't send a pair that doesn't fit (been there, didn't *do* it, got it .... it sucks!)

Well, think I'll go stalk my partner awhile :)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Curly Australian Cypress

Several years ago, while living in Florida, I had a lucky find ..... 2 boards, 1 approximately 36" in length & 1 approximately 24" in length, of Curly Australian Cypress. Not a variety of tree, but rather a specialized cut which can be gotten from many tree varieties, 'curly' in this case refers to wood grain that comes from an area of the tree near a large branch, where the wood grain doesn't grow straight, as it does in the larger area of the trunk or branches. In these areas, because the wood is growing in more than one direction - i.e. both the trunk & 'branching out' towards the branch, the grain becomes more .... mixed up, confused ... in other words, 'curly'. This is not the same as such woods as 'Curly Maple' where the grain always grows in this manner.

Boards like these are usually at premium prices, simply because they aren't available all the time - you can only cut them when the tree has that grain pattern rather than its normal grain pattern. The 3rd, 4th & 7th picture are of the longer board. The 5th & 6th picture are of the shorter board.

Anyhow, I've saved these pieces for the perfect project ... and, finally, the longer piece is being used to craft a yarn swift with 36" long cross-arms which will be mounted on a lazy-susan base. Once combined with the yarn winder I want for Yule this year, this will allow me to both turn skeins into balls and to turn balls of naked (i.e. undyed) yarn back into skeins after they are dyed.

Sounds pretty silly, yes? Turning commercially balled yarn back into skeins .... but, see, I'm learning how to dye my own yarn - and you can't dye it while it is in a ball. Just can't 'cause the dye can't penetrate all those layers of yarn. So you have to un-ball it, turn it back into long, loose, lovely skeins that will allow you to access the yarn to color it.

*Then* of course, you must turn all that lovely dyed yarn back into balls! So back on the swift it will go, and the ball winder will turn it back into balls for me. Well, once I own one ... that's something I will purchase, rather than attempt to make it myself.

The first two pictures are of the Kumihimo stand my husband & I crafted from a piece of the Curly Aus. Cypress. I chose the area that had the largest flaw in it - partly because it added so much character to the top, and partly because the flaw made that piece functionally unusable for about any other project you can name. But doesn't it look wonderful in this piece?

The first picture shows the top much better, but you can't see the bottom, which is made of a square of red oak. The second picture of the stand is very dark - sorry about that.