Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 The Year of the Hat!

I started this year with a goal in mind. A hat per month. Use up some stash and try some quick, fun projects. I made a strong start with Molly in January,Monkey Bones Super Slouch in February,
and Ripley in March.After that, things got kind of off track during the summer. I'd been waiting forever for Carrie to write up the pattern for the Uncle Frank hat and as soon as Dear Baby Francis came out, I was all over it. That's for a total of 4 so far.For Christmas, Hubbs asked for a Freestyle Snowboarder's hat to match her skiing coat, in brown and black. I haven't blogged this one, as it was finished over this busy Christmas period, but it's made with Debbie Bliss's Alpaca Silk Aran.Hubb's hubby needed a hat too. So I whipped him up a Fine Fella - same as the one I made my own hubby earlier this fall, for a total of 7. Phew, over halfway to 12.
I had forgotten about these two beauties until I was trawling through pictures for this post. They are two tiny baby hats I made for Teddy's teacher from 1st grade. She had her 2nd baby - a girl - and I whipped these up to keep her little head warm. Aaawww. I forget the yarns, but I think you can see the softness, right ;0)
My final unblogged and unphotographed completed hat, is Tiny Owl Knits' Orchids and Fairylights. I made it for my SIL's 40th birthday which was on 23rd December. Well, that'll explain that rush then! I'll get a photo of it one day....

There was one other hat, but that's in solitary confinement until I can work out/stop procrastinating on, what to do with it. It was Plicate by Hunter Hammersen. I used Toasted yarn from A Verb for Keeping Warm. Let's just say the yarn didn't work with this pattern and leave it at that.

So, that brings the total 2011 hats to 11. Not far off my goal, and mainly crammed into the last month of the year, but still, I had a lot of fun with them.

Tomorrow is another knitting year and I wonder what it will bring.......

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Love Letters Socks

This is the third time I've knit this pattern. I LOVE the result. The little V's that make the heart shapes. The pattern change on the leg, to give opposite socks. The swathes of stockinette.But, I especially like the squiggly back and forth cables. They are fun to knit and look great.
Right now, they're winging their way to Wales, along with these other beauties (Honey Badger and Breaking Hearts), gifts for my Aunts and Cousin. Do you think they'll like them? };0)
Pattern: Love Letters by Irishgirlieknits
Colourway: Rosebud

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


I saw Zonda's Dear Baby Francis socks and thought I really should post pics of mine too.

Knit in Kollage Sock-a-Licious, the are squishy and stretchy. The cables make the socks look small, but of course, they also make them stretchy, so they should fit a little one for quite a few months. Behold, their cuteness.....

In other "snap" news, that's what my nerves almost did when I realised I'd left my Christmas shopping late. I ordered some things from amazon on Sunday night and was given a delivery date estimate between 18th and 24th Dec. Cutting it close, or what! Since when did on-line ordering for Christmas delivery have to be done in November?! Oy! Now I have to go mall shopping }:0(
Happy Holidays peeps }:0)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Home-a-Rama Pillows

I have a wonderful friend here in the Charlotte 'burbs, Michele, who's an awesome crafter and artist. She gives art & craft lessons to our local community and makes the most beautiful things for her home. Go see the loveliness she has for sale in her Etsy shop .

A couple of months ago, Michele was working on a room design project for a local builder's "Home-a-rama". She was to decorate a girl's bedroom and a 'jack and jill' bathroom. She made all the fabric soft furnishings, but wanted a bit of extra texture, so asked me to make a couple of pillows.

Here they are, in all their disco glory.
Michele chose the colours, and I whipped up this granny square beauty.Other side......Buttony closure. No need for button holes. The granny square has them built-in.
This next one was knit, but I crocheted the two sides together in the contrasting green - yes, I am loving the crochet right now ;0)
Buttons courtesy of Michele's vast volumes of vintage. Couldn't resist that bit of alliteration. Carry on! And some duplicate stitch stems in that contrasting green, to tie it all together."Patterns", as such, are as follows:

You'll need not quite 6 skeins of "kitchen cotton", a 5mm hook and as many buttons to fasten as you'd like.
Front: Make 17 rounds of "Granny Square" pattern. Here's a good tutorial from Purl Soho.
Back: Same as Front
To make-up: Crochet 3 sides of the pillow together. Sew on buttons.
This should give you a pillow size around 16" square.

You'll need not quite 4 skeins of "kitchen cotton", a 5mm needle for the stockinette stitch stripes and a 4.5mm needle for the moss stitch. Use however many buttons to fasten as you'd like. Oh, and don't forget the crochet hook for making up.
Back of Pillow - Cast on 74 sts. Knit 39 stripes in stockinette stitch - 2 rows of each colour. Bind off.
Front of Pillow (Top) - Cast on 74 sts. Knit 26 stripes in stockinette stitch, then 8 rows of moss st. Bind off
Front of Pillow (Bottom) - Cast on 74 sts. Knit 8 stripes in stockinette stitch, then 3 rows of moss st. Insert button-holes at appropriate places on next row of moss st. Knit 4 more rows of moss st. Bind off.
To make-up - crochet the outside edges of the pillow together. Sew on buttons. Duplicate stitch the flower "stems". Sew on Flower buttons.
This should fit a 12"x16" pillow form. My gauge was around 4.5/5 sts per inch.

Stockinette Stitch: knit one row, purl the next.
Moss Stitch: knit one, purl one. On the following row, purl the knits and knit the purls.

Disco xo

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Giving Thanks for New York City

Well, December snuck up on me! And all the Thanksgiving traveling seriously cramped the blog-roll I was on. Oh well, it makes for a super long and picture-y post today :0)

All hail, the biggest Crayon in the world!!! As we drove up to New York City, we spotted signs for the Crayola factory and just about pee-ed our pants with excitement. We had to make the detour (it's not that far off the motorway), but were disappointed to find the factory doesn't do tours on Mondays. Of course! So we took this pic in the factory store instead. Next time, maybe.
Our first lunch in NYC is always at a Pret-a-Manger. It's a fantastic chain of ready-made sandwich shops, that started years and years ago in London, and so always reminds me of home. I pine for their Coronation Chicken sandwiches. I loved this knit-art on the wall :0)I took Teddy to the Guggenheim - Matthew complained of his feet, so he went shopping with Daddy instead 0.O
Teddy's looking like, "What the...?" right here. The artist on display in the Rotunda is Maurizio Cattelan. Apparently, he announced his retirement from the art world and this is a collective display of his works, suspended from the Rotunda ceiling. It was interesting in a "Huh?!" kind of a way. But I like that ;0) Teddy loved the building.No, this next photo is not "Occupy Wall Street". They were long gone, when we walked past Zuccoti Park. This is one of the campers, waiting to see Justin Beiber at the Today Show. I am partial to the little songster, but seriously?! It was cold. And wet. And did you see how he wore his jeans below his bottom, with his underpants all on display? I have no idea what's up with that, except I may be getting old. Whatevs!
We visited the World Trade Center Memorial. The reflection pools are beautiful and poignant. Pause for thought.
And rising, right next door to the memorial, is the new Freedom Tower. Quite the beauty :0)Returning to the happy, what's a Thanksgiving trip to NYC without a show at Radio City Music Hall? We took the boys to see the Rockette's Christmas Show. Never disappointing, the guys loved it as much as we did. I swear, there's not a bad seat in the house - we got the cheap seats and saw everything clearly.

It's such an elegant and beautiful space. Here's the Christmas-Tree-shaped chandelier in the foyer.And this is what holds it up. Yes, that is just one cable. Yikes!And the brothers. They love each other so :0)The last night of our trip, Tommy and I went to a friend's birthday party, while the grandparents looked after the boys. We stayed in a super-swanky hotel and I had to take a picture of the view from one side of our corner room. The other side, looked over the Library and down 42nd st. It was AWESOME!Now, let's end this travelogue with some more knitting. Spotted in the library of the New York Hall of Science in Queens. YarnBOMB!!!
What a trip!
Next up, Christmas }:0)

disco xo