Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A year in review

It's time to look back at the last year and remember all the things that made up 2008. Some were happy, some were sad and some where somewhere in between. I lived through another year of cancer with my husband, suffered the death of a great friend, the births of many beautiful new babies, gave up diet coke, became a PMP, and saw the election of new president.

I traveled to Philadelphia, Rhode Island and Cape Cod, Bryce Virginia, and Poughkeepsi, NY, saw Duran Duran, and walked in Light the Night.

I went to many art and craft events:
Maryland Sheep and Wool, Rhinebeck and Homespun Yarn Party, Visionary Arts Museum, Yarn Harlot, Ravelry Party, Stitch and Pitch in DC and Baltimore, Artscape, Smithsonian Folklife Festival, The Mannings Spinning Festival, and Art Yarn Spinning with Jacey

I joined a sketchbook exchange, made silver jewelry out of clay and went on some photography outings with friends.

And who can forget the knitting! I even designed a few patterns of my own this year.

It was fun looking back at the past year and all of my "phases". I definitely went through a lace phase, a sweater phase and a colorwork phase with the most recent being a cowl phase! I knit 10 cowls in December!

2008 Knitting

Who knows what next year will bring, but I am looking forward to finding out.

One of my goals last year was to do more art and drawing - I think the sketchbook exchange has allowed that goal to be met. Next year I hope to learn to weave and learn more about sewing clothes. Anyone else have any goals for 2009?

I turned 33 this year too!


Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Birthday Shawl

Today is my birthday and what better way to celebrate than with a new shawl for me!

I made the Weaver's Mini Shawl

Weaver's Mini Shawl

Weaver's Wool Mini Shawl by Peggy Pignato
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca
Needles: US 10½
Alterations: I knit this with three different colors instead of just one. It took a half ball of the light green, a whole ball of the dark green and two balls of the brown.

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It's actually not that mini! It's very very warm and the Berroco Ultra Alpaca makes it nice and squishy. It's becoming one of my favorite yarns! I knit the Vineland Mittens from it and used the scraps from the mittens and this shawl to knit the Neck Cuffs.
Have a great day!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Post holiday wrap up

I hope everyone had a great holiday! Now that Christmas is over I can finally post some pictures of the things I made for Christmas gifts.
It was a cowl and hat heavy Christmas this year! You can pass up a present that can be knit in one night!!

I made some more of my Cha Cha Cowls and Neck Cuffs:

Christmas gifts

My favorite (and the only one I kept) is this neck cuff I made from handspun. It's a Loop batt made mostly of agnora and oh so soft!

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I made both of my dads Turn a Square hats:

Turn a Square hats

Here's my dad in his hat...

Dad in his new hat

And my Father in law in his hat with my mother in law in her scarf.
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I also sent my sister in law an outfit for her baby to be but I just realized I forgot to take picture of it!! Joanie if you are reading this - please take a picture!

It was nice to finally be able to get back to knitting for me this week! I started a pair of Fiddlehead mittens with some Shelridge Farm yarns.... I am loving it so far!

Fiddlehead mittens

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Christmas 08

May your holiday be full of love and family.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hannakah!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Free pattern - Neck Cowl

Anyone out there still trying to knit up quick Christmas gifts?! Here's one that will take you less than 3 hours to knit.... the Neck Cuff!

Perfect for a guy or a girl...

Neck Cuff

- Neck Cuff by Jody Scofield
Yarn - any worsted weight - I used Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran
Needles - Size 7

The pattern couldn't be easier:

1. Cast on 96 stitches. (or any multiple of 4)
2. Join in the round on a size 7 US 16 inch circular needle.
3. Knit 2, Purl 2, around.
4. Repeat K2, P2 rounds until the cuff is 6 inches.
5. Bind off.

I bound off in K2, P2 so the pattern wouldn't be interrupted.

You can wear it as a neck cuff of course...

Neck Cuff

But it works great as a headband too!

Head Cuff

I hope you enjoy this little pattern - and make one for yourself too!

Neck Cuff

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Free Pattern - Cha Cha Cowl

As you read in yesterday's post - I recently took part in a Handmade Holiday Swap with some friends. My person to knit for was my friend Jen - AKA ChaCha. I knew I wanted to knit her a cowl and decided to try designing my own. I found this cool barred knitting technique in a Barbara Walker book and took it from there.

I used the barred technique to create a kind of swirl pattern. The name was obvious - I had to name it after the recipient - and it became the Cha Cha Cowl.

I hope you enjoy knitting it as much as I did - I have already knit three of them!

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Cha Cha Cowl by Jody Scofield
Yarn: Valley Yarns Coltrain - about 100 yards
Needles: Size 7 Addi Turbos

Ravelry users - download pattern here

Non Ravelry Users - download pattern here

My lovely friend Coleen is modeling the cowl here - isn't she cute :)

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Sarah's sister Jen is modeling yet another version of the Cha Cha cowl. This time it was knit with a bulky weight yarn. I cast on only 84 stitches for this one instead of 102 for the worsted weight cowl. As long as you use a multiple of 6 - you can adjust the size as needed.

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This cowl is knit using Wool in the Woods Sophie - unfortunatley this yarn is discontinued, but it's very similar in weight to Malabrigo or Manos. I knit it on size 9's instead of 7's

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I also knit one with sock yarn held double. It's going to be a Christmas gift though - so no pictures yet! But I can say it looks really cool! I used a skein of Socks that Rock Lightweight and had just enough in one skein to knit the cowl.

I hope you like the new pattern!

Playing Catchup

I haven't blogged in a while and man do I have a lot to share! This will be my catch-up post.

Two weekends ago I had a bunch of friends over to make Lilly Ollo jewelry. There is a paint your own pottery place near my house - The Pottery Stop - that also does Lilly Ollo silver jewelry. I was interested in trying it - so I called the shop and found out that I could have a party at my house if I got 6 or more people to attend! Yay! So I did.

We had a blast!

The gang

We were able to pick out a design, press our silver clay into the mold, fire it in the kiln, then burnish it and pick out a necklace.

Lilly Ollo Silver Jewelry Mosaic

Here are my two creations... I finished the tree with a black coating and left the bird plain silver. I love how they came out! I definitely want to try that again.

My pendants

Moving on to this past weekend - some of my knitting friends and I have a yearly Handmade Holiday Swap where we each get assigned a person to make a present for and then swap at a tea party.

We all loved our presents! I can't wait to show you the amazing tatted ornaments I got from Jen - I just need to take a picture! I was speechless!

Handmade Holiday Swap

Sarah was down for the weekend too and I gave her her Christmas gift a bit early since she was here in person. I made her an apron!

Sarah's apron

I know Sarah loves to cook and thought she would enjoy an apron to use in the kitchen. She told me today she plans to wear it to spinning to help keep the fiber off of her clothes! What an awesome idea!

Jody and Sarah

Miss you already Sarah!!

Phew - all caught up.... almost.

Stay tuned...tomorrow - a new free pattern!