Category Archives: Stuff I made

Escaping the Heat

The View - Cove at Cape Disappointment

The View - Cove at Cape Disappointment

As I write this, the day after our beach trip, storm clouds are forming above us.  So my pleas for relief have been heard. There’s something completely unnatural about living in a hot climate. But I suppose someone who grew up in the Arizona desert might beg to differ. The overly moisturized environment of the Pacific Northwest might seem a bit soggy to them.

How does one escape 104 degree weather? We do what any normal Portlander does… flee to the coast. This time we made our way up to Astoria and the Long Beach area up to Cape Disappointment. Ahhhh… it was a cool 65 degrees, and you could see the mist rolling over the tree tops.

Sandy Pug Butt

Sandy Pug Butt

The dogs (Otto, Kirby and Pono – Pono is Kirby’s brother) had a glorious time. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Otto most ecstatic and content. The cove by the lighthouse was pretty secluded and there was a steep trek down. Consequently, it’s not visited by too many people. So we felt pretty good about just letting the dogs run about. It’s quite problematic having chihuahuas on the beach with other dogs, because they’re so tiny and uppity. We worry about them getting into a deadly tussle with a much larger dog.

I was still feeling out of sorts from the heat from the last few days. The night before our beach trip, I got absolutely no sleep. I awoke feeling hungover, without having experienced the booze fun the night before, so I didn’t get much knitting done on the beach. On the way there, I did work on my Lace Ribbon Scarf (ala Knitty.com) with the very delicious Tantra silk from Art Fibers. If I was sharp enough, I would have taken a picture of the scarf on the driftwood. Art Fibers just does an absolutely amazing job with their coloring and variegation in their dye jobs. It’s worth, not being able to predict the colors exactly from their website photos. Each time I get a color I’m more than pleasantly surprised. As I look over the beach photos, the colors from this scarf seem very reminiscent of the colors I experienced on the coast that day. What a lovely coincidence.

Lace Ribbon Scarf in Art Fibers Tantra

Lace Ribbon Scarf in Art Fibers Tantra

As I lay on the beach trying to rehydrate my body and being, I did work on another Amigurumi creature, a mischievous monkey. Simple crochet in a spiral seemed to be soothing to work on.  I’ll post the photos up on this item later.

Our friend, Emily experimented with some stop-action animation with her camera.  She, Chad and Ryan worked together to shoot a short, short feature starring various beach paraphernalia and dead creatures (crab shells and Jelly fish).  It was quite interesting to watch all of them get involved in the creative process, each of them contributing ideas and direction. You can see the results here: Mysterious Beach.

Collecting materials for the movie set

Collecting materials for the movie set

Chihuahua brothers enjoy the beach

Chihuahua brothers enjoy the beach

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Filed under Amigurumi, Colors, Craft, Creativity, Crochet, Knit, Knitting, Lace, Project, Stuff I made, Yarn

Special Sweater

Saranac Body

Saranac Body

Two sleeves on a long circular needle using the Magic Loop method.

Two sleeves on a long circular needle using the "Magic Loop" method.

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So my husband… has been so wonderful working on our kitchen. I’ve discovered that he’s been quite a whiz at the DIY. The other day, my anxiety went up when he was working on the electrical, not because I don’t have faith in him, but because even when you take precautions… WORKING ON THAT STUFF CAN BE DEADLY. I stood by watching and wary with the cell phone handy just in case.

So I’m making him a special sweater just because he’s been so terrific. It’s the least I could do. He’s not big into cable or aran sweaters, so I had to pick a fairly simple and comfortable pattern.

I’m doing an altered version of the Saranac from Knitty.com in Knit PIcks Comfy yarn. No open collar because he’s just not that kind of guy. I’ll probaby join the sleeves at the yoke using Elizabeth Zimmerman’s instructions in Knitting Around.

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Filed under Knit, Knitting, Patterns, Project, Stockinette, Stuff I made, Techniques, Yarn

Chocolates and a nifty scarf

I finished a pretty nice scarf (made with Rowan Lurex Shimmer and Elizabeth Austen’s Yang). I like how the ribbon with the glittery thread knitted up into a sort of scaly pattern with some nice drape. I originally made it for my mother, but I don’t think she’ll like the shades of color.

But I did finish making chocolates over at my friend Pete’s house. This was an all day affair, but well worth it. And you get to try all the ‘mistakes.’ Several of us get together every year before Mother’s day to make several kinds of hand made chocolates. It took a little longer today because there were less folks helping out than last year. Oh well, more for us. Sorry the picture’s a little blurry. This year we made the following:

Dark chocolates:

  • Half pipes with almonds with almond filling and orange chocolate ganache
  • Espresso ganache
  • Lemon cremes
  • Huckleberry cordials
  • Smoked almonds with coconut fllling
  • Dipped caramels with a touch of grey sea salt
  • Cointreau truffles

Milk chocolate

  • Macadamia nut
  • Blueberry cordials
  • Coconut creme ( I think I didn’t make these ones so I’m not sure)

Boxes of Mother's Day Chocolates

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FO’s for March and February

When I was shut in in bed in February the cold inspired me to finish my first seamless yoke sweater. I love this sweater, but again, I knit the body in Knitpicks Swish Superwash, so it’s piling and balling up something awful. I really need to buy a new “fuzz buster.” Maybe Target carries one.

This month I was able to finish the Peasant Blouse from Interweave Knits – Spring ’08. This was actually super fun to knit, especially the bands for the neckline and the sleeves.

Again, it’s a one piece knitted item so I could avoid seaming.  I’ve worn this sweater twice and I’ve come to the conclusion that it is the most comfortable thing I’ve knit.  I’d like to try another version of this style in a lighter weight cotton/linen/silk blend or even hemp.

My only complaint about this pattern is Garter stitch edging. Even when you use a needle of a smaller size than the body gauge, you still get that floppy, hangy edge. I’ve come to the conclusion that I will never knit a garter stitch edge for any garment again.  If I do a slightly different version of this garment again, I’d probably use a nice picot edge.

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Thank God It’s Over

Holidays are done everyone got there knitted present. Now can make things for ME!

Here’s the inventory of what was made for my immediate family (I will probably post some of the pictures I took later):

  • Grey Raglan Sweater
  • Wool (Baby Alpaca/Wool) Cowl and matching fingerless gloves
  • Fibbonacci Scarf
  • Blue Tweed Cabled Socks
  • Braided Alpaca Scarf
  • Red Fuzzy Mittens
  • Silk Ribbon Scarf
  • Retro Lace Shrug
  • Cashmere Neck warmer
  • Black and red striped socks
  • Coffee Mug Cozies

Note: I wasn’t able to get pictures of everything… Oh, well.

cashmere.jpg socks.jpg mittens.jpg
Cashmere scarf with hole Blue Tweed Socks Red Mittens
neckwarmer.jpg fibonacci.jpg
Baby Alpaca Lace Neckwarmer Fibonacci Scarf



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I’m almost there.

I just attached the arms to E’s seamless raglan sweater last night… so I’m on my way to finishing this. But more importantly I’m 93% done with my Christmas knitting! Okay, I was a little Obsessive compulsive this year and put things into a spreadsheet with a bar graph, but hey, IT WORKED!

knittingprogress.jpg

Click to get a larger view

I had a few detours including socks and handwarmers for other folks outside of my immediate family… but oh did I get to sample some pretty nice yarns. Also, the lovely thing about working with different projects with varied gauges of yarn and patterning or stitching is that I can avoid repetitive stress by shifting to different projects. Next year I think I’ll start earlier say do one Xmas project a month so I can focus on doing more variation in my gifts. I’d like to knit socks for just two family members a year so I don’t burn out on the socks and more importantly, I can knit my own socks and look forward to having pairs for myself.

I actually think I’m going to scrap the Percy Bag for now and just focus on getting the raglan sweater done. By the way, he knows this is what he’s getting, it was just to hard to hide it. He’s not big on the ceremony around Christmas, but I did get him something else that will be a surprise!

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Filed under Challenge, Craft, Knit, Knitting, Project, Reflection, Socks, Stuff I made

Fixing the Facts to Fit the Truth

The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don’t alter their views to fit the facts; they alter the facts to fit their views, which can be uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.

 – Dr. Who.

I’m not very powerful, but I do sometimes adjust my knitting to fit my needs when I make mistakes. I do this sometimes when working with cables.  It’s easy to do if you’re working with a sort of fuzzy yarn like a mohair blend. I recently picked up an unfinished sweater project from last year- it’s an aran sweater done in worsted weight heathered wool.  I don’t have a very good track record with finishing aran sweaters. This sweater’s body is half way done… and half of  I’m actually considering converting it into a pillow cover, poor husband… it was originally for him. Maybe he’ll just get an aran pillow instead.

I really need to just practice more self-discipline with these huge projects. Maybe if I hadn’t discovered socks this year. I’ve actually completed four pairs. That might actually equal half an arm of a man’s aran sweater.

I’d take a picture of it, but it’s just sort of depressing.

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