I love Stephanie's latest post. It is a letter to non-knitters (Muggles as she likes to call them) telling them what to get for their knitter as gifts. She encourages printing it out and giving it to their non-knitter. This letter is great, not only to use for hinting, but maybe also to acquire a little extra understanding... yes, I need more yarn... yes, even though I have a closet full... etc.
I recently came across a great tutorial on making a zippered pouch at Twelve22. This might be a good use for some of the fabric scraps I've acquired recently, along with the small pillow I plan on making. Now, I know my $9.99 sewing maching can't handle much, but we'll see what happens. I bought it a while back to see if I would enjoy sewing, which I always wanted to get into and which I hadn't done since making the stuffed dog in 8th grade home economics. I haven't tried out much on the machine yet but now that I have some fabrics I'll get to test it out more.
Also, I love Anna's quilt that she made last year. I have never been a quilt person, instead preferring big, lumpy, feathery duvets, but this is beautiful. It is made with what I consider to be very 1940's style patterns and a simple color scheme, which makes for a vintage look that I love. It reminds me of the style of my grandmother's kitchen when I was young. I am sure I have said this before because many things remind me of this like lacy doilies, embroidered tea towels, and the flower patterning of this quilt.
When I visited the Whippletree Yarn Shop in Vermont, one of the owners had knitted up a large felted turtle out of Noro.
I am not big into turtles or anything, but the one at the yarn shop was just like a big pillow. Sheldon is special because his shell actually comes off! Also, he is shown knitted up on the KAL with lots of colorful combinations.
Another surprise at the craft show was that someone recognized my bag! It is such a small world. I bought my clutch from LalaLand at Etsy. She lives in NC but the girl who recognized the bag was LalaLand's best friend and had seen the bag before it was sold to me! This is a one-of-a-kind bag and I can't believe someone knew exactly where I got it! Usually people are always asking me where I got it and I always send them to LalaLand's shop on Etsy. I have been carrying it ever since I bought it back in April.
Sweet Spring Clutch by LalaLand (picture from listing on Etsy)
Afterwards, I visited Downtown Yarns in the East Village for the first time. I thought this store was really cute and was much better than I expected with lots of good yarn and some unique things I hadn't seen before. They had lots of things knitted up and hanging from the walls, including some things I had been seeing in some books recently that I really liked. I walked out of there and didn't even buy anything after browsing for about a half hour.
Then I went to Purl Soho where I got some more Manos del Uruguay for a 3rd pair of Felted House Slippers. This time they're for me! I also stopped into Purl Patchwork where I bought a couple fat quarters to make a small pillow, and some scrap fabric.
I have always wanted to learn to sew (more than I did in 8th grade home economics) and have been thinking a lot about taking a class at Make Workshop. I have a little craft sewing machine that is for extremely light-duty work, but I thought I would try a couple things with this pillow and scrap fabric... just to see if I could do it. I don't want to start a whole new hobby, but I want to supplement knitting. I feel the same way about crochet- I don't want to become an expert because I feel like I need to concentrate on one thing (knitting) to become really good at it, but I want to be able to crochet and sew in order to do more with knitting (edges, finishing, etc).
I also bought some fabric from Ikea yesterday from the "as-is" section. I bought two curtain panels in a bright fuschia color for only $3 each! It is so soft and gauzy that I thought it would make a great wrap. One idea I had was to use it for the inner fabric in the Multilayered Tube Shawl from AlterKnits.
I wanted to post a picture of the seam of my snowflake stocking. I mentioned I was proud of my first decent looking mattress stitch seam for it's almost-invisibility, but then never posted a picture, so here it is:
In other knitting news, I began a new "travel" project with Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock wool, hand-dyed especially for Purl Soho. I love this yarn now that I have started using it. It is knitting up so stretchy and soft. I am using Martha's Stewart's basic sock pattern from an old issue of Living. I like this pattern because it is clear and easy and is how I first learned to knit socks.
Also, for you chocolate lover's out there, I wanted to mention some new stuff I tried. Bissinger's sent me a catalog and I have no idea how they got my address, but I am glad they did. I ordered their Salted Margarita Caramels, and they were heavenly. A citrusy flavored caramel covered in chocolate and sprinkled with salt crystals. They are expensive ($11 for about 7 small caramels), but sooo worth it.
Yarn: 2 skeins Debbie Bliss Pure Silk (100%) Needles: US 6 DPs Finished Length: about 92"
I made this scarf for myself because I just liked the pattern and wanted to try this yarn. It pills a lot and doesn't look new by the time it's done being knitted, but I like it anyway. The scarf is very long because I knit until the end of the 2nd skein. I have to wrap it around my neck three times for it to fall to the length I like. It is a more decorative than cold weather scarf, but it's nice either way and soft around my neck. It tooks several months to make, but only because it was my "travel" project, which basically means it was my project for in the car (waiting at the gas station, in line at the bank, etc).
I only used DPs cause they are small enough to fit in my travel bag.
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay Needles: US 6 circulars & DPs; US 8 DPs
This stocking was started somewhere around June 2006. I finished it in late November 2006. It would have only taken a week or two had I actualy worked on it instead of procrastinating. The plan was to make two... that didn't happen. This will be a Christmas gift for my mom.
I pretty much followed the pattern on this one. The foot is knit in the round and the top part is knit flat to accomodate the intarsia. I am pretty proud of my virtually invisible mattress stitch seam on the back.