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Happy Birthday!

Whew, another frenzied gift making time nearly wrapped up. I’ve been out of touch but definitely busy making gifts for a string of birthdays at the end of February and beginning of March.

Today is my brother Brian’s birthday and he got his gift on Friday.

Bender Bending Rodriguez

It was Bender Bending Rodriguez crocheted from the pattern here. He’s in worsted weight yarn, so he is roughly 22″ tall, rather than the 13″ that the pattern author got in DK weight. Big enough he can hold his own beer. 🙂 I sewed a small round “pillow” out of scrap fabric that i filled with poly pellets for his bottom. I’ve had trouble in the past with the pellets falling out of the crochet holes, so I figured this was the safest approach. There are no poly pellets in his feet or hands.

I’ve also fallen head over heels for Shrinky Dinks (plastic that shrinks to 1/3 of it’s original size with 9 times the thickness) and made this card with a magnet on front by tracing a screenshot from Futurama onto a sheet of Ruff n Ready Shrinky Dink that I purchased at Michaels.  I played with pre-printed Shrinky Dinks as a kid, but only recently sought them out for general crafting.

Shrinky Dink card/magnet

For my Mom’s birthday on February 27th, I knit a small purse from a kit (called Lissa) I purchased at Stitches in Baltimore from Swallow Hill Creations. Stringing the beads and knitting on 000 needles probably make this a one of a kind project. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of the purse and the card, so hopefully I can update you with a picture from my folks.

For Scott’s Grandma’s birthday on the 24th, I made a little melon ball kitty from mercerized fingering wt. cotton from this pattern, and free-styled a cupcake container. I also made a Shrinky Dink card.

Littlest kitty Shrinky Dink birthday card

The first birthday was my Aunt Carolyn’s on the 21st. and she got a melon ball kitty named Whimsy in his cupcake house. This was based on the idea that everyone needs a little whimsy on their birthday. He has a Shrinky Dink name tag.

Whimsy and his cupcake house

I’m also working on a sweater for Scott out of Cascade 220. I’m hoping to get it done before it is too warm for wool, but since I’m working without a pattern, it could be a trick.

At the prospect of winding all the yarn I would need for his sweater, I decided to invest in a yarn swift and ball winder. In addition to being fun, it has already saved tons of time that I would have spent winding balls by hand. As you can see it doesn’t clamp on every table, but I managed to find a place to use it. 🙂

Swift and Winder

I haven’t been very good at writing a narrative and I do hope to improve, but in the mean time, I do have lots of pictures. 😛

I have not forgotten the improved knitting bag sewing instructions, but the day I was working on that, I was called by a recruiter for an interview and things have been crazy ever since. I hope to have some time in the upcoming week to get that finished and posted.


When you think you know…

After 9 years of marriage, you begin to see patterns. You can usually predict what your spouse is going to do and what kind of gifts they give. We don’t usually exchange holiday gifts, and the last gift I was given was a remote control helicopter. Fun? Yes, but not what I would have picked out for myself.

Today Scott out did himself. He has been saying for days that he has a surprise coming in the mail for me. I had trouble thinking what it could be. He made a big deal about hoping the company was discrete, and how he made sure it had my name on it. I admit he had me quite scared.

Then today a box came from Scott, who was working from home, ran upstairs and couldn’t wait for me to open it. I opened it and I have to admit I was stunned.

Barbara Walker’s treasury of knitting patterns

He bought me knitting books! And not just any books, but the ones I have been longing for and restraining myself until after the holidays: Barbara Walker’s Treasury of Knitting Patterns! THE go to guide for stitch patterns. Just flipping through them I see endless possibilities. This will be the beginning of full on design for me. I can’t wait, and Christmas gift planning is already being adjusted to incorporate some patterns from these books.

He sure teases me about knitting, but wants to see me go as far as I can with it. What a guy! With the pressure he’s under from work, I don’t know how he has time to notice me, but I sure do appreciate it.

Just goes to show that when you think you know, you’re most likely to be surprised.

Snow and an FO

Well, it really is winter here in Central NJ. We have the snow to prove it. Here’s a view from our patio door.

I made Scott take a walk with me in the snow to grab a couple shots of his new hat. It is the Marsan watchcap from I knit it from 2 oz. of Green Mountain Spinnery Mountain Mohair, even though it calls for 3.5-4 oz. I had exactly 1 ft of yarn left, so I don’t know if I can get that lucky again. I used US8 dpns from Lion Brand (set of 5) and knit the Large size (88 stitches to start).

The purl stitches look a bit open, but he says it is pretty warm. I don’t think I would do the decreases at the beginning of each dpn again, since it lead to ladders at the decrease. I haven’t blocked it yet, but it may have to wait until it needs washing. 🙂

Overall it was a very easy knit.

Snow falling fast

Snow falling fast

We’re in the north again!

It seems winter is here. This morning as I was getting ready to take Scott to work, I looked out the window and there were HUGE snowflakes falling out of the sky! Though we have seen snow in recent years, it hasn’t been so large or so heavy or pretty in a while. I tried to get a picture out of our courtyard entrance.

If you look closely you can see the streaks of snow falling, but as none of it stuck, this picture is mostly of the leaves.

Happiness is… a pile of yarn.

I officially have a stash!

Originally uploaded by Stellar Babble.

I’m grinning from ear to ear today!

Scott and I got up and drove ~ 1 hour to a farm west of Princeton where there was a yarn/yard sale.
It was the farm of Lee who used to own the Glenmarl Woolworks in Princeton.  She had a lot of inventory left over and she was donating the proceeds to charity.  I got all this wool for less than $75!

Haul includes:
1 skein of Plymouth yarn Baby Alpaca Grande
3 skeins of rowanspun dk – 2 red , one navy
1 skein of Cascade 220 Tweed
and 9 skeins of Green Mountain Spinnery Mountain Mohair
(4 wintergreen, 2 clove, 2 glacier lake and 1 midnight blue)

Soooooo happy!

And she said that she will be pulling new yarn from the basement for tomorrow. Very tempting!


Urban Necessity, MagKnits

Originally uploaded by Stellar Babble.

Another project for the month of August. These have been done a while, I just haven’t had the ambition to figure out how to take a picture of both of my hands until today.

Winter wear made from 1 skein of Catalina Alpaca/Silk. Very soft and warm. I hope they don’t stretch too much.

Urban Necessity pattern from MagKnits. I used k2p2 ribbing and left the back plain. Had some trouble counting where to put decreases on mitten cap, but they look passable.


V-neck with Deep Ribbing, Fitted Knits

Originally uploaded by Stellar Babble.

I got the Fitted Knits book in May, the yarn in June, started in July and finished in August…barely. I finally sat down and sewed in the ends on this sweater. It is my first sweater with fancy wool yarn, and boy is it warm. 🙂

I think I’m going to like it, as long as I can get over it being so scratchy. The llama/ wool mix is new to me, and I bought the yarn online without feeling it first. I think I would probably choose something that is softer and sheds less if I made it again, but overall, I’m thrilled.

I still have to block it, but never having done that before, I am a little nervous. I may just call this done until I wear it this winter and worry about blocking with the first wash.